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Wale‘s new mixtape dropped yesterday. I’ve only listened to about half of it, but it’s really good. Wale’s wordplay and flow are incredible. Plus I enjoy the Seinfeld references, which is actually the main reason I downloaded the mixtape.

Also, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine) is on the mixtape. And the first track samples the Seinfeld theme song. Seriously, you really need to listen to this.

I can tell you this a tape
Collection of freestyles that I just wanted to make
And not a single feature except Lil’ Wayne
‘Cause everybody else did it, had to save face
And if you love substance, you love Wale
But most n***** love nothing, so I made this tape.

— Wale

Download the Mixtape About Nothing here.

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I put “No Jumper Cables” by Aesop Rock over “House of Cards,” off of In Rainbows, which I just recently started to enjoy.

House of No Jumper Cables (Aesop Rock vs. Radiohead)

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Surreal and hilarious.

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Ratatat – Mirando

I like it. It’s hard to even tell that it’s a Ratatat song until you hear that swelling, trippy guitar about 1/3 of the way through. Before that, it sounds like what Strawberry Jam would have sounded like if it had been produced by MIA.

Mirando will be on Ratatat’s very lazily named third album, LP3. It comes out on July 8.

Also, I now have one neat little page where you can download all the music that I made and posted here. I’ll update it as I continue to add music. Check it out.

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Here’s my latest mashup. I put Jay-Z’s “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)” over “I Was a Lover” off of Return to Cookie Mountain. Enjoy.

I Wasn’t No Lover (Jay-Z vs. TV on the Radio)

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Depite the fact that I couldn’t care less about the NBA.

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But I’m actually not sure if it’s Nas or Al Sharpton.

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.6983/title.nas-gets-props-from-an-unlikely-source

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Rostam Batmanglij, the keyboardist for Vampire Weekend, has a MySpace. On his MySpace, he has a recording of “Campus” that seems to predate the version on Vampire Weekend’s self-titled album.

I like it a lot. To my untrained ear the strings sound fantastic. Plus, now we know where Vampire Weekend’s classical influence (the strings, the keyboard runs in “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,”  everything about “M79,” etc.) comes from.

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The Cool Kids — Jingling

Like the Cool Kids themselves,  I’m not entirely sure about this track. Most of their songs kind of sound the same; “Jingling” is in the same vein as “Gold and a Pager,” and “Mikey Rocks.” The minimal, chilled-out feel is refreshing and easy to knock your head to, but I feel like it’s getting a little old before they’ve even released their first EP.

If you don’t listen to the beat too closely, it’s really good. But it feels a little weird, mostly because of the stiff, perfectly sequenced drum hits. I wish they had recorded the beat on a drum machine so the rhythm would feel more organic. As it is, the beat sounds a little like a techno/dance beat. (The handclaps don’t help.)

The rapping is similarly awkward if you listen closely. The feel is perfect, and there are some clever rhymes and references. Superficially it sounds great. But if you pay attention, you’ll notice that some of the lyrics are actually horrible. Look at the first few lines of the track:

“They jingling baby/Like keys in my pocket when my hand’s in my pocket/looking for my wallet.”

I like the Cool Kids, but they still have a lot of room to improve. I hope they do.

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Lootpack was an underground hip hop trio from the 90s that’s probably best known as the first group Madlib was in. Madlib is an amazing underground producer who I’ll talk about in a second, but watch this video first.

Lootpack — Whenimondamic

(The music video actually includes two songs. “Whenimondamic” starts at 1:07.)

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