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Peace! (In my Biz Markie voice.) It’s Spring Again…time to officially put away the leathers, furs or whatever winter gear you really didn’t get to wear this year. So you wanted Frosty the Snowman? Nah, more like you needed a Frosty from Wendy’s. Just like everywhere else, NYC was warmer than Texas in November. I went to a backyard BBQ this past January — in Queens!. That’s how warm it was. Make no mistake though, there is about to be a serious heat wave through music this year. Stay tuned…

Anytime Swizz Beatz’ fresh Reebok sneakers step out of the studio, you’d best believe a heat wave is about to happen. This week Uptown formed like Voltron when the BX’s Swizzy joined forces with Harlem’s own A$AP Rocky on a hot new record called “Street Knock.” AraabMuzik is the chairman behind the boards on this beat that’s hotter than the devil taking Tabasco shots in mid July. A$AP is the New York’s answer — I mean ambassador — to this modern day swag movement running rampant through hip-hop like a virus. Rocky’s verse on this is as golden as his grill-plated grimace. Whether you hear this on your radio dial or in the club, “Street Knock” will mash out!


The hottest record of the week, no doubt, was Nicki Minaj’s new flamer featuring 2 Chainz, “Beez In The Trap.” This song sparked a small but funny radio beef in Gotham City between Hot 97’s Funk Flex and Power 105’s DJ Clue. Imagine how Ms. Minaj must feel to have two well known DJs beefing over who’s going to break her new sh*t first. Now the beef wasn’t solely about Nicki’s new record, but you have to Google for the gossip. Meanwhile, “Beez In The Trap” looks to be that next international hood anthem for Minaj. 2 Chainz definitely wins the Drake Award for being every artist’s feature artist. This song will be a hit by Memorial Day weekend.


You up on Danny Brown yet? If you’re not his new song “Grown Up” is a great way to get familiar. The indie MC from Detroit has been grinding in hip-hop circles for a minute. It was last year’s indie album XXX that won him acclaim with more mainstream music audiences. On “Grown Up,” Danny uses his lyrical prowess to take us on a trip through his many adventures as youngster. Obviously his creativity is earning him respect on the corporate side because the track “Grown Up” is apart of the national Scion/Av ad campaign.


I have to give it to the pop artist Dev. When it comes to fire production, from The Cataracs to Timbaland, you will find her beautiful voice on the hottest club track that will rattle the plaster off the wall. Now, what I wasn’t expecting to hear was Dev spit a full on 16-bar rap. Such is the case on her new record “Break Ya Back.” Producer Timbaland updates his flavorful cookbook of beats every few years and Dev gets a hot one fresh from the MPC. Now don’t expect to hear any Dev-like-a-G6-Fergielicious-like catch phrases on this track. No, she has a dynamic but innocent flow that coincides with and rides Timbaland’s track effortlessly. Must hear music indeed.


Who is Austin Brown? He is the son of singer Rebbie Jackson, the sister of the late great Michael Jackson. Take one listen to his new track “City of Angels and you will know instantly that the talent in the Jackson family runs deep. I’ve been hearing about this incredible record even before I heard it. The Backpack Kids are behind the bouncy drum-beat that pays homage to LA. But it is Brown’s voice, which is so reminiscent of Michael, that steals the show. Only time will tell what will become of young Austin but make no mistake, “City of Angels” will wet your appetite for more of his music.

Until we read again.

Brandon ‘TNT’ West

Music Exec / Industry Insider/ The Andy Rooney of Hip Hop Culture

Holla at him @tnt718


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