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Welcome to BET Awards weekend in sunny LA. Too many parties, celebrities and VIP shots of Ace of Spades to even begin to tell you how wavy the scene this weekend has been. I saw that Swizz Beatz making his usual rounds Batman style, in a car I’ve never seen before in my life, even online. That reminds me that his production skills blessed two of the hottest records this week.

There are a few heavyweight cliques out there right now: MMG, YMCMB and G.O.O.D. Music but the most underrated crew is Slaughterhouse. They dropped their new single “Throw It Away,” which is powered by non other than Swizzy. This group of vet MCs (Royce Da 5’9, Joe Budden, Crooked I and Joell Ortiz) may not have the record sales as the those mentioned earlier, but that means absolutely nothing to fans of these working class MCs. Check out the footage of their NYC performance (when NYPD police Gestapo arrested Joe Budden for outstanding traffic tickets.) “Throw It Away” is a dope track that will shake the block and lace mainstream radio.

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It seems like it’s been forever since we heard some solid new material from Alicia Keys. You had to figure with her husband doing fiyah records for every artist in the game, eventually Mrs. Beatz was going get her own home cooking. Enter the track “New Day.” This is the type of song arena’s were made for. It’s a great record for Keys to once again begin her ascent to the top of the charts. From the marching band style 808 drums to the piano keys all layered under Alicia’s magical voice, I promise you can’t wait to hear this.

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This new Miguel track, “Adorn,” has actually been floating around for a few months.  It was a brief unfinished version that left fans fiending for the finished version. Good news! The finished product leaked into the blogosphere. This is grown and sexy music at it’s finest. Fellas, this is that Friday night record when you are booed up for the evening. Even if you’re mashing around town with the misses riding shotgun in the co pilot seat, this is so appropriate.

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You can say what you want, but I am a Juicy J fan. With Wacka, MGK and Yelawolf; there are many contenders when it come to ignorant riot music. But there is only one king or kang of the pure unadulterated ignorance in hip-hop and that’s my man Juicy. Need proof? Listen to this new head knocka’ “Knock You Out.” Along with the homie Big K.R.I.T. on the beat and feature, Knock You Out is vintage Juicy ‘trippy’ rolled in a J.

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I really like this new chick Iggy Azalea. She is definitely with the right squad with Grand Hustle. So far her music has been tasty to fans of real skilled MCs. You had to figure though a single was coming soon and alas you have “Million Dollar Misfits.” This track is slamming like bricks on the concrete, but I think all would agree we need to hear some hot mainstream sh*t on Azalea, minus T.I. on the hook. And Tip is a cool positive dude, too, but (in my Ed Lova voice) ‘C’mon Son!’. B.o.B. makes any track worth a listen too, and his feature on this is just another example of class personified.

Until we read again.

Brandon ‘TNT’ West

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

Holla at him @tnt718