Johnny Astro- TheWorldENDs (mixtape)

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Arlington’s very own Johnny Astro. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know much about the emcee/producer leading up to this rather impressive release. Well, that’s now changed, as Astro’s project is one of the most comprehensive and seasoned mixtapes I’ve heard from and up and comer since I started blogging. From the creative samples to the clever rhymes schemes, TheWorldEnds does not disappoint in the slightest. Take a listen.

Notable tracks:

“Goodnight America”

“The SkyWalkers”

Johnny Astro- TheWorldENDs (mixtape)

Big Boi- Lines (feat. A$AP Rocky & Phantogram)

A$AP Rocky is at it again, this time linking up with former Outkast staple Big Boi (who's somehow managed to stay relevant). The track will live on Big Boi's upcoming album Viscous Lies & Dangerous Rumors.

Notes: Despite the push-back of Rocky’s debut album LongLiveA$AP, Harlem’s finest has still managed keep fans happy with several drops (see “F***in’ Problems“). This kid is the real deal. So get ready, 2013 will be the year of the A$AP Mob.

Big Boi- Lines (feat. A$AP Rocky & Phantogram)

Skizzy Mars- The Come Down

Let me be the first to say, it’s been a while. But what better way to break the silence with a brand new track from the anomaly that is Skizzy Mars. I’ve critiqued Mr. Mars in the past based off of his erratic drops and lack of material. However, any ill thoughts were washed away with “Phase One” of Skizzy’s upcoming mixtape Phases. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday with the aural pleasures of “The Come Down.”

Skizzy Mars- The Come Down

It’s The Dean’s List (The Kings Dead)- Ruby Red

As I mentioned in a previous post concerning the Boston trio, The Dean’s List have essentially done a complete 180 degree turn, shifting from a more playful, college friendly sound to a more urbane and refined form of music. One listen to “Ruby Red” should support my point.

And if you haven’t noticed, the threesome seems to no longer go by the name “It’s The Dean’s List,” now taking on the whole “Kings Dead” persona to include their video-making platform. It makes sense if you asked me.

Kanye West & Big Sean- Clique (feat. Jay-Z)

“Clique” could quite possibly be the best rap song of the year. If you thought “Mercy” was as good as it gets for the kind folks over at G.O.O.D. Music- you are sadly mistaken. Between three top of the line verses and Hit-Boy’s stellar backdrop, what’s truly not to love about this song? Don’t f*** with this clique…

“Break records in Louis/ ate breakfast at Gucci/ my girl a superstar all from a home movie”

Kanye West & Big Sean- Clique (feat. Jay-Z) | Stream Only

Dirty South & Alesso- City of Dreams (feat. Ruben Haze)

I haven’t heard a real good progressive house jam in a while. SHM’s sendoff single was alright, and Avicii’s latest release was nothing special.

Now, fast forward a bit and finally, I can confidently say that I’ve found my new not-so-guilty pleasure in the form of Alesso and Dirty South’s collaborative effort “City of Dreams.” To be honest, I don’t think it can get much better than this. Cop this ASAP.

Dirty South & Alesso- City of Dreams (feat. Ruben Haze) | Beatport

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- Thrift Shop

Ladies and gentleman, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have done it again. In fact, “Thrift Shop” is a certified hit. After the release of a very controversial “Same Love” track, I wasn’t sure what we should expect next from the Seattle duo. Well, the answer is clear now. Straight hits.

I am the most prolific thrift shopper in the rap game right now. What Bob Barker is to the Price Is Right, I am to used fringe jackets. My collection is worth anywhere between $70 and a $100,000,000 depending on who’s appraising it. I’m gonna be honest, if it’s me… I’m going with a million. Count the zero’s. That’s how many fur jackets I have. Tell PETA my Mink, Fox, Rabbit, Coyote, and Hungarian Raccoon jacket are ALL dragging on the floor. And I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way. I love my animals. But they’re dead. And they’ve been dead for hella. When I wear them, I’m bringing them back to life and introducing them to a whole new generation who wasn’t around when they were out in the woods doing their thing. Those animals have now migrated from some old lady’s closet, to a thrift shop and are now getting their proper shine, up to 40 years later. It’s recycling. And recycling is beautiful, am I right? That’s what this song is about -Macklemore

Disclaimer: If you’re one for shopping at Gucci, LaCoste, or wherever the hell people go for expensive clothes nowadays, please reexamine your life and listen to this song.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- Thrift Shop | iTunes