New Summer Hip Hop Albums and Mixtapes

It’s time to download some new jams for your hoopty, and we’ve got the DL on this season’s most anticipated hip hop albums. Check out the latest releases from rappers like French Montana, The Game, Major Lazer, A$AP Rocky, Ty Dolla Sign, Waka Flocka and more in our rap and hip hop list below.

Dates may change at music label’s whims or due to unexpected leaks. On May 26th, A$AP Rocky tweeted that his new album, At.Long.Last.A$AP, is in stores now, a week before its June 2 release after it appeared on blogs and file-sharing sites.

https://twitter.com/asvpxrocky/status/603006834920816640

The Harlem MC and longtime Kanye West fan tapped Yeezy, Lil Wayne, Future, M.I.A., Miguel, ScHoolboy Q, Mos Def, and even Rod Stewart to collaborate on At.Long.Last.A$APLil’ Wayne also dropped his long-awaited “Free Weezy Album” (FWA) without warning on July 4th, featuring Young Jeezy, Wiz Khalifa, Cory Gunz, Bibi Bourelly and more. (Available on Tidal)

May Hip Hop Albums

eMC, The Tonite Show, 5/5: More than “rappity rap,” the trio collabs with Xzibit and B Real and indulges in more of their trademark skits voiced by Rosie Perez, Tony Rock and Russell Peters.

Tech N9ne, Special Effects, 5/4; The speed rapper’s 24-track LP includes party starters like “Hood Go Crazy,” featuring 2 Chainz and B.o.B, plus previously released jams “Aw Yeah?” (interVENTion),” “Dyin’ Flyin’,” “Speedom” (featuring Eminem) and “Wither.”

French Montana, Casino Life 2: Brown Bag Legend (Mixtape), 5/7

Snoop Dogg, Bush, 5/12: The grand-dizzle of West Coast rap dabbles in funk and R&B with pals like Stevie Wonder, Pharrell and Kendrick Lamar.

Dizzy Wright, The Growing Process, 5/26: The Vegas MC collabs with Big K.R.I.T., Tech N9ne, Hopsin, Krayzie Bone, and more.

Lil Boosie, Touchdown 2 Cause Hell, 5/26

June Hip Hop Albums

Jamie xx, In Colour, 6/1: His remixes have been sampled by Drake (“Take Care”), and now London producer Jamie Smith releases his debut album with jungle MCs, raps by Young Thug, trance by Four Tet, and lots of dance hooks and break beats.

Major Lazer, Peace Is The Mission, 6/1

Riff Raff, Purple Panther 6/1

Waka Flocka, Flockaveli 2, 6/1

Lil Durk, Remember My Name, 6/2

Ty Dolla $ign, Free TC, 6/2; Includes upbeat collabs with DJ Dahi and EDM deity Diplo on “Stand For,” and pop cuties Tinashe and Charli XCX on “Drop That Kitty,” along with more songs with his homie DJ Mustard.

Denzel Curry, 32ZEL/PLANETSHROOMS, 6/9

Hudson Mohawke, Lantern, 6/15

Migos – YRN: Tha Album, 6/16

Trae Tha Truth – Tha Truth, 6/22

Pete Rock, Petestrumentals 2, 6/23

The Game, The Documentary 2, 6/30; Ten years after The Documentary, the Compton spitter is back with features from Kanye West, Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, Just Blaze, Meek Mill (“Soundtrack”) and Scott Storch.

Vince Staples, Summertime ’06 (Album), 6/30

‘Montage of Heck’ Shares Kurt Cobain Diaries, Home Movies with No Apologies

There are many eerie moments in the new Kurt Cobain documentary, “Montage of Heck,” but perhaps none as spooky as hearing the late Nirvana frontman slurringly beckon you to watch: “Hey, hey, come heeeere, I want you to see somethiiiing ….”

“Montage of Heck” debuts Monday, May 4, on HBO, but audiences in Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York got to see it in movie theaters last week. MyMusicCloud sent me to watch the movie, which boils over with adolescent rage and blazing rock intensity, in full digital sound. Stupid and contagious? Yes, it is. But it’s also, dark, wistful and often uncomfortably revealing.

For Nirvana fans, there are plenty of music clips, stage antics, and even some rough, unheard acoustic songs to ponder. For celeb voyeurs, there are candid, never-before-seen family confessions and happy home movies of Kurt and Courtney Love.

“I got the keys to this archive and I didn’t know what I was going to find,” confessed director Brett Morgen, who answered questions after a packed-house “Montage of Heck” showing in Los Angeles. “It was like meeting an old friend for the first time.”

Morgen collaborated with Kurt’s daughter, Frances Bean, and the Cobain family on this 8-year odyssey to piece together a portrait of Kurt’s fractured and much misunderstood personal life.

What he’s compiled is a broken, looking-glass collection of notebook diaries, cartoons, and startling spoken-word diaries from Kurt himself about his self-isolation and simmering anger.

With bitterness that still sounds fresh, the singer calls his teenage self an “immature, underdeveloped little dude,” and recounts being bullied to near-suicide by high school classmates after a thwarted attempt at sex with a neighborhood girl.

You see home movies of Kurt as an angelic toddler in “Montage of Heck,” and then fantastically grim photo animation depicting his tortured high school years and early recording sessions at the home of onetime girlfriend Tracy. As Tracy recalls his chronic ulcers and stomach pains, artists animate Kurt’s sometimes violent notebook paper doodles and editors splice in close-ups of writhing human intestines. (A revelation: Kurt loved to draw and film movies as well as write music.)

Bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic are seen hauling their own equipment in freezing temperatures and joking with MTV while Kurt scowls. Then, miraculously, Kurt’s laughing, joking, and completely uninhibited in home movies with Courtney, who loves to flash the camera, by the way. He practically beams with baby Frances Bean, looking as joyful and awestruck as any new Dad with his firstborn child. This is the Kurt we never really got to see.

Fascinatingly voyeuristic, “Montage of Heck” is a lurid peek into the Freudian muck of a tortured artist’s mind. It’s kind of like stumbling into a twisted, macabre funhouse. And, at 2 hours and 20 minutes, you’ll feel like you got to know and spend time with “an old friend.”

Watch it on HBO and look for the photo book on May 5th and the soundtrack with two new songs, including a 12-minute acoustic track, coming soon.

New Country Music Plus Videos from Florida Georgia Line, Luke and Keith

 

April is all about country music with new music videos from Florida Georgia Line (“Sippin’ on Fire”), Keith Urban (“Raise ‘Em Up”) and Luke Bryan (“Spring Breakdown”), not to mention fresh country albums from young guns like Tyler Farr and legends Reba McEntire, Dwight Yoakam and the Zac Brown Band. (What? They’re legends in Margaritaville!)

Later this month, all of the heartland’s finest, including Brad Paisley, Little Big Town, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Rascal Flatts, Sam Hunt, Miranda Lambert and a specially reunited Brooks & Dunn, will perform at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 19, on CBS.

That’s a whole lot of heart-breakin’ and boot-shakin’, so to pump you up, here are the biggest country albums to add to your music playlists. First, let’s check in with barefoot, Spring Break party-boy Luke …

 

March Country Albums

Luke Bryan, Spring Break … Checkin’ Out, 3/10 — Bryan’s last Spring Break album?! Say it ain’t so. It includes 5 new songs along with remixes of Spring Break 6. Get a taste of “Spring Breakdown” in the video above.
Allison Moorer, Down to Believing, 3/17.
Canaan Smith, Canaan Smith EP, 3/24.
Striking Matches, Nothing But the Silence, 3/24 — From the songwriting duo behind the hit show “Nashville.”
Darius Rucker, Southern Style, 3/31.
Now That’s What I Call ACM Awards: 50 Years, 3/31 — Satisfy all your country yearnings with 34 hit songs from 1969 to 2012, featuring Blake Shelton, Brooks & Dunn, Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Glen Campbell, The Judds, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, whew, and tons more.

April Country Albums

Kristian Bush, Southern Gravity, 4/7 — The new solo album from the Sugarland guitarist includes hits like “Trailer Hitch.”
Will Hoge, Small Town Dreams, 4/7.
Dwight Yoakam, Second Hand Heart, 4/14. — Inspired by his 2012 songs produced by Beck, Dwight unveils more “cow punk” songs, kinda like country meets The Ramones.
Reba McEntire, Love Somebody, 4/14 — Featuring the power anthem “Going Out Like That” and a duet with Jennifer Nettles called “Enough.”
Ricky Gunn, King of This Town, 4/21.
Tyler Farr, Suffer in Peace, 4/28. — More moody breakup songs from the singer of “A Guy Walks Into a Bar.”
Zac Brown Band, Jekyll + Hyde, 4/28. — Like the title suggests, the band is experimenting with different styles, including songs with Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell and Sara Bareilles.

Watch the new music video by Keith Urban and Eric Church for “Raise Em Up,” which Keith said was inspired by watching his daughters jump on their trampoline.

 

Get Any Album Free Now with MyMusicCloud

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Want a free album? Hey, who doesn’t? Starting today, we’re giving away any album in our MyMusicCloud store FREE to folks who join and upgrade to our unlimited music store-and-play service. So, what’s so great about MyMusicCloud?

Ever noticed how most music services (ahem, Apple) force you to listen to your music only on their devices? Are your albums scattered across your phone, laptop and their various storage services? With MyMusicCloud, it’s easy to import your music from all your annoying servers (iTunes, Dropbox, Amazon) and unite them in ONE simple-to-reach place. (No more fumbling to remember if your Jay-Z album is on your phone or laptop.) Our free music app frees you to listen to your songs on all your devices, (smartphones, PCs, tablets, even smart TVs and smartwatches), regardless of operating system (Apple, Android, Windows, you name it). It works on- or off-line too.

On MyMusicCloud, it’s always free to store all your music and play up to 250 songs. But, for just $39.99 a year, you can upgrade to our Unlimited status and listen to any song from your collection whenever you want. And through January 2015, get “credit” for any album in our store -– simply by using the URL http://www.mymusiccloud.com/app/albumOffer. Once you join and log in to MyMusicCloud, a payment form pops up. Upon successful completion, all albums in the store will be marked $0.00.

Not sure what to choose? Come back and download later. But here are some album ideas to get you started:

Arctic Monkeys — Rock out to the Monkeys’ “R U Mine” and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” from their new AM album as well as all their hits back to 2005.

Hozier and Sam Smith — If you dig the breathy vocals of these two, then pick up Hozier’s new top 10 album, Take Me to Church, and the club-friendly EDM mixes of Sam Smith.

Nicki Minaj‘s Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape features guest verses from rappers Bobby V, Brinx, Busta Rhymes, Drake, Gucci Mane, Gudda Gudda, Jae Millz, Lil Wayne, Red Café, Ricky Blaze, Rocko, Ron Browz, and Shanell. Also in our store.

Panda Bear‘s new album Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper (out Jan. 9, 2015) shows the trippy, neo-psychedelic artist getting funky with jams inspired by 90s hip hop.

So don’t be handcuffed to one operating system your whole life. Experience music freedom by joining MyMusicCloud and get your gratis album through our website, www.mymusiccloud.com, or any Android-powered device. Learn how to make playlists, share songs on Facebook, get recommended songs and discover more about our awesome service in our Help & How To section in the right-hand column. Don’t be afraid of your freedom.

The Best New Music and Albums to Download for 2015

bruno mars mark ronson uptown funk
Bruno Mars grooves to Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” from their Uptown Special album. (Courtesy: Columbia)

Is this finally the year that Her Royal Highness Adele blesses us with a new album? Can DJ Mark Ronson‘s Uptown Special live up to the retro, feel-good hype of “Uptown Funk” with Bruno Mars? After dissing both Drake and his label, will Tyga have any fans left by the time The Gold Album comes out in January?

There’s plenty of cool new music to download in 2015, and we have January and February’s most anticipated (and irresistible) album releases — from cutie Meghan Trainor to indie rockers Fall Out Boy and Sleater-Kinney and R&B’s magnetic Ne-Yo. Plus, later in the year, expect new music from Fergie, Gwen Stefani, Fleetwood Mac, Kelly Clarkson, Modest Mouse, Miguel, Rhianna, Tame Impala and possibly, wait for it, Radiohead.

January – February 2015 Artists, Albums & Release Dates (Dates may change at the labels’ whims)

Mark Ronson, Uptown Special, 1/13 — Amy Winehouse‘s former producer and DJ teams up with Bruno Mars, Mystikal, Stevie Wonder, and more stars for new club-friendly jams.
Meghan Trainor, Title, 1/13 — At last, we’ll find out what else the sassy singer’s about besides bass.
Justin Townes Earle, Absent Fathers, 1/13
The Game, The Documentary 2, (Sunday) 1/18
Joey Bada$$, B4.DA.$$ — That’s “Before Da Money” for you squares (like us), 1/20
Belle & Sebastian, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, 1/20 — Emo girls and guys rejoice.
Fall Out Boy, American Beauty/American Psycho, 1/20, The stadium-rocking “Centuries” is a promising start.
Lupe Fiasco, Tetsuo & Youth, 1/20
Sleater-Kinney, No Cities to Love, 1/20 — Long-awaited new rock from the Washington grrl group.
Fifth Harmony, Reflection, 1/27 — TV’s “X-Factor” sensations release their debut album.
Ne-Yo, Non-fiction, 1/27
Tyga, The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty, 1/27
Bob Dylan, Shadows in the Night, 2/3
Blackberry Smoke, Holding All the Roses, 2/10 — New country with a twist.
Ricky Martin, A Quien Quiera Escuchar, 2/10 — Everyone’s guilty 90s pleasure has a Latin album on tap.
Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, SURPRISE RELEASE on 2/12 — The Toronto rapper rattles his saber at the haters with this dark, edgy and unexpected mixtape of 17 songs.
Imagine Dragons, Smoke + Mirrors, 2/17
Kate Pierson, Guitars and Microphones, 2/17 — The B-52’s famous redhead goes solo with new-wavey jams written by Sia and Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi.
St. Vincent, St Vincent: Deluxe, 2/17 (Import) — Four new songs from kooky alt darling Annie Clark are included in this expanded version of the 2014 album.
Big Sean, Dark Sky Paradise, 2/24 — The rapper aims for legitimacy with dark rhymes plus a duet with girlfriend Ariana Grande.
Chris Brown & Tyga, Fan of a Fan: The Album, 2/24 — The hit duo’s first full-length collaboration features guest appearances from 50 Cent, Boosie Badazz, Fat Trel, Pusha T, ScHoolboy Q, and Ty Dolla Sign.
Kid Rock, First Kiss, 2/24 — Kid returns to country rock territory with songs like “Johnny Cash” and “Drinking Beer With Dad.”

Want more hip hop and rap? In the dates TBA posse, Lil Wayne‘s promised his 99th or so album in two years, Big Sean has big things poppin’, Drake will probably start brawling with errybody whenever his new album Views from the 6 drops, Wale‘s The Album About Nothing is coming late March, Meek Mill has Dreams Worth More Than Money and King Kanye is threatening another blast of Yeezus later in the year.

Click the FOLLOW tab at the bottom right to get more music updates like this in your Inbox, and discover new bands whenever you listen to your MyMusicCloud collection with our Recommended Artist suggestions.

How to Use the MyMusicCloud App on Your SmartWatch

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Did you know you can listen to your digital music collection right from your smartwatch? Besides being able to place calls and dictate texts, you can rock out to your  favorite songs and playlists with the MyMusicCloud app on Samsung’s new Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear S smartwatches.

So how does it work? If you’re a MyMusicCloud user, you already know you can store all your music for free in our cloud and play up to 250 songs on any laptop or desktop, tablet, and smartphone, regardless of brand. Now, it’s easy to sync our music app to your smartwatch too.

STEP 1. Make sure you’ve downloaded the Samsung Gear Manager app onto your smartphone and that it’s synced to your smartwatch. The Gear Manager controls how your watch looks, and which apps you can download to it.

STEP 2. Turn on your Bluetooth and open Gear Manager on your phone. Select Samsung Gear Apps and click on the Category tab. Tap “Entertainment.” The MyMusicCloud app is available for free here in Samsung’s Apps store.

STEP 3. Download the app, and make sure it appears in your My Apps window by tapping “View App in Gear Manager.”

STEP 4. Open the MyMusicCloud app on your Samsung phone, and just go to “My Apps” on your smartwatch to launch our music app. Now you can choose songs or playlists from your collection to play, rewind, or pause by touching the watch face. (As always, you’ll need to have uploaded your music to our cloud beforehand using a desktop, laptop, or tablet.) You’ll also need a Bluetooth headset to enjoy your jams.

Available in a variety of colors, the Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear S smartwatches cost $299 with most U.S. carriers, such as AT&T.  Although they use the Tizen operating system and not Android, our MyMusicCloud app is also available for Android devices in the Google Play store.

Confused or got a Samsung Gear smartwatch question? For the quickest answers, watch the How To videos on here on Samsung’s Support Page. Or, email us at support@mymusiccloud.com, and we’ll do our best to answer it.

See how easy it is to sync your music across all your gadgets in our demo video below.

The Best Earbuds, Speakers, Smartphones and More Holiday Music Buys

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Have you noticed all the gorgeous music eye candy popping up everywhere you turn? Flashy smartphones, tiny earbuds with big bass, sick speakers, and more music gadgets are just begging to be bought. With the holiday sale season in full swing, this is the best time to indulge your inner music junkie and splurge. Here, we’ve rounded up the best earbuds, laptops, speakers, albums and new music gadgets worth buying for the 2014 holidays:

Best Earbuds Between $50 and $200: Apple may have Beats by Dre, but the real bass-lovers are drooling over Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 earbuds with their sleek fit and decadent sound quality. Can’t afford the $179.99 price tag? Check out Audio-Technica ATH-CKX7I SonicFuel In-Ear with its flat, tangle-free cables and ear-hugging C-tip design ($72.34 on Amazon).

Best Laptop for Music: Everyone knows that MacBooks are legend for their superior mixing, DJing, and audio capabilities, but PCWorld.com calls Samsung’s ATIV Book 9 the “best-sounding laptop” they’ve listened to. That’s because it has a Wolfson WM5102 audio CODEC encoder/decoder and can play songs with an exceptionally high signal-to-noise ratio (113dB). In other words: crisp tempos and kickin’ bass. Now, for the sticker shock: The ATIV Book 9 came out in July at $1,500.

Best Music App: Of course, we have to mention our free MyMusicCloud store-and-play music app, which syncs your library across any laptop, smartphone, tablet and Samsung smart TV / smart watch regardless of operating system (Apple, Android, Windows, Nokia). Listen on or offline, make playlists, view lyrics and singer bios, and get song and artist recommendations anywhere you go.

Best Portable (and Wearable) Bluetooth Speaker: When you need a light, portable yet powerful speaker with satisfying bass, check out this Bluetooth-synced beauty.  At a lightweight 4.2 x 3.2 inches and 5.6 ounces, the JBL Clip ($49.95) easily hangs onto your backpack, belt-loop, or the back of your SUV (for the ultimate tailgating party). Comes with a plug-in charger.

Best Smartphones for Music: From dub-step to hip-hop, music fans seem equally split between two smartphones with powerful speakers and sound: the Sony Xperia Z3 (with Android for T-Mobile and soon new for Windows) and the HTC One M8 ($99.99 with 2-year contract at Best Buy) with its BoomSound system. Unlike most smartphones, both have front-facing speakers and impressive built-in amps. The Xperia Z3 is a whopping $630 alone or $26.25 / month with T-Mobile for 2 years. (You can also get the cheaper Z3v version from Verizon for $199.99 with a 2-year contract.)

Best New Music: Now that you’ve berzerked your way through the Marshall Mathers LP 2, here comes Eminem with a giant, new 2-disc compilation album called Slim Shady XV out Monday, November 24. The first disc features 12 tracks from Slim with partners like Sia (“Guts Over Fear”), Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf, Big Sean and Danny Brown (“Detroit vs. Everybody”), and his posse Royce da 5’9 and D12. Disc 2 is meant to showcase the best of Shady Records, including 50 Cent’s “Wanksta” and “I Get Money,” Slaughterhouse’s “Hammer Dance” and Yelawolf’s “Let’s Roll” featuring Kid Rock. There are also old faves like 50 Cent’s “In Da Club,” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” with an original lost-and-now-found demo version starring lyrics that were ultimately discarded. Here’s a peek:

So how do you like to listen to Eminem or your favorite music – on a laptop, smartphone, headphones or elsewhere? Tell us in this poll …