Fall Music Preview: Hip Hop/ R&B

The Spotlight

The Stepkids are a psychedelic soul trio from Connecticut who merge ideas from the past, present and future into a funky blend that sounds like few other bands out there.

Now signed to Stonesthrow Records, a label known for championing creative artists like Dam Funk, Aloe Blacc and Mayer Hawthorne who look to the future with a strong nostalgia for past musical style, The Stepkids are in good company.

Part of their strength lies in the strong sense of collaboration between the three members of the band. “A lot of what excites us about this band is this band itself,” says bassist and keyboardist Dan Edinberg. “It’s not either of us; it’s about creating an entity where the entity itself is what’s important.” As a result, every song on The Stepkids self-titled debut album is written with equal input from each member.

On their new single “Legend In My Own Mind” The Stepkids really strut their stuff – falsetto vocals soar, dsico-y synths shimmer and a funky bassline groove bumps things along. For such a young band they’ve emerged with a clear vision of their sound and are executing on it with style.

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DJ Shadow

One of the most famous DJ’s of all time, DJ Shadow returns from a long period of silence with his new album The Less You Know The Better.

Back in 1996, DJ Shadow changed the game with his seminal debut album Entroducing. When an artist of his caliber releases a new album it’s always exciting to see what happens, we’ll have to see what he has in store for us on The Less You Know The Better.

Drake

Drake has been a divisive figure in hip-hop with his blend of rapping and R&b crooning.  What you can’t argue with, however, is his success.  He has rocketed to the top of the charts and established himself as a major figure in the music industry in just a little over two years.

In November he’s set to release his third album Take Care.  From the singles he’s been leaking, he sounds perhaps even more introspective than ever, using his perspective to put an interesting twist on the whole larger-than-life rap star persona by exposing the hollowness of the lifestyle. From what we’ve heard so far, Drake’s thoughts are still interesting and his beats are still hot. We’re still listening.