I’ve decided to go with a new format for showcasing my latest musical finds; the mixtapes were a bit limiting and this way you can consume each item individually. I’ll include five songs, albums, or DJ mixes that have had my head nodding in the past 7 days. Without further ado here is 5♥♬ (part 1):

1. Joey Bada$$ – Hardknock feat. CJ Fly


For anyone who has lost faith in hip-hop, Joey Bada$$ should restore it. This tremendously talented 17-year-old recently released his debut mixtape, 1999. I don’t think there’s anything hyperbolic in saying that it will rank as one of the best debut rap mixtapes ever. In the above song, “Hardknock,” he begins a verse just shy of the three minute mark that is mindblowing as it continues for over 90 seconds. Download 1999 for free at datpiff.com.

2. Clams Casino – Instrumental Mixtape Vol. 2 & Instrumental Mixtape Vol. 2 (B-sides)


One of my all-time favorites, Clams Casino has released a follow-up to his much lauded Instrumental Mixtape from 2011 that is just as advertised: more instrumental tracks that Clams Casino produced for a variety of rappers. The great thing about his production is that it’s just as enjoyable to listen to it without the rapping, perhaps even more so. Rather bizarrely, he also released a supplemental mixtape consisting of B-sides that apparently didn’t make the Vol. 2 cut; the song above, “Always Have a Choice,” is from the B-side mixtape. The official host for Instrumental Mixtape Vol. 2 no longer exists but a mildly determined Google search should find several mirrors. You can download Instrumental Mixtape Vol. 2 (B-sides) here.

3. Kanye West – Mercy (RL Grime & Salva remix)

RL Grime & Salva from the WEDIDIT collective almost broke Soundcloud when they released their remix of the Kanye single that’s currently getting the most radioplay. This remix has had 170,000 plays in the past 10 days, which is pretty crazy for little-known producers who release tracks on a tiny label. You can download the track here.

4. Different Sleep – Be My Center

Another little-known producer, Different Sleep releases chill little ambient house tracks that are like taking a nap in a nest of warm, fuzzy blankets. Seriously, they’re like that. Also check out another standout, “Drive Me Crazy.”

5. Flosstradamus  – Live for the Funk Mix

Flosstradamus is perhaps THE leading force in the rise of the Trap subgenre of dance music that’s starting to dominate the playlists of progressive DJs. The Chicago duo have been on a creative tear lately, from producing fantastic remixes (their remix to Diplo’s “Original Don” has been on 75% of the DJ mixes I’ve heard in the past 3 months) to full-fledged sets, like the  one above. Check out the tracklist for this mix here.