new zealand rap blog

Winter Playlist Series

Written for Passionweiss. I organized this feature and there's plenty of other great sounds ranging from Blaxploitation soundtracks to electronic so check them out. 

This mix defines my winter tastes pretty well – grumpy old and new raps combined with soul and funk. While I’ve been listening to beats and rhymes since before the Willennium, booty-shaking riffs and smooth grooves are something I’ve only properly investigated in the past few years. However one has inevitably led to the other – Kanye is a big Curtis fan, Three-6 Mafia put me on to Willie Hutch, and RZA blessed his crew with several Stevie Wonder samples.

Many of these classic tracks contain some form of social commentary relevant to whatever era they were recorded in. This makes them both uplifting and gritty, which is a lot like the season where you are just as likely to spend all night in a toasty bar as you are to get hail flying diagonally into your face on the way home. Push play and pray for summer.

Also as per last season’s mixes, thanks to BJ Beatson and Aaron Frank for helping me put these together. Link after the jump. 


1. Big L – Danger Zone
2. Vince Staples ft Schoolboy Q – Back Sellin’ Crack
3. Joey Fatts – Picture Me Rolling
4. Jay Z – Can’t Knock The Hustle
5. Boldy James – Optional
6. The Beanuts ft Big Pun and Cuban Link – Off The Books
7. Elzhi – Memory Lane
8. Big Pun – Punish Me
9. Droop E ft Nite Jewel and J Stalin – ‘N The Traffic
10. Willie Hutch – In and Out
11. Curtis Mayfield – Wild and free
12. Stevie Wonder- Living For The City
13. The Manhattans- New York City
14. Marvin Gaye – What’s Happening Brother
15. Curtis Mayfield – We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue
16. Kool and The Gang – This Is You, This is Me

Fall Mixtape Series

cool mixtape

By Jimmy Ness and written for Passionweiss. I organized this mixtape feature and there’s plenty of others you can check out here if you need some more good sounds.

If you live on this side of the world, the sun has vanished and you’re now undergoing seasonal depression. There’s no children running under fire hydrants or bikini-clad bodies to be seen and when it rains you watch re-runs instead of venturing to the bar. But it’s not all bad. Some of the best music is made for listening during winter and without it we wouldn’t have classic cold season albums like Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” or most East Coast 90s rap releases. For that exact reason we’ll each be posting a playlist during the next few weeks. After all, “Winter Warz” is still 100% more listenable than “Beach Chair.” I’m not alternative or interesting enough to post over 60 minutes worth of artists you’ve never heard of. Plus I supposedly have more important things to do with my time. Instead I’m sticking to what I know in the hopes that I’ll drop some musical gems upon you like manna dropping from the sky to the Israelites. If you listen properly, you might even catch Freddie Gibbs and Kanye West on the same track. If Dipset, Krayzie Bone and The Re-Up Gang coupled with the undeniably funky tunes of The Gap Band and Carl Carlton doesn’t get you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will. Half way through this playlist you’ll probably think “how are any of these tracks relevant to the cold season?” I don’t really know, but I’ve always felt that the grimiest of music works best in the grimiest of weather. You could also say the soulful stuff is for that classic winter feeling when you step outside and it’s raining diagonally into your eyes and the funky part is to pick up your spirits. Or you could just shut up and listen. (Shout out to Aaron Frank and Brad Beatson for helping me organize this feature)

Download link and tracklist after the jump


1) Dipset – “Dipset Anthem”
2) Re-Up Gang – “Bring It Back”
3) Krayzie Bone- “Heated Heavy”
4) King Chip ft Freddie Gibbs and Kanye West – “Stand Up King”
5) Big K.R.I.T ft Raheem DeVaughn – “Players Ballad”
6) Ab Soul ft Alori Joh and JaVonte – “Empathy”
7) Devin The Dude – “Doobie Ashtray”
8) Illa J ft J Dilla – “Timeless”
9) Slum Village – “Players”
10) Outkast – “Spottie Ottie Dopalicious”
11) The Gap Band – “Outstanding”
12) ThEESatisfaction – “QueenS”
13) Carl Carlton – “Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built. She’s Stacked)”
14) Sly & The Family Stone “Everyday People”

Download Link