Pete Rock Is Pissed That Lupe Fiasco Sampled His Sample… Really.

When Lupe Fiasco dropped “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free),” the first single off his upcoming album Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album, we doubt he expected the type of backlash he’s receiving now. The single is a return to form for the socially-conscious Chicago MC, but features a recognizable beat from one of hip-hop’s greatest songs, 1992’s “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” by Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth.

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Matchbox Twenty Return With New Album 'North'

As the wave of 90s nostalgia seems to be reaching an all time high, Rob Thomas and Co. return with North, their first LP since 2002’s More Than You Think You Are.

While the band has not been completely dormant over the past decade, this will mark their first full length studio effort after releasing the 2007 compilation Exile on Mainstream (a collection of previous hits featuring six new songs).

“The title refers to us finding our way,” guitarist Paul Doucette tells Rolling Stone. “We went into this record with a lot of material. Many different songs that could have taken us in many different directions. It sort of overwhelmed us for a bit. But, at a certain point, we figured it out. We figured out where ‘North’ was.”

The album is due out September 4th, but fans can expect the first single in a few weeks.

Donna Summer Dead At 63

TMZ reports that the Queen of Disco passed away this morning in after a long battle with cancer. She was in Florida at the time of her death.

Donna Summer, born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, defined the disco movement of the 1970s and 80s  with hits like “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls,” “She Works Hard for the Money” and “This Time I Know It’s for Real.”

Her infectious smile and effortless vocal delivery brought a sense of pure joy and happiness to the music industry that has been unrivaled since. Her pop craft combined with an inherent  sense of rhythm and funk allowed Summer to reach a wide variety of audiences, with a style of dance music that was more accessible to the mainstream than anything to come before it. And it appears we’ve lost another star too soon, as Summer was reported to have been working on a new album at the time of her passing. So in the spirit of disco, one final dance for the Queen.

SoundTrax: Sunsets and Regrets

This week at SoundTrax, we’ve curated a playlist that sounds like sunsets, shimmers like the ’80s and warms you up like a summer bonfire. Every artist featured here borrows heavily from the dance vernacular but also have a clear affinity for fuzzy, jangly, indie pop. What emerges from these two influences is a sound that is steeped in nostalgia but remarkably fresh. Maybe it is this aspect of retro-futurism; straddling the sounds of the past and future with such dexterity, that make the style stand out so well in the present landscape of recycled pop music. Think of it as the sonic equivalent to Instagram. This is the perfect playlist for the end of a long night with friends, when you still don’t want the party to end, but the ringing in your ears leaves you no choice. There’s equal parts guitar and synth work, just as much kit thrashing as button pressing and enough disco swagger to bring the genre back from the grave.

SoundTrax: Sunsets and Regrets from OurStage on 8tracks.

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I Can Feel The Music In Memes: Songs As Internet Video Sensations

YouTube and music have gone hand in hand for a while now, helping break new stars (Gotye), and giving music lovers one more place to stream poor quality versions of their favorite songs. But perhaps YouTube’s greatest contribution to the music industry all started with the Chinese Backstreet Boys and their hilarious rendition of “I Want It That Way,” the video that spawned a sensation.

Six and a half years later, YouTube is no longer just a teenager, but hilarious lip syncing videos can still win over the crowd. Another sports team has lip synced another top 40 gem and have become mini-superstars themselves.

We did a little round up of some of the best/funniest/most clever music-centric vids on the web, read on for the rest:

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SoundTrax: Headphones On, World Off

The weather over the last few days has been marked by an overcast, chilly gloom, and after being teased by summer so frequently I feel like my taste in music may have switched seasons a bit too early. I find myself constantly drawn to warm, sample-heavy hip hop”a sound that’s quite removed from the over-synthesized, over-produced, dance-hop populating the airwaves currently, and more inline with the vinyl crackle infused genre of the ’90s (heck, a couple of these songs actually come from the ’90s). The lyrical content places more of a focus on conveying a story rather than shocking the listener with clever one liners (ahem…Drake). In the words of Masta Ace… “this is how hip hop is supposed to sound”. So find your best pair of cans and switch the outside world off for a little bit.

SoundTrax: Headphones On, World Off from OurStage on 8tracks.

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