Category Archives: song of the day


Song of the Day: “Differences” – Ginuwine

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Song of the Day (Drag Race Edition):
“Even Angels” – Fantasia

This one goes out to my boy Alex…
Pump that gas, take out that trash:
Even angels learn 2 fly.

Song of the Day: “Don’t Stop” – Kevin Cossom (Feat. Fat Joe & Bali)

The Kevin that keeps on giving…
unlike other Kevin‘s I know. Pft.

The long overdue fourth installment in the ‘Blog Made Me Do It‘ series: Master & Commander, was formulated by scientists to rock boats and make waves, all the while throwing passengers overboard. Tested by infants and hoodrats alike, it’s been approved to knock blocks, rattle cribs, flip chips, and turn tricks. Culled from the digital depths; the sprawling, essential 41-track set brings together hints of trance with street sounds to create lawlessly commanding rumble muzik. In other words: it’ll change your life. Featuring unreleased productions by Timbaland, Araab Muzik, Jahlil Beats, Bei Maejor, Polow da Don, Tricky Stewart, Los da Mystro, Duke Da God, and Boi-1da, with appearances by Jazmine Sullivan, Slim Thug, Vado, Ace Hood, Styles P, Young Jeezy, Keri Hilson and newbies: Tory Lanez, Meek Mill, Kendre, ZayBucks, Britney Mac, Six, The Dean’s List, and more. Warning: not approved for chumps, pregnant women, non-believers, and those with epilepsy. Remember where you it heard it first & bang on MF. (click the link below to download the .zip file)

Sample some tracks below…

Smoke & Mirrors presents…
The Blog Made Me Do It, Vol. 4: Master & Commander
An MH Mixtape

View tracklist after the jump.
Continue reading

Song of the Day: “Dolly My Baby” – Super Cat
(Feat. The Notorious B.I.G., Third Eye & Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs)

Song of the Day: “My Love Is The Shh” – Something For The People

Phone sex is still the shit, I mean shh. This one goes out to my boy, Martin at Mykromag, who reminded me how obsessed I was with this song growing up. Oh, and Girl 6 ’cause I still haven’t seen it since my mom won’t let me…


Song of the Day: “Beautiful Lie” – Ryan Leslie

The perfect song to phase out Paris Fashion Week …


Dear E-V-E,
Seeing you at The Blonds show got me thinking…
When will you return to your Ruff Ryding ways?
You know, like when you used to ryde on the front of motorbikes that hovered above ground, when you’d wear cowboy hats in ballrooms, and flash your chain and chest tats. I know you’ve eve-o-lved but frankly, I don’t like the fact that you haven’t even been wearing your eyebrow ring lately. I’ve attached specific sounds I’d like to hear from you along with images of your former self below to jog your memory. See you soon,

Song of the Day, Pt. I: “What Y’all Want” – Eve (Feat. Nokio)

Song of the Day, Pt. 2: “Got It All” – Eve (Feat. Jadakiss)


Song of the Day: “I Want You Back” – Mel B. (Feat. Missy Elliot)

Scary Spice looked and sounded exactly like how Surge tasted,
especially in this video featuring Misdemeanor,
Mmmmm. How I miss thee.

[Warning: This could just be the best video of all time.
And it’s not just because there’s a metallic cowboy hat.]


Song of the Day: “Home” – Bone Thugs ‘N’ Harmony
(Feat. Phil Collins)

photos courtesy of


VPL by Victoria Bartlett / Fall 2011 / New York Fashion Week

One of my favorite NY collections this week.
And my favorite Bartlett season yet.
Stretch’n’crease. Stretch’n’crease.
‘Cause she do it so damn diggity.

Song of the Day: “No Diggity” – Blackstreet
(Feat. Dr. Dre & Queen Pen)

photos courtesy of


Song of the Day: “Ladies Night” – Angie Martinez, Left Eye, Da Brat, Missy Elliott, & Lil’ Kim


Found this banner somewhere on the internets and had to share. I thought I was the only one who got suspiciously hungry for McNuggets when I listened to Keith Sweat? Guess it’s a common thing. Telling from the banner, the creeper’s been touting McD’s subliminally for a good while… until now.

 Song of the Day: “Twisted” – Keith Sweat

…Y’know, y’know you want my nuggets baby…


Song of the Day: “MuNY” – Nicki Minaj

the mu-mu-muny, the yen and the pesos

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Song of the Day: “Brown Sugar” – Faith Evans (Feat. Mos Def)

You gotta have faith.


Song of the Day: “Far Nearer” – Jamie XX

It’s not often you witness hipster runoff on the blog, but, I must admit: this Jamie XX track, which dons steel drums and smashed-up, semi-unrecognizable vocal loops by Janet Jackson (yeah, you read it right – Janet Jackson!), is too good to let be… have a listen.


Song of the Day: “Switch” – TLC
Hope your halloween was as hilarious as minez

Song of the Day: “Whip My Hair” – Willow Smith

My editor at The FADER put it best… Willow’s not actually 9, she’s instead an un-aged 35 year old preserved by Scientology. It’s obviously the reason she chose to revamp the 80’s Devo classic, “Whip It.” It’s a total nod to her generation.


Song of the Day: “All These…” – Sterling Simms (Feat. Kid Ink)

Whatta you get when you cross an age-old Wizard of Oz chant (The flying monkeys’ Ohh wee ohh, ohh, ohhh) and an R&B singer with a similar last name to a certain computer game? Sterling Simms’ latest single listens like this century’s very own ringtone-ready, Gregorian fight song.

Song of the Day: “Deuces [Female Remix]” – Ciara & Olivia

Summer’s Eve‘s gotta new anthem!


Song of the Day: “And On And On…” – Janet Jackson

…the perfect joint to end a perfect summer…

Song of the Day: “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” – Lenny Kravitz

A true favorite of mine; this Mark Romanek-directed clip helped epitomize Kravitz’ eclecto-maniac style and set the blueprint for many a Lenny video.

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The last set of the Smoke & Mirrors’ mixtape series (‘The Blog Made Me Do It, Vol. 2: Set It Off’) broke the first one’s record by over 1,000 downloads! Craziness. Guess it’s time to let off another round, huh?

Welcome to the third installment in the ‘Blog Made Me Do It’ series: Bling Dynasty – a sprawling, 30-track collection of the sharpest in hip-hop and R&B (not yet featured on the blog). Following in the tradition of the last two mixes, there’s plenty to please both hood-ees and hipsters. Including fresh sounds from hip-hop heavyweights: Game, Fabolous, Juicy J (of Three Six Mafia), Busta Rhymes, and Jim Jones, paired with unreleased material from under-the-radar acts: Ricky Blaze, Young AK, Kristmas, Verse Simmonds, Mac Miller, Crishan, Bei Maejor, and Ester Dean – the set is concocted to rattle streets and part seas. Expect air horns and bonafide block beataz! Through and through, third time is a fucking charm. Fall 2010… Bling Dynasty reigns. Remember where you heard it first & njoi. (click the link below to download the .zip file)

Smoke & Mirrors presents…
The Blog Made Me Do It, Vol. 3: Bling Dynasty
An MH Mixtape

View the tracklist after the jump. Continue reading


Song of the Day: “Playas Gon’ Play” – 3LW

The song of the day today is dedicated to my girl, Amanda, who bravely accompanied myself and mother to see 3L-dubya at the TRL tour back in 2001. Boy, has time passed… one member’s now a bonafide Disney slut, another’s cast alongside Bow Wow in this summer’s Lottery Ticket, and the other’s making low-budget videos about being raped for fun. I guess that’s what you get for selling your souls to an acronym. Though I must add, they do make some great points on the playa condition (um.. shot callas they gon’ call.. duh).

Song of the Day: “Get You Home” – Foxy Brown (Feat. Blackstreet)

Remember Foxy Brown? You know, the Ill Na Na? Well, it looks like Fox Boogie’s a big girl now. But back in the day (even before she went deaf) when black lipstick was semi-acceptable, bitch was a teeny weeny Firm affiliate. I guess jail time really does slow down the metabolism… (Lilo – take note).


Song of the Day: “Faster” – Slum Village (Feat. Colin Munroe)

Faster x Mark Fast
available now

photo (top) courtesy of faster by mark fast lookbook


Song of the Day: “One” – Sky Ferreira

This Sky Ferreira chick seems to be afflicted with the same radio-ready tourettes syndrome that The-Dream suffers/thrives from. Instead, her tick is laced with Bloodshy & Avant’s synths rather than Tricky‘s. I’d like to hear a swap. Check out her charming new feature in the this month’s Elle here.


Song of the Day: “Large On The Streets” – Vado

Been loving Cam’ron’s protege for a minute now,
but never had the chance to do a proper post…until now.
Here’s to hoping the fall brings a Swag Commandments LP!

When I first perused Adam Kimmel‘s S/S 2011 menswear collection, all i could think was how Smoke & Mirrors is this? It’s as if Snoop and Nate took over Kimmel’s design offices and just did the damn thang. While the looks may come off as overly thematic or hokey, the collection boasts some of Kimmel’s most beautiful pieces to date that are also easily translated to the everyday.

Song of the Day: “Friends” – Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg,
& Warren G

photos courtesy of

Preview The Roots‘ 9th studio album, How I Got Over,
in its entirety before it drops June 22nd here.
Early favorite: “Hustla”

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Song of the Day: “Straight Outta Compton” – The Roots & Ice Cube

on Jimmy Fallon


Franco Patricio

MH x Thierry Mugler,
photographed by Franco Patricio

Song of the Day: “Too Funky” – George Michael


Song of the Day: “We Fly High” – Elite Gymnastics

For all my late-90’s memory lapse-rs, Elite Gymnastics is here to remind you of the charm that was Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” – the oddly fantastic Coppertone rant that when placed over a Pure Moods-y backtrack became an international Billboard blockbuster. Elite’s version may in fact be more comical than Baz’s – speaking on everything from Jim Jones, stretch marks, and cough syrup to frozen foods and techno crowd caveats, all atop Boi-1da-like drums.


Song of the Day: “I Get Doe” – Glasses Malone

Take it from Malone – keep working your overtime’s.
The moral of this recession is money still matterin’.

Song of the Day: “All Talk” – Kid Cudi
(Feat. Chip tha Ripper, Christian Bale, & LCD Soundsystem)

Kid Cudi and Chip tha Ripper put their spin on LCD Soundsystem’s 9-minute “Dance Yrself Clean” instrumental and surprise – it’s better than anything Cudi’s released on his own since “Day N Night”. His debut album didn’t do much for my ears. Sad since I was all about his A Kid Named Cudi mixtape. My advice for the Kid’s next steps go as follows: quit the singing, or in your case; droning, keep to the hipper-than-thou beats you rap so well over, continue painting pictures with your flows, and ditch your A&R.


Song of the Day: “Return of the Mack” – Mark Morrison


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Song of the Day: “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” – Janet Jackson (Feat. Joni Mitchell & Q-Tip)

When I first saw Mikael Jansson’s May 2010 Interview spread with Daria Werbowy, I was instantly transported back to 1997 when Janet debuted her now-classic vintage-inspired “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” video (directed by Mark Romanek) to critical praise. The sweaty, cocoa-buttered look has yet to get old.

photos courtesy of fashionindie


Song of the Day: “Make-Up Bag” – The-Dream (Feat. T.I.)

I have found a solution to The-Dream‘s latest lady dilemma: rather than making-up by throwing 5 stacks down for a new make-up bag every time the Patron gets the best of you, drop 10 stacks on the interchangeably fantastic “Herbag” by Hermes. Modeled after the ever-iconic “Kelly” bag, “Herbag’s” modular, rubberized canvas design gives the cheaper option to purchase a new component for each occasion she gets mad, instead of a new “Birkin” every time you’re in need of forgiveness. While I don’t endorse any genderized accessory (“Herbag” – whose bag?), I do endorse a bag that’s as bipolar as relationships can be.

photos courtesy of


Jackson‘s 100% handmade leather slip-ons
..a work in progress..
1 of 2

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Song of the Day: “I Can’t Wait” – Nu Shooz


R.I.P. Guru
one of the best yet
a.k.a. Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal

listen to the exclusive Hot 97 turntable tribute here.

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Song of the Day: “Royalty” – Gang Starr (Feat. KCi & JoJo)

..check the technique..

track anatomy: so.lo

Song of the Day, Part I: “Solo” – Iyaz

Continuing in the spirit of my newfound Caribbean obsession, I bring you the ridiculously Summer-appropriate “Solo” by Tortola native and J.R. Rotem-affiliate, Iyaz. (Yeah, so he’s Sean Kingston‘s boy, too – who cares?) The track gives you a reason to bask in radio’s current lack of creativity. If the tune sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Peep the classic Janet joint it sampled below.

Song of the Day, Part II: “Again” – Janet Jackson
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Song of the Day: “Juice Box” – London (Feat. Young Dro)

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If there’s one thing that sparks the Spring in me, it’s sleazy R&B shanties. Like an amateur night R.Kelly or rube version of The-Dream, London’s minor metaphors are enough to snatch the straw from your toddler’s mouth. Absurdity lives! Gulp

It’s been four months since posting my first mixtape (The Blog Made Me Do It, Vol. 1) on the blog. Since then, there’s been more than 400 downloads. I admit it’s nowhere near platinum or even gold (on a grand scale), but it did help the blog get some decent street cred and assisted in showcasing my musical musings.

Continuing the mixtape tradition, I’ve set out to top my last effort with newer artists, bigger sounds, and genre-defying ear candy. For the second installment of the heavy-hitting Blog Made Me Do It series, I’ve scoured my current favorites (not yet featured on the blog) and paired them with rehashed R&B crowd pleasers, hard-to-find DJ revamps, electro-mashups, and springtime dancehall. Like the first backyard barbecue of the season, the 26 track set provides for satisfying even the toughest of tastes. Too hip for Puff and the fam? Fine. I’ve got them mashed with The XX for your listening pleasure. Too white for Ghostface? No biggie. I’ve got him mixed atop Spoon, so, you won’t get too uncomfortable. The mixtape is meant for anyone and everyone under the sun. So stop being stupid, crack a 40, and SET IT OFF already! Consider it the soundtrack to your Spring. Remember where you heard it first & njoi. (click the link below to download the .zip file)

Smoke & Mirrors presents…
The Blog Made Me Do It, Vol. 2: Set It Off
An MH Mixtape

View the tracklist after the jump.
Continue reading


Song of the Day: “None Of Your Business” – Salt’n’Pepa

I still know every word to this song 17 years after it’s release. The video (above) plays like the originalDirrty” video (mud wrestling, male groping, wet sloshing) and is still as nasty as it was so many years ago. The latest V magazine even paid homage to the female hip-hop groundbreakers of yesteryear with a special spread featuring signature gel-ed baby hairs, silken jackets, neon windbreakers, clashing prints, platform Reebok’s (perhaps a bit more Ginger Spice than Spinderella), bucket hats and doorknockers. If the look wasn’t so unabashedly adopted by sneaker heads and hipsters, I’d be rocking these duds like it was ’93.

photos courtesy of V magazine & fashionindie


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Song of the Day: “Stuntin’ Like Mufasa” – Lil’ Wayne
(Feat. Birdman)

The only way I can stomach Lil Wayne’s syrup-induced gruff is if its laced with ironic hipster instrumentals (read: Vampire Weekend, Spoon, Animal Collective), a Drake chorus, Nicki Minaj, or a Disney theme like this … Sorry.

(Read: before jail, after jail)

Song of the Day: “Diggin’ On You” – TLC

On rainy days like these, I like to sit home and reminisce-slash-reenact TLC’s CrazySexyCool interludes with friends and family. It was just yesterday that I stared into the six eyes of the three members on its inimitable album cover. The sky blue disc transports many back to their first CD. While everyone else was drowning in “Waterfalls“, I recall being drawn to a little diddy called “Diggin’ On You”, which came after “Kick Your Game” and before “Case of the Fake People” on the now-classic 90’s LP. It was perhaps the least successful single off the massive-selling set, but offered a romantic, aggressively more mature sound compared to the trio’s earlier adolescent acoustics. Less sex-obsessed and more seductive, TLC graduated sex ed with straight A’s. They set their genre’s bar so high, it’s been hard to top since. CrazySexyCool was an indisputable pinnacle of the 1990’s R&B scene, boasting freshman productions by now-veterans, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Dallas Austin, and Jermaine Dupri. “Diggin’ On You” remains one of Babyface’s best productions with its subtle whining drone background that’s screaming to be sampled.

Bonus Track: “Sumthin’ Wicked This Way Comes” – TLC
(Feat. Andre 3000)

r.i.p. lll

If there was ever a voice I’d have sex with, it’d be Craig David’s… It was Y2K and originality was a thing of the past for R&B music. Half-Jewish and hailing from Southampton, UK, Craig David, brought Garage-inflected R&B stateside with the help of then-producer duo, Artful Dodger. At the ripe age of 19, David owned top positions on every British chart imaginable with debut hit, “Fill Me In” (one of the best songs of the decade no doubt). His second single, “7 Days,” also enjoyed blockbuster success in the states and overseas; in turn, spawning a remix by DJ Premier featuring Mos Def (featured below). It’s David’s mild mannered, string-laden love songs that separate him from the Ne-Yo‘s and Usher’s of the world. A booty-call from Mr. David could easily bed a mother of four. His adoption of Garage delivery, shuffled rhythms, and 2-step drum patterns, helped to distinguish him amongst his peers early on in his career. Losing it over the next two albums (abandoning Artful Dodger for Soulshock & Karlin and most recently Mark Ronson), David’s all but disappeared from the domestic scene. One can only hope the now-28 year old crooner retreats back to former sounds for his next effort. I still pop Born To Do It when I need a steady groove. “Booty Man” (below) is a hilarious romp around a Wonka melody that’s so uncalled-for it’s spectacular.

Song of the Day, Pt. I: “Fill Me In” – Craig David

Song of the Day, Pt. II: “7 Days (DJ Premiere Remix)” – Craig David (Feat. Mos Def)

Song of the Day, Pt. III: “Booty Man” – Craig David


Song of the Day: “I Like To Move It” – Reel 2 Real

Let’s take it back to nineteen-naughty-four for this rowdy Jock Jams classic…  They’d play this shit in gym class and watch kids go straight epileptic (think Baby Sinclair)! We had no idea what the rasta-toaster was saying (still don’t), but he sure helped us cats get phyzicallay fit. And for that, a thank you’s in order.


Song of the Day: “Supa Dupa Lemonade (Freestyle)” – Big Sean

Featured G.O.O.D. Music’s Big Sean awhile back (and rather recently). Now he’s rhyming over Gucci‘s piano clinks (by Bangladesh) for his latest freestyle – did life hand him lemons? Where the album at, kid? This spiked lemonade’s got me ready.


Song of the Day: “All Night Long” – Faith Evans (Feat. Diddy)

I remember around ’97 it was Prodigy (and their brand of tech) that was prophesized to take over music forever. However, it was Sean Combs who would officially tune the mainstream ear after B.I.G. left the earth without a hip-hop hero. His crew over-realized the extent to which consumers look to music for status, fantasy, and showmanship. Through this, they unearthed a street music genre with an admittedly lux approach: “what sounds good – looks good – is good.” Bad Boy‘s first lady, Faith Evans, was essential to bringing the franchise a safer more feminine perspective. On the Puff-produced “All Night Long,” she imposed a state of R&B relief to hip-hop that’s been tough to reproduce sincerely thereafter. It’s a track that over its twelve year lifetime has been played on everything from mini-discs to walkmans, iPod’s to Pandora, yet still offers the perfect sense of Diddy-bopping solace. It has a bassline that instantly transports you back to the shiny suit heyday of champagne sipping, club shoot-outs, and chinchilla skins.


From this…
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to this…

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Song of the Day: “What Would You Do?” – City High