The worst result of 21st-century technological advances, at least from a musical point of view, is the dual proliferation of DIY recording equipment and social media, allowing millions ofnotice the quotation marks"musicians" to flood inboxes, festival backpacks, Facebook timelines and Twitter mentions with "hot" tracks. Rappers could be seen as the worst offenders, since rap songs are the easiest to record, needing only a mic, an instrumental and minimal mastering to work.
As a result, Internet browsers are all being transformed into freelance (and usually unpaid) A&R reps, sifting through hundreds of songs before finding something that's worth loading into an iPod. The job can be quite overwhelmingbut have no fear. Every Wednesday, we'll bring you the week's best hip-hop tracks so you can clear your inbox and stop playing the guessing game. Here are the three and a half great songs that popped up this week. More »