New Kid Cudi and Skylar Grey

Kid+Cudi

Any hip hop song is instantly elevated to a more beautiful and powerful level with the addition of Skylar Grey’s vocals. I was blown away the first time I heard “Words I Never Said” with Lupe Fiasco and “I Need A Doctor” with Dr. Dre and Eminem. And I was happy to see that she teamed up with Kid Cudi on his new song, “Hero.”

I would hardly call Kid Cudi’s latest work “hip hop.” It’s more like brooding, emo-electropop with a few hip hop sensibilities, but it’s still great music. And Skylar Grey’s icy, crystalline vocals nicely complement Cudi’s ominous, low tones. The steadily driving but chill beat of the song is right up there with some of his best work, it builds in intensity and emotion toward the end, and the whole thing just sounds intelligently constructed and arranged.

Give it a listen here and look for it on the soundtrack to “Need For Speed,” which premieres this Friday and features Cudi in a pretty major role alongside Aaron Paul.

https://soundcloud.com/xvth/kid-cudi-hero-nfs-soundtrack

February Playlists

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Here are the playlists I used in all my regular vinyasa classes in February. The playlist called “workshop” from 2/8-2/14 was a collection of some of my all time favorite songs to teach to. I used it in an educational workshop about how to effectively create classes with mindful sequencing and music. I don’t often theme my playlists, but I had a little fun with it this month. After coming across a few great Sufjan Stevens remixes, I made a “Sufjan-a-thon” playlist that worked perfectly for class. He’s one of my all time favorite artists and great for teaching to. Another themed playlist, “Emo Yoga,” (well, about as emo as you can get without screamy vocals or super loud guitars) was a throwback playlist to my high school days to celebrate one of my favorite students and friends who is (sadly) moving to the West Coast this month…

I also teach to hip hop (which is often a mix of hip hop, mashups, remixes and electropop). There are two themed hip hop playlists- a “Kid Cudi-thon” and “slow jamz.” And this month I debuted an acoustic Friday night flow. I’ve included those playlists at the bottom.

Feb 1-7 http://open.spotify.com/user/michaelbmann/playlist/0fJI1ssIWPLC7NUUlHBWUm

Feb 8-14
http://open.spotify.com/user/michaelbmann/playlist/1L0Jvm8i7efkNgVflRGIGd

Feb 15-22 (Sufjan-a-thon)
http://open.spotify.com/user/michaelbmann/playlist/4VWfUpsy9xwF0EU0wB9btZ

Feb 23-28 (“emo yoga”)
http://open.spotify.com/user/michaelbmann/playlist/2nO8IPWAyNTRdjVCsR68iO

HIP HOP

http://open.spotify.com/user/michaelbmann/playlist/1IfmCPVvmaMLDtdWPNhkws

Kid Cudi-thon

http://open.spotify.com/user/michaelbmann/playlist/6hFu71UMXcGEmHmvQZMh6L

Slow Jamz
http://open.spotify.com/user/michaelbmann/playlist/1cyz0eSGixDA8p60wFU83l

Hip Hop Meets Electropop
http://open.spotify.com/user/michaelbmann/playlist/0dCd3UPyNoeueOAaZwNayp

FRIDAY NIGHT UNPLUGGED

http://open.spotify.com/user/michaelbmann/playlist/2DjIYPlibTjGqVCvVzlkSz

http://open.spotify.com/user/michaelbmann/playlist/3UhI9LujQOcdmCxXGqkmBG