CHICAGO’S NICO $UPREMO DOES HIS CITY AND HIS STYLE JUSTICE ON “AIR FORCE ALL STAR”

It’s hard to rep Chicago harder than Nico $upremo does on his new track Air Force All Star, with its extensive references to the titular shoe merely being the start of it. Over the creeping beat provide by Lone Buddha Beats, Nico spends much of the track documenting what the shoe means to him and the city as a whole, flossing with references to Rocky … Continue reading CHICAGO’S NICO $UPREMO DOES HIS CITY AND HIS STYLE JUSTICE ON “AIR FORCE ALL STAR”

BOSTON’S OWN DANNY DIAMONDS DELIVERS TRUTH TUNEFULLY ON NEW SINGLE “STUCK”

Boston has another one! In recent years, there has been a thriving rap scene in Boston seen in rising stars Michael Christmas and Cousin Stizz (amongst many others), and Danny Diamonds has stepped to the plate with his sunny and promiscuous, but self-aware new single Stuck, produced by Polyte. The concept of the track is made apparent from the jump as a voicemail about Danny’s … Continue reading BOSTON’S OWN DANNY DIAMONDS DELIVERS TRUTH TUNEFULLY ON NEW SINGLE “STUCK”

NY’s Asoh Black! Releases a Fiery Remix of Travis Scott’s “Backyard” to Kick Off the Year

To kick off the new year, New York’s own Asoh Black! begins his #AsohAttacks series, in which he releases 11 songs over the course of 11 weeks culminating with the release of a full project, with a remix of Travis Scott’s “Backyard” carrying the name of HITS (accompanied with a video by Train Productions). The track is accurately named and bodes well for the future … Continue reading NY’s Asoh Black! Releases a Fiery Remix of Travis Scott’s “Backyard” to Kick Off the Year

BOSTON’S ED BALLOON PUTS THE “ALTERNATIVE” IN ALTERNATIVE R&B ON HIS INNOVATIVE AND INSIGHTFUL EP “FLOURISH”

The sounds of Alternative R&B continuing to break new ground (truly putting the “Alternative” in Alternative R&B), have allowed artists like Boston’s own Ed Balloon to flourish and innovate, as he does on the fantastically forward-thinking EP Flourish released on Deathbomb Arc. Ed carries the raw vocal talent of a vintage gospel singer, and applies that talent to varied instrumentals that take equal cues from … Continue reading BOSTON’S ED BALLOON PUTS THE “ALTERNATIVE” IN ALTERNATIVE R&B ON HIS INNOVATIVE AND INSIGHTFUL EP “FLOURISH”

LA’S TEECEE4800 SHOWS WHY THE WEST IS BEHIND HIM ON NEW MIXTAPE “REALNESS OVER MILLIONS 2”

Coming off of landmark features with YG, Ty Dolla $ign (who also happens to be his cousin), and DJ Mustard, TeeCee4800 has returned with his new mixtape, Realness Over Millions 2, showing that he has the whole West Coast behind him and for good reason. The project shows TeeCee4800 balancing two-sides of his lifestyle, containing gritty lowkey bangers like Crippin featuring Vince Staples and D … Continue reading LA’S TEECEE4800 SHOWS WHY THE WEST IS BEHIND HIM ON NEW MIXTAPE “REALNESS OVER MILLIONS 2”

NY UNDERGROUND TRAILBLAZER MIKE RELEASES STARKLY POIGNANT VIDEO FOR “WAIT FOR ME” (Review)

NY rapper MIKE has quiety been having a landmark year in the underground hip-hop scene, with his stunningly introspective project May God Bless Your Hustle, and he has returned with a resonant-in-its-simplicity music video for Wait for Me, off of his new EP By the Water. The song is backed with a beat that takes equal influence from the sounds of cloud rap and jazz … Continue reading NY UNDERGROUND TRAILBLAZER MIKE RELEASES STARKLY POIGNANT VIDEO FOR “WAIT FOR ME” (Review)

AUSTRALIA’S SAMPA THE GREAT BRINGS FORTH A LANDMARK MIX OF RAP AND JAZZ ON NEW SINGLE “BYE RIVER”

Jazz music is an artform that has always had a close relationship with rap music, whether through the samples driving classic material from acts like A Tribe Called Quest or groups like The Roots being comprised of live instrumentalists who internalized the spirit of jazz. The connection between these two sounds continues to manifest itself in the sounds of artists ranging from Kendrick Lamar to … Continue reading AUSTRALIA’S SAMPA THE GREAT BRINGS FORTH A LANDMARK MIX OF RAP AND JAZZ ON NEW SINGLE “BYE RIVER”

RAP CONTRADICTION IDK DROPS YEAR-END CONTENDER WITH ASTOUNDINGLY VARIED PROJECT “IWASVERYBAD”

Every artist is a product of their environment, their output is an expression of the life they have lived to varying degrees of honesty. Maryland rapper IDK has lived a life of duality: experiencing bigotry at school and love in the streets (as is made known on the jaw-droppingly frank No Shoes on the Rug, Leave Them at the Door); being surrounded by “spellin’ bee … Continue reading RAP CONTRADICTION IDK DROPS YEAR-END CONTENDER WITH ASTOUNDINGLY VARIED PROJECT “IWASVERYBAD”

INLAND EMPIRE PRODUCER ITAL SANTOS RELEASES AN INSTRUMENTAL ODYSSEY WITH NEW PROJECT “REFLECTIONS.”

The West Coast has consistently been a gold mine for instrumental hip hop over the past couple decades and Inland Empire, California resident Ital Santos has now arrived to claim his own status as an instrumental auteur with his 28 track odyssey Reflections. Santos’ attention to the value of a great loop warrants comparisons to many of the beat-crafters on Stones Throw Records, especially on … Continue reading INLAND EMPIRE PRODUCER ITAL SANTOS RELEASES AN INSTRUMENTAL ODYSSEY WITH NEW PROJECT “REFLECTIONS.”

ENIGMATIC MC JOSH JENKINS MAKES HIS DEBUT WITH CHARGED SINGLE “CROWN”

The value that platforms like Soundcloud and Bandcamp have given to independent artists cannot be understated, its detachment from industry politics allows music to speak for itself transcending image, marketing, or timing. This is evident in the sudden release of what appears to be Wisconsin MC Josh Jenkins’ debut single Crown. A charged single addressing systematic racial inequality over production from Austinfig that bubbles under … Continue reading ENIGMATIC MC JOSH JENKINS MAKES HIS DEBUT WITH CHARGED SINGLE “CROWN”

CHATTANOOGA’S OWN YGTUT RETURNS WITH SOUTHERN-FRIED COLLABORATIVE “SUPA EP” WITH DUCKO MCFLI

  After years of anticipation (his last project being the highly promising Preacher’s Son two years ago), Chatanooga, Tennessee’s own YGTUT has returned with a new EP collaborating with Atlanta producer Ducko McFli, the pairing producing five gritty but melodic tracks that bode well for both of their futures on the Supa EP. In his production, Ducko has always struck his own unique balance between … Continue reading CHATTANOOGA’S OWN YGTUT RETURNS WITH SOUTHERN-FRIED COLLABORATIVE “SUPA EP” WITH DUCKO MCFLI

NY RAPPER HOOKZ MURDOCK PROVES HIMSELF TO BE A HIP-HOP HERO ON NEW PROJECT “THE ADVENTURES OF…”

Since Ghostface Killah first called himself Tony Starks (along with naming his classic debut Ironman), and MF DOOM donned the metal mask, some of rap’s greatest characters have taken great influence from the world of comic books, and with his ambitious project The Adventures of…, New York MC Hookz Murdock becomes a hip-hop hero himself. The project is described as an audio-graphic novel, and it … Continue reading NY RAPPER HOOKZ MURDOCK PROVES HIMSELF TO BE A HIP-HOP HERO ON NEW PROJECT “THE ADVENTURES OF…”

LA PRODUCER SAMIYAM PROVES HIS STATUS AS AN INSTRUMENTAL AUTEUR ON “PIZZA PARTY” PROJECT

As is to be expected from a producer with ties to Brainfeeder and Stones Throw Records, LA producer Samiyam can always be depended on for offering forward-thinking production. This continues to be the case on his latest project Pizza Party, which stands at a brisk 23 minutes in length but does not waste a second of that time. Samiyam’s trademark wonky production, with unpredictable and … Continue reading LA PRODUCER SAMIYAM PROVES HIS STATUS AS AN INSTRUMENTAL AUTEUR ON “PIZZA PARTY” PROJECT

BERKLEY MC CALEBORATE DELIVERS THOUGHTFUL AND HONEST PROJECT “REAL PERSON”

As with most other forms of entertainment, rap relies on persona, an MC creating their own auditory character with whatever personal qualities they want to emphasize for their audience. This helps artists distinguish themselves and flex their own creative energies, however oftentimes it is the most honest expressions that are the most powerful. On his aptly-titled new project Real Person, Berkeley MC Caleborate does a … Continue reading BERKLEY MC CALEBORATE DELIVERS THOUGHTFUL AND HONEST PROJECT “REAL PERSON”

NY QUARTET PANDA CITY BRINGS BARS AND GROOVES IN EQUAL MEASURE ON THEIR EP “BAD BLOCKS”

The musical melting pot that is New York City has always housed connections between rap, jazz, and punk, from the Beastie Boys to Show Me the Body, and NYC quartet Panda City have brought their own intriguing approach to this stylistic intersection with their EP Bad Blocks, backing intensely-delivered, lyrically-sharp verses with the type of controlled chaos seen in jazz and hardcore punk in equal … Continue reading NY QUARTET PANDA CITY BRINGS BARS AND GROOVES IN EQUAL MEASURE ON THEIR EP “BAD BLOCKS”

Dynamic NY Duo P.S. 211 Drop Their Killer Self-Titled​ EP

  There will always be something to be said for a dynamic rap duo. It is arguable that nothing is stronger than two rappers on the same wavelength, with enough chemistry & idiosyncrasies to keep things interesting. NY duo P.S. 211, comprised of underground fixtures Danse and Telli, understand this power and have stepped up to the plate with their infectious new self-titled EP. While … Continue reading Dynamic NY Duo P.S. 211 Drop Their Killer Self-Titled​ EP

Fools Gold Heavy Weights G-Perico, Jay Worthy & Carto Drop Their Debut Collaborative Album “G-Worthy” (Review)

It is safe to conclude that in the last few years the underground West Coast rap scene has infiltrated the mainstream rap industry in a manner that arguably hasn’t been seen since E-40’s second wind in the 2000s. This has been best exemplified by DJ Mustard’s on-going production hot streak that peaked in 2013 – along with a consistent set of hits from YG (compounded … Continue reading Fools Gold Heavy Weights G-Perico, Jay Worthy & Carto Drop Their Debut Collaborative Album “G-Worthy” (Review)

FAT Fly Freddie Lee Shows His Musicianship In New EP “3 Piece & A Biscuit”

The current state of the music world has lead to a phenomenon of R&B artists who carry themselves like rappers as much as they do singers (ranging from DRAM to Anderson Paak). FAT Fly Freddie Lee has entered this scene with a sound all of his own, managing to fit this approach and recalling vintage but never dated sounds of Rick James and Zapp on … Continue reading FAT Fly Freddie Lee Shows His Musicianship In New EP “3 Piece & A Biscuit”

No Holds Back NY MC Theravada Drops A Remarkable New Project “Xen Griffey” (Review)

Photo credit (above): @zoomoguy It is safe to say that NY hip-hop has been going through something of an experimental renaissance lately. Though some may continue to argue that New York has lost mainstream relevance, it is now populated by numerous underground, idiosyncratic MCs who proudly wouldn’t be within spitting distance of a Billboard chart in any decade. Artists like Wiki, MIKE, and Your Old Droog … Continue reading No Holds Back NY MC Theravada Drops A Remarkable New Project “Xen Griffey” (Review)

German Producer Slim The Chemist Drops An Impressive Multi-Faceted EP “Perspective” (Review)

The release of DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing in 1996, in tandem with projects from J Dilla, Nujabes, and Madlib, (amongst others in the 2000s) gave rise to the rap instrumental auteur, beat-crafters who cultivated atmospheres with their productions that stand alone from an MC’s verses. This is the environment in which a producer like Slim The Chemist thrives, who with little more than an MPC and … Continue reading German Producer Slim The Chemist Drops An Impressive Multi-Faceted EP “Perspective” (Review)