Zarin Micheal – Fuck You Reloaded (The Best EP You’ll Hear This Year)

It’s crazy how the world works. After listening to Fuck You Reloaded on SoundCloud a few days ago, I felt like I had just been slapped in the face; overwhelmed at what I had just heard. Just a day later Zarin’s manager submitted it. I was incredibly flattered, as this is the best EP I have heard all year, period. Every track sounds like Meek Mills’ Dreams + Nightmares, especially in the intro Blackface.

While Meek focused on impressing us from the beginning of his debut, it seems Zarin NEEDED to record this. He sticks to timely topics such as the fucked up state of our society, our crumbling political system, and finding strength in numbers. He raps about specific events in his life, and although it may come across as anger and pain, he often promotes rising above things we cannot control.

The production blew me away, and oddly enough frequent submitter Bijan Amir handled much of it. Preston also had his hands in it, and their collaborative powers created something classic.

The only problem I have with FYR is how short it is. I want more, and I rarely feel that way after hearing a someone’s music for the first time.

ANXT – Watching Paint Dry (New EP)

ANXT is a hidden gem in the Chicago music scene. Who in their right mind would create a 17 minute project inspired by watching paint dry ? WPD is one of the most significant releases the lo fi hip hop world has ever seen, and I say that with no hyperbole.

Stream of conscious bars seem to ooze out of him; and these are no simple lyrics. Complexity is the name of the game, and ANXT does it beautifully. Just peep a segment from opening track Alchemy:

Mortal loud mouths making minimal sound/ too dense for vibration to bounce.
I found myself, building on foreign borders/ searching for common ground. The combat is close quarters.

It would be easy to compare the album to Madvillany (Madlib + MF Doom) in it’s theme and character, but ANTX’s performance sounds more genuine and from the heart. The production is mind boggling, with contributions from E.N.C., Donn $oulo and Save Allen. So much ground is covered in just 6 tracks, including (but not limited to) suicidal thoughts, the savagery of PETA, Pakistan, prostitution, racial divides, and temptation.

I was stunned to see the low stream count of WPD, and hope this write up draws more attention to this classic piece of work.

 

Casscade – #LivingInTheMoment (New Project + Review)

A flawless project is hard to come by, especially if it’s off SoundCloud by an artist that has barely cracked 250 followers. Casscade first drew our attention from his submission Favourite Girl which dropped this past February. We gave it a great review , and knew great things were on the horizon for the North West London emcee. Others have been taking taking notice as premieres have come from BBC 1xtra’s very own Charlie Sloth, Westside Radio’s Rebecca Judd, and Annie Nightingale, who hosts a show on 1xtra.

His newest offering, #LivingInTheMoment, is an exceptional project, and as previously mentioned, flawless. You’ll hear his undeniable spirit the moment opening track For The Manor hits. On Every Year he states: “if I said it then I meant it,” and you’ll believe his conviction after a full listen.

Most of the records have an accelerated pace, but things slow down on Pink Cocaine. The 808’s remain intense, but his flow is lethargic. Deep End is a sultry ode to a romantic relationship with beautiful vocals from r&b songstress Deanna Chase.

One thing you will notice throughout the tape is his confidence and eagerness to take the rap game by storm; not just in London but worldwide. He makes an excellent case. According to his Instagram and SnapChat the response has been incredible, and we couldn’t be happier for him.

Bonus: A direct quote from Casscade about #LivingInTheMoment:

This project was inspired by life itself. It was like a build up of moments from last year to now of trying to enjoy life with friends, life experiences and working hard on myself. I took a break just before summer last year to get my mind right, work on the craft some more and get that uptempo fire that I felt like I lost back.

Yomi – #THATHARPIST (New Mixtape)

After listening to just a few songs off Yomi’s new mixtape #THATHARPIST and I was lost. This wasn’t a negative experience – but a completely positive one. Yomi is a producer, harpist, and vocalist out of Chicago who is talented across the board. In her newest project she continues to hone in on her skills both with the strings and behind the boards.

This isn’t a solo affair, as vocal features come from Blake Davis (on four songs) and Pivot Gang member MFn Melo (on three songs), The rest is all Yomi, who will draw you in thanks to her ambient production and incorporation of live harp instrumentation. It is not an album, it is not an EP. It’s a mixtape from a harpist who has something to say. As the opening track encourages, “I hope everything goes your way today.

Additional Credits:

Engineered by Jasper MacRae (@jasper-macrae)

Album Art by Matt Wotjan (IG: digitalpaintfumes)

 

 

flowsfordays Presents: Riptide Vol. 1

I can’t believe it’s here – our first compilation tape. Since the inception of flowsfordays I’ve wanted to put out a project like this. I wanted to develop relationships with artists first, and then begin to link with them on collaborations.

Riptide Vol. 1 is a very personal project to me. Each artist featured has made an impact on my life in some way. Many of these guys are from my city of Chicago, but a number of them live across the country. They’ve been supportive of the blog, often from the start, and I adore their music.

The tracks you’ll hear are ALL exclusives – meaning they won’t show up anywhere else besides this tape. They are all hand picked by me, so there is no filler. The amount of work I put into this is hard to put into words, as the process started in March, and has carried on until this very moment.

Below you will see each song with a blurb with a quote from the artist detailing the inspiration for each song. I recommend reading the text while listening to each record.

I want to thank EVERYONE involved with the tape, starting with the very talented artist Wablo Picasso who worked with me extensively on the cover and back art. We will die putting out more volumes of this series, so look out for that announcement in the coming months.

The tape is available for free download via Bandcamp (direct link), and stream via SoundCloud (below.)

jxhn scott – High Tide (The WAV Intro)

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The idea of WAV wasn’t anything spectacular. I realized I’ve been making more uptempo tracks and one night I was feeling particularly dark and found a nice sample from ‘The Internet’. Wanted to make something tribal yet futuristic, something with a slow build. It came together nicely once I added the drums and the druggy snares you hear in the background.”

Glassic – Leave It (feat. Rebel Legato)

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Text and Picture: Glassic

The beat on this song I must have made like 3 years ago. I was really into boom bap stuff so it was one of many beats I made and then just kinda had lying around– back then I didn’t really do anything with most of my beats because they weren’t very good and I wasn’t that confident in my stuff to be sending it out to rappers. So I made the beat and then I hit up Rebel Legato on Twitter a little over a year ago for a collab. He was down so I sent him a few beats and that one was his favorite. He recorded that pretty quickly, within like 2 days or something, but then it didn’t really fit on the project I was working on at the time. It hasn’t really fit on any projects I’ve made since the track came together so when I saw this compilation project I knew it was the perfect track to send in.

AWillThaGreat – Elevate

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My song “Elevate” was written based on how good the instruments made me feel when I first heard them. It’s something about live instrumentation that hits your soul differently than an 808.  The producer, Cameone, really did his thing w this beat. I just simply tried to provide some words to match the vibe. Lol it didn’t take me long to write because I felt so good about it that words started pouring out and I wanted to make a statement that people from my city should start keeping their eyes and ears open for AWillThaGreat.

Aced Spade – Winter Gravity (Interlude)

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I made this beat around December so the title is kind of self explanatory.  How I got the inspiration to make this track was because of one of my friends. We were talking about seasons and how she was born in the summer but loves the winter and I was born in the winter but I love the summer. So I wanted to show that contrast through that track.

Breeze – We Back II

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We Back II is actually a part two to a song I released on a mix tape from 2012 (1 Man Variety Show) which was really just braggadocio bars about my current life and a feeling of making a “return” after a month (or what felt like years) of not having released anything. This kind of mirrors that message, and I borrowed the A-Boogie- My Shit (S/O A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie) flow in and out throughout the track. But the song as a whole is more poised and the production improved from the first “We Back” (Prod by Matcy P) Soulful sample, witty raps, my go to combo when i’m feeling conventional.

Aced Spade – Another Fanfare (Interlude)

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Legit, I couldn’t choose a better title and I love working with orchestral instruments, especially with deep brass and strings. I made this after playing Battlefield 1 for like a week and boom. It came to me and got to work on the brass and then everything else fell into place.

Breeze – Wave

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This joint was really just me spitting some thoughts that had been in my head, but the type of things the next person would think to voice via internet. I’m a bit of a reserved person so a lot of my personal feelings or experiences, you wont get from any of my social media accounts, (contrary to the use of a lot of social media’s inhabitants). All the way down to the way I release music, I try to be so far from commonality, that I literally use some songs to get things off my chest so that people can understand things about me. Whether they choose to or not is their choice, the info is there regardless. A lot of questions people ask about why I am how I am or do what I do, go where I go, is answered 99% of the time in a song I have, Wave does exactly that, line for line. It explains how id been feeling not only musically but just creatively in general, tying it together with a hook speaking on opportunists.

KuuL – Win

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Photo Credit: @natethaagreat

In SouthSide Jamaica Queens the only options for winning are dealing drugs, most get wrapped up in it until they realize getting money is the motive but not if it meant a losing time. “Tell em win” cause it’s hundreds of other ways to do so. Turn a negative into a positive winning situation.

SeKwence (producer) – 3rd Dimension (feat. Splndid)

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Splndid both are from AL and no one has ever made music like us and we’re just on a different wave lengths than these locals cats. Hence “3rd Dimension.”

Marko Stat$ – Free Your Mind

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“Free Your Mind” is inspired by a time where I seemed to be focusing on all the negative things that invades our world. The song is simply just me going though my thoughts and telling myself that everything will be fine. I know that I’m blessed and through all the ups and downs I will still conquer. The song is produced by “Noize”. His beats have great vibes. We also have another track in the works for my upcoming project “BEE-4 I FLY AWAY”.

Kiraly Payne (feat. Austen) – The Takeover

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Picture + Text: Austen

Kiraly and I went to SAE Institute to record. The beat is produced by ILLA who’s a student there. We’ve all worked together in the past on Kiraly’s “Z” project. When we heard you were doing the compilation tape for Flows it was a no brainer.

I pieced together my verse from some other rough ones I had on my phone as well as freestyle some parts of it. The beat inspired me to approach it energetically which fit the dynamics of the beat. I knew that I wanted to say things that would catch people’s attention while staying socially relevant. Overall it’s not the best quality due to the recordings themselves and lack of stems for the beat yet I’m pleased with it.

Aaron Japser – Rich

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It’s an addiction compiled with thousands of emotions, experiences, concepts, ideas etc.. that I try to capture and display. It’s something I feel I can continue to do forever, whether or not people hear it.”

Break – MOA

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Break was more of a deeper meaning to it. It’s pretty much just when your broken down and your really going through hard times but you know that your future will have a bigger upcoming. me and my homie both go through rough times but we both know that our future will be better.

Cassius Tae – Free Promotion

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So January 16th, the night before my birthday, my engineer/producer Thibault (T-Bo) and I recorded 7 songs in 4 hours. The last song was Free Promotion. I was in the booth and he jokingly said “you got more?” Because T-Bo is the first to hear all my songs before I hit the studio, his face was just in awe as I rapped a song he never heard. So as I’m rapping this song in one take I can see him laughing at all the bars and I’m trying not to mess up At the end u hear me finally laugh cause we both just didn’t know what to do or even what I just did.

Austin Fair – Hold It Down

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Hold it Down was actually a song me and Hum did in like 2015 that has aged like fine whine. When I asked him for that classic beat twist in the middle I kinda was just like “What if we have this cool wavy rap song and then piss off the old heads right in the middle and turn the fuck up?” Humbeats always delivers, and then we have Hold it Down.

James Ross – Stay

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The creative process for the chorus came in a time of dealing with loss of family and friends. I coped with those times by telling myself that their love and memories would stay even though they were gone. The verses were a little different, I simply just wanted to show a more aggressive type of flow and incorporated what I believe is some good wordplay there.

Ajani Jones – Eternal Bliss (New Project + Review)

Our love for Ajani Jones is endless. Just read our write ups. He’s released an EP, a few loosies, and performed at shows around Chicago. His work has all been leading up to this: his debut project titled Eternal Bliss.

To get a full length from Ajani is more than a blessing, but essential to the year 2017. He is one of the most talked about new talents out of the Windy City, and this LP has proven his worth. It was premiered by arguably the most influential hip hop blog of all time, FakeShoreDrive, and has hit a total of 8K total streams in just 3 days. His success isn’t lucky, it’s well deserved.

Eternal Bliss is his most ambitious project yet, starting with the production. Guitar licks, ambient soundscapes, classic hip hop samples, and gospel influence laces the 10 tracks. 3 producers contribute to the project, with Blooka on 6 songs, Quickly, Quickly on 3 and The Kount on 1. Ajani approaches each song with a different mindset. Some contain off kilter rhyming, others with a classic hip hop flow. One thing stays consistent – his ability to rhyme efficiently on every topic imaginable such as hope, pain, the past, and the future.

The featured artist’s are not all rhyme slingers, but songstresses and back up vocalists. With one full listen you’ll hear the depth and amount of work that went into just under a dozen records. Give this thing a listen, as it will undoubtedly make year end lists around Chicago hip hop blogs (at the very minimum.)

 

Izzy Strange – A Good Day 2 B The Bad Guy (New Project + Review)

Dropping 6 singles before the release of an album is unconventional at best. Pennsylvania’s Izzy Strange did it anyway. Why wouldn’t he with features from Blu, Mick Jenkins, and Nate Fox?

It all worked out as his sophomore album A Good Day 2 B The Bad Guy is flawless. Izzy sent me an apt description of the project which you can find below.

“AGD2BTBG represents the stigma that chasing your dreams brings. The project revolves around the obstacles of the pursuit and what comes along with it. It also serves as a statement to prove that even thru the doubts and struggles, I’m here to stay. Music is my sole calling and I’m willing to go to any lengths to prove that. It was time to finally tell my story and share it with the world. I hope listeners appreciate the music and take away just as much feeling as I put into making it.”

Although the promo singles were numerous, this is truly a project meant to be played from front to back. Netherfriends, Danny G, Red Pill, Tahlyn, Mike Incite and DJ Halo also lend a helping hand with the body of work, making it a family affair. Many are involved, but Izzy is the obvious star of the show.

AGD2BTBG’s bread and butter is Izzy’s honesty. Some of his most personal songs of his career are on here, making the 15 tracks a compelling listen. Stream above.

Photo Credit: @blvcksirens

theinjuredparty. – the injuredparty. EP

It kills me that I’m so late on posting this EP, as I enjoy I’ve enjoyed listening to it so much. Our main dude Musa Reems has made huge strides in the last year, tearing up the Chicago scene with his witty wordplay and constant grind. That being said, I could barely contain my excitement when he announced his new group theinjuredparty. It consists of him and Amare Symoné, an amazing vocalist out of New York. The duo make progressive neo soul and hip hop music, heavily influenced by The Fugees, The Soulquarians, and Outkast (to name a few.)

While hip hop has become a bit predictable, especially this year, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear such a forward thinking project. It’s 4 tracks of pure bliss, with verse and vocal call and answers from both talented artists. They are soulful, and aren’t afraid to be different.

Almost every song is produced by flowsfordays frequent JXHN SCXTT who keeps the EP flowing and never stagnant.

PLEASE do yourself a favor and check out their debut. Accompanying the drop they released a dope documentary, giving us an inside look into their music. Big things are coming for these guys – and I can’t wait to see their rise.

SINK OR SWIM: A SHAWN SMITH STORY (New Project)

Philadelphia’s own Shawn Smith (formerly known as Young Savage) has recently released his latest project, his very first album – SINK OR SWIM: A SHAWN SMITH STORY. As you can see from the title, this album deals with Shawn’s life and how the world is seen through his eyes, having deep ties to the rapper’s neighborhood. It does a great job of painting vivid images, making me feel as though I were sort of there at every moment and experience he chooses to show us.

Some of my favorite songs were Beef and Broccoli, Dirft, Just Swim and s. I love the way Shawn is able to use plenty of different flows, while being able to have such catchy bars. You can hear the emotion in his voice, which says a lot for me, especially when thinking of the lyrics to some of these songs.

I definitely have this album on repeat and I won’t be surprised if you end up doing the same. To check out the Shawn Smith Story, you can find it on SoundCloud here.

Written by Alim – follow him on Twitter.

Chrisjaan LeMann – Tithes (New EP)

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**SoundCloud has been messing up lately, and I’ve not been able to embed correctly. You can stream the project here

It’s a bit ironic that the cover art for Chrisjaan LeMann’s newest EP is almost identical to J. Cole’s Forest Hill Drive. The connection between the two emcees is obvious, as both are self reflective in their respective projects.

Let’s back it up a bit. Chrisjaan is an up and coming artist hailing from Indianapolis. He is the vice President of ISO Media Group, a 360 media firm with sectors in music, photography, videography, and more. Aside from his business ventures, he is a diligent rapper, continuously working on his craft.

Maniacal was his debut; an impressive collection of introspective narration (check out our review here.) His newest, Tithes, is another milestone in his progressive career, as his intellect has grown, and maturation evident. Although labeled an EP, this is a full fledged album, 11 tracks deep. From intro Dreams, to the freestyle over Common’s Go beat, Chrisjaan proves to us that he is growing and finding his footing in life.

TrapSteve – SteveSZN (New EP)

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**SoundCloud has been messing up lately, and I’ve not been able to embed correctly. You can stream the project here. 

Yesterday’s weather put me in a mellow mood, so our posts reflected that. Although it’s another beautiful day in Chicago, sometimes a switch up is necessary. Enter TrapSteve.

The Indianapolis native’s newest EP titled SteveSZN is an energetic listen from start to finish. There are only 4 cuts, but from the jump you’ll hear the fierce production (from DJ JVan) and the aggressive vocals from TrapSteve. While he isn’t a bar for bar rapper, that’s far from the point of the project.

Steve has had a lot of success in the last year, including his last release with ex-Sailing Team member KAYTHEYACHT. While we enjoyed it , SteveSZN is a huge step up as he’s found his most effective sound.

My personal favorite song is No Friends, but all have an addictively distorted sound.

 

 

 

 

C$ – #ProjectWave (New Mixtape + Review)

DOWNLOAD HERE 

Chicago’s C$ has always been a lyrical cat. If you’ve been with us for awhile, you might remember our dissection interview with him based off his single Brand New. I was so blown away by the track that I immediately reached out to him. Just a month later he released Dial Tone, another lyrical exercise.

His newest tape, #ProjectWave, (dropped just a few days ago) proved to me that he can not only make solid records, but a flawless body of work. From the jump, you’ll hear an explanation of his Wave concept, which fuels all of his music, especially this album. It would be bold for any emcee to start their LP with Nas’ Made You Look instrumental – but it’s more of a show off than a risk. As he states in the beginning, his shit is nice, and his flow isn’t one to fuck with.

While the beats on #ProjectWave are all classic and previously released hip hop instrumentals, he uses this to his advantage; very often bringing a totally new vibe to each song. While you’ll recognize a good amount of them, many are abstract. Just listen to Real Rapper Anonymous – a alternative instrumental from Pusha T’s song Drug Dealer Anonymous.

He brags and boats, but nothing lags or is boring. I listened straight through with no skips. #ProjectWave is something you’ll need to replay multiple times to really grasp the concepts and metaphors. To download, visit his official website here.

Corey Lee – A Shot In The Dark (New Project)

In the first track off Corey Lee’s debut album, he mentions how Biggie had a story to tell – and that he told it well. You could the exact same thing as A Shot In The Dark. We’ve been posting cuts from Corey since October, specifically part 1 and 2 to Corey Album Coming. While I wrote rave reviews on both, it is ASITD that completely sold me on the Philly emcee.

This album has a song for every hip hop fan. Whether you like aggressive flows, trap laced beats, or classic bars, you will find something you’ll like. Don’t be surprised if you bump more than one daily.

I highly recommend you check this out, as Corey has completely outdone himself. I’d also listen to mention the producers executed the beats perfectly. Guys such as Mohlz, Vizions, Amen The Producer, 808 Trel, Mars Blackman and more helped create one of the best debuts I’ve heard in awhile.

flowsfordays Premiere: A U S T E N – Club: Tokyo (New Instrumental EP)

As soon as I heard A U S T E N ‘s upcoming EP Club: Tokyo, I knew had to get first dibs on it’s release. We have premiered his work before, but it came in a solo package. We wrote about his love for dark and moody beats, and his excellent use of autotune.

A U S T E N has switched things up completely with this new instrumental project. He describes it as “a sonic trip to Toyko, Japan,” and he hit the nail right on the head. As further shown in the album art, we are transported to the city’s busy nightlife with blinding lights, fast cars, and breathtaking views.

It’s only 5 cuts deep, but I have no doubt you will get lost in A U S T E N’s offering. It is available for free download, so hop on that real quick.

Xavier Clark – DENXM (EP)

We’ve got another “better late than never” post. DENXM by Indianapolis’ Xavier Clark was released in the beginning of February, but I missed it. We covered his excellent Arlo EP back in November, and this follow up is impressive. It is the one of the best full lengths I’ve heard on SoundCloud this month, hands down. There is so much to love about it. Production is A1, fitting Xavier’s eclectic + high energy bars.

He’s more than just a rapper, and includes genres such as warpy electronica, ambient soundscapes, and autotune vocals. Not only does it sound great, Xavier finds a great balance between experimental song structures and braggadocios lyrics.

Features come from Scotty Apex, Z. Wells, Will C, Indica, along with a wide array of producers. Be sure to check out my favorite record on the EP, Shut it Down.

Sig Da Gaud and Dertesounds – GAUDSOUNDS (New EP + Review)

An artist working with one producer on an EP can often bring good results. Said artist working with one producer that’s also a close friend can be a nightmare. They may have decided to collab just because they are friends. But, when this is done right, each brings out the best in one another.

This is the case with Philly friends Sig Da Gaud and Dertesounds. Both rapper and producer have created a cohesive body of work in GAUDSOUNDS. Sig brings the drugged out, nonchalant flows, while Derte provides minimalist and trap flavored instrumentals. 

Beyond these two, featured artists Ankguad, $tonez and Wallace work on the tail end of the 5 track EP. Ank drops quick rhymes, $tonez provides another distinct voice, and Wallace matches Sig’s flow and cadence. I highly recommend you gives this a spin.

JXHNSCXTT – WTRCLRS (Exclusive Premiere + Interview)

Before you listen to JXHNSCXTT’s new instrumental tape, take a long look at the cover art. Acknowledge the title. Before pressing play on my early listen to WTRCLRS, I did both, and it made the experience even more special.

JXHN has a number of EPs and albums under his belt, but before this release JXHN began to sample popular songs and gave them an ambient/electronic flip. He does this quiet often in WTRCLRS, but there is completely original production too. Listen to all 12 tracks at once, and you will take a journey into JXHN’s creative mind. He experimented on this one, and the result is a sonic wonderland, with pure and tranquil vibes. This is beautiful music, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

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Hey John. You just released your #WTRCLRS  via our site. How long have you been waiting for this moment?

Honestly I was nervous, still am kind of nervous because my last project WTCSS was one of my best in my opinion and I didn’t think I’d be able to top it. I’ve been working on it for about 3 months, not too long, but for a producer a lot of improvement comes in 3 months.

You’ve been promoting it via Twitter…what has the response been like to your tweets?

I can see the real supporters who have been with me since my first tape in 2013 always looking forward to my releases, it really helps keep me motivated! I’m not as big as I’d like to be but the people who have held me down the most have been from Chicago and Minnesota and  I love both places for that

You actually just dropped a highly successful single with Supa Bwe. SoundCloud’s Twitter account even tweeted the link along with a comment to him. They should have included you…How did that collab come together?

I didn’t think he would actually use the beats I sent compared to the other Producer’s he has access to in his city so when it happened me and my friends were really excited. I’ve been a fan since the first Hurt Everybody tape and even met him at SXSW 2 years ago so it was a really awesome achievement. ui think we have at least 2 more songs coming but i don’t want to say too much yet. 

We’ve had you up on the site often since we learned about your music, and spoke on your talent for flipping popular records. When did you decide you wanted to approach your instrumentals like this? What was the inspiration behind it?

My favorite Producer ever is Sango and he came to Austin right before I left for college in Minnesota 3 years ago and I saw him live. That moment was really critical because I wasn’t confident in my production and he showed me that with time you could be great. Since then I’ve been drawing inspiration from him and incorporating it into my own style and sound.

You gave me a listen to the project before the drop. The title and the cover art were a perfect of #WTRCLRS sound. Did you always know you wanted to incorporate this theme?

I saw some paintings from Satsuki Shibuya before I had any direction on the project that really inspired me to make music that looked like watercolor paintings, if that makes sense. Plus I felt like some of my older music was really dark so I tried to go for something a little more vibrant.

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When did you record these instrumentals? How did it all come together?

At first, it was just me making beats in my room every day like usual, I didn’t really have a concept I just knew I wanted to release a project for 2017 kind of early. Most of the songs were just ideas sitting on my desktop that i finally felt like I needed to finish, it just so happens they all really fit each other for a project.

You only have two featured artists on this. Why did you choose them?

I’ve been a fan of Kahrion since I heard “Nimbus’. he was his own artist and had a unique way of approaching beats and lyrics, I like artist who don’t just rap but help me visualize a scene in my head and provide imagery so I knew he’d be perfect for the tape. I learned about PLAY through a Wisconsin group called “3rd Dimension’ and I listened to a few songs and I see he has more potential than most and is basically the rapper every producer is looking for, I sent him some beats for an EP we have in the works and he fits really well over my production so both of them will never have to worry about running out of beats while I’m alive.

Any last thoughts?

Just a thank you to everyone who retweets, reposts, and shares my music, every little bit helps and I appreciate it all! be on the lookout for some stuff I have coming with Sunny Woodz, Supa Bwe, and Taylor Bennett! I

I’m also starting a production group with my friend called coming later this year so be on the lookout for that!

Ceo – Just For Today (New Project)

Virgina’s Ceo has a monster on his hands. Just For Today is the definition of a full length project. It comes out to 11 tracks, and each one has it’s own distinct sound. Although each is unique, JFT is a personal and chronological story. Ceo starts at the beginning, being kicked out of his house and having to live on the streets of Richmond for a majority of the summer. It was a rough time for him, but he was able to get through it. These experiences have turned into art, i.e. the LP.

Ceo has a gravely voice – automatically setting him apart from a regular “SoundCloud” rapper. His flow is subtle, his lyrics socially aware, and honesty intriguing. He knows how to paint a picture of a certain situation, or a significant period of time.

The production is excellent, and pushes forth his message. Even previous interviewee Bijan Amir shows up on song Bad (with co-production from Ceo himself.) Up next is an interview with VirginiaGotNow.com, which should be a great look for this up and comer. 

Jimmy Pham – Room 202 (New EP + Extensive Review)

R&B artists experiment from time to time with distorted vocals, abstract beats, and occasionally both. But, it’s a rare occurrence when a vocalist breaks boundaries throughout an entire project.

Although Jimmy Pham’s newest EP Room 202 is only 3 full tracks, (there are 3 interludes) every facet of the project is in a realm of it’s own. The inspiration may have come from his band Enough For Now, but since trying out the solo dolo route, he’s made music that seems to reflect who he is as an individual. 

The production is full of ambient and stuttering hi-hats (thanks to Donn Robb, Taylor Supreme and Purps of 808 Mafia) along with echoing, atmospheric vocals. Especially impressive is NO MRE, where Jimmy hits chopped up and distorted high notes. 

Don’t skip through the interludes as they are essential to understanding the EP. The story starts with Jimmy telling an anonymous friend (who’s voice is deepened) that he and his girl have been fighting. He and his friend plan to go to a party, but in a saddening twist, Jimmy finds her there. She swears it’s not what it looks like, and subsequently calls him over and over again. I won’t reveal the songs in-between, as more is explained in an engrossing way.

Room 202 was made with care, as Jimmy worked with Chicago’s legendary Classick Studios, and mixed and mastered by Bryan Schwaller. The least we can do is give the EP a full listen, as I’m sure this took a lot of time to develop and perfect.

Vonte – 1 Time 4 Da West$ide (New Project)

Westside Chicago artist Vonte isn’t afraid to be honest about his past, present and future. His newest project, 1 Time 4 Da West$ide, is all about the challenges he has faced in showing his true self.

Each song has a purpose on the 12 track tape, and has been in development since the tail end of 2015 October. He’s worked hard at making sure the production, lyrics, and overall direction is perfect, and represents exactly who he is as an artist.

I was sent an early listen and enjoyed it quiet a bit. Vonte was very appreciative of me listening (which makes this career worthwhile) and also sent me an exclusive quote about the project which you can read below:

I feel like Outwest doesn’t get the credit we deserve. We are apart of this city just as much as the south side. “1 Time 4 Da West$ide” is just my ode to my side of town OUTWEST. In terms of how it came together it really was organic from the writing to the recording. Nothing was forced. I started on this tape Halloween of 2015 finished it November 22nd of 2016, so a lot of time and effort went into every facet of the project. As far as the guys on the hidden interludes is my homie “Gooch” who is locked up in Vandalia and my uncle “Cocheise” who is locked up in Iowa.

Cocheise is important; I wanted to be like him when I was younger cause my dad wasn’t around. Unk was like my big brother being my mom was a single mother of 3. Cocheise is the one rapping throughout the tape. I wanted to give the world an opportunity to hear him spit. 

Credits are below: F6696A24-3D7C-412F-ACE3-948FB18E87F2.png