ATM Smooth – Shadows (Prod Lasik beats) (New Track + Review)

King of Prussia’s own, Kid Smooth, is starting the summer out with a bang.

His latest track, “Shadows,” is a must listen to. The song begins with a hook that is very tasteful. It is very easy to get stuck in one’s head & it’s very relatable. Kid Smooth talks about his every day struggles, the things that haunt him in life. From the struggles, to the hard work and effort it took, to finally realizing who he was – these are the themes that circulate throughout the whole track, illuminating the “shadows” of his life.  These are the shadows he is constantly fighting, desperately searching for some sort of light.

Kid Smooth not only manages to give his listener a wonderful, catchy song, but also is able to teach his listeners how to beat adversity and prosper, through examples of his own life. I’m very excited to see what else he has up his sleeve this summer, he’s definitely someone to look out for!

While this is his first appearance on the Flows for Days page, I have a feeling it will not be his last. To hear more from Kid Smooth, check out his SoundCloud here. Also, extreme props to Lasik for the production of this beat. A great quality and sound that Kid Smooth’s voice compliments well.

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.

Adam Reverie – Passion (Video + Review)

Adam Reverie is celebrated amongst all of my blogger friends. From Justice (of the Demotape.com) to Joe Hovas, (joehovasmf.com) everyone seems to have caught on to his undeniable talent. When I started my first blog in 2011, Adam was one of the first artists that reached out to me. His first submission was Black Boy Out In Poverty, which sits in my iTunes to this day.  I’ve watched him grow for 6 years, and the hard work has continued to pay off.

Last year I purchased a physical copy of his EP Soul Ties after playing it through only once. (It helped that he did an excellent job on the packaging.) The project was released 8 months ago, and up until April, his output had ceased. Then his single Passion dropped, and SoundCloud went crazy. Now, with over 30K plays, we’ve got the official music video to the best song he’s ever created.

The quality of the song is matched with the visual directed by Uprising.TV & co-directed by himself. Reverie gives a passionate performance laced with high energy, vicious lyricism & a bad boy persona. His presence on film is exceptional; but it is the inspiring footage from his Sway In The Morning appearance that ties it altogether. It’s hard to imagine Adam doing anything other then prospering in 2017.

Nuworld Flood – Juiced Up (New Track + Review)

Southside of Chicago rapper Nuworld Flood has been proving his worth since 2014 when he first started recording. His first post on SoundCloud was a venting session, with similarity to J. Cole’s prowess as a story teller.

He’s not just a bar for bar rapper. 8 tracks and 1 project later, he’s shown his versatility ten fold. He can make melodic singles, flow over high energy production, and create summer anthems. His newest release, Juiced Up, is the latter.

It’s his most ambitious track yet, and a perfect way to start off the summer season. It brings together all the elements he has perfected in his 3 year long career…great lyrics, confident wordplay, and a choice of smooth production which has become his bread and butter.

The summer anthem part comes in with the liveliness of the production, trap influence and catchiness of the chorus. Play this loud, and get in tune to one of the hardest working rappers out of Chicago.

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

Revisiting Clipse’s Debut Album ‘Lord Willin’ (Editorial + Track By Track Review)

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The early 2000’s were full of excellent hip hop albums. At the start of the 21st century we were blessed with the Marshall Mathers LP, which became the fastest selling studio album by a solo artist in American music history. 2000 also saw Supreme Clientele (Ghostface Killah) Stankonia (Outkast) Train Of Thought (Talib Kweli + Hi Tek) and underground cult classics such as Deltron 3030 and The Unseen (Quasimoto).

The Blueprint hit stores in 2001, along with Miss E…So Addictive (Missy Elliot) In Search Of… (N.E.RD.) Disposable Arts (Masta Ace…a HIGHLY underrated release) and The Cold Vein (Cannibal Ox.)

 

In 2002 I was just 11 years old. I had no connection to music besides the pop radio hits of the time. Little did I know it was one of the greatest time for hip hop since the 90’s. There was no shortage of music to listen to. When I decided to dedicate my life to the genre, I researched the classics. 2002 had The Eminem Show, The Lost Tapes (Nas) Blazing Arrow (Blackalicious) Quality (Talib Kweli) Phrenology (The Roots) and many more. While I enjoyed every one, it was Clipse’s 2002 debut Lord Willin’ that changed my life.

A little background on the group: Brothers Pusha T + Malice joined up in 1992, initially calling themselves Jarvis. They had moved to Virginia Beach from The Bronx, and soon met Pharrell Williams. He took them under his wing, and helped them secure a deal with Elektra Records in 1996. They recorded their debut album (Exclusive Audio Footage) with Pharrell as executive producer, and dropped their first single The Funeral, but it did small numbers. As such, the album was shelved and Clipse was released from Elektra.

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Malice, Pusha T + Pharrell

Pharrell knew how talented the brothers were and signed them to his Star Trak Entertainment imprint in early 2001. Under his guidance and the overarching label Artista Records, they released two successful singles, When The Last Time, and Grindin’. Their debut Lord Willin’ was released shortly after, receiving rave reviews, and hitting #1 on the hip hop charts.

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The production duo The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo)

5 years later, after a suggestion from a friend, I downloaded the LP on iTunes. Initially, I didn’t understand it. What the hell was I hearing? The production from The Neptunes gave me goosebumps, and the rapper’s chemistry was unlike anything I’d ever heard. I played Lord Willin’ every single day for almost a month. I couldn’t get enough.

I revisited it just last week, and it gave me the exact same feeling; as if I was listening to it for the first time. If you haven’t heard it, I’m hoping this review will inspire you to give it a listen and be a helpful guide to each track. If you’ve already been exposed to its genius, I hope it will give you a reason to press play again.

Intro

Arguably my favorite track on the album. Pusha T gives you no breathing room, starting his verse under a second in. Braggadocios lyrics accompanied by a blunt delivery introduces this unique emcee. Malice hits the second verse, speaking on his desire to leave the streets behind and find his life’s purpose. He tells us no rapper can top his rhyming abilities which you just might agree with at the end. The Neptune’s jump right in with them, combining bouncing drums with an abstract baseline.

Young Boy

When those horns hit my adrenaline picked up and chills ran throughout my body. I felt it even more when Pharrell began to us his high pitched voice as an instrument. Who knew a somber history of childhood could sound so upbeat?

Virginia

Arguably one of the best hometown anthems in the history of hip hop. It’s not a complete celebration as Pusha and Malice shed light on the drug culture and their history with dealing. Police brutality is touched upon with anger, but they see no change in sight. Although they aren’t too fond of their situation, they are full of pride.

Grindin’

And then we come to the best song of 2002. The Neptunes blow all other producers out of the water, utilizing minimal hand claps and the loudest drums I’ve ever heard. While this is Clipse’s most commercial song, (as it was a very successful single) they stay true to their bread and butter with drug references, boasting, and some sentimentality towards the end.

Cot Damn (featuring Ab Liva + Rosco P Coldchain)

Pharrell comes in with the simple but effective chorus, and Pusha and Malice give their best performance yet with crazy metaphors, wordplay, and unique cadence. Although the subject matter stays the same, they keep it fresh and never stale. We’ve also got some features on here from Ab-Liva and Roscoe P Coldchain. It’s over 5 minutes, and while the contributors add some flavor The Neptunes and the brothers continue to be the stars of the show.

Ma, I Don’t Love Her (featuring Faith Evans)

The Neptunes prove their versatility once again with this track. There are elements of funk, groove, and 70’s r&b. The duo trade bars to defend their player ways with help from Faith Evans. It’s a nice switch up, and the most relatable song so far.

FamLay Freestyle

This was a bold move. There are no verses from Pusha + the brothers; only a “freestyle” from a rapper named FamLay. If this truly is a freestyle, it’s impressive. If not, it’s an average record at best. Allowing another artist to have an entire song to himself was admirable, and although it’s my least favorite on the project, it was a humble move.

When The Last Time

Another mind blowing moment. Every element of this song is incredible. The Neptunes were able to incorporate jazz and melody into the most club worthy song of the album. I replayed this a few times before moving onto to the next.

Ego

Besides the FamLay freestyle, this was my least favorite cut. It’s still a nice offering, but sounded a bit uninspired and a little cheesy.

Comedy Central (featuring Fabolous)

Another song chock full of mind bending word play. By this point in the album listeners are most likely convinced the rapper’s drug dealing past is very real. If there’s any doubt, Comedy Central will give you all of the reassurance you’ll need. These guys can’t make this up as they describe in detail the transactions and benefits of the operation. It’s another highlight for The Neptunes, with a clear incorporation of guitars and prog rock. Fabolous gives a standout verse as well.

Let’s Talk About It (featuring Jermaine Dupri)

This is the most ignorant track on the album and the most fun. Adding a carefree song into the mix was the break we all needed.

Gangsta Lean

This is a summer anthem. You can almost see the clear blue water, beaming sun, and girls clad in tiny bikinis. It’s full of sex, getting high, sweet sipping, and even romance.

I’m Not You (featuring Jadakiss, Styles P, Roscoe P Colchain)

It starts with a statement from Pusha T: “I told you, I live this shit.” He’s not trying to prove it, but warn against it. Clipse have perhaps unknowingly given us the most anti-drug album in hip hop history. There are huge downsides to being drug lords summed up in the closing track. Getting hit with ten rounds, getting robbed, and facing death isn’t fun. Jadakiss, Styles P, and Coldchain second the motion.

No Malice concludes Lord Willin’ with perhaps the most important line of the debut: Yes it pains me to see them need this/All of them lost souls and I’m their Jesus.

Two more albums would follow, but Lord Willin’ is the group’s finest work. In February 2013 Pusha T announced the title of the group’s fourth studio album would be As God As My Witness, but at 2014’s SXSW performance Malice announced the break up of the group. While Pusha continues to put out music under GOOD Music, Malice is now No Malice, and is a devoted Christian.

Ajani Jones feat. Anna Agosta and Shao Doja (Produced by Blookah) (New Track + Review)

Hip hop music in Chicago is in a great spot. No longer are our ears subject to violent imagery, guns, and negativity. Chance The Rapper brought lush instrumentation, powerful subject matter, and quality rapping to the mainstream around the time of Acid Rap. People slowly caught on, but once it hit, the weight of Chicago shifted. We embraced Saba, Vic Mensa, and soul samples from Thelonious Martin. This is all I’ve ever wanted for the city, and the positivity has pushed onwards.

Ajani Jones has encompassed the spirit of the city, and made it his own. We featured his excellent debut EP Astrals on our list of favorite projects of 2016. We’ve all been waiting for a follow up; something to whet our appetite until his second project Eternal Bliss drops on May 12th.

We’ve finally got it with his newest cut titled Bliss. It’s the first single off of the project, released through Columbia College Chicago’s label AEMMP Record. It was premiered on 2 Dope Boyz just a week ago, and the response has been incredible.

It’s energized and autobiographical, with smooth production by Blookah. Harmonious background vocals come from Anna Agosta and Shao Doja, adding soulful optimism. I can’t wait for Eternal Bliss, and suggest you follow him on SoundCloud for updates on his music.

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.

radicule. – SHAME [radicule flip.] (New Instrumental + Review)

It’s been a minute since we’ve posted an instrumental track, but I’m happy to end the streak with a new remix to Freddie Gibb’s Shame. His collaborative LP with legendary producer Madlib (titled Pinata) was my absolute favorite project of 2014, so this was a welcomed submission. If you haven’t given it a spin, I recommend you do so now.

The producer of this remix, radicule., combined boom-bap & jazz collisions, spells of vaporwave dreams, and fuzzed out lo-fi sonics, to one of my favorite songs on the album.

He’s been perfecting his beat making skills since his debut, HUMANOIDE, pushing tons of projects with accompanying cassette releases. All are sold out, but on April 21st he will release his 5th cassette titled CHAPTER BLACK. The bump tape is a comprehensive collection of 24 beats, emphasizing a variety of creative inspirations, but primarily fixated on the nostalgic elements of the 90s classic, Yu Yu Hakusho.

I’m copping as soon as it drops, as the copies are limited. Peep the CHAPTER BLACK. photo below, and follow his BandCamp page for more music.

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Richie Bux – Early Infamy (New Project + Review)

After a string of loosies, Richie Bux just dropped his highly anticipated debut studio album. It’s difficult to bring something new to the table, as hip hop fans are becoming overwhelmed with a constant stream of music Yet, Richie stands as a unique presence.

He doesn’t stay in one lane, as especially evident in Early Infamy. Let’s run through each song- Bulletproof Shopping is reminiscent of the early days of drill, (in content) the new wave of ear shattering production, and a high energy delivery. As soon as EI ends, we are thrown into 8th Grade. The song is a bit regretful, with Richie reminiscing on his trapping ways, and how his Mom was unaware of the trouble he was getting into. (see Guntalk to hear about life lessons from his Dad.) There is still that turn up mentality, but it’s a self aware piece of work.

Make It Out is mostly self-explanatory, but the subject matter switches once again, with Richie’s hope that his music will take him out of a bad situation. Bad Ambition is my favorite, an honest record about the wheelings and dealings of his neighborhood.

You can stream/purchase this album on iTunes here and Spotify I’ve already added it to my Apple Music library, and can’t wait to give it more spins.

 

DRTYLAUNDRY – ‘Dog’ + ‘Darks Ceas’ (Double Drop + Review)

I’ve been following DRTYLAUNDRY since he dropped his free EP So Far This Sucks. It hit SoundCloud just 4 months ago, and has racked up over 80K views (in total.) He has always stayed true to the music he wants to create, as evident by his entire discography. While a host of talented people were involved in the success of that project, he stood on his own two feet, combing trap infused beats and the perfect amount of vocal distortion and melody.

While I loved SFTS, it his recent double drop that has me most excited for what’s to come for the Arizona artist. Dog + Dark Ceas could hit Billboard, (and they should compared to the listing this year) if only more recognition was given to actual talent. While Dark Ceas is an ambient journey with experimental elements, it is just as pop oriented as Dog. Although both are two catchy records, DRTY is not straying away from his successful formula.

Dog stands as my favorite, (also thanks to producer Young Taylor) and without question will give him his biggest numbers yet. It’s a more accessible track, as he croons about his savage ways, but lays some of the responsibility on the girl who should know his persona.

I highly recommend you not only peep these two cuts, but his collective output, as he is definitely next up.

 

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.

imyNoah – Go (New Track + Review)

Welp – we’ve found another killer rapper out of Chicago. There’s even better news…imyNoah is a student at my almamater Columbia College. He is only 18 years old, but creates music like he’s been recording for years.

The producer of his new song Go is a South looper named Ignite, who has been dropping heat since he joined SoundCloud. He’s also worked with flowsfordays favorite Yung Ja$per. I have no doubt he will continue to get more and more work.

Linking with Noah was a smart move, as they both proved their versatility on this cut. The chemistry between Noah and Ignite is very obvious. Ignite shows off his mastery with heavy bass, while Noah supplies his aggressive flow and street smart lyrics. Apparently Ignite made this 1 minute beat in just an hour and gave it to Noah to hop on right away.

We can look forward to more collaborations coming soon, included singles and a full project they’ve been working on diligently. Keep watch by following Ignite and Noah on SoundCloud.

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.

Dae Fluent – My Way (New Track + Review)

Before I start the review of the new song from artist and producer Dae Fluent, let’s take a good look at the cover art. It’s quiet honestly a painting; full of watercolor, Asian influences, and a lot of detail.

Luckily, the record is just as stunning as the artwork. In Dae’s submission, she said My Way was hard to describe sonically – and I couldn’t agree with her more. It’s a passionate account of her conflicting feelings for a female. She can’t “stick with the same flame” and wants her to be on the same page. Nonetheless, you can hear her pain and confusion as she wonders if this is really what she wants. She admitted to me that when she listens to the song, she often tears up. Her voice is light and chilling, matching well with the production from Young Antho.

Dae is from Baltimore, and is not only popular in her city, but around the globe. Her last track, Automatic is at 22K views, and there is no doubt My Way will also do similar numbers. Don’t forget to follow her on SoundCloud, as all of her singles are dope AND have amazing artwork.

 

Destiny Roberts – Moon Melanin Mami (New Project + Review)

Destiny Roberts is Minnesota’s new Lauryn Hill. We have posted her music countless times, even sitting down for an insightful interview with her last year. This girl can do it all – from neo soul record to vicious rhyming. She’s soulful, and most importantly a positive force in music. There is spirituality to her persona and her music, evident by our conversation.

I am so pleased to announce her debut project Moon Melanin Mami. First off – let’s take a second to admire the album title. Then – take a look at the cover art (by Eriscan Turk.) It’s incredibly detailed, with all of the elements explaining her mission as an artist.

The music is just as stunning. I got an early listen and have been playing it quite often in the last week. I knew it would turn heads – and it has with over 4K plays in just 4 days. You’ll find intergalatic sounds, passionate ballads, and wordplay that may go over your head.

It is one of the most impressive debuts I’ve heard in quiet some time and the praise must go to Destiny. It’s a sincere project which obviously took lots of time, effort, and love to make. I’d also like to note that she co-produced the album, along with DG3, Jnyce & Smittythc. Jesse Barron did the engineering.

I’d like to close with an exclusive quote about Moon Melanin Mami from Destiny sent directly to my email:

Moon Melanin Mami is literally my world… these 8 songs are just a glimpse of what goes on in my head. Moon Melanin Mami is more than just music, it’s an experience, it’s a movement. It’s for all the people in the world who’s ever felt like they were the outcast or from another place (or planet). I used the things that the world says are disadvantages, as my super powers, For me, it’s being a black woman (from outer space of course) Moon Melanin Mami represents self love and celebrates self individuality through a galactic 20 min, 8 – track experience. Moon Melanin Mami will literally take you to another world. Catch some magical vibes with the moon Melanin Mami.

Blaqrock – Southside + About The Music (Interlude) (New Tracks + Review)

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The group Blaqrock are a KILLER band out of Chicago that incorporate political angst, hard rock, stunning instrumentals, and fierce vocals. They also use hip hop into their tracks, especially in their first official release Southside. The song touches on violence in the inner city from city crime to police brutality with gravely vocals that match their inner anger of the current state of Chicago. 

Second cut About The Music (Interlude) is a complete jam session with amazing guitar work. The intro statement “it used to be about the music” sets the tone for the group’s upcoming work that is sure to make even more waves throughout the Chicago scene.

Keep watching for this progressive band by following them on SoundCloud.

Kay Eye – 44 Barsss (New Track + Review)

Another day, another talented Chicago artist. Kay Eye’s mixtape 90’s Baby dropped some time ago but at 17 tracks it proved his work ethic and capacity to make banger after banger. Just a few days ago Kay decided to show his versatility in new track 44 Barsss. Kay goes full combat mode spitting on his detest for 9-5 jobs and plotting to make this music thing a lasting career. What makes 44 a unique track is that the bars are actually slowed down, putting emphasis and focus on every line. There is even a semi chorus that pulls it all together.

Some interesting production comes from Fake Sauney that may surprise listeners. It’s nonetheless a dope approach to such a reflective track and I hope they continue to work together. 

Jay Wonder – World Premier (New EP + Review)

Jay Wonder is the essence of classic hip hop. His newest EP World Premier is out of this world and took me back to the 90’s cats who freestyled on Stretch and Bobbito (please look them up if you haven’t heard of the radio show…there is also an excellent documentary on them on Netflix.) It’s a 3 track EP that he states is “just for practice.” If this is him stretching out his lyrical muscles, imagine what he could do with an original album. Each track is over a DJ Premier beat and hauntingly sounds like a rapper he would work with.

He’s clearly got bars for days and would definitely sound good over any quality beat. He’s been throwing songs on SoundCloud for 4 years and unfortunately the numbers don’t reflect his skills, but I have no doubt this will give him a better following.

He had some interesting (and hilarious) things to say about the tape which is definitely worth showing:

To DJ Premier, Samantha Delroscio, Charles Hamilton, Ryan Gisonni, James Hobbs, Katana Veski, Young Pro, Phase One, Gady Gaspard (RIP), Rah Godley, Sean J, Chaz Carter, & my inspirations, Thank you.”

BARS.

Just some practice. Something for the cyphers. Channeling my inner Big-L-radio-freestyle over 3 classic DJ Premier instrumentals.

(IF LIL’ UZI WON’T RAP OVER PREEMO BEATS, THEN I WILL.)

Give him a follow on SoundCloud and get lost in the EP by downloading for free here.

Ajani Jones – astrals (New EP + Review)

We’ve been writing about Ajani Jones for quiet some time. He’s been featured on a few of our Better Half playlists and was included in our favorite Chicago songs of 2016 article. Just a recap: Ajani has been chosen to be the featured artist for AEMMP Hip-Hop (Columbia College Chicago’s award winning student run record label) for the 2017 year.

He just dropped his 4 track EP astrals entirely produced by BanksTheGenius (who has been working non-stop.) It is a self reflective record and easily listening hip hop at it’s finest. Don’t be fooled – it is full of dizzying bars and wordplay. He seems to rap with ease and doesn’t let up in energy.

The title beautifully reflects the production and theme of the project. Banks is one of the most versatile producers (and rappers) out of Chicago and proves it throughout these 4 songs.

Mazerunner is my favorite cut as Ajani is at his most agressive. He approaches instrumentals in such an interesting way as most evident by Figaro (with Roosevelt The Titan.)  It’ll be fun to watch his inevitable rise in 2017.