Mpulse – Cool With That (New Track)

My man Mpulse is back with another gem in Cool With That. He continues to show his ability to switch up flows and subject matter, most impressively on his last 3 drops. Legendary producer Don Cannon has worked with him before, but only as a co-producer. In CWT, he is given full control over the beat, giving a high energy backdrop to Mpulse’s aggressive lyrics.

This track is available for free download, as are all of his 52 Week series drops. If you are unfamiliar, Pulse is giving us a new song every week for a year. We are on week 29.

Late Night SoundCloud Finds Of February 21st

Daniel Cruz – overthecounter 

I heard this song at 1am, and as soon as the bass hit I grabbed my good speakers and went crazy. I put overthecounter on repeat for a good hour, turning up in my bedroom, trying to find a reason to turn it off.

Nevada isn’t know for their hip hop, but Daniel Cruz doesn’t seem to give a fuck. The song is produced by P. Maison, and with Daniel’s unbroken flow and brash lyrics, overthecounter became my nighttime banger.

In Daniel’s SoundCloud profile he says don’t @ me, but I hope he’s ok with me giving him praise for this record.

E.R.T. x Zip Dot – REFUGEES

E.R.T. and Zip Dot have been tearing up the Chicago hip hop scene for quiet some time. Seeing their collaboration was a nice surprise on my SoundCloud feed. They didn’t disappoint with their equally impressive rapid flows.

I’d also like to note the song was made possible by 3 influential media outlets: The Insider’s Experience, Mindset Music + Illanoize (who premiered the track.)

Rich Espy (feat. Byou) – Get Too Geeked 

Although Get Too Geeked was released over a month ago, I needed to include it on this list as I did hear it last night. Artists Rich Espy + Byou linked and went HAM over the By Law produced beat. The chorus is an outright anthem, that is as equally catchy and it is creative.

Naiym The Wizard (featuring K$UBI KAYY) – Santero 

Naiym The Wizard is a double threat. He raps and produces masterfully as apparent on Santero. He gets his Kanye on with the sampled and stuttering beat. My attention was grabbed further, as he displayed his unique flow and braggadocios bars. Featured artist K$UBI KAYY gives even more depth to the catchy, yet conscious track.

*Santero is off his upcoming EP Godz Forgive & I Do Too.

Instrumentals:

Dutchman – vague w/ longlost

⚡👻⚡ – VPXLLX

At midnight I found two stunning instrumentals back to back . I’ll let them speak for themselves.

Weegi Wizers – Weegi Wednesdays

Chicago southsider Weegi Wizers has a lot in store this February. He’s starting a new series for the entire month of February called “Weegi Wednesdays.” He’ll be dropping new content every Wednesday.

I’m a little late as he’s already dropped 3 tracks in this campaign. He’s clearly a old school hip hop fan, combining elegant beats with a smooth flow. He has already proved his relevancy in the Chicago scene and I hope hip hop fans start to get behind this hard working emcee.

We’ve got one drop left and I can’t wait to hear this one.

 

The Better Half (Best SoundCloud Songs From January 15th-31st)

Hello faithful readers. Welcome to our bi-monthly series The Better Halfflowsfordays will be curating a playlist showcasing the best SoundCloud releases in the last 15 days (give or take, depending on how many days are in the month.) Instead of perusing through your SoundCloud feed, you will now have a simple way to hear the best of the best in one easy to navigate playlist. All you have to do is press play.

This edition is completely focused on independent releases. Most of these artists have under 1K followers, but are still making amazing music. We have a few picks from some of the material we’ve already posted, but most of these tracks will hopefully be new to your ears.

As always go through this playlist at your leisure and enjoy!

Interview with Shon Goner on track ‘The Chase’ (Dissection Interview Series)

Another day, another dissection. Shon Goner submitted The Chase to us a few weeks ago and we adored it…so much so that we hit him up about being a part of our series. It’s a gritty, slow tempo song with a brilliant chorus that sounds almost too good to be true.

There is so much to love about this one so we got to the bottom of how it was created, if the beat or lyrics came first, and how Shon met the producer of the song.

Hey Shon! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Can you introduce yourself? 

My name is Shon Goner. I am a Philadelphia based rapper, singer, and producer. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me Julie!

So you just dropped your new song The Chase. Such a energetic song. Did you have a strategy or goal before you recorded?

I actually wrote and recorded this record around January when I first started bouncing around ideas for my upcoming EP On The 7th Day. Originally it was supposed to make the project but as the project’s sound developed I felt that it no longer fit the track list. I thought that releasing it now would be the perfect time for a high energy song like this. 

The chorus you laid down was what made the song pop, at least for me. How did you write the chorus? 

When I write my choruses I usually start of with the melody. I find myself looping the song’s chorus in Logic and humming until I finally catch a groove or vibe. With this song “I can’t catch my breathe I see the money so I chase it” came out as a freestyle after I caught a vibe. Then it all began to come together. 

You’ve worked with producer Kid Indigo on a ton of your songs. How did you get in touch with him?

Kid Indigo and I have been working together for a few years now. We came in contact via Soundcloud one day. He told me he liked my style on my song “Swangin” and after I went on his page and listened to his production, I was blown away! We then started exchanging beats and verses and our chemistry developed quickly. We’ve been partners ever since, that’s my Australian brother right there haha. 

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I would describe the beat as a “low frequency trap banger.” Did you hear the beat before you wrote to it? What was running through your mind when you heard it for the first time?

I actually did hear the beat before I wrote it. As soon as the song’s introduction began to play I KNEW the drop was going to be crazy. When the 808s came in my head started to bob instantly! I knew we had something with this one. I knew this was going to be an anthem! 

The song is, of course, about chasing your dreams and achieving success. What is your idea of success? 

My idea of success is finding a way to incorporate what you love into your daily life. Doing what makes you happy. To me there is no better feeling in the world. Money can always be earned, but it doesn’t always lead to a sense of fulfillment. Personally, I’ll feel a big sense of success when I graduate college next year, see our  team’s brand We Always C flourish and expand, and having a project released on all major distribution platforms ( Spotify , Apple Music, Tidal etc ). These are my goals at the moment. 

You’ve been putting out songs for quiet some time now. How do you think The Chase stacks up next to your other releases?

Every song of mine I treat like a child. Slightly different but love them equally. I love the song The Chase just as I love the others in my catalog. Definitely a heavy hitter in my current catalog though.  

This winter I will be releasing my EP On the 7th Day. My team and I will also begin to roll out our Winter 2016 catalog for our brand We Always C in December. A LOT of new content in general coming soon.

Any last thoughts, shout outs, or words of wisdom?

If they tell you that you cannot do something it’s because they know they can’t. Never given in to the negativity thrown your way. 

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Interview with Chicago’s Ibra on track ‘Get Yours’ (Dissection Interview Series)

It’s been awhile, but we are back with another installment of the Dissection Series.

This one comes from Ibra, a Chicago emcee that continues to grow with every release. It’s nice to see an artist that is influenced by A Tribe Called Quest and 90’s hip hop. In his submission he wrote “I am trying to turn my hobby into my lifestyle.” That sentence stood out to me, along with his song Get Yours.

I can definitely hear the impact Tribe has had on his music, especially in Get Yours. His flow is smooth and even…and when his second verse impacted it was hard not to see his potential. We recently discussed some of my favorite lines, how he found the producer of the song, and his upcoming project. Peep below.

Hey Ibra! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Ibra, a rapper from Chicago who fell in love with hip hop around 6 years ago.

We’re here to talk about your track Get Yours. It was refreshing and full of substance and positivity. I’m interested to know what inspired you to create it.

I wrote Get Yours because at the time I was trying to figure out how to differentiate myself musically and personally from what everyone else doing. I came up with the answer that if you want to be truly unique and successful you have to work for it.

One of the most compelling lines in the song is: “They trying dig my ditch and tell me it’s gonna be alright.” What exactly were you talking about?

In your quest to be who you truly are there will be people who try and stop you, to make you conform to norms, but you can’t let those people dig your ditch and put who you truly are in it.

The song is produced by Thovo. He provides a simple but effective beat. How did you get in touch with him? Will you guys be collaborating on anything in the future?

I found him through SoundCloud. I came across the beat and instantly liked it and talked to Thovo to see if I could use it. Thovo is a great producer I hope we can collaborate on something else soon.

Liiko provided some beautiful background vocals. What is your relationship with her? What made you want to get her on the track?

Liiko’s a guy. He’s one of my closest friends; while I was making the track he came over and I showed him what I had at the point. Liiko gave me tips on what direction I should take with the song and while I was rapping the chorus once he started to sing it with me I liked how it sounded so I had him record it. 

How did you write to Get Yours? You spoke on so much.

I thought about how a lot of people seem the same to me. Dress the same, listen to the same music, think the same…etc, but that’s not what I want for my life nor should anyone else.

Do you have anything else in the vault we can look forward to?

I have an upcoming project that is currently untitled that should be releasing within the next couple of months, but until then I’ll be dropping songs consistently on my SoundCloud.

Any last thoughts, shout outs, or words of wisdom?

Thank you for this opportunity. 

Hefna Gwap – Get Right (New Track + Artist Spotlight)

Hefna Gwap has been buzzing around Cali for awhile now with his the success of his past tapes The Influence Vol. 2 and Illustrious Goons. He relocated to Brooklyn and hit the national scene by performing at SoundCloud’s SXSW stage + The Smokers Club Tour. He upped his ante last year with his DJ Scream hosted Elegany Caviar : Dezigna Scalez mixtape. It was 18 tracks deep with tons of production from super producer TM88. Since then he’s worked with notable producers such as Lex Luger.

Today he can add Honorable Cnote to the list. Get Right is my favorite offering thus far from the East Palo Alto native and is his first offering from his popular #westblockWednesdays series. Expect a new track every Wednesday. It’ll be hard to top Get Right which packs tons of passion + energy into a 3 minute track. Keep up with his drops by following him on SoundCloud.

The Better Half – (Best SoundCloud Songs From November 1-15th)

Hello faithful readers. Welcome to our bi-monthly series The Better Halfflowsfordays will be curating a playlist showcasing the best SoundCloud releases in the last 15 days (give or take, depending on how many days are in the month.) Instead of perusing through your SoundCloud feed, you will now have a simple way to hear the best of the best in one easy to navigate playlist. All you have to do is press play.

This edition is completely focused on “lesser known” artists. As we always say…putting labels on music isn’t too helpful. What we mean is; you won’t find the new Future and Drake joint or any cuts from the new Boogie Wit Da Hoodie EP (which, for the record, is one of my favorite EP’s of the year.) We decided to shine light on artists that deserve more plays and more followers. Hopefully we can help them out.

Quiet honestly we discovered some new favorites ourselves in these last 15 days. Guys like: Black Party, Jo$e Santos, Ajani Jones + so many more. They’re all up there, along with countless other gems. Some we’ve posted on the blog but we tried to stay away from that. Enjoy and follow us on SoundCloud for our reposts + all of our previous playlists.

The Better Half – (Best SoundCloud Songs From October 15th-31st)

Hello faithful readers. Welcome to our bi-monthly series The Better Halfflowsfordays will be curating a playlist showcasing the best SoundCloud releases in the last 15 days (give or take, depending on how many days are in the month.) Instead of perusing through your SoundCloud feed, you will now have a simple way to hear the best of the best in one easy to navigate playlist. All you have to do is press play.

This edition of The Better Half is our heftiest yet. As we always say feel free to skip around, play one, play 5 or play all!

The end of the month of October had so much to offer in the hip hop world. There was  tons of good stuff…it was hard not to include over 40 songs. Saba dropped his Bucket List project that more than delivered, and we provided our favorite song on the album (it was really hard to choose.)

New discovery TRAPJXHN had to be included along with that new flame from T-Pain and Lil Yachty (fight me on this one.) A lot of FFD favorites are on here dropping some of their best tracks of the year (Amon, Austin Fair, SQUiRE and more.)

Through friends, SoundCloud related tracks, and Twitter we’ve also gotten hip to a lot of new artists, so you may have not heard of some of these guys which is exactly the point of this series. So take a listen and let us know what you think.

 

Interview with Threat Digga on new track ‘God Level’ (Dissection Interview Series)

It’s been some time, but we are back with another Track Dissection. Threat Digga is a new name for me, but when I heard his submission to new single God Level I couldn’t help asking him to be apart on this growing interview series. He just annihilates the song with producer Jacob Lethal. Their suggestive names don’t seem to be on accident. Learn more about the creation of the track, some breakdown of the lyrics, and Threat’s upcoming plans.

Hey man! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Just so start it off, how old are you and where are you from?

I’m 22 years old & I’m from a small town in south jersey called Pemberton.

So you sent me your huge record God Level. What has the response been like once you released it?

The response has been real dope, few different blogs & people hit with dope feedback just hope the feedback continues

Once of my favorite lines on the track was: “I gotta go get it cus they know that I’m hurtin’, just pay me my respect cus they know that I’m working.” There is a lot in there. Lets talk about the first part. What did you mean when you said you were hurtin’?

I’ve been hurt by people, some of the responses from prior tracks I’ve uploaded were hurtful & bad decisions I’ve made in life hurt me till this day so the line was like a total of hurt coming from all aspects of my life as a whole

The second part speaks on how hard you are working. Do you think you are given the respect you deserve? 

I think since I’ve been hurt & I started reciprocating the hurt into my music to feel better I’ve gotten a better response from my viewers! At a point I was just making songs just to make something people like and I’ve grown to learn that as long as I’m expressing myself with this creative outlet genuine people who feel where I’m coming from will always understand so I do think I’m starting to gain more respect but maybe not as much as I deserve just yet.

It almost seems like you were trying to prove you deserved respect as an emcee in this one. I guess the title says it all. Do you think you’ve achieved that goal?

I believe I’ve gained a lot of respect as an emcee! Just trying to show everyone I can keep up with the upcoming talent even though my sound may not be what the newer generation is used to

Another line on God Level was: “got a main chick never fuck around”. Is this actually true? If so, why did you think it was important to include that line?

Yes the line is true, my girl is literally my biggest supporter & she was actually in the studio with me when I recorded the record, its just dope to have someone in your corner to give you honest feedback on something you love to do!

The beat was insane. It was produced by Jacob Lethal. Do you plan to work with him again? How did you initially link with him?

Me and Jacob linked via social media, he has a dope YouTube channel where I’ve found a few dope beats I’d like to use in the future but my usual production comes from an in home up & coming producer name Sean Minor

What was the writing process like on this? What’s essential for you when you’re recording?

For this specific record I had been listening to a lot of Dave East music recently & he gave me a vibe on just speaking real & not trying to be like anyone else when recording but usually the music has to be very loud with a 1/5 of Henny & little to no one in the studio with me so I can zone out.

What can we expect from you for the rest of 2017?

Hoping 2017 can be a big year for me. plan to drop multiple singles leading to my EP titled Redemption executive producer by Sean Minor, followed by multiple visuals & let God handle the rest.

Top 5 ‘Underground’ Hip Hop Projects of The Week

This week was rich with releases. Tons of great music videos and tracks were put out into the public via SoundCloud, YouTube and the like. I for one noticed that tons of great, full, projects came out in the past 7 days. While some were HUGE releases, there were some that were less highlighted. The ones below I listened to, loved, and believe were the cream of the crop. Discover some albums you may have skimmed by or plain didn’t know about.

1. Malcolm London – OPIA

Let me preface this by saying we posted this recently, but it deserved another write up and just had to be included. I know OPIA has been featured in every publication from The Fader to Pitchfork, but I know there has to be someone who hasn’t caught it.

From the opening track, New Day, where Malcom lightly sings “birds are chirpin,” we enter a new realm. OPIA is a flawless project; there is nothing out of place or isn’t sonically appealing. Malcom puts his absolute all into this. He can rap with raw emotion that sounds commanding (Get It Right) and then switch to a disco wonderland fitting right into the beat (House Party.) Let’s stick to House Party for a minute. He intelligently enlists help from How To Dress Well and the “you can’t stop him” emcee femdot. HTDW adds lush electronic vocals while femdot contributes the grit that is needed.

Like we wrote on our initial post, every artist featured on OPIA adds so much. All play their roles and they play them well. The album is sonically out of this world. You’ll get lost in Malcom’s spoken poetry that is influenced on every track. This is the project of the week.

Favorite Cuts: New Day, Get It Right and House Party

2. Dylan Cohl – Cowboy Jones 1.5 : Days In the East

I became hip to Dylan Cohl after he dropped impressive single Bigger Than Me. Not only was he sound vocally, he came correct with the self production. It was sample heavy and something I was really into. Then my friends over at Artistic Manifesto premiered the EP and the rest was history. I listened to it front to back yesterday, and I knew it would end up on this list.

The project is a very strong representation of what Dylan has, and will continue to offer to the genre of hip hop. He is a Texas native and strays far away from the state’s usual sound. The production has so much sonically; heavily influenced by Dylan Cohl himself, as he produced 5 tracks on the album. Sometimes he sounds heartbroken, other times he sounds angry. His ability to let out his emotions all over the EP shows he’s not afraid to be honest. And it sounds really fuckin’ good.

Favorite Cuts: The Feels, 300 and IGYB

3. Thelonious Martin – Late Night Programming (Instrumental EP)

2 months after wunderkid Thelonious Martin hit us with Static, and after just recently dropping his collaborative EP with K.eYE.D, Thelonious dropped ANOTHER instrumental haven in Late Night Programming. Everyone one of these reeks with goodness. Late Night Programming explores more genres, but in true Martin fashion it is rich with sample flips. It’s hard to compare his instrumental albums as they all sound completely different from the former. Of course there are similar themes, but he always goes outside the box. There is no doubt that this is one of the strongest releases of the week.

Favorite Cuts: Reign Man, Afternoon Swim (those samples though) and Memorex Memories

4. Oya Noire – Dangerous. 

“This is expression of me being a bad bitch.” This is the one line description Oya Noire has given us in her newest EP Dangerous. I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Yes, she sounds like a nostalgic r&b/soul singer, but she knows what the fuck she wants. Just take a listen to cut Dangerous. “I’m so good at being bad” she croons. The track is full of her bad bitch sentiments and is a highlight. On her collaboration with JIMI, Exhausted With Your Love, she is done with the man in question. “even when I don’t want to be, I’m exhausted with your love”  Dangerous is full of naughtiness, but also of self expression at its finest.

Favorite Cuts: Exhausted With Your Love, Baby and Dangerous

5. Jay Prince – Smile Good 

Gotta show London some love. Jay Prince’s newest EP Smile Good made me do just that. You’ll learn a lot about him on this one. There are multiple genres influences across the board. Father Father has a glorious choir backdrop reminiscent of popular song Amen with Meek Mill + Drake. The collaborate track with Danny Seth and Michael Christmas is another highlight. This one is on the list because of its funkiness and its ability to go above and beyond what a typical London rapper leans on instrumentally. Jay knew the right production to get on and who to call on to make this project strong.

Favorite Cuts: Father, Father, Squad and Smile Good

Interview with AWillThaGreat on new track ‘Goin’ Up’ (Dissection Interview Series)

Another day, another Dissection. Today we have Milwaukee native AWillThaGreat with us talking about Goin’ Up, one of my favorite tracks of the week. I have no doubt my readers will enjoy the song and his answers. On a side note AWill is such a nice and humble guy and I really enjoyed our emails back and forth.

Hey AWill. Thanks for speaking with us!

Thank you for the chance to speak with you guys!

What was the writing process on Goin’ Up? Did you hear the beat or write the lyrics first?

For Goin’ Up specifically, I heard the beat and immediately started writing the first words that came to my head. It was one of those songs I didn’t want to spend too much time focused on overthinking the lyrics, so I made sure it was as natural as possible. It was too good to pass on. For other songs, I’ll usually take time and really think about what I’m saying.

You got HAM lyrically on this one. Did the beat by Millz Douglas effect this in any way?

Yes, most definitely! This is one of those beats I heard and dropped everything and opened my notes app and started firing away! There are some songs where the beat moves the song or the lyrics move the song and this is a good blend of both.

You and Millz definitely make magic together. Will you continue to work with him?

I would love to continue working with him. He provided some more sounds for my upcoming project that I’m working on. Millz Douglas is a talented dude and you can hear that in the music.

One of the reasons I loved this track so much was because you flowed so continuously. You barely took a breath. Is that something you’ll continue to do?

The funny thing about that is I wouldn’t consider myself someone who naturally raps that way.  But I don’t mind trying new things or new techniques if it sounds good. So you can definitely bet that I have other songs where my flow is much different from what I consider my norm.

You submitted ‘Goin Up’ to flowsfordays a few days ago. Have you been shopping it to other blogs? What has the response been like so far?

I have sent the song out to a couple other local blogs that always show love and other sites that I’ll find the emails for, just trying to get it out there for as many people to hear it as possible. Almost everyone who’s heard it and reached out to me (friends, family, bloggers, etc) have had positive things to say about it and really enjoy the song.

Let’s talk a little bit about the artwork to Goin’ Up. Who created it? Did you have a vision for what you wanted it to look like?

The art work is always the hardest part for me because I usually have 3 or 4 different ideas that I would love to use. For this song, I found a picture that resembled what the song was all about it, growth, going up, getting bigger. What better visual to symbolize that than standing on top of a skyscraper.

What can we expect from you in the next month or so? 

You can expect more music. I want to start releasing music a bit more consistently as I’m leading up to the release of my next project “Do It Yourself” which I hope to drop soon.

Any last thoughts, shout outs, or words of wisdom? 

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who heard Goin Up and/or any other of my music and also flowsfordays for showing love!

Upcoming Concert Roundup for October (In Chicago)

From time to time flowsfordays will be scouring the internet for upcoming concerts that you just can’t miss. This way, instead of finding concert footage on YouTube and Twitter and realizing you missed a show from one of your favorite artists, you can be in the know ahead of time. We will mostly be focusing on Chicago (as it is my hometown) but will occasionally look at other states.

Ghostface Killah, Odd Couple + special guests (October 20th)

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Ghostface Killah, (AHHHH!!!) Odd Couple, and some special guests will be hitting the metro on Thursday October 20th on 3730 N. Clark Street. Its a 18+ affair. If you live in Chicago and go to hip hop events often, you know they always kill it with the special guests, so be ready.

You can purchase tickets here for $22-$27.

Lil Uzi Vert (October 31st)

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My man Lil Uzi Vert is hitting The Portage Theater (4050 N. Milwaukee Ave.) on October 31st. Doors open at 7PM. This concert is for ALL AGES, which is a celebration in itself. Hopefully he’ll play some tunes from his latest project The Perfect Luv Tape.

Purchase tickets here. General admission is $35 plus the $5 fee (BOOOO!) If you want early admission, front row, etc, hit the link to see the prices.

Fake Shore Drive Presents (with Joey Purp, WARHOL.SS, DJ Oreo, SOMEGUYNAMEDTY + special guests) (November 11th)

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Let me just preface this. This concert is in LA, but I have to show love for the originator of Chicago hip hop blogging. Also, every artist on the bill is from Chicago.

‘Fake Shore Drive Presents’ concerts are always lit. ALWAYS. On Friday, November 11th another one will be coming to the Mayan Theater in LA. Once again Andrew didn’t skimp on the great Chicago performers. If you attend you’ll hear songs from  Jeremih, Joey Purp, and WARHOL.SS. DJ Oreo and SOMEGUYNAMEDTY will be on the boards. Some special guests will also be attending. As I said above, Chicago based concerts always surprise with the mention of unknown performers.

This show is in collaboration with Red Bull Sound Select and tickets will sell out fast. Grab yours here for only $15 (with RSVP.)

Pavy – Album Release Party (October 22nd)

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Pavy has been featured on our Dissection Series, so it was only right to let our readers know that he has an upcoming release party for his new project: Me, By Jonathan McCoy. If you are a regular visitor to the site you know he just dropped his video to Drift a few days ago.

There is no doubt the album will be dope. Find out for yourself on Saturday, October 22nd from 6-9pm at the Underground Wonder Bar (710 N. Clark Street.) DJ Playamaka will be providing the sounds. Entry is free and I hear from Pavy there will be drinks. You might even see me there.

If I missed any be sure to hit me up on Twitter @flowsfordays_ so I can add it to the post. 

Interview With Freako on new EP ‘Vacation’ (Dissection Interview Series)

Our new dissection series has become a Chicago affair. I wouldn’t have it any other way as we are based in Chicago and I (Julie) call it my home town. I have carried on the tradition with Freako, a budding artist out of the windy city. He’s no stranger to the music scene, dropping two albums and a frequent amount of singles in the last year.

His newest 3 track EP, Vacation, contains nice vibey music and is a breath of fresh air to this blogger. He’s gotten some nice coverage on blogs, only adding fuel to his movement. Although there are only a few cuts on the EP, each one has a lot of sonic layers. Keep reading for a dissection of Vacation.

Hey Freako! Thanks for sitting down to talk with us!

No, thank you for the opportunity.

So you just dropped your 3 track EP Vacation. Tell us about why you decided to release it now and make it 3 songs. 

I wanted to do something different, also it’s been a while since my last project. The whole meaning of the project is a getaway vibe of music something to truly escape from what’s going on. Finally I made it three songs so they can want more.

Your music has always had a more ‘down tempo’ feel to it. It definitely works in your favor. Have you always had this vision for your music? What draws you to this sound?

I think that’s what people sleep on is that I can really do all types of music I don’t want to be stuck in one style to be honest so I always want to switch it up from time to time. Everything comes from what mind set I’m in, and as of right now I’m enjoying life and experiencing the world. I love my sound its weird to explain but it’s much more to come

You and Adot collaborated on the Bool track. You’ve made a good amount of music together including songs Summer and Weak AF. Why do you think you work so well together?

Adot my brother beyond music we help each other to stay motivated and to get better. We got hella music together. I don’t know how we mix so well on tracks we both raw and also have different type of sounds and it come out crazy every time truly grateful for bro for real.

Do you record in the studio together? Will there be more music with you two in the future?

Surprisingly not all the time we go to each other session but we do record at different spots at time. And hell yeah lol.

Was the entirety of ‘Vacation’ recorded in one slot of time? When were the tracks recorded?
Nah it was spaced out like every time I came back to the city or before I left I recorded one of the songs it wasn’t purposely but it worked out.

What was your writing process like for the EP?

Different only because so much that’s happening is so new to me and amazing as well as inspiring, so there was so much to create and speak about I like it it feel as if I found my balance with it.

You worked with three different producers on Vacation (Universal, Dree0 + Wildlife Willy). What made you go with them? How did you know them?

I had the universal beat for a while and I wasn’t feeling what I wrote to it till it was recorded now I love it because it’s different from a lot that I made. I know Dree0 from Xbox he stay out in NY that’s my brother as well. Wildlife I wanted to work with for a min he work with my homies Lostboys and Vela each beat he made was different and amazing .

Wave is my favorite track on the EP. Some will miss how lyrical it is. What inspired the song?

Mines as well I feel its more personal and again it goes back to me finding my balances cause before I was too personal with my music and the drugs I do I felt I took the wrong approach but at the same time I need that and people liked it then so I improved. I always want to improve cause I’m very heavy on what I expected out myself. Waves is perfect to me like a break away from what drop this year I’m glad you like it and it means a lot.

Any last shout outs, thoughts, or words of wisdom?

Shoutout Ace League my brother Adot, my manager Djay and my brother wolf and everybody that had something to do with the project and thank you for this.

Interview With Pavy on new music video ‘Drift’ (Dissection Interview Series)

This dissection series has been a blast for me. It’s such a fun way to learn about content that I find so compelling.

For the last two posts (C$Säge The 64th WonderI asked about these artists about the way their new songs came to me. Today we are getting the low down on a new music video from another Chicago mainstay, Pavy. He recently released the visual to Drift which is off of his upcoming album Me, By Jonathan McCoy that will be released on the 25th of October. After seeing some of my blogger friends write about it, I knew I had to check it out. I wasn’t disappointed.

The director of the short film, TPJ, also gave us some insight. Read on.

Hey Pavy! Thanks for giving us the chance to talk to you about your new music video! 

Pavy: Of course. First off, I want to thank you for even reaching out to me. It’s much appreciated. I included TPJ on the interview because I can’t answer those questions about visual motives. He came up with the concept and everything.

TPJ directed the film and I have to say he did an excellent job. Has he filmed other music videos for you? How did you guys link up?

Pavy: TPJ is one of my best friends. I’ve known him going on almost 7 years now. This is around the 35th video we’ve worked on together at this point. Mostly every video you see from me, he’s shot.

There are some shots of sunsets and palm trees in the beginning, along with buildings closer to the end. Where is the video filmed? Is this where you live?

Pavy: The video was filmed in Los Angeles. Some of it was filmed at the Santa Monica Pier, and the rest of it at random places around Venice. I do currently “live” in LA. — I say “live” because I’m usually there just as much as I’m in Chicago, currently, but with winter coming I’ll probably be in LA a lot more.

Some cool color effects were used in the video. The smoky blue in the beginning, the center of the Ferris wheel. What made you decide to focus in on that? Is there a meaning behind it?

TPJ: The meaning of the smoky blue just stems from what I saw when I first heard the song. I’m a huge fan of the iTunes visualizer. I love how it blends all the colors together and every second the visuals are different than the previous one. My idea was to make the video look like an iTunes visualizer in the sense of lots of colors, lots of movement and no two shots are going to be the exact same (minus the performance shots). The blue just matched the tone of the record and I ran with it.

Did you have a vision in thinking about the video? How much input did you have? How much input did TPJ have?

Pavy: I really can’t take credit for this one. TPJ heard the record and approached me with a concept, I feel in love with it and said let’s shoot it. At the most I might have said “Hey, we should do this type of shot” but I can’t take credit for this one. That’s all TPJ.

I loved how there were a lot of scenes that cut back and forth. It wasn’t in continuous motion. What was the significance of that?

TPJ: This comes from that feeling you have when you’re intoxicated. Memories seem to play backwards and forwards in retrospect. Those moments when we indulge and “drift” away often aren’t complete when we remember them. The cutting back and forth symbolizes that. I wanted this video to be a visual journey you take with Pavy. If you cut off all the lights out and watch the video on a big screen you get the full effect of the journey, colors and the overall mood. It’s meant to be a visualizer with a story.

Drift is your second single off your upcoming album “Me, by Jonathan McCoy” which drops October 25th. What can we expect from it?

Pavy: “Me, By Jonathan McCoy” is probably my most personal and best work. I don’t really know how to sum it up besides the fact it’s completely, unapologetically, just me. Hence the reason for the title. Jonathan McCoy is my government name, if you’re wondering. Also, this is the first project I’ve done solely with one producer which was Tommy Avery. It’s probably the first project that I’ve done that’s had one core and central “sound.”

The next video (which you announced this morning) will be “until the morning.” You mentioned you’ll be dancing under a disco ball. How does this differ from the “drift” video?

Pavy: Actually, all of the videos I’ve dropped (Love, Life/The Walker & Drift) are all part of a four part series that interconnects. I’ll put it together at the end for your guys viewing pleasure. Basically it’s just a continuation of the story. So, you’ll have to just wait and see. What I can say is that we were inspired by the Michael Jackson “Rock With You” video for this particular video.

Any last thoughts or shout outs?

Pavy: First off, I want to thank you guys at Flowsfordays for even reaching out to me. Secondly, “Me, By Jonathan McCoy” drops October. 25th. Last but not least, if you’re in Chicago I’m having a listening party for my album on October. 22nd @ Underground Wonder Bar from 6-9. I really hope to see all you guys there.

Interview with C$’s on new single ‘Brand New’ (Dissection Interview Series)

We are back with another track dissection! We started off with Säge The 64th Wonder yesterday (read it here), and today we are talking to another Chicago artist named C$ (pronounced C Money.) I loved his new single Brand New which was even featured on Fake Shore Drive, so I decided to ask him a few more questions about the creation and details of the song. Give the song and listen and follow along with this interview.

Hey C$! Thanks for talking with us. How are you?

I’m great! Life’s been awesome as of late.

So we’re here to talk about your recent single Brand New. What inspired you to create this song?

Well the inspiration behind the song is that a lot of people, including myself, will only purchase certain things if it’s brand new. Whether it’s sneakers, cars, clothing or whatever. This song is for those that need certain things brand new and not used before they get it.

Did the lyrics or the beat come first?

The beat definitely came first. I was actually on my way to the studio when I wrote the song. With the beat came the catchy hook, then after that the verses kinda fell right into place!

What is your writing process like?

My writing process is a bit different from others. I do a lot of brainstorming and writing while driving. I feel like that’s where I get the best opinion of beats. So while driving, if I come up with something I’ll make voice memos on my phone or put notes on my phone to kinda start the song off and give it a platform, then once I’m home I fine tune it and finish off the song.

Taylor King produced it; how did you get introduced to him?

I got introduced to him straight through SoundCloud. This isn’t the last you’ll hear from us. More work on the way lol.

Your album ‘MoneyWave‘ was released in June (as a side note I loved it and think more people need to get in tune with it.) You also did a track by track commentary playlist on SoundCloud which really added to the experience of the album. Why was it important to you to do that commentary? Have you been getting good feedback on it?

I think it was very important that I do that commentary because that project was VERY important to me and who I am as a person. The commentary takes listeners through each track and why it was created the way it was. For everyone that’s heard Moneywave, it’s been nothing but love and positive feedback.

Going back to ‘Brand New’, how long did it take to record? What was the recording process like?

It didn’t take long to record. When I go in the studio my material is already ready to go. I usually do my verses in one take and the hook is simple but catchy so it didn’t take long at all. Took like 15-20 mins altogether. I record my songs in chronological order. So I go piece by piece. If the hook is first and it goes into a verse, I’ll do that hook then the verse then plug that hook back in and record the next verse. I just put in work lol no time for games in the studio.

What are some essentials while you’re in the studio?

Haha as of late I’ve been having this weird thing where my voice would be super raspy until my homie brought some hot fries into the stu one day. That shit opened me up and ever since then I keep hot fries and bottled water in the studio.

Where do you record?

I record out here in the south suburbs at my studio. It’s called Blue Heron Recording based out of Orland Hills.

You’re from Chicago (where flowsfordays.com is based.) Have any artists from the city inspired your music? Or any artists in general?

As far as Chicago artists, maybe Kanye and Chance. But they don’t inspire my music they just inspire me as a person. I don’t mold my music from any other Chicago artist but myself.

Can we expect some new material in the coming months?

Yes, this is just the beginning of what I’ve got coming. More details will be revealed later though.

Any final thoughts?

Final thoughts? Well thank you for rocking with my music and I hope the world is enjoying it as much as I am lol. Cmoneywave.com for everything about me.

The Better Half (Best SoundCloud Songs From September 1-15th)

Hello faithful readers. Welcome to our new bi-monthly series The Better Half. flowsfordays will be curating a playlist showcasing the best SoundCloud releases in the last 15 days (give or take, depending on how many days are in the month.) Instead of perusing through your SoundCloud feed, you will now have a simple way to hear the best of the best in one easy to navigate playlist. All you have to do is press play.

The first half of this month came with a ton of new releases from industry vets such as Isaiah Rashad, Travis Scott and Young Thug among others. As usual we decided to focus on more independent artists (although we sprinkled in a few must listens). Press play and feel free to skip around.

 

L.A. VanGogh – ‘No Service’ (New Track + Artist Spotlight)

This post made my head spin. Illinois native L.A. VanGogh is, to put it lightly, heavily involved in the midwest hip hop scene. He presented a hell of a debut with 2015’s The Vinyl, is 1/2 of duo safeNsound with DJ Ambi and also produces. He’s released two complex remix EP’s in the last 2 months,#shftape vol. 1 +  #shftape vol. 2, dropped off a great project tilted L.A. VanGogh as safeNsound, and now, the single No Service, which is above. (phew). 

DJ Ambi (producer of the song) and VanGogh created a middle eastern style banger full of intricate wordplay, calling out the artists that aren’t rapping on his level and bluntly letting them know they aren’t and will never be on his level.

If you go through his entire discography (which you can partially do below) you will notice he’s not just a rapper, but a true artist; singing, creating electronic antics using his voice as the medium, and using the rare artistic ability to bring just the right people in to collaborate on a project or track (Yomi, Saba, Nosidam, Sherren Olivia to name a few.) He’s a little elusive, at least in his music and how he decides to create songs (case in point feels: exhibit J He’s keeping us all guessing, and hot damn it’s working.

Weekly Industry Round Up (August 20th-27th)

We’ve got another series on our hands. Every week on Saturday or Sunday we’ll be rounding up the new songs released in the last week from the biggest names in hip hop. We aren’t big on posting music from signed artists here at flowsforday; my philosophy has always been to help the artists that truly need and deserve the support and exposure. Tons of tracks are put out every week from highly sought after artists; these are the ones we feel are most noteworthy. Enjoy!

2 Takes On SremmLife 2 : Track by Track Review with flowsfordays and C&R

flowsfordays.com is pretty new to the blog game. We’ve been up for about a month now. It’s hosted on WordPress which is an excellent platform in case there are any potential writers looking to start a music blog. But I digress. WordPress allows you to explore other blogs through the site. I was looking through a bunch two weeks ago and I came across Colorandrhyme.com. Not only did they post fresh hip hop, their articles were lengthy and informative. The writing was REALLY good. That has always been my focus on this site. Quality over quantity, quality writing, diverse and engaging content, and the aim to support artists that may not get as much recognition as deserved.

I hit up the owner and main operator, Mike del Ro, to let him know I enjoyed and respected what he (and his other contributor of the same name) was doing. Since the blog’s inception I’ve wanted to collaborate with other blogs in some way. After DMing on Twitter for a few days we came up with an idea; to look at an album and give our thoughts track to track. We decided on Rae Sremmurd’s newest release SremmLife 2. Opinions on the album have been all over the internet; so we thought this would be a good one to focus on. Below you will see each track on the DELUXE version and our thoughts on each. Enjoy!

Start a Party

flowsfordays: The first few seconds of Start A Party was a combination of violin strings being played incredibly fast and a motorcycle gearing up to go 0-100. I was a little disappointed as this intro wasn’t as exciting as Lit Like Bic. Lit Like Bic set the tone for SL1, which has tons of bangers. When Swae Lee begins his double time flow the entire track shifted and I started to enjoy it. Jxmmi matches Swae well in energy and lyrics.

C&R: The distorted noises at the beginning of this track immediately make clear the explosion that’s about to happen. “Start a Party” functions as exactly what the title suggests, it’s a reintroduction to Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmy. At the same time, though, they pick up as if they never left, launching straight into the shouted hooks and unmatched energy that Rae Sremmurd made their mark with on Sremm Life 1.

Real Chill

flowsfordays: This beat from Mike Will Made-It wasn’t great. Jxmmi and Swae completely carry it. It took awhile to like, but after getting into it it became one of my favorites on the album. The chorus is catchy and I liked Kodak’s verse although there is a significant decline in energy as he usually attacks features with intensity. Swae and Jxmmi’s verses are a bit dry, but are far better than most of the songs following.

C&R: There’s potential for a banger here, but it falls just short due to a couple fatal flaws. The hook on “Real Chill” doesn’t have the addictiveness that Rae Sremmurd usually brings to the table, with empty spaces that could have been filled with an extra syllable or adlib. The beat could have built as the song continued, but instead, Mike Will opts to repeat the same drum pattern. When Kodak Black switches up his flow, the song regains momentum until it’s cut short.

By Chance

flowsfordays: When this came out as a single, I had a lot of hope for the album. I was praying the choruses would be just as catchy and I wasn’t completely wrong. I didn’t enjoy the verses, but the chorus was executed so well that I found myself replaying this a lot.

C&R: As soon as the menacing keys hit, “By Chance” seemed bound to blow up. The bass on this song would get annoying in most cases, but it fits just right under the rest of the minimal production. It’s not the most impressive lyrical performance from Swae Lee or Jxmmy, and the track’s redeeming quality remains to be it’s hard beat.

Look Alive

flowsfordays: This is BY FAR my favorite track. When I heard this (as it was the third single) I was shocked at how dark it sounded. I liked the original much more than the Migos remix, and the music video made me pay attention to the lyrics a little more.

C&R: Featuring the full gamut of Mike Will signature sounds, “Look Alive” stands as the most complete sounding track on the album. The rolling hi-hats and aggressive synths paired with much more substantial verses make this track my favorite on the album too. It’s sinister sound marks another song on Rae Sremmurd’s hit list.

Black Beatles

flowsfordays: I follow the group on Twitter and throughout the first couple weeks of the release the group would retweet screenshots of fan’s favorite songs. I never understood why Black Beatles was the most retweeted song. It sounded a little off to me. After a few listens I started to appreciate the chorus and the verses were more sonically pleasing than a lot of the tracks that followed. I liked Gucci’s verse, he added a lot of personality.

C&R: One of the more melodic songs on the album, “Black Beatles” comes as a refreshing switch up. Gucci brings his own character and steadiness to the track as well. While I initially saw this song as just a filler track, it’s now becoming one of my favorites.

Shake It Fast

flowsfordays: I absolutely LOVED this instrumental. This was the turn up song I was waiting for. Juicy hasn’t had a lot of good features in the past year, but this one was pretty nice. He saved the song. It was a bit long for my taste.

C&R: From the “new phone who dis” line to the bouncy beat,” “Shake It Fast” is one of the most fun tracks on SL2. Rae Sremmurd does exactly what they need to do on a party anthem like this one, and Juicy J elevates the track with a solid feature.

Set The Roof

flowsfordays: When I initially saw Lil Jon was featured on this song I wasn’t expecting much, but he contributed a really nice chorus. Once again the beat was weak. The switch up of flows was nice, but this was pretty boring.

C&R: “Set The Roof” caught my ear as yet another potential banger. Lil Jon brings his own personality to the hook, sounding like a natural addition to the track. The energy of the album also picks back up at this point. I slept on this song after my first listen, but I came to appreciate it as I listened through the whole record.

Came A Long Way

flowsfordays: The production on this was very different. There was some piano dispersed throughout which gave it more of a grown up vibe. The subject matter was pretty personal, depicting the struggle Rae initially had starting off in the rap game. This was a stand out.

C&R: The album takes on a whole different vibe with “Came A Long Way.” A lot of reviewers commented that the Rae Sremmurd sound a lot more mature on SL2, and this song definitely echoes those remarks. If anything, it demonstrates that Rae Sremmurd has potential outside of the party tracks they’ve built their name on up to this point.

Now That I Know

flowsfordays: Rae singing on a slow jam? Didn’t think it would work, but it did. This is the closest I’ve ever heard the group attempting to sound sincere in a track. Definitely liked this.

C&R: The funky intro to “Now That I Know” caught me off guard the first time I heard it, but as the song went on, this change of tempo came as a welcomed surprise. Like I said with “Came A Long Way,” Swae Lee and Jxmmy demonstrate the potential for more hit-making weapons in their arsenal. I wouldn’t mind hearing what a whole Rae Sremmurd project with downtempo tracks like this one could sound like.

Take It Or Leave It

flowsfordays: This is the weakest song on the album. It’s characterless and slow. This attempt at a “romantic” song was a complete fail. The verse towards the end wasn’t too bad but as the song progressed it got worse and worse.

C&R: I enjoyed the haziness of “Take It Or Leave It” at first, but it got a little boring as the song dragged on. The vocals sound hollow at points, but the beat switch toward the end regained my interest.

Do Yoga

flowsfordays:The chorus didn’t make any sense. If Rae was attempting to make a complex track, it sure didn’t work. The beat is interesting, and sonically it is very pleasing. After I listened to it 5-6 times I started to like the strange chorus.

C&R: When I played this song for the first time, I thought the beat combined with the minimal hook was an interesting curveball from Rae Sremmurd. Over time, that feeling faded and now it’s become one of the least memorable tracks on SL2. The repetitiveness would’ve been tolerable if not for the song being 4 minutes long.

Over Here

flowsfordays: The music video to this track was artistic as fuck. Very well done. Bobo contributed nicely. Over Here is on the deluxe edition. There are a lot of tracks they should have been switched out for this one.

C&R: I agree that this track should’ve made the official album instead of just the deluxe edition. The hook sounds like exactly what you’d expect from Rae Sremmurd, and Bobo’s feature fits right in with the duo. I still think it’s one of the most entertaining tracks on this project.

Swang

flowsfordays: While listening to this I was amazed at how great these bonus tracks were and surprised they weren’t included in the original album. I didn’t love this instrumental; seems to be a running theme. The high pitched chorus did a lot for me. I saw Swang as a little experimental, and this time it worked.

C&R: Usually bonus tracks are hit or miss, but all of the bonus tracks on SL2 hold their own ground. “Swang” doesn’t necessarily fit the tone of the rest of the tracks which is probably why it didn’t make the regular cut. However, it’s still a nice addition.

Just Like Us

flowsfordays: I could totally see this as a Billboard 100 contender. 2nd favorite song on the album. It is very melodic, very full, and very catchy.

C&R: The poppiness of “Just Like Us” immediately got my attention. It’s a lighthearted closer and a nice ending to the party that Rae Sremmurd crafted on SL2. Showing yet another side of Rae Sremmurd, the duo seems to have more tricks up their sleeves that listeners have yet to hear.

You can follow Color And Rhyme’s official Twitter account here.