I could go on and on about Ash Riser, his LP Ghosts, his rebirth as an artist, yadda yadda yadda, but I’m gonna let the music speak for itself. Easily one of the best hip hop albums of 2017 thus far, and tbh, just one of the best albums in general to come from this year. Stream it, buy it, tell your friends about it. Seriously, Ghosts is one of the most interesting and inspiring projects I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this year, and my attempt to describe it won’t do it justice—Ash Riser is doing some visionary shit.
Manus is a cool good dude whose song “DSGD” is great for getting through Hump Day (at least it is for me). The story behind the track’s interesting too—”Trading lyrical gunplay for virtual gameplay, Manus’ second single ‘DSGD’ playfully relates being an individualist, and making the best of the situation. While ‘the drug store’ itself may be a metaphor for wherever we might turn to ease the stressful lives we lead, Manus gives us a glimpse of how life could be if we choose to count our blessings, so to speak.”
Connect with Manus and listen to his other cool good tracks.
Straight from the West Coast, I present to you the story of a chicken and his love interest. Using the musical stylings from the ever-so funky producer, KLEFTO of Black Noise Records, Paris Spence and Connor O’Keefe of Walking Distance created a universe for this chicken bachelor and his lovely lady.
KLEFTO, hailing from Bellingham, WA, is making waves in the west coast hip hop scene: putting on live shows to showcase his unique sound that is inspired by jazz, hip-hop and R&B. On this particular track, he sampled The Alkaholics.
For more of KLEFTO or recordings of his live jams, visit Black Noise Records on Soundcloud.
“Beep Beep” is a rap song about cars that sounds nothing like any other rap songs about cars. The beat is some weird mix of Dean Blunt / James Ferraro hypnagogia, vaporwave, and elevator music (yes, vaporwave is different than elevator music). The rapping is done in a seven-syllable triplet scheme as many a Soundcloud star uses, but you may be too confused to even notice. The only thing that isn’t surprising about it is that it comes from the Dark World collective, which pumps out what could only be described as rap’s version of ’80s b-movie horror films. If you like your hip hop to have the ability to get your aux cord privileges taken away forever, “Beep Beep” is for you. Check it out below.
I first heard Merlyn Wood on his debut single, “FYE”, around a year ago. Coming out of the normally melancholic Brockhampton crew, “FYE” contained a screamed chorus and screeching synths, akin to something XXX era Danny Brown or early period Death Grips would have indulged in. Unlike the rest of his crew, Merlyn’s sound took me aback as being more auditory attack than subdued sadness. On his newest offering, “Culdesac”, he creeps closer to the signature sound of the collective he associates with, but still keeps the edge that allowed him to stand out among the group. Check out “Culdesac” below.
Picture this: it’s 2013, and the young Chicago rap scene is divided heavily into different styles: the grim, violent sounds of drill led by Chief Keef and his GBE crew, and the bouncy, psychadelic pop rap popularized by Chance The Rapper and the Savemoney collective. And then there was Lucki, somewhere in between the two, at that time still going by the longer pseudonym Lucki Eck$. Yet three years later, most of the rappers on this current wave of Soundcloud popularity employ the same lazy-but-infectious flow that Lucki perfected years before on tapes like Body High and my personal favorite, X. His newest mixtape / EP, Freewave II, is a collection of freestyles that follows up his very enjoyable 2015 tape of the same name. If you’re into rappers that have found themselves on the No Jumper podcast, you will most likely find yourself liking Lucki quite a bit. Listen to Freewave II below.
Producer/DJ Getter teams up with Suicide Christ and Suicide Leopard of the $uicideBoy$ on the track “2 High”. Getter’s very druggy beat matches the sound and flow of the $uicideBoy$ perfectly. But, this isn’t the first collaboration between Getter and the $uicideBoy$, their collaborative EP Radical $uicide was released in mid July. Check out their EP on Apple Music and listen to “2 High” above.
This past weekend I found myself in Ottawa, which is a coincidence, because Ottawa native Night Lovell dropped his second mixtape entitled Red Teenage Melody this past Friday and so passing the Rideau Canal listening to “Rideau Swing” was cool. This new project of his sees him moving away from the styles of his more obvious contemporaries (his debut tape, Concept Vague, landed him comparisons to gothic cult-hero Bones) and moving towards a more unique sound. Lovell’s ear for beats is impressive; while most of the flows he employs are generally generic, the production he selects is able to keep things interesting without the project seeming too all-over-the-place (especially the beats contributed from Blank Body). Check out Red Teenage Melody below.
Try Out: “Boy Red”, “Barbie Doll”, “Guidance (feat. Nessly)”
Roy is not unlike many of his peers currently working in the pop-leaning side of the underground hip-hop and R&B. His latest, “Thunder”, showcases a strong sense of sunny melancholy reminiscent of the more recent, mature work of Childish Gambino. self-produced with help from Joba & bear / face (both of who have essentially mastered this type of sunset-at-the-beach production through their work with LA-by-way-of-Texas group Brockhampton), the song itself moves through a series of parts, starting off with a simple pop-rap tune depicting what seems to be a recent breakup, and then slowly transitioning into an instrumental finish that could’ve fit right into a song from a mid-00s indie rock band. After proving that he can pull off a track this ambitious and beautiful this early into his career, Roy is definitely a young artist that deserves your attention now and in the future. Follow Roy on Twitter @roydanmab.
follow me on twitter too @goIdsoundz 🙂
America is going through quite a turbulent time. With all that is going on in the beautiful city of Chicago with our local government and our police force, as well as everything on a national level, the public’s relationship with those who are supposed to serve and/or protect is rocky to say the least. I know I speak for myself, along with others, when I say this royal rumble of an election year has slightly taken my eyes away from new music that is coming out. In with Kweku Collins‘ “Death Of A Salesman”, the first single off his upcoming Nat Love project, I am able to examine both a powerful message as well as incredible new music.
Collins would only be a college freshman right now (had he chose to attend), but his wisdom on “Death Of A Salesman” comes from the deeply matured and learned man within him. A lot of the reason this track works is because of the friendly sounding production from fellow Closed Sessions artist Odd Couple. As Kweku flows “murder, murder, how they got bodies, they gotta quota, it ain’t no good”, Odd Couples production lightens the blow of Kweku’s harsh but real lyrical content. It’s a classic method of making songs with strong messages more digestible for the listener. I mean, could Kendrick have reached the masses he’s reached without throwing fun-sounding songs like “Alright” and “Maad City” in the mix every so often? My guess would be no.
The track goes on to discuss Kweku’s observations of his supposed place within American society (“either rappin’ or shootin’ hoops”), as well as his harsh encounters with his “Uncle Sam”. It’s an incredibly awesome push in the right direction from Closed Sessions’ youngest member, and with Nat Love dropping on April 8th, we don’t have to wait long at all for even more new Kweku Collins music. He’s also playing Reggie’s Rock Club on the 15th of April, and you can score tickets with just a few clicks.
OH HEY! CLOSED SESSIONS WAS JUST FEATURED ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE’S ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT SECTION! PEEP THE ARTICLE RIGHT HERE!
It’d be hard for anybody to fumblea beat from Casper & B but the two did an excellent job of recruiting features for their latest release. Laced with verses from 2 of the supermen of the up and coming hip-hop crop – Pell and Michael Christmas – as well as 2 other rising artists that deserve the same respect in their own right – Wonda and Maarlon – the LA based production duo delivers a good time via the production boards as every aspect of the record takes you on a proverbial trip.
Stream Casper & B‘s latest Sneak featuring Pell, Michael Christmas, Wonda, & Maarlon above.
Madison, Wisconsin rap prodigy, Trapo released his debut project, The Black Beverly Hills EP via Pigeons and Planes and described the EP as “a short project about Black prosperity.” TBBH is an excellent debut all the way through, 17 year old Trapo is a rare talent with a unique & rich voice that communicates feeling, intensity and truth, all these qualities are clearly evident on “Tree.” His beat selections are original and give insight on the man’s musical range, as he moves seamlessly between singing and rapping throughout the project. The outstanding “Cards And Conversation” and “Modelo” were released previously as singles, “A Raisin in the Sun,” features Allan Kingdom and is one of my favorite tracks on the project. The funky “Outro” definitely left me wanting to hear more from Trapo. I was honored to conduct his first interview, read that while you listen to The Black Beverly Hills. Follow Trapo now, if this artist continues working at this pace, the sky is the limit.
“If I’m a raisin in the sun
Let’s pray that I do not dry out
I feel like I’m the one
Let’s pray I do not find out.”