Emarr- Beauty & The American Beast
The Darker side of the American Dream is highlighted by Harlem emcee Emarr, who believes it has yet to be clearly exposed through the constant compromises and sacrafices we make in pursuit of fulfillment and happiness. His newest release “The Beauty & American Beast” is a conceptual piece of audio-art, with quality production from a diverse set of producers (from Mozambique to London), all of which held their own unique yet complimentary sound. It’s pretty refreshing coming across an artist whos music displays quality and consistency. Check out Emarr’s soundcloud sets and hit the comment section below!
Goody- All I Know (prod. by 1stFrom92)
Chicago emcee Goody introduces a unique and refreshing track for listeners, providing us with a window seat into the world of a 21 year old surviving the streets of The Windy City. “All I Know” provides listeners with a window seat into the world of a 21 year old’s growing in the streets of Chicago, over smooth production by 1stFrom92. The inspiration derives from the introspective lyricism of 90’s hip-hop and R&B, with intentions of offering quality music with a message to inspire listeners on their daily quest to conquer goals. What did you guys feel about this track? Leave feedback below!
Al Hostile ft. Kasey Jones- (In)sight (prod. by Steezy Grizzlie
After the release of his solo project “The Finer Thangz”, 3rdiiiUth’s Al Hostile blesses listeners with brand new heat titled “(In)sight”, featuring Kasey Jones and production by Steezy Grizzlies. After browsing the 3rdiii soundcloud, I’ve noticed the progression in lyrical content and all around artistry. The same can be said about fellow DMV artists Kasey Jones and Steezy Grizzlies who are taking full advantage of the new year with features from upcoming artists like Mike Of Doom and Matt McGhee. Enough about my opinion, what do the listeners think of this release?
Rickie Jacobs - Remember To Smile
Honesty gets thrown around a lot as an essential element of hip hop but rarely do artists want to slosh through the muck of their own makeup. Enter Baltimore artist Rickie Jacobs and his new album “Remember to Smile”. The album casts a collection of that don’t quite fit together topically and yet that’s its beauty. Self describing the album as an inspiration of the Twitter personas that can exist, the allusion definitely doesn’t fall too far from the truth.
Chock full of contradictions, regrets, bad intentions, arrogance and even a little offence can easily describe twitter on even the slightest news day and these elements make up the album. However, these are just tools towards honesty. Its ok to adhere to “Guy Code” when you’re stuck in an “Elantra” because you probably can’t handle something more valuable yet. When “Home” isn’t enough you might need to brag about your “European Rugs” to brighten your mood when no one else is willing to. That transparency is honesty and Rickie’s willingness to put it out there so blatantly is a craft onto itself. A brash delivery and a penchant for not giving a fuck helps too.
Things will always get us down but at least if we’re honest with ourselves we may not need to remember to smile, we may be forced to.
Listen to Rickie Jacobs’ "Remember to Smile" here.
Darli Darko- Flowers For Dorian Gray
Pittsburgh, PA artist Darli Darko delivers a fresh new track, taking his verses to a new depth by showing versatility on an unorthodox beat produced by Art Vandelay. This PA native continues to hone in on his sound as he carves out his niche in an ever crowded hip-hop genre, and looks primed to make a big splash , come may when he releases his debut mixtape “The Romantic Egotist.”
Fleaux- Like Water Vol. 1
Dayton, OH producer Fleaux is the moniker of the young creative working to remain boundless to any one genre. “Like Water Vol. 1" is a series of organic instrumental projects that contain a limitless experience. We are all moved by feelings and perspectives. Fleaux uses Like Water Vol. 1 to share what moves him, hoping to affect others who can relate. This project definitely compliments Fleaux’s catalog, offering a fresh combination of experimental, soul and hip-hop vibes influenced by the likes of The Neptunes, Kanye West, J. Dilla, Madlib, Flying Lotus, Toro y Moi, Low End Theory, Boiler Room and more. Overall, this is a very artistic creation that will definitely make its way into my personal collection.
ASTR- Varsity EP
Every now and then I like to post something other than the traditional hip-hop track. After browsing tons of e-mails I came across ASTR, an impressive New York City duo comprised of vocalist Zoe Anna and multi-instrumentalist producer A.D.A.M. The Varsity EP (released January 21, 2014" features 6 refreshing tracks and has brought the pair some well-deserved media praise before the official release. The duo has also been confirmed for SXSW in March 2014. Check out images from their trip last month to Washington, DC via Virgin Mobile Diary.
OSP collective has been building a strong presence in 2014, following dope drops and visuals from fellow artists Quan The Padawan and Lance Neptune. Up next is artist/producer Yo Bizzy with a brand new video for “Gettin It,” directed by Rapper The Producer. There’s no word yet on an upcoming project, however OSP is liable to drop bangers at any given moment. Listeners can browse more of Bizzy’s creations directly via soundcloud, as well as the entire collective via twitter for the latest music updates. Catch OSP tonight (2/22/14) at #TrappedInTheWhop3 hosted by @SleepWalkDC.
Jansport J- The Soul Provider LP
Hailing from the Los Angeles suburb of Covina, Jansport J has built up a solid resume over the past few years, including DJ’ing the Paid Dues Festival Stage, releasing 6 solo projects as well as production work that have featured artists such as Snoop Dogg, Ab-Soul, DOM Kennedy, Glasses Malone and Freddie Gibbs. With a strong influence from legendary producers J Dilla, Pete Rock, Madlib, DJ Premier and 9th Wonder, J cultivates his very own brand of soul music with his latest effort.
Raz Simone- Still Mobbin
At the start of Raz Simone’s latest video Still Mobbin, Cognitive Dissonance is defined in the beginning of this video as “the excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, and/or values at the same time.” Raz defines the theory in relation to his own life experiences with the release of his latest project, Cognitive Dissonance: Part One set to release in March.