New Crib Freestyles – [Tony Tone]

By Chuck Ramos // 5 Dec 2019

The lyrical precision of Tony Tone, who we have previously highlighted on the site for his work as a member of the South Texas rap collective PNTHN, just dropped a five-pack of freestyles in celebration of his new crib. Complete with the grimy, soul-sampled excellence that has accompanied his previous solo outings, Tony Tone’s latest endeavor is a freestyle lovers paradise. Production credits on the new EP go to fellow PNTHN member and in-house producer Por Vida, as well as co-production from Dakota Carley and fellow Texas rapper-producer Wiardon on the projects later tracks. Opened by the elegant yet muddied production and execution of the EP’s self-titled introductory record, Tony Tone dives head-first into a stream of conscious-like flow that balances on a fine-line between braggadocios and ethereal. This thematic element of delivery, which is present throughout the project’s entirety like on “Slowburn” and “Buenos Aires”, is cleverly complimented by smoked-out almost nostalgia-inducing production that calls the senses back to hazy car windows that occupy empty city streets. Whether snared by the hypnotic production, Tony’s levitating delivery or his sheer ability to put a plethora of words together seemingly effortlessly everyone can find something to gravitate to on the newly released …

Watch Ju Jilla’s brand new interview with Illanoize Radio

By Elliot Montanez // 5 Dec 2019

I’ve found a handful of pretty dope upcoming artists from the city via the homie Bekoe + his Illanoize radio platform (along with Illinois Jones + Pretty Riot), and Ju Jilla is the latest emcee I got to know via their new interview! The amazing trio of hosts asked Ju Jilla about several subjects including how he came up with his name, growing up on the southside of Chicago, his latest album Fear The Wise, how he created the title of his project, being influenced by his little brother, being apart of a talented family, his prior mixtapes, being a true lyricist, his creative process in the studio and he even gave his thoughts about the major Chicago radio stations. There is a plethora of musical talent in Chicago & Ju Jilla is definitely one of the best spitters out, take a couple minutes out of your day to learn a thing or two about him below!

Maneuvers – [They Hate Change]

By John Matraia // 4 Dec 2019

They Hate Change is striking while the iron is hot. The Florida duo has completed their 2019 trifecta – three great EP’s in one year. And the best part: they’ve only gotten better with each release. Every EP sees the duo honing their skills and perfecting their sound. One day, we’ll look back on 2019 as the year They Hate Change took it to the next level, and began their journey to stardom.  The newest EP, released yesterday, is titled Maneuvers, which serves as a fitting title to top off the group’s year full of huge moves. Production-wise, this is the group’s sharpest project yet. It’s full of low-key synthesizers that create a unique, futuristic atmosphere, and serve as a backdrop for Andre and Vonne’s fantastic verses packed with quotables. Vocally, the duo is hungry, and on every track here, they bring relentless flows chock-full of charisma and energy. Along with that, their chemistry only improves as the two make music together, and they have an impressive amount to say here. Maneuvers closes out with the epic “Steven”, a glitchy track with a jazzy twist that coasts along smoothly until the EP comes to a close on a high note. …

Shadows Above – [Atreesto]

By Elliot Montanez // 4 Dec 2019

Whenever Las Vegas-based producer Atreesto decides to release some new instrumentals it always has me pumped because he is ridiculously talented, and tonight he is back on our website with his latest offering titled “Shadows Above”. Atreesto has the abilities to make plenty of instrumental with different type of sounds + styles, one day you will find him chopping up the sweetest soul sample and the next he might be doing an afrobeat type of sound, but this release here finds him experimenting in the trap style more than I’ve heard from him prior. Along with the release of this beat, Atreesto hinted that he is going to put out an EP full of trap beats in the near future, so be expecting to hear more of this sound from him. Stream this new release below + if you like it go ahead and follow Atreesto here.

Black Balloons Reprise- [Flying Lotus] ft. [Denzel Curry]

By LL intern // 4 Dec 2019

Although Black Balloons is typically a trademark of Denzel Curry’s, Flying Lotus decided to borrow the idea and run with it in his latest visual for “Black Balloons Reprise”. He didn’t leave the South Florida hanging though and invited him to spit the bars over his always impeccable production. The single has a 90’s-heavy sort of sound with the boom-bap percussion, but FlyLo adds his own spice to it with different melodies and sound effects that only he knows how to masterfully use. The visual is completely black and white, adding to the dark aura that consumes the lyrics Denzel is spurting. Literal black balloons can be seen in almost every shot, and bad omens like a black cat help contribute to the messages expressed. One of the most powerful parts of the video was when Denzel sat down to write a message in a notebook, and the pen was directly hooked up to his bloodstream. It made me picture that he’s literally writing with every ounce of his being, whether it’s lyrics for his music or maybe another message he’s trying to convey. This visual for “Black Balloons Reprise” is very well shot, clear and concise, and it’s definitely …

Texas Sun – [Khruangbin] & [Leon Bridges]

By Lucas Garrison // 4 Dec 2019

I’m always playing A&R in my brain, lining up producers with artists or building dream collaborations my head, still, my favorite collaborations are the ones that make me go, “Damn! I wish I had thought of that!” That’s the exact reaction I had when Khruangbin and Leon Bridges announced their joint EP, Texas Sun. Khruangbin is, bar none, my favorite group, making music right now. In my opinion, they are making some of the most unique and interesting stuff out there. Though I never would have thought to pair their instrumentals with Leon Bridges’ timeless, soulful voice, the collaboration is a perfect match; evidenced by the title track. “Texas Sun,” a country dusted ode to their home state. While the word “country” may turn some of you off, Khruangbin’s instrumental is more textured and diverse than the average country song, and Bridge’s voice gives it a more soulful feel. This one isn’t typically what we would share at Lyrical, but when acts as talented as Khruangbin and Bridges get together, it’s worth a listen; At the end of the day, good music is good music regardless of genre.



Smino: Still Building

Photo by Pooneh Ghana / Red Bull Content Pool On November 23rd, coordinated by Red Bull Music Festival, Smino played for a sold-out crowd at Thalia Hall in Chicago. A few days prior, he was nominated for his first Grammy Award in light of his contributions to the renowned Revenge of the Dreamers III. A…

Gassed Up - [Curtis Roach]

This summer, Curtis Roach released his ‘Lellow’ EP—a ray of sunshine channeled through seven tracks that fused elements of jazz, funk, and footwork music from the artist’s home city of Detroit. Today, Roach premieres a new music video for one of the project's standout songs, “Gassed Up”. “If you're in a relationship, you should gass…

One Year Later, Earl Sweatshirt’s 'Some Rap Songs' is the Sound of Perseverance

Great accomplishments often follow dark moments. As cliché as it sounds, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and we learn the most about ourselves at our worst moments. One can only grow from hitting rock bottom, and how we take responsibility for our situation and respond to adversity is a true test of character.…