Waco, Texas native TSO Jrag is a name you’re going to want to pay attention to. The 21-year-old rapper is making waves in the Lone Star State and his most recent single, “Confidential,” is only adding fuel to the fire. This song has a lot of moments that will catch your attention, but for me, it was the conscious choice to completely spazz on a record with such an ethereal sample. The contrasting pairing between TSO Jrag’s content, delivery, alongside this production creates a song that steps on the gas and doesn’t let up. Texas’ stoic place in Hip Hop is indisputable, and artists like TSO Jrag are an exciting glimpse into the future sounds emerging from the next wave of artists in the state. Listen to “Confidential” by TSO Jrag below and follow him on Instagram here.
Nate Traveller has always been impressive. The prolific artist carries an emotional delivery and an incredibly difficult to ignore charisma that follows each of his songs, whether through heart mending melodies or poignant rap deliveries. His recently released project, Hunny, is a significant step forward in his sound and a shining example his artistic growth. Coming in at a total of 21-minutes for a total of eight songs, Nate Traveller’s reentrance into the space since sharing his three-track release Alone back in 2018. His new album finds an exceptional growth both in production as well as with features. Assisted on the production side by fellow rising artist, BabyJake, and featuring verses from Wes Period, ripmattblack, AKTHESAVIOR, and Mills, Nate Traveller creates mellow energy that not only sounds good but matches the fall season. Standout songs like “Solace,” “Low Blow,” and “Same Number” all hold intoxicating components that make this project special. Nate Traveller said the below about his new album and the overall feel he hopes his music brings, saying, “Nature and harmony are key aspects not just to my brand but to my personal identity. I want my music to help people find peace.” Listen to Hunny by Nate Traveller below.
There appears to be an exciting trend emerging in music. New acts are combining their affection for emo lyricism with the punk-like soundscape of alternative rock that is reminiscent of the early and mid-2000s. This sound is addictively moving in and is on full display on Philadelphia native patchymate’s new song, “i wish it didn’t hurt when you say you’re proud of me.” Brought to life by live guitar instrumentation, lively drum patterns, and a dash of hyper-pop loops and glitches, patchymate creates vibe-inducing energy that is unapologetically fun to listen to. As described by patchymate on his Instagram, the newly emerging artist is diligently working on “big plans for the future, but these little SoundCloud songs are giving me something to do.” These little SoundCloud songs are building an impressive case for the burgeoning new artist and his unique style of music. Listen to “i wish it didn’t hurt when you say you’re proud of me” by patchymate below.
Hearing an artist completely spazz on a record will always be a winning recipe in my eyes. The dominance of acts like DaBaby and Megan Thee Stallion has since set a new precedent for rappers who are now taking those same trap beats we love and applying a lethal amount of pressure from a writing standpoint. This brief preamble brings me to my introduction to Atlanta based rapper Benji Blue Bills and his relentless delivery. His most recent release, “Delete,” is characterized by the aforementioned hard-hitting trap production style, produced by wakeupf1lthy, delivered alongside equally aggressive raps. Benji Blue Bills doesn’t waste a single moment on his single, taking the time to deliver quotable verse after quotable verse while maintaining a lively bounce. Benji Blue Bills may be a new name, but his music is refined, making him an artist to keep an eye on moving forward. Listen to “Delete” by Benji Blue Bills below.
THEMXXNLIGHT connects with super-producer Sledgren for a melodic play on Pokémon’s signature phrase, “gotta catch them all.” Opened by a subtle electric guitar solo, THEMXXNLIGHT, made up of brothers Akash and Krish Chandani, delivery a wavy melodic performance that taps into an unapologetic braggadocios energy. The combination of THEMXXNLIGHT’s style alongside Taylor Gang producer Sledgren combine for a drill inspired song that uses synths, lively percussion, and an overwhelming bass line, effectively creating a club-ready anthem. Although clubs are not operating as they were, THEMXXNLIGHT appears to be eager to restore a celebratory and party-like feeling amidst everything going on. This is THEMXXNLIGHT’s first solo release since sharing their five-track Mashallah EP in July. Listen to “Ash Ketchum” by THEMXXNLIGHT below.
There is never not a good time to throw on some R&B but as the season’s change and cities around the world get colder R&B as a genre, for me at least, feels extra special. That extra sensory magic that accompanies R&B during the colder months brings me to my introduction to New Zealand’s Mikey Dam and his new single, “Time.” The singer-songwriter’s new release taps into the beautiful marriage between acoustic nylon guitar chords with Dam’s heartfelt vocal performance creating a meaningful narrative of time’s fleeting sensibilities. Clearly written as a sonic timestamp of his life, the burgeoning artist makes it a point to bring listeners into his world, his headspace, and life. It’s this intimate connection that allows this song to resonate with me and the stripped-down style that makes it feel so perfect for the time of the season. It’s more than just a good song, it’s an artist’s testimonial and a beautiful one at that. Listen to “Time” by Mikey Dam below.
Northside Longbeach’s Seafood Sam is an artist I check on consistently. His talent is undeniable, and his newly released five-track Elroy EP just further builds a rock-solid case about the talented West Coast rapper. My gravitation towards Seafood Sam’s music not only came from his laid-back approach that almost downplays his lyrical prowess – in short, he makes it sound easy to rap but my true fascination and admiration steam from his choice in production. Never one to remain grounded in one sound, Seafood Sam can not only keep your attention among harder production but also on piano sample lead West Coast infused production. Song’s like the EP’s opening track, “Hood Vogue,” exudes the LA sunshine and texturizes the glimmering ecosystem Seafood Sam creates. Although each song varies in delivery, they remain cohesive and utterly elegant. Listen to Elroy EP by Seafood Sam below.
Freebandz signee Doe Boy connects with Future on his new single, “Tweakin.” There are so many great things going on with this song that after hearing the snippet about its impending release, I had to make a note of it. The combination of Doe Boy’s signature flow alongside Future’s melodic delivery over a Southside produced track is just a recipe for success – and the undeniably succeeded. Future kicks things off with high energy and setting the stage for Doe Boy’s unique pocket that adds another layer of toughness to this already hard-hitting single. Although this is Doe Boy’s and Future second collaboration to date, there is always something special about the symbolic co-sign feature between label founder and label signee. The new single from Doe Boy and Southside will be featured on their upcoming collaborative album, Demons R Us. Listen to “Tweakin” by Doe Boy and Southside featuring Future below.