Yes Please – [White Knuckles]

By LL intern // 8 Apr 2020

Two words: Sonic diversification. That’s the basis of the New York toLA based collective Yes Please. Each song they put out is so experimentally different from the other. Using traces of Hip-Pop, R&B, Neo-Funk, and the guys own dash of charm, Yes Please continuously executes a prolonged sense of freshness with each and every new drop, and their latest song “White Knuckles” is certainly not an exception. The brains, brawn, and beauties behind Yes Please, APOB and Matt Miggz have been crafting their musical wiles from the ripe age of childhood. They began performing in numerous school bands together, followed by a period of distancing to truly discover their individual paths. Luckily for us, they reconnected and dropped their first EP Good Manners, Bad Taste in May of 2019. The EP was a luminescent twist on R&B and Hip-Hop, but the guys didn’t stop there. Respecting their original R&B focused lens, they began to experiment with different sounds and genres unlike anything else being done today. “White Knuckles” serves as the perfect successor to their lineage of unconventionally brilliant music. The track bumps a funky bass and electric guitar alongside the incorporation of a booming bass change mid-way through the …

Niteskool Sessions – [Maushea]

By LL intern // 8 Apr 2020

When it comes to music, there is simply nothing quite like a live performance. No matter how polished the CDQ version of a song may turn out, anyone with firsthand experience knows that a well-executed live show is crisp like no other. Maushea’s recent Niteskool Productions performance, (a student-run music video production house based out of Northwestern University) aligns with this view. Representing the 77312 section of Chicago, Illinois, Maushea offers a dual hip-hop & r&b sound; a versatile trait that seems to be trending among currently active Windy City artists. She is part of Black Tide Entertainment Chicago, (bte Chicago) a record label and creative agency offering artist development plus audio and visual production. Maushea’s rap cadence frighteningly reminds me of fellow Chicago emcee NoName; whereas, her singing almost deceives the listener to believe there are two separate artists featured, aka a duet piece. Influence aside, Maushea’s unique style is evident through her Niteskool appearance, where she effortlessly glides from slower rhythmic patterns to more rapid, funkadelic harmonies. Filmed, directed, and photographed in an NPR Tiny-Desk like setting, Maushea’s exceptional vocals are accompanied by a talented band of electrical guitarists, drummers, and keyboardists. The sound engineering is perfected to …

Runnin Wild – [Olivier St. Louis]

By LL intern // 6 Apr 2020

Oddisee is a favorite artist of mine. After discovering that the Washington D.C., native is entirely producing an upcoming 7 track EP with his GoodCompny band affiliate Olivier St. Louis, I already knew that the first single would be like a breath of fresh air. Olivier also hails from D.C., with his unique sound specializing in an array of R&B, Soul and hip-hop. For their collaboration, Oddisee shared via Instagram that Olivier traveled all the way from Berlin to New York to complete their EP entitled “Matters of the Heartless,” spending more than two weeks to perfect the production, writing, and recording of each individual record. The first single, “Runnin Wild,” is a smooth electric guitar-filled track, with soulful vocals to complement Oddisee’s glorious instrumentation. The drums are not as dominant as the guitar, but the soft percussion meshes well with Olivier’s lyrical flare. This particular single, presumably, along with the rest of the project, pertains to the topic of an ended relationship. Unlike a traditional heartbreak track, the record’s vibrant dancing pace makes it flow in a voltaic fashion. I cannot wait to hear Matters of the Heartless in its entirety, considering Oddisee is a meticulous architect in song selection. This …


By LL intern // 6 Apr 2020

Reno Shakur is a talented, up and coming, 21-year-old artist out of Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta native has been doing music consistently for about six years, while regarding Outkast, Kanye West, J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Tupac, and Eminem as his idols. Although Reno does not seek prominence, he is determined to leave his mark on the world through his relentless rap style and lyrical display. Reno recently won Pro Era affiliate CJ Fly’s “City We From” rap challenge, with his submission beating out fifty-nine other competing participants. Reno is part of the creative talent agency “FILO,” which I am 1/3 co-founder and a primary A&R. Before recruiting Reno, what immediately caught my attention is his genuine emotion, sheer confidence, and raw aggression in his music, leaving no room for filter nor timidity in his lyrics. For those unfamiliar, Reno’s latest freestyle over the Notorious B.I.G.’s famous “Kick In The Door” classic serves as evidence of Shakur’s belief in himself. Failure to properly go over such a legendary DJ Premier instrumental, (or any beat of Premo’s for that matter) should be considered a form of hip-hop sacrilege, breaking the unwritten rule of respect between the artist and producer. Similar to how a …

Mint – [Floyd Fuji]

By LL intern // 31 Mar 2020

Floyd Fuji is the omnipotent R&B artist and producer melding his own path. After producing an entire EP for the enchanting songstress Syd B, lending his vocals and lyrical expertise to tracks from the R&B trio Hablot Brown, embarking on a European tour as the opener for the soulful R&B powerhouse Kyle Dion, and acquiring a cosign at his first show in LA from Tom Misch, Fuji has returned in “mint” condition and bearing a fresh new single, “Mint”. “Mint” is a tuneful, psychedelic twist on modern R&B with a dash of 80’s nostalgia provided by the Galaga-esque soundboard sprinkled throughout the charming single. Featuring the tranquil vocal prowess of Syd B, “Mint” surpasses the threshold of merely being a song, it is a soulful experience that lifts it’s listeners gently into the clouds. It’s no secret that Floyd Fuji is a soul-driven force, you can hear it in just about anything he so much as touches. Having been creating his own music since the ripe age of 15 years old, Floyd Fuji was first able to spread his wings by playing at his local church. It was there that he learned the true power that music has and that …

Deep End – [Sleepy Hallow]

By LL intern // 31 Mar 2020

One of the best things about SoundCloud is the fact that artists pop up every day who might have already solidified a following to some extent, but they’re brand new to me. Although there sometimes seems to be an overflow of rappers that it seems overwhelming, certain talents just stand out and need to be recognized. One of these artists is Sleep Hallow who hails from New York. His deep voice doesn’t typically use any sort of vocal effects as a crutch which leads to purified lyrics and his flows are intricate enough to turn heads. Although he still has a long way to go in terms of perfecting his craft, his experimental sounds stand out and make him someone that music fans need to pay attention to moving forward. Although I’m a couple of days late to his latest offering “Deep End”, it was too good to let go by the wayside. A sample of a retro-sounding loop of a woman singing “I don’t think you want to go off the deep end” as well as spaced out drums lead to a simplified instrumental that Hallow is able to shine on. His voice punches the beat in an overly …

TYCOON – [Future]

By LL intern // 29 Mar 2020

Although it’s safe to say that Future has been on an absolute tear in the music industry for probably close to the last decade, it’s especially true in the last few months. Although he has dropped countless albums and mixtapes that ended up being instant classics, he has seemed to level up to heights I never even knew existed. There are very few people who gain this much notoriety and it is truly something to behold when they do get there. Future has had a massive year so far with pretty much the release of two singles in his collaborative efforts with Drake called “Life is Good” and “Desires”, although the former seemed to attract more buzz. It’s almost unfathomable how the one single has garnered so much attention and media coverage, but the same happened for Travis Scott’s “Highest in the Room”, and an entire clothing collection followed along after that song, so it’s not unheard of. Although the Drake-assisted collaborations became massive, everyone knows that Future knows how to handle things on his own as well. This is as clear as ever on his newest music video and single called “TYCOON”. The song begins with an expressive-sounding xylophone …

Lynch Mob- [Father] ft. [SEANTHOMMONEY]

By LL intern // 27 Mar 2020

I feel like when it comes to all my recent articles, I keep writing about Atlanta artists. It’s weird, however, that none of the songs and videos I’ve been writing about are even remotely similar or should even be considered from the same planet despite being from the same city. There’s been what some people consider mumble rap, trap, bubblegum Rap, and more, but Father doesn’t fit into any of these categories. In fact, he doesn’t really fit into any subsets of Hip-Hop that have a label, but rather has a lane of his own that no one can come close to impeding on. Although he might not be considered at the top of the list for some people when it comes to the most popular artists coming out of Atlanta, his clever wordplay, comedic elements, and unique flows keep me coming back for more. Fresh off of two random singles he dropped earlier this month, Father is back with another intriguing loosie called “Lynch Mob” featuring SEANTHOMMONEY. To set a more serious tone, harp strums create a mystifying melody along with some fascinating percussion. Father has multiple layers of vocals full of autotune on the hook, making it sound …