POSTS BY: JACK GREGORY

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Garden – [BoofPaxkMooky]

By Jack Gregory // 7 Aug 2020

Atlanta producer CashCache has long been a favorite of many in the underground for his glittery and sanguine instrumentals that are distinctly plugg influenced, citing Mexikodro as his main production inspiration, and has worked tirelessly to evolve his sound even further and make his jazz/plugg/pop hybrid even more distinguishable than it already was in the first place. When you hear ‘CashCache type beat’ now, one will immediately be able to place likely both the sound and mood of the track even before pressing play and that is perhaps the most awe inspiring part of his art as he has very intentionally created a sound that is unmistakably his. Recently he and BoofPaxkMooky, an artist who has been a main collaborator of Cash’s for some time now, connected for a new mixtape entitled Garden. Both Cash and Mooky shine and are very much in their bags and Mooky shows off his distinctive melodic but slightly off-beat and constantly inflecting flow that will be well-received by fans of artists like Duwap Kaine or ATL Smook. “Downy” is one of my favorite tracks off of the project and includes the first feature of the project coming from 1600j. “Be Yourself” will be a familiar beat …

Thug – [Blake Banks]

By Jack Gregory // 7 Aug 2020

Blake Banks is back with a new single entitled “Thug” that is a moody and melodic new cut from the Los Angeles based artist flexes both his vocal and songwriting muscles on this track. The instrumental is powered by a twangy guitar melody that is punctuated by sharp percussion that is a perfect accent to the more antiquated guitar sounds. Banks’ lyrical subject matter is simultaneously aspirational and transparent about his struggles from romantic interests to topics such as self-medication. This was my introudction to Blake Banks and I am eager to hear more music from him in the future and see what ways he grows as both an artist and writer and am excited to see this continued evolution.

Paint Da Hood Red – [Kayvo] [Johnny Carvaggio]

By Jack Gregory // 5 Aug 2020

The past three or so years have seen the DMV has gotten more attention than would have been considered feasible in years past and their offbeat and ‘gogo’ influenced sound has spread further and further throughout the mid-Atlantic, but unfortunately much of the attention outside of the area has gone to a select few artists and a great many rappers and producers remain largely unknown outside of the region, and two of the most talented in this category are rapper Kayvo and producer Johnny Carvaggio who recently connected for a new collaborative project Paint Da Hood Red which builds on the stylistic achievements made by Kayvo, along with Keezah who also works with him a great deal, and also gives Johnny Carvaggio an opportunity to show off his production skills which similarly get overshadowed by other more publicized beatmakers. Paint Da Hood Red shows Kayvo relying on his monotone and menacing delivery over Carvaggio’s melody-less beats which may be somewhat new to him but is certainly nothing new for Kayvo. Carvaggio’s mastery of the piano is evident from start to finish and it is simply amazing to me how DMV producers are able to create such a foreboding atmosphere with such basic notes …

Digital 2 – [Baby 9eno]

By Jack Gregory // 3 Aug 2020

Washington, D.C.’s Baby 9eno (nino) is back with a brand new project entitled Digital 2 coming on the heels of his memorable visual for “UUV” which even 9eno admitted took off way faster and further than he could have ever expected, but the SE DC artist uses this project as an opportunity to begin to level up on his competition within the District that has been heating up very, very quickly since last summer when MoneyMarr and Baby Fifty, among many others, began to help usher DC rap into its current state that has been dubbed by many as “slide” music or something of the like. There are several memorable tracks on Digital 2 and 9eno stays on beats that are to be expected if you’re a seasoned listener but it is absolutely undeniable that he is improving greatly as an artist from track to track. “Katrina” was an energetic and menacing cut featuring Taedoe Jugg which was the first of only two features on the mixtape. “Free Bundy” is probably my favorite song on Digital 2 and besides the simple bounciness of the instrumental 9eno relies on his standard tempo of delivery but absolutely walks all over this beat. Digital 2 comes to a close with “21 Donut” …

NO REALLY – [95REDDO]

By Jack Gregory // 3 Aug 2020

For years now 95REDDO has quietly yet consistently managed to be without question one of the best rappers in Atlanta as well as the greater underground worldwide and while he has been impressing listeners for a while now he seems to be breaking through artistically yet again, pulling flow after flow out of his seemingly endless bag and hopping on weird and off-kilter beats that may be daunting for other artists, but not Reddo. LiftOff beats provided the chaotic and futuristic instrumental that Reddo competes with from start to finish to earn the listeners’s ear, as they are mixed at about the same levels. This instrumental is sincerely freaky as hell and there are very few rappers who I would’ve picked before Reddo to give it a go. SupeerVillain handled the video’s direction and editing and did a fantastic job, giving a series of sleek and cinematic shots to help bring the song to life.

3WAY – [YS] [BlueFace Bolo] [Calaso Check]

By Jack Gregory // 3 Aug 2020

Atlanta trio BlueFace Bolo, Calaso Check, and YS came together for a new visual for their FF Tana produced track “3WAY” that features my three favorite verses from each of these artists yet, as all of them respectively seem to improve tremendously from release to release. These three have all worked together extensively before and are carving out their own sound and flow in the midst of a city with literally thousands of other rappers, yet still find a way to stay unique and trendy. YS especially seems to just get better and better from song to song and I have a feeling that we will be hearing from Lil Yop for a while, and he skated on this track, dropping some of his hardest bars yet and it is obvious that he is starting to care as much about his lyrics as he does his delivery. BlueFace Bolo has one of the most interesting voices in all of Atlanta to me as it is equally twangy and raspy and lands perfectly over the beat for the entirety of his guest verse. Calaso Check is also as good as ever on “3WAY” and his second verse in particular was one …

Baccarat – [TopNotch Zion]

By Jack Gregory // 3 Aug 2020

Atlanta’s TopNotch Zion is yet another young rapper making a name for himself in Georgia’s most populous city and recently unloaded a new visual for his track “Baccarat” which is personally my favorite song of his yet. Coming up alongside and frequently collaborating with artists like Quez4Real and DB Omerta, Zion is rising to the forefront of this new generation of artists and if he continues to release videos that are the same quality as “Baccarat” it is hard to imagine that not being the case. He skates on this Diggxn produced track showing off his variety of flows and ability to walk all over this thumping and upbeat instrumental and although this song isn’t overly melodic, spare a few ad-libs, his vocals stand out nonetheless and he definitely has one of those God-given rapper voices. I am very, very eager to watch TopNotch Zion continue to develop as an artist and get even more of Atlanta, and the rest of the world, behind him.

Demo Tape 1 – [Mike Angel]

By Jack Gregory // 3 Aug 2020

I could write paragraphs upon paragraphs about how much I enjoy nineteen-year-old Alabama native Fish’s beats and about how I personally believe that he is the most underrated and talented producer out right now and all of it would be deserved and true. Although he is certainly on the considered to be more underground side of things right now, Fish’s sound is much more nuanced and glossy than that term gives him credit for, and he and BigBabyGucci, an artist who first came on the scene branded as a “SoundCloud” rapper, has seen his sound completely  evolve into one of the most interesting pop/rap hybrids out currently, much in part to Fish’s production, among others, which helped revolutionized his sound on Gucci’s acclaimed 2019 mixtape Send Help. However I was recently very, very excited to learn about Fish’s solo-music coming out under the moniker Mike Angel, which I will reference him as hereon. Demo Tape 1 opens with an impassioned and melodic cut titled “Supersonic” which definitely leans in a discernibly more poppy direction at first but veers off into an almost blues-y passage before returning to the hook. This leads into “No Drugs” where Mike flexes his vocal and production muscles all …

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