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Stalemate – [Bonbon Anglais]

Bonbon Anglais was one of my favorite new discoveries of last year. However, with an elusive, reserved mystique, and a sporadic release schedule, I still don’t know much about him. I do know that, with each release, he brings something different to the table that makes me an even bigger fan and his latest “Stalemate” is no exception. An ode to unrequited love, “Stalemate” takes on a more ballad-esque feel than his previous releases. Though the pace may be different– with the slower, swirling beat allowing Anlgais to showcase his dynamic vocal range a little more–Anglais’ approach is the same. No matter what the atmosphere of the song, Anglais has so much emotion in his voice which really lets you connect with him. Showing more of himself in this release, “Stalemate” is another win for a supreme talent destined for big things.

1Minute – [9lokknine]

The Florida Rap scene has long been blossoming, yet it seems as if people don’t respect it nearly as much as they should. Although it appears that it’s only taken off in the last half-decade or so and prior to that there were only a few mainstream artists to emerge from this region, now more than ever this part of the country deserves its moment in the spotlight. The underground scene is booming partially due to the fact that the sounds they create are unlike anything else in the country, but it can also be because of their unique deliveries and flows which are always something to behold. 9lokknine has been on the scene for quite some time at this point and although he has drawn comparisons to Kodak Black due to their similar voices, he has done so much to differentiate himself and prove that he’s not a clone whatsoever. His most recent song “1Minute” just received a music video treatment, and I couldn’t be more excited. The track itself features old school tropical hits, rapidly chattering percussion, and speaker-busting drums that pave the way for 9lokk to not only spit some great bars but also show off his …

ROCKSTAR BIKERS & CHAINS- [Gunna]

Last week, Gunna’s highly anticipated sophomore album WUNNA hit the digital shelves of our music libraries and fans have clearly received it incredibly. It’s projected to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart which is obviously not an easy feat, and the Atlanta star has his fans to thank for their continued support and admiration of his music. Personally, I was a fan as well, but I still think Gunna held back from truly unleashing his full potential on certain tracks. Some of the songs were fantastic and they’re sure to be played on repeat for the foreseeable future, but others just seemed to box him into what people expect from him and not allow him to truly go off the rails as we’ve seen before. Either way, it’s definitely a project I’ll be returning to consistently moving forward and for that, I’m beyond pleased. One of my favorite songs off of the project was probably “ROCKSTAR BIKERS & CHAINS” which has now received a music video treatment. Gunna’s favorite beat smith Wheezy built the production of this hit with building, momentous synths, a few intergalactic noises, and some pretty deep 808s that are almost unrecognizable with everything …

Cardigan – [Don Toliver]

Prior to late last year’s Cactus Jack label collaborative project JackBoys, I had never really paid too much attention to Don Toliver, unfortunately. I had heard the name and knew he was buzzing in the music scene, but I never took the time to really just sit down and listen to his music. After hearing his contributions to that tape, though, I knew I had to tune into everything else he had to offer because of how out of the box and interesting his voice is. Luckily, as I was making an effort to dive further into his other music, he announced Heaven or Hell, his debut album that came out in March. I haven’t listened to this project all the much to be completely upfront, but I did listen as soon as it released, and I was thoroughly impressed with what he was able to put together. I previously understood why he was buzzing all over the industry, but this album just confirmed my suspicions. One of the standout songs on Heaven or Hell, at least in my opinion, was his song “Cardigan” which now received a brand-new music video treatment. The beat is comprised of a very transient, …

Very Alone – [Zaia]

Zaia has featured three times over the past year and for good reason. Each release has been as eclectic and impressive as the last, showing his artistic vision and range. Building off the great string of releases the Atlanta native puts it all together on his new project, Very Alone. Although the energetic, heavier moments like “ON GOD” or “DEMONS” are convincing–showing the more rap-friendly chops– I think Zaia best shined when he went the other direction and kept things a little more light and airy. Not only do the R&B/crooning-rooted efforts like “INNERSTATE” and “WONDER” have more atmosphere and (for lack of a better word) vibes, but they also really bring out the emotion in Zaia’s vocals which, next to the stellar production, ends up being a project highlight. Standout Tracks: “INNERSTATE,” “VERY ALONE,” & “WONDER”

Bate Onna Bo – [TisaKorean]

Prior to today, I had heard of TisaKorean but never really paid much attention at all. I have no reason as to why I played him off, but I was just always preoccupied listening to other artists to tune into him, I guess. I also believed that I had never heard any of his music, but this was where I was mistaken because his song “Dip” was the soundtrack to some of the wildest dance videos on the internet, and I had absolutely no idea. After finding this out, I had to immediately do some digging so I could find out more and not be so ill-informed about this entertaining rising artist, and I found out that he not only began dancing and DJing, but he also produces most of his own music. This allows him to control exactly what he wants his style to be and leads him to appeal to more and more people with every new release. I was guided into all this research because I saw that he has dropped a new visual for his recent single “Bate Onna Bo”, so I had to tune in and hear some of his other offerings to see if …

Our 50 Favorite Joey Bada$$ Songs

Every once in a blue moon, an artist will come by in hip-hop that bridges the ever-dividing gap between the new and the old – someone who embodies the best of both, and someone that everyone can agree on. Joey Bada$$ and the Pro Era crew were just that when they first came out. Employing a 90s-influenced style and a classic aesthetic that inspired a generation of artists in New York and beyond, Pro Era had the technical skill and “pure hip-hop” lyricism that one would expect from a 90s act, while they also possessed a sense for style, sound, and group comradery that resonated with current-day listeners. It was an incredible marriage of innovation and influence that came from a crew of artists talented and wise beyond their years, spearheaded by none other than Joey Bada$$: an artist now with several undeniable classics to his name, all the way from pure-as-it-gets hip-hop tracks to high-flying, radio-ready anthems. Frankly, Joey Bada$$ has done it all, and his still-growing contributions to hip-hop – aesthetically, lyrically, sonically, and otherwise – are not to be underestimated. Not often do we get a talent of Joey’s caliber that fans of any age can get behind, …

Five Excellent Beat Projects – [yeyts.] x [Kazam] x [Toshiki Hayashi] x [Handbook] x [igory & TwentyWeeks]

Producers/beatmakers are often unfairly overlooked because of artists. Truth be told, producers are artists themselves, as every instrumental requires its own unique form of craftsmanship, and a precise vision to execute the idea. Without producers, your favorite hit single would simply not sound the same, yet alone exist! Comparable to the clientele work of an artisan or sculptor, when producers craft beats for artists, they must put themselves in another’s shoes to innovate. However, the music of production pioneers Nujabes and J. Dilla demonstrates that instrumentals are entirely separate and complete bodies of work. Applied rapping or vocals are not complements to production, but instead honorary elements that create an alternative version. Therefore, to an extent, the artist serves as a guest feature over the producer’s original creation. To effectively shed greater light to the creative brilliance of producers, I’ve chosen to start a monthly series titled “Five Excellent Beat Projects,” which will highlight five instrumental works that I consider exceptional. yeyts. – seat back – yeyts. is super reserved mellow producer out of San Antonio, Texas. The production of yeyts. often falls under the ‘jazzhop’ category, blending blissful jazz instrumentation with polished hip-hop drums and samples. seat back is the producer’s latest offering, …

Supplier! – [Crisaunt]

Crisaunt is a pop act out of Raleigh North Carolina that has been putting up some pretty impressive numbers on his singles. His latest effort is his dreamy and easy-going pop ballad “Supplier.” What’s really crazy about Crisaunt’s story is that he was working at a Starbucks and graduated high school not even a year ago. I know we wore the term bedroom pop out in 2019 but if you were to put a tag on his sound it definitely falls under the category. Reminiscent of bedroom pop acts like Cuco and Victor Internet, Crisaunt is able to carve out his own lane in this atmosphere, and from the looks of it has a pretty large dedicated following at this early of a stage in his career. TikTok seems like a lottery ticket for artists because it can literally blow up and thrust an independent act into the limelight in a week’s time. The platform has helped Crisaunt’s other singles garner a lot of attention as well. Stream Crisaunt’s newest single “Supplier” for yourself after the break.

Don_tgottabe- [Knxwledge]

Knxwledge is one of the busiest producers in the entire game. He constantly puts out projects whether they’re unofficial remixes, collaborations with other artists, or simply just beat tapes. The struggle that a lot of producers can run into when releasing the same output as he does is that their music can begin to sound repetitive or even uninteresting in some cases. Somehow, and I’m honestly not sure how he does it, Knxwledge manages to always think outside the box, delivering brand-new, always intricate and innovative instrumentals in the most natural way. It’s almost like he just goes to sleep and wakes up sitting on a complete gold mine of beats. I’m not sure if there’s a secret to this success or if he’s just not human, but either way, I’m just glad he is the way he is. A little over a month ago, he dropped his critically acclaimed project 1988 and has even released a few animated visuals to accompany the album. He’s back again in a similar fashion, as his hit song “Don_tgottabe” gets a similar simplistic animated treatment. Soothing guitar strums, punchy drums, and consistent yet minimalistic percussion lay the foundation for this relaxing ballad. In …