A Beginner’s Guide To NYC Sample Drill

Sampling isn’t a new thing, and it surely isn’t new to hip-hop. In the 90s, during what some would consider the “golden age” of hip-hop, producers were flipping the soul records they grew up with into cutting edge rap records. But as time went on and hip-hop grew, the laws surrounding the use of other artists’ music for sampling grew increasingly restrictive, and the connections and money needed to successfully clear samples partially closed that window for smaller, independent artists. As a result, some producers even made it a point to make sample-free music, reflective of the general attitude toward the arduous process and legal implications of sample-clearing. There’s a new sound taking over New York right now, though, unconcerned with any of this. A wave of sample-based production is happening all over the city, pairing classic songs of all genres with NYC’s omnipresent drill sound – a lethal combination of hard-nosed drum patterns and soaring 808s with colorful arrays of samples, from rock songs to soul songs and everything in between. Artists are ignoring the “red tape” of sample clearance and releasing new music at breakneck speed, encouraging others to do the same. As a result, an entire world of sound …

Premiere: HAKEEM – [2219 Lee] ft. [Mali Smith] [Cash Cobain]

In accordance with the rise of social media as the predominant way for artists to promote their work, the snippet game has become crucial in building an audience. Post 20 seconds of an unreleased song – the most quotable part, the part when the beat drops, etc. – and if it’s captivating and brief enough, people will want to hear more. When done right, snippets create demand, which was exactly the case when this snippet from 2219 Lee, Mali Smith, and Cash Cobain caught my ear on Instagram. Hailing from New York, all three artists are part of a collective called MHPG SOUND, which is characterized by its “SOUND OR DROWN” slogan. The group has built out a style that’s buzzing around New York right now, especially seen in Cash Cobain’s recent growth with cosigns from Drake via IG live and Lil Yachty, to name a few. MHPG’s latest release, “HAKEEM,” is the group’s best work to date. Built on the simple-yet-effective foundation of an ominous melody and hard-nosed drill percussion, “HAKEEM” is the kind of straight-forward release, packed with signature New York charisma and quotable lyrics, that cements the excitement around such a promising collective of talent. With lines like “Cash Cobain …

Swish/Use 2 – [Flee] ft. [Brent Faiyaz]

Flee’s XOOL SUMMER is the perfect example of an artist building a world around their music. With every new project, the Queens native makes sure to turn his songs into “moments” in and of themselves, fit to soundtrack a variety of occasions for listeners, whether at a party, in the car, by themselves, etc. One song, in particular, that holds this power perhaps more than any other on the tape is “Swish/Use 2” — a collaboration with Brent Faiyaz that ended up one of my most-listened-to records of 2019. Today, Flee is here to revisit the standout track with a brand new set of visuals. Bringing Faiyaz and an entire crew of people to a beach house party, the nonchalant charisma in the music video perfectly captures the essence of the song. Without ever trying too hard, it captures an attitude perfect for the New Year, as facilitated by Stoopid Xool and Cash Cobain’s decadent, ever-relaxed production. Flee has dropped off an abundance of anthems over the past few years, but “Swish/Use 2” is one that easily rushes to the top. Queens’ own is on a gradual rise, and with names like Pi’erre Bourne in his corner, 2020 might just be …

Xool Summer – [FLEE] [Stoopid Xool]

The rise of FLEE has been a remarkable one. Hailing from Queens, the budding talent has built a following out of sheer quality from one project to the next, crafting songs so melodic and so catchy that objectively, you can’t deny the hit-making appeal. Especially when paired with the legend himself, Stoopid Xool, Flee can’t miss, just as we see in his brand new project, Xool Summer. 18 tracks long and just under 32 minutes in length, Xool Summer is the perfect way to close out these next few weeks, as it builds upon the brotherly artist-producer connection between Flee and Xool. Each song rings out as anthemic as the last, but even so, none of the tracks seem as though they go to inauthentic lengths in search of a hit. Rather, Flee shines in the pocket of sugary melodies and quotable lyrics that he’s become known and loved for, and as a result, Xool Summer comes through as the dynamic duo’s most cohesive, hammer-on-the-nail collaboration to date. The sound and the style were always there, but this tape rounds everything out, making sure to leave it all on the field before throwing the closing pitch with the hyper-focused cut, “Feedback.” That said, …

Denzel Curry: Retracing Roots

“I think about how my art is going to be reflected when I’m gone.” This is something Denzel Curry said to me during our conversation just moments before his stellar performance for 5,000 people in Boston this past Friday in support of Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep tour. Denzel has been an artist that I’ve held in high regard over the years because I’ve been able to recognize his dedication to the art, and to hear him talk about his passion for the craft was inspiring. Denzel Curry has been rapping for about eight years now, and by the young age of twenty-four, he’s already passed huge milestones in the game of rap due to his impressive work ethic and unwavering artistic integrity. Not only does he have an incredible discography under his belt, but he’s already garnered a noticeable impact on the genre of rap at such a young age, all while constantly growing, evolving, and refining his output in the process. On a widespread scale, many fans became aware of Curry after his track “Ultimate” turned into a viral internet sensation, becoming the “water-bottle-flipping” song just a few years back. Even this track though, as big …

Peach Dream – [Lucki]

  Just a few weeks removed from the release of his last single, “More Than Ever”, Lyrical Lemonade favorite Lucki is here today to keep his hot streak going with yet another new offering, this time titled “Peach Dream”. Produced by Cash Cobain, the latest from the Chicago native takes a more gentle, melodic sonic approach than “More Than Ever”, as the lullaby-esque sounds match up seamlessly with Lucki’s impassioned deliveries. Additionally, especially in comparison to a lot of Lucki’s past work, the vocals here seem noticeably clear, as they seem to embody less of a rhythmic slurring and more of a crisp punch. Needless to say, with Freewave 3 on the way, Lucki is clearly ready to impress in 2019, so don’t sleep. Show some love to Chicago’s own and stream “Peach Dream” on Spotify at the link provided below!

Happy Birthday 2 Flee – [Flee]

NYC artist Flee is no stranger to our pages here on Lyrical Lemonade, and today, on the momentous occasion of his birthday, the budding star makes his way back to LL with a brand new project entitled Happy Birthday 2 Flee. While Flee should be the one receiving gifts today, he decided to treat his fans instead, and the result is a fantastic project that will be sure to be thrown into heavy rotation as 2018 comes to end. That said, as was the case with many of his past efforts, Flee’s latest is his most high-definition to date, mastering the art of the melodic heater without ever breaking a sweat. Additionally, Happy Birthday 2 Flee boasts two stellar features from Cash Cobain and Cousin Stizz, both of which tap into Flee’s frequency and seamlessly complement his ever-so-smooth style. In case you forgot, this NYC representative knows how to make hits with a machine-like consistency, and his latest tape is proof. Stream Happy Birthday 2 Flee at the link provided below!

Pheen – [FLEE]

If you’ve been following Lyrical Lemonade for some time now, it goes without saying that you’re hip to NYC artist Flee and his bottomless supply of hits. Even more so, you’ve probably heard of the Jordan-Pippen duo that is FLEE and Cash Cobain. Today, the two rising talents join forces yet again for a melodic new track, “Pheen”. Led by an unforgettable set of bubbling notes, the rapidly-moving production on this one leaves room for FLEE to let out some quick, effortlessly cool rhymes. He does so without even breaking a sweat, and by maintaining a high level of vivid, entertaining lyricism at the same time, “Pheen” comes through as a must-listen for any fans of this budding star. That said, be sure to click play below and let us know what you think in the comments!

Flee Cobain – [Flee] [Cash Cobain]

Well, the wait is finally over. The highly-anticipated collaboration between Flee and Cash Cobain has finally arrived, and it couldn’t be better. These two talents have worked together on a countless number of hits in the past, most notably showcasing their undeniable chemistry on the acclaimed, FLEEView: Cash Edition EP, and now, they bring it full circle with a hit-filled collection of 15 new tracks for us to keep on repeat all summer. The melodic, uplifting nature of sound on this one allows for the most authentic exhibition of Flee and Cobain’s quotable lyricism, offering an explanation of the way their charismatic personalities mesh together in such a complementary way. That being said, countless hours in the studio definitely paid off, yielding for a magnificent final product that currently takes the spot of as one of my favorite projects of 2018 so far. Flee and Cash Cobain refuse to let up, so show some love and listen to their newest collaborative effort at the link below!

Thanksgiving / My Bitches Shoot Too – [Flee]

Queens has a star on its hands with standout artist, Flee, and considering the unmatched consistency that he has maintained throughout his career so far, the sky truly is the limit for him and his camp.  Today, Flee makes his return to Lyrical Lemonade to unleash a brand new double-feature music video for “Thanksgiving” and “My Bitches Shoot Too”. Directed by Strange Nature, each of these sets of visuals bring Flee’s vividly entertaining lyricism to life with a keen eye for detail. The first of the two shows the NY native at his Thanksgiving dinner table, playing the role of numerous family members, while the second brings us into Flee’s car late at night, surrounded by women as he details the reasons he isn’t to be messed with. Amidst all of this, the production from Cash Cobain is what maintains such an infectious level of sparkling excitement, and in such a way, we have received yet another unbelievable release from Flee. Be sure to click play on the new visuals below and if you haven’t already, listen to FLEEView: Cash Edition here!