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My Favorite Projects of 2021

2021 has very much been an up and down year for most, but it’s undeniably been a phenomenal year for music. In fact, I enjoyed listening to so many releases that I’d forgotten some even released this year. Not only has there been plenty of stylistic/genre variety, but also artists of all types (small, emerging, mainstream) actively releasing their art. To showcase my appreciation, I decided to put together a list of my favorite projects; (in no particular order) all of which remain in my rotation heading into the new year. I hope you discover an album, EP or mixtape that you might have missed! Last but not least, this list is also a token of gratitude to each and every person that has read a Lyrical Lemonade piece of mine. I wish you a happy and fulfilling New Year. – – – – – Issa Gold: Tempus (album) Genres: Introspective hip-hop, Conscious rap Favorite track: Cold Summer   Amaria – Bittersweet (EP) Genres: R&B Favorite track: Lose Control   Richie Quake – Voyager (EP) Genres: R&B, Indie Favorite Track: Sensitive   Jean Deaux – Most Wanted (EP) Genres: Hip-Hop, Modern R&B, Electro-Trap Favorite track: Stay Down Marlon Craft – How We Intended (album) Genres: Hip-Hop, Jazz …

first order of business – [Baby Keem]

I know I’ve pretty much posted every music video and accompanying release of Baby Keem’s since he released the melodic blue last week, but the simple truth is the fact that I’m not even close to tired of this album, and I don’t think fans are either. It’s my personal favorite album of the year so far, and while I don’t think that’s a controversial opinion, at this point, his music videos are only bringing this project to new heights due to their creativity and abstract nature, so until I’m forced to stop writing about his releases, I’m going to keep covering them for as long as I can. While I have trouble pinpointing exactly what my favorite song on the album is, I was blown away by his song “first order of business” because it’s finally a song in hip-hop that doesn’t flex about his own personal riches and wealth, but it speaks on how he wants to use his fortune to take care of his family and the ones that mean the most to him, and that’s the endearing part of music that doesn’t get enough attention whatsoever. Luckily, we actually received a Dave Free-directed music video that …

Way 2 Sexy – [Drake] ft. [Future] & [Young Thug]

Hearing that Drake finally released his long-awaited album Certified Lover Boy after months of anticipation should come as no surprise, but it almost feels surreal now that it’s in our hands. I have yet to listen all the way through quite yet considering I want to make sure to give it my full, undivided attention, but you can bet that’s the highest priority on my list right now. Luckily, Drake is never one to do the bare minimum, so in order to keep the celebration going, he even released a Dave Meyers-directed music video for his song “Way 2 Sexy”, a record that also features the legendary Future and Young Thug themselves. Simply put, there is no shortage of creativity in this one, and while there are so many crazy scenes that you need to see for yourself, I definitely couldn’t resist highlighting a few of my favorites. As it opens, Drake is midway through an intense workout before things change up completely and he dons a fat suit at the beach, letting his belly hang free in his unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt as he walks up and down the coast. When Future comes in, he takes things back to his …

family ties – [Baby Keem] x [Kendrick Lamar]

Following the confirmation of Kendrick Lamar’s imminent TDE departure, a glimpse into the future for pgLang has been released via Baby Keem’s “family ties.” Accompanied by a Dave Free visual, Keem and Lamar solidify their chemistry as cousins by boasting their absurd arsenal of breathless rap flows. With multiple beat switch-ups for each artist, neither allow the production to faze them yet alone affect their relentless approaches. If anything, the intensity is amplified with each change, and by the time Kendrick’s verse kicks in the song almost sounds like a friendly competition between relatives. Neither cousin outpaces the other; Keem phenomenally sets the tone while Lamar effortlessly slides as if to remind the millions listening that he’s still at the pinnacle of his game. Cinematically the music video is undeniably one of, if not the best of the year. Every little detail, particularly from specific motion-picture shots quite literally gives the track a short-film feeling with music for dialogue. Moreover, the colors are not only aesthetically eye-capturing but also intentional; associated imagery through light and dark lenses are neutralized by the literal color palette, which Keem walks on around the 1:50 mark. With plenty of lyrics to quote from, there’s …

Saltines & Gingerale-[Noah Guy]

I’ve been waiting to write an article for Noah Guy for some time now and today, I finally have the chance to bring him to the Lyrical Lemonade pages for the release of his brand new song/video called, “Saltines & Gingerale”. The Philadelphia native has been on my radar for some time now as I’ve come across his unforgettable vocals often times on social media. This brand new offering from the up and comer is the perfect introduction to an artist who is bound to do amazing things when it’s all said and done. From start to finish, you will become immediately enveloped into the smooth ambience and carefree vibe that Noah creates throughout this ballad. Noah explained in a quote: “I wrote this song last summer but I really just caught it from thin air…one of those moments where feeling is everything and thinking is your worst enemy. I had just gotten off this heavy phone call with my girl at the time and couldn’t tell up from down, who I was, or who I wanted/needed to be in my life. Monday turned to Sunday and everything just felt like one big loop I was running ad nauseam. My …

A Conversation with Dora Jar

My entire life has been marked by individuals who have left me better than they found me. Whether it was at the age of 14 or 24, I’ve found myself meeting a plethora of people who have inspired me beyond anything I could truly comprehend. It’s these relationships and encounters that have made me the people loving person that I am today and for that I will always be eternally grateful. This morning, I have the honor to introduce the Lyrical Lemonade family to a person who deserves to be cherished in every way and an artist who is bound to change the world. Dora Jar is a super star and that is a conviction that I will hold on to until the end. I came across her music in 2020 and since then, whenever anyone asks me who my favorite artist is, I can only truthfully say that it’s her. From her angelic voice to her unique personality, this New Yorkian was born to stand out and she’s doing just that each and every day. A truly captivating individual who doubles as a musical genius, Dora arrives on our page this morning for our conversation that we had last …

Law N Order – [Veeze]

The more I keep my eyes on the blossoming Rap scene in Detroit, the more I find myself discovering additional incredible artists taking the city by storm. Usually, I’m put on to artists through features on songs with rappers like Sada Baby, Baby Smoove, Teejayx6, and more, but I’ve been trying my best to pay attention to other artists using other platforms. Recently, I saw a clip from a rapper who goes by the name of Veeze, and he’s definitely not a newcomer if you’ve paid attention to the booming music city, but he’s a new name to me, and going through his abundant archives of music over the long weekend gave me no choice but to talk about his most recent release. This song, called “Law N Order’, is a banger in every sense of the word, although it’s uncharacteristic and out of the box nature might confuse listeners as to why after just one listen. Somehow, it lingers in the back of your mind for hours and hours, basically forcing you to revisit it and dissect through all of the incredible wordplays and lyricism. The beat quite literally samples the theme song from the popular series Law and …

Handsome -[Dave East]

Dave East has been one of my favorite rappers since his highly regarded 2016 Kairi Chanel mixtape. The Harlem, New York emcee’s rapid semi-aggressive flow is what earned him a cosign from all-time great Nas, among multiple features such as “The Hated” and “Godfather 4.” However, before his illustrious rap career launched, East was on a mission to make it to the NBA, having been AAU teammates with Kevin Durant and Michael Beasely, followed by a division 1 NCAA scholarship. I highly recommend reading Dave East’s interview with basketball magazine SlamOnline, as it highlights what could have been the emcee’s profession. What makes East a special artist is that he receives head nods from both old and new school judges, having a working formula to satisfy all rap listeners. The perfect illustration of East catering to the style of hip-hop’s pioneers is through his phenomenal collaborative album Beloved with The Lox legend Styles P. Moreover, the opening track “They wanna Kill You” on East’s debut album Survival is produced by DJ Premier. On the flip side, East makes sure to remain relevant with the modern rap sound, having collaborated with Lil Baby, Gunna, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Offset, 2 Chainz, MoneyBagg Yo, Lil Durk …

A Conversation w/ Trippie Redd: Success of ‘A Love Letter To You 4’, Perfecting His Craft, New Album Ideas & More

Photo Credit: Aidan Cullen It goes without saying that within the music realm, time can move incredibly fast. With the release of new music every single Friday, it can often blow past us actually how long certain projects have been released and how long certain artists have been actively making music for. So much so, as we sometimes scroll through our personal libraries of music and select that one project from 2017 and go, “wait, that came out that long ago?”. For me, this was a real-life scenario, and the artist in mind was Trippie Redd. On my journey through memory lane, I ended up back at Trippie’s debut commercial mixtape A Love Letter To You, which was released in May of 2017–almost three years ago. Being exposed to his music around that time, it really does not seem like that long ago, but the way music is today, makes it seem like lightyears ago. From that project to present-day Trippie Redd, his career has been a roller coaster full of many ups and some downs as well. Nonetheless, Trippie has done enough = groundwork to solidify himself amongst not only the new school, but the previous generation of rappers as …

Moshpit – [Baby Keem]

2019 was Baby Keem’s year. The 19-year old has been on a tear recently, releasing one of the best albums of the year, Die For My Bitch, over the summer, and he recently topped it off with his legendary headlining tour. As a final reminder that he’s ready to dominate the 2020’s, he has blessed us with visuals for the Die For My Bitch standout, “Moshpit”.  It’s quite the video, shot at the 2019 Sukkot festival, with Keem wilding out in an unlikely crowd. There are some fun interactions between Keem and his friends and the festival-goers, and the “Moshpit” audio overlaying the visuals here is perfect. It’s just one minute long, and only covers the first portion of the track, but at this point, we’ll take anything we can get from Keem. The video ends with a wholesome moment between Keem and the camera, as he says “I don’t mean any disrespect, I just think it would be a hard video,” and it’s safe to say he was right, this was a fun one. Check it out for yourself below and get ready for Baby Keem to dominate the upcoming decade. Director: Jack Begert Producer: Dave Free, Jack Begert, …