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Sign Language – [Reason] ft. [ICECOLDBISHOP]

Versatility is the name of the game, and even though this can be tougher and tougher to come by as new generations of artists seem to flood the internet with music that is pretty commonly expected at this point, I am never going to let it go unappreciated when I hear something different. Reason is one of TDE’s most exciting artists, and while faces of the label like Kendrick, Schoolboy Q, and others seem to take excruciatingly long hiatuses in between releases, it feels like Reason carries the weight in the meantime, and I don’t think anyone else in the world could do as good of a job as he does. He is lyrical, captivating, intense, and dexterous, never giving you what you expect regardless of if you’re witnessing a new song, project, video, or any other release. Not too long ago, he teamed up with ICECOLDBISHOP for his latest drop entitled “Sign Language”, a record that I believe can be expected on his forthcoming second studio album. He takes a step in a different direction over the Dwayne LaFleur-produced instrumental, showing off a handful of more intentionally ignorant lines than he normally displays, but it is done in a …

FLAWLESS LIKE ME – [LUCKI]

I never use the term legend lightly, so when I use it as a descriptor for an artist in any form, I truly believe that they have impacted music in some way or another. While I have been known to describe many musicians as legends, I think that there needs to be a different term for LUCKI because he is just on an entirely different level. The Chicagoan has been in this industry for more than a decade, and when you’re making music for that long without getting any major mainstream looks aside from some articles here or there, it is often looked at as if you’re just trying to hold onto any form of attention that you may have once had. LUCKI is literally the one exception to this thought process, though, because although I believe he will always be underground, his fanbase is even more loyal and supportive than most mainstream acts you can think of. It’s not that he can’t be mainstream, it’s the fact that it feels like he doesn’t want to be, and that was never the goal in the first place. He has the money, the fame, the respect, and the notoriety, and these …

Trim – [Lil Zay Osama] ft. [PGF Nuk]

Lil Zay Osama has been a legend in Chicago for more years than I could probably count, but it seems like, over the last few years, he has really blown up more than ever before. It seems like anyone who matters in the rap world here is on his side, and anyone who doesn’t ride with the Windy City spitter is behind the curve. Although he has come across my radar for a while, it wasn’t until recently (in the grand scheme of things) that I really started to pay attention, and I am sure glad I did. Zay has worked with the biggest names in drill music including Lil Durk, G Herbo, and more, but he has also collaborated with superstars not necessarily classified in this subgenre like Icewear Vezzo, Benny the Butcher, Sada Baby, Sheff G, Jackboy, Lil Tjay, and even Sean Kingston, amongst way too many others to count. His connections don’t stop there, though, because especially recently, he has been tapping in with some of Chi-Town’s most prominent young icons including the DCG Brothers, Fastmoney Ant, and even PGF Nuk, an emcee who is considered to be one of the most exciting up-and-comers in many years. …

BabyK Osama Shares Before I Break Through Ep

BabyK Osama is a rising rapper from Jacksonville, Florida who deserves your attention this year. With so much new talent coming out of Florida, the 19-year-old has developed a unique style unlike anyone else. Writing became an outlet for BabyK while he was incarcerated and led to him debuting his single “Michael Phelps Son” upon his release. Shortly after, he released his next tape BabyK 2, in early 2022, featuring the notable single “No Drive By’s”. The Simple Stupid Records signee consistency has already created an impressive catalog in a short span. On September 9, BabyK Osama shared his sixth new project since 2020 Before I Break Through, with features from Yungeen Ace, Doe Boy, OMB Peezy, and Jdot Breezy. This project has something to offer everyone with heavy-handed drill songs, somber and reflective cuts, and party-jumping records. “I had “Dirty Dancing” planned out for a while and when I dropped it as a single, it didn’t do what I think it should’ve––so I decided that Ace would go perfect on the remix,” he emphasized. “So, we got it in motion and it came through exactly how I expected it to be. This Fall, I got plans on dropping at least …

Lyrical Lemonade Music RoundUp With GHerbo, GloRilla, Coi Leray, and Goldenboy Countup

Here are a few new singles and projects to check out this week from some of your favorite artists. Platinum-selling Chicago hip-hop rapper G Herbo announced his new album, Survivor’s Remorse, with its lead single “Me, Myself & I” featuring A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. The Joe Bracero-directed video depicts both artists taking over a classic New York basketball court, overlooking the city from its rooftops, as they trade bars on the hypnotic beat. Herbo discusses the demons and struggles he has been facing since 25, while A Boogie’s melodic chorus speaks on being in a lane of his own. Earlier this year, Herbo blessed us with his single “Locked In”, an emotional tribute to this late brother. With two impressive singles thus far, Survivor’s Remorse is gearing up to be another powerful body of work from the Chicago emcee. In less than a year, CMG artist GloRilla has achieved life-changing milestones after the release of her hit single “FNF”. The viral #FNFChallenge on TikTok generated over 32 million views (and counting) on YouTube and resulted in GloRilla’s acclaimed debut on the Billboard Hot 100. GloRilla’s success has garnered widespread support across the hip-hop community, receiving co-signs from hip-hop superstars like …

Step Back! – [1nonly] & [Sxmpra]

As we have seen over and over again throughout the music world, it doesn’t take long for an artist to catch on with a fanbase if they have a captivating presence and a differentiating sound. The internet allows artists to literally blow up after a single song drops, and while this can mean a quick rise and a faster descent, there are some emcees who are prepared for the glory and outdo themselves with every new release. 1nonly is someone who has been going viral since before I can even remember, whether it’s on TikTok or other social media, but when you hear his talents first-hand, it’s obvious that he is way more than a simple trend on the platform. He has this underworldly deep voice that delivers notes of darkness alongside this party, club-forward bounce that is seriously hard to describe justly, but it makes him that much more interesting, nonetheless. I think part of this obscure yet addicting mashup of sounds is thanks to his beat selection, and his most recent Sxmpra-produced hit “Step Back!” shows this fact at its core. When the song starts playing, the instrumental gets more complex as 1nonly introduces his personality with conviction, …

Lil Eritrean Boy – [ThatKidMaz] x [JUJO]

“I want listeners to know that not everything is as it seems on the surface. The project itself doesn’t sound like it’s about my anxiety but this was purposely done to highlight the message. This is a reminder to check in on your friends, and yourself! Mental health is a consistent battle, you can’t kill it just once. Sheltered is a loop and so is the EP because it doesn’t just end – often, you beat it and it returns – but it’s worth the fight” – ThatKidMaz Melbourne, Victoria artist ThatKidMaz makes his Lyrical Lemonade debut via his EP entitled Lil Eritrean Boy. All sick tracks were produced by JUJO, which employs experimentally diverse textures of boom-bap. The majority of the project maintains a refreshingly mellow vibe, while simultaneously showcasing ThatKidMaz’s highly-skilled penmanship. Mia Ayana and Elysia are also worth mentioning, as the two vocalists shine brightly on “Third Eye” / “Backward Vengeance.” Grittier songs like “Sheltered” are undeniable proof that ThatKidMaz can rap without interruption, but my personal favorite is the final track, “L.E.B II.” Essentially serving as the title-track in acronym form, “L.E.B II” brilliantly showcases ThatKidMaz’s deep bag of flows, thought-provoking lyricism and even a catchy chorus thanks to his vocals. If …

Kid Navi – Rio

19-year-old artist Kid Navi is creating a name for himself out of Los Angeles. He began creating music after high school and quickly began to see the results of remaining consistent and learning how to perfect his craft. After creating just four songs, the rising artist surpassed over 500,000 streams. Heavily influenced by Juice Wrld, NF, The Kid Laroi, and a few others, Navi has cultivated his own blend of melodious rap. Last week, Navi debuted a new fun upbeat record titled “Rio”. The Max Rogoff-directed video takes us on a journey of Navi linking with a special lady. “This song means a lot to me by how I talk about real things that have happened in my life. I don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy because I know who I am and I know my self-worth. I talk about how people in high school would use me as a laughing stock, such as making fun of my music for a quick laugh and asking what am I actually going to do with my life when music doesn’t work out,” He recounted. “Now those same people are following me and asking for advice with music because …

Get Refreshed: August ’22

“Get Refreshed” is a monthly column by Billie Bugara covering all things digital in the music world. Refresh yourself here. Mental Makes Music That Sounds Like Mental Mental’s career has been fascinating to follow. I found their music pretty much just like most other people in the grander “pandemic era” of Internet music – through our Discord/Twitter/Whatever communities. In 2020, Mental was an artist that I knew had a bright future ahead of them, and was someone I had so much faith in due to their organic approach to songwriting, styling, and behavior overall. Their attitude towards music is unlike anyone else’s; they are light, simple, and down to Earth. They’re just Mental… and you know what I’m talking about if you’ve heard the music and/or talked to them as a friend. Friend… I don’t think there’s single word that best describes everything Mental is about than that. Even if you don’t know them personally, Mental is a friend. Their music is friendly, and their artistic nature revolves around friendship. I’ve observed this throughout their lengthy career now, but that’s not what makes it so fascinating like I expressed before. What makes it that way is just how much they’ve worked to make …

Paper Route–[NilexNile ft. Huey V]

Whenever I feel the need to get rid of ruminating thoughts of, “I don’t know what to do with my life,” out of my head, I turn to music. As cliché as it sounds, listening to music distracts me from this habit of overthinking and provides an escape from my mind. Despite studies that show listening to music is distracting, it’s never diminished my concentration to focus on the good. Reflecting on my recent conversation with NilexNile about his latest single “Paper Route” feat. Huey V, he reminds me of the importance of having patience and trust in yourself. At 25 years old, he’s found his craft (which is probably the most important quest in your life.) As an up-and-coming hip-hop artist, his dreams of being a positive change in music have come to fruition. Having just released “Paper Route” last Friday, the song made its way on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, one of the top radio stations in the city. “It’s been received really well, I got a lot of people hitting me up telling me they like the song… and a lot of people are starting to believe now that I’m actually becoming an artist that I always was meant to …