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A Silly Little Prayer – Kwame Adu

While fans wait for Kwame Adu’s solo LP, the young artist seems to be hard at work playing shows with his duo KWAMZAY and cooking up new music for his fans. Today the hip-hop mastermind returns with two solo singles meant to tide listeners over until he releases his next project (which hopefully happens sooner rather than later). The two-track release “A Silly Little Prayer” is comprised of “Prayer” and “Silly” – each one finely tuned for your summertime rotation before fall turns the corner. “Prayer”‘s electric and energy-filled mix serves as the perfect foundation for Kwame to deliver listeners the carefully-crafted bars that they’ve been desperately missing. “Silly”, on the other hand, has Kwame rapping over something that sounds like it could have been pulled from a classic Disney movie – but the young rapper’s versatility proves to be his secret weapon as he easily flexes his Deltron-meets-Earl Sweatshirt affinity for songwriting. Though Kwame’s last single “7%” was released earlier this spring, it sounds like our hero hasn’t skipped a day in the studio since. Though I know making music is a time-consuming skill, I’m going to be PRAYing that I can get SILLY to new Kwame Adu music …

SOULFOOD-[DiZ] & [Frank Sativa]

The landscape of abstract and experimental hip-hop is decorated with some of the culture’s most celebrated writers – and from Mavi to Messiah!, from MIKE to Earl Sweatshirt, there never seems to be a shortage of sage wordsmiths ready to seamlessly flow over an unyielding beat that only they can tame. This week fans of the genre are blessed with a new track from two of the scene’s most talented upcoming acts, DiZ and Frank Sativa, in the form of the warped and nostalgia-filled bliss of “SOULFOOD”. Reflecting on their ascendancy into music’s spotlight, DiZ and Frank trade effortlessly hypnotic bars over a mix that is just as cleverly crafted as it is understated. Whether or not you find yourself to be a hip-hop skeptic or an already-initiated fan of the genre that spins “EAST” at every opportunity – “SOULFOOD” is sure to win you over and gain a coveted spot in your weekly rotation. With likely more light and sunny bangers primed for release before the end of the year, DiZ and Frank Sativa are two artists that need to be on your radar as spring turns to summer – and I’m hoping that “SOULFOOD” is a harbinger of …

Watching Paint Dry – [Southside Anxt]

“During the process of writing Watching Paint Dry, I hated the state of rap and I still do. So to keep myself interested in the process of learning, I decided to mimic the styles of rappers I respected, as a challenge. Watching Paint Dry has stylistic influences from MF Doom, Common, Aesop Rock, Jay Electronica, and Earl Sweatshirt. If you listen closely you might catch a cadence here and there, but I didn’t completely rip any of them off. Those songs are the result of me needing something fresh to listen to” – Southside Anxt Chicago’s own Southside Anxt has re-released his 2019 debut EP, Watching Paint Dry on all platforms via Sparta Distribution. The Project FILO heavyweight lyricist has deleted his entire discography, but plans to re-release everything leading up to his debut album. At five songs total, the project showcases Anxt’s lyrical prowess while implementing subtle, yet ominously eerie production. Despite this record having been originally released three years ago, Anxt’s bars remain top-notch and on par with some of the most prominent emcees today. Despite possessing a naturally monotone voice, listeners will be able to grasp disheartening qualities of angst; a reoccurring thematic element in his music. To …

Oblivion – [Raé Luna]

When Raé Luna’s “Pass The Water” went viral on TikTok back in March, I finally started to have faith in TikTok’s sacred algorithm. This week the young abstract rapper returns with her debut EP Oblivion – a soulful and introspective collection of tracks perfect for fans of artists like Mavi, Earl Sweatshirt, and Chynna. Though clearly a seasoned poet, Raé’s writing is just as much an asset to Oblivion as the project’s mixes are – synthesizing nostalgic samples with modern production techniques to create a record that is refreshing while also revering those that came before it. EP openers “Fair One” and the previously-mentioned “Pass The Water” bleed blissful soul, and are easily some of the best hip-hop tracks to drop this month. Oblivion’s second single “domepiece.” is dark and meditative, however, with Raé’s carefully-crafted lyrics breaking through the hazy dejection of the track’s beat. The next moment Oblivion’s eponymous track turns listeners on their heads once again with an explosive and victorious banger that is later succeeded by the melodic victory-lap “Moonrocks”. From the EP’s writing to its production, Raé’s attention to detail is so unparalleled that Oblivion sounds like it could have been something made during a TDE or …

Cocodrillo Turbo – [Action Bronson]

Whether you know me from my articles and social media, or we’re actually tapped in personally as friends, you should know that Action Bronson is one of my favorite emcees to ever do it. Lucky enough, I am finally fulfilling a dream of mine this Friday as I travel up to Milwaukee from Chicago to see him on the NBA Leather Tour alongside The Alchemist and Earl Sweatshirt who are some of my other favorite musicians ever, so it’s sure to be a show that I’ll never forget. As for Action, I just feel like he incorporates this old-school vibe with new, inventive sounds that bring both worlds together, and whether I talk to old heads or fans of the new generation of rap, everyone seems to agree that he is as talented as it gets. I literally lose sleep when I know a new album is about to surface, so I had a lot of sleepless nights leading up to the release of his album Cocodrillo Turbo, but after it landed on Friday, I knew immediately that it was worth the wait. I mean, with production from The Alchemist, Daringer, Roc Marciano, and even a bit of Action’s own …

20YRS OLD – [Destroy Lonely]

I have been seeing Destroy Lonely’s name pop up left and right, and this has been a constant for the last couple of months or more. While I have liked what I have heard so far, I have somehow not gotten nearly well-acquainted enough with the rising star, and after doing a bit of research, I realize just how much I respect this dude. Citing inspirations ranging from Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt to Lucki and Chief Keef, he seems to rock with the exact type of music that I have adored for years, and even though he is in a lane of his own when it comes to his individual music, I can totally see this inspiration, and it makes every track he puts out even better than ever before, at least for me personally. The other day, Lonely dropped off his song “20YRS OLD”, and although it was artist Kodone who put me on considering he did the cover art, this song was so much better than I ever expected. With a very synth-heavy, futuristic-sounding instrumental, I can see why fans flock in his direction, and since I’m a big Ken Carson fan, I am still blown …

Point of Madness Reprise-[DiZ]

Boston artist DiZ returns to Lyrical Lemonade with a head-nodding banger titled “Point of Madness Reprise.” Off his debut album ULTRA.VIOLET, this track stood out to me because of how well-suited the production fits DiZ’s nonchalant yet emotional rap flow. Fans of elite lyricists such as Earl Sweatshirt, Chester Watson and Navy Blue will instantly appreciate how raw DiZ’s words are, as each line comes across as intense despite his serene nature. Sonically it’s easy to get to lost in the ambient, tranquil instrumental, but DiZ does a fantastic job to project his voice so he’s clearly understood. With an impeccable rhyme scheme and mature storytelling, it’s especially impressive how many bars I counted within a brief two-minute span. DiZ may not be an artist that you moshpit to for festival season, but it’s quite easy to get lost in his highly-personal discography during the times you need it most. Listen to “Point of Madness Reprise” and be sure to stream all of ULTRA.VIOLET!

fiftypercentgratuity – [Blvck Svm] & [Sebastian Kamae]

Blvck Svm is a name that has come across my radar a few times, but it wasn’t until I read his bio on Spotify that I knew I had to tap in with this perseverant emcee. Although he is from South Florida, he decided to go to college in Chicago, remaining here after school in order to chase his dream in a bigger city than his home. Covid caused problems for everyone, but his main debate was either staying here to pursue a risky career in music or moving back home and finding a normal, everyday job. Luckily, he decided to grind it out and find his own path in the music business, and while this is something that a very select few talents can claim that worked out for them, after seeing the numbers that he has been putting up, it is safe to say that he definitely made the right choice. My introduction to this promising rising emcee is his EP fiftypercentgratuity, a collaboration between him and producer Sebastian Kamae, and while it is much calmer than my typical preferences would say, I found myself instantly entrenched within his incredible sonic world. Sebastian does an insane job on …

Mountain – [KWAMZAY]

It’s been a minute since we last heard from the dual coast duo KWAMZAY, but this month the two hip-hop prodigies make their long-awaited return with Mountain – their sophomore mixtape. Comprised of New Jersey-born rapper Kwame Adu and LA-via-Sacramento producer ZAYALLCAPS, Mountain is the latest offering from a duo caught in the wake of overnight success. Following the release of their debut project Motherland! earlier last year, Kwame and ZAY have seen viral TikTok success, stamps of approval from the platform’s most decorated curators, and even a spot opening for MAVI late last year. Despite the influx of attention and opportunity, Mountain sees the duo delivering their most focused offering yet – a five-track mixtape that bleeds undeniable charm and charisma from Kwame Adu and ZAY. If you missed Motherland! last year, worry not as Mountain is the perfect place to start becoming a fan of one of hip-hop’s most soulful upcoming acts. Fans of sample-laden and wordplay-heavy hip-hop like Earl Sweatshirt, Armand Hammer and Moor Mother are sure to gravitate towards KWAMZAY – as all acts are instilled with a deep spiritual reverence for the genre’s past, present, and future. While “Peanuts” and “Get Like You” showcase Kwame and ZAY …

Watch Earl Sweatshirt Perform “2010” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

I feel as though recently more than ever, I have been blessed to be able to write about some of my favorite artists because even though they can be absent from the spotlight for years at times, they come back stronger than ever when they finally drop something. When it comes to an artist like Earl Sweatshirt for me personally, he has been a top favorite rapper of mine for over a decade, and even though his releases have gotten fewer and further between as the years have gone on, it just makes them that much better when he finally pops up and drops something new. At the end of last year, he started to promote his upcoming album SICK! which was his first solo effort in years, and this was enough to get me excited about the new year so we could finally get a taste of what he has been working on. Ever since it came out a couple of weeks ago, it has been a project that I listen to multiple times per day, and I find something new to admire about it with every additional listen. I do wish that there was more than just 24 …