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Behind the Music: Highlighting the Producers of Today’s Sound

By: Lee Mcintosh When it comes to creating great music, the artists are the ones who receive most of the recognition for the creation of the song. Their name is what’s attached to the song, their flows, their likeness, and even the features that the artist may have. However, the song making process all begins with one entity… the producer/s. No matter how creative the lyrics may be, how great the artist’s cadence sounds, the beat behind it all is a huge factor behind the overall appeal of the song, and that is what moves people and captures their attention as soon as they hit play. We are in a different era of music now. Technology has advanced to a point where producers and artists don’t have to be in the studio together anymore. This can be a gift and a curse at the same time. Often so, producers may send over a beat pack to an artist and then they select the songs they want and don’t want. From there, the studio session may be recorded or put on Instagram live, and the producer may be nowhere in sight. This may create confusion as to who actually made the …

Reach – [BJ The Chicago Kid] ft. [Afrojack]

From Chance to Casey Veggies, to Kendrick, to K.R.I.T, to Durk, to Wiz, to Gibbs, to Anderson .Paak, BJ The Chicago Kid has an incredible feature resume and is, in my opinion, one of the best feature artists in this game; His soulful vocals always add a special element to whatever he song he graces. Turning the tables for his new album, 1123 (set for a July 23rd release), BJ unveiled the loaded tracklist–featuring Buddy, J.I.D, Anderson .Paak, Rick Ross, Offset, and more– and dropped off the second single “Reach” which, too, hosts an impressive feature in Afrojack. As you might expect from Afrojack, “Reach” has a pop-leaning feel to it thanks to the big, cascading environment the Dutch hit-maker creates. Though definitely different than BJ’s typical R&B-centric style, he still sounds right at home matching the emotional feel of the production, while still showcasing his signature soulful sound. With a star-studded feature list, and a big, exploratory single in “Reach,” that breaks new ground for the singer,  it’s clear BJ The Chicago Kid is swinging for the fences on 1123.

Fried Rice – [Bas] & [J.I.D]

A few days ago Dreamville’s own Bas and J.I.D connected for an amazing new cut titled “Fried Rice” and I have been blasting it at maximum volume around the LL office the past two days. The first thing that caught my attention on this release was the unique production, before Bas jumped on the beat and let loose, giving us jaw dropping bars & paving the way for J.I.D to do his thing. The J.I.D feature on the back end of this joint blew my mind, he has such an addicting style & flows and he sure displayed that here, these two together are like Kobe & Shaq and I am expecting them both to win plenty of ‘chips. Check out this brand new tune via YouTube below and if you like what you hear then hit that thumbs up button. produced by K Quick

Shea Butter Baby – [Ari Lennox]

Ari Lennox is an artist who I have been getting more and more familiar with this year, and just a few minutes ago she released her brand new album titled “Shea Butter Baby”. This twelve track project comes in at about forty five minutes in length and it offers a refreshing and soulful R&B sound that you just can’t deny, I understand music is subjective but I just don’t understand how someone could not like this impressive tape even if they wanted to. The two features on this fantastic project come from her fellow Dreamville affiliates J. Cole & J.I.D who each gave wholehearted features, my jaw damn near hit the floor when I heard J.I.D on the third record “Broke”, and I was already a fan of the Cole track because the video dropped some months back. This is all in all one of the best albums I have heard so far in 2019, and I see nothing but more continued success for her in her future. Stream this brand new album via Spotify below and if you like the tape then go ahead and follow Ari Lennox on Twitter here!

Watch Nardwuar interview J.I.D

Nardwuar is a legend and is a milestone that many artists strive to be interviewed by, and while he was at SXSW in Austin, Texas this past week he got to chop it up with Dreamville’s own J.I.D! You will find Nardwuar asking him plenty of witty questions about topics such as Little Dragon, Earth Gang, people from his past, when he played football back in school, Leonardo Dicaprio, being a fan of Goodie Mob, his uncle being a huge writer, being inspired by Eminem back in the day and more! Check out this brand new interview below. If you missed our featured article “Turning The Camera Around: Interviewer Spotlight” that featured Nardwuar, check it out here!

Outside – [Jurdan Bryant]

Thanks to the Dreamville-association, a DJ Khaled placement, and the meteoric rise of J.I.D. and EarthGang, Spillage Villiage has become a powerful force rich with young talent. With “Outside,”  it’s it’s Jurdan Bryant’s turn to showcase the next level creativity and approach that makes SV so special. I love Bryant’s demonstrative approach. More methodical and resonant, his voice really echoes out atop whatever he chooses to rap over; here, it’s a bass-driven boom-bap effort produced by Nicky Quinn and Spillage Villiage producer (and Bryant’s brother) Hollywood JB. The minimalist beat, combined with Bryant’s stalwart flow is the perfect vehicle for the stark, unflinching look into life “Outside” in Bryant’s hometown, Baltimore. Bringing the vivid imagery to life, “Outside” comes equipped with a powerful short film directed by Austin-Taylor Richburg (who also played bass on the effort) and Alonzo Hellerbach. From top to bottom, “Outside” is a striking, can’t miss piece of art.

Gong Xi Fa Cai – [Higher Brothers]

This week marked the start of the Year of the Pig. To celebrate the Chinese New Year, it felt fitting to bring you some international hip-hop courtesy of the Chinese group, Higher Brothers. On their latest effort, “Gong Ci Fa Cai” the four-man collective takes inspiration from Atlanta, grabbing the ATL based producer Richie Souf who cooks up a string-centered trap beat. MaSiWei, DZKnow, Psy.P, Melo take turns flexing atop the beat with varied yet equally energetic flows. Unless you speak you speak Chinese, you probably won’t be able to understand everything but it doesn’t stop you from feeling the energy; it’s actually kind of a cool experience because it allows you to focus strictly on the flows and mood. Often, we get caught up in our own bubbles and regions, so it’s great to take a step outside and look at hip-hop from around the world. It’s crazy to see how in such a short time, hip-hop has become a global phenomenon and connects with people of all rages, ages, and nationalities. The 88Rising-presented group is to drop their star-studded Five Stars album on February 22, which will feature, ScHoolboy Q, Rich Brian, J.I.D., Soulja Boy, Denzel Curry, and more! Watch …

Off Deez – [J.I.D.] ft. [J. Cole]

Fresh off of the release of his highly-anticipated new album, DiCaprio 2, J.I.D. is at the top of rap headlines right now, as his latest full-length effort will certainly claim a spot in the best projects of 2018. Today, the Dreamville signee is back to keep the wins coming, this time dropping off a brand new visual for DiCaprio 2-standout, “Off Deez”, alongside J. Cole. Directed by Lyrical Lemonade’s own, Cole Bennett, this video finds each of the two rappers in a world of ominous color that perfectly fits their flamethrowing flows and undeniable chemistry. The world of creative animation from Bennett only adds to the excitement of this release, and needless to say, it’s one my favorite visuals to come out in recent months, even featuring a quick cameo from Joey Bada$$. Watch the new video for  “Off Deez” below and if you haven’t already, check out DiCaprio 2 here!

Off Deez – [J.I.D] ft [J. Cole]

Dreamville’s J.I.D gave us without a doubt one of the hottest projects of 2018 with the release of “DiCaprio 2,” which included his hit single “Off Deez.” The song features J. Cole and is given a new life today as the duo teams up with Lyrical’s very own Cole Bennett for a mind boggling visual. J.I.D and J. Cole flow effortlessly over the ChaseTheMoney produced beat as Cole gives the video a dark image with vibrant animations. Be sure to check out the new visual below and to come see J.I.D live at our Christmas show December 22nd!

TICKETS: Ski Mask The Slump God & J.I.D + More

December 22th 2018 in Chicago Lyrical Lemonade Presents: Ski Mask The Slump God & J.I.D With Femdot & Phree Jasiah TICKETS HERE! —