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Five of Our Favorite Shows from Last Year, and Five to Look Forward To

As life started to return to a state of relative normality last spring, so did the state of live music. Tours were announced and re-announced, fans were ravenous for tickets, and together it seems like live music experienced its own isolated roaring 20’s – albeit briefly. Though there’s no telling what is bound to happen in the future, the covid case spikes seem to be fewer and far between these days – so below you’ll find a brief list of some of our favorite shows from 2021, as well as a few tours worth keeping your eyes on as spring turns to summer. Whether you love festival crowds or despise their hectic energy – we can all agree that there’s nothing better than listening to music with those we love. With luck, this list will guide you (and your friends) to a memory waiting to be made.  Our Favorite Shows of 2021 — IDK: Fresh from the release of his sophomore LP USEE4YOURSELF – IDK’s shows were the perfect portrayal of his recent hot streak. At his Los Angeles show, the venue was packed with diehard fans waiting on his every word. If he played a cut from an older …

Ice Cream – [Freddie Gibbs] ft. [Rick Ross]

If you’re even remotely a fan of rap music, there is pretty much a 100% shot that Freddie Gibbs is a name you know and love. On social media, he is one of the most entertaining users in the entire world, and that entertainment transfers over to his music tenfold. Even though he might not clown people as hard or joke as much when he spits, the creativity that he seems to incorporate into every facet of his life is beyond addicting, and I have been a fan for years at this point. I just feel like whether you’re a new aged rap fan or an old head, Freddie is the best of both worlds because he includes an array of sounds and styles while always totally rapping his ass off, so no matter why you’re a fan of rap, he can most likely appeal to anyone with the ability to listen. Just yesterday, I found out that he teamed up with the legendary Rick Ross to drop a single called “Ice Cream” as well as a JMP-directed music video that just brings this to new levels, but it’s the song that I know I’ll be running back for months …

Melt My Eyez See Your Future – [Denzel Curry]

Confucius once said that real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. Unfortunately for him, self-reflection doesn’t seem to be a particular strength for our species these days – many of us are prone to ignoring hard truths, content with living in our bubble away from the news and reality we’re captive to. Does salvation really exist alongside our suffering? Or does knowledge simply bring a painful consciousness regarding things we cannot change? On his long-awaited LP Melt My Eyez, See Your Future, Denzel Curry makes a strong case in favor of intense introspection, presenting listeners with a story of rapturous deliverance following years of meditative habits and inevitably facing himself. The album’s title is a direct reference to this – “Melt My Eyez” representing our own avoidant behaviors that ultimately harm us. “See Your Future” representing our shared humanity, the benefits of self-reflection, and the knowledge that we all have the power to better not only ourselves but the world around us. Inspired by “a combination of what’s going on right now in the world and Akira Kurosawa films with Toshiro Mifune”, Denzel Curry’s newest LP is his strongest yet, combining both classic and forward-thinking elements of …

Pool – [Remi Wolf] & [Still Woozy]

Remi Wolf is someone I am still not extremely familiar with, but every time I hear a new song, I know that I have to make listening to more of her releases an absolute priority. I first found out about her when she went on The Cave with Kenny Beats, and it was during that video that I realized I was going to be a big fan for quite some time to come, even though she wasn’t necessarily the biggest pop star in the world at that point. Regardless, she is steadily taking the world by storm, most recently announcing her “Gwingle Gwongle” tour that will take her all over the country, even though she is unfortunately not making a stop here in Chicago this time around. Nonetheless, I know that with the rate at which she is rightfully blowing up, she’ll be here in no time, and I’ll definitely have to be there to hear her latest song “Pool” with Still Woozy. Self-produced by these two talents as well as Solomonophonic, this one features a dreamlike, childhood memory-inspiring instrumental that is calming and comforting, to say the least. When Remi comes in to sing, she has a power behind …

THE CAVE S3E10 – [Kenny Beats] x [Idles]

Kenny beats and his smash-hit episodic series “The Cave” is back with a refreshing twist this week in the tenth episode of season three. The Cave is a platform for beatmaker Kenny to display his talents as an audio engineer, whilst also bringing some of the world’s most intriguing artists in-studio to freestyle to a quickly conjured beat. The guest this week, Idles, is a British-Irish alternative rock band that certainly blurs the borders between musical genres. They’re also absolutely hilarious, and their comedic style matches perfectly with that of Kenny’s. The episode, centered mostly around the lead singer Joe Talbot, varies in subject, with conversation about places of origin, linguistic differences, G.O.A.T. talk, and obviously music. Joe, being the member who freestyled, had little in mind when Kenny asked for what type of beat he’d like to freestyle to, so Kenny began filing through samples and sounds until something struck a chord. A unique beat, Kenny offered a bouncy, violent instrumental that Joe could lay his unique anti-genre delivery over. The final product would turn out to be a beautiful piece that certainly can’t be tagged under any traditional music theme, and demands music listeners of all types give …

Paul Bearer – [BabyTron]

The Michigan rap scene has absolutely exploded over the past year or two, and that’s something that I can’t express how grateful I am to be able to witness it from the beginning. Obviously, the style and sound coming from parts of the northern state are unlike anything we’ve ever heard before, but I think one of the more underrated parts of the region is the lyricism used because even if it’s not always the most personal or introspective, it is full of dynamic wordplays and unbelievably thoughtful lines that will linger in your brain for days on end. One of the most intriguing characters coming out of Detroit is undeniably BabyTron, an artist who has been making waves for quite some time, and he’s doing his thing as good as anyone else up there. I had heard a few songs here and there, but it wasn’t until I saw he was featured on Kenny Beats’ “The Cave” YouTube series that I knew he was a special talent. Furthermore, back in October, Tron released his project Bin Reaper 2, a compilation of 27 songs that span over an hour-long, and it is chock full of all-out hits. One of the …

Saba + PIVOT GANG || Kenny Beats: The Cave S3E8

Saba and PIVOT GANG may have came to Kenny Beats’ incredible freestyle series The Cave with some of the best content I’ve seen and heard on the show. “Do what I want, I don’t fit in a box,” Saba says, and rightfully so. Saba and PIVOT GANG as a whole are an incredibly unique partnership, and each time I hear something by the group I become more of a fan. So when Kenny Beats announced that they’d be the next guest on the show, I couldn’t wait. They certainly didn’t disappoint, beginning the video with a philosophical conversation regarding the creative process and the nuances of musical production that give viewers an insight to just how intricate and talented these artists are. Kenny begins with some testing of various samples until he found one to fit the energy, and went to work. The beat allows the three PIVOT GANG members; Saba, Joseph Chilliams, and Frsh Waters, to deliver a three-verse masterpiece that could be turned into a studio hit, should it be released. The creativity and genuineness Kenny brings out of visiting artists is unmatched, and this weeks episode of the cave shows exactly that. Watch it on YouTube, below! …

Mozzy and Kenny Beats Freestyle: The Cave

West-coast icon Mozzy joins beatmaker and hip-hop industry star Kenny Beats for a brand new episode of Kenny’s popular YouTube miniseries, The Cave. Both Kenny and Mozzy’s personalities are felt from the jump, with comical conversation and one-liners that offer glimpses into the side of musicians and entertainers that audiences rarely see. Immediately, Kenny questions Mozzy on what type of beat he was feeling, and went to work. Kenny states he can manicure an instrumental in just 10 minutes, and does exactly that, adhering to Mozzy’s request of some “aggressive-smooth-gangsta shit.” Mozzy approved and began to work diligently on a verse and in a matter of minutes, the Sacramento star was in the studio, with his distinctive voice and creative flow spitting flawlessly over the beat. “It’s either eat or get ate, fuck playin’ it safe, you in the way if you ain’t executing the play.” Check out the latest episode of Kenny Beats’ The Cave featuring Mozzy, as their incredible talents in multiple aspects of entertainment are portrayed.

shut the fuck up talking to me – [Zack Fox]

When I first heard about Zack Fox, it was thanks to his wild Twitter activity that was full of outrageously funny content and one-liners that were funnier by the second. His creativity on social media has always been something that attracted new fans, so considering his deep admiration for music that was always apparent, it only made sense when he finally hopped in the booth and spit some bars of his own. While his comedic disposition helped to ease his way into the hip-hop world, it was beyond clear that he had much more to offer than just punchlines and jokes and all that inventiveness and creativity couldn’t go to waste. After such an unbelievably strong string of singles that continued to show off how special he was as a creative, fans were left wondering when we would finally receive an actual project from the Atlanta jokester, but that wait finally came to an end today with the surprising release of his debut album shut the fuck up talking to me. Although there was literally no warning except a teaser of a song with the same name that he had recorded with legendary producer The Alchemist, we woke up this …

347aidan: The Lemonade Stand Interview

347aidan is an artist out of Canada who I first discovered when his record “Dancing In My Room” started to blow up, and I’ve been a big supporter of his ever since. I asked Aidan about several interesting subjects such as growing up in Canada, the moment “Dancing In My Room” started to blow up, where the ‘347’ in his name comes from, working with Kenny Beats, wanting to work with $NOT, how his music was received by the people he grew up with, creating characters in his music, where he sees himself in five years, his future releases and much more. This was one of my most memorable interviews to date, Aidan is a great kid with a bright future ahead of him, get to know him a little better by pressing play below!