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 …

Prayers Ain’t Enough – [King Carter] x [Rago Foot]

UK-based producer Rago Foot and New York-based rapper King Carter recently dropped their collaborative mixtape ‘Prayers Ain’t Enough’. With moments of hazy, disorienting brilliance shining across 17 tracks, the two artists craft a sonically consistent, seamlessly flowing project that functions as a comprehensive introduction to their talent as a duo. Lyrically, Carter mixes introspection with aggression, performing at his best when he’s balancing a stream of consciousness style of rapping with cunning disses aimed at whoever’s trying to slow him down. He gives weight to his words in imaginative double entendres and creative wordplay, rapping “I can’t wear no chain ‘cause it reminds me of a noose” and similar bars that beg a listener to rewind the track just to pick up on the detail in his rhymes. Foot meets Carter’s lyrical flexing with production choices that amplify the mesmerizing nature of his flows. On the explosive “10 Toes” for example, Foot melds trap 808s with rumbling bass drowned in layers of sampled sounds. His irregular sample chops might be hard to keep up with, but Carter proves he’s more than up for the challenge. ‘Prayers Ain’t Enough’ serves as a testament to both of these artist’s skills, joining their …

Run It Up – [King Carter] & [Rago Foot] ft. [MIKE]

As they gear up to drop their collaborative mixtape ‘Prayers Ain’t Enough’, King Carter and Rago Foot have shared a new music video from the project. On “Run It Up”, the synergy between the New York rapper and U.K. producer becomes apparent with Carter’s flows adding a sharp edge to Foot’s loopy, sample-based production. The track also features bars from Carter’s east coast cohort MIKE, who dropped his standout ‘tears of joy’ tape a few weeks ago. Both Carter and MIKE are members of New York’s sLUms collective, which has been responsible for some of the most eclectic underground hip-hop releases this year. Filmmaker Ryosuke Tanzawa brings Carter’s and MIKE’s verses to life, cutting between abstract close-ups of that mimic the song’s lyrics and shots of the two artists rapping on a rooftop. As they go bar for bar over Foot’s incessant soulful chops, the visual gives the viewer a birds-eye perspective of the narrative that’s woven into the track. With ‘Prayers Ain’t Enough’ just around the corner, “Run It Up” makes for a promising preview of what’s to come.

Our 50 Favorite Wiz Khalifa Songs

In the music world, influence manifests itself in many different ways. Whether it be sonically — changing the sounds that artists use and often creating some sort of new trend and/or subgenre in the process — or aesthetically — changing the “cool” styles in music and the lifestyles that artists speak about in their songs — influence can arrive packaged as a quick viral moment or a lasting flame, both of which hold value in their own rights.  Pittsburgh’s own, the Taylor Gang representative himself, Wiz Khalifa, is one of the rare talents who comes around and entirely shifts the culture in both of the aforementioned ways. Especially when he first came out, Wiz’s lanky, tattooed build and effortlessly cool stoner lifestyle made him a genuinely alluring artist, and while his personal style (snapbacks, the dyed patch of hair, etc.) was worthy of mention, the music was there to back it all up. Simply put, Wiz’s style, both on the mic and off, quickly set a standard for creatives and other artists to congregate toward, marking him as one of music’s most underrated culture-shifters of the last decade or so. Even further, beyond the influence that Wiz has had on a …

Sophisticated Intellect – [Levi Carter]

Levi Carter is the kind of artist who doesn’t need to release new music too often in order to turn heads. Rather, his naturally charismatic, boss mentality grabs attention without ever having to reach for it, marking one of many reasons why the Bronx native has become such a promising force in rap over the past few years. Today, Carter is back on Lyrical Lemonade with a brand new night-visioned release, “Sophisticated Intellect.” Backed by a chilling, hard-nosed beat, this ominous offering keeps it straight to the point, detailing the events and attitudes that have made Carter the man he is today. In the visuals, adding a dimension of imagery to this menacing release, Carter holds a balloon for a majority of the video, acting as a point of contrast between the lyrics and the accompanying scenery. With this, the creative direction visually is seamlessly on par with the impressive sonic direction, making “Sophisticated Intellect” an all-around must-watch and must-listen. That said, all signs are pointing up for Levi Carter, and based on the stone-cold attitude that his latest release embodies, it’s clear that he’s not playing games on his ascent to the top. Check out “Sophisticated Intellect” at the …

COLDHEARTED EP – [Bernard Jabs]

Whether you’re a musician, an accountant, a waiter, or any other job under the sun, it’s always important to learn how to have fun with your career. Take your job seriously and be the best that you can, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Few artists embody this sentiment better than 17-year old Def Jam signee, Bernard Jabs. And yes, I said 17-years old. Both on and off the mic, this Georgia-bred talent radiates energy. There’s never a dull moment if Jabs is involved, and this certainly carries over to his music, as the budding talent has grown a loyal following thanks to electrifying singles and a social media-savvy marketing approach. He knows how to utilize the resources around him but he’s also authentic as can be, always dropping snippets and garnering buzz where he can, and consequently growing his ever-increasing base of dedicated listeners along the way. With this, even as a high school student, Bernard Jabs has signed to Def Jam, toured with Pusha T, and developed a considerable following of fans, none of which he has seemed even slightly underprepared for. The truth is, for Jabs, his determination spans far beyond his years, pointing to an incredibly …

Smoke Up – [Levi Carter]

Levi Carter is officially back, and he’s back with a vengeance. Today, the budding star is here on our pages to share the long-awaited visuals for his CardoGotWings-produced song, “Smoke Up.” Hazy as can be and doused in the towering charisma that fans know and love Carter for, the accompanying music video for this one is a perfect testament to the contagious energy of Carter’s music. Quite effortlessly, he’s able to grab listeners’ attention and hold it, using a clear creative vision and a confident stature as his weapons of choice. In the “Smoke Up” visuals, these attributes are illustrated with a stream of colorful effects and cinematic scenes, all of which help make “Smoke Up” even more special of a release than it already was. That said, Levi Carter’s re-entrance into the spotlight is definitely going to shake things up in rap, as it won’t be long until everyone is talking about the “Smoke Up” artist and his next-level artistry. I can’t wait, but don’t just take my word for it — check out the new visuals at the link below and follow Carter on Twitter here for updates on new music, visuals, and more! Song Produced by CardoGotWingz …

Holyfield – [Levi Carter]

Levi Carter is certainly no stranger to our lemon filled pages, and this afternoon the rising emcee is making his way back on our website with his brand new music video for “Holyfield”. I feel like these days I have been seeing a good amount of pleasing visuals that I have thoroughly enjoyed, and this new music video is easily one of the best videos that I have watched in the past few weeks. Levi Carter has an addicting type of sound and an extremely unique flow that really makes him standout from his competition, I see nothing but big things in his future and I am excited to see where he takes it from here, press play below! Produced By: @imsledgren Directed By: @thankyousnapgod & @brggs

Brittney Carter releases two new songs!

I have been speaking highly of Chicago talent Brittney Carter on our pages for a minute now, and the other day she released not one, but two brand new records! The first one is titled “You Can’t Hold The Torch”, where she continued her recent trend of dropping super quick one minute gems over some soulful production that may ring a bell for some, where you will find her dropping damn near the hottest 50 second verse I have ever heard. The second offering is called “Beatrix Kiddo” and I was PUMPED at the beginning when I heard one of my favorite J Dilla Instrumentals, and sure enough the Chicago spitter tore that beat up as well, making for my favorite of the two. Take a few minutes of your time to check out both of these new songs below and if you like Brittney’s sound be sure to give her a follow on Soundcloud here.

Holyfield – [Levi Carter]

Ever since seeing him live a few years back alongside Cousin Stizz, Levi Carter has been one of my favorite rising talents to keep an eye on in the music world. His style and persona always feel one step ahead of the competition, and today, proving this while breaking his recent silence in terms of new music, Carter is back in the headlines with his latest offering, “Holyfield”. Hypnotic in sound and undeniably energetic in delivery, this song gives listeners no option but to turn their heads toward the trailblazing energy that Carter is bringing into 2019. He’s effortlessly skilled at what he does, and thanks to the addictive nature of “Holyfield” and its accompanying VHS-styled visuals, this is on full display in the rising star’s latest. That said, this release marks a hell of a way to start the new year for Levi Carter, and if not anything else, it indicates that he has a lot more in the vault where that came from. Don’t sleep, check out “Holyfield” below and keep up to date on all things Levi Carter by following him on social media here! Produced by @imsledgren Directed by @thankyousnapgod & @brggs