SEARCH FOR: LEVEL

Dark Blue – [Wewantdrogas]

Something that always impresses me is when an artist’s first few singles are of a high-caliber, with everything from the mixing to the artwork taken into consideration and executed flawlessly. Today I am happy to introduce the Lyrical Lemonade audience to an artist fits just that description, Wewantdrogas out of South Philadelphia. On only his second single, Drogas has shown the level of artistry he is committing to by releasing another moving song “Dark Blue”. Wewantdrogas has the ability to create huge soundscapes while weaving self-reflective, melodic lyrics over the airy, atmospheric production by Matti. Wewantdrogas’ style of music exudes realness as the subject matter of this track is something all listeners can most likely relate to in a personal way, being young and already having missteps under your belt while trying to navigate the growth that’s to come. His music is on track to reach many new listeners if Drogas can keep up this level of quality across all his releases. Stream the new single on all platforms here!

Hubris – [SoloSam]

If you’ve been tapped into Chicago’s underground hip-hop community over the past three years, you might have come upon SoloSam’s name at least once or twice. The independent rapper’s hustle has made him hard to ignore, whether he’s taking stages all over the city with his relentless energy or dropping a consistent streak of new music that seems to get better with each release. Today, this streak continues with SoloSam’s new song, “Hubris”. Over a beat he produced himself, “Hubris” personifies Sam at his most untouchable as he turns his personal philosophies of life into boastful bars. It’s tough to deny the Chicago rapper’s confidence on this track when he’s putting so much emphasis behind each word he says. He has a lot to brag about on this song—his 2019 single “Highly Favored” and EP “Safe Keeping” have been two of his highest streamed releases yet, and it wouldn’t be surprising if “Hubris” followed suit. With this recent success adding fuel to the fire, SoloSam sounds ready to breakthrough to a wider national audience. And if this single is any indication, his music will only level up with him.

Level Live 001: Bathe

The good people at Level have been developing an awesome space in Austin, Texas over the past couple of years and their latest creation is their new series simply called Level Live. Their first episode included the tremendously talented duo that goes by Bathe, that makes up of Devin Hobdy and Corey Smith-West, and man they certainly didn’t disappoint! The two performed a stripped down version of their track titled “Kimmi”, and they absolutely blew me away, leading me into a wormhole of the rest of their catalog & I am so glad Level led me to discover these guys. Get familiar with the new series and with Bathe by pressing play below!

Summertime Slaps, Volume 2 – [WesWill]

WesWill delivers a bass thumping, shoulder grooving exhibition on the latest installment of his Summertime Slaps series. The Cleveland native made good on his promise to deliver and does so in every sense of the phrase, showing growth and continued motivation that infects each of his records. Cohesive from the start of the album, Summertime Slaps, Volume 2, embodies the spirit of Summer and everything that goes along with it. Able to occupy several different spaces, Volume 2 finds massive playability whether you are poolside or cruising with the windows down on a late night out. The combination of funk-laced production and WesWill’s throttling flow throughout records like “PTP” and “Jeep Lovin’” cement his technical skill as a rapper. Softer records such as “Freebies” and “Late Night Creep” find the lyricist reigning in his speed on the mic into a softer melodic vocal showcasing that piques our interest into what future offerings will sound like. Progressing through a series of comical skits and on-going jokes taken from the first installment of the series, WesWill creates a connection that expands on the personable attitude of the 30-minute offering. WesWill outlined his goal for the album, saying, “I want the music on STSV2 …

Empathy – [Jean Deaux]

From singing smooth RnB vocals to rapping some of the coldest verses to directing cinematic music videos, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything Jean Deaux can’t do. And now the multi-faceted artist has returned with a new 7-track project. Empathy is the follow-up to Deaux’s 2018 release KRASH and features some of her most polished and cohesive work to date. The Chicago hometown favorite lets her voice drive this project, coming through with raspy, soulful vocals that soften the punch of the cutthroat raps that are scattered in between. Listeners might recognize Deaux’s name from her features with longtime collaborators like Smino and Saba, but she fully takes the spotlight for herself on Empathy. Deaux thrives off being an anomaly, singing out lullaby-like melodies one moment and delivering straight bars the next. The breadth of her talents is on full display on the song “Anytime”, one of the EP’s standout tracks; just when you’ve caught up with her flow, she calls in Kehlani to take the song to a new level. Deaux crafts memorable moments like these all throughout Empathy, keeping listeners hooked in all as she creates magic without breaking a sweat. Be sure to click play on this …

990 – [$avvy]

Finding songs that feel like a breath of fresh air from undiscovered artists is a great feeling, and the newest artist to give me that feeling is $avvy, who is on our first pages for the first time with his new single “990”. The Nashville-native’s vocal presence is what stood out to me first. His vocals are laid back, and exquisitely suit the song’s ethereal production. There’s a sense of tranquility to $avvy’s dexterous cadence that lets allows his likable personality to shine through on the track. Along with this, the infectious but effortless hook is quite playful, notably leading with “if your dad say he like my fit, that’s a compliment”. Entertaining wordplay continues throughout the track, and only further piques my interest in $avvy as an artist as the track progresses. The hypnotizing production on here, courtesy of David Hamilton of the Tennessee-based “Lil Homies” collective, features a couple of subtle but mesmerizing melodies, making for an easy listen, and tasteful reverb is added to the drums throughout the track. $avvy shows off everything I’m looking for in a rap song from a new rap artist: a well-produced and accommodating beat, a distinct voice with some personality, and …

Can’t Go Back – [Kojey Radical]

Being that “Can’t Go Back” is my first introduction to an artist by the name of Kojey Radical, I may not have much added context to inform my decision, but honestly, this is one of the best songs I’ve heard all year long. Crisp, polished, and deeply energetic, this offering is sure to rattle some feathers and make you dance along, all without losing its artful purpose and flashy soul. Radical’s energy is simply untouchable, and all the way from the lively, bursting brass to the skillful flows and dense lyricism, he doesn’t lose his balance for one second, maintaining a remarkably high level of artistry throughout. That said, as fantastic as the song is, I can’t help but divert your attention to the excellence of the music video here, as well. The background setting — a gray, aged warehouse — may not be too striking by itself, but Kojey Radical is sure to account for this, filling the entire with his abundant excitement and must-watch talents. Between the dancing, singing, and downright losing of the mind that goes on throughout this video, it’s impossible to say that “Can’t Go Back” isn’t an entertaining release, especially with the raw aggression …

Watch Greentea Peng Perform “Downers” on COLORS

Aside from being one of the best performing platforms in regards to artistic integrity and overall aesthetic, it can’t be understated that COLORS has also grown its reputation as one of the better tastemakers in the music world. Seemingly every week, at this point, I find myself discovering a new artist from the COLORS YouTube channel, just as was the case with London native Greentea peng and her new performance of a song called “Downers.” Highlighted with a smooth green background — likely in reference to both her name and sound — this performance brings the emotional impact of “Downers” to a new level. Each and every single one of Peng’s lyrics take listeners deeper into her introspective state, and the artful way in which she reflects on drug use only heightens the stakes of the song. Needless to say, not only does this episode hit hard in regards to the pure beauty of the performance, but the fact that it’s also the premiere of a previously unreleased song pushes the power of “Downers” twofold. In my eyes, few COLORS performances hit as hard as this one, and all in all, Peng snapped in both her performance and in the decision …

Anybody – [Lil Keed] ft. [Lil Duke] & [Gunna]

YSL’s Lil Keed really delivered on his new album Long Live Mexico. I love his energy, the production is diverse, and his hook work is absolutely stellar. The whole album is well worth your time (so is the video he dropped for “Ride The Wave”) but there’s one song I keep coming back to more than any other, one I think is really special, and that’s “Anybody.” The Lil Duke and Gunna-assisted track incorporates everything that I love about the project, as a whole. The production hits hard but definitely has a lighter, airy feel thanks to the string-based foundation. It’s perfect for Keed and he absolutely floats, especially on the hook; that cadence he has is perfect. His voice sounds even better paired with Duke’s deeper vocals, and Gunna is a great bridge between Duke and Keed. From the production to the hook and the features, “Anybody” connects on every level and is all the convincing you’ll need to give Long Live Mexico some attention. Be sure to check this one out below:

Fall Hard – [Key!]

If you’re anything like me, Key’s heartbreakingly hilarious single, “Miami Too Much,” has been on repeat ever since its release. From the overdramatic croons to the slippery deliveries, “emotional Key!” is one of my favorite forms of the Atlanta legend, and today, he’s back in full form yet again with a fantastic new record, “Fall Hard.” Not only does this song follow along with the emotional blueprint of some of Key’s recent music, but the production is also handled by none other than Oogie Mane of Working On Dying — a must-watch name from Philly whose gone from underground legend to a producer for Drake, Lil Uzi Vert, Future, and several others in the past year or so. Needless to say, this one-two punch of talent is sure to impress, and “Fall Hard” obliges, soundtracking Key’s natural tendency to “fall haaaaaaaaard” whenever he falls in love. That said, I’m sure that many of our readers out there won’t just love the song in all of its sugary, energetic glory, but will also connect on a personal level with Key’s confessional rhymes, so don’t sleep on this one. Stream “Fall Hard” below and let us know what you think in the …