The Top 10 Moments From Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash Festival

Creative Direction: @shotbycones We are a couple of weeks removed from our annual Summer Smash festival, and we are all still having major withdrawals from such a great weekend. After the past year that we had of quarantining, social distancing, and avoiding large events, it felt amazing to be able to come outside and enjoy our festival once again. With over 75 artists on our lineup ranging from the up-and-coming rappers to superstars and legends, it was truly a weekend to remember, and a special moment for not only Lyrical Lemonade but Chicago as a whole. I had the opportunity to work as a lead for the Summer Smash Media Team—a squad full of some of the best photographers and videographers in the game put together by our guy Cones. All weekend long, they captured tons of videos, photos, and clips of the entire run of show. While our full recap of the entire Summer Smash weekend is dropping very soon, I felt it would be a great idea to give my perspective on some of the best moments that happened during Summer Smash. At last, here are some of the best moments of Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash 2021!   …

Decision – [Starboi Gabe]

Montgomery Village, MD artist Starboi Gabe’s track “Decision” is the latest Clockwork Productions visual to land on Lyrical Lemonade and the youthful artist delivered with is certain to be the banger of the summer for his area. Gabe skated all over the trunk-rattling instrumental powered by a simple but rousing violin loop that carries the melody throughout the track. Gabe’s vocals land perfectly on the track and his flow matches the impassioned beat effortlessly.He is set to release a new project June 13th that I would highly recommend adding to your playlists.

Kembe X: The Lemonade Stand Interview

Kembe X is a Chicago legend and someone whose career I have been following closely since I was in high school. Late in 2020, I brought him by the LL office for a new interview where we talked about topics such as his musical influences, his old collective The Village, his friendship with Alex Wiley, what he thinks is missing in Chicago’s music community, the success of his song “Voices”, the time that he met Nas, his album I Was Depressed Until I Made This, his latest releases and he even broke down some legendary clips he was apart of. This was definitely one of my favorite interviews that I have ever done, and I hope my excitement for it translates to you!

Terry Crews – [Lo Village]

Lo Village returns with their newly released and incredibly timely single, “Terry Crews.” The recently shared single from the talented trio embodies a message of thoughtfulness and prioritization of human issues over trivial wants and desires, such as money and fame. The group’s decision to delve deeper into more political and social themes comes to no surprise as Lo Village has always sprinkled moments of introspection into their music. Produced by frequent collaborator Frankie Scoca, the Gaithersburg based collective each share introspective verses on the importance of staying down to earth while dodging the inevitable pull of celebrity. “Terry Crews” is the first single from the group’s forthcoming Lost In America EP and understandable deeper dive into content that tackles the shifting world around them.  Cover Art: Daeun Suk Listen to “Terry Crews” by Lo Village below.

My Agenda – [Dorian Electra]

This skyrocketing and ever-so-advancing new age of music moving into the coming decade practically begs for a fresh crop of talent to lead the way and take up the mantle of what can only be described as a never-before-seen era of pop music. That very crop has been on the fringes of superstardom for quite a long time now – brewing in the underground and adjacent areas since the late 2010s – but as we stand in 2020, it seems as though the time has come to conclusively establish and cement the next wave of pop and the unfounded talents that encompass the coming landscape.   And who better to be at the absolute forefront of this rise than the blatantly iconic Dorian Electra — an individual who has already proven their prowess as one of pop music’s most forward-thinking and unmistakably talented figures with their past singles and critically acclaimed debut project Flamboyant. Their own stance in this rapidly advancing music world has already been solidified tenfold, but instead of stopping there and basking in their already exceptional glory, Dorian has just now gone above and beyond to truly usher in the next era of pop music.   They …

A Conversation with Ai Bendr

Ai Bendr is an industry gem who is taking shape right before our eyes. After her recent song, “Love Me Low” captivated the ears and hearts of listeners around the world, it was only right to reach out and see what makes this up and coming artist so special. It just seems like every interview I do just continues to get better. My conversation with the Ann Arbor, Michigan Native, was fruitful, life giving and inspirational. The young singer/songwriter has an amazing journey ahead of her and its a blessing getting to share a small part of her story with you all. If you haven’t heard, “Love Me Low” yet, give it a listen right here and enjoy this conversation with Ai Bendr! —– Sam: So what does a day in the life look like for you now? Especially since you’ve probably got a bunch of people hitting you up these days:  Ai Bendr: Well, on some days its busier than others, but now I do have more meetings than I would’ve had a few months ago and most of my days now are just spent working on music and trying to get some stuff done.  —– Sam: Amazing, so …

Miles Davis – [Blu & Exile]

When it comes to discussing the greatest ever hip-hop duos, Blu & Exile are a must mention. The legendary Los Angeles based pair share a total of five project releases; three albums and two EP’s. Their most cherished release is unquestionably Below The Heavens,(2007) which deservedly received countless praise from numerous media outlets. The album later provided fuel for Blu’s XXL Freshman nod in 2009. However, don’t be fooled; Blu & Exile’s entire discography is worth hearing! Everything the duo has shared is gold, no matter it be their other two albums: Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, In The Beginning, (Before The Heavens) or EP’s, Maybe One Day and True & Livin’. Exile’s smoothly eloquent, soulful production has been cited as inspiration from two production pioneers; J. Dilla and Pete Rock. Though Exile had already earned production credits from Mobb Deep, Slum Village, Jurassic 5, and more, it is remarkable that his eventual collaboration with underground MC Johnson Barnes, aka Blu, formed each of their iconic legacies. Avid listeners of Blu are aware that the artist struggled to make ends meet before his impending encounter with Exile, as a result of simply not garnering enough recognition and (music) sales that he deserved. Blu …

Comfortable – [Lo Village]

The New York-based, collective, Lo Village appears to have shifted into another gear. Undeniably talented and unquestionably one of the most promising trios operating in the Hip Hop/R&B genre right now, Lo Village proves that their ceiling hasn’t even been brushed upon. Their new single, “Comfortable” balances the perfect complementary qualities of the Hip Hop and R&B genre to create an engaging and hypnotic new release. Opened by dream-like guitar chords, “Comfortable” creates a euphoric environment for the members of Lo Village to operate. Through entrancing vocals and contrasting laid back rhymes schemes, Kane, Ama, and Charles highlight their individual and collective skills and growth as they tap into a neo-soul style of sound. The new single marks the first release from the trio of the new year as they continue to ride the momentum from their previously released single, “Lil Mama,” which found synch placement on the latest season of Issa Rae’s HBO show, Insecure. Listen to “Comfortable” by Lo Village below.

Wunna- [Gunna]

It feels like just the other day I wrote about the titular single for Gunna’s upcoming album WUNNA. That’s because it actually was the other day, and the Atlanta icon is back right away once again with a music video to please fans in the final hours before his album finally drops. He has also been releasing parts for a documentary based around the making of his album, which gives admirers even more ways to connect with him and his journey while bringing this project to life. Now, I’m not going to lie, “Wunna” wasn’t necessarily my absolute favorite song from the rapper, but it did have moments that appealed to me and I’ve definitely heard worse songs in my time to be completely candid. I’m not going to recap the sonic elements of the song right now because you can just go back a day or two and find my initial thoughts and breakdown of the track, so it’s not worth covering twice in the same week. I did, however, leave myself no choice but to cover the brand-new visual for the track because it looked like he took his talents to another beautifully exotic place, so I had …

Watch Eminem on Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson

Eminem is one of the GOATs and a living legend in the hip-hop community, and Mike Tyson is also the GOAT in his own right, so when two living legends sit down for a great conversation like this one, it’s only right that you give them your utmost attention. You will find these guys talking about several subjects including how he got started making music, being inspired by LL Cool J & Run DMC, The Hip Hop Shop in Detroit, J. Dilla and Slum Village, losing to MC Juice in a rap battle back in the day in Ohio, how he first got in tune with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, how proud he is of his daughter Hailie, Mike being a part of the “Godzilla” music video directed by Lyrical Lemonade’s own Cole Bennett, Em sparring with his buddies as a youth, working with Jay-Z, Mike’s appearance in The Hangover, Eminem’s his greatest accomplishment and he even asked Mike a handful of questions about his fighting days. This is by far the best Eminem interview that I have ever watched, Mike and Eben brought out the best in him, hopefully we get the part two soon but for the …