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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 …

Watch Yung Bans brand new interview with Hot 97

Yung Bans is fresh off of the release of his brand new project and while he was recently in New York on his press run he stopped by Hot 97 for a great conversation with Hip-Hop Mike and my brother Lil Jake even answered a few questions. Mike asked him plenty of great questions about a variety of topics including his brand new album Misunderstood, the process of picking which songs would make the project, his relationship with his fans, when he first started pursuing music, social media, learning from his time in jail, his relationship with God, adversities he has had to overcome, his team, his mother, the features on his new tape, how he got to this point in his life, dealing with negative people and so much more. Take a few minutes out of your day to watch this brand new interview below!

Something New – [Lil Gray]

Especially in hip-hop, the YouTube world has become an entirely new beast. Now more than ever, the algorithm has caught up to the unique pace of tastemaking, and as a result, gems like Lil Gray’s latest, “Something New,” find themselves popping up in my recommended just by chance. So thank you, YouTube. Right off the bat, I found myself intrigued by the slow-paced, emotive stylings of the sample here, as it reflects an 80s ballad moreso than the anthemic rap song that Lil Gray transforms the sample into. Needless to say, however, with clever quotables and nonchalant deliveries, the budding talent creates magic out of nothing, infusing his street-induced lyricism and melodic vocal runs into a must-listen release. But “Something New” doesn’t just stop there. Matching the song’s braggadocious allure and instant replay value, the accompanying visuals find Gray and his team singing each and every word. As a result, the video emphasizes the song’s anthemic structure, relaying its message as a street anthem without missing the point of such enjoyable music. That said, “Something New” is an effortless earworm, so don’t sleep on this one. Sit back, have some fun, and let Lil Gray do the rest! Directed by …

Under the Shade – [Caleb Giles]

At 21 years old, artist Caleb Giles has already played a hand in reinvigorating New York hip-hop, helping to push the city’s historically influential scene into experimental territory. He has been a key player in crafting this sound that’s rooted in jazz and soul with cohorts like MIKE and Slauson Malone (who both dropped standout projects this year) in his circle. On his third record ‘Under the Shade’, Giles pushes his style even further while looking inward for lyrical inspiration. Giles’ creativity roams unrestricted by any predetermined format or formula. Every track evolves in front of a listener, marked by dynamic rapping and contoured around live, jazzy instrumentation. One song bleeds into another before being abruptly cut off by a skit or sample. It’s an elusive listening experience that keeps you on your toes at the record’s most rewarding moments, which are mostly contained toward the middle of the album. For example, “Syl’s Song” offers up a short-lived moment of bliss before fading out into the bassy groove of “Quicksand”. While the composition of ‘Under the Shade’ may be unpredictable, one quality remains constant: Giles’ inclination toward irregular, tongue-twisting raps where he reflects on darker chapters of his life with …

Watch Pi’erre Bourne’s brand new interview with Hot 97

Pi’erre Bourne is without a doubt one of the best producers in the game, he has helped establish artists as well as inspire a generation, so when I peeped that he sat down with the homie Hip Hop Mike over at Hot 97 to catch up with everything he has been up to. Pi’erre Bourne got asked about a bunch of subjects such as his unique style, favoring locking down in the studio with artists as opposed to emailing tracks, his experiences, his relationship with Young Nudy, his passion for rapping, visiting New York in the summers, new projects he is working on, being influenced by Kanye West, being a writer, Playboi Carti and more. Shout out to Hip Hop Mike for giving a great interview here, it was super insightful & it displayed Pi’erre’s personality extremely well, and it’s definitely worth the watch!

Pull Up – [Mikey100k]

Most artists find a niche in one certain aspect of music, whether that’s producing, singing a certain genre, songwriting, or something else of the sort. However, North Carolina artist Mikey100k has built his reputation as a multitalented creator as both a singer and songwriter – a rare talent that not many possess. His latest single “Pull Up” is a beautiful track released in response to his followers continuous support while they wait for a project from Mikey. He has all the talent and traits of a successful R&B artist; with smooth and rangy vocals, consistent romantic themes, and catchy hooks. “If you need a hand baby slide on me, brand new watch that only mean that I got time on me.” Mikey expects more singles to be released soon in preparation for the completion of a new project in the near future. The Raleigh native continues to gain an audience as his consistent supporters keep coming back for more and new listeners are entranced by his work. Stream “Pull Up” below!

The Dubs – [Ed Balloon]

Here on Lyrical Lemonade, we’ve already covered a couple of the singles in support of Ed Ballon’s brand new album The Dubs, and as of this past Friday, we can finally listen to the project in full!  Right from the get-go, on skeletally-produced, synth-heavy tracks like “Edges” and “Hero” featuring Illa J, Ed establishes himself as a compelling songwriter, getting introspective on most tracks, but also forcing listeners to get up and dance while singing along to his incredibly addicting hooks. Speaking of hooks, Ed seems to have them down to a science, as with every track on here, I find myself singing along at one point or another, and this balance that Ed creates is quite impressive. Vocally, Ed is all over the place in the best possible way, and the standout track “Du Rags In The Air” with Niu Raza, captures this perfectly. On the chorus, he’s nearly whispering, and on one of the verses, we hear him channeling his inner Young Thug for some deep, yelpy vocals, showing off Ed’s impressive range.  Ed and his band killed it on the production side as well, which only adds to the album’s greatness. While they are capable of making …

Maxo Kream: Unparalleled Integrity

It’s 8:30 PM on Wednesday night, just two days before the release of Maxo Kream’s major-label debut, Brandon Banks. Piling into a dim, luxurious room at Manhattan’s 40/40 club, fans and peers alike await Kream’s arrival. Conversation is light, but the overarching meaning of the moment makes the air feel dense. Now years in the making, Maxo Kream’s slow-burning ascent is reaching a new apex, and this small room of listeners is fortunate enough to become witness just days before the album’s official release. A few moments later, a thunderous presence makes his way down the hallway. Turning left, he enters the room, 4 glossy chains on neck and followed by a posse of friends. It’s Maxo Kream, the man of the night. With each step, his presence grows stronger as the heads begin to turn toward his direction. Kream’s face lights up to see the welcoming crowd of listeners, but his eyes maintain a focused glare under the soft lights. The closer and closer he moves to the center of attention, the more the moment begins to set in. Here, just minutes away from clicking play on his long-awaited new album, time seems to slow down. The message becomes …

Far From Famous – [Reo Cragun]

Returning to our pages today fresh off of his collaboration with Flume, Reo Cragun drops off his brand new EP titled Far From Famous. The EP tells a story of infatuation, failed love, glamour, tragedy, and triumph throughout Reo‘s post-label landscape. The five tracks were lead by 4x Grammy-nominated production duo Mike & Keys, but also accompanied by producers DJ Khalil, Jake Uno, and Coop The Truth. From top to bottom, Reo showcases his abilities to deliver infectious melodies and captivating feelings that fans can easily attach to. Each track has its own story, sending different messages as to how Reo feels during this specific time in his life. Due to his evident honesty and passion, this is my favorite Reo Cragun project so far and I’m extremely excited for what’s to come next from the undeniable talent. Be sure to stream Far From Famous below and follow Reo Cragun on Instagram and Twitter!

Our 50 Favorite Kid Cudi Songs

Bravery in vulnerability. Honesty in the face of pain. Effortless trend-setting. Undying authenticity. Inimitable talent. Astonishing hooks, soaring highs, and heartfelt lows. Creative ambition. The list goes on. These attributes and so many more are what makes Kid Cudi a living legend. From his stature as one of the most sonically and aesthetically influential artists alive to an entire catalog of classic albums, mixtapes, features, and chart-topping singles, there’s no denying the sheer impact and importance of the Cleveland-bred artist. His contributions not only to music, but to mental health awareness, fashion, and even acting range over a broad palette of interests and ventures, all of which bring fans back to the one and only Scott Mescudi — a multi-talented star in every right and the kind of artist and human that only comes around once in a lifetime. For our team at Lyrical Lemonade and for countless others, Kid Cudi has soundtracked some of our best moments in life just as much as he’s saved and helped us in our worst. With this in mind, to say that Kid Cudi is an artist for all occasions is an understatement, and furthermore, to say that he’s touched countless lives is …