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Off Rip – [Swayyvo] ft. [Project Pat]

Chattanooga artist Swayyvo is one of the most multi-talented musicians in the Southeast and his skills as a rapper, producer, and saxophonist have earned him impressive accolades, and many regarded his previous album Trunk Therapy as one of the best projects to emerge from Tennessee in 2019. Swayyvo recently earned credits on several Earth Gang records for his saxophone playing, but on his newest track “Off-Rip” he takes a much more menacing turn than he has previously shown. This track features Memphis legend Project Pat and he slides in perfectly alongside Sway and delivers a grimy but lavish verse to complement Swayyvo’s wild delivery. Tiggi supplied this track’s upbeat and addicting percussion and he continues to show that he is simultaneously one of the most skilled and versatile producers out. Stream “Off-Rip” at the link below.

How to Be a Player – [ATM Richbaby] ft. [Action Pack AP]

Memphis rapper ATM Richbaby has been surging through the Memphis rap ranks and his newest Action Pack AP featuring visual comes right on the heels of his viral hit “FREAKY LIL BIH” he dropped alongside his Blackhaven counterpart Duke Deuce that put him onto the radars of many new fans. Action Pack AP has been ascending in his own right, quickly amassing a sizable audience in Memphis and the two recently came together perfectly on their newest visual entitled “How to Be a Player.” ATM Richbaby is effortlessly hilarious and is a guaranteed interesting listen and in addition to this important quality, he also has a rather unique delivery pattern and comes to every situation with an unexpected yet hard flow. Memphis native and recent Dreamchasers signee Hitkidd produced this bouncy instrumental. Action Pack complemented Richbaby well with his unmistakable swagger and respective rapping ability and he is without a doubt going to be one of the next Memphis rappers to explode. I hope these two continue to team up on future tracks and each of them poised to be leading Memphis forward in 2020. Watch “How to Be a Player” here:

Slop – [bbno$]

We recently did an in-depth interview with bbno$, where he got some insight into the insanely creative mind that has produced one of the weirdest smash hits of 2019. To close out the year strong, bbno$ is back with “Slop” a single that both flexes his personality and witty lyricism. The production on this track hits hard, simple strings and a kicking 808 pattern allows bbno$ to go absolutely dumb in his typical fashion all over the beat. This record was produced by Y2K, their chemistry at this point is undeniable and fans will be excited to hear he will be the executive producer on bbno$’s upcoming full-length project releasing later this year. One thing that is clear is that the Vancouver rapper has no signs of slowing down any time soon. He just wrapped up his North America and European Tour, only to immediately announce the next run of shows in early 2020. Capitalizing on the success of “Lalala”, what the next year holds for bbno$ will be groundbreaking, to say the least. Listen to “Slop” on all platforms here!

Crash – [Lil Gray]

After breaking out alongside Goonew on their unforgettable “Positive Goon” record, Lil Gray has relentlessly clawed his way to the apex of the quickly rising DMV rap scene and he is releasing a steady number of new visuals that only tighten his already firm grip on the region. Gray has a reckless and raw vocal style that is both unbridled and melodic and this makes listening to him simultaneously entertaining and breathtaking as he manages to pack a tremendous amount of emotion into his bars. His newest track “Crash” is situated over a triumphant instrumental that is powered by a lavish trumpet melody with thumping percussion to match and he uses his unique delivery patterns to eviscerate this beat. He possesses the rare combination of talent and likability that are the necessary ingredients to make a rapper go far, and for now it appears that the sky is the limit for Lil Gray. Watch the “Crash” visual here:

Dellwood Market – [Rahli]

To me, one of the greatest qualities a rapper can possess is the ability to create an accurate and gritty picture of the place they’re from purely from the sound of their delivery and instrumentals alone. Many artists have had this talent and gone far because of it and after his newest project Dellwood Market, St. Louis rapper Rahli ought to be added to this impressive list. His delivery style is rabid and impassioned and he almost slobbers through his most potent and emotional passages, but these gritty and reckless vocals accurately match the atmosphere he comes from. St. Louis has seen a dramatic decline in industry and a sharp upturn in poverty and violence in the past decade and Rahli stands as an accurate synecdoche for this turbulent area. My favorite track from the mixtape was the third-person account Rahli gives on “In & Out” where we learned a great deal about Rahli’s upbringing and his long-standing relationship with Dellwood. Dellwood Market has some star-studded production, featuring work from many of hip-hop’s biggest names currently and Rahli shows enough versatility to feel at home on any of these styles. The melodic “Any Moment” was not something that I anticipated being in Rahli’s wheelhouse …

Twenty One Five – [Cameron Bolden]

Having caught my ear earlier this year with his song “Gucci Flowers”, Chicago-based artist Cameron Bolden has been honing his craft and gaining traction in the local indie scene in the process. It seems the rising musician is aware of his own potential too, judging by his new single, “Twenty One Five”. Focusing his sound in a niche that’s characterized by hazy, booming hip-hop production and sharp rhymes, Bolden’s in the midst of refining a sonic recipe for success that’s bound to strike a chord with listeners. Bolden shows confidence about his own success on this track, basing the song’s lyrics off of the moment he realized music was the only path for him. His bars carry weight to them in a way that makes it difficult for a listener to doubt what Bolden is saying, emphasized by his slick rhyme schemes and relentless flow. The video gives the song an animated quality to it, bringing Bolden’s raps to life with dizzying edits and clever effects. It all comes to a decisive final shot with a voicemail from a potential employer juxtaposed with sticky notes announcing Bolden’s forthcoming EP, ‘Flowers In My Airmax’. Watch the video for “Twenty One Five” …

Can’t Compare – [SEGA]

Toronto’s Secret Sound Club has been producing some of the most unique talent out of Canada for some time, one of their OG members SEGA has begun releasing heat right after finishing touring the world with KILLY. With a grizzled voice and witty lyricism, SEGA is capable of creating hard-hitting club hits or leaning into the futuristic R&B sound that has become a staple in SSC’s music. On his most recent single “Can’t Compare”, SEGA both wrote and produced this track that has a dirty 808 pattern sure to get any venue moving. Along with the single, SEGA also dropped some incredible visuals that bring the track to life. It features SEGA and KILLY chilling outside of a bodega, something they’ve been doing years before the music ever started to blow up. With KILLY rising to new heights this year, there’s no doubt SEGA is next in line to blow up out of Secret Sound Club. Watch the video for “Can’t Compare” below and stream on all platforms here!

An Honest Conversation with Kembe X

Photo by TooSam By: Jacob Blieu “I just want to push to be human.”  Kembe X has found his voice; he knows who he is and he’s back to loving music. After settling into one of the rooms of The Alter, an understated studio tucked away in the guts of Los Angeles, Kembe’s rediscovered passion becomes immediately clear. By embracing the daily mix of sadness and happiness instead of looking to escape it, Kembe’s found his pocket–a place that shows life as the real, complex, and beautiful thing that it can be if you tilt your head a little and look at it from a new angle.  At 24, Kembe has faced many personal doubts, and even clashes with alcoholism, forcing him to step outside of himself and the music to uncover a new sense of purpose. Since working alongside fellow Illinoisian juggernauts such as Chance the Rapper and Alex Wiley early in the Chicago scene, Kembe’s career has developed in ways no one could’ve predicted, encouraging a sharp shift in perspective as he steps into a new chapter of his life. With the support of his close friends and fans around the world, Kembe is back and ready to …

Creatures – [Paris From Tokyo]

In the age of the internet, there are two schools of thought in regards to getting “on.” The first, that following a popular trend before it blows up will help you gain traction. The second — and the more sustainable of the two — is that following your own path and refusing to bend will eventually click, as the internet provides more opportunity for left-of-center acts to find fans than ever before. In the case of one of my more recent discoveries — an artist named Paris From Tokyo — listeners can clearly see the impact of the latter. Ranging from the melodic, hip-hop-induced “Really Ii” to the electronic-tinted “These Blues“, Paris From Tokyo’s catalog thus far is entirely genreless, moving to the beat of its own drum without ever losing the steam of its creative ambition. As a result, there doesn’t exist an exact definition of what a Paris From Tokyo song “should”, or will, sound like, leaving ample room for random turns such as the budding talent’s latest, “Creatures.” Pivoting toward emotive, soul-soaked guitar riffs, “Creatures” balances earworm melodies with symbolic lyricism, crafting a masterful marriage of sound and songwriting that, if not anything else, shows just how …

Pusha T Deserves The World

Photo Credit: Matt Berg (Instagram) (Twitter) Attending school in Western Massachusetts is pretty much what it sounds like. For those unfamiliar with the area, it consists mostly of farmland, and while the vast space can make for some beautiful scenery, it is far from an urban environment. The densest areas population-wise are colleges and surrounding towns, the largest of which being the University of Massachusetts in Amherst (UMass), with a student enrollment of over twenty thousand. The school is the centerpiece of the area, and as a result, has been able to land performances from big names in the past. Rap music fans like myself eagerly await the announcement of these school-wide concerts, due to the general concert drought we tend to find ourselves in. Live music is abundant in Western Massachusetts. One can catch an indie rock band in a basement somewhere on pretty much any weekend, but rap shows are rare. This past March, the school secured Future to headline a show at UMass, and it was without a doubt a highlight of the year. So, when a poster appeared on a bathroom door outside of my information systems class declaring that the legendary Pusha T, alongside Lyrical-Lemonade …