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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 …

Premiere: Blossom – [Nate Traveller] ft. [AKTHESAVIOR]

When it comes to certain artists, there aren’t enough words to truly encapsulate the unbelievable beauty that is found in their art. Nate Traveller is one of these artists. When I first heard his music, there was not a doubt in my mind that the 23 year old Florida native has what it takes to pave his own legacy in any manner that he chooses. Back in August, I had the pleasure of introducing y’all to Nate after the release of his track “Solace”; Today, the rising artist is back onto our pages for his brand new offering entitled, “Blossom”. As soon as you press play, it’ll be pretty hard to resist the infectious guitar pattern that’s present. Not only is this song extremely well done on the production side, but on the lyrical side, Nate has a lot of things he wants to express to his fans as well. This week, I was able to hop on the phone with him before the song dropped to get a more in depth look at his creative process and what makes this song so special. The catchy hook that Nate created for this song was actually an original poem that he …

923 – [Brendan Bennett]

The Southwest-Florida raised musician talks about his new song and using music as a vessel to heal his own personal traumas.

The Next Wave Of Emerging R&B Artists

Post By: Lee Mcintosh Although Hip-Hop/Rap is amongst the most popular and impactful genre of music in the world, R&B is not that far behind. There are lots of Rap artists who teeter the lines of Rap and R&B–whether that be from the composition of the music, the lyrical content, or even just the way the lyrics soothe over the track. Ever so often, it can be difficult to decipher if an artist is in fact a rapper or a singer. Artists such as Bryson Tiller, 6LACK and Sy Ari Da Kid are amongst the best to master the art of both genres. Singing over rap beats, or rapping over singing beats–that just shows the amount of influence that R&B has on the culture today. Often so, Hip-Hop delivers a new wave of emerging artists every few years or so. The R&B world once did not operate on that fast of a time schedule–usually only bringing in the new “it” singer every 5 years or so. In the new digital/social media era, the rate at which new R&B artists transpire is almost as often as the rappers. Here at Lyrical Lemonade, we are most known for our coverage in Hip-Hop, …

The Art of the Ten Minute Rap Song

With the line between albums, EPs, mixtapes, and compilations more blurred than ever, it seems fitting to reflect on two projects that may fall into their own category: Earl Sweatshirt’s Solace and Lil Ugly Mane’s Uneven Compromise. While two-part songs in hip-hop have become somewhat common practice, the format adopted by these two artists with these projects is pretty special, especially within hip-hop. You may be thinking, “well, these are just EPs”, and there’s nothing wrong with calling them that. If they had to be classified, calling them EPs is probably fair. However, these artists’ projects are in a format that acts as a single long song. There’s something to be said about this structure. Listeners must listen to the entire project at once because it’s just one track, and thus hear the entire artistic statement. Singular sections of the project can’t be conveniently accessed. This doesn’t impair either project though as, upon hearing them, most can agree that it only makes sense to listen to them in full.  The single-track structure results in laser-focused, concise projects, and with that, two of the best hip-hop EPs ever (if we’re indeed going with EPs). The frameworks of these projects don’t stray …

Evolving with Chicago’s own D2X

A year ago, I spoke to D2X over the phone. The then 20-year-old rapper from Chicago’s south suburbs was just about to release his debut EP ‘Enjoy Life’. The EP, as its title might suggest, communicated a mindset that the rising artist had finally settled on: after backing out of college basketball offers, recording in a professional studio for the first time, and finding confidence in his skills as a rapper, D2X was finally ready to pursue that which truly made him happy. Now, on a mid-July afternoon, as the sunlight starts to barely creep in through the boarded-up window panes, D2X sits next to me on a couch in the lounge of the Lyrical Lemonade office. He’s joined by his right-hand producer Glohan Beats and friends/photographers John and Tove. A can of lemonade in hand, D2X starts to catch me up on what has changed since we last spoke. His viral track “Woop Woop” got played on Chicago’s legendary Power 92 radio station, and recently he’s headlined his first concert as part of Illanoize Radio’s Let’s Get Social series. Though these career highlights stand out in our conversation, what’s most apparent is how D2X’s demeanor feels almost exactly the same …

Honest – [Baby Keem]

Las Vegas rapper Baby Keem continues to apply pressure and releases psychedelic and euphoric visuals for his single “Honest.” Director James R. Weneta and Keem do a masterful job in piecing together the shots and different scenes for this video. The video kicks off with Keem resting peacefully before we venture into his mind to explore what’s going on in the teenage rappers subconscious. They keep the video interesting with the panning of the camera from scene to scene to capture different moments in the song as Baby Keem melodically glides over Honest’s instrumental. Even though it has been a couple of weeks since its release Baby Keem’s album ‘Die For My Bitch’ has been one of the albums I’ve been going back to daily because of songs like this. With “Honest” you hear vulnerable bars from Keem as he explains the constant tug of war he deals with from women, fame and himself. “Honest” sounds like if Kendrick Lamar and Kid Cudi had a baby and spat out a track that embodies an eerie but serene vibe. Watch Baby Keem’s video for “Honest” after the break.

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 …

Rich Girls – [Sachi]

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to sit down and talk to an up and coming artist named Sachi. If the name looks familiar to you, that’s because we have featured him many times on the pages on Lyrical Lemonade. With the anticipation of his latest song release, I thought that this was a great chance to get an inside look at who Sachi is and learn more about why he has such a bright future in this industry. Sachi’s musical journey was definitely a journey to say the least. He started playing guitar when he was 7 and started singing when he was 10. At age 16, he auditioned for a talent agency in Orlando and ended up staying there; He was a part of a band and appeared on TV shows. Once that stint was over, he moved back to his hometown of Philly and started taking music seriously. Once he realized this was a passion of his, he moved to LA after high school and tried to just figure it all out. One thing led to another and Sachi ended up meeting his manager. Picking up to where we are today, Sachi is still …

Turn Myself In – [Lil Durk]

Well, it’s been a few weeks since one of our favorites and Englewood’s own Lil Durk has been incarcerated. As fans, there’s only so much we can do outside of merely expressing our sympathies and support of Durkio. “Turn Myself In” is the latest single from Durk, in which he proclaims his final plea before he would turn himself into authorities. The cover tells a story, with an image of diamond-crusted Cuban link handcuffs locked around his wrists. He expresses his frustrations, crying out to God for help and preaching how support was lost when he was most in need. “Yeah yeah yeah God can you hear me, yeah yeah yeah n****s ain’t really with me.” Durk would go on hours later to turn himself into police, as he stated on both his Twitter and Instagram pages. The song’s melodic cries of reflection express his regrets, explain his decisions, and communicate some final messages before his incarceration. The track brings a bittersweet feel, with the sound itself being a smooth piece, but the overall vibe being somewhat somber upon Durkio’s recent lock-up. Stream “Turn Myself In” below!