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Curtis Waters: The Art of Authenticity

Well, as we come to a close on one of the weirdest years of the past century we reflect on how the massive halt the music industry experienced with its traditional methods of growing artists through festivals, touring, and really anything that comes with having a room full of people collectively wild out together has changed in a major way. What tossed the larger industry engine into a tailspin, became a rare moment of opportunity for 1000s of kids who’s relationship with creating music existed almost entirely within the 4 walls of their bedrooms. We have seen stars emerge who may have not their time in the cultural limelight had society been moving at its regular pace. This year has had disastrous effects for many, but for a few, it has been a time to thrive while young people across the world are being forced to spend more time isolated online. It’s been fun to be a fan of these artists, as watching them get noticed by the masses and seeing their song all over the feed is something that just makes you feel happy inside. Recently, I got the chance to have an in-depth conversation with one of my …

Moonlight – [Ducey Gold]

Greenville, North Carolina rapper Ducey Good gears up for his project next week with an out of this world video entitled ”Moonlight.” Ducey only has a couple of releases to his name in 2020. COVID-19 changed the release strategy for a multitude of artists this year. ”Moonlight” is the follow up to Gold’s anthem ”Moncler Cold” and serves as the lead single to his forthcoming project ’Can You Hear Me’. The rising media platform Soul Serum and director John Buchanan take Ducey’s ”Moonlight” record to new heights with these visuals. Ducey goes back and forth between earth and the moon where he can’t even escape the women in his life from giving him a hard time. Whether they be human or extraterrestrial. Look out for Gold’s extended play ’Can You Hear Me’ where he’s eager to show his fans and listeners how much he’s grown over this year. Watch Ducey Gold and Soul Serum team up for ”Moonlight” after the break.

Black Pontiac – [Floyd Fuji]

Last week I was browsing through the internet looking for some new artists to write about, and I came across an EP by Floyd Fuji titled “Black Pontiac”. This project only has five songs on it, but I liked everything that I heard here, so much so that I’ve been listening to it nonstop for the past few days. Floyd Fuji has the voice of an angel and has full capability to create the most addicting melodies at seemingly the snap of his finger, each of the songs featured on this EP had unbelievably catchy melodies. I honestly don’t know too much about Floyd Fuji aside from this EP, but I will definitely be looking into his catalog more, and I am already looking forward to his future releases. I highly suggest that you give this tape a chance, stream it via Spotify below!

Romance for Madness – [Killval]

Killval is a somewhat new name on my radar of rising artists, but he’s definitely a name that has been capturing my attention left and right in the past couple of months. Although he’s still completely independent and unsigned, he has built a close connection with Nick Mira of Internet Money, and anyone who’s familiar with Nick knows he only works with superstars, so that already speaks volumes of val’s talents. After hearing Dro Kenji’s latest project Tears and Pistols, which is quite possibly one of my favorite projects that has released all year, I had the highest of hopes for Killval’s album, and now that it’s in our hands, I can say with certainty that he didn’t disappoint in the slightest. The name of the album is Romance for Madness, and it’s definitely the perfect title when you work your way throughout the project and ingest all of the feelings of love combined with the abundant themes of heartbreak that run even more rampant throughout. Throughout the 10 songs that are featured on this album, val gifts us with just under 25 minutes of emotion that can’t be easy for him to share, but he does so in such …

Melo Makes Music: The Lemonade Stand Interview

If you are from Chicago or are familiar with the Chicago music community, then the odds are that you definitely know about Melo Makes Music. Melo is a talent that has been a core piece of the music scene in the city for some years now, he has been getting better + better every single year and is currently gearing up to release his next project in the near future. In this interview, I spoke to Melo about several subjects such as the previously mentioned project, his musical influences, attending Columbia College, his music video for “Manifesto”, working with KOTA The Friend, being an independent artist, and more. Take a few minutes to watch this brand new interview below!

Realm Of Light – [Roxas]

The pressure for rising acts to make a statement in every single musical medium possible as they embark on their rise to prominence has been ever-present throughout the course of history and is still vividly existent today. Impressing on a single-by-single basis is one thing on its own, but it is something entirely different for a promising act to prove themselves in their first-ever project. Building off of this sentiment even more, this situation becomes that much more daunting when one’s rise to prominence is dictated by their rapid release schedule of singles alone, and to burst on a given scene with as much force and talent alike this way, the logical next step would be to take up this task to create something far more ambitious. That situation is exactly where one of the underground’s most recent prodigies in Roxas found himself before releasing his debut EP “Realm Of Light” just a short time ago. The Graveem1nd standout had already cemented his place as one of this year’s most in-demand talents to grace this already-crowded Internet-based scene with a flawless string of singles that all added something new to this limitless talent that we see now — but in …

10 Year Anniversary: Revisiting Kanye West’s Magnum Opus, ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’

“Do it better than anybody you ever seen do it/Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it/Guess every super hero need his theme music” -Kanye West on “Power” The Chicago legend that is Mr. Kanye Omari West–many people love him, some people hate him. Regardless of how you feel about him, his views, personality traits, political stance, etc., it’s almost impossible to deny the impact he has had on this world, amazing level of artistry that he has delivered, and crowing him as nothing less than a musical genius. While as of late, his music may not be resonating with the listeners as it once did ten years ago, or even five years ago after the release of his highly-anticipated and critically acclaimed project The Life of Pablo, hip-hop historians and all-around music lovers never count out Kanye West as being one of the best creatives of all time. November 22, 2010 would be the day that Kanye West would release his fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Little did he know that it would go down as one of the best musical bodies of work of all time, and end up being arguably one of the best …

The Life of Pablo | Forever Fresh

Today’s world has certainly skewed nearly every single aspect of life as it once was some five years ago. In an everyday landscape that sees this unprecedented deadly outbreak go hand-in-hand with some of the most heightened political unrest throughout history, it seems almost comical that in late-2015 leading into 2016, the world was very, very concerned with the now-tame antics of one Kanye West. The man spent that period announcing an album, changing its title a number of times, and all-around doing what was then known as just “silly Kanye things” — nothing more, nothing less. But oh my, were we all invigorated. If anyone today were to tell another individual at that time that Kanye’s actions and overall popular presence would become exponentially worse, problematic, and purely reactionary above all else, they may agree, but certainly not to the sincerely frightening scope that he ended out that decade with. So with that being said, it makes looking back at this far more “down to earth” version of Ye quite a lot more fascinating by itself, and absolutely more refreshing by extension given the man we see today and the world that we all live in together. As off-the-wall …

Thousand Pills – [Boldy James] x [Real Bad Man] x [Stove God Cooks]

Veteran emcee and Griselda member Boldy James is the epitome of consistency. Already having released three quality albums this year, James recently announced a fourth full-length release titled Real Bad Boldy. The new LP is set for a December 11th date, with entire production from Real Bad Man. For a fitting preview, the duo recently released “Thousand Pills,” which serves as the first single off the awaited project. Featuring the established Stove God Cooks, Real Bad Man crafts an inconceivably ill hip-hop instrumental that couldn’t be more fitting for James and Cook’s exchange of immaculate bars. With crisp dominant drums and an eerily mellow melody, the theme of “Thousand Pills” reminds me of iconic works such as “Scarface” and “Breaking Bad,” with the lyricism painting a picture of a risky, yet profitable drug business. I can confidently vouch that this track is one of/if not the hardest single(s) of 2020, which undoubtedly builds great anticipation for Real Bad Boldy. Stream the record below!

Honey & Pills – [Vision4k]

The art of pure anticipation plays such an integral role in designing any album rollout from a significant act, regardless of their level of fame and/or prominence. This fact becomes especially true when that coming release is meant to follow up such an acclaimed and widely-known project that had preceded it, leaving such a daunting shadow to either fill or completely take over. To say that anticipation plays into the current status of Vision4k’s already immaculate career would be selling even such an incredible figure like this short. Since making his name in the late-2010s with a number of era-defining singles leading up to his alt-rap masterwork Recluse in 2019, the influential figure has spent the majority of 2020 knowing that a follow-up to that aforementioned album needed to come to light — thus creating that sense of wonder if it really would during the entirety of this year. It was a sense of wonder that finally manifested into the resounding announcement of R — the album that will come to serve as that very follow-up come its release in December of this year. That alone sealed the anticipation as to what would be the follow-up to his 2019 classic, …