Space Cadet / I Know – [Lil Uzi Vert]

It is honestly a challenge to think of an artist that is quite as massive as Lil Uzi Vert while being able to maintain such a sense of individuality. Just the other day, Uzi announced that they would be going by the pronouns they/them, and while this is just another thing that makes Uzi stand out from the pack, it isn’t at all what I am most excited about, because they just dropped two new songs, which happen to be my main priority. Back to my initial point, though, I just think that with other artists who make it big, others seem to jump on their wave and mimic their sound to make it big, but Uzi is one of the few superstars who has managed to differentiate themselves so much that no one else has been able to copy their style. There have been rumors about Uzi preparing to release their EP Red & White, and although I have no idea when this is to be expected, they did drop “Space Cadet” and “I Know” on his SoundCloud, so I’m hoping it will be soon. The first song is produced by Brandon Finessin, Bally, and ShaunGoBrazy, utilizing a similar …

Since 91 – [Sonny Digital] ft. [$lugg]

I have always been a music fan who takes a producer-first approach. I just feel like there are so many hitmakers who barely get a fraction of the credit that they deserve because the artist that raps over their beat gets all the shine, but I try my best to make the producer known just as much as the emcees that I write about. What makes a producer even more appealing, in my eyes, is when they rap on their own production as well because they know just how to build a foundation from all angles, and Sonny Digital is the latest beat smith that I realized raps as well. I honestly have no clue how long he has been getting behind the microphone, but the handful of songs that I have heard really show me so much potential from the Atlanta native. I mean, when you have a resume filled with smash hits like “Same Damn Time”, “Birthday Song”, “Tuesday”, “after Party” and more with some of the largest names in the game, you’re already doing just fine, but the fact that Sonny wasn’t content with being considered a secondary contributor means that you know he’s going to go …

Getting to know: SPVNK ONNA BEAT

I recently caught wind of Chicago producer SPANKONTHEBEAT after getting further into the libraries of other Chicago talents like the DCG Brothers and CP.  His talent and creativity have garnered him respect and a solid following, especially in the city. As he continues to produce beautiful pieces with talented artists to supplement his skills, his name will become a household one well-beyond Chicago. We’ll jump right into it from here, so allow me to introduce, for those who aren’t already hip, Spvnk Onna Beat. Lyrical Lemonade (LL) : Spvnk, it’s a pleasure to sit down and have a brief introduction to you as a person and an artist. Let’s get this off the table first: do you formally go as SPVNKONTHEBEAT, Spvnk Onna Beat, justspvnk — what do you prefer? Spvnk: I started as justspvnk reason being it cost $0 to just be you, but the ppl coined the phrase “Spvnk onna beat” off the production tag so I stuck with that as a stage name long as you replace the A with a V. LL: Take us through some of your recent work? Spvnk: I’ve been getting more into mixing the traditional 90’s early 2000’s way of producing with …

Demonstrate – [HighDefRazjah]

It’s often debated on the timeline as to if people think producers should venture into rap careers after dominating the production side of things. There have been very few that have done it successfully, but there definitely is a lane for it. Rappers such as Kanye West, Travis Scott, Pierre Bourne and Sonny Digital are all artists who got their rise to fame from starting out as a producer, and then venturing into rap–with the exception of Pierre Bourne who started out doing both rapping and producing at the same time. One of the latest inductees into the ever-growing pool of producers turned rappers would be the Virginia-native HighDefRazjah. Razjah has been someone that has been on my radar for a very long time. To see his ascension and his rise to stardom has been nothing less of amazing to witness, and he is just getting started. After landing tons of placements for his trunk-rattling anthem “Value” with A$AP Ferg, Razjah is already planning for the next chapter in his career and that is putting his pen and rap skills to the test. Very recently, he premiered his latest rap offering, titled “Demonstrate”. “They been sleepin’, so I guess it’s …

A Conversation With TM88: The Origin of 808 Mafia, Working With Lil Uzi Vert on “P2”, Becoming a Producer Turned Artist and More

Photo Credit: Sem Robert Music creation is not something that is often handled alone. By now, we are all aware of the many elements needed in order for a song to come to fruition. We have the many words and flows provided by the songwriter, the amazing mixes and mastering provided by the engineers, and we have the meat and potatoes of the song, the beats-provided by the producers. There has always been an ongoing debate over which role holds the most weight, and which role is more important than the other. A fair amount of those believe that all roles are equally as important, which is very true to a certain point. However, many believe that the overall feel and vibe of the song is carried from the production. Yes, lyrics are strong enough to speak volumes–but production is powerful to move mountains. One producer in mind that has made a strong footprint in the industry, and blown many speakers in the process, would be none other than the legendary TM88. Regardless if you have heard his voice, or even seen what he looks like–chances are, your favorite rapper has made a record to one of his beats. With …

Heaven or Hell – [Don Toliver]

Just a couple years back, a mysterious spaceship crash landed on earth. What has emerged through the smoke of it happened to be no one other than the Houston-native Don Toliver. For those who still may be a bit unfamiliar with him and his back catalogue, he caught his first big break in his career after the release of Travis Scott’s major studio album Astroworld, as he was featured on the song “Can’t Say”. Shortly after the release of Astroworld, it had been announced that Don was the newest signee to Travis Scott’s record label Cactus Jack Records. At that moment was the beginning of Don Tolivers ascension into the rap industry. Being featured on Eminem’s Music To Be Murdered By album, and providing one of the standout tracks on the Jackboys EP late last year on “Had Enough”, Don has been making some pretty substantial moves to help solidify himself at such an early stage in his career. At last, here we are just a few short months into the new year and Don Toliver has premiered his new project titled Heaven or Hell. “You got two choices, either heaven or hell” Don raps on the late 2019 cut “Had Enough” on the Jackboys EP. Little did we know, that would …

Black Goat 2 – [Sonny Digital] x [Black Boe]

Last year, Sonny Digital really impressed me with “Work.”  The infectious cut was one of my favorite songs of 2019 so I was glad to see it find a home on his new, collaborative EP with Black Boe, Black Goat 2. A follow-up to the 2017 release, the two Atlanta ambassadors showcase their chemistry yet again with a dynamic, potent offering. There are certainly some more traditional songs, that have a deeper punch to them like “Life To The Edge” or “Up,” but the duo is at their best when they lean the other direction. The perfect example is the most experimental (and arguably strongest) cut “Psychadelic Earthquake” where the upbeat and colorful brushstrokes accentuate Boe’s glossy vocals perfectly and create a fresh, unique style. With so much energy and some really intoxicating cuts, Black Goat 2  is a really fun listen. Standout Cuts: “Work,” Squat,” “Psychadelic Earthquake”

Higher – [Sonny Digital]

Back in June Sonny Digital dropped a really impressive effort, dedicated to the grind in “Work.”  Now, the Atlanta legend is back with another banger entitled “Higher.” This one, however, is about what happens after you put in the work. All work and no play makes Sonny a dull artist. Continuing to show his range, Digital impresses yet again with a super unique beat that carries a danceable 80’s vibe. Even with the retro twinges, he keeps things fresh with some rich instrumentation; the breakdown towards the end is superb! The bouncing, upbeat boardwalk is the perfect backdrop for the unique vocal approach he takes as he celebrates putting the work to the side and having some fun. I admit was sleeping on Sonny’s solo work and range respectively, but both “Work” and “Higher” are absolutely stellar and have completely changed how I view him as an artist.

No Time – [$teven Cannon] x [Sonny Digital]

$teven Cannon is an artist that we have covered here on LL plenty of times in the past so the odds are you are already familiar with him, but if you aren’t then the perfect place to start is his brand new record titled “No Time” featuring the legend Sonny Digital. The production on this joint provided by Austin Powerz was addicting to say the least, and once these two skilled emcees jumped over the beat with their contributions it was clear that this isn’t just your average release, this is a hit! From the time that I first starting listening to Steven’s music to now he has improved a tremendous amount, in my opinion this is one of his most sonically pleasing & well put together releases yet. Stream this brand new record via YouTube and if you like it make sure you hit that thumbs up button.

Work – [Sonny Digital]

One word to describe Sonny Digital’s new record? Unexpected. Obviously, I’m well aware of his production abilities and overall immeasurable influence on the Atlanta scene, but I wasn’t aware of he could rap (and rap pretty damn well, too). Even if you had told me about his mic work, I certainly wouldn’t expect him to rap over a sample of Clairo’s pop hit, “Pretty Girl,” but here we are with a dope effort entitled “Work.” For a grind anthem, where Digital celebrates his tireless work ethic,  “Work” has a remarkably upbeat bounce to it thanks to Nebu Kiniza trap-ifying the pop sample and Digital’s laidback yet charismatic approach. The colorful yet potent effort comes equipped with a video, where Sonny builds his resume, trying his hand a few different careers (hopefully none of them drug test).