SEARCH FOR: SOUTHSIDE

Keep Your Eyes Straight and Your Mouth Shut-[Southside Anxt]

“Keep Your Eyes Straight and Your Mouth Shut basically means to be brainwashed. The overarching theme is religious, but used as a juxtaposition to everyday life and choices we make in spite of a belief system. This is also the closest I have ever come to making a trap album” – Southside Anxt Chicago native Southside Anxt returns to Lyrical Lemonade with Keep Your Eyes Straight and Your Mouth Shut; a polished 2018 EP re-release via Project FILO and Sparta Distribution. The five-track project follows Watching Paint Dry, which is a series of planned re-releases leading up to his [brand new] debut album. With bass-heavy production and ill-boding themes, this EP is an ambitiously creative [and successful] attempt to merge conscious lyricism with trap music. The minimalistic cover art aligns with the religious concepts discussed as Anxt cleverly presents real-world circumstances apposed with the unknown. Moreover, every song contains its own level of ambiguity, which is a signature quality of Southside Anxt’s artistry and identity.   Universally, however, it is mystery paired with angst; typically followed by an ingenious abstract concept that makes up a piece of Anxt’s discography. In terms of standouts, “SERMON” quite comfortably takes the crown; it’s truthfully two …

Southside Interview: Putting the Craft First & Watching Success Come After

“I learned one thing from Kanye that I will always think of going forward. He told me to always make sure I focus on the music, and the money will come afterward. If I put all of my focus on the music, the music will sound better and I won’t have to worry about the money later on because it’s gonna come from the great music I’ve been making.” -Southside As more time passes, people are beginning to realize just how much impact producers have and recognize the overall importance that they play in the overall creation of a song. One thing we have been seeing a lot over the past couple of years is producers getting listed as main artists on songs now, rather than their name being in the backend on the credits. Producers are letting their presence be known, and rightfully so, it’s about time. That being said, when speaking about the producer pioneers and the people who really helped shape and shift the culture, it’s very difficult to speak on that without mentioning 808 Mafia, and Southside. Being the founder of 808 Mafia alongside TM88, Southside is responsible for hundreds of songs that we all know …

Watching Paint Dry – [Southside Anxt]

“During the process of writing Watching Paint Dry, I hated the state of rap and I still do. So to keep myself interested in the process of learning, I decided to mimic the styles of rappers I respected, as a challenge. Watching Paint Dry has stylistic influences from MF Doom, Common, Aesop Rock, Jay Electronica, and Earl Sweatshirt. If you listen closely you might catch a cadence here and there, but I didn’t completely rip any of them off. Those songs are the result of me needing something fresh to listen to” – Southside Anxt Chicago’s own Southside Anxt has re-released his 2019 debut EP, Watching Paint Dry on all platforms via Sparta Distribution. The Project FILO heavyweight lyricist has deleted his entire discography, but plans to re-release everything leading up to his debut album. At five songs total, the project showcases Anxt’s lyrical prowess while implementing subtle, yet ominously eerie production. Despite this record having been originally released three years ago, Anxt’s bars remain top-notch and on par with some of the most prominent emcees today. Despite possessing a naturally monotone voice, listeners will be able to grasp disheartening qualities of angst; a reoccurring thematic element in his music. To …

FREE SOUNDs [Volume 3]

Back with volume 3 of the FREE SOUNDs column, and there’s a lot to discuss this week. Peep the lineup of songs below and if you haven’t already, check out volume 1 here and volume 2 here. – – – BEAR1BOSS BEAR1BOSS is, and has been, on another planet ever since I first heard his music — and he keeps getting better. Peep the ATL talent’s new, self-titled album here — a project best visualized as a firework, colorful and explosive in its collaging of sounds while held together by outrageously entertaining personality. “Quit” and “$$$” are favorites, but “Nike!” takes the cake for me. While Bear1 has been a stand out artist from the jump, it goes without saying that on the new project, his ideas are really coming into form. In Bear1’s world, the energy never runs out, and thus, the future is undeniably bright for one of music’s most unique minds. LAY BANKZ A friend sent me Lay Bankz a few weeks back, and “Going Down” has been on repeat ever since. It’s a melodic love song at heart, but once paired with the charged energy of a Philly/Jersey club beat, this one becomes sonically undeniable. Lay …

Buss It – [DCG Brothers]

It definitely doesn’t take a lot for me to get excited about the Chicago music scene, and it definitely doesn’t take very much to get me to write about it either. That’s not because my expectations are low or because I want to promote hometown artists even if they’re not totally polished quite yet. Instead, it’s because even the most underground, local emcees are doing their thing in an unignorable fashion, and as you move up the ladder of fame and fortune, these things don’t change, the overall sound quality of the music just seems to get better thanks to their access to more professional equipment. Ever since I found out about the DCG Brothers probably over a year or two ago, I was instantaneously mesmerized by their addicting personalities, their individual aptitudes, and most of all, their out-of-the-box take on Chicago drill music. It might’ve taken longer than I had hoped for, but I finally got the chance to see them this past weekend at the Summer Smash and let me tell you, Bsavv and Shun know how to put on an all-out clinic. Their energy seems to get brought to even higher levels in front of a crowd, …

Distraction – [Polo G]

There was a moment in time when I had no clue who or when the next actually massive artist was going to emerge from the Chicago scene, which was exciting but also left a lot of people questioning who was going to be the next person to step up. We knew it would happen eventually, but we had no idea what the time frame would be or what they would sound like. Then came Juice WRLD, an artist of uncountable talents who truly changed the world of music as we knew it. Juice was hip to everyone, so when he and Polo G released some music, it was clear that it was Polo’s time to make a statement, and he did time and time again throughout his tenure. This hasn’t changed, either, because he has consistently been one of the hardest, most consistent emcees in the city, so it’s basically a holiday whenever he puts out something new. Although it has been some time, just a handful of days ago he released a brand-new song called “Distraction” as well as a fantastic accompanying music video directed by Christian Breslauer. Southside and Cubeatz teamed up for the production on this one, …

Gift From God – [Lil PJ]

Every few years the Atlanta rap scene goes through an almost implicit changing of the guard largely because there is a new exciting talent emerging out of nowhere every month or less and as these new artists breakout, the underground scene only grows stronger and stronger until these locally loved artists crossover into music’s mainstream consciousness. It is the classic idea of a rising tide lifting all boats and young artists showing potential are supported and assisted by the city’s rap royalty since their teenage years. Southside Atlanta’s Lil PJ is no exception and over the past year or more he has been captivating the attention of the youth and the top figures in his city’s scene that can be seen all over his catalog as features and throughout his Instagram comments. He recently just unloaded his debut mixtape Gift From God that showcases his unique melodic gifts and features many big names from his hometown. PJ shows off his incredible versatility throughout the project, gracing a variety of instrumental styles and revealing a number of different flows. He called upon CEO Trayle, Lil Keed, Lil Gotit, Slimelife Shawty, and BSlime to support as guest verses and PJ sounded right at home …

Trophies – [Prince Ink]

Southside Atlanta’s Prince Ink has been rapping since the early-1990’s but it wasn’t until after his long prison stint that he started to take music more seriously and had experienced a side of life in prison that hopefully most should never have to experience, but it was this hardship that made him realize that he could be the voice to the voiceless and make music that can help those going through the same things he was. The years of incarceration even have an affect on the actual sound of his music that he would describe as “stir-crazy,” tightly wound from all of those days locked away. His newest single “Trophies” features Ink enjoying the success that has followed his tribulation and highlights how much sweeter the victories taste after having been at rock-bottom.

Godby Road – [LoLifeBlacc]

Atlanta’s music scene has been going through a transitional phase of sorts as many of the superstars of yesterday are phasing out into corporatized major label releases, representing the city well no doubt but removing their finger from the pulse of what is trendy at the moment. The last few years saw many new faces get introduced to the city and also saw their graduation into the realm of mainstream consciousness, but there is a strong underground scene bubbling now, full of new faces with the same ambitious mindsets as those who carried the torch before them. LoLifeBlacc has been at the forefront of the underground for nearly five years now, steadily releasing well arranged projects laced with motivational bars and hustle tactics and this consistency has him poised to take a major leap this year to ears far beyond Georgia. He came together with Nashville’s TanaFullyLoaded who has time and time again proven to be an indispensable identifier of new talent and subsequently has been instrumental in helping with the artist development of many of his peers at his young age. Their latest track “Godby Road” honors the treacherous stretch of Atlanta’s Southside that is one of the main …

Broom – [HerDrug]

Southside Atlanta’s own HerDrug made his Lyrical Lemonade debut last month with his tape Adventures of an Addict which flew under the radar of many in the city and online, but what the tape lacks in notoriety it is made up for by Drug’s incredible versatility and artistic direction that shines through across the ten tracks on the project. “Broom” was one of my favorites from the release and just this past week he unloaded a visual to pair with the song, brought to life by the trio of DonnDigital, Tip Skywalker, and DeadPurpp who shot, edited, and handled the VFX respectively. Jootsu handled the production on this track and the bulk of the other installments on Adventures of an Addict and his chemistry with Drug is obvious as he supplies a bevy of varying sounds that all fall comfortably into Drug’s range. I hope we see more visuals from this project and can confidently say that HerDrug is one of my favorite diamonds in the rough in a city packed full of incredible new talent.