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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 …

Be Back Soon – [AKTHESAVIOR] x [Kennth Cash] x [Taleil Brown]

AKTHESAVIOR, 1/2 of the esteemed rap duo The Underachievers returns with a dazzling new offering titled “Be Back Soon.” The track is the first official single off his upcoming mixtape Almost Home, which will be an entirely independent release. Taking a brief break from making timeless Underachievers records, his counterpart Issa Gold has simultaneously teased his solo project Tempus. Any individual effort from AK or Issa serves as a reminder that they’re not dependent on the group to thrive as top-tier artists. The duo is therefore an extension of their excellence, just as other prominent members of groups like Outkast, A Tribe Called Quest & The Roots have established. On “Be Back Soon,” Kenneth Cash is the talented production and vocal feature, with Taleil Brown co-producing the song (Brown produced “Land of the Lords,” a popular track off the iconic Indigoism mixtape). Cash is currently under AKTHESAVIOR’s artist management, with the singer/songwriter/producer providing an instant return on his investment. Cash’s ability to inflect his vocals on the chorus are so exceptional that they’re on par with the standard of industry stars such as Daniel Caesar or James Blake. Aside from minor similarities to After The Rain, the record is completely unlike any other creative direction AK has …

Birdz – [Paycheck 500]

Every day, I get hit up by countless people asking me to check out their music and do a write-up for them. Due to the influx of submissions, it can get overwhelming to figure out who is actually worth checking out and who I can probably pass on. Despite this, there are a few go-to connections that I’ve made throughout my time with Lyrical whose music taste is something I know I can trust, so when one of my homies hit me up and told me about Paycheck 500, I knew I was in for a treat. Although this is a new name for me, I quickly realized that I’ve been missing out on some incredible music, and his brand-new song “Birdz” is the perfect starting point when getting acquainted with the Louisiana artist. Basedtj, a producer who has worked with Paycheck fairly often in the past, teams up with the rapper yet again to create the incredible foundation for Pay to absolutely body. He does so through mystifying, lighthearted synths of some sort that are brought out of this world with crisp, tapping hats and claps as well as shaking, punchy 808s that bring some muddiness to the otherwise …

Biggie and Brooklyn: Def Jam’s Cey Adams Details His Collaboration With Pepsi In Honor of the Late Hip-Hop Legend

It says a lot about a creative mind to be able to accurately depict another individual’s artistic approach and/or makeup through a visual manner, but that creator enters an entirely different class once they are tasked with translating both another individual’s artistry in itself, along with the rest of their life leading up to their creative endeavors as well. But in being the founding creative director at Def Jam Recordings and throughout its now-historic time at the top of the hip-hop world, Cey Adams has been presented this opportunity more times than he could ever count, and given the remarkably apparent influence that he has presented over this very hip-hop landscape as it has came to take shape to this day, he has delivered in this role with all of the sheer grace and glory this culture could ever dream of asking for. Yet again has he been tasked with doing this exact same thing this year in a collaboration with Pepsi, but this go-around is even more special for the influential creative mind than perhaps many of his recent projects. The brand is celebrating the storied career of The Notorious B.I.G. with their latest creative content drop in honor …

Only God Knows – [Kye Colors]

Kye Colors is one of my favorite artists out of the midwest, he is without a doubt my favorite artist out of Kansas City, and today he is back with a brand new music video for “Only God Knows”. Earlier this year (pre-pandemic) when Kye Colors came up to Chicago for a show, he stopped by the Lyrical Lemonade office for an interview, and while on that trip he connected with video director Mike Del Rosario to make this visual + they did a fantastic job if you ask me. This song was off of Kye’s new project With Love By Faith that just dropped not too long ago, so after you watch this video, I highly suggest you head to your preferred streaming platform + listen to that tape. Go ahead and watch this brand new music video below!

Hooray! – [My Favorite Color]

When I was first put onto My Favorite Color a few months ago, I enjoyed what I heard but I wasn’t sure what to expect from him in the future. The first song I heard was entitled “Funeral”, and it was a simplistic, introspective look into what MFC could speculate would happen after his passing. I thoroughly enjoyed the track even though it’s not the typical style that I listen to, but then he dropped his debut album Velma, and I couldn’t believe my ears. He had so many different sounds and styles throughout this entire album, and I couldn’t fathom the dexterity that he brought to the table, so after hearing that project, I became an instant fan and questioned why I was even slightly skeptical in the first place. One of my favorite songs off of the project was called “Hooray!”, and its jazzy, soulful, fun-loving aesthetic drew me in from the moment I heard the initial guitar riff. I’m so excited that MFC is keeping the fun going as well as the momentum he has built up with the release of a brand-new music video for this unbelievable record. He takes us through various decades, going in …

100 Rounds – [Dro Kenji]

After connecting with some of the industry’s most talented tastemakers throughout the years in person, through social media, and various other ways, I’ve been put onto some incredible artists. While the amount of immense talent can be overwhelming at times due to all the incredibly promising up and comers, there are just certain artists that release even just a preview of their music and you immediately head to their SoundCloud to see what other hits they’ve made. Dro Kenji is the latest musician that comes to mind, and although there I couldn’t find a ton of information online about him, his music speaks for itself and anyone who tunes in will understand exactly what I mean. After teaming up with Internet Money recently, his aptitudes have been leveled up remarkably, as most collaborators with IM can expect, and I can only imagine his price has skyrocketed ever since. Just the other day, he hopped on an incredible beat that was co-produced by none other than Nick Mira, oktanner, and OVRCZ, and they brought an instrumental to life that highlights Dro’s talents flawlessly. Poignant, moving guitar strums are elevated by rattling percussion and intense drums that combine for an insane beat, …

A Conversation w/ !llmind: Adapting to Current Music Scene, Filipino Culture, Dropping Gems and More

“There’s just so many different sounds and vibes that I fell in love with, and as a creative and curious person, I can’t help but want to make all of them“ -!llmind Give credit where credit is due, and always give people their flowers while they can still smell them. While we often look towards the future and the next hot thing, we can forget about some of the amazing creators that came before us. With Hip-Hop recently celebrating 47 years of existence, it forces us to take a step back and look at where we came from, where we’re at now, and where we are going in the future. If there’s one thing for sure, legendary music producer !llmind has the resume and the work ethic to prove that he is belongs in the past, present, and future of the genre and of the culture, as a whole. !llmind being born in New Jersey puts him very close to New York – the home of Hip Hop itself. As he stands now, he currently has a production credit list that spans over almost two decades worth of material – ranging across various underground artists, well-known legends such as Jay-Z, …

A Conversation w/ Nils: Working on ‘Legends Never Die’, Upbringing in Germany, Staying Humble and More

When it comes to the pioneers of the vast sea of producers in the states, many of us can name a lot of them without even thinking twice. However, when it comes to producers making a name for themselves overseas, they may not be as openly recognized as they may like. The hurdles in which they have to overcome, and the barriers that they need to break, happen to be a bit tougher than it can be for those who may be born here in the states. The one thing about hip hop, is that it is accepting to all kinds, no matter what. We will accept anyone regardless of race, sexual orientation, heritage, native language, anything–as long as that musician respects the culture. Hailing all the way from Hamburg, Germany, record-producer Nils has been making a massive impact in the game, and has been working his way up to becoming a household name in the music industry. The German rap scene, or any foreign rap scene for that matter, is very different than what we may be used to over here in the states. Nils made a name for himself by learning and adapting to music at a very …

WIYULD-[Evann McIntosh]

An artist who I’ve been eagerly anticipating to get on to our pages is finally making an appearance today for a stellar song that will be talked about far after its release. Before I write anything else, I’m just going to come out and state the obvious; something that is common knowledge for anyone who has listened to her music…Evann McInotish is just too good at what she does. It sometimes just isn’t fair. With so much music being released in the streaming era, it’s rare that I come across artists that just completely blow me away, but when I do, its those artists that I can write about all day long.  Her newest song, “WIYULD” is an assuring display of what sets her a part from some of my favorite up and coming artists these days. There are certain things you juts cant explain and the feeling you get when listening to Evann’s music falls into that category perfectly. I’m most definitely hyping her up, but I’m just one of the many who have become obsessed with this talent. In a span of weeks, “WIYULD” has already surpassed 300,000 streams on Spotify and 400k+ streams across all platforms. On …