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Behind the Music: Highlighting the Producers of Today’s Sound

By: Lee Mcintosh When it comes to creating great music, the artists are the ones who receive most of the recognition for the creation of the song. Their name is what’s attached to the song, their flows, their likeness, and even the features that the artist may have. However, the song making process all begins with one entity… the producer/s. No matter how creative the lyrics may be, how great the artist’s cadence sounds, the beat behind it all is a huge factor behind the overall appeal of the song, and that is what moves people and captures their attention as soon as they hit play. We are in a different era of music now. Technology has advanced to a point where producers and artists don’t have to be in the studio together anymore. This can be a gift and a curse at the same time. Often so, producers may send over a beat pack to an artist and then they select the songs they want and don’t want. From there, the studio session may be recorded or put on Instagram live, and the producer may be nowhere in sight. This may create confusion as to who actually made the …

Maxo Kream: Unparalleled Integrity

It’s 8:30 PM on Wednesday night, just two days before the release of Maxo Kream’s major-label debut, Brandon Banks. Piling into a dim, luxurious room at Manhattan’s 40/40 club, fans and peers alike await Kream’s arrival. Conversation is light, but the overarching meaning of the moment makes the air feel dense. Now years in the making, Maxo Kream’s slow-burning ascent is reaching a new apex, and this small room of listeners is fortunate enough to become witness just days before the album’s official release. A few moments later, a thunderous presence makes his way down the hallway. Turning left, he enters the room, 4 glossy chains on neck and followed by a posse of friends. It’s Maxo Kream, the man of the night. With each step, his presence grows stronger as the heads begin to turn toward his direction. Kream’s face lights up to see the welcoming crowd of listeners, but his eyes maintain a focused glare under the soft lights. The closer and closer he moves to the center of attention, the more the moment begins to set in. Here, just minutes away from clicking play on his long-awaited new album, time seems to slow down. The message becomes …

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 …

Racks On Me – [D Savage]

This summer has certainly seen given us some amazing music to bop too. I’m not sure what it is about the summer, but many artists bring out the big guns and really give it all they got. That’s exactly what we got from rapper D Savage. His latest offering, ‘Racks On Me,’ is a testament to how hard the rapper is working. Impressively enough, the rapper produces the majority of his own music, and freestyles most of it as well. No pen, no producer, no problem. The mindset of a true artist in 2019. He boasts about his successful progression in the game and his business mentality with lyrics such as, ‘I get the money, I know you can see it.’ With similar melodic capabilities to Travis Scott, the artist has created his own sound that resonates with listeners. A lot of emotion can be heard in his voice, something a lot of artists have trouble with. I see big things happening for LA-based rapper in the near future. Words by Barry R

Maria – [TWNTYFOUR]

Netherlands creation TWNTYFOUR is back with another intriguing single titled “Maria.” TWNTYFOUR with assistance from singer/songwriter Mikey100k combine for a beautiful joint that mixes the best aspects of multiple genres; electronic, pop, and R&B. Though sometimes unfair to compare artists and songs, I definitely felt a sort of Travis Scott energy when I first heard the track. “Girl why you leave me? Group texts, all of your girlfriends said you didn’t need me.” The track tells a story of a lost lover, “Maria,” who doesn’t reciprocate the energy given to her in the relationship. The piece acts as a plea for answers, with the sense of a lack of closure on the woman’s end. The joint writing of the two artists provide a brilliant storyline that allow the listener to be drawn in even further to the song than they already were by the mystifying electronic vocals. The two artists working together on this piece meshed flawlessly, and as they both continue to expand their work and audiences look for them to continue to work together in the future. TWNTYFOUR continues to impress song after song, and has definitely developed both a fan in myself, and a large following across …

Vanilla Bean – [WemmyMo] & [Femdot]

WemmyMo is a creative out of Chicago whose releases we have been supporting a bunch here on LL over the past year or so, and just a few minutes ago he blessed his growing fan base with a brand new offering titled “Vanilla Bean” featuring fellow Chicagoan Femdot! Right when you press play you will be greeted with an extremely familiar sound, as Wemmy decided to have this track go over Travis Scott’s smash record “Coffee Bean” that dropped last year, and they f*cking snapped! Wemmy kicked this joint off with an energetic yet introspective verse, where he speaks on plenty issues he has been going through + the busy summer he had in 2018, and Femdot’s verse complimented it flawlessly. Femdot spent the duration of his verse speaking damn near directly to Wemmy, like an OG kicking some game to the next generation, and this all made for easily the best song you will hear all day. These are two of the finest emcees coming out of Chicago, so get in tune with these two talents by pressing play below!

After God Fear Eve – [Skaiwater]

Skaiwater is a rapper that you should definitely be keeping tabs on moving forward. He recently dropped his 6 track extended play entitled ‘After God Fear Eve’. If this project isn’t a prime example of how global rap is then I don’t really know what other examples that you would need. Skaiwater is from the United Kingdom and you wouldn’t even know it if you never knew anything about the kid by listening to him. After God, Fear of Eve sonically is similar to the first time I heard of early Travis Scott and his song called “Lovesick” (look it up) on YouTube. No, he doesn’t sound like Travis but because Skaiwater is 18 I can hear influences of certain American artists and music he probably draws his inspiration from. Skai has been taking a lot of label meetings and has been rubbing shoulders with a lot of prominent people in the music industry early on. If he continues along this path he’s sure to run into success sooner than later. Stream Skaiwater’s new project After God Fear Eve after the break.

Best You Had – [Don Toliver]

Some tracks have an odd way of instantaneously making you move as soon as you press play. That is definitely the case with Don Toliver’s engaging single, “Best You Had.” If his flow over a soothing acoustic guitar-based instrumental isn’t enough to get you up and jiving, his uniquely high-pitched voice and falsetto will. Toliver consistently throughout the piece refers to struggles in show business with drugs, money and women. “Outta my mind been lately, too much money can’t make me.” In August of 2018, the Houston native released his first project, Donny Womack which racked up nearly 1M streams on Soundcloud. Shortly after, he appeared in Travis Scott’s Astroworld, in the song “Can’t Say.” Immediately following his feature with Scott, Toliver then signed to his label Cactus Jack Records. Since, Toliver has stayed low-key until the release of “Best You Had” early last month, which has collected nearly 500k streams in that short period. If it’s any indication as what is to come from Toliver, we haven’t seen anything yet. Stream “Best You Had” below!

Our 50 Favorite Wiz Khalifa Songs

In the music world, influence manifests itself in many different ways. Whether it be sonically — changing the sounds that artists use and often creating some sort of new trend and/or subgenre in the process — or aesthetically — changing the “cool” styles in music and the lifestyles that artists speak about in their songs — influence can arrive packaged as a quick viral moment or a lasting flame, both of which hold value in their own rights.  Pittsburgh’s own, the Taylor Gang representative himself, Wiz Khalifa, is one of the rare talents who comes around and entirely shifts the culture in both of the aforementioned ways. Especially when he first came out, Wiz’s lanky, tattooed build and effortlessly cool stoner lifestyle made him a genuinely alluring artist, and while his personal style (snapbacks, the dyed patch of hair, etc.) was worthy of mention, the music was there to back it all up. Simply put, Wiz’s style, both on the mic and off, quickly set a standard for creatives and other artists to congregate toward, marking him as one of music’s most underrated culture-shifters of the last decade or so. Even further, beyond the influence that Wiz has had on a …

Rotation – [NateTaylorr]

NateTaylorr is a rising crooner based out of New Jersey with an intriguing new single in “Rotation.” NateTaylorr gained a lot of traction and notoriety at first when he released his single “Famous” back in 2016 so he’s been grinding for a good while. If we fast forward to 2018, that’s when the Jersey vocalist released a short but impactful extended play with 4 For 1. After a couple of singles which dropped earlier this year, he’s back with a brand new offering in “Rotation.” If you’re into or accustom to the “trapsoul” sound that‘s become so prevalent in R&B now then “Rotation” will satisfy your musical needs. In all honesty, the hard-hitting 808s mixed with the autotune on the track this is similar to something that I’d hear from Travis Scott or even Bryson Tiller. This could be a downside in the future because to some people it could come off as derivative, but it’s still early in Nate’s career where he can still tweak and fine-tune his sound and might I say, he sounds promising so far. Stream NateTaylorr’s new track “Rotation” after the break.