S.O.T.L. – [Ludacris] x [Lil Wayne]

One positive thought from this whole quarantine situation is that people have been finding ways to be creative and to entertain people, and one of my favorite things that have been birthed from this is the Verzuz battles that have been taking place weekly on Instagram Live. We’ve watched some classic matchups so far in the series, one of my favorite being DJ Premier against RZA, but last week we got another great matchup in Ludacris vs Nelly. This was an awesome watch that had me entertained for some hours last Friday, but during a time where Nelly was having some network connection issues, Ludacris decided to fill up some of that idle time with an unreleased record with Lil Wayne & Timbaland, which he ran back at least five times. Many of the viewers in the chat were giving Ludacris some positive feedback about the track, and here we are a week later, as he has just released the track, officially titled “Silence Of The Lambs”. When you hear of a trio such as Ludacris, Lil Wayne, and Timbaland getting together, you know that it’s going to be special. I shouldn’t even have to tell you the damage that …

Not for Long, Not for Nothing – [Alphonse] x [Furozh]

Collaborative albums seem to be the trend of 2020 in hip-hop, which I absolutely support. This time, the joint effort is between Alphonse, a Baltimore, Maryland dual artist x producer; and Furozh, a New York producer. Now residing in Mount Vermon, New York, Alphonse previously went by the stage name $keloton. For a throwback, peep Alphonse going over Wu Tang Clan’s classic “7th Chamber” instrumental, featuring Entendre, now famously known as YBN Cordae. Alphonse is comparable to RZA, in the sense that he has prioritized beat making over rapping. However, both RZA and Alphonse are highly capable emcees when gripping the mic, showcasing their lyrical display over similar grimy, lo-fi, boom-bap and soul-filled instrumentals. Alphonse may not yet have the critical acclaim that ‘The Abbot’ has, but the influence is undeniable, and surely something RZA himself would applaud. As for Furozh, along with being a producer, he is the founder of “Off The Scene,” a newly formed collective based in NYC consisting of music producers and artists creating performative spaces for other creatives. The producer is also apart of Inner Ocean Records; a Calgary, Alberta, Canada based platform and collective for emerging artists to release music and visual art. Furozh’s production …

Four Albums with Distinct Atmospheres

We are currently living through a historical event and at times, it is difficult to keep our spirits up. All we can do is try to adapt and do what we can to keep ourselves safe and sane while being cooped up indoors. One way to cope is to try and step away from the tragedy for an hour or two. I’ve personally found myself watching movies, reading, or listening to music to distract myself. There are many different ways music can help, but I’ve found that albums that distinguish themselves from the rest are those that create a distinct atmosphere and a world of their own. They do this by establishing consistencies, not just sonically, but also in terms of subject matter. An atmosphere alone isn’t ideal though. Many albums fall victim to using the same presets, filters, or vocal pitching across songs to the point where they blend together and create an album that serves as nothing more than a soulless tone. What is really impressive is an album’s ability to have a collection of songs that stand strong on their own, while also reinforcing the qualities that many of the tracks around them share, thus creating a …

Crazy – [Lance Skiiiwalker]

Top Dawg Entertainment is and has been one of the strongest collectives in hip-hop for the past decade-plus, they have an unbelievably stacked roster of talent, but one of my favorites out of the bunch is the mighty skilled Lance Skiiiwalker, who is back on our website with his brand new music video for “Crazy”. The release of this visual was super interesting to me because Lance Skiiiwalker first released this one on Instagram Television (IGTV) a day or two before releasing this on YouTube, an interesting concept especially considering that a large part of the population is cooped up inside on their social media accounts. One reason why I love Lance Skiiiwalker’s music is because it’s extremely unique and creative, but this joint here is one of his most creative yet in my opinion, the left-field visual aspects complimented his Gnarls Barkley inspired song so well. This is one of those music videos that you can’t just watch once, you’ll find yourself getting lost in both the music and the visuals, but enough talking about it though, check it out for yourself below! Produced by: Amaire Johnson • Visuals by: Billybjork, Visualizebalance, They.Like.Them, Webglol

Forza 6 – [Well$]

North Carolina emcee Well$ returns from his long hiatus with a new 5 track project entitled ‘Forza 6’. This body of work come to fruition while Well$ was navigating interior roads back and forth between North Carolina and Virginia during his two-year hiatus. These records show the growth sonically and represent the evolution of the Charlotte emcee as an artist in his time away. When Well$ stepped away he had plenty of buzz and was pretty much every music editorial site. It should be interesting to see how an artist of his caliber can rebrand and continue to retune his sound to get back where he left off. Music moves so fast and sounds and artists come and go so fast within a short time period, however, I believe Well$ has the artistic range and tools to do what it takes to last. Stream Well$’ newest offering Forza 6 for yourself after the break.

Don’t Know Me – [Slatt Zy]

The opening scene in Slatt Zy’s new music video watches the Chattanooga native take out the trash, only to hop on his phone right after and get yelled at by who we can assume is his manager. Slatt is working a job that he hates, just waiting for music to take off — a scene that I’m sure a lot of us can relate with, from minimum wage jobs to visions of future success. This ambition is one of Slatt Zy’s most prominent characteristics. Slated with an unmatched ear for melody and a hyper-focused work ethic, Slatt isn’t going to let go of his dream at any cost, just as “Don’t Know Me” can attest. Getting scolded by his manager, the music video waits for Slatt to return to his job, and when he finally does, he flexes the idea of bringing his music dreams to fruition. On one hand, it’s a story that leaves us rooting for Slatt Zy more than ever before, while on the other hand, it’s a scene that clearly foreshadows the future for one of TN’s most promising artists right now. Chattanooga’s own is making some impeccable first impressions with his past few releases, and …

Behind the Boards: IGot20OnMyBeat “Double D’s” Beat Deconstruction

One of the many unsung heroes of the music industry is the producers. I decided to sit down with Charlotte, North Carolina’s own IGot20OnMyBeat — the producer of hit songs such as DaBaby’s “Walker Texas Ranger” — to talk about his origins and most recent rise with DaBaby and Stunna4Vegas. Above, I got to see 20 conduct a Genius-style beat deconstruction of Stunna4Vegas’s hit song, “Double D’s.” Check out the video and the short Q&A that derived from our sit-down. – – – – – – – First of all, I appreciate that you had me over here. When did you start producing? I started about 20 years ago, back when my brother was working with Rico Wade from the Dungeon Family. I was pretty much just being a brother and supporting. After a while, though, I started to take it seriously with my friend Joseph Fields, going to the crib after school and making beats on Fruity Loops. From there, I just stuck with it. So what were you listening to back then? Who inspired you coming up? Oh, man. I was listening to Timbaland, Missy Elliott, a lot of Ginuwine. Also, since Rico Wade was in my ear …

Watch RZA’s brand new interview with BigBoyTV

RZA is one of the most legendary hip-hop figures walking the planet, and Big Boy is one of the most acclaimed interviewers in the world, so when they clashed for a brand new conversation I was eager to hear what they were speaking about. You will find RZA talking about plenty of things including the recent documentaries on Wu-Tang, the current state of hip-hop, scoring movies, working with Hulu, Wu-Tang being filled with alpha males, being a great writer & storyteller, writing a book, how hip-hop has changed over the years, Lil Nas X & Drake, the strength of the Wu-Tang brand, Logic, the idea of getting inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll hall of fame, being a student of the game, greatness not being individual, nostalgia, the legacy of ODB, Pac & Biggie, being a leader & much more. This interview was chock-filled with gems, take some time out to watch it and I bet you learn something new.

Feeling That Feel – [Verzache]

Returning to our pages today with a very special record, rising star Verzache drops off his latest release titled “Feeling That Feel”. The self-produced, self-written, and self-recorded track showcases Verzache’s ability to create a mesmerizing feeling through the smooth delivery of his infectious melodies and captivating lyrics. Verzache currently stands with an undeniable catalog to his name, in which has helped build a large, possessive, and promising fanbase despite the fact that he has no music videos and very few visuals. After speaking to his manager, his fans can be prepared to see his first ever music video very soon, but those are all the details I can say at this time. Furthermore, Verzache will continue to release singles and hopefully land himself a tour slot somewhere in the near future. As he continues to grow and develop on his own, we can only guess that his releases will continue to be stronger and stronger. Do yourself a huge favor now and stream “Feeling That Feel” below as well as follow Verzache on Instagram and Twitter!

Wasteland – [Tierra Whack]

With three singles released in the past three weeks, it should come as no surprise to hear that Tierra Whack has been on fire as of late. Even with such frequent releases, she’s been able to consistently impress with each one, offering up beautiful slices of the life and personality that she so gleefully embodies. Today, this streak is kept up as Whack is back on our pages with her fourth offering of #whackhistorymonth, “Wasteland.” Smooth as can be and decorated with bright splashes of background vocals, this offering gives the budding star a chance to show off the incredible array of cadences that she first perfected on Whack World. Clocking in at just over three minutes, Whack never ceases to entertain, one line after another, and as a result, I feel confident in saying that her fourth offering in four weeks is yet another fantastic example of Whack’s unique talents. That said, be sure to stream “Wasteland” at the link below and let us know what you think in the comments! Animation by @poormarty Artwork by @brotherzachary