Sensitive Soul – [Hope Tala]

Per the title of her latest project, Sensitive Soul, the true root of Hope Tala’s music is that of emotive storytelling — a humanizing talent woven into the fabric of her sound, beaming with heart and that intangible sense of artistic integrity, soul. Put simply, her art is a mirror of life, and in keeping things so honest, Tala balances the line between universal themes and confessional lyrics, crafting a masterful combination of both. Today, we see this at its finest in Tala’s latest effort, a brand new, 6-track project. Cleverly tagged under the genre “RnBossa,” the project’s understated style and soothing sound at times certainly reflects that of a bossa nova piece, as Tala seems to move with an innate reserve in each step. She isn’t the type to scream out her message, but rather, she keeps things somewhat calm, instead focusing her attention on the emotion packed into each lyric. As a result, Sensitive Soul doesn’t chase for attention. Instead, it captures listeners naturally, letting the music and the stories do the talking throughout the duration of the project. That said, Sensitive Soul is yet another wonderful step forward for Hope Tala, so keep an eye out. The West London native is …

Maverick – [Danny Diamonds]

From melodic vocal runs to anthemic songwriting, Danny Diamonds’ music is undeniable. Each and every new release possesses that intangible sense of replay value that simply can’t be imitated, and most notably, Diamonds has achieved this prowess without ever losing sight of his well-refined artistic identity. Today, the Boston representative is here to impress yet again with his brand new single, “Maverick.” As noted by the title, “Maverick” is a celebration of sorts, rooting its pride in the fact that Diamonds has come a long way as both a musician and a human. Sure, along the path there have been countless obstacles and moments of self-doubt, but what matters is that Diamonds is still here, still making music, and doing it all as the star-bound, independent thinker that he truly is. No one can deny that the Boston talent has a knack for crafting earworms, and “Maverick” follows right in line, supplementing this catchiness with a truly motivational message for fans of any kind to resonate with. That said, stream the new song below and keep an eye out for Diamonds’ forthcoming EP! Produced by Level

The Lay Down – [Big Baby DRAM] ft. [H.E.R.] & [watt]

With the announcement that he is dropping new music, DRAM also released a message explaining that, 2 years removed since his last album, he would be getting back to his R&B and soul roots. Starting off, he’s definitely aligning himself with the right people, recruiting new R&B sensation H.E.R, and guitarist Andrew Watt for “The Lay Down.”  Though the overall direction and cushioned R&B-driven board work may be new ground, DRAM’s charisma, and unique vocal drawl remain true and he does a great job of blending it with H.E.R’s smoky voice. Still present, as well, is DRAM’s knack for arrangement. Here he rounds out the cut emphatically with a strutting solo from watt that’s backed by some impressive vocal harmonies and powerful drums that work together to create rich, cascading feel. Taking the qualities that are rooted in his DNA that made him a fan-favorite, but applying them to a new sound and direction, DRAM kicks off this new, Big Baby DRAM chapter with a bang.

Evolving with Chicago’s own D2X

A year ago, I spoke to D2X over the phone. The then 20-year-old rapper from Chicago’s south suburbs was just about to release his debut EP ‘Enjoy Life’. The EP, as its title might suggest, communicated a mindset that the rising artist had finally settled on: after backing out of college basketball offers, recording in a professional studio for the first time, and finding confidence in his skills as a rapper, D2X was finally ready to pursue that which truly made him happy. Now, on a mid-July afternoon, as the sunlight starts to barely creep in through the boarded-up window panes, D2X sits next to me on a couch in the lounge of the Lyrical Lemonade office. He’s joined by his right-hand producer Glohan Beats and friends/photographers John and Tove. A can of lemonade in hand, D2X starts to catch me up on what has changed since we last spoke. His viral track “Woop Woop” got played on Chicago’s legendary Power 92 radio station, and recently he’s headlined his first concert as part of Illanoize Radio’s Let’s Get Social series. Though these career highlights stand out in our conversation, what’s most apparent is how D2X’s demeanor feels almost exactly the same …

Rapture – [David Wolves]

Looking back at some of the ingenious songs and moments throughout music history, it rings true than many of the greats are those who find the ability to do the most using the least. In other words, driving toward the full impact of a given sound or style is a mark of special artistry, and none other than David Wolves is here today to display such with his brand new single, “Rapture.” Inspecting the instrumental here, “Rapture” offers up an indestructible supply of drums, but beyond this surface shield of armor, the supplementary melodies aren’t much more than subtle reinforcements to the lead percussion. In this sense, all things considered, “Rapture” isn’t too over-complicated, and as a result, every word from Wolves receives a full bout of well-deserved attention, hammering home the high stakes of each line. It’s under this environment of sound that such dense lyrics can find the right home for analysis. Right off the bat, Wolves kicks things off with “this one’s for the sinners who bleed honestly,” immediately creating a sense of urgency between the artist and the audience. As the song furthers, these sweeping blows of artistry continue to push the needle of the song, …

Something New – [Lil Gray]

Especially in hip-hop, the YouTube world has become an entirely new beast. Now more than ever, the algorithm has caught up to the unique pace of tastemaking, and as a result, gems like Lil Gray’s latest, “Something New,” find themselves popping up in my recommended just by chance. So thank you, YouTube. Right off the bat, I found myself intrigued by the slow-paced, emotive stylings of the sample here, as it reflects an 80s ballad moreso than the anthemic rap song that Lil Gray transforms the sample into. Needless to say, however, with clever quotables and nonchalant deliveries, the budding talent creates magic out of nothing, infusing his street-induced lyricism and melodic vocal runs into a must-listen release. But “Something New” doesn’t just stop there. Matching the song’s braggadocious allure and instant replay value, the accompanying visuals find Gray and his team singing each and every word. As a result, the video emphasizes the song’s anthemic structure, relaying its message as a street anthem without missing the point of such enjoyable music. That said, “Something New” is an effortless earworm, so don’t sleep on this one. Sit back, have some fun, and let Lil Gray do the rest! Directed by …

Count Me Out – [Chiiild]

Chiiild is set to join, Emotional Oranges on a North American Tour this Fall, and, honestly, it makes perfect sense. Like Emotional Oranges, their identities remain under wraps, they already have some serious industry connections (working with the likes of Gaga, Usher, and Skrillex), and, most importantly their fresh brand of R&B ensures a similar breakout. Making one hell of an introduction with “Count Me Out,” the duo share a rich sound rooted in R&B. Teeming with subtle effects and exploratory sounds, though, they bring a more gritty, textured sound than you conventionally associate with R&B. Even their message challenges the norm. “Count Me Out” is more motivational and inspiring than morose, but still packed full of swirling emotion. Even without knowing much about them, even with just one release, Chiild’s star power is incontrovertible. You just know it when you hear it and “Count Me Out” is it.

Crush – [Max Wells] ft. [Foreign Forest]

Indiana-based rapper has spent his last year traveling, giving him new perspectives. Bringing those newly found perspectives and angles into his music is an effort he has succeeded in. Currently stationed back home, the smooth artist has been locked in the studio and has recently released some of his best and most passionate music to date.  His latest offering, “Crush,” is melodic pleasantry for the ears. His extremely gentle and emotional vocal performance can be compared to other crooning artists such as Lil Peep and Post Malone. With a great feature from California artist, Foreign Forest, the song delves into the intricacies of relationships. With lyrics such as, “Shit can get weird, but it’s weird when it’s not,” the duo makes the message of the song very easy to relate to. Both glide effortlessly over the WHOISDRO production to make a summer love anthem you will have on repeat. Follow Max Wells, and stream, “Crush,” here:  Words by Barry R

I Got – [Lucus]

Lucus is a rising singer and songwriter that has the potential to make a Billboard Hot 100 hit. Today Lucus returns to the Lyrical Lemonade pages with his bouncy upbeat single in “I Got.” It’s crazy to think that he’s only still in grade school, because when I first heard his single “Stay With Me” I thought Lucus was in his early 20s. I still find it odd how Lucus doesn’t have any songs on any DSP platforms and has constricted his songs to only his Soundcloud. But, Lucus told me via direct message that he would like to have a proper distributor before he does so. No need for fans to worry if he continues to flash talent like this on each drop then it shouldn’t be long before more industry heads come knocking on his door. Check out some of Lucus’ other work and stream his new single “I Got” below. Produced by Labcook

Warning Signs – [Nyck Caution]

If you read my articles, you know I’m a firm believer of New York rappers being some of the hungriest sounding in the game. Pro-Era’s, Nyck Caution is back with an absolute banger while the summer is still in full stride. The young emcee is not playing games on his latest offering titled, ‘Warning Signs.’ Right off the bat the New York native makes his message clear with lyrics such as, ‘I been plotting on this moment, my whole life has been a stakeout. Held back in the past, but it’s time to raise the stakes now.’ Aggressively delivering his vocals, Nyck proves himself to be a threat to the game. Co-produced by Dreamlife, Dylan Graham, and 2one2, the beat possesses thunderous and blazing 808’s loud enough to knock the cap off your head. With an album coming out in the near future, Nyck Caution is truly sticking to his word and warning everyone of what is to come for him in 2019. ‘Warning Signs,’ comes with a captivating visual directed by Spikey John and David Wept. Words by Barry R