9x7-01.png

R&B

Brimming with Niceties & Gospel 'Pink Planet' is Pop for a Soulful World

Feb 27, 2021

For Pink Sweat$ - so named for his simple fashion choices harboring comfortability over anything else – the ability to delineate his own mosaic of sonic textures, and tell stories of timeless love and an ever more inclusive modernity, seems to be what Pink Planet represents to the Neo-Soul and R&B realm in a pop-heavy post-genre moment. Musically, emotionally, texturally, it’s broad. And yet, for such a young artist boasting such a dynamic sound, it’s also incredibly focused...

Weekly Wav Template [3]-01.png

Music

Weekly.wav | The Music You Need to Hear from the 8th Week of 2021

Feb 26, 2021

A recap of all releases you need to hear from the eighth week of 2021, including a danceable offering from KAYTRANADA, an expectedly positivist mellow pop jam from Still Woozy, a Valentine's anthem from Leo Pastel, and a lesson Black History and Black history in the making from Dreamville rapper, JID.

Weekly Wav | Heading Template-01.png

Music

Weekly.wav | The Music You Need to Hear from the 7th Week of 2021

Feb 18, 2021

A recap of all releases you need to hear from the seventh week of 2021, including a whole lot of R&B hits from K. forest, Syd, JVCK JAMES, and Brent Faiyaz, as well as another new single from the illustrious Serious Klein...

$avvy - Boys Wear pearls 9x7-01.png

Hip-Hop

$avvy Crafts a Gem | ‘Boys Wear Pearls’ Glistens as a Debut Project

Feb 18, 2021

Appearing from seemingly nowhere last year with a maturity to his differentiating auditory aesthetic and a professionalism about the production, the videography, and the whispery, mellow ease with which he marks every rap, every note, and every visual adaptation, $avvy has been a name worth watching for his sound worth knowing since the very beginning. And at the beginning of 2021, he’s here with his debut collection...

Langston Bristol - M-Side Odyssey 2 9x7-

Hip-Hop

Who TF is Langston Bristol and Why Should You Care?

'M-Side Odyssey 2'

Feb 16, 2021

From start to finish, whether a fan of the old-school or the new; whether a fan of hip-hop or R&B; whether a fan of the upbeat and lyrical or the slow-moving and melodic; the mixtape is a fluid exploration of the range of an artist whose sound knows no stylistic or epochal boundaries and therefore knows no one who doesn’t find something(s) to love about it all. So, who TF is Langston Bristol? There’s no better way to find out than listening to M-Side Odyssey 2...

Weekly Wav | Week 6-01.jpg

Music

Weekly.wav | The Music You Need to Hear from the 6th Week of 2021

Feb 11, 2021

A recap of all releases you need to hear from the sixth week of 2021, including a 90's inspired single from Brooklyn soulstress, Raveena; a collaborative drop from Freddie Gibbs & Schoolboy Q; a mellow release from Brooklyn's Soft Glas; the first single in years from Topaz Jones; and a continuation of R&B experimentation from underground Toronto R&B crooner, Marvin Dolo.

INYIM9x7-01.jpg

R&B

Sy Ari Da Kid Blurs Trap and R&B’s Grey Area with ‘It’s Not You, It’s Me’

Feb 11, 2021

Mostly bass-heavy, addicting R&B infused with Sy Ari’s tendency to sew raps between his vocally laden hooks, It’s Not You, It’s Me plays both of his stylistic lanes in persistent, liquid harmony. Even in the project’s slower tracks – the kind of ones that find themselves both thematically and instrumentally leaning towards the romantic edge of a classic, sexy R&B sound – Sy Ari weaves in and out of differing cadences and flows with such fluid effortlessness that it becomes clear he is neither a rapper or a singer, but a post-genre existence of both folded into one unique lane.

VanJess - Homegrown 9x7-01.jpg

R&B

VanJess Explore the Cyclical Nature of their Experimental R&B in 'Homegrown'

Feb 10, 2021

Homegrown as a whole speaks to the dialed range of their one-of-a-kind sound. Each track – many of which are spurred by the aesthetics of myriad collaborators – speaks to the knack of their range merging with others who, too, possess a unique and vibrant redefinition of R&B’s past merging with its nuanced future. Homegrown always finds its way home, to the intersectionality of VanJess’s retrofuturistic R&B experimentation. Their role in the cycles and the circles of it all continues.

More than Music | Femdot 9x7-01.png

Social

More Than Music | Femdot and his University Fund, Delacreme Scholars

Feb 7, 2021

In 2018, the Chicago rapper was searching for another way to make a difference. He had been telling his story, and bringing relatability and hope to anyone listening, since his debut project, King Dilla, in 2014. And with each release, and each’s release’s subsequent success, came a larger and sturdier platform for him to speak his peace. So, as with music, he again looked towards his own life – specifically towards his education and the challenges he saw so often in the mirror and in the trials of others when it came to affording that education – for his next passionate venture.

Reaux Marquez - No Roads 9x7-01.jpg

Hip-Hop

'NO ROADS' but his own could have led to a Fiery Reaux Marquez Debut

Feb 5, 2021

Fire by fire’s many modern meanings, No Roads is mostly up-tempo, vivacious hip-hop from a rapper who lives and dies by the sharpness of his tongue. Thankfully for him, and for everyone listening, there is not a breath wasted in the hour-long exhibition of prose and poeticism; power and painstaking craft. From beginning to end, adjacent to crafting a cohesive narrative, Reaux’s musicality is ripe with a dominating display of lightning-fast bars. Infused with meaning, each line delivered is a line meditated and crafted in the shadows of an emerging Nashville scene for years.

Weekly Wav | Week 5-01.jpg

Music

Weekly.wav | The Music You Need to Hear from the 5th Week of 2021

Feb 3, 2021

A recap of all releases you need to hear from the fifth week of 2021, including a collaboration between Brant Faiyaz and Tyler the Creator, the second solo single from CO-NY rapper, Big Trip, a joint single from Sango and Curtis Williams, a dynamic electro-pop collaboration between Kito, VanJess & Channel Tres, and another lyrical bout from Nashville rapper, The BlackSon.

MDV - Roses 9x7-01.jpg

Hip-Hop

Michael Da Vinci’s Debut ‘Roses’ Blooms w/ Broad Taste for Hip-Hop

Feb 2, 2021

Straight away, it’s clear that Roses is going to be different for Da Vinci, for The House, and for Chattanooga. From its psychedelic cover artwork to its opening Intro, the project takes a sledgehammer to any expectations. Removed from the meditative flow and oft hard-hitting aesthetic he brings to releases like last year’s single, Roid Rage with Nashville rapper, OGTHAGAWD, Da Vinci instead enters a realm of trippy, melodic soundscapes still brimming with bars, but founded on the precipice of something more experimental and ultimately broad strokes.

Weekly Wav | Week 4-01.jpg

Music

Weekly.wav | The Music You Need to Hear from the 4th Week of 2021

Jan 28, 2021

A recap of all releases you need to hear from the fourth week of 2021, including a new single from Toronto hip-hop experimentalist, Clairmont The Second; a debut EP from Afro-Fusion Star on the Rise, Ayra Starr; a hard-hitting drop from Maryland rapper, Malik Elijah; and a live Soul cut from James Tillman and Flwr Chyld.

Collab Elation | Khruangbin & Raveena-01

Music

Collab Elation | Khruangbin + Raveena Making Lovestruck Funk

Jan 27, 2021

This collaboration would be nothing if not a liquid exploration of two artistries whose prior work is already fit for the same playlist. Both Khruangbin and Raveena are modern, experimental takes on the timelessness of soul, funk, rock, and R&B intersecting with a broader worldview of from where the true greats of the past were really making music. Together, Khruangbin and Raveena would effortlessly craft fluid, funky, soulful, experimental, and ultimately timeless psychedelia exploring the world and celebrating its myriad cultures through music...

RRAP 9x7-01.jpg

Hip-Hop

Real Rap Always Prospers | A Modern Lyrical Hip-Hop Playlist

Jan 25, 2021

beneath the most popular, radio-hit emcees, a mosaic of dynamic scenes from cities and regions big and small brimming with the raps from an endless sea of artistry is proving that rap – real rap – remains central to hip-hop’s continued lineage. Real rap always prospers, one need only to look a little harder to find it. And that’s exactly what this playlist is all about. We’re all for the real rappers – especially the underground emcees – of today making waves and putting into focus just how lyrically dynamic hip-hop remains...

Clairmont The Second - HANDS 9x7-01.jpg

Hip-Hop

Clairmont The Second is Throwing 'Hands' to Prove his Lyrical Prowess

Jan 23, 2021

With Hands – a single and a visual project as is so often the case from one of the most ubiquitous hip-hop visionaries aware of the range in his artistry – there is – as is always the case – an incredible nod to the balancing act of his craft. Clairmont’s penmanship, production, and ultimately, the way he conveys it all on screen receive equal weight, and tell a broader story of his creative breadth. Fiery bar after bar leaves no room for a hook through the three-minute barrage of lyrical angst...

Just Adam - Bucket II 9x7-01.jpg

Hip-Hop

Chicago’s Just Adam is Nothing but Net with Lo-Fi, Jazzy Mixtape, Buckets II

Jan 23, 2021

With Hands – a single and a visual project as is so often the case from one of the most ubiquitous hip-hop visionaries aware of the range in his artistry – there is – as is always the case – an incredible nod to the balancing act of his craft. Clairmont’s penmanship, production, and ultimately, the way he conveys it all on screen receive equal weight, and tell a broader story of his creative breadth. Fiery bar after bar leaves no room for a hook through the three-minute barrage of lyrical angst...

Weekly Wav | Week 3-01.jpg

Music

Weekly.wav | The Music You Need to Hear from the 3rd Week of 2021

Jan 21, 2021

From the third week of the near year, we discuss new releases from K. Forest, dvsn, Esmé, The BlackSon, and Kelechi. Check it all out here, and make sure to keep an eye out for future weekly installments of the Weekly.wav...

Kota the Friend - Lyrics to GO Vol 2-01.

Hip-Hop

How Kota the Friend is Restructuring How Hip-Hop is Made

Jan 21, 2021

There is more than something genius about the business of Lyrics to GO – there is ultimately something trailblazing about it, too. In a reverse engineering of sorts to the fabled glory of visual album’s like Beyoncé’s Lemonade or – not to pull from the same family, but these are the two that immediately come to mind – Solange’s When I Get Home, that translate a timeless album into a short film, Kota is crafting a chapter of visual stories celebrating hip-hop’s timeless simplicity into a curated EP...

RyAnne - From RyAnne, With Love 9x7-01.j

R&B

From Nashville with Youthful Soul, 'From RyAnne, With Love' is a Rangy Debut

Jan 16, 2021

Hers is a particular and largely unequivocal direction for modern R&B artists to take. Without mentioning those few, that are too, taking their own independence and emotional intelligence into account when crafting experimentally driven music, RyAnne is redefining what the future of R&B, of Neo-Soul, and of Nashville can sound like, not by looking forwards, but instead by weaving her seeming fondness for acoustic notes, instrumentalism, and all-encompassing musical softness into a still-emerging hotbed for lyrically-focused Southern hip-hop and jazz oriented soul...

Weekly Wav | Week 2-01.jpg

Music

Weekly.wav | The Music You Need to Hear from the 2nd Week of 2021

Jan 13, 2021

From the second week of the near year, we discuss new singles from retro R&B duo VanJess, Chicago's up-and-coming wordsmith Just Adam, Nashville's jazzy hip-hop savant Case Arnold, and an Emotional Oranges collaboration with Chiiild. Check it all out here, and make sure to keep an eye out for future weekly installments of the Weekly.wav...

Jazmine Sullivan - Heaux Tales 9x7-01.jp

R&B

Jazmine Sullivan's Empowering 'Heaux Tales' is More than her Return to Music

Jan 10, 2021

Dot Demo - Hiatus 9x7-01.jpg

Hip-Hop

The 'Hiatus' is Over as Dot Demo's Newest Project Exhibits Range

Jan 9, 2021

After the release of last Spring’s Burn One, Tap In, Zone Out – a ten-track deliverable that like its recent predecessors, My Brother’s Keeper, Delirium, and Nahforreal’ brimmed with the soundscape of an artist defined by lyrical dominance and stylistic breadth – Demo’s life changed. He drew inwards to focus on a growing family. But, true to himself and his natural existence as a poet unparalleled in lyrical ferocity or stylistic fluidity, his Hiatus didn’t seem to come without a deeper dive into his craft...

WeeklyWav Week 1 9x7-01.jpg

Music

Weekly.wav | The Music You Need to Hear from the First Week of 2021

Jan 8, 2021

From the first week of the near year, we discuss a new EP from Nashville's Reaux Marquez featuring Brian Brown, Lul Lion, and A.B. Eastwood; a New single from DC rappers, Ciscero and Oddisee, and an unexpected collaboration between UK Neo-Soulstress, Nao and Nigerian Prince of Highlife, Adekunle Gold. Check it all out here, and make sure to keep an eye out for future weekly installments of the Weekly.wav...

9x7 2021-01.jpg

2020 Wrapped

The 25 Projects We Need in 2021, and the Reasons The Artists are Due 

Jan 3, 2021

The challenges of 2020 hit the music scene in a special way. As up-and-coming names continued to make music and release full-length projects from the quiet of quarantine and on the fire of social issues, many established names whose album drops usually require grandiose teams and ultimately precede a tour remained quiet. So, as we look towards 2021, here are the 25 projects we need from the up-and-comers who made a name in 2020, and the popular names who had us all holding our breath....

2020 Story of the Year | Nashville Black

2020 Wrapped

2020 Story of the Year | Nashville's Creative Underground 

Dec 31, 2020

2020 was a lot of things. But fuck all of the negativity. So much of the good in 2020 belonged to Nashville. A cultural renaissance in the Music City revolving around a few arenas of art and music turned the Ville into the world’s emerging creative capital to watch. Hip-hop, Neo-Soul and R&B – all of which have strong roots not only in the South, but in Nashville, too - paved the way for their orbiting cultural spheres – fashion, videography, photography, and social statement – to likewise thrive at a communal scale.

Project of the Year | Black Filter-01.jp

2020 Wrapped

2020 Project of the Year | Trinidad James and Fyre's 'Black Filter'

Dec 31, 2020

It’s been eight years since he dropped his debut smash hit. And though his name has emerged time and again in reprises of its original cut, in features across singles and projects big and small, in further releases of his own, and in his role hosting Complex Magazine’s Full Size Run, it’s Trinidad’s current run – one that began with the release of 2019 single, Playli$t and culminated with the release of the Project of the Year, Black Filter – that has once and for all pulled his limelight status away from the fate emblazoned upon him by his initial stardom...

Projects 9x7-01.jpg

2020 Wrapped

The 10 2020 Projects that Defined a Truly Unique Year

Dec 30, 2020

2020 was a year of challenges: a pandemic, racial reckoning, protests, and isolation. But, it was also a year of response to those challenges. Music, as it always is, was there through it all – there to reflect but also to push for change and growth. The best projects of 2020 pushed boundaries musically and socially. Some even reinvented the construct of crafting an album during times of quarantined isolation. And all of the year’s best projects helped define what 2020 ultimately was – a year of coming to terms with our realities; a year of overcoming...

2020 Artist of the Year | Brian Brown-01

2020 Wrapped

2020 Artist of the Year | Nashville's Brian Brown was Everywhere

Dec 29, 2020

In a year particularly defined by the power of staying in place and diving deep into wherever that place is, Brian Brown acted as the city’s leader from a cultural point of view. A veteran rapper with an unmistakable draw and an even more obvious fluidity with words, Brown is not only an image of what music coming from Nashville can sound like once one looks past the mirage of its country music reputation, but also a figure in the evolution of hip-hop from Nashville, from Tennessee, and from the hotbed that has always been the South...

Artists of 2020 Final.jpg

2020 Wrapped

The 10 2020 Artists Who did the Most in a Year when Most of us did Nothing

Dec 29, 2020

2020. What else is there to say? From an artistic standpoint, creatives had to find new ways – new ways to make their craft, new ways to reach their audience, new ways to make their points, new ways to reach one another, and new ways to make a difference. And they did. When all else seemed to fail, the artists that we look to for music, for emotional release, for love ballads, for hype anthems, and ultimately for escape, prevailed in the face of adversity. And more than ever before, the best artists of 2020...

New Artist of the Year | Giveon.jpg

2020 Wrapped

2020 New Artist of the Year | Giveon Redefined the Expectation of R&B

Dec 28, 2020

There were no young artists that found themselves in more places, doing more work, with a more unique aesthetic than the emerging R&B standout. The Long Beach baritone has spoken a lot on coming to terms with his one-of-a-kind voice, and it seems as if 2020 was the year not only for Giveon to come to peace with his individuality, but to refine it to a point that made his sound one of the most prominent in music all year. Perhaps there is something in his deep-toned croons that related to the pain and longing...