Reaux Marquez is Nobody's Decoy as EP Reintroduces Lyrical Dynamism
Nov 27, 2020
With the meditative dynamism of Reaux Marquez and all the words that come in tow with his artistry, another name – a particularly key name at that – is, too, lending his unique talent to an ever-evolving Nashville scene poised to take over hip-hop, R&B, and the grey areas of culture that orbit both spheres. With NO DECOYS: a project defined by the grey areas floating between so many established sounds, Reaux Marquez is fooling no one – is no one’s decoy...
'While The World Was Burning,' SAINt JHN Pieced a New Collection Together
Nov 26, 2020
Nothing like fucking around and ending up with a collection. But, a happy accident, by way of SAINt JHN, is nothing if not an homage to his grind. Love him or love him, the transcendent Brooklyn artist quickly turned hip-hop sex god keeps his immaculate figure by refusing to take a moment off – continues rolling out his immaculate art by doing the same no matter what else is going on around him. And that included, as he so relatably puts it, While The World Was Burning...
'F*@k It,' Bari's New Album Burns Down Preconceptions of Hip-Hop's Future
Nov 19, 2020
In the wake of last month’s full-length delivery, Layer Cake, Bari is continuing to pace a path that none before him have so effortlessly navigated, sake for the renowned producers who have walked alongside him on this journey: VZN, Blake Wright, Monte Booker, Alley Knock, Niko the Great. Together, they’ve crafted a blueprint on how to create hip-hop for future generations living in faraway galaxies. Together, they’re burning it all down. Its title speaks directly to the corrosive acidity with which Bari’s music dissolves existing conceptions of hip-hop.
An Interview with K CAMP on what 'KISS 5' Means to Hip-Hop Evolution
Nov 19, 2020
Looking back a decade on the Atlanta hip-hop scene is like looking back a century on the changes that other cultural renaissances through history have seen. A paramount collective of artistry from the ever-evolving mecca of the South is nothing new, but the sounds currently reaching a global audience by way of the newcomers and veterans who alike call home to the ATL, is, boasting perhaps the widest scope not only in all of music today, but arguably one of the rangiest through music’s history...
Femdot’s Flow is Unfounded with New A-Side / B-Side Featuring Saba
Nov 15, 2020
There’s a lot to say – more importantly a lot to listen to – when it comes to Chicago’s Femdot. Hip-hop’s most unique flow and one of its most experimental forces, he’s back in action a year removed from dynamic EP, 94 Camry Music, and doing so with an A-Side / B-Side that also features a joint with another of hip-hop’s most underrated lyricists, Saba.For their collective part, Lifetime is an expectedly hard-hitting and poetic bout that succeeds every bit as much in its position as a vibrantly ubiquitous exploration of hip-hop melody...
The BlackSon is Back & ‘Black Flag’ is a Must-Listen for Any Lyrical Fan
Nov 15, 2020
One of the Nashville’s scenes most elusive names is also one of its most its most illustrative lyricists. The BlackSon is back, and Black Flag is a must-listen for any hip-hop head looking towards where the future of dynamic penmanship meets the anthemic rap hit. The single is both of those things. Brimming with quick-cadenced, hard-hitting verse and a hook that boasts of the same description, albeit with the kind of repetition and head-nodding nature that finds a banger permanent space in a listener’s memory bank...
L.A. VanGogh Changes Form, as ’Shpeshftr’ takes Place, What’s Next?
Nov 15, 2020
Chicago’s L.A. VanGogh is a rapper. But he’s also a lot more: a songwriter, a vocalist, a producer. An all-around shpeshftr, he’s a creative mosaic whose singular form has now seemed to outgrow itself. And from that understanding of his boundless artistry, starts to make sense his unfolding project, shpeshftr vol. 1: Force of Gravity. Through it, in once-a-week varietals, VanGogh is releasing audiovisuals conceptions of various artistic styles portrayed by different characters...
Bobby Earth & Allen Love are Button | ‘Rumble Pack’ is an Indefinable Mosaic
Nov 15, 2020
Eclectic and enigmatic. Both adjectives have long described Houston experimentalist and producer, Bobby Earth whose newest collaborative project with Atlanta-based bassist, Allen Love goes by the name, Button; whose collective release is titled Rumble Pack. Naturally, eclecticism and enigma run rampant through the meandering six-track EP, brimming with staple Love basslines and hip-hop and R&B oriented Earthly flow...
Regardles How You Feel, ‘if You Feel,’ You’ll Feel Xavier Omär’s New Album
Nov 14, 2020
Through if You Feel, there is seemingly no R&B or R&B-adjacent lane – no R&B era – that Xavier Omär doesn’t touch. More than an artist, but clearly a deep-seeded student of music, he meanders wildly through epoch and stylistic evolution without ever losing way. Regardless whether you feel good or bad, high or low, social or introspective – if You Feel, then you’ll find something – somethings – to feel strongly about throughout Xavier Omär’s 2020 masterpiece...
Bryant Taylorr Redefines the Indefinable with ‘RARE’ Exhibition
Nov 13, 2020
Within a space melodically inclined yet fluidly straddling the classic R&B tenants of modern names like BJ the Chicago Kid and the hip-hop rooted crooning flow of transcendent forces like Miguel and SAINt JHN, Bryant Taylorr creates something altogether new. Amalgamate as his first collection since 2017 debut, Juice, his newest, RARE provides a glimpse from a different angle than the one we overarchingly have of Nashville...
Nashville’s $avvy Returns with Expectedly Fun Single, ‘Zoom’
Nov 8, 2020
From Nashville and the exuberant figure that brought us prior 2020 hi-fi hit, Bag/Purse, comes another character-ridden jam, Zoom. With an E-40 or Larry June-esque knack for stamping punchlines with hard-hitting hilarity, $avvy is an irreplicable name on a local scene quickly turning global. For its part in particular, Zoom is dynamic. Seeing $avvy cut an addicting hook is signature to his aesthetic, but his lyrical prowess and clever bouts of flow are the letter that always drive meaning and deeper legitimacy to his name.
Neeko Crowe Embodies Effortlessness with Single, ‘Kill!’
Nov 8, 2020
Kill! is his latest single in a harrowing string of releases so far in 2020, and akin to everything he’s put out into the streaming world, it embodies effortlessness, even while so much effort surely went into its craft. Built on a foundation of silky guitar chords, Neeko Crowe opens with its hook – a delicate, immersive melody that puts both his clever flow and his silky vocals on display. And as soon as it began, Kill!’s chorus transitions into a hypnotic verse of lyrically endowed, dynamically cadenced introspection circling self-assurance in his gift.
10 Reasons Why Omar Apollo is One of the Most Stylish People Alive
Nov 8, 2020
The young, indefinable, post-genre artiste exhibits the unending range of his style through his music and through his fashion. From oversized suits and snakeskin boots, to bleached blue hair and an unparalled knack for foraged denim, everything about Omar Apollo's image points towards the inevtiable future of his position as one of music's brightest and most important names. Here, we look into what it is that makes Omar Apollo one of the most stylish people alive.
How a Communal Tennessee Project could Ignite a New Mixtape Era
Nov 5, 2020
There’s so much intrigue in the eclectic, and there’s so much eclecticism in Tennessee. The three – the cultural mosaic, the subsequent innovation, and the state they come from – are permanently intertwined. And in no space is that more defined than in music. At our current moment, a hip-hop centric underground orbiting Nashville, Chattanooga, and longstanding Southern hub, Memphis, is fueling a confluence of creativity grounded in the wide-ranging patchwork of the Volunteer State.
Alxndr London's 'III META' is a Futurist Exploration of 2020 Emotion
Nov 3, 2020
The long, painfully emotional road for a collection only three tracks in length is Alxndr London’s boldest, most experimental to date. And for that – for the same reason we have always been so entranced by his futurist exploration – Alxndr London with III META continues to prove music, art, and maybe the human artist have no limits other than the raw constraint of emotionality.
There is no talking Nashville hip-hop without talking Brian Brown. The charismatic, one-of-a-kind rapper has spent years building two foundations - that of his own sound, and of the greater, rising Tennessee scene - all the while doing what his city has done best in order to build up one another: collaborate and support. His 2020 album, Journey, has been a keymark moment to the emerging Nashville creative scene, earning not only a whole lot of local love, but also a whole lot of critical acclaim and mainstream limelight.
Ron Obasi's 'Sun Tapes' Orbits Rap's Lyrical Past, Sets Tone for its Future
Oct 25, 2020
Obasi, a rasp-ridden, lyrically endowed poet, handily crafting effortless bars overtop expectedly Nashville beats brimming with undertones and overtones of saxophone led jazz, thrives not only in his role interviewing guest samples on what the Sun represents to them, but also in answering his own question with adjectives that too, can be applied to his sound, and his new Sun Tapes project. Light. Strength. Longevity.
Jay Prince's New A-Side / B-Side Infuses Meaning into his Range
Oct 22, 2020
Prolific this year not only by the number of singles he’s released, but by the sheer scale in their stylistic push, the UK’s Jay Prince is yet again onto something(s) new. With an A-Side / B-Side going by the name of SOL, VOL.1, he’s again entrenched his aesthetic in the transcendent grey areas between the hyper-lyrical and the silky-smooth melodic.
Kojey Radical's Progressions Continues to Foment w/ Freestyle
Oct 22, 2020
The UK rapper shines as one of the most lyrically pervasive artists alive, equally daunting with his skills as a vocalist, a choreographer, and a designer. But throw that out the window for now. The second installment of his PROGRESSION FREESTYLE goes back to the first line of this writeup – back to Kojey’s poetically founded roots – back to the simple truth that rapping as Kojey raps is not simple to any lyricist but himself.
Towards his debut album, Grown Ass Kid, expected – to say the least – soon, he’s been dropping a slurry of singles with artists of all sounds and styles. And his latest is Mirrors, which folds in the sonic silk of Snoh Allegra and longtime friend, collaborator, and one-of-a-kind wordsmith, Rejjie Snow. Overtop a playful, bubbly Cam O’bi beat, Snoh Allegra and Rejjie Snow are persuaded into playfulness of their own, and the outcome is expectedly unique.
With One of R&B's Most Unique Voices, Kaleem Taylor's New EP Proves Pen
Oct 21, 2020
The floaty, underwater synth strokes that open 'She Knows' pull a listener on equal footing with the oft-atmospheric Kaleem Taylor; drown willing ears in emotion sourced equal parts from a God-given register and a learned, experientially grounded pen.Always playing within the realm of its established muted piano keys and bass-heavy modernist production at large, Kaleem’s voice proves to be the force for the exuberant explosiveness driving the meandering direction of the project’s overarching emotionality.
Omar Apollo's 'Apolonio' Liquifies Genre, Race & Sex in Music
Oct 20, 2020
Omar Apollo’s Apolonio earns its proper debut stature as an open book dissecting the artist himself. A LatinX son of immigrants from rural Indiana, drawn to the all-encompassing fluidity of music and dance’s expression; driven, too, by the indefinability of music’s wide range, Omar Apollo is relating with an audience through so many points – sexuality, race, and genre, especially – that ultimately are the same thing – and ultimately, find their anthem in Apolonio that defies their existence, or at least their need for definition, at every turn.
Malik Elijah's 'Free Lemonade' Mixtape is an Exhibition of Hip-Hop Fluidity
Oct 16, 2020
From the lyrically prominent position from where its roots draw water, the changes in pace – the stylistic pivots of direction – from Free Lemonade’s beginning notes to its final breaths, may at first feel jarring. But when one realizes that Malik Elijah, a Maryland rapper musically founded in church choirs as a youngin’, is as wide ranging as he puts on exhibition throughout the project, the differentiation feels more like progression. Free Lemonade after all, need only be fluid.
An Interview with Maryland Rapper, Malik Elijah Towards New Tape
Oct 16, 2020
Maryland’s Malik Elijah is an up-and-comer whose range and above all else, passion, drive uniqueness into his music. En route towards the release of new project, Free Lemonade, he began with a fiery, socially-motivated audiovisual called Human. Born from the ash of a Summer especially defined by continued protests in the wake of the tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many more, Human set a tone of meaning in Elijah’s work - meaning that, too, drove vibrant musicianship.
Sy Ari Da Kid Drops Wide-Ranging Mixtape, '3 To 5 Business Days'
Oct 10, 2020
In the wake of one of 2020’s most surprising projects, A Toxic Heartbreak, Atlanta’s oft-indefinable Sy Ari Da Kid is back on his wave with another emotion and melody strewn collection. 3 To 5 Business Days comes as a further exploration of a vocally dominated direction that he’s been driving with recent drops. But, instead of fervently adhering to the melody like he did with A Toxic Heartbreak, the new project is a more wide-ranging, all-encompassing glimpse into his larger artistry.
Toronto's Terrell Morris Blooms with Transcendence Through 'Lavender'
Oct 9, 2020
The Lavender aesthetic is broad and relatively unpredictable. It floats between two different pillars rooted in one another but does so without ever committing to the tenets of jazz or hip-hop’s history. Instead, it’s a liquid look into Terrell Morris’ individuality – one that founded in jazz and hip-hop, but sources too from everything else that modern jazz and hip-hop touch. Essentially, what we’re saying is that Lavender is an exploration of it all.
365 Days Since 'iNDigo Café,' Chuck Indigo Refines with 'No Moor Bad Days'
Oct 8, 2020
365 days removed from the illustrative immersion that was iNDigo Café – a project that helped snowball the greater Nashville scene towards a tumbling of masterpieces in its 2020 wake – Chuck Indigo returns with No Moor Bad Days. Stylistically, productively, lyrically, vocally, it’s a further refinement from one of hip-hop’s most transcendentally melodic up-and-comers, while it’s also a refinement in all the same ways for a young Nashville scene that continues to close the conversation about which creative locale has had the largest impact this year.