Sometimes music can move you. It can touch your soul with the darkest of concepts and creep into your thoughts, consuming your being with a relentless yearning to dwell and implore until you disappear for moments of your life and feel truly at one with the art you’ve witnessed. This is not one of those times. Terry Swan brings impressive rapping to a fun and energetic track with She Textin Me.
She Textin Me populates a simple beat and a captivating sine-wave pattern with layered call and response vocals that are as entertaining as they are carefree. While music can cross into high art, sometimes you just need to let go and enjoy yourself. Terry Swan sets up this track for plenty of good times to be had. It’s light-hearted, it’s silly, it’s catchy, and most importantly, it’s good. This track won’t go out of its way to change your world, but it can give some momentum to a good night out. What more can you ask for?
One third of Montreal’s musical collective Blckcoke, here Prince Akeem delivers a track which looks into a dark corners of everyday life. Rap music has always been good at shining a spotlight on the street and the underworld characters that populate it, at the struggle for power and the hustle to stay in control.
What is refreshing here is that in his own gritty and realistic language Prince Akeem looks at the closed-door realities of conflict in relationships, the escalation of emotions and the grim results that can be borne out of passion. This is music embracing the hip-hop ethic that gave birth to it, music as social commentary, music that talks about everyday life. Sometimes the smallest and simplest stories are the most powerful.
Despite having turn his back on his early passion for music, rapper Shain Romanowski, better known as A Certain Energy, found that its seductive ways were never going to let him go and after one life changing moment was propelled back into its embrace. With an EP about to drop, Know That is the perfect calling card for his ultra modern, hip-hop driven rhymes.
He takes the classic themes of fame and fortune, singular devotion and the drive to make it but delivers them with more melody and intelligence than the genre has seen in a long time and when he sings of his ambitions, far from coming across as just another street corner wannabe with all the words and no plan, with A Certain Energy you are as convinced as he is that he will get there. It is easy to draw parallels with a certain Canadian hip-hop heavy weight but maybe following the Drake Equation is exactly the path to take.
It’s easy to be impressed by how music production has evolved and become so accessible. Superstar talent can spring up from anywhere at any time. With so much emphasis on achieving sound quality, a lot of artists end up neglecting their craft of performing. Dylan shows a side of rapping that often gets neglected in modern rap: the actual rapping.
Dylan’s verses on Bounce are casual and often tongue-in-cheek, but that doesn’t discount him from being taken seriously. There’s a lot of work put into these verses (in both setup and execution). There’s a decent loop built around hi hats and some brass, but the highlight of the music is likely the well-timed stops used to enhance certain verse lines. Some panning and filtering on backing vocals keeps everything interesting enough while you wait for the next clever stanzas.
Bounce is a track that brings back simplicity in production as a method of showing off the fronting talent. Could Dylan be as impressive in front of live orchestras and designer drums that take months to perfect? Maybe, but that would defeat the purpose here. We’re here for the appreciation of something raw. As the adage goes, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. Well, Dylan’s roots have a different motion. This track doesn’t need a big budget either. It has heart (and bounce).
B Jet is nothing if not soaked in reality. This is really edgy stuff and it comes on as a cross between impassioned hip-hop, a last prayer and a heart wrenching confessional shot through with the grim truths of a life lived the hard way. It is the perfect answer to the saccharine commercial endeavours that have passed from the street to the charts along the way losing the spirit of the fight that hip-hop and rap where born out of.
As the song spirals ever onwards hypnotically through its dark autobiography of survival and struggle it becomes a compelling chronicle, driven by vocals and minimal beat and skittering samples but so powerful are the lyrics, all you hear is the message in all its dark heartfelt glory.
Joffery Hollsworth is an artist with a truly unique approach to his blend of music.
Recently, he set out to release a brand new song titled “Morning Fog”. This is a song that showcases the artist’s full range of abilities, as well as his great vocal range and lyrics-writing skills. The songs blurs the lines between hip-hop, pop and R&B, going for a crisp and punchy production value.
This song has a very upbeat, yet smooth drum groove, which blends in really well with the song’s melodies and themes. Joffery’s voice is warm, direct and expressive, with a truly old school feel that echoes the golden age of the hip-hop genre.
All in all, this is not just a great song that appeals to fans of hip-hop: this track has a great laid-back attitude that would appeal to and of all kinds of music. I can certainly see myself blasting this loud when driving in the sunshine this summer!
ADZ recently released a brand new remixed version of Silence, one of his most compelling tracks to date. With this thought-provoking remix, he set out to reinvent the groove of the song with a really unique creative concept.
This remix has got some refreshingly new textures and some stunning atmospheres that add depth to the music.
The song begins with a rather mellow vibe, but eventually the groove picks ups and acquires a very uplifting texture, particularly due to the unique tone of the vocals and the drum machine beats, which have a really dry, punchy groove to them.
ADZ has managed to build quite a big following for his conscious and direct approach to rap. His lyrics and sonic aesthetics are conscious and direct, often giving his music a really strong focus on social themes and other issues, inspired by artists as outspoken as Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper, J. Cole and many more. Not unlike these aforementioned talents, ADZ is always ready to speak up agains social issues, particularly with a focus on the UK scene. This song, in particular, was inspired by the recent times of political unrest and events such as Brexit, which had and will have a massive impact on the lives of millions of people, not only throughout the United Kingdom, but throughout the whole world.
Absonetti is the sound of modern day rap meeting slow grove R&B and a taste of West Coast glamour washing up on Southend’s sea front. This is like Tumblr as a record, the piecing together of divergent fragments to make a cohesive whole, the collecting of musical fragments to fit together in a new sonic jigsaw. The groove and is sultry and soulful but the vocal treatments cool and threaded through with studio gloss, the beats are lazy and staccato but the rap deliveries spark with energy.
It is England’s answer to the American rap dream, when faced with the sun-drenched West Coast bling or the edgy East Coast grit, the answer is simple. If you can’t join them, beat them.
Rarely does the music world gift us with a vocal as smooth as Matt Johnson of The The. Casomado brings that in spades over a backdrop of lovingly filtered hip hop beats on his new track Rose Plague. Wrapped in light guitar licks and inquisitively pitch-bent synths, Rose Plague is the perfect complement to any time spent from the chill haze of a morning routine to a cooldown from the day’s trials. Its appeal is in this ubiquitous appropriateness. The word viral comes to mind.
This is music you could meditate to. You could get lost in it and enjoy some lovely introspection. In the company of others, this could be mood music for an intimate conversation just as easily as it could be a soundscape for exploring a virtual world with friends. This music is electronic in nature but also exudes a natural, organic feeling. It fits right whether you’re clearing the dancefloor before the next DJ set, or if you’re exploring a woodland trail hoping you reach the summit by sunrise.
Casomado displays tenderness in his approach to both his own performance and the context of his presentation. It’s always refreshing to hear a musician who really seems to swim in his music, as opposed to swimming over it. It’s a quality we don’t always get to hear outside of shoegaze or dream pop. These influences are a welcome addition to Rose Plague’s rooted hip hop sensibility.
Some say that the art of forging new music should be about originality: the idea that if you can find something with no precedent, you’ve truly created. There is another school of thought that believes art is about capturing and evoking the ways once there and now gone: the old school. Sketches on Duality may have their own intentions as artists, but they swagger between these ideas with grace, ease and an undeniable cool.
The name Michelangelo conjures a Florentine artist who could never have known the impact he would have on the world of art. He was a renaissance man who took in culture and then expelled it back into the world with new life. Fittingly, Sketches on Duality have taken this same approach on their track, Michelangelo.
The Vienna-based group exudes confidence as a medley of smooth, jazzy keys lay a foundation for warm, soulful guitar and jagged, inspired basslines. Vocalist Jahson the Scientist expressively dips from spoken word into old school rapping, guiding the listener through reverently influenced old school vibes of jazz and classic hip hop. Michelangelo is a song worthy of its name. Sketches on Duality appropriately bring together two completely different theories on music and in doing so, create art.