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Alt Hip Hop

Music

Cigarra – Deathwish (Prod. Blingbwoy and Sammyboy)

Starting with a lovely chilled sampled voiceover before the gorgeous trappy beats kick in, Cigarra’s ‘Deathwish’ is one-and-a-half minutes of perfect old-school hip hop, all laid back vocal over spangly, sparkly sequenced melody and sublime gated snare beats.

CIgarra hails from Tampa, Florida, and ‘Deathwish’ has that beautiful, relaxed West Coast vibe, all summery flow and carefree, breezy composition. Free and easy without ever feeling over-nonchalent, ‘Deathwish’ is a scintillating, vivacious bite of accomplished art which truly showcases Cigarra’s musical craft.

Hear ‘Deathwish’ on Soundcloud, and follow Cigarra on Instagram and YouTube.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Kei Dii lays their amorous soul bare in the genre-transcending single ‘New Girl in Town’

Breaking artist Kei Dii transcended the notion of genre with their EP ‘Bar-Bies’ which dropped on October 15th, the perfect introduction to their unique brand of urban aural alchemy is undoubtedly ‘New Girl in Town’.

The amorously evocative single laces the romanticism of RnB with the convictive adoration which you will frequently find in Hip Hop, but you’ve never heard a track quite like this before.

It’s practically paradoxical for a track to offer such idyllic resolving melodies while simultaneously delivering hard-hitting energy. Yet, as New Girl in Town runs through, you’ll find that the momentum stems from Kei Dii’s galvanising vibe and passion which they project into the mix without filter, assimilation or constraint.

You can check out Kei Dii’s single New Girl in Town via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Mikey entwines Trap with Blues in their standout single ‘Sacrifices’

Indie Hip Hop artist Mikey dropped their soul-searching single “Sacrifices” earlier this year. With plenty of humbling and inspiring Hip Hop in the pipeline, there has never been a better time to jump on their sound.

With the repetition of the question “why me?” Mikey hammers home the injustice in the disparity of fairness. But within the verses of the cutting Indie Hip Hop single you’ll find positivity which allows the listener to realise that despite how unfair the hand you’ve been dealt or what struggles are put in front of you, you have the power to overcome them.

With old school bluesy tantalising guitar tones finding synergy with the concise Trap beats, the instrumentals offer plenty of depth, but that aural alchemy is nothing in comparison to the powerful lyricism which is forceful enough to seismically shift your mindset.

You can check out the official video to Sacrifices by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Celebrate the end of 2020 with Burniscous’ darkly fierce single “The Years Almost Over”

Celebrate the prospect of 2020 ending with breaking Hip Hop artist Burniscous’ latest drop “The Years Almost Over”. With plenty of space between the lyrics, each of the lines delivered will hit with sonorous impact.

If New Year’s Eve always leaves you laden with insidious emotion, this atmospherically fierce track is the perfect mix to fall into and allow the nihilistic tones to resonate with your own.

With an accessible old-school production which pays ode to ’80s and 90s Hip Hop and the visceral distinction found in Burniscous’ bars, it’s hard not to hear the commercial potential in the artist’s unapologetically authentic sound. You’ll want them on your radar sooner than later.

You can check out The Years Almost Over by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Shade Apollo bridges the gap between urban and alternative with “Straight out of the Coffin”

Seattle-based Hip Hop artist Shade Apollo released their latest single Straight out of the Coffin on Friday the 13th, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more transfixing 2020 dark Hip Hop drop.  

With phantasmic reverb creeping behind their nihilistically feverish Rap bars as lines such as “I know I can break the cycle, but the nightmare never ends” are delivered, Shade Apollo offers a gripping ominous sound complete with heartbreakingly resonant lyrics.

For anyone who knows how relentless the grip of depression and anxiety is, that line will hit bruisingly hard while handing you the affirmation that you aren’t alone in your perpetual cycle of suffering.

With Shade Apollo’s influences ranging from everyone to Marilyn Manson to $uicideboy$, he’s bridged the gap between urban and alternative with Straight out of the Coffin. Which may make their sound ‘niche’ to some, but I can guarantee it will be as evocative and powerful to others as it was to me.

You can check out the official video to Straight out of the Coffin via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Dez Ali – BARBIE: Amorously Eccentric RnB Pop Hip Hop

Breaking artist Dez Ali has dropped their playfully sticky-sweet standout single BARBIE, prepare to be serenaded by the amorously eccentric energy of the rapper, songwriter and musician while being transfixed by the soulfully dreamy RnB Pop Hip Hop beats.

It’s a time-old tale of boy-meets-girl, told through a charismatically frisky RnB vocal delivery. With hints of Reggae in the mix, you’ll definitely feel the love if you take a chance on the exceptionally authentic artist.  If you don’t crack a smile listening to BARBIE, your soul may have collapsed.
You can check out the official music video to BARBIE which dropped on October 30th via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Izze St. William offers salvation with his ghetto electric hymn ‘No Shackles’

‘No Shackles’ is a perfect slice of old-school R&B, a cry to love and longing and the need to belong. With an Antares, Auto-Tuned vocal reminiscent of the best style of Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne, or the omnipresent T-Pain, and lyrics describing the lust for love – “Put Shackles over me/ Come throw away the key/ If I was in the crime of being lonely” –  ‘No Shackles’ grooves and winds through a hook-heavy with thumping bass and sequenced keyboards.

Izze St. William describes himself as ‘an artist-producer for the people’ creating ‘ghetto electric hymns’ and ‘sacred music within mystic stories of the human soul’. With ‘No Shackles’ he’s certainly created a track which will stick in yours.

See the video for ‘No Shackles’ on YouTube, and follow Izze St. William on Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

UK Hip Hop Producer GieoSound energises the airwaves with their latest drop “Na Na Na Na!”

It is an incredibly rare occurrence for true personality to shine through in Hip Hop, but after hearing GieoSound’s latest release Na Na Na Na! I feel like I know the artist and producer well enough to invite them over for a cup of tea.

With the track which dropped on October 27th, the UK-based artist and producer put a brand new spin on the frustrative and aggressive tracks which have been created during lockdown. It’s a work of feisty defiance, but with the lush warm soft tones and GieoSound’s playfully enigmatic approach to production, you can’t help but feel a little endeared and reassured that no matter how bleak things seem, it’s all going to be okay. Even if it isn’t, at least we’ll have blazing new drops such as Na Na Na Na! to jam to as the apocalypse looms.

You can check out Na Na Na Na! for yourselves by heading over to YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

B dot Fresh – Back to Rome: The ambiently trippy soundtrack to your wanderlust.

B dot Fresh’s latest single Back to Rome offers ambience with a kick. The Alt Indie Hip Hop artist experimentally layered the production with Jazzy, trippy, stylistic Dreampop alchemy to ensure that you’ve never heard a track quite like this before.

The breakbeats may disrupt the melodicism, but with the tranquilly-light notes breezing through the glitchy beats, there’s no denying that Back to Rome is an entrancing track.

Don’t be surprised if you’re left with wanderlust after you hit play on this mesmerizingly nuanced release. Even if you’re not heading outside, you can head to a new plateau with this smoothly lit single.

You can check out the official video to Back to Rome for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

SixPortalz wraps their heartbreak around 808s in their Alt Indie Trap track “Welfed”

SixPortalz dropped their playfully pensive Alt Indie Trap hit Welfed on October 18th, they definitely made no bones about stamping down their evocatively nerdy signature style.

The raw volatility of the track may mean that Welfed isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But anyone looking for abrasively recognisable emotions wrapped up in a melodically lo-fi production will find plenty to get enamoured by with Welfed.

The track reveals intimate shame-laden thoughts which all too infrequently get projected back at us, but through their humility, SixPortalz unapologetically offered an olive branch of connection, an invitation to crawl out of the insecurity which romantic catastrophe left you lingering in. Additionally, any track with an Invader Zim reference is a winner in our book.

You can check out Welfed for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast