Browsing Tag

Alt Hip Hop

Maple Struggle – Tip Toe featuring Hannah Doherty and KillBill Sax

Starting with haunting minor keys, Maple Struggle’s definitively British rap track, ‘Tip Toe’, hits hard from the first note. The evocative potency remains the only constant as the single progresses through jazzy ensembles, indie increments, neo-classic crescendos and bursts of RnB pop.

Every curveball twist in the soundscape, featuring pianist Hannah Doherty and American saxophonist KillBill Sax, leaves you more impassioned by Maple Struggle’s resounding talent and unique brand of urban alchemy. One minute, you are breathing in the smoke in a nicotine-soaked jazz club; the next, you are on the grimy streets of London.

Tip Toe isn’t just a stellar moody yet enlivening single; it quite literally leaves you giddy through the imagination and authenticity.

Tip Toe is now available to stream and download on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Baby Tap evokes 90s nostalgia and advocates authenticity with his latest single, ‘Be Myself’.

Baby Tap

‘Be Myself’ is the latest short and sweet single to come from the unapologetically authentic Nottingham UK-based artist, rapper and producer Baby Tap – emphasis on the sweet.

The repetition of “I can be anything, but I just want to be myself’ hammers home the affirmation that you don’t have to share anyone’s vision of success; you can break the mould with your very own. With Baby Tap’s industrial hardcore and cyberpunk influences, he’s perceptibly leading by example.

Along with being a high fire feat of alt EDM hip hop that advocates individuality, Be Myself serves as a time capsule to the 90s with clever references to Pokemon and Power Rangers to evoke nostalgia and remind you of the times when finding Charizard cards felt like the pinnacle of success.

You can check out Baby Tap on SoundCloud, keep up to date with new releases via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Rosegang drops new single ‘12 Over 6’

Rosegang

Opening up with a delicate fingerstyle classical Spanish guitar part before the beats and bass kick in, ’12 Over 6’ – the debut single from Tauranga, New Zealand-based artist Rosegang – is a delicate take on modern Hip Hop. That pretty, haunting guitar line repeats throughout, a simple motif that carries the track through drops and rises, Rosegang’s lyrical flow smooth and polished over the simple backing. It’s a clever combination, and all the more powerful for it, with hints of old-school Eminem, Coolio, or Nas to the feel.

Rosegang’s rapping fits neatly into the track, carrying lyrical themes of life’s struggles and the pain of loss and challenge, and the desire to rise above and better oneself. It’s narrative, storytelling vibe gives an authentic, autobiographical feel, passionate without being aggressive and resonant with honesty and rawness. It’s a superbly strong opener, made all the more potent through that simple production and the use of clever, compelling instrumentation.

You can hear ’12 Over 6’ on SoundCloud, and check out Rosegang on Spotify and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Enjoy the softer side of trap with Timmy the Boy’s intimate alt-indie sound.

Alternative artist Timmy the Boy has contributed to the airwaves for the past three years with this unique take on alt hip hop; he has garnered plenty of well-earned hype in the process. The prolific artist has collaborated with numerous major-league producers and worked with sensational featuring artists, but evidently, plenty of the alchemy in his evocative tracks is entirely his own.

The US-based artist possesses the enviable ability to explore raw emotion in his music while never drawing the listener into melancholy. Instead, he lays down all too relatable emotion while allowing his beats to tease optimism and connection.

His most recent single, Run to You, featuring Jocc and produced by Mikeisotb, can easily be considered a cloud rap playlist staple. With genres merged and plenty of atmosphere under the dual vocals, it’s as indulgently unique as it is distinctively immersive.

You can check out Timmy the Boy’s tracks for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

London’s luminary hip hop artist MAUS shows us true innovation with ‘Little Moth Lady’

After his 2020 debut, alt-hip hop artist MAUS has been making waves with his illusory sound and psychedelic narratives. His latest release, ‘L.M.L.’, featuring the original single ‘Little Moth Lady’, and FRAME’s remix is the perfect introduction to his chimeric sound.

The intrinsically evocative single is just one of the undeniable testaments to MAUS’ ability to orchestrate hazy hip hop that flows with purpose and convictive structure, never hindering the catharsis of the kaleidoscopic reverb. In the same way that an addictive novel compels you to keep turning the pages, the ethereal warm tones atop of the solid yet glitchy percussion keep you hooked.

What Slowdive is to Shoegaze, MAUS is to contemporary hip hop. Hearing just one of his releases leaves you with that tragically rare impulse to immerse yourself in every new release and get acquainted with one of London’s most luminary artists. The 22-year-old artist is a full-time musician and tattooist at Frank Carter’s iconic Rose of Mercy studio in London. Whichever facet of his talent he’s utilising, he discernibly never fails to make an impression with his imagery.

His debut album is due for release in Summer 2021. If you’re a fan of Yung Lean, Mac Miller and Blood Orange, you’ll want MAUS on your radar.

The original track is available to stream along with the FRAME remix via Spotify.

Connect with MAUS on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lewis Daniel asks what we’ve all been thinking – ‘Why Me’?

The debut single from your debut EP can always be a nerve-wracking time, even for a performer as highly sought after as Lewis Daniel. Playing across venues as wide-ranging as the Royal Albert Hall, Glastonbury Festival, and Ibiza Rocks, and composing for and performing with artists as diverse as MOBO-winner Rachel Kerr, Boadi, The Last Dinosaur, The House Gospel Choir, and his own horn section The Biscuit Horns, BRIT School and Guildhall School of Music alumnus Daniel’s debut, ‘States Of Being’, is a concept piece which melds his British and Caribbean influences; ‘Why Me’, as the title suggests, talks about that peculiar introspective place between anger and meditativeness, an internal questioning of why the world is the way it is.

A mostly instrumental piece, save for some deliciously evocative French-language spoken word sections, ‘Why Me’ mixes Daniel’s trademark saxophone with dance beats, synth bass, Caribbean steel drums, and electronics, melding jazz, hip-hop, and garage into an auditory experience that’s at times dazzling in its complexity, surprising, uplifting, and toe-tappingly good.

You can hear ‘Why Me’ on Spotify now. Lewis Daniel’s ‘States Of Being’ EP is out on the 30th April; in the meantime, you can follow on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Trevor Quest – Project Girl featuring Eddie Geno and J Will

Trevor Quest has released his sophomore single, ‘Project Girl’, in collaboration with Eddie Geno and J Will; the modernistic trap mix sits right on the contemporary curve while allowing the breaking artist to stamp down their signature sensual RnB-infused sound.

The spacey atmospheric single utilises plenty of reverb, vocally and instrumentally, but with the solid 808s in the mix, the track boasts the kind of structure that makes it impossible for your mind to wander from the dreamy urban ambience and the magnetism in Trevor Quest’s smooth vocal timbre.

Project Girl officially released on April 1st; it is available to stream and download on Apple Music. You can also check out Project Girl via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Unshackle From The Pain: LA’s Anoopina refuse to be held down ever again with their superlative new single ‘Suffocate’

With a mysteriously alluring sound that penetrates your curiously intrigued senses, Anoopina shows us that they are in charge of their own destiny with their smash hit single visuals, that you will find impossible to take your eyes off for a second called ‘Suffocate‘.

Anoopina is the outstanding Los Angeles-based alt hip-hop group that comprises two self-motivated and highly talented sisters, who fantastically fuse alluring vocals from Anoo and tremendous raps from Pina.

They smartly inject that new school sound into your thirsty speakers that has you listening closer than before — as they clearly show us their mighty credentials — on a first-rate song that will have you supremely captivated beyond belief.

We are led into the side door of the underground warehouse and met with a crackling of the dusty chains. We are shown into an astounding video that captures the moment you take control of your life back when someone has the audacity to do physical harm to you, which will ultimately prove very costly to their unwise, cruel and manipulative decision. They got too close and you are making moves to rectify this situation no matter who is looking for you.

The crunch of the stylish black boots on the naked floor has you transported inside their imaginative minds and her almost-supernatural voice simmers into your mind, as for a moment you feel like she is really singing right next to you. Her sisters skillful raps somehow wrap tightly around your body and you feel frozen for a few moments, as they stare into your eyes and you feel a sense of relief and admiration for their skill level. Meshed on point by a heart-stopping beat that has you bewildered but also deeply fascinated, all somehow at the same moment in time.

Suffocate‘ from the exceptional LA-based alt hip-hop act Anoopina, grabs your attention rather quickly as they tie up your curious mind into unbreakable knots of mystique, with a top notch single that strikingly shows you their unquestionable world class ability. This is what the future sounds like and its here now.

Watch this striking video on YouTube and see their upward journey on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Bruce Mack – Ugly Head: Dystopic Industrial Be-Bop

Funk rock meets industrial metal in the latest single to be released by New York native Bruce Mack. It wouldn’t be out of place on the Judgement Night soundtrack. With his signature be-bop style paired with co-producer Michael Cox’s guitars that resonate like siren calls, it is impossible not to be consumed by the gritty track that gives the same vibe of preachers in apocalypse films.

‘Ugly Head’ is truly dystopic. Which sadly means that it perfectly captures the state of 2021. It lyrically attacks the odious souls that bitter our polarised society with affirming lyrics such as, “there are beasts on both sides”.

You can check out Ugly Head, which features on the Black Rock Coalition’s new compilation album, Rock n’ Roll Reparations by visiting blackrockcoalition.org. Or by checking out Bruce Mack via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

EBM meets alt hip hop in Infinity Dragon’s ensnaring single, ‘Infectious’.

If you could imagine what it would sound like if Juice Wrld and Covenant collaborated, you’ll get a good idea of what’s in store when you hit play on the standout track, ‘Infectious’ in Infinity Dragon’s latest album, ‘GodKing’.

In place of the usual trappy 808s, Infinity Dragon opted for entrancing EBM-style beats that blaze beneath layers of reverb in the euphoric mix that certainly isn’t without its conviction – which mainly comes down to the snarling and inventively-distorted rap bars. The ingenuity that lies in Infectious easily parallels what you’ll find in Saul Williams’ most authentic tracks – the only difference is that Infinity Dragon didn’t need to pull in Trent Reznor for the production.

Infectious is now available to stream along with the rest of Infinity Dragon’s obscurely danceable alt-rock album via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast