Browsing Tag

Alt Hip Hop

Mizzery Jones ensnares via culturally cultivated distinction in his seminal rap track, Yes

Mizzery Jones established himself as a master of rhythmic magnetism while battling his introspective demons in his seminal rap track, Yes, which pulls listeners into a space where old-school hip-hop meets a new era of sound.

The track is a testament to Mizzery Jones’s ability to honour the genre’s roots while allowing his bars to flow into uncharted territories with his distinctive style. Vocally, there are touches of Eminem as Jones blends the foundational beats of hip-hop with fresh cinematic production stylings. If you can imagine being sonically guided through a vibrant bazaar of sounds, where each beat and note is infused with a sense of exoticism, you’ll get an idea of the colourfully layered complexity within Yes, which is prised from Jones’ EP, I’ll Be Back Before Too Long.

This sharp and esoteric indicator of Jones’ ability to intellectually stimulate through his wordplay and deliver verses with a hypnotically assertive cadence won’t fail to capture your attention and keep hold of it with a vice-like grip until the very last note. It’s impossible not to be ensnared by Mizzery Jones’s culturally cultivated distinction as he allows his lyrics to unravel as a panoramic picture of determinism, candour and emotional intelligence.

Mizzery Jones’s biography adds another layer of depth to his artistry. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, this producer and artist spent a significant portion of his life in the vibrant cultural landscapes of Chapala and Guadalajara, Mexico; experiences that have clearly seeped into the textured layers of his music.

Stream the I’ll Be Back Before Too Long EP on Spotify or purchase the EP on Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Solomane advocates authenticity in his meditative rap track, Higher Self

The climactic track, Higher Self, from Solomane’s latest LP, The S.O.L.O. Tape, Vol. 1, is a profound meditation set to music; a contemplative dive into the essence of self-actualisation and the pursuit of authenticity.

The Franco-Moroccan artist, who is a self-made man in the world of music, brings a rich tapestry of cultural experiences to his work, and it shines through in this latest offering. Having honed his craft in various cities from Brussels to Barcelona, Solomane’s worldly perspective is embedded in his lyrics, which he delivers in a mellow tempo that’s as reflective as the message itself.

The track speaks to those striving for something more meaningful than mere imitation, advocating for autonomy and originality. In a time when it is all too easy to see an image on social media and lament the disparity between you and who you think you see, the message is as necessary as it is powerful.

Solomane’s eclectic influence—from the golden era of New York rap to the rhythms of reggaeton and the soulfulness of R&B—is masterfully blended into a backdrop for his sound which effortlessly transcends genre constraints. The production of Higher Self is undeniably contemporary, echoing the thoughtfulness of artists like Oddisee. His flow is seamless across the succinct instrumental layers as he demonstrates his versatility as a rapper and his reverence for the craft.

Higher Self is a testament to his journey, an anthem for the genuine, and a celebration of the inner self in a world where external facades are all too common. This track will resonate with anyone on the path to finding their true self amidst the noise of societal expectations.

Stream Higher Self with the rest of Solomane’s latest LP, The S.O.L.O. Tape, Vol. 1 on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

OTH€LLO Delivered Sonics for the Soul with His Smooth and Sensual LP, Miss Mayotte

In the ever-evolving realm of modern hip-hop and afro-fusion, OTH€LLO emerges as an icon of raw individualism, candour, and undeniable sex appeal. His latest offering, “Miss Mayotte,” is a journey through the heart of a true artist. Born in Montreal’s vibrant culture and honed in the Bay Area’s heat, OTH€LLO’s transformation from a street busker to a hip-hop sensation is nothing short of remarkable.

“Miss Mayotte” kicks off with “Her Soul Speaks,” a track that effortlessly blends jazzy neo-pop with R&B, setting the stage for an album that’s as much a conversation with the soul as it is a musical experience. Each of the eight singles is a chapter in OTH€LLO’s story wrestles with societal norms and emerges as a bold statement of personal evolution.

OTH€LLO’s lyrical introspection is a masterclass in storytelling, with his voice dripping like honey over mellow instrumental arrangements. The production is deep and sonorous, creating a tapestry of scintillating textures that are both soothing and exhilarating.

Afterglow,” the second single, is a fiery blend of salacious imagery and mellifluous melodies, wrapped in afro-fusion rhythms that redefine the auditory landscape. The album crescendos with the title track, “Miss Mayotte,” a powerful anthem that confronts misogynoir and celebrates the strength and beauty of the unseen queen. OTH€LLO’s journey from cynicism to belief in love’s true form is palpable in every note, making “Miss Mayotte” a symbol of hope and resilience.

OTH€LLO’s music is deeply rooted in his Congolese heritage, with influences from gospel and secular soukous tunes. His journey from performing in musicals in a conservative Edmonton high school to honing his craft in Toronto’s streets and church choirs has audibly imbued his music with intoxicatingly unique authenticity.

With over 84,000 streams on Spotify for his debut single “SZA 4 NGAZ“, which also features on the album, and critical acclaim from The Source and This is 50, OTH€LLO is not just an artist to watch; he’s an artist to experience. “Miss Mayotte,” available for streaming from November 24th, is a testament to the power of music to transform, inspire, and transcend.

Miss Mayotte will be available to stream on all major platforms, including SoundCloud and Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

_sicko narrated ‘A MODERN HORROR STORY’ in his seminally twisted boom bap track

Hip-hop’s darkest hour struck when the UK alchemist of boom bap, _sicko delivered his PLAY ME EP on Halloween. After a chilling horror score of an intro track, which sets the tone for the rest of the EP, the standout single, A MODERN HORROR STORY, kicks right into macabre gear, following an anachronistic haunted music box prelude.

By painting himself as a twisted protagonist to portray the sickness that breeds online when the worst impulses of the human psyche are vindicated by nefarious echo chambers, _sicko (AKA Aaron Terror) provided a spine-chilling exposition on the proclivities of perversion that are worryingly prolific.

With a twisted lyrical style that isn’t out of the ordinary in death metal projected through a rap flow, which makes it all too easy to lock into the sickness within the horror imagery, A MODERN HORROR STORY is plagued with sickness that will make you stop, shiver, and think.

While some would undoubtedly rush to cancel _sicko, we can see the ingenuity within his creativity, which is on par with some of the greatest horror writers out there.

Stream the PLAY ME EP via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Massive Cranes grooved with the bumps in the night with their macabre release, Monsters

Massive Cranes went beyond proving all monsters wear human skin with their latest chillingly raw single, which pulled the masks from the most nefarious entities in the UK and revealed them as Tories. Jacob Rees Mogg won’t approve of this message, but everyone left disenfranchised by their reign of late-stage capitalism will revel in the vindication so piquantly delivered.

If Massive Cranes don’t reach the same heights as John Cooper Clarke with their gritty expositions of reality in the UK, it will add to the long list of injustices covered in this sonically macabre, lyrically mesmerising release which doesn’t shy away from the darkest facets of our contemporary reality. It meets them face-on with a sardonic grin.

The sinisterly deep synth lines against the unearthly backbeat in Monsters create the perfect atmosphere for spoken word laments to sink into as they speak on battles with malady, futility, and ennui. We couldn’t be more obsessed with this track if we tried.

Monsters was officially released on November 10; stream it on SoundCloud.  

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Othenic borrowed from the Beastie Boys while tracking the warp speed of the human experience with ‘Last’

If you chiselled an indie pop edge into the legacy of a discography belonging to the Beastie Boys, you’d be left with a sonic sculpture bearing a striking reminiscence to Othenic’s latest single, Last.

With a touch of Crazy Town’s Butterfly written into the alternative mix of indie, pop, and hip-hop, the alt-90s nostalgia within Last is arrestingly potent. While the angular staccato guitars lend themselves to melodic mesmerism, Othenic reflects on how the human experience moves at a warp speed and leaves us questioning how the innocence of youth slips us by and catapults us into the monotony of corporate reality.

“Life’s too short, you might as well make it last” may seem like a simple lyric, but lean into it deeper within the context of the track and you’ll see a testament to the Kentucky-Cincinnati-based artist’s proficiency with wordplay.

Last was officially released on October 19; stream the single on Spotify and follow Othenic on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

K.I.R.B. took the crown off Nas with the rap flair in his latest installation of infectiously impish alt-hip-hop, ‘No Time’

With a slamming beat bolstering the experimental saturated in delay instrumentals, intricately unorthodox rhyme patterns in the rap bars and enough impishly clever charisma to win you over from the first verse, after the release of his single, No Time, the Cali rap prodigy, K.I.R.B., will never be kicked to the curb by the music industry.

The up-and-coming artist has enough ingenuity in his bars to rival Nas, Rakim and Method Man, as for the sonic aesthetic, that’s beyond compare through K.I.R.B.’s authenticity and determination to keep his sound pumping with a diverse array of influence.

Since making his debut, K.I.R.B. has worked with everyone from NICK BLANCO to Nick Mira, but clearly, he’s not riding on anyone’s coattails. He’s got exactly what it takes to win over an army of alt-rap fans.

Check out No Time on all major streaming platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chiron Loxton rolled evocatively deep in his alt-rap track, The Importance of Incorporating Healthy Outlets

After delivering one of the hottest electro-house hip-hop drops of the summer with his single, Ibiza, the alt-rap trailblazer Chiron Loxton’s mood has changed with the weather in his introspectively raw single, The Importance of Incorporating Healthy Outlets.

Stunning, dark, and haunting in equal measure, the intricate instrumentals set the ambience and atmosphere for Loxton’s grimey rap bars to storm through, making it impossible not to lock into the candour and precision of the canter as the rap luminary attests to the necessity of creativity.

It’s a window into the experience of the artist, Loxton’s determination to keep his sanctity on the straight and narrow and perhaps most importantly, a manifesto on how to keep negativity at bay. If the Somerset, UK-hailing artist isn’t on your radar already, save space on it and await more hits which have the force to shift your perceptions into enlightenment.

The Importance of Incorporating Healthy Outlets dropped on October 13; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Flex3r created a meditative dreamscape with his pop-hip-hop crossover, Let It Go

Flex3r (AKA Cedric Kasongo) versed the bars that punctuate his honeyed harmonies straight from the soul in his latest cocktail of hip-hop, RnB, Afrobeat and pop, Let It Go. Since making his debut, he’s established himself as an authentically compelling creator who pushes the limits of hip-hop; with Let It Go, he allowed his sound to sit on a plateau of pure mindful compassion.

While no one ever needs permission to let negativity go, we all need affirmations weaved into cathartically euphonic soundscapes from time to time. Harbouring hate will only serve to hold you back in life; let it go, and unshackle yourself with this stunning dreamscape of a release that borders on psychedelic etherealism.

The Congolese-American recording artist is clearly one to watch; from the distinction in his signature style to the revelations in his lyrics, the melody-maker who was born in DR Congo, raised in Zambia, and lives in Baton Rouge, is unparalleled through his determination to stay in his own lane.

Let It Go breathed freedom onto the airwaves on October 13; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

looCcaM remixed reality in his 90s NY Hip-Hop meets Avant-Garde Sci-Fi sonics rap track, Trumpet of the Martians

If the spacey conviction in Legend Has It by Run the Jewels left you hooked, prepare to be ensnared all over again by the latest track, Trumpet of the Martians, from the cosmically urban innovator, looCcaM.

If someone asked Nas, Jay-Z or the Notorious B.I.G. to pour their 90s NY rap flavour into a Doctor Who soundtrack, the result would be as scintillatingly convictive as this Avant-Garde boom bap homage to futuristic poetics, which simultaneously unravels as a high-fire rebuke to neoliberal dogmatism.

Following the release of Trumpet of the Martians, the Buffalo, NY native will release his LP, Silence Exile Cunning, on October 19, which was innovatively crafted to synthesise beat culture with iconography which has previously had no place in the rap scene. Expect everything from electro-punk to hyper-pop to experimental poetry. In looCcaM, we believe.

Check out the radio edit of Trumpet of the Martians via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast