Browsing Tag

Chicago Hip Hop

Rapper and producer, JaefKae is razor-sharp in his Reggaeton hip hop single, New Machete

With a danceable versatile flavour like no other, the Chicago-hailing rapper and producer, JaefKae, burst onto our radar with the genre-fluid beats in his latest single, New Machete.

The tropic earworm picks at the roots of hip hop, Caribbean Dancehall, Reggaeton and Soul and plants the seed for a fresh new sound, defined by kaleidoscopically colourful instrumentals and the effortlessly high-vibes in the vocals.

During his career, JaefKae has opened for Nas and Pusha T, taken his high-energy performances across Chicago, and used his platform to represent his Afro-Purto Rican and Japanese descent, be a force of resistance against police oppression and to fight for black liberation.

His moniker comes from JFK because his 200-song discography “will blow your f***ing mind”. Considering that New Machete completely dominates your psyche before flooding it with dance-worthy rhythms and elevated talent, JaefKae had every basis to be that bold when settling on the pseudonym that will ripple across the globe attached to his infectiously upraising tracks.

New Machete is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lamar Creation soulfully hates the player and the game in his RnB pop hit, Feeling Me

Chicago born and raised artist, Lamar Creation, has dropped the ultimate 2022 RnB pop summer anthem with his latest hip hop influenced single, Feeling Me, which gives all the luxe grooves as Jay Z, the fiery passion of Frank Ocean and all of the contemporary funk of Daft Punk.

The sun-bleached electronic textures, which also find enough room to throw in nuances of Afrobeat, create the perfect platform for Lamar and collaborator, RichDaPhatt’s vocals as they seemingly drift through the entire emotional spectrum to lay it all down on the line on a relationship that is as much of a mental mindfuck as spending an hour watching the news.

The old adage may tell us to hate the game and not the player, but Feeling Me stands as a testament to the dissonance that playing games can cause in a way that may (hopefully) make people think twice about dealing with that kind of hand.

We scarcely needed his bio to tell us that Lamar is as much of a poet as he is a lyricist. It is all too perceptible through the jarring lines that keep on delivering the evocative hammering blows.

Feeling Me is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Oberry gets candid on self-sabotage in his trap pop single, don’t fall in line.

From the suburbs of Chicago, the experimental trap pop artist, Oberry, is here with his latest aural offering, don’t fall in line. After a jangly lo-fi interlude, Oberry’s distortedly animatronic vocals appear atop the scratchy and glitchy sun-bleached EDM beats which constantly switch from hard-hitting to fragile; setting the perfect tone for the emotionally rocky release.

don’t fall in line may initially resonate as an eccentric and twee for 2022 track but once the lyrics start to introduce you to the true essence of the single, you’ll find a deep level of respect for Oberry for being so candid on the subject of using self-destructive habits as a rebellious act.

If we are all honest with ourselves, we have all been there. don’t fall in line wasn’t the first single released by Oberry that delivers resonance hand over fist. His previous singles, all my homies hate the world, and parasocial friend have each racked up over 10k streams on Spotify alone – proving we’re not the only ones instantly obsessed with Oberry’s inventive songwriting style.

Oberry isn’t your average trap pop star, but it’s his intimate autonomy that draws you so deep into his experimental tracks. Any artist bold enough to release an album as twee as “I drawed a doggy” is undoubtedly worth following.

don’t fall in line is now available to stream on Spotify. 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

X-Man speaks for the outliers in his pioneeringly impassioned alt-hip hop single, Can’t Relate

If X-Man goes down in hip hop history as anything less than a pioneer, we haven’t done him enough justice. Immersive may be a word that gets bound around in music reviews, but there are few other ways to allude to the allure of the hooks in his recently released seminal single, Can’t Relate.

X-Man makes it easy for you to instantly find the groove in the smooth canter of the almost spoken-word rap bars that are just as magnetic as Snoop Dogg’s. When it comes to the beats, X-Man cooked up a concoction of hip hop and playfully melodic video-game-style electronica. With the harsh snares snapping against the dreamy beats, there is plenty of texture to sink into as X-Man makes being unrelatable relatable.

You can check out Can’t Relate for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lolo GB is On Flex in his latest alt-hip hop single.

Southside Chicago rap artist, Lolo GB, dropped his atmospheric drill track, On Flex, on October 23rd; prepare your vibe-out playlists for an immersively arresting addition.

The short and trippy track grooves through an ambiently wavy production through the bass-heavy 808 hits and reverb-drenched notes under Lolo GB’s deadpan yet dynamic rap bars. The production may not be the cleanest or the most robust, but that works in Lolo GB’s favour with the catharsis that this firecracker of an alt-hip hop can deliver as it works through its spacey lo-fi grooves.

On Flex is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Groove with the slow-burning melodies in Blac Samurai’s chillwave hip hop single, Match (All Black) ’21

With his poetic mind and the smooth, trippy flow to his tracks, it has become impossible to ignore Blac Samurai on his ascent from the underground. Soul Glitch is the second album to drop from the Southside Chicago-hailing urban alchemist; the standout single, Match (All Black) ’21, is a serenely sweet introduction to his dreamy sonic palette.

The trippy feat of chillwave delves into the future while keeping grounded and soulful through the intrinsically humanistic rap bars and slow-burning melodies. Unlike many artists taking influences from the OG rappers, Blac Samurai manages to pull something completely fresh. We can’t wait to hear what he muses next.

Match (All Black) ’21 is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Adrian Jose has delivered his prodigiously cathartic alt-hip hop EP, ‘Astronomical’.

‘Astronomical’ is the debut EP from up and coming Chicago-residing alt artist, Adrian Jose which takes contemporary hip hop to evocative new heights. Any fans of Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar and Lil Baby are going to want to pay attention to the psychedelically spacey release which is waiting to wrap you in colourful catharsis.

The 5-track release is less of an expression of emotion, and more of an invitation to find meaning and relatable resonance within the release. The first track, ‘Astronomical Freestyle’, is the perfect introduction to Adrian Jose’s celestially stinging production style. With digitally layered classical strings cutting across mellow trappy beats and under the smooth wavy rap bars, Astronomical Freestyle sets the perfect tone for the release which picks up momentum with the following tracks.

The distinction within the instrumentals is one thing; the candid ingenuity within the meta lyrics is quite another. With tracks such as ‘Rocket Ship’, you could run through them a hundred times and still be able to pick out new wordplay clever enough to shift your perceptions.

Astronomical officially released on January 22nd, 2021; it is now available to stream via Spotify.

Follow Adrian Jose via Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Crazy1oftheday – Faded: Flawlessly High Fire New Wave Trap

Breaking Hip Hop artist Crazy1oftheday has dropped some seriously adrenalizing tracks since making their debut in 2016. The best introduction to his energetic Trap style is undoubtedly “Faded”.

Crazy1oftheday has amassed plenty of hype in their hometown of Chicago. But a universally connectable sound deserves international acclaim. With their wholesome approach to songwriting, there’s little room to wonder why plenty of New Wave Trap fans give their beats repeat attention. Behind every track produced by Crazy1oftheday is the intent to create a connectable soundscape. Whether he’s sharing his electric energy or cooking up beats for your vibe out playlists, you know he’s thrown his soul into it.

In Faded, the flawless multi-layered beats hit the perfect tempo to allow you to drink in the artists concisely metered bars and soak up the good vibes which Faded organically offers.

After hearing Faded, we can only hope that Crazy1oftheday has plenty more in the pipeline for 2020.

You can check out the official video to Crazy1oftheday’s standout single Faded for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast