Browsing Tag

Downtempo Hip Hop

UK rapper Chiron Loxton takes the urban grit out of hip hop with Out in the Trees.

It’s tracks like Chiron Loxton’s latest single, Out in the Trees, that exhibit the pointlessness of facade-delivered lyricism. Out in the Trees is the first track released from the luminary Somerset-residing rap artist’s mindful lockdown-inspired album. It is also the perfect introduction to his tendency to take lyrical hip hop to the next level.

Rap and nature rarely go hand in hand, given that it was created in the Bronx, but Loxton didn’t fail to take hip hop out of the urban era and root it in nature. The meditative trap beats with ambient drill undertones make for the perfect vibe out playlist staple.

The official video to Out in the Trees premiered on September 3rd. You can check it out for yourselves on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Juice Patrol squeezed plenty of extra soul into his latest single, Timeline.

Before the grips of winter sink their teeth, get a taste of the Caribbean sun in the up and coming alt hip hop artist Juice Patrol’s third single, Timeline. The ambient grind and the hazy layers construct a mellifluously soothing platform for Juice Patrol’s soft, gentle and endlessly magnetic vocals to dominate as they work through the spoken word urban poetry.

The Ugandan-based solo artist used his fusionist genre and border-spanning sound to prove that soul can spark from the most emotionally fraught experiences. Timeline was inspired by a revolving door relationship and our tendency to turn a blind eye to red flags when affection and history are involved. Instead of giving it all in black and white, Juice Patrol added to the conversation in warm tones and kaleidoscopic colour.

With the depth and wit in the lyrics, Timeline makes you realise just how little nuance there is when it comes to lyrical introspection on toxic relationships. As for the chillwave vibe, you couldn’t ask for a sweeter vibe-out playlist staple.

Timeline is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spitta Zay has dropped his flawlessly facade-less downtempo hip hop track, TRST.

US alt-hip hop trailblazer, Spitta Zay, is proving to be just as much of an aural force to be reckoned with as Saul Williams, especially on the basis of his latest evocatively experimental single TRST.

With the alt-indie guitars wrapping around the solid 808 snares in the atmospheric track that teases you through spatial effects and unpredictable downtempo rhythms, you can’t help but be drawn in by the refreshing sonic palette. Yet, it is the façade-less expression in the lyrics and downtrodden-but-still-soulful vocals that make hitting play on TRST an unforgettable experience.

Tracks like TRST mark a pivotal societal change in the openness in our trauma and idiosyncratic behaviour. If more artists found themselves with the same unfiltered motivation as Spitta Zay, I can’t help feeling that the world would be far more empathetic.

You can check out TRST for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Trevour Amunga artfully attacks hip hop in his downtempo debut single, Drama.

Kenya-born, LA-based songwriter and rap artist Trevour Amunga has released his debut single, Drama; he describes his sound as a charming blend of poetry and authenticity, which articulately encapsulates the vibe of the sensual spoken-word lyricism  along with the seductively ambient slow grooves of the downtempo release.

It was a short and sweet introduction to Trevour Amunga, but we’re already stoked to hear more of his artful approach to hip hop. His experimental production style and the range of his mesmerising vocal timbre makes his debut single one of the most original hip hop debuts of 2021.

Drama is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Yugi waxes lyrical on existentialism with ‘NPMNG’.

Yugi

Up and coming hip hop artist, Yugi, is set to drop his wisdom-bomb of an EP, UNRAVEL; he’s given us a glimpse of what is to come by giving us a sneak peek of the lead track, NPMNG’.

The mellow trip-hop beats in the prelude give way to snappy 808s under layers of soulful old school hip hop influence; as the canter of the rap bars picks up, all of your attention will fall to NPMNG’s soulful wordplay.

‘Life isn’t hitting the same’ may be the most relatable lyric written this year. It succinctly encompasses the hollow feeling when you only find monotony instead of serotonin when indulging in the things that used to make you happy. Despite the waxing lyrical on existentialism, NPMNG is a hazy high-vibe hit that deserves a spot on your vibe out playlists.

NPMNG will be released on July 30th along with the rest of Yugi’s EP, UNRAVEL.

Check out Yugi on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

SHERIDAN – On Myself: Neo-Classic Jazz-Fusion Hip Hop

San Francisco-based independent artist and producer SHERIDAN has launched his highly anticipated EP, ‘ON MYSELF’; the cinematically arresting title single is the perfect introduction to the prolific artist’s soulfully evocative style.

On Myself is easily the most stunning hip hop track I’ve heard this year. The tender piano keys which pick up jazz and neo-classical sensibilities in their progressions give On Myself a stunning ambience, while the indie feel to the production allows SHERIDAN’s deeply resonant vocals to hit even harder.

On Myself explores those transitionary times in our lives when we unequivocally know that we need to grow to move on, but all too often, that growth happens at a painfully slow rate. The mellow pace of the single conceptually captures those still-life days.

On Myself released on June 17th; you can check it out for yourselves via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Kattacomb ambiently explores loss in their downtempo single ‘Now You’re Away’

Maryland, US-residing artist and producer Kattacomb has released his ambient EP, Sleepless, capturing the delirium of those sleep-deprived hours that seem to stretch beyond time or reason.

Now You’re Away may not use narrative lyrics or even vocals that still bear any humanistic resemblance. But with those three words in the title paired with the bright melodies, you’re drawn into a soundtrack that compassionately connects with you through the relatability of  loneliness that creeps into bed beside you when your mind refuses to sleep before daylight.

The conceptual use of birdsong around the glitchy, trip-hop minimalist instrumentals was nothing short of ingenious. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, Now You’re Away may just be the most stunning feat of electronica since Apoptygma Berzerk’s ‘Until the End of the World’.

Now You’re Away is now available to stream via Soundcloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Marc Lucid takes us back to the 90s era of downtempo RnB with, ‘Bout This’, featuring Rockie Fresh

Under the influence of 90s hip hop and RnB, up and coming Upstate New York-residing hip hop artist Marc Lucid released his debut album, Jungle Rulez, on June 15th. The lead track, Bout This, featuring the luminary rap artist Rockie Fresh is the perfect introduction to Marc Lucid’s smoothly hazy style of down tempo hip hop.

Any fans of Post Malone, Mac Miller and Tyler, the Creator will appreciate the soul-infusion in the mellow trap mix that candidly explores Marc Lucid’s introspection when it comes to everyday malaise. The soundscape gets a kick of energy when Rockie Fresh’s fiery rap bars hit full flow, but Lucid’s hazy stoner vibes are just as evocative in their own right.

Check out Marc Lucid’s album Jungle Rulez on apple music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

YOSHISUHN navigates the human condition in his latest single, MACH SPEED.

MACH SPEED (THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED) by YOSHiSUHN

‘MACH SPEED (THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED)’ is the latest single released by the luminary, Philadelphia-residing hip hop artist YOSHISUHN.

Every line delivered in this soulfully rendered release is a mic-drop moment, but instead of leaving you introspectively hanging, the inspiring meta wisdom rolls on leaving you utterly ensnared by the artist’s talent with wordplay and his ability to make a direct connection through hip hop.

The raw emotion is perfectly encased in the accordantly hazy production that you’ll want to delve into time and time again; it’s a track that consistently gets better with every listen. Tracks like MACH SPEED may not be able to change your life with one hit, but it will compassionately take the weight off your shoulders as soon as you immerse yourself.

MACH SPEED is now available to stream via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Art pop meets hip hop in Drawn Tide’s latest single, ‘High Rise’.

Drawn Tide’s latest release, High Rise, is unquestionably the most haunting hip hop release of 2021. We may only be halfway through the year, but it’s hard to imagine any viable competition for the glitchy, pensive glitch-hop beats beneath ethereal art-pop vocals.

The East London based artist created a grimy vignette of her hometown that plenty of people will find resonance within after we’ve been enclosed in our isolated homes for most of 2020 and 2021. You’ll feel the sense of loss and yearning right the way through the downtempo single that becomes even more evocative when Darren Mason lends his grimy rap bars.

Without a hint of hyperbole, Drawn Tide is a phenomenally mesmerising artist whose sound falls outside commercial mainstream realms, but any true fan of the aural form will find themselves absorbed.

You can check out the official music video to High Rise that premiered on May 28th via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast