Browsing Tag

Downtempo Hip Hop

Sweet Limb shattered the illusion that police brutality is a 21st-century novelty in his single, Relate

Sweet Limb took his latest hip-hop EP, NICE, right back to the old school and around the Bronx block to deliver an urban atom bomb of nostalgia.

With his standout single, Relate, the Austin-based flow king reigned supreme as he rode the steady rhythmic waves of the funky basslines and 808s, which become the centres of gravity in the minimalist polished track that shatters the illusion that police brutality is a new issue and the only one that marginal communities feel the forces of oppression from.

While many rappers rushed to contribute to the voices in the BLM movement, Sweet Limb bided his time to speak for everyone who can’t relate to the portrayal of the onslaught of police violence in the media, not because it wasn’t a barbaric travesty, because it was a tale as old as time and pretending otherwise is just another brand of injustice.

The NICE EP will hit the airwaves on August 1st; hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Atlanta Hip Hop Pioneer Caleb X Illuminated the Way to Tranquillity with his Vibe-Heavy Hit, Peace

Cleveland, Ohio-born, Atlanta-based artist Caleb X started a flood of tranquil melodicism by bringing in the new wave of hip-hop with his latest single, Peace.

Even with the nostalgic samples implanted in the glossily smooth hit, which illuminates the path to catharsis and emotional sanctity, there is no denying the experimentally contemporary edge that effortlessly complements the authenticity within the bars.

Though he may be influenced by DMX and Tupac, Caleb X ripped up the hip-hop rulebook before creating this vibe-heavy hit that will spice any future-embracing hip-hop playlist up with its mellifluous soul and style.

Peace was officially released on January 20th. Hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Solomon Jones released the dualistic hip-hop single of the year with the subversive single, Snowberry

Taken from his album, Glass, the standout single, Snowberry, from the up-and-coming New Jersey-residing hip-hop artist, Solomon Jones, is a lesson in subversive expression.

From a smooth and jazzy prelude that drips pure soul and seduction through the backing vocals around his hushed spoken-word timbre, the track abruptly yet seamlessly takes a drastic turn in direction.

After confessing amorous feelings, Solomon Jones exhibits his dark and “cursed” side before bringing the soul back in, proving that the line between light and dark resides in us all and we’re only fooling ourselves by denying our intrinsically dualistic nature. Sonically, Snowberry is subtle. Yet that didn’t stand in the way of the versatile artist from delivering one of the most impactful hip-hop singles of the year.

The album was released on December 10th; it is now available to stream and purchase via apple music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Beavus has launched his experimentally originated hip-hop eponymous debut album.

The up-and-coming alternative artist, Beavus, proved that beyond-the-curve experimentalism is in high demand with hip-hop fans after the launch of his self-titled debut album.

The standout single, Song 4 Might Be Finished, is a meditatively chill window into the artist’s vibe-heavy inclination. Running through like a semi-lucid lo-fi trappy lullaby, the single exposes you to intimate confessionalism while the downtempo beats drench you with tranquil catharsis.

The sense of sweet yet cheeky playfulness takes the soundscape to the next level, and Beavus’ 5,000 monthly Spotify listeners would be more than inclined to agree.

Check out the eponymous debut album from Beavus on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Vatic keeps it raw and real in his downtempo emo hip hop track, 3 am

Vatic’s latest raw and honest single, 3 am, is an acknowledgement that nobody is always ok, and that’s ok. The slow tempo, heartbreak infused single takes new wave hip hop to an ambient and almost ethereal level. With the solemnly hushed vocals adrift over the simple minor piano chords, it is all too easy to find yourself at the heart of this plaintively meditative single that hammers home the depth of pensive pain that we all feel in our lives from time to time. 3 am carries no sense of ego or grandiosity; instead, Vatic paid homage to the reality of the true human experience. He’s a true artist, we can’t wait to hear what follows.

3 am was released on March 10th; you can hear it for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

J. HUSTLES keeps it ‘For Real’ in his latest single, featuring Joey Supratta & WESTSIDE BOOGIE.

J. HUSTLES’ latest RnB hip hop single, For Real, featuring Joey Supratta & WESTSIDE BOOGIE, is everything it says on the tin. The collab looks behind facades and explores the narratives of three LA natives whose ground-breaking styles have been sending riptides through the local scene.

By touching on raw family issues and the sacrifices we make, For Real is enough to leave you questioning the real emotions of the artists that step to the mic to spit superficial bars while fighting internal wars silently. We didn’t need their press release to tell us that none of the artists held anything back from this viscerally evocative single. Despite the hard-hitting emotion, this ethereally chilling track runs smooth, allowing every ounce of emotion to resonate heavily in the luxe high-quality production.

For Real is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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