Aural innovator and producer Tom X Wolfe’s 2021 album, ‘RISKY’, is an intoxicating mash of pulsing impassioned culture. It is also an exhibition of the artist’s multi-genre production and arrangement talent that has previously seen Wolfe working alongside Cash Sinatra, Maky Lavender and BGMFK. With over 3 million streams under his belt and plenty of international critical acclaim, Wolfe is set to take the industry by storm in 2021.
With African and Caribbean roots bedding down in the mix along with western notes of glitchy EDM hip hop, the lead track, ‘SUPADUPAFLY’, is the ultimate summer hip hop playlist staple. There is plenty of kick behind the 808s, but the snapping grooves feed into a sun-baked soundscape which throws plenty of jazz-laden haze your way.
‘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.
It’s been a bad few weeks for rap and hip hop, with the recent tragic deaths of both DMX and Double K, but it’s just possible there’s the slightest little glimmer of light in that darkness with ‘Pac Lyfe’, the new single from Floridian crew Constant Flow. Taken from new album ‘Unexpected – The Mixtape’, ‘Pac Lyfe’ grooves and grinds like proper old school dirty, gritty hip hop should, all deep bass, 808 beats, and smooth, lyrical flow.
It’s grimy, it’s sexy, and at times it’s downright despicable, all thump and punch, hard-hitting bass beats sitting behind that repetitive ‘…I can make the bass thump…’ vocal stamp; and yes. Yes, they absolutely can. You should check it out, right now, before the foundations crumble.
Hear ‘Pac Lyfe’, and the rest of ‘Unexpected – the Mixtape’, on Spotify; check out Constant Flow on Facebook.
For his latest release, Boston-based produced producer Nick Tello reworked the iconic track, Caligula, by Aristotle Jones by pumping it with more adrenaline and bringing it in line with the new wave of trap.
While the original offers grooving melodic NYC hip hop vibes, Nick Tello took Caligula to an anthemic new level making the track an infinitely better choice for dancefloor DJs to spin. The organic feeling that the original came with may have been replaced by brashier 808s and plenty more bass, but there’s no disputing that Nick Tello made it his own.
‘Roses Have Thorns’ is the lead track from Rose Venom’s new single ‘Love Shit’, a neat little slab of Hip Hop which opens with a soft, chilled little piano riff before Venom’s angry-yet-beautiful vocal. Telling the story of a ruined love, Venom’s tale of growth and finding oneself amidst the fallout and wreckage – ‘left me so broke inside…/I’m glad I survived you/ I grew some thorns to fight you, boy…’ – ‘Roses Have Thorns’ mixes Rose Venom’s soft-yet-strong voice with an equally soft-yet-strong message among the delicate instrumentation and multi-layered delivery.
A mother of two children originally from Moscow but now living in Philadelphia, this is no story of brotherly love but rather a lost-love letter to hurt, regret, and quiet, simmering rage. It’s potent, powerful, and poetic.
Check out ‘Roses Have Thorns’, and the rest of ‘Love Shit’, on Spotify. Look up Rose Venom on Instagram.
Prymal is a Melbourne-based hip-hop artist with an eye on story-telling and lyrical flow, rather than aggression or high-impact. Opening up with some chiming tubular bells before deep throbbing bass, fast dotted-note rimshots, and hi-hats and flashes of strings fill in and populate the groove of ‘When It’s Real’, Prymal’s in-your-face attitude given extra weight by the laid-back, nonchalant delivery.
Working with more established rap artists such as Empathy, on whose album ‘Mirror Mirror’ Prymal guests, has clearly paid off, helping the twenty-year-old establish a mature rhyming pattern and delivery and a genuinely solid flow. ‘When It’s Real’ shows some epic promise, and bodes well for Prymal’s forthcoming album ‘Lions Den’, due later this year.
In the meantime, you can check out ‘When It’s Real’ on Spotify, and follow Prymal on Instagram.
Deep bass, slow tempo, and old-school TR-808 handclaps are the defining character of Slyide’s new single ‘Make It Through The Night’, all backing up a chilled, laid-back vocal. There’s an element of Faithless to the track, a ‘Maxim-ness’ to that vocal delivery, and a retro, old-school feel to the production that smacks of early trance and drum-and-bass tracks, but Slyide is clearly no ‘stuck in the past’ producer; with agreements signed for use of their instrumental tracks in two VR platforms, a workout video, and as instore music airplay, things are clearly already going places for Slyide.
Hailing from Westbury, Connecticut, Jason Norfleet – a.k.a. DJ Maestro 1 – drops his new single, ‘Don’t You Know’, a mix of eighties slow groove hip hop, gospel, and R’n’B that’s unashamedly old-skool and funky. Autotune-swathed vocals a la T-Pain and ‘Lil Wayne mixed up with Hail talk-box funk guitar make ‘Don’t You Know’ a retro-tinged classic with a contemporary update, Norfleet’s gospel-heavy vocal a perfect match for the track.
Already a nominee for both Gospel Choice Music Awards and Tampa Bay Gospel Awards this year, multi-instrumentalist Norfleet’s production – all classic TR-808 beats, handclaps, and thumping sequenced bass – carries the track, mixed with several sets of harmony vocals and Norfleet’s upfront lead. It’s a great track, with some proper flow and genuine R’n’B groove.
Check out ‘You Don’t Know’ on YouTube, and follow Jason Norfleet on Facebook.
US EDM producer, Beatzler’s latest mix, Games Forever is the epitome of a floor-filler; even if there’s no atmosphere in the room, there’s plenty within this entrancingly immense progressive mix.
When producers can create vibes instead of just beats, that’s how you know they’re a cut above the rest, which pretty much makes Beatzler the sharpest knife in the draw. His lacerating hooks which drag you into dizzying dubbed drops are all too effective at immersing you completely in his playfully arrestive progressions.
Needless to say, fans of dopamine-teasing euphoric EDM will want Beatzler on their radar.
Games Forever is available to stream via SoundCloud. Play it loud.
Rap artist and producer, Junior, has hit the airwaves once again with their galvanizingly dominant single ‘The Cards I Was Dealt’.
With a nod to UK grime in their melodic rap bars, 90s RnB-style charisma and electrifying EDM beats which pay ode to Slim Shady, The Cards I Was Dealt is an infectiously high-vibe hit. Any fans of Pharrell and Dizzee Rascal will definitely want to pay attention.
You can check out The Cards I Was Dealt via Spotify.