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Hip-Hop

Hip hop Music

It’s all about the vibe in Ri’s standout Southern trap track, ‘Keep Up’, featuring TeeHxncho.

If there’s nothing more important than the vibe when you hit play on a track from a new artist, your first time listening to Ri definitely won’t be last.

The Tennessee-born 22-year-old producer’s unique sound comes with strong ties to Southern trap and pulls in influence from the likes of Scrim, Three 6 Mafia and Take a Daytrip. But in the lead track ‘Keep Up’ from his latest album created in collaboration with TeeHxncho, he kept the expression authentic; it’s practically an explosion of creative energy and fiery wordplay.

Keep Up is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music

Nashbi brings empathy to the airwaves with his high vibe hip hop hit, ‘After All’.

‘After All’ is just one of the dopamine-boosting tracks on Nashbi’s 2021 EP, GOD GIVEN, that teaches the listener how to smile through the pain; with the high energy beats that eclipse NYC Hip Hop, there won’t be much of a learning curve.

His standout track, After All, is so much more than a collection of witty lyrical observations; it exhibits an unparalleled level of empathy. You’ll find most rap artists turning their lyricism into naval-gazing introspection; Nashbi penned the lyrics to After All in a way that allows the listener to apply the wisdom to their situation and let the empathy to resonate on a personal level.

The Atlantan artist is just one of the MCs adding his flow to the stream of conscious hip hop 2021, yet, with his dynamic presence, perception-shifting optimism, and vibrant beats, if anyone can make a positive impact, it is Nashbi.

After All is available to stream along with Nashbi’s 2021 EP, GOD GIVEN, via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music

Chima Nice – Drink MF Drink: The Ultimate Summer Hip Hop Mood-Booster.

Nigeria-born, Georgia, US-residing hip hop artist Chima Nice turned to music as a form of expression inspired by American culture upon his relocation at age 15. In 2021, he’s an artist championing individuality and positivity through standout tracks such as, Drink MF Drink.

With this high-vibe by default charisma and bubblingly dominant cadence, it is all too easy to get hooked in by Chima Nice’s mood-boosting sound that may not be mainstream yet, but it has all the potential to be.

If your summer hip hop playlists need a shakeup, make Drink MF Drink a staple.

You can check out Drink MF Drink for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music

Shota J raises the temperature with their fiery rap track, ‘Tiempo’

Virginia-based hip hop artist Shota J has garnered plenty of hype with his latest bilingual rap track, ‘Tiempo’ which switches between Spanish and English and feeds both cultures in the sun-bleached beats which vibe with the same convictive soul as the likes of Nas and the Notorious B.I.G.

Whichever language their lyrical flex is wrapping around, you’re going to feel the energy that this fiery feat of hip hop contains. In a time when it’s hard to amass any amount of motivation or resilience, tracks such as Tiempo should be considered as playlist staples. Their energy is more infectious than COVID-19.

Tiempo is now available to stream via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music

Nicky L merges old school with new wave in his sophomore single ‘Curtains Closed’

New York-born hip hop artist Nicky L’s music journey may have started with the influence of Eminem, The Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac and Nas, but for their latest release, Curtains Closed, they drew in the stylings of XXXTENTACION and Juice WRLD to offer a unique combination of old school and new wave.

The track perfectly captures the bitterness of those young love catastrophes where you can tell that it will be a disaster from the start, but something forces you down that path all the same. It follows on from their debut release, ‘Little City Freestyle’, which served as the perfect introduction to Nicky L’s style where lyrically, he lays it all down on the line and through his delivery, you can hear their determination to join the ranks of NYC hip hop greats. Based on Curtains Closed, it seems likely.

Curtains Closed is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music

Pharaoh Santana treats his fans to a brand-new ambient indie trap experience with his EP, ‘PSP’.

LA-based hip hop artist Pharaoh Santana first appeared on our radar with his debut single, POP OUT, which hit the airwaves in 2018. With each new release, he has taught us to expect the unexpected. With his 2021 EP, PSP, he’s retained the soul and the wit found in his former releases and treated his fans to a brand-new sonic ambient indie trap experience.

PSP carries the hallmarks of a lo-fi hip hop record through the organic textures and intimacy offered through the minimal production. Yet, indie hip hop doesn’t come much smoother than the mesmerising tracks that are sure to lull you into a state of reflective serenity.

Track 1, Arvada Freestyle, featuring Cress Rilee, steps away from Western rhythms and serves as an intoxicating introduction to the 4-track release that keeps the grooves mellow and the beats cathartically arresting as Pharaoh Santana lays down the lyrical wisdom that he’s quickly becoming renowned for.

Track 2, Pretty Women, is a subversive ode to femininity and beauty where Pharaoh Santana holds his hands up to his vices, never being crass or misogynistic. Instead, he soulfully points out what a minefield dating can be in a hypersexual society, where sex can be used as a weapon, and people get left with scars.

Track 3, Zendaya, is the perfect summer chill hop track. As the smooth choral notes add to the ambience, Pharaoh Santana disrupts it with his strident lyrics that confront the type of person who always brings the drama instead of anything positive. Some people may pride themselves on the games they play, but Zendaya is enough to put anyone who takes pleasure in manipulation think twice.

Track 4, Tony Sparks, amps up the emotion from the former tracks and is undeniably the best introduction to the ingenuity contained in Santana’s almost haunting style on the EP. As the 90s-style RnB hip hop beats flow and glitch beneath his raw, honest vocals as he speaks of humility, you’ll get a sense that nothing was held back or added for prosaic effect. Instead, you’ll get to see how he can utilise tonal contrast to create a relatable and humanistic sense of conflict.

Pharaoh Santana’s EP, PSP, is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music

Nerdy G celebrates the working classes with ‘On My Grind’

Nerdy G

Luminary rap artist Nerdy G treated us a taste of what is to come from their debut EP with the release of their single, ‘On My Grind’.

After swathes of hip hop hit the airwaves and glamorising the supposed high-life, Nerdy G switched the narrative and celebrated the working classes who work their hands to the bone to get by. Their conscious approach to lyricism isn’t the only refreshing aspect to Nerdy G’s signature sound either. With echoes of old school boom bap in their modern production, it’s impossible not to get adrenalized by this blazing EDM hit.

It isn’t just the kind of track that could sweeten the mood on frustrating of morning commutes. It’s the kind of track that could shift perceptions on capitalism. For good.

On My Grind was officially released on April 8th, you can check it out via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music

Get your soul-fix with Drew Drake’s single ‘Grandmas Hands’.

Breaking artist, actor, poet and educator, Drew Drake’s standout single, ‘Grandmas Hands’ from his debut EP, ‘Golden’, is up there with the most heartfelt hip hop tracks to have ever hit the airwaves.

The open letter to his role model, his Grandma, may be deeply personal, but hearing Drew Drake’s adoration will inspire you to find plenty for the people who have guided you through life and left a positive impact. With a few references to covid struggles in the lyrics, the single is a powerful reminder that our adversity is temporary but cherished memories have the power to inspire us forever.

The soul in the lyrics is paralleled by the RnB hip hop instrumentals that will be a hit for any fans of Lauryn Hill. With choral hooks and lyrical verses that will leave you compelled to squeeze every drop of wisdom out of them, Grandmas Hands is a transfixing track that will happily take you back to better times to remind you that brighter days lie ahead.

Drew Drake’s debut EP, Golden, is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music Pop RnB

Where To Go: North London’s RahThatsMad and F.R.E.Y.A navigate the wild world of new age dating on the stunning ‘I Don’t Know’

As they try and work out the best way to proceed with a quick-swipe world before them, RahThatsMad and F.R.E.Y.A show us how unnecessarily confusing people can be for no reason on ‘I Don’t Know‘.

RahThatsMad is a talented hip-hop artist and songwriter based in North London, who makes music that shows us his relaxed style to life and his determination to make something of his talents. He joins forces with his best friend F.R.E.Y.A, a soulful London-based RnB/pop singer/student, who performs with a free spirited style, a smile on her face and a sweet style that shows us her wonderful spirit, that flows beautifully into this catchy track.

His raps are confident and honest, mixed with a catchy beat that has you listening closely. When you then have a supremely honey-tipped vocalist added in, who sings about how some people are full of stories and no facts — all becomes cleared up in your heart and the mixture is tremendously satisfying to the music palate within — that yearns for more soundscapes like this.

The modern dating world is tough at the best of times, as this excellent songs relates to so many that go through this when they are brave enough to take the chance, rather than meeting someone through mutual friends. The rush and excitement seeps into your mind to ultimate temptation at times, if you let it inside you. Some people talk in riddles, as you just want clarity, so you know what’s going on, without being placed in a puzzle you would rather not be involved in.

I Don’t Know‘ from London rapper RahThatsMad and vocalist F.R.E.Y.A, is a true look into the story of modern life, as we are told to look into a dark world with so many undesirable corners, when that old school spontaneous meeting is actually the best remedy after all.

Stream this new single on Spotify and see their journey on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Hip hop Music

UK rap veteran Jake Rosh takes us to ‘Therapy’ with his latest vulnerably volatile single.

With angular indie guitars shimmering around steady drill beats and rap vocals finding the perfect balance between aggression and vulnerability, Jake Rosh’s single ‘Therapy’ is enough to leave you speechless as his emotions become as visceral as your own.

Many artists have attempted to capture lockdown-born frustration and depression while concealing raw emotion under glossy production and behind metaphors. With Therapy, dark and intimate thoughts act as Jake Rosh’s plaything, and he makes no bones about sharing.

He brings just as much authenticity to the UK rap scene as Scroobius Pip used to; if anyone’s got the lyrical wit to carry on his legacy, it’s the Merseyside rap veteran.

Hydra is due for official release on March 19th, 2021; you can check it out for yourselves here.

Review by Amelia Vandergast