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Hip-Hop

Saint Kon’s Latest Tour De Force is a Sonic Crusade for Empathy and Justice

Some artists use their platforms for good; some use them for ground-breaking greatness. After Saint Kon released 10000 Hours on February 8, she’s definitively in the latter camp.

The pop-meets-hip-hop mash-up ensured the track has swathes of cross-over appeal while her bars bruise in a way that you may start to question if you’ve ever been hit before. The raw and heavy lyricism explores everything from suicidal ideation to the compulsion to heal others despite how deep our own scars bed down in our psyche.

After a minor key piano prelude, the bass-heavy boom-bap hip-hop instrumentals storm in as she switches from vocal harmonies to a killer rap cadence that blazes through her compulsion to fight the countless injustices of the world.

If the orchestrally heightened, inventively produced and polished track doesn’t fuel you with the motivation to use your time on earth to fight against the insidiousness that seems to get more nefarious with every trip around the sun, you can probably consider your own soul defunct. 10000 Hours is a lesson in convictive empathy; if it worked its way into the consciousness of everyone who existed, the human race would be transformed overnight.

10000 Hours is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Bruce Mack is at the vanguard of fusionism’s new frontier with ‘Silent Witness’

Bruce Mack, a stalwart of the New York music scene, obliterated the boundaries of sound with his latest fusionist Tour-De-Soulful-Force, Silent Witness, which epitomises his flair in blending genres into a seamless sonic soul-stirrer.

Silent Witness is served with soul-infused grooves, blues-laced interstellar melodies, and hip-hop with funk-infused rhythms, and unravels as a revelation in fusionism which entwines elements of the past to forge new innovative sonic trajectories. Every progression in the song is a lesson in avant-garde experimentalism, yet it’s the cohesive, melodious nature of this multi-faceted hit that ensnares the listener. The lyrics which compel the listener to lean deeper into the nuances of the world’s vibrations also signify the artist’s relevance and value in an era that is becoming increasingly out of kilter with our inherent nature.

Mack’s journey in music is as diverse as the sounds he creates. From his early days with doo-wop aspirations to his expansive work with various ensembles and collaborations with artists like Vernon Reid and Melvin Van Peebles, his creative evolution is evident in every note of Silent Witness. His tenure with Greg Tate’s Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber has further honed his skills in creating music that’s not just heard but felt.

Silent Witness will be available to stream on all major platforms from March 1st. Stream the single on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Tago – D.A.M.N: An Eternally En Vogue Hip-Hop Anthem of Resilience and Enlightenment

Elevate your rhythmic pulses and bolster your resilience with “D.A.M.N,” the latest euphorically elevated hit from Tago, the Texan titan of hip-hop. The track is a seismic shift in the musical landscape – not by pandering to trends or pursuit of viral fame – but through unflinching perseverance to remain authentic and uplift music fans from all walks of life.

The cross-over appeal is unreal. Between the modernised grooves, which expose Tago’s electronica influences and determination to produce anything but pedestrian beats, you just can’t help but catch the fever of his positivity as he proves that while life might throw curveballs, it’s the grit and grind that keep you going.

Crafted by the multi-platinum producer whose name is fated to become synonymous with longevity in an industry where stars often flicker out as fast as they ignite, D.A.M.N is a firestorm of soul, wisdom, and exhilaration. This track is a bold declaration that Tago isn’t just playing the game; he’s setting the rules, delivering a sound that’s not just for the moment but for the ages.

Merging the raw, unfiltered essence of old-school hip-hop with a glimpse into the genre’s future, Tago’s invitation to embrace your journey towards self-actualisation and peak individuality is irresistible.

Tago Said:

“When I wrote D.A.M.N, I was going through a lot of trials and tribulations and it had me feeling like “DAMN”. In a sense, you can say the feeling of struggle is what created the track.

In this record, I’m trying to convey a story of resilience and inspire others to not give up on their dreams or themselves despite the pain, pressure, and people’s expectations. Always be authentic and never fold under pressure because diamonds are created under pressure.”

D.A.M.N will be officially released on all major platforms, including Spotify, on February 29th, followed by the upcoming accompanying official music video, directed by the cinematic titan, Ori Evans. 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

A Milli chartered exotic new terrains in hip-hop’s landscape with his latest single, Legacy

A Milli’s latest hip-hop track, Legacy, is a testament to his evolution as an artist. Born from the streets of Hamilton, Ontario, A Milli has sculpted a sound that is as diverse as his influences. A punk ethos rages through his Eminem-reminiscent bars as he blazes through a narrative woven with the threads of his life experiences.

The single stands out for its unique blend of exotic melodies that seamlessly intertwine with the punch of 808s, creating a vibrant, colourful backdrop for A Milli’s rhythmically tight bars. If you want to be taken beyond the conventional boundaries of hip-hop and into uncharted waters where each wave of sound is laden with meaning and intent, hit play.

A Milli’s journey in music, starting from using a video game mic at fourteen to co-headlining tours, is reflected in the maturity of his sound and the precision of his storytelling. His ability to translate life into music, drawing from a reservoir of personal highs and lows, sets him apart in a genre that thrives on authenticity.

As A Milli continues to carve his path in the music industry, Legacy stands as a bold declaration of his artistic identity. It’s a track that doesn’t just demand attention; it commands respect.

Legacy dropped on February 16; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The celestial architects, Terrestrial Soulz, led prog-rock and hip-hop through an orchestral maze in ‘Slipping Away’

Salt Lake City’s Terrestrial Soulz reached the pinnacle of genre-fluid experimentalism with their standout single, Slipping Away, taken from their debut album, Crash Landed.

After an extended orchestrally-laced prog-esque intro that licks funk into the groove pockets, the track that will give you 90s melodic rock nostalgia kicks into full gear through the introduction of the sleek and sharp spoken-word rap bars that deliver a sobering exposition of grief, oppression, and our inescapable relationship with fear that are facades can hide, but deep down, it’s always gnawing away at our psyche as ‘time slips away’.

As the single progresses, there are even more transitions in the interstellar pioneering transmission as soul spills in from the vocal harmonies and orchestral strings join guitar strings to relay the riffs. Between the distinction in their sonic signature and the weight in their bars, the outfit that is renowned for their explosive live performances is fated to make waves in an era when so many of us are searching for meaning. What it means to be human is stitched right through this cinematically avant-garde hit.

As Terrestrial Soulz is currently hard at work on their upcoming LP, Third Rock from the Sun, and priming for a state-wide tour, they’re more than worth a space in your playlists and on your radar.

Slipping Away is now available to stream with the debut Crash Landed LP on Spotify and SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Slim Piccins preached to the streets in his cinematic old-school hip-hop track, Legal Dope

Slim Piccins’ latest single, ‘Legal Dope‘, is a refreshing divergence from contemporary hip-hop which almost feels like a parody compared to the hits from the golden era. The Charlotte, NC native brings a unique blend of raw, husky vocals reminiscent of Tyler, The Creator and Rick Ross, yet Slim Piccins stands distinct in his lyrical prowess. The track is a luxe fusion of orchestral strings and traditional hip-hop beats, creating a soundscape that is grounded and filmic in equal measure.

The narrative of resilience is a gritty testament to overcoming adversity without resorting to the typical glorification of material wealth. Piccins’ bars resonate, echoing the struggles and triumphs of a life that most can relate to.

His voice, deep and textured, weaves through the melody, adding a layer of authenticity. The production deserves equal acclaim for the way the orchestral elements elevate the song into a cinematic domain.

In ‘Legal Dope’, Slim Piccins doesn’t just perform; he narrates, he educates, and he inspires. This track is a bold statement in the hip-hop genre, proving that true motivational music doesn’t need the crutches of luxury and excess. It’s a raw, unfiltered glimpse into the soul of an artist who is not afraid to bare his scars and share his story.

Stream Legal Dope on YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

River Bandit exhibited his electrifying versatility in his high-octane rap track, Work Night

River Bandit’s latest single, ‘Work Night’, is a high-voltage journey through the avenues of alt-hip-hop, showcasing an artist unafraid to push boundaries and force constraints to erupt. River Bandit’s tumultuous journey from a challenging childhood to a firebrand of musical innovation is palpable in every beat of this energised to-the-nines track, which is relentlessly fuelled by retro synths and a rhythm that pulsates with life.

‘Work Night’ is a masterclass in stylistic versatility, blending elements of boom bap and trap into a seamless, electrifying experience. The track refuses to let the listener settle into complacency; instead, it demands attention with its rapid-fire bars and unexpected twists. River Bandit’s rhyme scheme is anything but typical, delivering each mic drop with refreshing intensity, candour and introspective gold.

River Bandit’s lyrical prowess is on full display, offering not just entertainment but also wisdom and insights, a reflection of his own life experiences and struggles. It’s this authenticity that elevates ‘Work Night’ from a mere song to a narrative of resilience and determination.

For fans of alt-hip-hop, ‘Work Night’ is a revelation that showcases River Bandit’s unique ability to blend his Southern and West Coast hip-hop influences into a sound that’s distinctly his own.

Stream Work Night and River Bandit’s other blazingly innovative rap tracks via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

FLIPPIN’ GOTHIC FABP unleashed urban surrealism with ‘JUST HOW OPEN MIC’

FLIPPIN’ GOTHIC FABP’s latest single, ‘JUST HOW OPEN MIC‘, is a feat of unorthodox brilliance. Hailing from, New York, this artist, formerly known as Fabp aka Fabpz the Freelancer, makes a habit of defying convention by merging the gritty essence of urban life with surreal, almost otherworldly dimensions.

The track is an audacious leap into the avant-garde, where spacey, experimental beats collide with a hypnotic rap cadence. FLIPPIN’ GOTHIC FABP’s lyrical prowess is akin to a cosmic navigator, guiding listeners through a sci-fi cinematic universe, yet firmly rooted in the raw, undiluted essence that has been his hallmark. His voice, a blend of rhythmic precision and melodic undertones, weaves through the beats with an almost ethereal quality.

This is not your typical hip-hop fare. ‘JUST HOW OPEN MIC’ challenges the listener, demanding attention and contemplation. It’s a bold statement from an artist who has worked over 2,000 tracks into his discography; a testament to his relentless creativity and dedication to his craft.

Watch the official music video for JUST HOW OPEN MIC by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Tom Hutchcraft illuminated the stains on our systematically oppressive social fabric with ‘Venting’, featuring Dizzy Wright

Tom Hutchcraft’s entry into the hip-hop sphere with his single ‘Venting‘, featuring the accoladed flow king Dizzy Wright, is nothing short of a revelation. The Cambridge-based artist, previously known for his piano covers and classical prowess, has taken a bold leap, landing squarely in the realm of rap with a track that resonates with both rhyme and reason.

‘Venting’ is a striking blend of Hutchcraft’s sharpened with acerbic wit spoken word cadence and Wright’s seasoned Blackalicious-esque flow. The track stands out not just for its musicality but for its socially conscious heartbeat. Hutchcraft’s lyricism delves deep into themes of racial prejudice and systematic oppression, offering a narrative that’s as observationally astute as it is emotionally charged.

The beats in ‘Venting’ are a rhythmic catalyst, inducing listeners into a heightened state of awareness. It’s a call to consciousness that will stick with you for long after the outro. For a first venture into hip-hop, this track sets a high bar, not just for Hutchcraft but for the genre as a whole. It’s a testament to the power of music as a tool for reflection and change, and a sign that Hutchcraft is an artist to watch in the evolving landscape of rap music.

Venting will reach the airwaves on March 23rd; stream it here.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lost Gold grooved soul into old-school hip-hop instrumentals in ‘FILE.0016’

lostgold.file.0016 by lost gold

With ‘FILE.0016′, Lost Gold, the moniker of Minneapolis-based multi-instrumentalist Dylan Heidt, crafted an instrumental odyssey that resonates with the warmth and soul of old-school hip-hop. This track, part of Heidt’s ambitious solo project, is a testament to his versatility and deep-rooted appreciation for diverse musical genres.

The track opens with a beat that could easily be mistaken for an Alabama Shakes number, immediately setting a tone of nostalgic familiarity. It’s a rich, soulful foundation that harks back to the golden era of hip-hop, yet feels refreshingly contemporary. The warmth of the beat is palpable as the track progresses and the impossible-to-resist grooves take centre stage.

The keys cascade with a melodiousness that’s both playful and profound, while the guitars add a shimmering layer of complexity around the robustly funk-infused basslines that are meticulous when carving pockets of rhythm.

As Lost Gold continues to release more music through Bandcamp, ‘FILE.0016’ stands as a shining example of his talent and vision. It’s a piece that connects with listeners globally, proving that true artistry lies in the ability to blend the familiar with the new, creating something uniquely resonant and timeless.

FILE.0016 was officially released on January 3rd; stream or purchase the single on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast