With a sound that will draw in fans of Kae the Tempest and George the Poet like a moth to a flame, the visceral with uninhibited candour single, Defective by Design, from r.a.g.s. and tee fisher is a gravitational force in and of its hip-hop self.
Experimentalism was in no short order in the chilled wavey lo-fi outcry of poetic raw emotion. While the title gives a few clues as to what the lyrics allude to, there’s no preparing for the intellect in the wordplay, which finds profound new ways to illustrate the frustration of feeling as though you were always fated to live a life bookended with mental cognitions that will always lead you down the wrong path of perception and action.
r.a.g.s. started his musical journey by learning Indian classical keyboard at age five; he took his immersion in the music world a step further by enrolling at Leeds Conservatoire studying jazz and learning how to produce his own music. His debut single effortlessly distinguished him as an artist who will never leave authenticity by the wayside. Naturally, we can’t wait to what lingers in his obscure pipeline.
Defective by Design hit the airwaves on August 28; stream it on Spotify.
Getem Jesus da prince’s latest single, Why Are You On Me is as wavy, minimalist, and lo-fi as hip-hop gets, but if that is exactly what your playlists are crying out for, wipe away the tears with the ambient hit that will leave your speakers dripping with catharsis.
The Bronx-hailing rapper and singer is also the leader of the Team Sveda Guardian Shit movement; when he’s not crafting Drake-esque hooks, he’s versing hip-hop gospel on his podcast.
While improvements to the production quality could make his hits more people’s cup of tea, props have to be given to the fearless emissary of stripped-back hip-hop-flavoured soul who makes rap tracks worth getting pious about.
Check out Why Are You On Me here or check out his YouTube channel.
The NJ hip-hop artist running his feverishly witty bars under the mononym, Jay, turned up the heat by cooking with old-school flavour in his lyric-driven hit, Another Man’s Treasure.
After a crackling jazzy prelude, the lo-fi chill-hop hit kicks into full swing under the evocative duress of Jay’s vocal delivery which puts even more emotion into the compelling lyricism that paints a grim picture of systematic racial violence and oppression.
There are few opening lyrics as cutting as “this game wasn’t made for the darkest of brothers”. From there on out, the lyricism makes even fewer bones about holding a blood-stained mirror up to society, allowing it to see what it has become.
Another Man’s Treasure will officially release on March 3rd. Hear it on YouTube and SoundCloud.
American rapper and producer, EB, is disrupting the hip-hop hegemony with his charismatically quirky sonic signature. The Virginia-based artist’s latest single, SECRET GARDEN, is the perfect introduction to his sunny disposition and wholesome bars, which throw away the allusion that every rap track needs to be charged with conviction.
The playful polyphonic Nujabes-ESQUE prelude draws in fans of 8-Bit-adjacent music before veering into a feat of cinematic East Coast hip-hop in the same vein as Jay Z and Nas. In the short and sweet space of 1:39 minutes, EB made sure his audience got their dopamine fix and brought mindful compassion into trend.
“This song is a collaboration with Dale Richman, and within the lyrics, we paint the dynamics of the pain of one-sided relationships, a common theme throughout the project. I produced, mixed and mastered this song to my own standard of perfection.”
SECRET GARDEN is the first track to drop from EB’s upcoming project, Sorta Flying…REMADE~!!!, which is due for official release on February 23rd.
SECRET GARDEN hit the airwaves on February 3rd. Hear it on Spotify.
On February 18th, the Philippines-hailing alt-hip hop artist L!FE released his most introspectively sweet single to date. Take Your Timeinstantly affirms that the up and coming artist’s sphere of influence stretches far past hip hop with the prominence of the piano melodies in the lo-fi mix and his hooky vocals which canter through the invaluable wisdom bombs. It takes an insane amount of humility to admit, “I’ve been doing it wrong in all of my songs”; from that point onwards, you greet his vulnerability with your own as you drink in the sound of birds chirping around the lush sun-bleached reverb.
With the chorus “take your time, you don’t want this to go away”, the damage that hustler hip hop has done on the psyche is instantly reversed. In essence, the track delivers a reminder that your worth can’t be reflected by your bank account and there is infinitely more to life than chasing status. It is all too easy to get onto the same zen prophetic page as L!FE, who started producing beats in 2017 before releasing his debut single in 2020. Fast forward to 2022, L!FE has seven stellar singles under his belt; it is only a matter of time before the rest of the world is as infatuated as we are.
Here is what L!FE had to say on Take Your Time
“Take Your Time is for everyone in the same situation as me, who feels driven towards their success and leaves themselves at risk of burnout. In this day and age, “motivational speakers” drive us towards it and away from our passion.
The track counteracts their holier than thou tropes while reminding the listener that we’re not one-dimensional beings, we deal with a great number of things in our lives, and sometimes, for things to work in our favour, we need time.”
Take Your Time is now available to stream on Spotify.
Rarely is lo-fi hip hop as ingeniously fresh as the standout single, Toxic Me, from the Californian recording artist, Bubbush. Right from the first verse, his playful lack of ego grips you and pulls you into the RnB laced single that runs through the quirky progressions and old school grind.
With hyper distorted high-pitch vocals layering around Bubbush’s bars, there’s a dialogic element to Toxic Me, serving the bitter-sweet reminder that there are two sides to every toxic love story.
After making a debut in 2015, Bubbush’s career quickly started to gain traction in his local scene and far beyond. We can only hope that there are more soul-sating tracks in the pipeline.
Check out Toxic Me for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.
Southside Chicago rap artist, Lolo GB, dropped his atmospheric drill track, On Flex, on October 23rd; prepare your vibe-out playlists for an immersively arresting addition.
The short and trippy track grooves through an ambiently wavy production through the bass-heavy 808 hits and reverb-drenched notes under Lolo GB’s deadpan yet dynamic rap bars. The production may not be the cleanest or the most robust, but that works in Lolo GB’s favour with the catharsis that this firecracker of an alt-hip hop can deliver as it works through its spacey lo-fi grooves.
With his lucid bilingual rap bars falling into the ambient lo-fi trap beats, Latino rapper and producer 12WELVE’s latest single, Wake Up, is as invigorating as it is indulgently mellow.
The Houston, Texas-based artist takes inspiration from the likes of The Weeknd, 88GLAM and Kanye West and wears his influences on his aural sleeve in the short and sweet hit which keeps the production simple to leave plenty of room for the resounding emotion in this vibing pensive hit.
Wake Up is the second single released from 12WELVE’s upcoming album, Forever My Love, where betrayal, love, anger and glamour will be uniquely explored. If you like to keep your chill wave playlists fresh, we’d recommend saving a spot on your radar.
The up and coming hip hop artist Anomaly Da’ God paid a lo-fi ode to old school New York hip hop with his latest soul-filling drop, B.Y.P.T (Before You Pearl That).
After a hazy chill-wave intro, the track grooves through the glitchy progressions that have been fed through plenty of tape deck saturation to get their old school feel. When the luxe track hits peak momentum, Anomaly Da’ God’s lyrical canter picks up to a smooth yet rapid pace; any fans of Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye and Dre won’t want to hang around on this nostalgic yet paradoxically fresh track.
Healing is the third single released by the breaking artist Tahj McQueen, which extends his legacy of lacing the airwaves with meaningful introspection that explores the darkest parts of our 21st-century psyches.
The trippy lo-fi beats are as spacey as Brian Eno’s cathartic tracks; paired with McQueen’s soft delivery of the hard-hitting lyrics, you’ll want to prime your vibe out playlists for this soulfully provoking track that runs you through a timeline of trauma. The timeline may be personal, but the problems unravelled resonate as universal. It is singles such as healing that remind you that trauma doesn’t separate us. It unifies us.
Healing was released on August 27th; you can check it out for yourselves via apple music.