Browsing Tag

Old School Hip Hop

JD True pulled back the curtain in his groove-slicked hip-hop track, Red Pill

While some hip-hop artists need an entire discography to prove their dynamism, the songwriter and rapper JD True only needed three minutes. With superlative style and soul, his latest single, Red Pill, pulls back the curtain on formerly hidden facets of society and how they make their mark on the psyche.

Kicking off with a smooth old-school prelude with funk-chopped staccato guitars, the atmosphere pulls into the mix simultaneously with the melodicism as JD True uses the intricately weaved instrumental layers as a rhythmically mesmerising platform to filter his energetic flow into.

Based on Red Pill alone, it is no wonder that the artist who takes inspiration from Kanye, J Cole, and Big Krit has had no issues garnering hype since his 2021 debut single, Crown Me.

Red Pill was officially released on January 19th. Check it out on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Karrell – Mama’s Boy I: Jazzy Grooves, Choppy Flows and Endless Introspection

‘Kid in a Box’ is the debut LP from the up-and-coming hip-hop artist, Karrell, who is making short work of winning fans over with his old-school jazzy grooves, choppy flows and lyricism that brings a whole new level of introspection.

The standout single from the 12-track album, Mama’s Boy I, exposes Karrell’s softer side while establishing himself as an artist that knows how to carry conviction in every bar. The self-awareness in the confessionally narrative release, which can dizzy you with the cadence, absolutely sets the bar for other artists wanting to make an impact on their audience.

With both the intro and outro leaving ample room from cinematic old school samples, there is plenty of room to find yourself in the release after understanding Karrell’s vices, history, talents, and shortfalls that have left to expressive triumph.

Mama’s Boy I was released on December 14; catch it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

It’s all coming up Leone after the rapper’s official debut single, Gotta Love It

The independent rap artist Leone instantly won us over with the witty one-liners and nostalgic samples in his debut single, Gotta Love It. We really do.

The track opens with the acknowledgement of the varying perceptions that will greet you every time you make a move and do anything but wither in isolation and silence. It’s a powerful introduction to the Helsinki-based artist’s distinctive soulful charisma that flows right through this smooth feat of old-school inspired hip hop that puts a brand-new spin on those jazzy sepia-tinged tones.

Leon may only be at the start of his career, but he’s already proven that he has what it takes to break through the oversaturated-with-chancers music industry. Watch this space. He’s undoubtedly going to fill it with witty introspective gold that challenges your perceptions.

Gotta Love It is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

NY rapper and producer, Jon Harris is rich in lyrical gold after his latest hip hop release, Great

NY rapper, songwriter and producer Jon Harris tore up the rulebook in his latest old-school-meets-nu-skool single, Great. After a cinematic intro that will speak to the senses of any Tarantino fan, the single moves into more familiar hip hop territory through Harris’ down-to-earth versing style, inspired by the visionaries, Eminem, Kanye and Jay Z, while the instrumentals work melodic magic in the background.

With bells chiming in place of the usual 808s and plenty more ingenuity written into the rhythmic works, Great is an arresting feat of urban innovation. And that’s before we get to the cutting wit that puts all of the wannabe rappers in their place with solid lines that get stronger with every repeat hit of Great. Which is everything it says on the tin.

Every lyric is quote-worthy, but “I’m the bad guy for trying to speak up, constantly telling me to shut up and stick to music, well, guess what bitch, now you gotta listen to it”, may just cut slightly above the rest.

The lyric video for Great premiered on October 22nd. Catch it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast



Nour Rakha exhibits his killer cadence in his perceptively galvanising latest single, Poet Turned Rapper

Nour Rakha (previously Tut the King) set the bar lyrically high with his latest old-school East Coast hip hop single, Poet Turned Rapper, but your jaw will drop just as hard as the mic when it metaphorically hits the floor after every flawlessly insightful line delivered.

The superficiality of modern reality that is stained with false pretences and egos didn’t stand a chance against the Egyptian American rapper and producer whose expressive cadence always submerges you in the depth of his introspection.

While the bars give you a candid view of Rakha’s relatable dim opinion on 21st-century disparity, the smooth summery beats set up by producer Rifado Beats bring a stylish sense of soul, complementing Rakha’s always authentic expositions. We are officially obsessed with Rakha’s new style and sound.

Poet Turned Rapper was officially released on September 27th. Check it out on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: THISMINORITY welcomes us to the spiritual new age of hip hop with ‘MEDI’.

For his debut single, THISMINORITY brought hip hop into the realm of spiritual new age mindfulness to smash through the stereotypes and establish himself as a unique voice with an equally as distinctively cutting production style.

Self-awareness is a journey, but on the basis of MEDI, the New Orleans-born, Brooklyn-based rapper and lyricist is already leagues ahead of most with his recognition of the importance of the narratives we spin to ourselves.

His melodic stormer allows you to think just as fiercely as it compels you to feel as the atmospherically old school track runs through its cinematic progressions. While the 808s steadily rattle, the monochromatic vignette that THISMINORITY etched to portray the darkness he pulled himself from keeps you hooked into the classy yet juxtaposing gritty synthetics.

Here is what THISMINORITY had to say about his debut:

“Medi is a reflection on my newfound passion for mass connection and how entertainment, fame, etc come with it. Exploring the concept triggered the epiphany that the things that we need to feel good can destroy us in excess.

Satisfaction, confidence, and love can ultimately lead to greed, ego, and lust. How do I balance? I meditate…”

MEDI is now available to stream on Spotify & SoundCloud.

Follow THISMINORITY via Facebook & Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

DC’s most conceptual hip hop artist, Chekmayte brings the resistance in his dark rap track, Midnight

In his first release of 2022, Midnight, the artfully conceptional alternative rapper, Checkmayte has unveiled a chillingly dark feat of experimentalism, which can only be described as Lynchian.

The creeping bass and Chekmayte’s commitment to ominously alluding to how unjust the world is for the oppressed that will know little more than the pressure of the boot on their neck make for a disturbingly immersive aural experience.  Resisting repressive regimes should never feel comfortable, which is important to remember in our era where revolutions have their own merch. There’s little room to wonder why the DC born and raised artist has become one of the hottest names in his hip hop scene since making his debut in 2020. We can’t wait to hear what follows Midnight.

Midnight is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lyrical hip hop gained a new laureate with the drop of Dayo’s single, Eat You Alive

Taken from his latest EP, Sui 3: Man in the Mirror, Dayo’s seminal stormer of a single, Eat You Alive, delivers devilishly sharp wit, luxe West Coast hip hop textures, and vocals that will force you to feel every ounce of vehemence thrown into this upraising single.

Ultimately, Eat You Alive proves that pain is your enemy; you should no sooner get into bed with your archnemesis than swallow the self-defeating lies fed to you by your suffering. Do yourselves a favour and make Eat You Alive a playlist staple, it is the perfect reminder that only you can remove the teeth of torment. He’s gone beyond one to watch. He’s one to get fanatic about.

Check out Eat You Alive now on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

BHM NONO severed tribal ties in his latest hit, DESTINED 2 WIN

Hostility and hip hop have gone hand in hand since the Bronx inception, but here to prove that nothing is in trend forever is the trailblazing conscious rap artist, BHM NONO, with his latest single, DESTINED 2 WIN.

After an extended spoken-word prelude that puts you in the perfect place to feel the weight of the following bars, the instrumentals bring plenty of dramatic minor-key atmosphere into the mix. And that is all before BHM NONO’s fiery convicted bars prove that motivation doesn’t have to be synonymous with others’ destruction.

BHM NONO has exactly what it takes to become one of the most essential artists of his generation. We can’t wait to watch him get there.

The official music video premiered on April 22nd; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Imperial M.B. Ran with Luxe Old School Style in His Latest Alt-Hip Hop Track, Ignorant

The Imperial M.B

The Imperial M.B. brought back the luxe style of Tupac and Biggie in his latest single, Ignorant, which serves the straight out of Compton grit along with nuanced alt-rock elements in the instrumentals through the buzz saw guitars and searing oscillating effects.

It is probably safe to say that not many up and coming hip hop artists in 2022 succeed when it comes to arresting production, vocal conviction and emotionally charged lyrics, but notably, The Imperial M.B. is a triple threat. At the very least, he is one to watch.

Ignorant will be available to stream on May 6th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast