Browsing Tag

Pop Hip Hop

Indie hip-hop icon-in-the-making Ramey laid down more introspective gold in his melodic hit, Regrets

‘Regrets’ is the latest indie hip-hop earworm from Birmingham, Alabama-hailing singer-songwriter and producer Ramey, which has all the fixtures of a new wave country hip-hop playlist staple.

The melodically angular indie guitars around the slow and steady self-produced beats are a testament to Ramey’s ability to complement his dynamic rap flow with seamlessly synergistic beats for an evocatively immersive listening experience.

Using pop and contemporary hip-hop elements to light a fire under a distinctive brand of country ambience, the 26-year-old hasn’t failed to carve out a niche and thrive within it. In 2017, he blew up through his covers of Post Malone and Blackbear, amassing over half a million streams on SoundCloud in the process.

After the release of Regrets, Ramey has another clear shot at going viral. The only conceivable complaint is that the short and sweet hit that stands in defiance of sticking by actions despite consequences isn’t longer. Although, that’s all the more reason to check out the rest of his discography to tap into more mindfully witty introspective gold.

Regrets will be available to stream on Spotify & Apple Music via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jonathan Machen, aka Profit, sells sanctuary in his hip-hop pop track, Refuge

Singer, hip-hop artist and songwriter Jonathan Machen, aka Profit, is living and breathing proof that regardless of how many battle scars your trauma brandishes you with, success will always be in the sightline if you look for it.

Following his viral debut single, Daydreaming, which has amassed over 1 million streams on Spotify alone since it dropped in 2021, his sophomore single, Refuge, is a consoling reminder that everyone deserves sanctuary regardless of the hostility the world has shown you before.

The country hip-hop-meets-pop instrumentals against his compassion-soaked vocals that run through the lyrics and affirm everyone deserves another soul to fall into hits all the right evocative notes while unravelling as a hook-rife melodic earworm.

Jonathan Machen’s distinctive approach to music starts to contextualise around the understanding that his life experiences shaped his creativity more than any artist came before him. After suffering from extensive burns that covered 90% of his body, his self-confidence ebbing away at an early age through bullying and becoming a single father of three while dealing with the grief of losing his mother and everything he owned, music has always been his peace and motivation. Now at 35 years old, in a happy marriage, he is here to confirm that injustice never has to last forever.

Refuge was released on January 6th; check it out on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Meoni Samir has made his debut with the party rock hip-hop anthem, Party Time

If talent is in short supply in underground hip-hop, presume the Baltimore trailblazer, Meoni Samir, stole it all to create his debut body-rocking hip-hop anthem, Party Time.

East Side or West Side, you will want to move over to Samir’s side after this flawlessly fresh that sets the bar for other up-and-coming artists. The independent, for the time being, rapper pierced pop hooks into the vibrant hit that sets the mood for hedonistic pleasure around the old-school jazzy samples and nuances of RnB.

The polished-to-perfection beats create a solid platform for Samir’s Playboy persona and dynamic bars that consistently switch up in tone and tempo to create a fully rounded release that gets better with every repeat listen. It has all the makings for a staple; after the first hit, you’ll be hooked.

Party Time is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Iamyungtip – Locked Out: Future-Ready RnB Hip Hop

Looking back on a scar-littered relationship, Iamyungtip’s latest single, Locked Out, is a remorseful retrospective account of a chapter of history where the lows pitted out the highs, but the affection is unwaning.

The mature slice of future-ready RnB hip hop is a testament to the Youngstown, Ohio-based artist’s songwriting skills that he has been working on since he was eight years old when he wrote poetry for his crushes. In adulthood, he’s lost none of the diehard romanticism and picked up plenty of sonic skills to evolve his expression from the page to the airwaves.

The melodic hooks, the way his cleverly effect-laden harmonised vocals lock in with the sweepingly arrestive melodies and the way he always brings you into the heart of his music makes him a triple threat and a playlist staple worthy artist for anyone who appreciates a hip hop icon unafraid to show his emotion.

Locked Out is now available to stream on Spotify,

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Mars Alva shares the euphoria of escaping toxic relationship dynamics in his latest alt hyper-pop single, Erase

Here to prove that there is nothing sweeter than the euphoria of breaking free from a toxic relationship dynamic is the alternative Houston, TX artist Mars Alva, with his latest indie hyper pop single, Erase. It is a markable sonic shift from his spacey single, CRASH!, which came four months prior. The raw nature of the lyricism necessitated the off-kilter production that reflects the tumultuousness of dissonance gifted by narcissists.

Erase looks back on the love-bombing stage of a relationship, where the facades that were painted on thick soon started to slip. Upliftingly, Alva supercharged his release with the visceral energy that manifests when the only regret you have from walking away is the time and energy you wasted. Even if you haven’t been there yourself, you will still get the rush from this sonic firestorm, influenced by the 1975, Kanye, Frank Ocean, and The Weeknd.

The official music video for Erase will premiere on October 14th. Catch it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Denim Blue tore off the facade in his indie rock bedroom pop EP, Vacation Blues

In his new EP, Vacation Blues, the Norway-residing bedroom pop artist Denim Blue tore off the facade and abstracted any sense of pretence to deliver a 6-track release which encompasses the dissonance that the journey of loss and recovery imparts.

Inner turmoil is always a field of landmines, but never has it been filled with so many efficacious hooks. Vacation Blues stands as a testament to Denim Blue’s ability to capture the confusion within the human condition while sending you deep into a state of sonic beguile.

Track 1, Brand New, is undoubtedly the earworm of the EP. Unlike your average earworm, the melodic indie pop rock hit sticks to your synapses like superglue through the cohesion between the apathetically hooky vocals and the colourful melodies. Track 2, Tear Me Down, heightens the emotion by stripping back the production to an art pop serenade of lost love.

Track 3, Field of Dreams, shares sonic textures with shoegaze while Denim Blue runs with his signature rough, raw and relatable vocal timbre before Down completely shifts the synthetics of the EP into a hazy synth-pop lament. Decidedly one of the sweet spots on the EP, Waste My Time exhibits the best of Denim Blue’s lyrical gravitas before the concluding single, Bloom, blossoms under warm saturated delay.

Putting context and intensifying the listening experience, this is what Denim Blue had to say on Vacation Blues:

“Vacation Blues is a short but open story. There are a few ways to interpret it as it grows darker with different stages of losing hope, love, will and identity. At the end of the EP, there is a realisation, but it is a cyclical story; the first and last tracks have the same vocal hook with different meanings.

It is about struggling to move on, whether from heartbreak, addiction, mental health, or any other personal matter; it is up to you to decide, as the listener. I wanted it to feel familiar, almost like the inner voice that tries to speak up.”

Stream Vacation Blues on Spotify & SoundCloud.

To stay up to date with new releases, follow Denim Blue on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ladyv777 has unleashed her sticky-sweet advocation of autonomous talent, ‘Diamonds’

Pop meets hip hop in the dreamy bubble gum atmosphere of Ladyv777’s latest single, Diamonds. The Illinois-born and raised singer, rapper, and songwriter, AKA Victoria Russell, has used music as a means of purpose and escape since early childhood; she poured every inch of sonic passion into her debut single and every track that followed.

There is always an overarching advocation of authenticity within Ladyv777’s singles, and Diamonds is the perfect testament to that with its sticky-sweet pop vocals around the hooky rap bars that rest on beats that are playful and convicting in the same progression.

Diamonds is available to stream on Spotify and available to purchase on Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Glitchy art rock meets alt urban pop in Jacobi.e’s latest single, Rcv

Since his 2020 debut, experimentalism has been at the forefront of Jacobi.e’s alt bedroom pop sound. With his aptly dark, melodically off-kilter and tumultuously glitchy first single of 2022, Rcv, the Jamaican American artist and producer, currently residing in LA, fused his rock background with contemporary flavours of the originators, Dominic Fike, Kanye and Yeek.

While some artists manage to make exploring alternative sounds a contrived act of pretension, Jacobi.e instantly affirms that the alchemy came organically through his affinity for a plethora of genres. Pulling all of the contrasting textures together, his vocals are a sticky-sweet vocal point in the wavy track that stands as a testament to his flair as a producer that continues to amass gravitas.

RCV is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Kamanda is a voice of compassionate reason in his latest melodic hip hop single, HETTIE II

Liberia, West Africa-born, Newcastle, Australia-residing artist, Kamanda went into his latest pop meets new wave hip hop single, HETTIE II, with his soul blazing. If you’re anything like me, and it has been a while since you appreciated the irony of our existence, this contemporary feat of lyrically melodic hip hop has all the makings of a playlist staple.

From arresting lyrical lines, “we kill each other just for attention, my legs are getting tired from trying to chase to perfection”, to resonant admissions of depression and anxiety that are more a symptom of our society rather than our individual minds, it felt like Kamanda ran through every source of grief I feel for our contemporary existence.

Kamanda started rapping and writing at the age of nine. In 2022, his ability to open eyes to the psychological pitfalls we blindly plunge into is beyond sharp. And if I’m being completely honest, hearing the yearning for fairness and peace within the uplifting indie production that knows just where to stab with the minor keys choked me up before the first verse ran through.

HETTIE II is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Roman. & Ella Shreiner brought the intensity out in each other in the HipHop/EDM Pop mash-up ‘Mortality’.

In the most momentous hip hop & EDM pop mash-up of the year Roman. and Ella Shreiner brought a brand-new intensity out in each other. ‘Mortality’ is just one of the tracks to feature on Roman.’s debut album, Own World (20 Pages); icons have ended up on the hip hop map for far less.

After an immediate introduction to the soul in Shreiner’s vocal timbre, the single picks up even more gravity when Roman.’s realism-soaked bars kick in. Instead of launching scathing attacks on the usual insidious aspects of our existence, the up-and-coming rapper kept it resonant by highlighting the flaws in the hoop-jumping music industry, in turn, he gave the promise that he will always keep it real.

Check out the alchemic collab for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast