Browsing Tag

rapper

Spotlight Feature: Be Bigger Not Bitter with Tago’s Feel-Good Hip-Hop Juggernaut, Let Me Talk About Mine

Tago stepped back into the spotlight with his latest single Let Me Talk About Mine, which is set to be a significant moment in his career. The Dallas-based rapper and producer, who has spent the better part of a decade behind the scenes, enriching other artists’ careers, now takes centre stage, showcasing his own story with soul-infused conviction that demands attention.

With Let Me Talk About Mine, Tago crafted lyrics that are both sharp and introspective, set against a backdrop of electrifying beats and cutting-edge electronica aesthetics that shake the dust off old school while tapping into the grit of it.

This single is an unreckonable assertion of self-worth and an invitation to witness his ascension in hip-hop. His narrative is potent, steeped in personal growth and the gritty realities of forging one’s path against the odds. Tago captivates through this monolithic hit, employing kinetic rhythms that propel the listener through his journey of self-realisation and unflinching ambition.

It’s a track that will stand the test of time as a testament to Tago’s ability to weave traditional influences into a modern sonic landscape that pulsates with energy. If you’ve ever felt overshadowed, step into the limelight with his emboldening instant classic.

Stream the official music video for Let Me Talk About Mine from May 16th.

Follow Tago on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Majesty defined her hip-hop legacy in ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’

Karma may be a bitch, but there are few fiercer figures in the hip-hop industry than Majesty, who will be reigning supreme after the drop of her legacy-defining single, What Goes Around Comes Around.

The solid beats, sharp flows and even more cutting wordplay establish Majesty as a triple threat in the genre filled with pretenders that would kill for her ability to deliver conviction with soul. As the luxe jazzy instrumentals that are filtered through a filmic lens take you back to the ‘90s East Coast hip-hop sound, Majesty’s cadence attests to her determination to perfect her craft and inspire through her independently released hits.

Anyone who hits play on What Goes Around Comes Around will find themselves vindicated by the rhythmically explosive exposition on the sweetness of karmic justice. Along with everyone else who can’t get enough of this hit, we can’t wait to hear what Majesty has locked, loaded and ready to drop.

Stream What Goes Around Comes Around, which has already racked up over 3k views on YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Rice redefined hip-hop with the big beats in his latest hit, Blog It

After a suspenseful two-year hiatus, Rice stormed back onto the hip-hop scene with Blog It, a track that pulses with cinematic grandeur and a defiant declaration of his undimmed presence. This single is not just a return; it’s a bold reaffirmation of Rice’s command over the genre.

Rice, known for his role as an entrepreneur and philanthropist as much as his music, melded monolithic auto-tuned bars with EDM-adjacent beats to create a soundscape that’s as luxurious as it is massive. The production quality, more designer than Prada, amplifies Rice’s charisma, proving that none of his magnetic allure has faded beneath the technological sheen.

Blog It is laden with lyrical potency and rhythmic complexity that showcases Rice’s matured artistry. His background as a visionary artist who transitioned from management to centre stage is evident in every beat.

This single is a narrative of persistence and a sonic explosion that heralds Rice’s readiness for a Grammy. It’s ironic yet fitting that a track titled Blog It is the one I find myself blogging about—what could be more meta? Yet, if I’m a pawn in anyone’s game, I’m glad it’s Rice’s; the major player is ripping up the hip-hop rulebook and setting fire to the confetti.

Blog It is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

In Conversation: Frostbyt3 Breaks Down ‘OUTCHA MOUTH’ and Talks New Horizons

This week, we explored the defiance and high-energy expression in Frostbyt3’s latest track, “OUTCHA MOUTH,” featuring Juice Box and ETHNL. Released on April 12th, this single marks a significant shift from Frostbyt3’s earlier pop and R&B influences, diving into a realm of gritty, experimental rap with a live-performance feel designed to rally the crowd.

In this interview with A&R Factory, Frostbyt3 reveals the inspiration behind the creation of an anthem that not only challenges the negativity from others and self-doubt but also sets the stage for a much-anticipated album. Dive into the conversation as Frostbyt3 discusses the transformative journey from SoundCloud experiments to major stage ambitions, offering insights into collaboration dynamics, creative processes, and long-term visions

Frostbyt3, welcome to A&R Factory! Thanks for the opportunity to sit down with you and discuss your latest single, OUTCHA MOUTH, featuring Juice Box and ETHNL which dropped on April 12th. We love how you brought your high-vibe energy to a track that asserts boundaries with maximum conviction in the bars and beats; what inspired you to create this track and run with this infectiously expressive style?

Thank you so much for having me! I am super excited to talk about my music! I would say coming off of my last album, “EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE”, that was very pop and R&B based. I wanted to create something that sounded different from what I usually make. I wanted to create an anthem that was show-ready and had a hook that was easy to memorize. Recently, I have been watching a lot of rap performances and seeing what artists have brought to the table with that type of energy. That is exactly what I wanted to bring out with this new single. A fresh new take on how I want everyone to turn up when they listen to the song.

What inspired you to create the track?

The track idea came at a time when I noticed not only with myself but with the media in general how people like to try and drag others down once they see they are making something good out of their own life. Not only that, but it also plays a role in how we sometimes talk down about ourselves and we might not even realize it. There have been moments in my own life where I was like “Am I even built for this?” or “Am I good enough for this?” when I know I am and have proven myself time and time again. I would say this single is a commentary on negative talk in general, whether it’s from others or yourself. Keep any sort of negativity out of your mouth. As far as the production on this track, in the car, I listen to tracks like “FE!N” by Travis Scott and Playboi Carti. I did take huge inspiration from the album, “TESTING” by A$AP Rocky. That album is so amazing and the energy on that album is incredible. If you’re a fan of grundy and experimental rap, check that album out.

Could you walk us through your creative process for writing and producing a track like “OUTCHA MOUTH”? Where do you usually start, and how do you know when a song is ready to be released?

It’s honestly been trial and error. I usually either have a hook already in mind and create the production around the hook and verses, or I’ll start from scratch and make the beat and then add the lyrics of what I believe the song should be about afterwards. I think, this time around, the beat was finished and I had demo lyrics. In my mind, I was like, “ETHNL would go crazy on this!”. Two weeks after sending it to ETHNL, I told myself “No. ETHNL and Juice Box would be an insane combo!”. The rest is history.

How did the collaboration with Juice Box and ETHNL come about, and what was it like working in the studio with them?

I have worked with both artists before. ETHNL and I have worked numerous times to a point where we know what works and doesn’t work. Juice Box I worked with a lot behind the scenes and we have one song out called “Honorable Mentions”. I thought this was the perfect time to have both of them back and they delivered.

From your early days on SoundCloud to now, how have you evolved as an artist? In what ways have your initial influences shaped your current music style?

As a music artist, I’m always learning. I’m always listening. I have learned so much from not only learning what my fanbase is like, but also tuning in to other musicians and understanding how they operate in the music realm. I’m always asking questions. How do you engage the crowd on stage? How do you get the fans asking for more? How did they create certain songs? I feel like these are the key concepts that, over the years, have helped shape my sound and who I want to be as an artist.

Does OUTCHA MOUTH set the tone for your upcoming album?

I would say OUTCHA MOUTH is just one piece to an entire theme-driven album. The album itself has a bunch of different tones. I’d like to think of each song on the album as having its personality. It’s cool because OUTCHA MOUTH as a single can stand on its own, but on the album, it brings life to the album listening experience.

Engaging with your fanbase seems integral to your approach. How do you hope your music, especially the new single and upcoming album, will resonate with your listeners, both old and new?

I want this album to give people hope. I don’t want to spoil a lot, but this album has been a reminder to me of why I wanted to make music in the first place. It has so many different feels and vibes, but it all has that Frostbyt3 feel that fans know and love. It truly has a lot to offer for familiar listeners, as well as people listening to my music for the first time. I encourage people to listen to some of my recent work to get a good feel of the genres I have worked with so far.

Beyond the upcoming album, what are your long-term goals for your music career? How do you see your sound and artistic identity evolving in the future?

I have some big plans in the works. I am currently planning on doing live shows. That is what has been important to me. People love and need live music. The last two home studio albums I dropped, “WHINTER SEEZYN” and “EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE”, I call “quarantine albums”, because they were released during the middle of the pandemic. At that point, musicians and artists weren’t able to do much. Live music was in a weird place. Now, I feel like this is the time to go hard! I want to give people that Frostbyt3 experience live! I would love to do a mini-tour! As far as my sound and artistic identity, I see myself pushing myself further with my music. I’m always making music every day. My music and creativity are always evolving and changing. I can’t wait for the world to hear more from me.

Stream OUTCHA MOUTH on Spotify now.

Follow Frostbyt3 on Instagram.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

Crafting His Own Creed: Sareem on His Album ‘YOU MADE ME YOU’ and Personal Evolution

 This week, rap luminary Sareem sat down with us to delve into his latest album, ‘YOU MADE ME YOU,’ an infectious blend of sharp rap flows and dynamic beats that trace his journey from hustle to redemption. In this candid discussion, he reveals the profound personal stakes involved in the album’s creation, reflecting on his emotional highs and lows and the introspective process behind his music. His narrative weaves between personal accountability and empowerment, all set against the backdrop of challenging industry relationships and intense self-discovery. Join us as Sareem unpacks the layers of his latest work, offering a glimpse into the mind of an artist who not only embraces but celebrates his complexities.

Sareem, thanks for sitting down with us to discuss your new album, YOU MADE ME YOU! First things first, we would love to hear the story behind the intriguing LP title and how it encompasses the 13 tracks contained within. 

Hi Amelia, thank you for having me! The title YOU MADE ME YOU is a way to take responsibility for my actions. The only person standing on every decision I make is myself. Throughout the album it’s responsible for my hustle, degeneracy, coming to terms with reality, and eventual redemption. It’s a mantra that alternates between blame and empowerment. I came up with it when I wrote a draft of BURN IT DOWN but I scrapped that verse for the final version you hear today.

We love the juxtapositions between the sharp rap flows and the experimentally dynamic beats; is there a particular artist who acted as the foundation of your influence or is your style a result of a broad range of inspirations? 

Broad range for sure. I made a playlist of who I was listening to as I made the album and it’s got everyone from Danny Brown to Master of Puppets, Mac Miller, The Weeknd, Kendrick, Nirvana, etc., if you name somebody there’s a chance they had an influence. I leaned towards albums based around people who are cool having a 360 view of themselves. The Weeknd especially is a beast at doing this – his shittiness is on display and he doesn’t really care if you love it or hate it, it just exists. He’s not trying to boast either and I really took that page from him and put it on here – I can’t sing like him but that 360 view of me is very prevalent throughout the album.

Now that the album is out in the world, can you share the highs and the lows of creating the release? 

The highs were performing throughout the state for sure. I previewed this album in San Francisco, LA, San Diego and Vegas. Being on the road really puts in perspective how delicate the whole process is and I’m glad I thugged out a 9-hour drive up to SF with my DJ Yungwatercycle aka MalikTalking. I got to rap on Chuck Inglish’s beats and he let me have a ton of freedom of creating through them. David really came in clutch and we found a consistent sound by just thuggin out the recordings – I think we laid down 9 songs in a day to start it. It made me step up my game for sure.

The lows, however, shit where do I even begin! I fucked up a ton of good relationships during the process of it. The album is a 2 year biography of my time in LA and I fell in and out of love multiple times, had to get in a fucked up state of mind to write a solid amount of it, just dealing with myself. I’m a very high and low person and it turns off people who don’t know me as well. I became somewhat isolated because I didn’t like people getting the wrong idea of me if they didn’t see me daily or weekly. It plays heavily into songs like Protect my Soul, Who Was Down or Let Go. Then Burn it Down is me getting over me and everyone else’s shit.

What did you learn about yourself while creating the album?

I’m an emotional motherfucker man! I really wrote this shit from the soul instead of tryna sound clever 24/7 and it made a ton of difference. I learned that I’ve stayed consistent from my thoughts like 3-4 years ago too – I reread something that I wrote about the 360 view from 2020 – and I read it after I submitted the album lol. So that was cool to know that I’ve kept it true to myself in a way. I’ve learned how invested I have to be to make it in music and how much of a journey it’ll continue to be. But the further I get the more intense I become and the more consistency I maintain. We are who we choose to be – not who others say we are. Last thing I learned was how to be cool with being hated and not conforming to those who don’t deserve to be conformed to. I’ll elaborate on that next album!!!!!

Some of the singles have already made their way onto Spotify’s official Alternative Rap Playlists, how does it feel to sit among rap royalty with your hits ALL NATURAL and DIP SMOKE?

It feels great but it feels like it’s only a start. I need to leverage it into real work, and get onto On the Radar or XXL. A playlist isn’t the end all be all but I’ll always be thankful for what I have. Chuck produced 9 of the songs but I feel like DIP SMOKE and ALL NATURAL will be the biggest off the tape. Shoutout Relaye.

How did you hook up with the legendary producer Chuck Inglish, and what was it like working with him on this release?

I opened for Chuck when he got added to a line-up featuring Joey Purp and myself in 2022. He was DJing and I told my DJ that I had to get his number or something. So I did. Chuck is super cool and we worked out a deal for a beat tape that eventually became the album. He gave me complete freedom over everything and he’s the fuckin homie. I hope we work more in the future, he’s a great producer and an even better person.

Leading up to the release, you opened for some massive names – Ghostface Killah and Raekwon to name a few – how did those shows go down and do you have any tales from the road? 

Ghostface and Raekwon was a hell of a show – for whatever reason I was bumping Only Built 4 Cuban Linx that entire summer. Read Tao of Wu. Manifested that shit without really thinking about it? Anyways we got a ton of my homies to kick it after the show and we were just getting tossed in the green room – you know what? I tend to set up everything with my shows so I’m tame until afterwards, anything I’ve done I’ll show you off camera because I want to keep getting invited to shit lmao. Just know my songs are all based off mostly true stories 😉

What’s next for Sareem?

I will be dropping singles and waterfalling my songs for the rest of the year. I believe I have 40 songs that are unreleased that were made during this album – they will see the light of day this year. Might fuck around and go on a run wit this shit.  Thank you again for having me!! REEM TEAM OUT

Stream YOU MADE ME YOU on Spotify now.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

Louvie exhibited his unflinching hip-hop narrative of tenacity and providence, Pray for Me

Louvie’s standout release, Pray for Me, is a striking embodiment of hip-hop’s power, deeply rooted in the artist’s personal journey. Hailing from Washington D.C., Louvie, born Ricardo Carter, has been crafting his musical identity since the age of 16, drawing inspiration from a spectrum of genres, with artists such as T.I. acting as his foundational influence.

The single opens with a melancholic melody, its moody waves setting a contemplative tone; the vocals, distorted with saturation, draw listeners into Louvie’s world, until the beat drops and Louvie’s cadence kicks in, ensuring each lyric aches with impact and sincerity.

The track is an unflinching narrative of hardship, resilience, and faith, resonating with anyone who has faced life’s relentless challenges and pushed through adversity with no one to stand with them on the battleground as they fight their way up from a disadvantaged position.

The track is a testament to his skill as a lyricist and his capacity to weave complex emotions into universally compelling music. Pray for Me is not just a testament to Louvie’s talent but a reminder of the power of resilience and the importance of being the architect of your destiny.

Pray for Me hit all streaming platforms on March 23; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chin0 confronted the realities of our society through the lens of melodic drill in his quintessential release, Rich Not Famous

Chin0, hailing from East London, has firmly grasped the reins of the drill dominion with his standout single, ‘Rich Not Famous‘, which brings cinematic cultivation to the melodic drill scene.

The multi-layered production is massive, setting ethereal backing vocals against Chin0’s infectiously charismatic bars, while bass-elevated beats reverberate with elements of boom-bap. In ‘Rich Not Famous’, ingenuity flows through every progression. Yet, it’s Chin0’s razor-sharp wit that commands the spotlight. His bars are a window into the rapper’s humanity and his painful awareness of society’s flaws, delivered through a polished and concise lyrical flow.

The single hits hard, no matter how many times it’s played. Chin0 doesn’t just rap about the superficiality of fame; he delves into the deeper implications of having enough money in the bank to fulfil his desire to pay reparations he doesn’t personally owe.

As fans eagerly await Chin0’s next single, set to drop on the 18th of April, ‘Rich Not Famous’ stands as a powerful reminder of his talent and the impact he’s poised to make on the UK music scene.

Stream Rich Not Famous on Spotify and YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sojourn to Tijuana with The Dream X’s Latest Serving of Hip-Hop Exoticism

After The Dream X racked up over 600k Spotify streams with his sophomore single, Tijuana, we had to know what the hype was about, and we quickly found it within the instrumental exoticism of the vibrant sojourn of a release which will leave you riding high on the waves of the oceanic production.

With the hazy melodies working in contrast to the bitter-sweet lyricism which explores the anti-climax of post-breakup hook-ups, there are as many layers to the emotions as there are to the genre-fluid instrumentals which fuse Latin guitars with a pseudo-trap backbeat and afrobeat colour.

Tijuana is the kind of track you’ll hit play on and feel the compulsion to crank up the volume until it’s slamming through your speakers and melodiously reverberating through you so you can savour the honeyed elixir which pours from The Dream X’s vocal harmonies which groove between his rap bars.

The Utah-based rapper, singer, producer, and actor is a fucking phenomenon, and we’re already desperate to hear what comes next.

Stream Tijuana on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

B-Guy Griffin earned a place in Idaho’s hip-hop Hall of Fame with his seminal release, Rick Ross

Serendipitous enough that it may as well have been foretold, B-Guy Griffin’s third LP, Long Time Comin, is a cunningly cultivated collection of tracks, featuring a solid line-up of featuring artists.

The standout single, Rick Ross, embodies the titular artist’s larger-than-life persona over the mic as the lyrics cascade in a fiery cadence that will leave you psyched on the potential of B-Guy Griffin and his collaborators on this track, Tnyg & Twigg.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, the playful polyphonic melodies and solid boom-bap backbeat in this seminal track keep it old school in the contemporarily slick production as B-Guy Griffin waxes lyrical and gives the airwaves a taste of how his cheeky wit translates through his wordplay, which has easily earnt him a place in Idaho’s hip-hop hall of fame.

Long Time Comin was officially released on March 22; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Groove and soul intertwined in Ceesa’s hip-hop debut, Special

Ceesa, an emerging talent from Tifton, Georgia, made an unmissable entry into the hip-hop arena with his single ‘Special’, a track that resonates with the rhythm and soul of hip-hop and showcases his unique flair and potential.

‘Special’ opens with an intro that blurs the lines between genres, featuring female backing vocals that are as powerful as they are emotive, layered over gentle melodies reminiscent of progressive house. This fusion sets the stage for what is a genre-bending experience. Ceesa then takes the reins, proving himself as Georgia’s new flow king. His verses are crafted with a finesse that allows the emotions to resonate deeply, making listeners feel the love in this song as if it were their own.

The seamless blend of trap beats with Latin RnB guitars creates a soundscape that captures the irreplicable bliss of being seen as though the other 8.1 billion people in the world fade away. Ceesa’s debut, infused with personal emotion and stylistic innovation, is a testament to his talent and a hint at his promising future in the music industry. For fans of Yvng.Wolfe, KingTrey, and Ivory Scott, ‘Special’ is a must-listen.

Special hit the airwaves on March 12th; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast