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Rnb Hip Hop

Hip hop Music

Pharaoh Santana treats his fans to a brand-new ambient indie trap experience with his EP, ‘PSP’.

LA-based hip hop artist Pharaoh Santana first appeared on our radar with his debut single, POP OUT, which hit the airwaves in 2018. With each new release, he has taught us to expect the unexpected. With his 2021 EP, PSP, he’s retained the soul and the wit found in his former releases and treated his fans to a brand-new sonic ambient indie trap experience.

PSP carries the hallmarks of a lo-fi hip hop record through the organic textures and intimacy offered through the minimal production. Yet, indie hip hop doesn’t come much smoother than the mesmerising tracks that are sure to lull you into a state of reflective serenity.

Track 1, Arvada Freestyle, featuring Cress Rilee, steps away from Western rhythms and serves as an intoxicating introduction to the 4-track release that keeps the grooves mellow and the beats cathartically arresting as Pharaoh Santana lays down the lyrical wisdom that he’s quickly becoming renowned for.

Track 2, Pretty Women, is a subversive ode to femininity and beauty where Pharaoh Santana holds his hands up to his vices, never being crass or misogynistic. Instead, he soulfully points out what a minefield dating can be in a hypersexual society, where sex can be used as a weapon, and people get left with scars.

Track 3, Zendaya, is the perfect summer chill hop track. As the smooth choral notes add to the ambience, Pharaoh Santana disrupts it with his strident lyrics that confront the type of person who always brings the drama instead of anything positive. Some people may pride themselves on the games they play, but Zendaya is enough to put anyone who takes pleasure in manipulation think twice.

Track 4, Tony Sparks, amps up the emotion from the former tracks and is undeniably the best introduction to the ingenuity contained in Santana’s almost haunting style on the EP. As the 90s-style RnB hip hop beats flow and glitch beneath his raw, honest vocals as he speaks of humility, you’ll get a sense that nothing was held back or added for prosaic effect. Instead, you’ll get to see how he can utilise tonal contrast to create a relatable and humanistic sense of conflict.

Pharaoh Santana’s EP, PSP, is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music

Get your soul-fix with Drew Drake’s single ‘Grandmas Hands’.

Breaking artist, actor, poet and educator, Drew Drake’s standout single, ‘Grandmas Hands’ from his debut EP, ‘Golden’, is up there with the most heartfelt hip hop tracks to have ever hit the airwaves.

The open letter to his role model, his Grandma, may be deeply personal, but hearing Drew Drake’s adoration will inspire you to find plenty for the people who have guided you through life and left a positive impact. With a few references to covid struggles in the lyrics, the single is a powerful reminder that our adversity is temporary but cherished memories have the power to inspire us forever.

The soul in the lyrics is paralleled by the RnB hip hop instrumentals that will be a hit for any fans of Lauryn Hill. With choral hooks and lyrical verses that will leave you compelled to squeeze every drop of wisdom out of them, Grandmas Hands is a transfixing track that will happily take you back to better times to remind you that brighter days lie ahead.

Drew Drake’s debut EP, Golden, is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music RnB

The LOOP – See Me Beyond My Skin featuring MZ Starr & Marcia

Boston-based RnB pop duo the LOOP made their debut in February 2021 with their soulfully interrogative single, ‘See Me Beyond My Skin’, featuring collaborative artists MZ Starr and Marcia.

It’s the pinnacle of elegance as it confronts subconscious and conscious prejudice and invites the listener to look deeper when attempting to understand women of colour. The single possess plenty of sonic power, but the real weight in this single is how it allows you to find compassion for people who are in view but never truly seen.

Hopefully, one day, tracks such as See Me Beyond My Skin won’t need to exist; for now, we’ll have to heed the words of artists such as the Loop who are bringing that day closer with their melodic grooves, unfiltered lyrics and harmonically sweet vocals.

See Me Beyond My Skin is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music

Trevino Andre invites hip hop fans to follow his lead with ‘Chasing My Dreams’

Fairfield, CA-hailing hip hop artist Trevino Andre has an arsenal of hard-hitting tracks in his mixtape, ‘You Know That I’. The perfect introduction to his soul-laced sound is his old school jazz-laced track ‘Chasing My Dreams’ that keeps the tones rich and the lyricism raw.

Within that smooth and compelling contrast, you’ll find the magnetism which draws you into the essence of the track that paints a gritty image of the struggles we’re subjected to as part of our optimism-stealing mortal coil, then follows up by letting you know how to find the resilience to overcome them.

You can check out Trevino Andre’s mixtape, You Know That I for yourselves by heading over to ReverbNation.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music RnB

Hippie Tribe put urban grit into romantic pop grooves with ‘MARGEILA MISTRESS’

NYC Hip Hop duo Hippie Tribe lay down sticky-sweet soul in their latest release ‘MARGEILA MISTRESS’, which dropped just in time for valentine’s day to prove that urban grit and romantic pop grooves can sit in hand.

As the duo, consisting of Niko Thorpe and Dee Pickney, take care of everything from the lyrics to the mastering, there’s an authenticity to their self-produced sound, and you’d still be hard-pressed to guess a big-name producer wasn’t reeled in to polish and finish it.

Before lockdown, the indie artists graced the stages of Mercury Lounge, The Knitting Factory and Bowery Electric. We can only imagine how high-energy those shows were thanks to Hippie Tribe’s reggae-tinged sun-soaked mellifluous style.

MARGEILA MISTRESS is now available to stream via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music

Jibs delivered ‘Sweet & Soothin’ vibes through their debut hip hop EP

UK grime and RnB rarely converge, but when they do, gritty realistic romance is delivered minus hallmark cliches and overused metaphors. The perfect example is ‘Sweet & Soothin’, which is the standout track from South-London artist Jibs’ debut EP.

Sweet & Soothin’ wouldn’t be out of place on Chase & Status’ iconic collaborative album ‘No More Idols’. On that basis, the future looks bright for Jibs and his unfiltered but polished tracks which make you feel as much as they make you want to move.

Sweet & Soothin’ is now available to stream along with the artist’s debut EP ‘A Night with Jibs’ via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music

OvaDos proves that it is all in the mindset with her humbled RnB trap track, ‘No Regrets’

While the mainstream media is determined to depict this generation as a lost one, breaking hip hop artist and producer, OvaDos is on a mission to uplift with her soulfully convictive RnB hip hop tracks such as ‘No Regrets’.

No Regret serves as a poignant reminder that success depends on your mindset just as much as your circumstances. It may be a short and sweet track, but 1:42 minutes is all the time the Californian artist needed to impart grounded and humbled wisdom over her modern trippy beats.

No Regrets is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop Music

Epic Drip gets raunchy and harmonious with ‘Shawty Bad’

Epic, a Fayetteville native by way of Germany and Texas, is a self-confessed Michael Jackson Fan. That certainly comes across in ‘Shawty Bad’, a chilled R&B-influenced hip-hop number showcasing Epic’s soft-yet-melodic lyrical voice. It’s got some flow, it’s got lift and bounce, but there’s a harmonic melody line there too that’s straight out of old-school R&B; the gentle lover lover of the music sits in tongue-in-cheek counterpoint to the at-times ‘adults only’ NSFW lyrical bent, in keeping with the dark-vs-light juxtapositional theme of the whole of Epic’s new ‘2 Love or Not 2 Love’ five track EP. It’s sexy, it’s raunchy, and it’s got some serious swag to it.

You can check out ‘Shawty Bad’, and the rest of ‘2 Love or Not 2 Love’ on Soundcloud now; follow Epic Drip on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Pop meets trip-hop in COHLCANTRECALL’s hypnotically sultry single ‘H.D.H.T.K.’

https://music.apple.com/us/album/h-d-h-t-k-single/1548471964

Pop meets trip-hop in COHLCANTRECALL’s hypnotically sultry latest single ‘H.D.H.T.K. (he don’t have to know)’ which dropped on January 15th.

If you’re constantly noticing the duality between relationships in love songs and relationships in real life, you’ll appreciate how COHLCANTRECALL bridges the gap. Her straight from the soul single captures the emotions which come to fruition when you’ve been mistreated and you’re compelled to take back ownership of your own body and pleasure. Kathleen Hanna couldn’t have said it better.

H.D.H.T.K. may be lyrically gritty, but the mellow and hazy beats are as smooth as they come as they pull in hints of contemporary RnB.

H.D.H.T.K. is available to stream and purchase via apple music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music RnB

RnB artist, Hi Love leaves us with chills with her latest release ‘Cold Wind’

Hi Love left us enraptured and sent us back in time with her latest 90s-inspired RnB EP, ‘Cold Wind’. The title may allude to the cold chill of winter, but the soul which the six glamorously shimmering singles contain allows them to radiate nothing but warmth.

With some reminiscences of Beverly Knight and Jennifer Hudson, Hi Love’s sound is beyond accessible. The distinction comes through the visceral emotion projected by the hypnotically harmonic vocals which efficaciously draw you into her music. The first track and title track is the perfect introduction to the EP which inspires the listener to think of a higher level.

Cold Wind is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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