After starting his creative journey as a poet, the London, UK-residing artist Poet Initiative took the initiative to establish himself as one of the most versatile hip-hop artists in the UK. His earwormy melodies are accentuated by the influence of Reggaeton, Japanese hip-hop, Korean hip-hop and the UK garage scene. To get a taste of his freshly honed sonic flavour, delve into his debut 4-track EP, Ocean Drive.
While many artists are quick to describe themselves as versatile, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more dynamic release than this. With grooves strong enough to elevate any mood, Ocean Drive reached the pinnacle of a universal playlist staple. With the good vibes and even better rhythmics, Ocean Drive is a stellar seminal EP that hits sweet spots you didn’t know existed.
Poet Initiative said:
“Ocean Drive reflects my evolving sound. I’ve always found myself caught between wanting to create music you can dance to but also kick back to. The catchy hooks and warm melodies in my EP combine that.
This EP is underpinned by the overarching message to have fun, be yourself, enjoy those long summer nights, party in the sunshine, and make the most of those moments’ life gives you.”
Ocean Drive will be available on all major platforms on July 26th. Pre-save the single on Spotify.
Keep up to date with the latest releases from Poet Initiative on Instagram and TikTok.
ADZii BOii put Scotland on the alt-hip-hop map with his latest single, Pleasure Beach, which sun-soaked the airwaves on July 7th.
After getting airplay from BBC Radio Scotland with the title single to his debut album, Colours, he’s in equally as colourful form on Pleasure Beach, which mixes up the archetypal urban instrumentals by including saturated in delay guitars, the radiant hues of organs and sleek piano keys.
With more charisma and tongue-in-cheek charm than Limmy in his salaciously rhythmic rap bars, ADZii BOii is apologetic in his lothario-like lyricality, and Pleasure Beach is all the more electrifying for it. If you want to head to Portobello Beach without heading to Edinburgh, hit play and let the wavy melodies soak you in.
Stream Pleasure Beach on Spotify and follow ADZii BOii on all major platforms via this link.
With the million streams mark way behind him in the rearview mirror, few contemporary hip-hop artists share the success of the Berlin-born, LA-based, songwriter and actor, Black Prez.
After playing shows with everyone from Big Sean to G-Unit, getting sync deals with Netflix & HBO and his hits featuring on Fast & Furious, Call of Duty and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skaker, he stepped into the studio with Shaun Reynolds to collaborate on the hot summer single, Feel Good.
Showing the sunniest sides of their cheeky devil-may-care dispositions, Feel Good is an infectious serotonin-spilling celebration of positivity. While the lyrics show you how to compartmentalise negative energy, the pop-instilled keys and horns tabs paint blissfully euphoric melodies to implant you on cloud nine alongside Prez and Reynolds. Who said perfection can’t exist in music?
Get Feel Good into rotation by heading over to Spotify.
Collaborating with her fellow Texas flow queen, Erica Banks, the Houston hip-hop heavyweight, DOM, rolled with all the party-rocking punches in her latest single, SDA.
The Missy Elliot-esque energy as the collaborating artists rap their unfuckwithable-with-attitude and empowering bars ensured that the vox are just as big as the beats in this exemplification of the heights hip-hop acts should strive for in 2023.
Aggression may be the overarching emotion in SDA, but written within the infectious energy is an affirmation that no one will hand you the power and bodily autonomy; you’ve got to take it for yourselves and own it as well as DOM and Erica Banks did in SDA.
As a singer, producer, rapper, and co-owner of VgnBae Music Group and Studios, DOM has exactly what it takes to hold dominion over the Houston hip-hop scene.
With elements of Dancehall to pay an ode to his Dominica roots mixed with a slice of Bronx grit in the production, the latest single, POZÉ, from the songwriter, musician, producer and engineer O Banga, is the epitome of a high-fire urban summer anthem. There’s nothing but high vibes, big beats, intricately rhythmic instrumentals and pure soul spilling from his honeyed vocal lines.
POZÉ is just one of the singles that feature on the sun-bleached rocksteady LP, TONIO; it is the perfect introduction to the fire and flair of the one-man powerhouse of talent, who has also made a name for himself working as a producer for major So Cal artists and icons of the reggae scene and toured with Lil Kim. The monocultural mould breaker has been one to watch ever since he dropped his debut uptown Bronx anthem, Deadass. If he’s not on your radar at this point, fool on you.
POZÉ hit the airwaves on May 20; hear it on YouTube.
‘Going Live’ is the latest urban genre-fluid track from the Orlando, Florida production company, Nu Deal Music Group, which platforms and promotes talents from across the states to Nigeria.
Chicago’s Cityboidre and Orlando’s O. Reynolds made sure that the collaborative chemistry flowed through the definitive summer hit, which doesn’t break the wheel; instead, it adds some exotic Afrobeat dancehall flavour to classic hip hop signatures.
Any fans of Vybz Kartel, Spice, Elephant Man, and Bounty Killer will want to make Going Live a firm fixture of their summer hip hop playlists. The sun-kissed and enigmatic vibes take are taken to evocative new heights with the infectiously bright energy and the polished production.
Floridian hip-hop artist, CHDDR, has dropped one of the hottest rap debuts of the year with his single, Check, produced by Hvstle. The mellow, colourful indie instrumentals flirt with cultures of far-flung lands; atop the woody organic flutes and the rhythmic grooves of the 808s, CHDDR takes the opportunity to establish himself as a unique voice in the genre, with the ability to verse beyond tropes and cliches.
Every line serves to testify to his playful persona that amplifies the sticky-sweet appeal of the short yet unforgettable debut, which has already racked up over 20k streams on SoundCloud alone. Undoubtedly, he is one to watch.
So far in his career, every release has been an emotionally complex blend of heavy lyrics and upbeat instrumentals to take some of the weight of the introspection away. Los Alva’s latest single, SLDN, which reached the airwaves in June 2022, is another blister of balanced resonance.
With his modernistic RnB vocals riding on the bass of the Afrobeat-inspired hip hop beats, SLDN stirs the soul as much as it speaks to it with the lyricism that does more than border on poetry. It climbs right into bed with it to tear away the boundary between rap and poetry.
While some lyricists let their ego and determination to write hits allow the pen to hit paper, Los Alva is evidently perpetually soulfully inspired.
After his discography racked up over 700k streams, the Detroit-born, Atlanta-raised indie rapper, MARC.MADE is here with his subversively seductive summer track CA$hAPP.
By running his funk-grooved prelude through plenty of warm tape delay, you instantly feel the heat in the expressively dynamic track that allows digital transactions to resonate as affectionate proclamations. If that isn’t a striking mark of ingenuity, I don’t know what is.
The surprises when it comes to MARC.MADE don’t end there either. The full-time scientist, entrepreneur and crypto investor has also co-starred on VH1’s Dating Naked S1-E5 & S1-Wedding Special & CBS’ Face the Truth S1-E12.
Although, the visceral chemistry that breeds between his charisma-dripped bars and the female vocals in CA$hAPP starts to make infinitely more sense with his profession in context.
After spending four years smoothing his wavey rap flow and amplifying the energy in his subtle but galvanising beats, the independent Jacksonville, Florida-based hip hop artist, WavyK, was ready to drop his era-defining album, MENTALITY,featuring the standout single, HEAT SEEKER, feat. Case.
Toeing the delicate line between nerdy and deadpan, HEAT SEEKER is a summer hip hop drop like no other. If you’re looking for some urban escapism, few tracks serve it with quite as much flavour as this playfully upvibe earworm.
WavyK’s album, MENTALITY, will officially release on June 11th. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.