Browsing Tag

US Hip Hop

Saint Kon’s Latest Tour De Force is a Sonic Crusade for Empathy and Justice

Some artists use their platforms for good; some use them for ground-breaking greatness. After Saint Kon released 10000 Hours on February 8, she’s definitively in the latter camp.

The pop-meets-hip-hop mash-up ensured the track has swathes of cross-over appeal while her bars bruise in a way that you may start to question if you’ve ever been hit before. The raw and heavy lyricism explores everything from suicidal ideation to the compulsion to heal others despite how deep our own scars bed down in our psyche.

After a minor key piano prelude, the bass-heavy boom-bap hip-hop instrumentals storm in as she switches from vocal harmonies to a killer rap cadence that blazes through her compulsion to fight the countless injustices of the world.

If the orchestrally heightened, inventively produced and polished track doesn’t fuel you with the motivation to use your time on earth to fight against the insidiousness that seems to get more nefarious with every trip around the sun, you can probably consider your own soul defunct. 10000 Hours is a lesson in convictive empathy; if it worked its way into the consciousness of everyone who existed, the human race would be transformed overnight.

10000 Hours is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Tago – D.A.M.N: An Eternally En Vogue Hip-Hop Anthem of Resilience and Enlightenment

Elevate your rhythmic pulses and bolster your resilience with “D.A.M.N,” the latest euphorically elevated hit from Tago, the Texan titan of hip-hop. The track is a seismic shift in the musical landscape – not by pandering to trends or pursuit of viral fame – but through unflinching perseverance to remain authentic and uplift music fans from all walks of life.

The cross-over appeal is unreal. Between the modernised grooves, which expose Tago’s electronica influences and determination to produce anything but pedestrian beats, you just can’t help but catch the fever of his positivity as he proves that while life might throw curveballs, it’s the grit and grind that keep you going.

Crafted by the multi-platinum producer whose name is fated to become synonymous with longevity in an industry where stars often flicker out as fast as they ignite, D.A.M.N is a firestorm of soul, wisdom, and exhilaration. This track is a bold declaration that Tago isn’t just playing the game; he’s setting the rules, delivering a sound that’s not just for the moment but for the ages.

Merging the raw, unfiltered essence of old-school hip-hop with a glimpse into the genre’s future, Tago’s invitation to embrace your journey towards self-actualisation and peak individuality is irresistible.

Tago Said:

“When I wrote D.A.M.N, I was going through a lot of trials and tribulations and it had me feeling like “DAMN”. In a sense, you can say the feeling of struggle is what created the track.

In this record, I’m trying to convey a story of resilience and inspire others to not give up on their dreams or themselves despite the pain, pressure, and people’s expectations. Always be authentic and never fold under pressure because diamonds are created under pressure.”

D.A.M.N will be officially released on all major platforms, including Spotify, on February 29th, followed by the upcoming accompanying official music video, directed by the cinematic titan, Ori Evans. 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

River Bandit exhibited his electrifying versatility in his high-octane rap track, Work Night

River Bandit’s latest single, ‘Work Night’, is a high-voltage journey through the avenues of alt-hip-hop, showcasing an artist unafraid to push boundaries and force constraints to erupt. River Bandit’s tumultuous journey from a challenging childhood to a firebrand of musical innovation is palpable in every beat of this energised to-the-nines track, which is relentlessly fuelled by retro synths and a rhythm that pulsates with life.

‘Work Night’ is a masterclass in stylistic versatility, blending elements of boom bap and trap into a seamless, electrifying experience. The track refuses to let the listener settle into complacency; instead, it demands attention with its rapid-fire bars and unexpected twists. River Bandit’s rhyme scheme is anything but typical, delivering each mic drop with refreshing intensity, candour and introspective gold.

River Bandit’s lyrical prowess is on full display, offering not just entertainment but also wisdom and insights, a reflection of his own life experiences and struggles. It’s this authenticity that elevates ‘Work Night’ from a mere song to a narrative of resilience and determination.

For fans of alt-hip-hop, ‘Work Night’ is a revelation that showcases River Bandit’s unique ability to blend his Southern and West Coast hip-hop influences into a sound that’s distinctly his own.

Stream Work Night and River Bandit’s other blazingly innovative rap tracks via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Mizzery Jones ensnares via culturally cultivated distinction in his seminal rap track, Yes

Mizzery Jones established himself as a master of rhythmic magnetism while battling his introspective demons in his seminal rap track, Yes, which pulls listeners into a space where old-school hip-hop meets a new era of sound.

The track is a testament to Mizzery Jones’s ability to honour the genre’s roots while allowing his bars to flow into uncharted territories with his distinctive style. Vocally, there are touches of Eminem as Jones blends the foundational beats of hip-hop with fresh cinematic production stylings. If you can imagine being sonically guided through a vibrant bazaar of sounds, where each beat and note is infused with a sense of exoticism, you’ll get an idea of the colourfully layered complexity within Yes, which is prised from Jones’ EP, I’ll Be Back Before Too Long.

This sharp and esoteric indicator of Jones’ ability to intellectually stimulate through his wordplay and deliver verses with a hypnotically assertive cadence won’t fail to capture your attention and keep hold of it with a vice-like grip until the very last note. It’s impossible not to be ensnared by Mizzery Jones’s culturally cultivated distinction as he allows his lyrics to unravel as a panoramic picture of determinism, candour and emotional intelligence.

Mizzery Jones’s biography adds another layer of depth to his artistry. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, this producer and artist spent a significant portion of his life in the vibrant cultural landscapes of Chapala and Guadalajara, Mexico; experiences that have clearly seeped into the textured layers of his music.

Stream the I’ll Be Back Before Too Long EP on Spotify or purchase the EP on Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jah-Sun Collier futuristically reconfigured old-school boom bap in his latest single, RICH THOUGHTZ!

A blast of retro boom bap hit the airwaves when the latest satirically sharp rap track, RICH THOUGHTZ!, dropped as a courtesy of the ultimate urban antagonist, Jah-Sun Collier, who is also well-known as a popular YouTuber, actor, and video editor.

By futuristically reconfiguring the retro tones and adding a further lyrical trajectory to the evolution of hip-hop, the US rapper and record producer did far more than revisit vintage sounds with his tongue-in-cheek track that points out how contrived society has become through its obsession with capitalist gains.

He set the resilience to mercenary vanity bar transcendently high with the introspection-rich hit that proves that being rich in any real sense has no correlation to numbers on a screen, the brand names on your clothes or the car you drive.

RICH THOUGHTZ was officially released on September 1st. Stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

SUNDIARA ran visceral vindication right through his seminal single, The Zipped Head

With rap bars that deliver as much vindication as the ones that flow from B. Dolan’s volition-driven singles and instrumentals that ooze contrasting upbeat tones under the gruff vocals that will be a hit with any fans of Busta Rhymes, the latest single, The Zipped Head, from SUNDIARA is a visceral Tour De Force that you will want to immerse yourself in time after time for the affirmation that you’re not alone in the contempt you feel for our sociopath-breeding social fabric.

The artist formerly known as DONNIENOTBRASCO, Young Don, and D.O.Nquixote has stepped into a new guise to bring in a new era of his creativity; with The Zipped Head, he perceptibly made his freshly honed new mark on the industry. For all too long, we were told that haters hate. We weren’t told how they can be the closest people to you and how they flip the narrative to attempt to desecrate everything you’ve built and gaslight others into seeing a maleficently fabricated version of you.  Thankfully, SUNDIARA has arrived to empower people into a position of affirmative action when it comes to cutting toxic ties.

Check out the official music video for The Zipped Head on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

YerDad established himself as the ultimate icon of infectiously galvanising insolence in his seminal single, JFC

If you’re sick of hip-hop that barely slaps let alone hits hard, prepare to roll with the punches with YerDad’s bruisingly witty hit, JFC.

The playful tongue-in-cheek antagonism in the rap bars is just as harsh as the snares in the vocal-driven juggernaut that will appeal to fans of the old school and new wave alike. Tonally and thematically, YerDad encompasses both while he’s establishing himself as the ultimate icon of infectiously galvanising insolence.

It took some serious songwriting tenacity to formulate a track that is abrasive and adrenalizing in equal measure. When you hit play, you’ll discover that is just the tip of YerDad’s talent arsenal.

JFC is available to stream via Spotify.

Follow YerDad on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Mikey Vee invites you inside the mind of ‘The Artist’ with his visionary rap track.

If you have ever wondered what it is like inside the mind of an artist, the latest single, The Artist, from the hip-hop luminary, Mikey Vee, will fill you in on the struggle behind the success.

By touching on complicated relationships with perfectionism, the flow states that allow hours to slip by like seconds, and the essentiality of egos, it is safe to say that Mikey Vee hit all the right notes and painted with all the right strokes in his uninhibitedly candid rap track, which pulls in melodic guitars to amplify the rhythm of the 808s.

With a touch of playful zeal to his rap bars, it is all too easy to get on the hook of The Artist. Forgetting about the urban earworm is another thing entirely.

The official music video for The Artist premiered on May 12; catch it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Smokerface Chris Clay created the ultimate hip-hop anthem for morning mourning, Don’t Wake Up

Smokerface Chris Clay pulled out all the subversive stops in his latest single, Don’t Wake Up, by fusing consciousness regret with jazzy high vibe hip hop instrumentals to create a sonic contradiction that is wholly relatable to anyone who knows how it feels to greet the cold light of day with morning mourning. Don’t Wake Up is the ultimate testament to his playfully pensive autonomy, which proves that no picture can be painted in only tones of black and white.

When it comes to rapper origin stories, Smokerface Chris Clay’s is hard to beat. When driving through Hurricane Isabelle, he hit a car head-on and was ejected from his back windshield, unbeknownst to his friend, who was driving behind him, who ran over his head. He was declared head on-site but later revived before he was comatose for a month. When he woke, he freestyled to the nurses – despite never having expressed an interest in rap before. In his semi-conscious state, he made his determination to become a rapper known; in 2022, he stayed true to that promise by dropping his first official single, Live It Up.

Don’t Wake Up is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Cuttaman 100gran rides his own new wave in his vindicating rap hit, Bump My Music

Cuttaman 100gran

After opening for Pastor Troy in South Carolina, recording records for Dr Dre and performing in front of 8,000 people at a concert in Rockingham, NC, the Charlotte, NC-hailing luminary rapper, Cuttaman 100gran, is here with his latest single, Bump My Music.

Slick with style and vibing with an infectious attitude, Bump My Music is the ultimate middle finger to the people in your life that stay on the sidelines instead of getting behind you. Paying homage to his muses, Cuttaman 100gran rides his own wave while staying in the fast lane with his sharply steady rap bars and beats that break the hip-hop mould.

Any fans of Kevin Gates, Roddy Ricch and Rod Wave will be addicted once they get a taste of the grinding urban aesthetic that balances hard-hitting percussion with wavy reverb production – engineered by the legendary sound designer, Bungies.

“When you have women in your life that are inspired by your stories, telling them becomes a lifestyle. Them being around me on a day-to-day basis makes every lyric that much more surreal. Their enthusiasm inspired the track.”

Stream Bump My Music on Spotify and Apple Music. Follow Cuttaman 100gran on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast