StankNasty keeping the fire stoked with another new release, keeping up with the diversity in his discography! Presenting a different flow compared to his most recent tunes, StankNasty opens up his heart and mind! With many of his latest songs coming off energetic and braggadocios, like LIBRA SCALE, I KNOW I’VE WON, THE LORD KNOWS and his forthcoming EPIC-EP album single KNOW THE NAME, WALLS has more of a somber tone. With an acoustic guitar and piano chords harmonizing behind a hip hop beat and a vocal sample, StankNasty raps, “if I’m alone with my thoughts, its an eternal battle, that’s why I coach myself, like the prescription bottle rattle“. Similarly to his track TRAUMA that covers suicidal thoughts and behaviors, WALLS goes over the topic of mental health and treatment, only this time he connects with the listener on a deeper, more personal level about his experiences in his head and growing up.
Handsome Naked had been putting a great amount of focus on their visual presentation with their recent releases to a high degree! Following up on their HAT/NO HAT music video, the trio releases HANFULLACHIPS, an entertaining piece lyrically, sonically and visually. The music video is impressive in its presentation for just the simple idea, riffing off of the song title. With a camera placed in a chip bag, you get the perspective of a bag of chips as someone would be looking and reaching inside, while the background is a comfortable house setting, like cupboards, kitchen and bedroom or living room where you would usually feel comfortable ripping open a bag of chips. Lyrically it is comedic, with not too much to think about other than celebrating a bit of comfort food where ever you would. “Let a hanfullachips take the wheel, two hanfulls, can’t cop a feel hanfullachips on the baseball field, hanfullachips when I’m in my feels.” A feel good song to jump around to, perfect for any playlist!
Coming up upon another talented artist that displays the amazing diversity in Chicagos music scene. A model with a beautiful voice, Kellen Fescina comes into attention with a sensual pop single called ADDICTED. Not new to the mic in the slightest however, Kellen has a few releases this year following a hiatus. Currently armed with a 12 track album and some singles, she has bounced between synth pop styles, dance music tracks and experimental rock. ADDICTED takes on more of an R&B aura, and shows a maturity and more confidence in her presentation compared to her earlier work!
Singing “Boy you got me drunk off your love, it’s addicting! I need it, I fiending! You got me losing my mind,” over a slow beat and piano chords. The chorus uplifts you with a vibrant emotional serenade, as you fall into a dream state! A powerful yet gentle tune to add to your playlist, to really get the vibe right in an intimate setting. This track follows LEAVE ME and SHINING, a hip hop and house beat respectively, released earlier this year. Quite a different energy from her earlier releases in her album LOVE IS A GAME, where that album treads into retro and old school styles and influences, while her recent releases have more a contemporary, confident and original quality. It is always interesting to hear an artists experiments and progression!
“I’ve been up, I’ve been down, feeling upside down-” WRDS begins the song with that catchy melody going into an uber lyrical verse. GOOD ONE from the upcoming collaborative album, PASSPORTS features WRDS, I.DEAL and Mic Logik, all trading off full verses, while adding richly sung vocals over the instrumental. The music video was directed and edited by Ron Guloy. GOOD ONE is produced by Ed Talenti, and the record was recorded, mixed and mastered by A.Quality. The CHI-NATIVE team consists of WRDS, I.DEAL, Mic Logik, and ThrowEmc.
It is refreshing to see three recording artists share the record so equitably, both in their lyrics but also in how their sounds all compliment each other quite well. Shot at what looks like a summer villa or home, showcasing the emcees living it up, drinking good liquor and playing chess. The CHI-NATIVE team has undeniable chemistry both on screen and in their sonic and lyrical content. Chicago has seen many groups come and go over the years in hip-hop, and CHI-NATIVE being so fresh, it is exciting to see how good they are already. The song has much replay value and will guaranteed have you bumping it over and over again. It is full of feel good moments, yet also a tad bittersweet, a classic in the making.
“I’ve been moving these verses out like some Pirus up in the kitchen, I’m flying to get auditions, I’m squashing the competiton.” WRDS drops a line about his work ethic being comparable to that of hustlers in a gang, as well as him being on the go a lot. “I must have gotten my heart broke and never got it fixed, and so now they looking like targets that I just gotta hit.” I.DEALs verse is an emotionally charged one, as he describes the trials and tribulations of relationship experiences, and why he is the way he is now. I.DEAL also carries the main part of the chorus on, an amazingly high voice that you would not think was possible when hearing him rap.
“Cause I feel like the time will come again when we will maybe speak, forgiveness is a strength of mine, and I don’t think that makes me weak, I think you need some introspection…” Mic Logik adds his third verse explaining his capacity for empathy and understanding is something a lot of other men lack. He also sings the “good one” hook adding another layer of vocal texture and surprising listeners while doing so. This single definitely has commercial appeal! GOOD ONE pulls deep reflections from each of the rappers on the lives they have lived so far, why they are hopeful for the future, and their presence in the current moment. “I’m not here for a long time, but I’m here for a good one, a good one,” the hook echoes in your head as you cherish being alive.
Each of the three CHI-NATIVE emcees evoke much thought and reminiscence in their lyricism while moving listeners to the good vibes of the hook and bridges. It is impressive they all sang and rapped on this instrumental. This trio has a strong sound together and Ever Evolved looks forward to their future drops every Friday. Get in tune with CHI-NATIVE! Be on the look out for their album PASSPORTS!
Back in the middle of summer, Queen Mars had gone through some creative angst brought upon early lockdown orders, that was only cured through song and visual expression. She freed herself with the release of B!TCH, and its accompanying music video that she created with just a phone and strobe light. An artistically racy video that drew attention from censures and challenges, but was ultimately won over with support and admiration of a large audience at 11k views! That first B!TCH was a riot, but this second B!TCH is a boss!
With a new music video to top and remake the summer hit, Queen Mars turns on that boss B!TCH energy in this hyper artistic visual. With abstract visual symbolism at ever turn, Queen Mars goes from a confident, empowered woman to Picasso in just two videos. Starting at admiring herself in the mirror, to stoically sitting at a table like a center piece, laying next to a goldfish tied to floating balloons, to a favorite: fashionably posing like a Queen glowing in the sun, on a small platform fit just for her. All pointing to the fact that she is the one in control, she is that B!TCH. Whether she is creating her own music video, making abstract symbolic visual art, or just singing with that flawless and powerful voice. Join the 16k viewers in this experiencing this masterpiece!
StankNasty is proving more and more that he is unlike no other. With concept tracks released this year like CARNAGE and SCATTER BRAINED, music videos and singles like PREACHING TO THE CHOIR and THE LORD KNOWS, and collaborations like I KNOW I’VE WON and LIBRA SCALE, he is showing unparalleled work ethic and creativity! Even with the way he markets his music, building suspense with his upcoming project EPIC-EP by first dropping a song, and then a video trailer. KNOW THE NAME was teased at the end of summer as the first single to his upcoming LP, and now StankNasty just released his official teaser trailer for the full EPIC-EP project. You do not see much concept commercials for albums, let alone a trailer building up to the release, but StankNasty is proving to be an unconventional artist, creating a cinematic presence around his music.
Azmattic and RhymSter come together as a lyrically monstrous and formidable songwriting duo. THE JAZZ CIGARETTE, which features various producers from around the world as well as local Chicago recording artists, is a breeze through listen, and instant underground hip hop classic. Authentic jazz samples, breaks, beats and flavorful singing hooks make the LP something that brings you back, while also reminding you just how fresh the duo’s cuts are.
The first single off the record is HOP SKIP & JUMP 2.0, featuring Mike Booth aka TrueDeal, and production by Trog’Low; A truly nostalgic sound in this track, bringing the listener back to that early 90’s, heavy sampled vibe with succinct rhyme structure. “I need some time baby, we only time baby, but maybe we can get some time, cause it’s our time baby, and no I haven’t been around. I’m on my grind lately, and I’m not good at many things but I can rhyme greatly.” Azmattic raps over the beat, a unique way of saying he is been working hard and philosophizing about the passage of time. Mike Booth adds his deep bass vocals to the hook of this track, and RhymSter raps “Hit the blunt with an ice coffee, an AM meal, life wanna break down my walls, but I’m the man of steel.” Relating his morning ritual and the idea of never giving up. The track is a solid bang right off the bat and a great intro for the LP.
RHYMIN DUDES is the next song off the record featuring Jai The Artist, J-Bose and the 2nd tune also produced by Trog’Low. J-Bose’s voice is the strongest on the hook, but you can also hear Jai and Azmattic. A super fast and upbeat track, with an upright bass sample and speedy raps, crafts this song into a jazz-hop banger. Azmattic and RhymSter both add their respective verses, and really challenge each other in terms of lyrical dexterity and speed. “Do you, understand my persistence, while I ran into the distance, you can plan your superstition like its voo-doo,” and RhymSter comes in immediately after AzMattic with a chopped tempo eventually slowing down with, “Things fall apart but check your head, keep yourself on ice, its do or die and I’m the main ingredient for life!”
The next notable song off the record is ICED COFFE AND BLUNTS, another track featuring Mike Booth. RhymSter and AzMattic trade short bar verses back and forth while describing their musician lifestyle in the form of coffee consumption and heavy cannabis. This song is a great listen, amazing lyrics being volleyed back and forth, like a tennis match between RhymSter and AzMattic, ending with the soulful vocals of the freestyle monster, Mike Booth. “Iced coffee and blunts!…You put the ice in the coffee.“
The interlude track is a hilarious banter by the Illadvised and Unprepared Podcast, ending with a the strength of the amazing voice of FAFA. WHAT YOU GONNA DO, featuring Jai The Artist and U’Nique Music, is a change up being a much more slow bop jam. RhymSter starts off the song with many cultural references, leading into a short verse from Azmattic. Jai The Artist and Azmattic take the hook which is a soulful chant, “What You Gonna Do?” RhymSter comes back in with, “Don’t be major in minor things, how you do anything is how you do everything,” a line that smacks you back to the drawing board and makes you realize, one may need to get their shit together! Later RhymSter shouts out the Robber Baron for getting the capital to invest. This track evoked a lot of introspective thought, because many of the lines by both RhymSter and Azmattic pose deeply interesting questions.
I GOT feat. Jah-Dee begins with a scratch sample of the aforementioned, older hip hop artist saying, “Welcome to the next level!” Azmattic begins this song rapping, “Yeah this boy is more hip than what’s attached to your femur,” with every subsequent line explaining how hip hop and rapping keeps him alive as a sort of therapy. RhymSter later rhymes, “I rolled up another cigarette and put the Jazz in it, ain’t it clear I came here to win it… I’m a doctor in practice, playing like the point guard on the mavericks.” This song gets you in your motivational feels, and makes you want to pick up a pen to get to the next level.
Out of the entire project, “IF I LEFT THE GAME” is the most contemporary sounding song. Azmattic begins the track comparing himself to Barry Sanders, and saying that just because he lacks the riches one can earn from rap, does not mean he is going to stop making music anytime soon. RhymSter comes in with the second verse comparing himself to MJ, when he came back to the Bulls in 1995. RhymSter hits some fast chopping flows on this verse, and then slows down, very dynamic.
As a whole package, this project has everything a hip hop head could want and more! If you are looking for lyrics, breaks, boom bap beats, dynamic flows, soulful hooks, fast rap, introspective lyricism, chant along tracks, etc, THE JAZZ CIGARETTE by Azmattic and RhymSter will definitely quench the hip hop thirst. And do not forget to check out their latest visual for THE JAZZ CIGARETTE which is “ICED COFFEE AND BLUNTS” featuring Mike Booth, shot, directed and edited by Hayward of Beat Box Ent.
Sometimes we need to step back and balance ourselves mentally, and whether you are a Libra or know one, there is guidance to be found in their peace keeping aura, as they have to ability to harmonize people and situations. Not ironically, music centers their life as well, and judging by the quality of LIBRA SCALE, this collaboration between Chicago artists StankNasty and Mic Fort, the two proudly embrace that of their sign! The hip hop beat itself is simple yet uplifting, none too wild or dull, as StankNasty lays down that Libra charm lyrically with the first verses. You can hear the free spirited side of the sign, and eagerness for fairness; putting the game on the libra scale, the two repeat in the chorus. Mic Fort on the final verses remind all of their significance, “Libra gang all season, all year… it’s written in night sky, destined for greatness!” Fellow Libras are in agreement as the tune reached 10k plays within 1st month of its release, so press play and join in on the celebration, it is Libra season.
A music video can really make a song, and Wilhelm Duke, teaming up with RhymSter, create what seems like a movie. Now, this hip hop single can stand out on its own with ease, but with the help of Hayward at Beat Box Entertainment, these artists have a cinematic release on their hands. Sounding off with a sinister repeating sound, the beat comes in with some heavy bass, giving off an acid rap vibe with a hint of boss energy. The video itself is a satirical play on RhymSter’s introductory lines, “Never Disrespect, not Between Two Ferns…” referencing the show Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis as a begrudging host and interviewer.
BOSS SHIT has one message, “Roll with the punch… Roll up the blunt… Roll up them cuffs, like a Boss,” repeating in the chorus; give it a listen and it will repeat in your head. Emulating that boss attitude, Wilhelm duke gets suited up in a blue blazer, psyching himself up with confidence, causing trouble and confusion to those in his path, laughing it up with no consequence. RhymSter, who cameo’s as a producer, videographer, blind composer and a clumsy student, takes the position of the artist in interview. The two eventually box in out, back to back spitting verses, taking turns throwing shots. The entertainment value does not stop there, as the video, following the music, features some behind the scenes footage (similarly to RhymSters Music Video with Essse), and an interview snippet as well. All put together, between the cinematic video, the beat and the verses, to creating a whole skit, this is some BOSS SHIT.
MOECYRUS gifting us all a Fall single to jam to as we anticipate some big up coming projects and collaborations! Over a smooth beat with a retro R&B vibe, MOECYRUS serenades us. “I’m lookin for a pumpkin patch bae. The one who aint scared of an ex, the one who aint all about sex. Im a genuine treat, a little broke, but im loyal. Most of these mother fuckers cant even change the oil.” Do not read too much into it though, he is pretty honest and tells us straight up, “I’m pretty good at acting when I really want to smash.” This class act is ready to release projects with multiple artists, teasing names like Mic Terror, AM Early Morning, Mood Swangs, Novatore and more from Chicago, so bump this treat until the next one!