SONGS U SHOULD HEAR INTOXICATED or S.U.S.H.I. is a fantastic mix series to listen to during any state of mind, because it offers much variety in the music being spun. It would not hurt to be under the influence of a little cognac, and well, who doesn’t love cognac? Artists you might be familiar with include Conway The Machine, Amy Winehouse, Kanye West, Casey Veggies, Kid Cudi, Quentin Miller (Drake ghostwriter), The Underachievers, Stormzy, Ibeyi, Lil Wayne and Chicago local rising talent SoloSam, and more. DJ Curt Henny offers an eclectic mix of sounds and styles with his S.U.S.H.I. volumes 1 and 2.
Before the quarantine virtually shut down the live entertainment industry; one could find DJ Curt Henny spinning all over Chicagoland. Working showcases, open mics, weddings, or even big opener sets spinning for SoloSam and various Ever Evolved artists. Now that most of the industry has resorted to bedroom antics, we are excited to hear more SONGS U SHOULD HEAR INTOXICATED. We are sure a lot of you will be frequently under the influence, so turn on some DJ Curt Henny.
Shay Budda Delo aka Deloney is a mysteriously talented Chicago rapper. Staying low key and popping out once in a while to rock a dope song at an open mic. His sound and style is a mesh of influences depending on the song. This record he has with a visual called QUALIFY, shows him doing street activities such as riding BMX’s, shooting hoops, and being posted up, while rapping in London with his homies. Every shot looks straight out of a scene from the popular Netflix street gangster show, Top Boy.
Deloney raps “If you not speaking Gaupanese leave me alone mane, if you’s a broke ***** I don’t even know ya name...” Ending the verse with “I can’t afford to let you play me for these tokens.” Right off the bat, (as he’s holding a bat or piece of wood in later scenes and shots) you feel the dark but very real and visceral energy emanating from Shay Budda Delo. After the visual you are left scratching your head and wondering how he has London connections being a Chicago rapper, definitely impressive. The song kicks, go stream it now!
The Surge, member of the Mic Commanders, and known for his intensely witty, sharp lines, and distinctive voice, recently dropped a hilarious animated video to the lead single from his 2020 LP SURGE IN GENERAL WARNING. The LP runs 17 tracks long at almost a full hour, and featuring only one Mic Commanders comrade, SamIam the MC. The lead record from the album, RAP RAP RAP, produced by Dreamtek, has a visual out now, done by Big Herc.
The visual is incredibly impressive for animating different characters and scenarios involving phones and social media, notably that of Surge in a library. Done in a comical animation style, it is bound to have you laughing while pondering the harsh words from beginning to end. The Surge basically calls out how rappers self promote on social media platforms, namely Facebook. He strings multi-syllabic rhyme schemes in an explanatory manner regarding the different habitual tendencies of rappers.
Some of the specific things he calls rappers out for are: tagging 99+ Facebook users in a music promotion post, going live on Facebook with nothing worthwhile to say, or artists having meaningless discussions in an endless thread of comments. Every line hits home in terms of the daily activities seen from local rappers. The Surge is highlighting symptoms of some the twisted normalcies we find in the music business.
Easily the most impressive visual and sonic from Remey Le Flow to date. This five minute and fifty second long music video is bound to entertain and leave a listener pleased about the current state of hip hop. Remey takes a hard flow with bars about coming up in an uneasy atmosphere with competitive players. He raps the first half of the record with one of his more signature low rap voices. “My squad, we set traps, we came prepared, set up for all racks. Money hid in the safe house, gotta ask if its safe out.”
The visual features Remey performing at night in a snowy back alley, and inside a garage with a flame torch. The second half of the music video features Remey in a white hoodie sing rapping in a completely different voice, almost Kendrick Lamar-esque. “Family raised me by the bible belt, first gen but yet I’m still a baby.” The melody and lyrics he weaves with the instrumental are complex and enthralling. Remey Le Flow’s gravelly, oddly high pitched voice from that second half of the record is still ringing.
This Remey Le Flow is only vaguely familiar, but here is to hoping he continues with this style as well as his others. It is refreshing and unique considering much of Chicago hip hop is dominated by low bass fast rhythmical rapping. This visual was a hit, bravo to Remey Le Flow on the project, and the growth he has made in an insanely short amount of time. We should be anticipating much more!
Mic Logik of Chi-NativeEntertainment recently released GONE featuring E.Brown, another talented Chicago rap veteran. The song surrounds the idea of how music is idolized and elevated only after an emcee has passed on. It is a slightly dark, lyrical, laid back, boom bap single that makes one introspective about their own path in the music business.
Mic Logik’s first verse starts in with lines that evoke thought, “So what did you expect? Some one to give you all the keys? For record deals I swear that y’all would fall to knees!” Eventually leading into a line with a que from your stereotypical friend that says they will come out to a show, but obviously they do not because they are full of air. “Hey whens your next show? I’ll be there bro! Trust me,” Mic Logik responds, “I lost count how many times I killed at SubT.” That line has to be relatable to every working artist that performs in Chicago, even if you are not familiar with Subterranean. Bringing in that other frat bro voice seals the cynical humor on the record.
The subsequent line again attacks that feeling when someone runs into a friend or acquaintance, just how quick they are to say they will come out to a show knowing they never will. “Be authentic, keep all that fake love please, I’ve been telling y’all forever Mic Logik’s a must see!” And he’s honestly right, he is, either by himself or rocking mics with WRDS and I.Deal of Chi-Native Ent.
Mic Logik can flow, write, freestyle, has a steadily growing catalog, and he has been sharpening his hip hop craft for a while. He utilizes tight succinct rhyme structures, and he is great at staying on topic and leading a listener from the beginning to the end of a 16 or 32 bar verse. He also has a dope feature and beat selection, and can perform all of his material live. Mic Logik, like most of the elite emcees circulating through Wicker Park on any given Tuesday night, can rap over an instrumental with out any backing tracks.
When the hook of the song comes in, it is a slightly complex but effective audience grabber that the crowd will be able to hear a few times and repeat back to get into the rhythm of GONE. As well as further exploring the concept of accolades while alive vs milestones while dead. “They gon’ miss me when I’m gone, gone. So today you’re hot, then tomorrow somebody new! They gon’ love me when I’m gone, gone. I’ve watched them come and go, acting like something was due! They gon’ miss me when I’m gone, gone. And through all the ups and downs, I always tried to stay strong. They gon’ love me when I’m gone, gone. And when my spirit rolls on, you resurrect me with songs.”
E.Brown drops hard bars and schemes throughout with rhymes like; “I don’t expect much, but it sucks when people neglect, that we do it for love, cause some of these clubs don’t cut the check.” As well as “Got more cosigns than a notary, so my shows supposed to be packed wall to wall, with all my homies g, but look out in the crowd its all strangers, most notably.” This song is a great example of staying on topic. Every single bar touches upon the theme of a lack of support for being a musician or artist while being alive. Mentally battling the negative people around you is a struggle many will face within their lifetime as a creative, and GONE illustrates this idea quite well.
The songs production was done by Chicago’s own, Custom Made. If you are not familiar with his sound or work, we highly suggest checking out his catalog of instrumentals and songs he has produced for a plethora of Chicago talent. The song ends with a chant style bridge leading back into the hook leaving a listener pondering how people will view or think of their music once they are star dust and ashes. GONE is a song every creative needs to hear, especially if they have dealt with fake support or a lack there of.
In a modest gated community in West Chicagoland, somewhere past the gentrified and still developing neighborhoods, resides a self made businessman and entrepreneur by the name Aki Johnson aka ADotmixedit. You might be familiar with him if you have ever heard music from CantBuyDeem. ADot has engineered a lot his projects, most notably the NOT 4 SALE mix tapes. He runs a professional recording studio out of his own home in Galewood, IL. His business is called Sound Minded Recordings.
He also owns and runs a barbershop called Barber By Nature located in Hanover Park, IL. He drew inspiration from a famous record cover art by Naughty By Nature themselves, eventually getting shouted out by Vin Rock of the legendary hip hop trio. Now ADotmixedit is gearing up to make his own waves in the music industry. Starting with his work with CantBuyDeem, as well as a versatile catalog of artists including Eyeball, Gitta Thompson, Kasean, Pop Pizzle, Monster Clique, and more!
ADotmixedit is a certified engineer from the RRFC; which stands for Recording Radio Film Connection, under the tutelage of Miller Street Studios. It was here that he was able to hone his craft and learn about the theory behind audio engineering. His own studio is high tech, including a lot of the industry standard hardware and even his own custom modifications.
Sound Minded Recordings utilizes dual Raven MTI screens, an Avantone mono for mixing, Yamaha NS10s, 2030 3 Way EVENTS, Universal Audio Interface with the Avalon software. Slate Digital MS1, MPCX with the 16 beat pad, AKAI 61 Advance, and lastly a custom analog mixer he is building to attach under his Universal Audio interface. Safe to say that ADotmixedit has put quite a lot of time and money into his set up! But now that he has a fully functional studio, it is time for him to not only maintain it, but continue to grow and expand his small business acumen of recording and music clients.
ADotmixedit believes in engineering music that he can actively get behind, support, or feel. If he does not think the music is good, or has enough energy he will not touch it regardless of the paycheck. He is not in the music industry as an engineer solely to make money, he wants to create amazing works with artists that he truly can promote and be proud of. And that deserves respect because it is about taking the craft of music seriously and giving time and attention to those creatives that deserve it.
From mixing music using tape decks, which no one even knows how to do anymore, to mixing music digitally using Logic and ProTools; ADotmixedit has seen things come and go in the recording industry through out his life. From being in an analog studio with 100 track mixers to using mixers only in the DAWs; ADotmixedit understands how music technology has changed over time, couple that with his experience, ear, and musical training; and Sound Minded Recordings will soon be a blossoming recording house.
Kat Baker, Tony Baker and Lonnie Phillips are the members of rising Chicago based rock band, Broken Robots. Harnessing an eclectic sound: whispery, melancholic vocals, with bass lines that sound like a cross between Seinfeld and The Faint‘s bassist, Dapose. Broken Robots have a style that cannot easily be compared.
The music video features the three band mates performing DIMES AND QUARTERS in various locations, showcasing their chemistry and tenderness. “I’ve been feeling like a fish, out of water. I’ve been trying to pay the rent with dimes and quarters.” The chorus is deeply felt throughout the song (especially if you’ve ever been broke) and it never feels repetitive. Their compositional style along with their build ups, crescendoing runs, late bridge, and even a guitar solo from Tony Baker, all feel in good taste. This song contains a well thought out and complex structure; which is appreciated in the day and age of formulaic pop rock and pop bands.
Dimes and Quarters is the 4th song from the upcoming EP THE ESCAPE ARTIST. Written and produced by Kat Baker, Tony Baker, and Lonnie Phillips, mastered by Blaise Barton working out of Joyride Studios. The music video was produced, directed, shot and edited by Joel Lopez of Lumbra Records. Broken Robots offer something different in the current saturated world of music and their single, DIMES AND QUARTERS, is in our permanent rotation.
What a surprise to see Yung Joc on a song with Chicago native and recording artist, Gee Get Money. Gee Get Money has been in the game for a few years now and has quite the growing catalog of music! The song starts off with a lot of bling, blue tones, and confident successful rappers turning up to the hook by Gee Get Money. “I’m so icy, I’m so icy, look at this ice,” the editing is fast paced, with many shots of Yung Joc and Gee Get Money showing off their shining diamond watches, chains and accessories.
The music video cuts around a few different staple locals in the city of Chicago, with many scenes cutting back to them turning up inside a luxury vehicle. This must have been a big budget production! Requiring the services of Yung Joc alone would be a pretty penny. This was a well produced work to say the least and will absolutely boost the career of Gee Get Money.
The greatest part about this single is the slight 2 Chainz diss that Yung Joc snuck in towards the end where he raps, “Rush 2 Chainz to ICU, when he saw me, he got frost bitten!” When that line came up it is bound to cause laughter and a double take, definitely a second listen is needed! This music video will also evoke a sense of nostalgia because Yung Joc has not aged at all! And the song itself reminds us of peak auto-tune South Side drill music from the 2012-2015 era. Congratulations to Gee Get Money on the successful music video release and collaboration with Yung Joc, we are excited to see more!
RhymSter, the flagship artist and co-leader of Ever Evolved, has released his third project and second dual emcee-producer collaboration with Edmur Quinn, following up RhymSter’s previous record, PURE NOON. RhymSter employs smooth uptempo flows with clever lines, sprinkling storytelling over soulful sampled, heavy bass, new school beats. Each record has a distinct yet similar vibe which make the tracks fresh and cohesive. He recruits fellow Ever Evolved members Radcliff Music and Mike Booth,who together along with RhymSter make Triangle Offense, on the song ALL WEEK LONG. The other three songs are entirely composed of vocals from RhymSter making this a short but sweet four record EP.
The intro track, I FEEL IT, starts with a high pitched vocal sample, leading into the hook rapped by RhymSter. “I feel it in my bones, its about that time, blisters all up on my hands from this mountain climb, escaping death up in my nightmares yelling I gotta live, me while I’m ready for it all to see what it gonna give.” This song centers around the theme of not quitting or giving up. To stay the the course while on the road to achieving your goals and living out your dreams. RhymSter ends this record with a hopeful repeated bridge.
ALL WEEK LONG is the second record with Triangle Offense. RhymSter starts the record off rapping about a typical weekend schedule of his, including a Friday night party, Saturday night show and a Sunday afternoon studio session. This song deals with some youthful weekend hacking done by the crew while moves have to get made. “All week long, Ive been grinding handling business, try’na to take care of all these children, putting myself in this position, grinding hard so say lets get it get it.” Radcliff Music comes in with that classic rhythmical smack talk, mentioning how Triangle Offense is a group with respect and a name, yet no album. Radcliff Music ends his verse saying he is not letting any weak people take him out.
Track three, DISCONNECT & UNPLUG, is a thoughtful exploration into the lifestyle of a musician born and bred out of Chicago. RhymSter writes lines such as “disconnect and unplug, this lifestyle is a heavy drug, tip toe on the borderline, tell you that I’m more than fine,” and “they want us to look through the glass, but not open the door… thank the internet for showing us the worlds colors, increasing single mothers, and decreasing eachother.” The track fades at the end leaving you barely to hear the last few lines of RhymSter’s lyrics, adding to the emotional effect of the record and leaving you wondering what was said. The weight of the beat and his lyrics leave the listener to ponder their own feelings.
C’MON SON, the finale track has a wonderful gospel sample. Paired with complex bars by RhymSter, making references and puns such as, “Breaking bread with my all brothers, Jesus in the last supper…” and “PURE NOONya know I will, MAINTAININ while I wait for it, so watch out man!” RhymSter ends the track with a hilarious sample of a monologue from a famous film. Tying up this dense yet short project that leaves you wanting more!
CantBuyDeem dropped a mix tape over old school famous industry instrumentals called NOT 4 SALE Vol. 2. On the 21st of January he released the visual to a classic Mase song called WANT ME. It features Super King Reza on the vocal hook, a hot verse from Ever Evolved’s JaiTheArtist, and visual production from the video alchemist himself, Mikal Bae aka Father Darko.
CantBuyDeem really knocked it out of the park with organizing this collaboration! Super King Reza’s voice on the hook almost sounds feminine, it is so smooth and catchy, had to check the feature credits. JaiTheArtist’s verse compliments CantBuyDeem’s perfectly, they were both hitting all the relevant points of the song theme in their respective 16 bar verses. The attitude of this visual just screams 90’s classic hip hop; extremely nostalgic, but also new and quite fresh! We have the entire collaboration to thank for that, everyone involved in the project executed to a high caliber.
Visually, if this does not remind you of a Hype Williams music video from the Busta Rhymes days, or maybe even a current Hype Williams video from Griselda Records well, we’re not sure what will! Mikal Bae shooting in front of a green screen, editing in certain hilarious set pieces like a car for Super King Reza to stand on while its driving, a futuristic metallic background with a fish eye lens perspective, or just the three artists lounging on a couch. While its floating in front of one of Mikal Bae’s signature vapor wave designs. This visual has all of that and then more!
Lyrically, every line is set to make you laugh, especially since there is so much charisma behind the performances. Lines from CantBuyDeem, “The reason I treat you royal cause you loyal,” and “You know I put the d*** in your life but I wanna do more like licking you right!” Or lines from JaiTheArtist referencing Pretty Ricky and pornographic videos, “Get down with the licky licky, while you rolling sticky, blasting Pretty Ricky, tryna find a porn to do!” Then one of my poignantly favorite lines from the hook, “We can go to space, that ain’t ship to me!” I feel like that line is as old as time, yet It is an original Super King Reza line.
Bravo to all hands involved on this song and music video. It looked like an absolute blast to film. It is something that Chicago should back, put on its back and be proud of. Has Mase or anyone relevant seen this? Well they should.