Bombay Boyz Turn Up the Lyrical Heat on Pop Off

Witty lyricism, an atmospheric trap beat and a catchy hook. This is the recipe that Chicago Hip-Hop duo Bombay Boyz went for when they teamed up for their brand new single Pop Off which is the first single from their upcoming Jedi East project slated to drop this summer. The beat, which is produced by CT, has an airy and atmospheric vibe. Minimalistic and stripped back, CT does a brilliant job of setting the stage for the MC’s to drop lyrical bombs.

Harrison Maxwell handles the hook on this track and much like the instrumental, it is effective in its simplicity. Catchy and to-the-point, it helps make Pop Off a straight banger; meaning it is the perfect turn-up song to blow the house down at shows. While the beat and hook are effective in their simplicity, the verses are where everything gets turned up a notch. Maxwell and his counterpart Eric Wilhelm leave everything on the table. WRDS even drops by for a feature showing he is every bit as capable on the mic.

In spite of the modern trap feel of the instrumental the way these three MC’s try to one-up each other gives this song a bit of an old school feel. The lyrics here are braggadocios yet all parties involved have the lyrical mastery to back up their boasts. In its essence, this song gets back to what Hip-Hop is at its core; rappers simply throwing on a beat and putting their artistic lives on the line in the fight for lyrical supremacy. Pop Off shows that Bombay Boyz already possess a skill that most artists do not have; their able to craft a song that can rock the party while simultaneously winning over the respect of old heads and traditionalists with complex lyricism and double-time flows.

This duality has always been rare in Hip-Hop, however, Bombay Boyz make it look easy on this track. Not that this should surprise anybody but if Pop Off is any indication, expectations will definitely be high for their upcoming Jedi East project. This should not be a problem for Bombay Boyz due to how effortless they make it look on this new single.

“Pop Off” is now available on Soundcloud, and will be available on all platforms in the coming days.

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YOUNG XAV Strives to Overcome His Demons on After Dark

The pain lets me know I’m still alive.

These are the words so beautifully belted out by singer Adam Martinez on the hook of Still Alive, the fourth track off of Chicago MC YOUNG XAV‘s upcoming album entitled After Dark. Although this project cannot be boiled down to just a few words, that lyric serves as a good blueprint for the emotional head space XAV finds himself in throughout the duration of this project. After Dark is a gloomy, lonely trip inside the mind of an individual who has fallen off a mountain of sanity. However the album’s progression marks the story of that same individual getting up, brushing the dust off their clothes, and clawing their way back up to the top.

The cinematic opening track, which is entitled Intro, pulls the listener in from the very beginning. This song sees XAV lose his sense of self identity laying the path for him to find himself all over again. The beat is heroic and empowering as light, feathery piano motifs are sprinkled over a loud, barreling brass section. Lyrically XAV seems to be succumbing to his inner demons on the first half of the album. On cuts such as After Dark and Still Alive XAV paints his struggles with alcoholism, using it as a coping mechanism to silence the demons in his head. The beats on these tracks are dark and moody, and they serve as the perfect complement to the on-the-edge-of-insanity tone of XAV’s lyrics.

The middle of the album is a bit more turnt up, as tracks such as Another Drink and Blaśe are straight up bangers. However the cloud of darkness present earlier in the album still looms close behind. These songs illustrate the dichotomy of drinking to partying while simultaneously not being able to control oneself and XAV does does a beautiful job of painting a vivid portrait of what that looks like.

The interlude track Dear You is another standout on this album and it is a beautiful spoken word piece; seemingly serving as an ode to a lover from years’ past. It transitions seamlessly into the next track Dancing in the Dark, which finds XAV pondering what him and this former flame could have been. For XAV heartbreak is something that consumes his entire being, and he is able to portray that pain in his music with ease.

The back end of this album serves as an indicator that XAV will not go down without a fight. On the song Chasing Dreams XAV speaks on his ambitions to get to the top. The closing track Road to Legend finds XAV reflecting on the people who have come in and out of his life, as well as the changes his life has undergone. As an album After Dark really shines due to the fact that YOUNG XAV is more in touch with his head space than most rappers. Whether he is speaking on his struggles with addiction, heartbreak or his hunger to succeed in music, XAV does a brilliant job of illustrating where he is at mentally.

XAV has not reached the top of the cliff yet, it seems as though he is still clawing his way towards happiness and contentment. His demons might still haunt him from time-to-time, but that does not mean that he is going to let them win. And that is a predicament that almost all of us will find ourselves in at one point or another.

After Dark will be released to all platforms on February 22nd.

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