Everybody has an artist they listen to all day on repeat no matter how many times they have heard them. Come across ESSSE Guey and you might find yourself in a similar predicament. Fusing a bit of Hispanic culture and lyricism into Hip Hop he adds a unique touch to his already outlandish persona. A persona that videographer Lonnie Edwards captures nicely, again through imagery with a second music video project for ESSSE following his V.I.M.M. (Let It Reign) music video.
Linking up with fellow Chicago Hip Hop head who recently released his own EP dubbed Pure Noon, RhymSter hits the first verse heavy after letting the beat run off. ESSSE ends it strong with a catchy flow leaving you feeling like hitting that replay button. He releases this track as his first single off his forthcoming project DREAMWORXXX which, judging by this song, is likely to be filled with plenty raw and authentic hip hop and nothing less. No official release dates yet so lets stay updated on his links & browse his latest releases.
From heretics to heathens, life seems to be a bit more fun on that edge of perspectives. Not following a certain set of rules or religions can have its perks. The people that come with that lifestyle bring certain characteristics to life that add to the curiousness of being a human, just as Kleavr does with his music. You cannot practice heresy with synths and violins, unless you are a clockwork orange variety, so we have heavy bass music to place in background of our heathenism.
From Chicago, Stay Gold Promotions DJ and producer Kleavr has been making a big name for himself getting recognized by fellow heathens like 12th Planet and Borgore and others and rightly so. Almost relentless with music releases you have countless tracks from just the start of the new year alone to get wild to. Consistency is key when building a career path and Kleavr got that down to key. From collabs to remixes and originals there is no scarcity in music to be deprived from and he is set to release more as we speak… or read.
From the start of the year, as he has been, Kleavr continues to drop track after track starting with a collab with STOY dubbed Salad Fingers following a bootleg remix of Liquid Strangers’ Ripple to end out the last year. He follows up with more collaborations with Kentucky artist Tantrum, turning out to be a powerful duo as they rock the stage together at shows. His most recent releases have been hitting Borgore’s BuyGore label, most prominently and recently, his EP the Heretic has been getting much buzz around the local dubstep community following a single release Fury Blade, another piece with Tantrum on Buygore. Even more so his music has been getting him booked in places like Montreal, Denver, Philidelphia, LA and more; exited to see how this artists progresses as he grabs hold of new opportunites everyday.
Elevatd and on fire with new releases, this Chicago duo is going on a music spree on their playlist. Since the new year they have been giving us more and more content from their exclusive live sets. If you frequent their shows you would have bragging rights to hearing them first. However with recent guest features on podcast radios like Lost In The Sauce, The XO and OTODAYO, online fans are getting lucky. Following their halloween remix and original releases Elevatd has been busy both on and off stage.
Between performing at spots like Liquid in Madison, Corcord Music Hall in Chicago, Radiance Afters in Milwaukee and again with YehMe2, they have been hitting podcasts where you can get an idea of how they throw down at live shows. This includes exclusive IDs’, some of which were recently released like Save Me featuring Micah Martin who was featured on their Curse Them All track back when they announced a rebranding. Another one includes a collaboration with locals SNOOF for Super 7 record label which speaks for artists like NGHTMRE, TJR, Z-Trip, Grandtheft and more. Lastly and most recently they release Bring It Like, another heavy bass track, like This Will Never End, includes a catchy hook to accompany monstrous bass drops.
Goodsex is just here to show you how good you already are and it shows! Aside from all the great puns that you and I both have running through our minds, it is important to realize the power of music and the message it can send to its listeners. This Chicago duo takes that idea an extra mile sending positive messages and high vibes to their fans in each song they put out. From their originals to their remixes, all their songs do is make you believe in love!
Their latest project comes to fruition after a simple request of their fans. From their EP With Friends Vol. 1 the duo has a song called Joy and they ask their audience to send in footage of themselves enjoying life! The end result is a music video compilation of people having the time of their lives and you just cannot help but wiggle around and smile at the expression of life and love. This follows a remix collaboration ofBirthday Sex with another familiar Chicago duo Birthdayy Partyy and a remake of a classic funk pop song Reach Out Of The Darkness by Friend & Lover. Their cycle of feel good lyrics and tunes makes a great playlist for people to get together and we think that’s So Groovy. It is most admirable creating a lifestyle through music that makes others feel good regardless of who they are.
Ever Evolved MC RhymSter is back again and with a vengeance with his first release of 2019 entitled Pure Noon. This 5-track offering — which includes a bonus track at the end — sees RhymSter and producer Edmur Quinn finding their pocket by utilizing a lo-fi, nocturnal sound.
The EP kicks off with a banger Maintainin where RhymSter takes his listeners to school by flexing his lyrical muscle over a bright and soulful instrumental. However the pace of the EP immediately slows down after with I Will which manifests itself as the perfect soundtrack for a night-time drive soaked in self-reflection. The closing 2 tracks N.Y.S.M. and Wait For It follow in a similar vein before things pick back up again on the bonus track Watch Out.
Lyrically RhymSter is poignant as usual. On the more hard hitting cuts his wordplay is witty and his delivery is sharp. On the slower, more subdued tracks he is more introspective and personal. He shows himself to be a truly multi-faceted artist over the course of these five tracks. On the production side of things Edmur Quinn presents a diverse palette here while simultaneously maintaining the concise cohesiveness of the project. Tracks such as Maintainin’ and Watch Out are hard hitting boom-bap cuts while I Will and Wait For It are much more moody and lo-fi.
The features on here deliver as well. FAFA, who is featured on Wait For It, croons with sincerity over a gorgeous jazzy guitar. JaiTheArtist shows up on the back end of I Will and her vocals sound angelic floating in the background. RhymSter and Edmur Quinn kept it simple on this project. However in between RhymSter’s witty lyricism and Edmur Quinn’s diverse array of instrumentals, their formula proved to be quite effective.
If you have not heard of the refreshing girl power duo that is Mother Nature go look them up on YouTube right now. Charisma, lyricism, fun, artistic chemistry – these two have all of that. The Chicago native powerhouse duo comprised of emcees Klevah Knox and T.R.U.T.H. dropped the visual to their single Simple, which is from their upcoming 2019 EP titled Pressure. If the rest of their record is anything sonically like this first single Simple, then I think these two talents will really propel themselves forward in 2019!
The visual done by New Trash has the two ladies in black and white checkerboard pants and multi colored tops. They start off performing in front of a changing green screen with kids as their gaffers, directors, cinematographers, and lighting crew! The hook to this song is super catchy: “I do not do what you’re doing, bitch you’re simple!… I am me and you are you, bitch you’re simple!” Then the visual progresses from there with a verse and a bridge from Klevah Knox and a verse from T.R.U.T.H keeping the high energy, fun, and intensity through out. I am excited to hear and see the rest of Pressure from Mother Nature in 2019. They represent something truly positive for hip hop and their image and sound as artists is what I want to be around to write about.
Well if you missed it the first time it is back around and you get the visual sensation of it too. Others may get to reminisce their initial response to this track but whether it is heard it now or then, it is timeless. No Clue featuringMykele Deville comes back on the radar as Rich Jones releases a nonchalant music video for this laid back track. Strolling around being natural not thinking bout next year or even next week with No clue how happy to be. This work follows his The Shoulder To Lean On EP and Dangerous/Rainy Days releases that are just as replay-able with their infectious hip hop, R&B, Rock & Soul vibe that can hit any listeners ears in the right spot. Get in tune.
Applying the name after Kill Bills’ main yellow leather jacketed protagonist, from Chicago Beatrix Kiddo is in the streets just killin’ beats with her latest visual release for her single Stogie, produced by BKR & Josh Petruccio. With lyrics like “Got big grams coming, gotta kick it with the hustle, I’m a big ass bitch I don’t need the fuckin muscle“, you already know she got a tongue as sharp as a swords blade! CVO Films behind the camera as Kiddo sits like a boss with some hitters at her side, always sportin some unique and obscure lens glaring back at you. Nothing off put or out of place this is her natural environment, “Lighting a stogie blunt… middle fingers up not giving a single F*ck”.
Essse Guey pops out to reinforce a previously released track from his Over the Daze LP picking out a popular track to add some visuals too. Neorevivalist on duty giving V.I.M.M. life with some animated visuals matching the atmosphere of the slow and ominous beat. With a style so smooth he is not afraid to get dark with hooks like “You get left behind, F*** up out my eye, ready to die, Don’t really have a choice, voices in my mind” and “Over mad or under oath only real ones slit they throat, …cross-face, swan dive, head first, there’s a million ways to make another suicide note” and make it work. A timeless track produced by Dead_Air worth giving a double take and a surreal music video following his last for Constellations.
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.