Back with a new release following a brief hiatus, Inca is coming BACK TO LIFE, like the title of one of his earlier releases. Hitting us with a chill, downtempo hip hop beat for his newest tune, FUCK U DOIN’? It is the hook that reels you in, Inca’s simple chorus creates all the energy, like a chant you can shout along with. “I’m the truth, they need proof. That shit boof, I make moves, fuck you doin, fuck you doin?..” This masterpiece is to be featured on his upcoming album ENTER THE VOID, which will follow a collab LP called FUSION TECHNIQUE, with another Chicago artist Larcin. Not lying with BACK TO LIFE, Inca really took advantage of the down time to make some real work in numbers, and he is ready to show it all off!
Chicago recording artist Travie Austin links with Brad Kemp to drop an eight track record, in collaboration with a number of other artists and musicians. COME-BACK by Travie Austin and Brad Kemp, out September 18th, is an upbeat neo-gospel-soul pop record. Every track features complex melodies and harmonies laid down by Travie himself. Each song is produced and engineered by Brad Kemp, with five of the tracks featuring TomCat Trumpet, Davyd Reddyk, Anthony M. Rodriguez and Tim Burke.
The themes of empowerment, self confidence, moving on and getting through heartbreak are prevalent throughout the album. Travie Austin seems to channel Sisqo as well as soulful singers of decades further, archaic in its sound and tonality, but contemporary in his flows and melodies; his style is unique and refreshing! Track 3, MAKE A MOVE featuring Anthony M. Rodriguez, is a feel good, jazzy club record you can easily dance to, about making that first sensually strong move, falling in love, living in the moment and letting go. “If you don’t want me to leave you better make your move,” Travie sings, reminding his love interest not to waste any time. In LET GO Travie belts, “I know that it’s right for me, I’m not gonna call you back, cause you got a plane to catch,” further illustrating the theme of moving past a relationship and hoping for a better dynamic in a future partner. The feelings portrayed in each song are quite universal in their appeal.
“I don’t want to be that man anymore!” Travie croons in track eight, SAY GOODBYE, and the song sounds like he has a chorus backing him when the hook comes in. “Say goodbye to the ones who ain’t on your side, trying to tear your heart in two. And say goodbye to the ones trying to dim your light, they don’t shine as bright as you, cause you are so worthy, you are so special. Don’t let them see you fall, just keep your head up high, and say good bye!” This hook was quite powerful and exemplifies that theme of self confidence and moving on! A really inspiring song that will make you want to sing along as if you were in a huge choir.
Gq The Fool is back with new music, and a racy video to accompany it. When you think of a RED ROOM, what do you think of? Some may reference a room for photography, others may have more promiscuous ideas. In this music video, the camera follows the adventures of a group of curious women, looking for a night of satisfaction. With the help of a couple Chicago R&B vocalists, the song and video adds up to be the perfect seductive song for the bedroom.
Even with a sensual song as this, GQ the Fool does not hold back on his lyricism. In fact in seems to come more naturally in provocative scenarios, in tune with his inner casanova. “This vibe is so amazing, want you to know that Im really feeling your conversation, I love the fact that you require trust and reciprocation.” His lyrics enter confidently following the sensuous beat, laying down the atmosphere for the rest of the track.
As GQ makes his moves in the video, on the chorus, the talented vocalist Nxt Ext chimes in. “Snuck into my bedroom, about to make this bed room boom, i hope you aint got no plans, baby take my hand, I got some things I want to do to ya.” As the chorus echoes and repeats in your head, Keem Singing adds his verse, to perfect the energy of seduction within the video. Filmed by Hayward of BBE Visuals, he leaves out enough of the action to leave the rest for imagination, making a memorable R&B track, expected to be released on GQ The Fools upcoming EP SPOKEN.
South Florida underground sensation Ivan L has recently released, HOW TO BE A PLAYA in collaboration with Brizzle Worrell. The 7 track LP features RhymSter of Ever Evolved on the song, SPACE FUNK. Ivan L’s output this year has been outstanding and unmatched, with 6 LPs put out and 2020 still has one quarter left. This album rounds out 18 total full length records that Ivan L has released since 2012. This amount of productivity is on some Curren$y or Future level type hip-hop, the work ethic is highly commendable.
The album channels that nostalgic Bun B and Pimp C sound of the South. Track 1 of the record is UGK, Ivan L and Brizzle Worrell trade verses back and forth on each song like seasoned veterans of the game. “I’m a Kakarot, in a platinum watch,” Ivan L raps as he references DBZ, and being blinged out. “Like who I be kidding, that paper I stack, I’m really so different, this fell in my lap,” Ivan L raps in track 2, ALL I KNOW a song with 3 verses and an auto-tune crooning hook.
Track 5 of HOW TO BE A PLAYA features Ever Evolved co-founder RhymSter. “Met a bad bitch, who’s so thick, probably going kiss her on both lips.” Ivan L raps on the track SPACE FUNK, a bumpy jam to vibe out to and smoke, while keeping a shorty close. The title track starts with Ivan L going straight in with bars using a unique structure and flow. “Money the motive, I need mine too, records promoted, the fees I blew.” Every song on this short 7 track record has dope punchlines and bars, layered references, along with street knowledge and business advice.
If you want to learn how to be a player, then you might want to take notes when bumping the collaboration between Ivan L and Brizzle Worrell. A new duo of righteous, up and coming Southern hip hop kings. Ivan L’s preceding 5 projects all released in 2020 alone include ALL EYES ON VITO, QUARANTINE THIS! KUSH & HAND SOAP, QUARANTINE THIS! A SICK TAPE, YOUR GIRLFRIENDS SECRET PLAYLIST 3, LAST TIME I CHECKED I WAS STILL BREATHING.
CantBuyDeem just hit an awesome milestone by crossing ten thousand views in 2 weeks with NUMB, the second single and title track from his NUMB EP. In collaboration with French producer DJ Rabat, Numb is produced entirely by Deem’s French connection. Considering how his second single is sonically and lyrically, this EP will be a bonkers output from the Chicago indie powerhouse known as CantBuyDeem.
The visual is done by another regularly featured artist on here, Father Darko aka Mikal Bae. The visual features CantBuyDeem on a couch and getting into some BDSM with two women, with signature blunt smoking of course. The video has lush whites, purples, and vibrant darks throughout, a very refined color palette for the video. A YouTube commenter described CantBuyDeem’s style as what happens when gangsta rap meets Andre 3000. After watching and hearing Numb, you will know why.
The rhythm and melody CantBuyDeem puts on the record is smooth in its sound, but gritty in its lyrical references, giving the listener a totally unique experience. If you miss the lyrics, you might miss the message of the song entirely. “I done lost Alice, lost Trisha, lost Tammie, lost Granny, keep my ice real cold, and my heart so callous.” These lines stood out because of their direct references to CantBuyDeem’s personal life, and the loss of the women closest to him. The melody is bright, upbeat, positive and uplifting, but Deem is talking about how stoic he feels to things due to the intensity of his life experiences; he has been through a lot, so he is numb to a lot as well.
“Everything better, but something still missing, got a lot of past pain, I can’t undo it.” This line is said shortly after he mentions how he is blessed for being able to make money off his music, especially when traveling out of town. This line goes to show that success in what you do, is not a cure all for the human emotional experience. A really powerful project and message jam packed into only a two point five minute song, music is cosmic in its ability to portray such human emotion in so little time. Kudos to CantBuyDeem for channeling such visceral reality to an audience. We are excited for the entire NUMB EP.
GET IT THERE, YELLA, THE LICK, and FLEX are all songs released in the last seven months by Safi-G. Safi-G is a Palestinian rapper who makes up one half of the Chicago hip hop duo, GoodFellaz. All four of the songs are accompanied by amazing music videos, and every single one has crossed ten thousand in views, making his total count at eighty-one thousand. Across four videos in only seven months, and for being an independent underground rapper in 2020, these stats and milestones are recognizable and considerable.
If the other blogs are not paying attention to the hype, we feel bad for them. Safi-G has been consistently releasing quality music and visuals for a long time, and the hard work is paying off. He has an incredibly dedicated fanbase, any show you go to and see him perform, you will witness a crowd of Palestinian-Americans rapping and singing every single word along with him. His stage presence, performances, and cult like following precede him certainly. When you are a recording artist that already has the respect and love from your community, there is a lot of ways you can get to where you envision with out help from a label, and that is part of the beauty of hip hop.
The best artists are also the most culturally influential, but Safi-G also makes sure to be technically and musically skillful as well. This is why he is a triple threat package, he is talented, with good music, can perform live and already has a following backing his product. As a professional, Safi-G contains what a lot of artists would require from A&R and development, and he definitely does not need a cosign either. As long time backers and supporters of Safi-G, we are excited for his future in music, and it seems as if right now he is closing in on big breaks.
StankNasty gifts us another tune, following up on his last release and upcoming LP teaser track, KNOW THE NAME. Taking a step back and kickin’ it with this latest release MOVE, StankNasty brings out those cross faded, late night vibes with this trippy lo-fi beat. “Grab your girl, grab your guy, get your crew, lace those shoes. Sip your juice, we lettin loose, slide through, okay…” He sets the atmosphere for a night of memories, “keepin it Big Boi, Andre 3, Yea this jams so fresh, so clean” and he knows it, with how smooth he sliding in that reference to a couple great hip hop emcees . If this track makes its way to their ears, they would commend the balance of a smooth flow so packed with words and rhythm.
It is exciting to hear some new music from Jamila Woods. A powerful and wisdomatic voice and advocate for black communities, women in music and in general. With numerous songs highlighting the power of Black Girl Magic, she is an inspiring voice for youth artists, who she helps support through charities like Chance the Rappers SocialWorks, and teaching them herself as an art director at Wordplay Youth Chicago Artists. Advocating for justice from police brutality, and missing black women, highlighting #SayHerName movement in her videos, is it always a delight to hear her speak her mind through her music.
Wisdomatic is no exaggeration when it comes to her lyricism. With her recent live release of ZORA on soundcloud (Which can be best experience with the live video) from her most recent LP LEGACY! LEGACY!, you can hear it in her chorus simply put, “I will never know everything, everything. You will never know everything, everything, and you don’t know me, couldn’t possibly.” From individual wisdom to self love, her most recent release SULA expresses personal independence. “I’m not sorry that I cut you out, I’m not sorry. What’s done is done,” her closing chorus emboldened by her earlier verse, “Promiscuous holiness, slope is slippery I got all this time to kill, Somethin’ like a prayer to kneel to.” Jamila always speaks to the power within you with her music, and the ambiance of it is something else entirely to get lost into.
East Side Chicago native Danny Twelvetree recently released WHAT A LIFE, a 12 track record full of clever witty punchlines detailing the freedom, hustle and slightly hedonistic star like lifestyle of Danny Twelvetree (hip hop and hedonism have always been crossed lovers). Structurally this record is extremely well put together, cohesive in its feeling, production and subject matter. This is a record for the fans of Nipsey Hussle, Wiz Khalifa, Schoolboy Q. If you like any of those artists, you are bound enjoy Danny Twelvetree.
One of the leading singles from the record is BACK IN MY BAG. The song has a sleek visual to coincide; Twelvetree raps in a few different locations, riding a BMX bike, and he performs inside a convenient store in a light blue jersey. Twelvetree mentions situations of women trying to hassle him for his time, being robbed at a young age and how he has had to cut down his circle from snakes. LIGHTSPEED is another song that stood out. The song might take one back to Wiz Khalifa’s STAR POWER mix tape in its positive vibe, melody and rhymes about the high life. The song has much replay value, highly recommend re-spinning that track a couple times as you listen chronologically.
Notable favorite from the record is BAD IDEA, which starts out with a sample about a kid describing what it is like to be flying; then Twelvetree comes in with a hard flow. The hook is still ringing, “I can’t take another blunt, that’s a bad idea, I can’t take another shot, that’s a bad idea.” That hook ties together all these impulses, deadly sins of sorts, that Danny wants to do, but does not know if he should. The song seems to be a struggle with pleasure through women and substances, but also a song that possibly rejects the over indulgence of both of these things.
The song contains an unaccredited feature who sounds like a mixture of E-40 and Anderson Paak. The track is a solid combination of quasi-lyrical mood rap mixed with a turn up anthem. The whole LP fits that description however and that is why it is so enjoyable, and has a lot of replay value. Listeners of this song could bump and dance, while indulging in substances they know they should not consume more of, because its BAD IDEA. Twelvetree perfectly reflects the culture and generation he is apart of. Casual drug use at least in terms of cannabis, alcohol and possibly pills have found themselves a quite prevalent presence in hip hop. The song channels that Kendrick Lamar SWIMMING POOLS song energy quite perfectly.
Danny Twelvetree rounds out the LP with HIT ME UP, this track starts out with another sample; a woman leaving a voice message on Danny’s phone. He then comes in with a cool and powerful singing voice, auto-tuned in a unique way, different from most modern rap sing-songs. The song surrounds this theme of how Danny is progressing, making money, traveling, making waves and his ex girlfriend seems to try to crawl back in his life.
For being relatively underground, Danny Twelvetree has a remarkably marketable and commercial sound and image. He is bound to make waves in an industry that is intense, cut throat and full of sharks. Twelvetree should be well off given his product, his style and sound gives a sense of grit, resilience and a will to not give up. We are excited about the roll out of this album, streaming everywhere now!
More than a musician, Ill-ēsha is an inspiring artist! She is multi-talented in music, from vocals to midi-controllers and other instruments, live painting, visual designer, to even being a voice actor. While using her voice for music, it gets extra powerful when she speaks on equality between genders in music, and supporting local artists in general, working with groups like Nap Girls, GRL Gang, Rapper Chicks and Grassroots Collective. Her latest project partnership, We Out Here on Youtube, parodies different scenarios in the music industry with skits. Spreading the good word from Chicago to her current hometown Denver, Colorado since that late 90’s, Ill-ēsha continues to experiment, break norms and collaborate with talented artists, with her music!
From key-tars, to turntables and DAW’s, Ill-ēsha does not shy away from her electronic equipment! Her production in music has changed up from drum & bass, to perfecting glitch hop in her earlier career, to future bass and dubstep. Her releases this year are a great example of the diversity in her music and her talents! Most recently, SIDEWAYS with 90five displays her more gentle, lo-fi, synth pop, future bass style, as she sings over the melodies and bassline. Contrary to her UNLEASHED EP, released earlier in the year, which hits on her more heavier glitch-hop and dubstep production; dig deeper in her playlist, she has something for everyone!