Young Maxwell and Unkle Slump Get Grimy on “Heart Chakra Treasure”

Young Maxwell and Unkle Slump have teamed up for their new single entitled Heart Chakra Treasure, bringing in Maxwell season with a bang. The instrumental produced by Novmber is atmospheric and laid back. The piano loop in the background is subtle and haunting; the percussion steady in its consistency.

Maxwell’s lyricism is animated and colorful. He muses on his dreams, his demons and of course his drink of choice: Bombay Sapphire. His delivery is dirty and grimy. Possessing a flow that is smooth as butter, Maxwell exudes a sense of easy-going confidence as he drops bar after insightful bar.

Unkle Slump follows up in a very similar vein. His bars are braggadocious, self-empowering and witty. He carries himself with the swagger of the seasoned veteran that he is, while also showing the hunger and creativity of an up-and-comer. With his gruff vocal inflection, Slump sounds right at home on this beat.

The gloomy, bleak feel of the instrumental compliments Slump’s dirty aesthetic nicely. Heart Chakra Treasure serves as the lead single for Young Maxwell’s upcoming EP, which is slated for a June release. Between the dark beat and witty lyricism on this track, Maxwell is showing there is reason to be excited for his upcoming project.

Heart Chakra Treasure is now available on all platforms.

Young Maxwell | Soundcloud | Unkle Slump | Soundcloud

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RhymSter Shows off his Versatility on Ghost (remix)

Patience and persistence. 

These are two virtues that Chicago mainstay RhymSter has used to guide himself throughout the duration of his career in the local underground. With the release of his new single Ghost (remix) these two guiding principles appear to be serving him well. RhymSter took the original cut of this track which was done by Jaden Smith and breathed new life into it. The instrumental has a dark and creepy vibe though, it has a hazy, almost lo-fi aesthetic to it. It possesses a driving sense of energy that RhymSter uses to his advantage.

Lyrically, RhymSter murked this beat with his usual clever wordplay and easy-going sense of charisma. He exudes the confidence of the seasoned veteran that he is as he drops lyrical bomb after lyrical bomb with ease. RhymSter’s flow and delivery are crazy on this song, he shows a full arsenal of flows, switching it up in the middle of his verse repeatedly. Though he mostly delivers his bars in the lower register of his voice, RhymSter plays with his vocal inflections all throughout his verse. This shows that he is thinking about a lot more than just reciting lyrics over a microphone when he is in the booth.

RhymSter has been a lyrical heavyweight in Chicago’s scene for quite some time now. Recently releasing the Pure Noon EP with Edmur Quinn and dropping music videos for Pick It Up & Maintainin’ with award winning visual artists Neorevivalist. However, what really sets him apart from a lot of other artists is his versatility. RhymSter is just as happy to tear a trap beat apart as he is to murk a 90’s sounding boom-bap beat. Whatever the occasion calls for you can almost certainly bet on the fact that RhymSter will be doing his thing with ease.

Ghost (remix) is available now on Soundcloud.

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The Dark Knight Is Back In Full Force On “Ways To Die”

Fresh off the release of his debut album After Dark, Young XAV is striking the iron while it is hot with his new single Ways to Die. In some ways this track serves as a logical continuation of what made After Dark so great. XAV is teetering on the edge of sanity on this track as he is once again baring the brunt of the rock-star lifestyle he constantly finds himself enveloped in. His lyrics are introspective, dark and vivid in scope. However the difference now is that XAV sounds more convincing than ever driving home his narratives of reckless abandon.

XAV’s delivery is more confident, his wordplay coming off as more poignant and witty. He is coming into his own more and more with each release. The picture XAV paints on this track is a dangerous duality between stopping at nothing to chase your dreams and the dangerous consequences that can come with that. XAV sees dollar signs and will stop at nothing to cash in, even if it means succumbing to vice in the process.

The instrumental is intimidating as it is bleak in tone, possessing the same self-destructive vibe that XAV portrays in his lyrics. This makes for a very moody listen. Whether this track marks the next chapter in the After Dark show remains to be seen. XAV does have a follow up album in the works that he says he is taking his time on. If Ways to Die is a teaser towards a new album it seems like the Dark Knight himself has something big in store.

Ways to Die is now streaming on all platforms.

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A Lot (Remix): Dedicated to Palestine and Christchurch

Safi-G, general of the Wolf Mafia recently put out a remix of 21 Savage‘s A Lot featuring J.Cole; his version however speaks upon the tragedies inflicted to the Palestinian people in the holy lands as well as the latest of mass shootings resulting in the deaths of over 50 Muslims at two different Mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. The former being perpetrated by the state-ist Zionist agenda, the latter by an alt-right white nationalist. As you listen to Safi-G’s powerful words and statements on violence and oppression remember there are real world issues at hand with disastrous consequences and we are not as isolated as we think, especially with mass shootings in America. Therefore it is important to remember above all else just how lucky and privileged we are to not be existing in a war zone.

Safi G | YoutubeSoundcloud | Facebook

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Sutato: New Beginnings For Orlando Coolridge

The No Coast battle rapper and SlumpGang777 emcee of absolutely cool proportions Orlando Coolridge recently put out a project reflective of poetic growth that the filters of Chicago’s taste makers should be hanged if this record is allowed to pass through unheard. Now that the undertones of serious demeanor have been expressed lets jump into the intro track ONSOL. “Its for the soul, because what is it if it ain’t onsol?” is the first line of the hook whose ad-libs vary through a swinging and soulful rhythm. Because what exactly is it if it ain’t onsol and that is when you realize that there really is not much because onsol is light itself. Onsol has multiple meanings if you follow the SlumpGang777 philosophies and their eastern influences. The song is a great introductory to the album so expect to hear more sharp lines and swinging-ly good hooks through out the record.

INNERGY is another song that makes you question and ponder the idea of light. With production completely done by Sean Antidote, Coolridge poses this question to a listener; “If all that glitters is gold, is the light, just like, how it is in the soul?”. A piercingly relevant metaphor especially within the modern day capitalism and post contemporary era. “That shits no coincidence, its a black fist, like an activist!...Blowing up, like you least expect it now at least expect it. More wittiness of his intellectual braggadocio.

“The message they telling us is deceptive, they don’t want us a collective or eclectic”. MAKE$ENSE encapsulates that paranoid and schizo wave length the brain goes on while trying to come to terms that it will never fully comprehend or observe this reality. Yet it will try and do a damn good job carving out lyrical descriptions. “The one’s controlling currency is 33rd degree, population walking dead but they ain’t turning me!”- A line that captures perfectly the idea of the fractional reserve banking conundrum the world finds itself in today and the idea of humans droning through their daily tasks of life.

Orlando Coolridge makes music for people who read; let me just insert that point of observation here. MAKE$ENSE is a favorite from this record with old school track references like “Cash Rules Everything Around Me, CREAM, Get tha money, dolla dolla bill y’all”,  and “make money money make money money money”. Coolridge intertwines hip hop history with an elevated perspective on global economics and modern money mechanics. RYZE! is the point of the album when your blood starts to boil from the epic and emotional nature of the build up in the instrumental coupled with Coolridges spine tingling intense black power affirmations. Every line in this song smacks you with the thought that maybe you need to go read up on Paul Robeson, Marcus Garvey and W.E.B. Dubois. RYZE! is for every patriot and compatriot of the black American disenfranchisement.

The next song on the record is a super clever tune called A.L.L.A.H., playing off many triple entendres involving the idea of God. This including the acronym ALLAH which in the song stands for Arm Leg Leg Arm Head. Not only is this song layered in metaphor but also narrow enough for the simple minded folk to jam to since every rhymed ends with g-o-d. Another personal favorite from the Sean Antidote produced LP.

The song THENIGHTTIMEBUMP is Coolridge’s love making lullaby of the record. Making allusions to drug usage, meditation and night time moods with the lady; writing lines such as “the third hour odd minute when the moon is the light, when the freaks come out if you’re doing it right.” Right after the love lullaby comes a song about finding love and the divine feminine with LUHMADEME. Brush strokes of metaphors posing hard questions and evoking wondrous ideas of what love is or even means. The epitome of the ultimate philosophical doubt of love is held within this one line by Coolridge; “Yo if it wasn’t for the love is there a reason to rock, is the lack thereof, any reason to not?”. Beautifully put, getting to that line almost encircles the entire rest of the song and brings you back to the starting point of the endless rabbit hole wondering if love even exists?

The last two records are GOTTALUVEMALL and FEELTHELOVE! Where the former is a sensual seduction via boom bap goodness and the latter an upbeat tune that exudes positive feelings. Orlando Coolridge hit every possible frequency, vibration and wave possible on his LP Sutato. With all instrumentals from the Sean Antidote camp, the production quality sounding stellar, paired with legendary status hip hop songwriting Sutato should find longevity, respect and love within the Chicago hip hop community and beyond.

Orlando Coolridge | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Good Fellaz Don’t Shoot

Comprised of three underground Chicago artists we got GQ the Fool, Safi G and RhymSter joining forces to make Goodfellaz. RhymSter takes a seat back and focuses on the production for this project while Safi and GQ take the mic to spit the rawest of verses. With many live performances under their belt already, few releases and music videos they are making big moves.

These last two months has seen a couple of revisits from the trios debut Goodfellaz EP. They pick Soon As Im for the music video treatment. The raw beat features Mama Yaya and creates a real urban vibe while they cruise streets of Chicago for the camera. Their latest Don’t Shoot music video acknowledges the Chicago violenc,e not excluding police brutality, in the streets and they use their platform to spread a good message. “Put your guns down we gotta protect the youth” Safi and GQ preach on the hook. Working with production team Planarity with the waveform to promote on their youtube page.

Good Fellaz | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram

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Essse Guey All Day (Music Video)

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.

Essse | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Osa North Lets the Music Breath on Osa North and The Holy Spirit of God EP

Osa North is back with his new Osa North and The Holy Spirit of God EP and he is serving up a diverse array of sounds on this one. The project kicks off with the soulful trackFree You, which serves as a sensual ode to intimacy. North’s vocals on this track are layered in such a way that they carry a sense of divinity as if he is calling down from the heavens above. The instrumental here is rhythmic yet spacious and Osa North does a brilliant job of filling in that space with his vocal delivery.

The 2nd track Debbz is a logical continuation of where Free You left off. North once again is crooning about that special someone, asking the listener if they have ever been in love. The instrumental here sounds more epic with soaring string sections and a sense of rhythmic pulse that build momentum by the end of the track. Osa North is showing more and more musicality with each project he brings to the table.

There is a drastic switch up on the third track 1900. Instead of building on the soulful airiness of the first two tracks, North comes out of left field with a menacing trap banger. The instrumental here is bleak and unforgiving while North oozes with confidence on the mic. The closing track Adesuwa is a dance hall jam reminiscent of something off of his Ginjah EP. The instrumental possesses the contagious sense of rhythm that has become a hallmark of North’s music and his vocals here are vivacious and full of color.

Even though Osa North and The Holy Spirit of God clocks in at just four tracks and eight minutes in length, North is in no rush to get to the finish line. There is an endearing sense of patience on this EP. The instrumentals have an airy, almost ethereal quality to them, and North spaces out his vocals in such a way that he is content in letting the music speak for itself. The marriage between these two elements make for another fantastic project from Osa North.

“Osa North and The Holy Spirit of God” is now available on all platforms.

Osa North |Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Unkle Slump Recruits All Star Chicago Artists For Full Length LP

With all star golden age production from the lot of SlumpGang777 and features from some of the most prolific characters in Chicago hip hop, Unkle Slump’s You Gotta Be FKN Kidding Me hits home for fans of that thing we like to refer to as “real rap”. Thus behold the 2019 epitome, Unkle Slump recruits producers such as Father Darko, Emperor Bohe, Sage The 64th Wonder AKA LUNXCH, Cuzzin Vinny, beDOTwater AKA Orlando Coolridge, Lil Kydd?!, Chris Ruben, Chief Takinawa and Brandon Deshay. Fifteen tracks of slapping boom bap music with stabbing witty lyricism, punch-lines and catchy hooks to rap along to while bumping in the ride.

His features consist of SlumpGang777 family Vagabond Maurice and Orlando Coolridge. Vagabond Maurice helps out on Heal Up while Orlando Coolridge goes in on OMG Really?! which has a music video to compliment it. He also has Tresside leader and Lucrative Records member Baskaveli on Bait ‘N. The notable Chris Crack, who is one half of Chris Spencer and has been written up on by Rolling Stone, features on Vultures. Michael Christmas and J.Arthur also make appearances on the album.

My personal favorite is the aforementioned track Vultures due to the sarcasm of every line between Unkle Slump and Chris Crack. Slumps line “I’m above and beyond I watch it all from start to finish, they counting all that green, hands are looking like some spinach!” and Chris with “Them culture vultures that be riding the benches, they ain’t in the trenches, that’s the ones they be dying to mention, selling music off PayPal that was my invention!“. This is the type of song where you sit back, smoke one and chuckle to yourself as you reflect on the cynicism of every line from Slump and Crack.

With every song being engineered, mixed, and mastered by Brotha Gif, the albums sonic consistency is quite impressive through out. Buttery, dusty, boom bap, snare and rim shot goodness! One of my favorite mixes was that of Heal Up ft. Vagabond Maurice. A positive uplifting hip hop track with the hook “Heal up, Heal up, and get better, it only goes up from here, it only goes up from here!“. Slump and Maurice then do a jazz skatting bit after each refrain. There is samples of birds and saxophones in the song adding to its lushness and quite poetic verses too from both of the SlumpGang777 emcees. Slumps construction of this album is cohesive, lyrically and sonically, production wise but this is not something to listen to once and move on. These types of projects slide themselves into works to be studied and come back to through out time.

The tracks Hibernation, Bait ‘N, Lions, Tigers, Bears, OMG Really?!, Harpoon, Vultures, Heal Up, and Brown Sabbath are my select picks from the album and songs I’m excited to see performed live! But this whole album packs a refreshing punch. It is something we would have been blessed to study and grow up on in the 90s, but we are even more blessed that its new and to be able to call this album a 2019 release. Any fan of hip hop should love this record, in Chicago and beyond! Listen to and purchase it fully at Bandcamp.

Uncle Slump | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook Instagram

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Musa Reems Turns Back the Clock with Dear Winter

Musa Reems is back with his new single entitled Dear Winter and he has taken initiative in turning back the clock on this one. Putting his own spin on the Jay-Z classic Dear Summer, Musa has added his name to the list of MC’s who have spat their game over this iconic Just Blaze produced beat. A list which includes names such as Lupe Fiasco, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy and so many more. However instead of simply going in over the original cut of the instrumental Reems decided to breathe new life into this classic song, making it sound more current while maintaining its throwback vibe.

Producer Othellobeats took a fresh approach on here. He creates a lot of tension with how he slowly brings in the vocal sample in the beginning of the track and it really sets the stage for Musa when he comes in with his verse. Equally impressive is the way Othellobeats puts his own spin on the instrumental while simultaneously respecting what made it so great in the first place. Despite the clean, thematic feel of the intro, the beat still has the same soulful piano and vocal samples carrying the track. The only difference here is that this re-imagining of it sounds more lively. Like Othellobeats, Musa Reems does his thing on here as well.

Although the song clocks in at just 2 minutes and 18 seconds in length, Musa makes every second count on this one. His bars on here are nostalgic yet hopeful as Musa shows himself to be someone who can handle anything life throws their way. He approaches his lyrics with a staggering amount of transparency, showing that he is more than happy to own up to past mistakes. Reems’ delivery is also worthy of note here. He carries a sharp grittiness in his voice that shows the authenticity of a man truly marked by past experiences. Not phased by what anyone might think Musa Reems shows on this track that he is embracing his flaws as a human, wearing his war wounds on full display.

There is an interesting duality on Dear Winter. While the tasteful re-imagining of this song makes it sound like it could be on an upcoming project. Dear Winter still possesses enough vintage aesthetic at its core that it almost sounds like it could have been on a DJ Drama mixtape in the mid 2000’s. This duality really shows who Musa Reems is as an artist; a man who has a deep appreciation for the past while simultaneously keeping a close eye towards the future. Time will tell what Musa Reems will bring us next, but Dear Winter is surely a sign of good things to come.

Now available on all platforms.

Musa Reems | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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