Ready to take flight with this smooth tune, Don’t be 2LATE to show love to GQ the Fool. Working with a couple talented artists, GQ releases his latest R&B tune 2LATE. The vibe is produced by Versus, with a relaxing beat, the energy is completed with GIFFTED on the chorus, singing “Please don’t be too late to love me,” followed by his finishing verses. GQ starts the track with his hip hop influenced R&B lyricism. The two compliment each other well, as they both have a suave flow that lets the beat breathe, while delivering just enough of their mind and charm. A proper follow up to his RED ROOM music video with Keem Singing, these tracks can surely heat up a dance floor, or a date night out.
Like a pheonix rising from its ashes, destruction can be a catalyst for new life and beginnings. Just as the pheonix, Broken Robots understands the significance and power of starting anew, even through unconventional and sometimes harsh, definite conclusions. With their recent music video release, BURN IT DOWN, Kat & Tony Baker & Lonnie Phillips encourage intense self reflection as a means to an end, or a beginning.
Not being strangers to difficult situations and thoughts, Broken Robots Kat and Tony Baker create a powerful message with their success and existence. From being heroin addicted, homeless and facing criminal penalties, mental health issues and abusive relationships, the two essentially burned down the toxic lifestyle that dominated their lives in order to build upon the ashes, an empire! In a conversation with Chicago Sound Check, we get a closer evaluation of the song and videos purpose and meaning.
Tony Baker leads with some powerful insight about personal relationships; “There doesn’t necessarily always have to be a protagonist and an antagonist for a relationship to end or to kind of burn out.” He continues, “And it doesn’t mean anyone’s wrong, doesn’t mean someone’s a bad person.” Kat goes on to add, regarding the video, “Its based on a lot of different experiences… Being from relationships like in the video, relationships where you have to struggle between whether or not you should stay or go or if it’s worth keeping it or burning it down.” The video shot by Joel Lopez includes actors Jessica Ebacher & Ahmed Forero in scenes of tense interactions, creating a visual metaphor to what Broken Robots conveys lyrically. Before you know it, you will have BURN IT DOWN playing on repeat as the soundtrack for your personal self fulfilling missions!
ChanSe NFO recently dropped a single with an intense music video along with it called KAREN. ChanSe’s flow breaks through with a biting speed. The slight distortion on his voice makes for a signature sound and style that is been enjoyed in his previous records. The editing of the visual sticks out because ChanSe does not make the typical choices that a lot of hip hop artists make. The black and white color scheme, strobe lights and lyrics smashing into the frame make for a ride of an experience.
“I keep a 40 on me just to gargle when my breath stinks,” is the first line that smacks almost immediately, and it is quite humorous to imagine. ChanSe then follows up later with, “Then go and run his mouth about the shit you did, WEIRD, lets be CLEAR, you ain’t about the mission then you rear view MIRRORED.” This line refers to guys that act tough, fake being hard and boast about their fighting skills, or embellished exploits that obviously never happened. The rear view mirror reference has to do with the one in the car that is too scared to go through, with whatever mayhem is about to occur. So they are looking in the mirror, wishing they did not decide to ride with the real ones that day. It is a strong visual line.
Chanse NFO ends the song abruptly after one more string of rhymes. The track is 1:30 in length and guaranteed to have you replaying it right away! The instrumental is produced by Theisy, and the visual was shot by Theisy as well, then edited by Jnicoo Productions.
YOUNG XAV follows up and comes through on his music video promise! His first release of the year, KISS KISS BANG BANG, covers the feelings of heart break in relationships; a culmination of all his personal experiences regarding love connections in one song. Ever Evolved got to interview YOUNG XAV about the significance of the new release, noting a change in direction of sound moving forward. The music video itself montages his different experiences with different women, his own lyrics expressed through their lips, creating an atmosphere of tension. The video also features behind the scenes shot, before and after the making of the visuals, giving viewers a peak into the creative process that went into KISS KISS BANG BANG.
There is always room for fresh artists to be recognized and Chicago is flourishing. Seeing an influx of soulful and R&B singers, we are introduced to yet another talented voice. Charmaine Makeda steps up to the mic with a debut self titled EP Project, after releasing a few singles. Adding to the already diverse plate of creatives in Chicago, she notes to social media there is only more to come.
Seven songs deep, the EP starts out with SEE YOU AGAIN, a passionate song of romance, with a chorus that will have you singing along by the second go. LONELY gets more sensual, with a touch of saxophone, slow deep bass and a catchy piano loop, keeping the vocals to a seductive whisper. As her EP continues Charmaine gets deeper into her mind and her thoughts, a deep thinking romantic, embracing her humanity. ANXIETY INTERLUDE and NOTE 2 MYSELF, is the back and forth in our head, the lows and highs, that happens to the best of us. Charmaine Makeda so eloquently, fluently and fearlessly expresses her mind, from beginning to end, resulting in a beautiful project.
With Fight Club vibes in this music video for OPEN THE GATES, the heaviest hitters of Chicago hip hop make their presence known. MOECYRUS and Novatore of Azthmatix, connect with A.M. Early Morning to create a lyrically raw and gritty hip hop beat. Challenging in their words as they open with their chorus, chanting, “We love to talk shit, this is what we do. Know there’s a big gap that’s in between us and you. We came with AM to slay and bring mayhem.” Each artist spits their lines of braggadocios bars, over an ominous slow beat with a piano progression, and the atmosphere is perfected under dark skies in a graffiti laced alley, on an urban corner in the streets of Chicago, with Yung City Slicka Films editing to emphasize energy. To step up to these fearless three on the mic would be menacing, to say the least!
Regular colleagues in hip hop, Kastaway and Krikit Boi, put out a record in late 2020 that addresses social and racial issues, while celebrating the union between African American and Latino culture. Kastaway peppers this 14 track record, EL PILON with strong and notable features, while also bringing nothing less than excellence himself to the song writing table. CULTURAL COALITION is the first song where his strings of rhymes smack you in the brain with overwhelming thought. “Sink or swim, no you better think again, pretend it’s a grenade before you pull the pin,” or, “This is no gimmick this is soul spirit mixed with prolific pro spitting.“
In track 4 of EL PILON, Kastaway brings on Chicago heavyweight, WRDS for his song, KINGS. “Knowing that the black out is part of my youth, melanin is menacing ,they taught ya in school,” raps Kastaway in the first verse of the song, in a fast and uptempo manner. Later following with, “Yeah, it’s true. I was raised on the hot blocks, where my father left me for the hot rocks.” Every track is filled with racial and political points, woven into the lyricism. Every song on the record has purpose, and does not waste time to be honest and truthful, in regard to the opinions of African and Latin Americans, and the struggles they face collectively.
The next song on the record, LIVE YOUR LIFE, is a brilliant and gutsy song. Skirting the lines of whats acceptable in the new normal world we find ourselves in. This song features vocals from Lester Jay. Track 6, MY FRIEND is a lyrical and melodic ode to an old friend that Kastaway had a falling out with. The song serves as a way of healing and forgiveness to this individual. The hook is super catchy, and the verses make you think about past friendships. The song features Stig Van Eijk.
Track 10, THE FEEL features a familiar cohort in Mic Logik! Altogether Kastaway features at least 12 listed artists on the 14 track record, and that is impressive to be able to organize a track listing of that density. EL PILON is a lengthy, lyrically dense, thought provoking, feature heavy and politically charged record, that deserves any hip hop head’s ears for a listen! The union between African American and Latin American culture as being part of the concept to the album is a poignant statement of self discovery and community building. Bravo, and kudos to Kastaway and the producer Krikit Boi!
Christmas is typically full of traditions, and CantBuyDeem has one of his own. As he mentions on social media, it is a tradition to gift his fans every year during the holidays, after reigniting his holiday spirit following unfortunate events. This year CantBuyDeem gifts us all with an order of POPEYES, a two piece combo, a single with a side of music video. With a cool demeanor, and even cooler visuals, CantBuyDeem spits game over the smoothest, Curren$y type, hip hop beat, with real ambient lo-fi sounds that will get you in the clouds before the weed hits you like ah-ha.
There is nothing more that would make you want to be in CantBuyDeems shoes than a beautiful, sexy woman, dancing around your money, while eating popeyes, wearing so much drip. But “You can’t follow in nobody tracks exactly, look n***a keep movin.” CantBuyDeem leaves quite a few insights that entertains uniqueness, he does not “live his life by movie one liners, that sh*t corny,” as he would say. Filmed by TevDesh Productions, the tight angles, slow pace and evening colors, with a hint of lustful seduction, really puts a mystifying feel to the video. Following up on the NUMB EP, CantBuyDeem looks to have found a comfortable position with his sound and presentation.
When every avenue is exhausted, music can be the language of resilience. It is music that unites us in unexpected moments and situations, especially in the events of 2020. KvreeM uses his recent music selection to convey a message to the universe and his followers: “Through it all we can prevail.” May KvreeM’s latest EP release, GAPERTURE, fill the holes that 2020 has undoubtedly left us with.
Starting out with a smooth jazz tune with BE READY, with a chorus introducing you to the South Suburban Chicago artist, “He’s coming back again.” Back after another big release earlier in the month, THE MAINSTREAM TAPE Vol. II. Bridging into his next track LONELY PT. 2 is some commentary regarding black identity. “Being black is being resilient, it’s being the root of pop culture… being black is being original.” The statement is backed up with the obvious, (if you have been paying attention) from music of any genre: Jazz, Rock N Roll with Little Richard, Hip Hop with DJ Kool Herc, and even fashion & culture. In fact being black can be seen as the root of all originality, as we are all born of Africa, as one species migrating and adapting throughout the whole world. This theme of empowering messaging continues with THE WOO BOSCO THEORY.
Getting into more hip hop influenced jazz as the EP continues, CONCRETE JUNGLE highlights KvreeMs uniqueness. “Don’t compare me to the rest I’m incomparable, don’t let them people tune into your frequency,” he raps in chorus with versus outlining the box that this CONCRETE JUNGLE tries to mold us into, tied in with a music video months back. GAPERTURE would be the most energetically boastful of the EP, and the latter actually makes you wanna connect with KvreeM, and match him on a bottle at a party, but you better be matching frequencies! Always time for a celebration of growth, before we get back down to earth with SYMPHONIES and THERAPY. Perhaps the most relatable tracks as KvreeM contemplates his hustle, his struggles and his personal health, environment and growth. All in all, GAPERTURE is a superb project that can either help you heal or just get through the day with some quality music.
“Still an addict even though I don’t sniff coke. In love with rap, I’m buying beats until I’m sick, broke.” Novatore hopelessly deep into his art, is literally turning into a portrait in his latest music video for I’M AN ADDICT. Confessing his love for music, specifically hip hop and rap, Novatore expresses his passion over a dramatic hip hop influenced violin progression. The violin adds dramatic effect and a classical renaissance atmosphere, emphasizing passion for the art of music, as strongly as classical artists once were as they studied deeply and transformed music in their time.
With modern and some what flagrant language, Novatore’s unadulterated words expresses in his lyrics what histories greatest musicians expressed with their sounds. “When it comes to this music I’m like a crackhead, I know I’ll rock whether or not I’m making back bread.” The music video itself perfectly illustrates the energy of the renaissance period as Novatore dresses in their historic fashion, in traditional settings like an old dark church and rooms, sitting around candle light, or even inside a portrait with traditional frames, giving the hip hop track a timeless energy. Following up on music video releases of BLOODSPORT, UNDERRATED and an AZTHATIX ANTHEM with MOECYRUS, Novatore is looking to be imbedded in music history!