Chai Tulani is making his rounds on the web with a new song and music video to accompany. The Kenyan born Chicago artist is on the move this year with much more projects in the works. Starting out releasing music in 2013, Chai Tulani has been gracing our ears and stages in Chicago with his brand of soul hop! Entering the 2021 year with SPEAK featuring LivRoskos, Chai Tulani continues dropping singles here and there, including tracks like MINE featuring Ember Nicolle and GTA MANIFEST.
Back again with MCHUZI, a music video and word on more music incoming! Ready to release another single with King Limitless and The Law of Huey, we can also expect the release of Chai Tulani’s 5th studio album. He did not get recognized by Whats The Word as an Artist to Watch for in 2021 for no reason! With all the progress he has been making, Chicago fans got to see early previews of his work during the exclusive live shows he has thrown throughout the year, so keep an ear open for Chai Tulani because new music is just around the corner!
Alexander Pi’erre makes a big move with his latest release! Dropping his debut LP, BIRDS DON’T SING IN THE WINTER, with 12 tracks. Sprinkling singles here and there for the past few years, working with Tresside in Chicago, it seems he reserves his best work for the public! This LP is sure to catch some attention from new listeners.
The title of the LP, BIRDS DON’T SING IN THE WINTER, may connotate deep feelings in dark times, as colder months typically correlate with persevering and trying times, and can foreshadow the theme of the project. Looking at the title of the tracks can even narrow down the idea even more. The lyricism illustrates in artistic detail, with metaphors and experiences in the urban environment, the mentality of a young artist filled with passion, trauma and ambition. The production carries a mellow energy throughout the project, you can almost get lost on a cloud listening to the stories and feelings being shared by Alexander Pi’erre!
Starting out REMEMBER ME featuring AKOO, adding a dope balance between singing in the chorus and Pi’erre’s lyricism, letting it known regardless of love or hate, he will make his mark here! Noting that it is a dog eat dog world, and dedicating a few lines to fallen friends as well, its a strong start to the LP! An instant favorite in track two, NO SAVING ME, with a catchy chorus, combined with a slow beat pattern that just makes you bounce your shoulders. Alexander’s flow in clean, paced and raw, underlying reckless behavior due to loses in life, which gives him unconventional methods deal with life, and get rich or dye trying. Picking up energy on UNBALANCED, another strong chorus entry, with quick lyricism and clean flow, letting you now he is not impressed with all these GOATS, and follows up like a champ. The first few tracks should sell you on BIRDS DON’T SING IN THE WINTER, setting the tone for the LP, all 12 tracks will easily blow you away!
A part of Curtis Foster’s catalog might have been removed due to Spotify’s bogus purge, but that has not stopped the talented Chicago emcee and recording artist from re-working his tracks to create an even better musical product! June 25th Curtis Foster drops his INNERTIA record on all streaming platforms. It makes for a great summer project including a heavy weight feature from Wrekonize of Strange Music. “Innertia EP” also features artists Nicolette Marasa and Konsept the Emcee.
The intro track is a pretty soulful sampled record with a lady’s voice explaining the definition of the term “Innertia”, a wonderful beginning to the project. Track 2 begins Curtis Foster’s reign of showmanship, melody writing, wordplay, and technical skill. His skill and songwriting throughout is incredibly impressive, channeling the greatest of emcees when it comes to speed, rhythm, poetics. Tech N9ne, Eminem, NF come to mind, mainly when thinking of Curtis Foster, and that is of the highest regard for the work put into his craft.
In track 2, WHERE YOU BEEN, Curtis Foster details his slight MIA from the industry and dropping music, now he is back and rolling on all cylinders. “Is you still making music? or that shit come to an end, guess I got some gaps to fill, let me get my pen!” The memorability of the hook will absolutely have you chanting along by its second refrain. Curtis Foster recruits heavy hitter Strange Music signee Wrekonize for his track 3 of Innertia, SO HIGH. This song is a groove for fans of the technical styles and spitters. The overall theme of the track has to do with hitting lows in your life, that stay as motivation, to keep one on a continued path towards success. No one wants to go back to feeling like they did at some of the lowest points in their lives, Curtis Foster and Wrekonize paint that picture perfectly with their speeds and lyricism.
MISS ME (WITH THAT) is a unique tune featuring an uptempo sing-rap verse to start the song into the refrain, which is shared by Nicolette Marasa and Curtis Foster. This song is another great example of having music that can be easily gravitated to by new crowds and audiences. This record includes amazing guitar playing which is also featured on some of the other tracks on INNERTIA, presumably being strummed by Curtis himself. The electric rock guitar sound really adds a sonic thickness to the project that is enjoyable.
IDK is a dope lyrical song including a Jimmy Eat World or Smashing Pumpkins style hook and pre chorus. Throughout the project Curtis Foster seamlessly combines rock hooks with uptempo midwest chopping verses. The combination seems to touch on my favorite aspects of fast rappers records and the rock music from the late 80s and early 90s. In INNERTIA you will hear the Tech N9ne influences as well as the grunge/industrial rock of those eras.
The next notable track that stood out to me was the feature with prolific Chicago rapper, Konsept the Emcee. Curtis Foster and Konsept the Emcee lend this instrumental sizzling bars that will stick with any hip hop head. “How come everybody thinks they know me like an ICON, my GOD, y’all stuck in the past like an iPOD, you missing the picture you better go get the NIKON!” The chopping of the consonants with that line along with its implications gets you; an impeccable rhythm and timing with Curtis Foster’s verse on that song. “Cropped out the picture, since n***as trying to frame shit, i pulled you out the jam and you jumped back into the same pit, the devils in the details, that’s why I go insane, its murder in all degrees, I show you how hot the flame gets!” Konsept the Emcee’s verse will rupture your mind with its lyrical acumen and layered meanings, Konsept the Emcee doesn’t cease to impress on other rappers’ records when recruited for features!
Curtis Foster ends his Innertia project with NARCOLEPTICS‘ an anthem for haters and sleepers on his music. This song should definitely resonate with the underrated, hungry, hard working recording artists and rappers. “Who am I, you don’t know?! Quit sleeping on me like NARCOLEPTICS!” Curtis can also scream, yell and sing quite well on the record, which was reminiscent of Kurt Cobain, Fuel, and Hollywood Undead. This whole project is teeming with influences spanning many different eras and styles of rock and rap. If you are a fan of either hip hop or rock strictly for its musicality, it is really hard to not appreciate, like and smile when bumping some Curtis Foster. There is a little bit of everything on this record.
With release after release, GAWTBASS is seemingly unstoppable. Just within a months time, the Chicagoland electronic bass artist dropped about 2 dozen beats if not more! One being a remix of TINCUP‘s COOKIES, with subtle differences in pitch and beat patterns and more bass! Most recently dropping an original mix with DOMINATING at an impressive 7 minutes, the bass tune can be a battle song; really energizing! More than just a couple loosies however, GAWTBASS got busy with a few package projects!
Bringing it back to TINCUP, GAWTBASS this time collaborates rather than remixes! The two bring you an 8 track SPOTLIGHT. The first track, FLOURISH, will instantly get you hooked, with its heavy bass laced sirens, lettin the low end lead the way; STRANGER easily makes top favorites as well, featuring King Tutt. GAWTBASS also had it in him to release a monster LP as well, shortly prior. EMBRACE CONTROL takes the cake at 23 tracks, giving your bass playlist all the tunes you need for a dope set list. With all this, he still tossed in PROSPER and an Imagine Dragons remix, cause he can, and this is just 1 month in 2021. Check out his soundcloud linked below to check out his massive discography, because it just keeps on growing!
Demons to some, Angels to others; Pinheads quote echos at the intro, setting the tone for EMBRACE THE DARKNESS II: EXPLORERS OF EXPERIENCE. Novatore, with his masked up, demonish aura, in comparison to the Hellraiser, maybe a source of attraction, or avoidence, to curious eyes and ears. Regarding the quote, those who understand, or embrace, the darkness in life, and within themselves, may find comfort in Novatore music, like an angel. While others may scowl at this nature, as if a demon. The LP, a follow up to the first original EMBRACE THE DARKNESS, can be summed up in another popular Pinhead quote, “I am the King of Suffering; and with a hellbound heart I shall thrive in darkness.” However, diving into the music, there is much more to the art that appearences!
What summoned the wrath of Novatore on the mic? The first track, ANTISOCIAL, may give you a clue, it may have been darkness itself! “Violence and I connected at the first glance… dancing with the devil, never in the stands;” the track highlights Novatore’s dissociative behavior, that may have contributed to his harsh lyricism. Appropriately following up on the demonish intro dialogue with Hellraiser. In the next track SMOKE & MIRRORS, Novatore takes the spotlight off himself and exposes a dark side to the music industry, giving new artists a silver lining.
“Who gives a fuck about the next man, quite comparing and focus on what you got, its all smoke and mirrors anyway, what you thought it was, its often what it’s not.” The lyrics reference music artists fake popularity with paid streams and bot followers. Seemingly making them idolistic, while In reality it is a different story. It a twist of perspectives, that in itself is a darkness to embrace; your perseverance will result in stronger foundation. “Rather have a thousand views over a million fakes, cause real fans accumulate in to the bills you make.”
Inviting Nems onto the fourth track MYTH, the two rock the beat with some braggadocios lyrics. It is as if they are creating myths and legends, with their focus and raw creativity. As Nems would exclaim, “You can’t stop us when this is Gods plan.” The title track can serve as somewhat of a short life summary, an audio bio for Novatore, as he realizes and accepts the conditions of life, helping him carve his own path, outlined clearly in the chorus. “I lost faith watching life turn to carcass. I went insane seeing faces turning into targets, I disappeared and didn’t leave a trace. I turned about face and now I embrace the darkness.”
What ever summoned Novatore onto the mic we can embrace, since it has gifted us with EMBRACE THE DARKNESS II: EXPLORERS OF EXPERIENCE. Featuring artists Nems, G-Mo Skee, Termanology, AM Early Morning, MOECYRUS & C-Lance, it is packing with talent. A dope project with deep message, blessing us with raw hip hop beats, unapologetic lyricism and talented artists to connect with. Can only expect more to come from the myth, the legend, the darkness, that is Novatore! Do not forget to catch the music video for MASK UP, follow him at links below!
Mic Fort is back again and LIVIN’ LIFE, the name of his single reflects the sentiment of the song and Mic’s attitude! “Heavy on my fears so my heart on ice. Double shots of love make me feel it twice. Demons in my head thinkin… but i can never quit!” The main message hits you instantly and deeply, over another smooth but energetic beat, laced with horns and hi-hats, following a theme of perseverance. Bringing one more time his brother Dee-Jay following their last single collab TRUST MYSELF. Mic Fort still plans to release music videos for his latest releases as well, possibly creating a full collab project with Dee-Jay from the looks of their latest work, however we are just as satisfied with these hit singles too. Still releasing solo jams like a visual to TRACK STAR REMIX, follow Mic Fort at the links below so you do not miss any updates!
Louis The Child is arguably the champion of good and positive times, and anthemic tunes. Their debut LP release HERE FOR NOW earlier last year is the epitome of all the may represent to their fans followers. Each tune is uplifting in sound, and positive in message, fun and playful enough to dance to, and heavy in bass enough to jump around; a perfect radio formula thats not dull or repetitive. Spanning multiple genres from drum n’ bass, future bass, hip hop, pop music, and more, Louis The Child decides to add 4 more tunes to the package. What is more is they decided to say SO WHAT, and released another tune 2 weeks following, but the message is too powerful to just brush off! SO WHAT of little problems, there is a life to live, cannot control anything, you are powerful regardless, so dance!
The doctor is in with another heavy dose of music. Footwork and juke artist emcee and producter, Splash DR comes through with an EP to follow up on his debut LP, THE KID LABOR. One big leap after another, the DR follows through with a whole 5 track footwork and juke instrumental. Bringing you DA CHI GUY, a cheeky spinoff to Super Marios Shy Guys antagonists, to reference the city of Chicago. Even more so is Splash DR’s move up to Zona Music for this release, these bigs steps are anything but shy, my guy! Talking with Splash DR for his debut LP release, he noted an inspiration into footwork culture to be in part to artists like Traxman. With the move to Zona Music, the DR now shares recognition under the same label.
Keeping similar qualities from his LP, Splash DR sticks to his jazz and soul inspired juke style on tracks like FASHO. A whole different energy from the introductory track, ironically named LAST PLACE, a personal favorite with its dark bassline and hip hop style. Giving off a fast paced urban, concrete jungle energy, mixed with some synth pop, juke style is ANOTHER DAY, which is coupled with a visualizer music video. CHILD holds title for most creative track with its vocal samples and cross genre inspired beat. The Splash DR Finishes off DA CHI GUY on a high note with HOLE, another jazzy, hip hop influenced footwork track. The whole EP keeps your mind and legs occupied at every hi hat, beat, snare and bassline, laced in classic and hip hop sounds. Check the full CHI GUY release on Zona Music Bandcamp and the visualizer below!
With a strong belief in manifestation, one can work hard through determination to make their dreams come true! Everyone needs a helping hand or guidance once in a while however, whether they are new or experienced. This is especially true when it comes to artistic creativity, an avenue Media Leeks shines bright in. Media Leeks is a growing media organization that aims to help startup artists and brands gain recognition and branch out their creativity. Through interviews and promotion, artist management & networking, creatives have the tools within their reach for optimal growth.
Media Leeks was founded by artist turned manager and A&R Rep Jerell Anthoni, to connect with upcoming brands, artists and and influential personalities. Growing up on the East Side of Chicago in Chatham neighborhood, Jerell was introduced to, influenced by and collaborated with many creatives that pushed him toward the direction he is in. Being an artist himself, many looked to him for advice, connections or some simple help in their ideas and projects, and that resonated with him. After a radio opportunity, Jerell finds a highschool friend, Raw, founder of Ruler Images, a visuals and photography brand, and started to create a vision to work and grow with the most talented independent creatives the world has to offer, and Media Leeks was born. Since its conception, its created a path for Jerell to connect to different cities and locations and iconic artists like Chanelle Tru, Prince Dre, Doodie Lo, Kidd Kenn and more from Chicago, and from New York, Tek & Fla$h and countless others.
Coming up through grassroots efforts, Platforms like Media Leeks is especially important for creatives looking to build an organic following. Coming up as an artist, Jerell is in the perfect position, with his knowledge and platform, to help with artists grow, creatively and expand; whether it is marketing, or improving upon a sound or idea, or connecting one with the right opportunities, ideas or networks. Through video interviews, artists have a chance to let their voices be heard and ideas come to light, as Jerell uses his platform to gather followers and fans. This not only opens doors for new artists for legitimate followers and experienced associates, but it opens up a community of artists that work with each other rather than compete with each other, whether you are a music artist, a writer, photographer, model, etc; and that is a growing ideal that Chicago is yearning for.
If you are not hated in some way, you probably never stood for something in life! The consistency Larcin has with his music can possibly create some envy to those around him. Coming out of a busy year in 2020, with multiple singles and a 15 track LP. that featured Wilhelm Duke, Lil Moe and Inca, Larcin has not shown a sign of stopping either! Recently he released HATED, following up on his singles ANALYST and ESCAPE from this year. The track itself is slow paced, but full of energy as larcin shows off his bravado in bars. “I got the vision, know its defining, no do not lie to me, tell me the truth. I been abusing, I pick and choose, the fight I don’t lose...” Sounds like he is only getting started with that energy and we are here for it!