New Chicago hip hop recording artist Chris K breaks onto the scene with his debut album, SUMMIT. A short but impactful 7 track record, Chris K finds melodies and pockets he can belt with a slight contemporary glaze of vocal effects. Peppering in rap verses over hard hitting but uplifting, spritely, hip hop beats. Summit is a solid introduction to Chris K who we project being in the game for a long time to come!
Starting off the record with a hit in SOUL FOOD, Chris K has a natural knack for crafting pop composition. “Sunday evening comes around I’m serving soul food,” Chris K sings in a run as he goes into the hook. He clearly has been singing for a while, and his skills already ahead of his peers. NEVER ENOUGH is a slightly darker track about being unsatisfied, and wanting more in the game of life. You can hear influences of Drake, Chris Brown, and Big Sean in this record, a solid follow up to the intro.
JIMI VIBES is a song about being unique and standing out. “’Cause I’m a modern day Hendrix, I don’t blend in, you know I don’t mess with you motha fu**as. Because you only made tension, my nights long, make ‘em never wanna end it, Jimi Vibe…” Chris K definitely separates himself with this record hitting fast sing rap flows in and out of his hook.
STUNT LIKE THIS is a hard track that will have you head bobbing to the beat, and his rap flows. Chris K really channels Ty Dolla $ign on this song with the hook. “She like me better when I stunt like that, how long it’s been like where the sunlight at? She said why you roll a blunt like that? Wonder how I make you cum so fast?” WHAT IM SAYIN. is a personal favorite of the record, without giving away anything about this song, just go bump this hit! Best melodies and flows on this particular track.
SUMMIT is the title track on the 7 piece record. Hitting high pitched flows, and keeping the melody hopeful and light, Chris K paints a bright future for his career and life. “I could climb a mountain if I wanted, now I’m the one that’s looking down from summit.” LETTERS TO HOMETOWN wraps the project up with a positive vibe about chasing your dreams, leaving your home behind to achieve greatness, but not forgetting where you came from.
Moonlight levels up with his latest release, his 3rd EP packed with 4 tracks! Coming from Chicagoland area Moonlight can consider himself a promoter in unison with hip hop artist & producer, having helped with festivals with Ever Evolved. He also had this 3rd EP mixed in Ever Evolved Studios with RhymSter, and produced entirely by TurnitUp Kev, with Orlando Coolridge on the cover art. The 4 song project, ASCENSION is available on Bandcamp to purchase as well as Spotify and Youtube.
Starting with I DON’T KNOW WHY lays out the unfortunate circumstances of fatal drug use, as most mainstream hip hop tends to promote it, it is commendable to promote the opposite, and open minds to opportunity! MAGIC KINGDOM follows with a melodic guitar intro before the beat drops and Moonlight chimes in, rapping about the longing of significant other, at odds with an internal conflict, a deep and sentimental tune. RELEASE sounds and feels like a dream state at the intro, Moonlight enters with, “smoking on trees, you don’t know me, releasing my demons they leave as I breath. Achieving my peace wasn’t easy, Stuck to my guns…” Moon gets introspective in this track, connecting with the listener through his own coping mechanism and perspective! ROLLIN the perfect end to the ASCENSION, on a good note and high energy, literally, “Breakin it down, rollin it up, we Rollin!Smokin’ all night smokin’ on good, We chokin’!” That Would be a fun one to chant live.
Once again channeling the great auto tune crooners of the new wave era, Pharroh Afternoon details a string of interactions, heart aches, and heart breaks in his latest single, LOVE LETTERS. The melodies and runs he hits in this song make for an emotional ballad something reminiscent of Speakerknockerz, Drake, Future, Young Thug, Chris Brown, and Isaiah Rashad. Pharroh Afternoon uniquely blends his influences into a fresh sound and style, be on the lookout for the next big thing coming out of Chicago Illinois!
“She would let it go by the end of the night, some of these decisions that I’m making ain’t right. She was trying to cut me off like a light, but I can’t let her walk out of my life… Cause girl I need you by my side,” sings Pharroh Afternoon before leading back into the 2nd refrain. The song alludes to toxicity within the relationship yet still wanting each other regardless of past infractions. The song describes a type of relationship many of us can relate to, especially being young, ambitious men, and most certainly that of bachelors. Pharroh Afternoon opens up a more intimate side of his music and lyricism with “Love Letters”.
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!