The long anticipated LP DEAD BY DAWN by YOUNG XAV has been received and it is bigger than expected! In the works since the release of his debut LP AFTER DARK, it is an extension of the 1st, completing the journey we are living vicariously through YOUNG XAV. Being teased with singles like WAYS TO DIE, MANIA FREESTYLE and KISS KISS BANG BANG, and interviews with the Ever Evolved platform and others alike, foreshadowing concepts and genres. There is a bit of something for everyone in DEAD BY DAWN, leaving each listener with a piece of his life within every song!
Earlier in YOUNG XAV’s music journey he was more centered on hip hop styles in his production and his lyricism, dabbling in R&B whenever. Making a decision to explore other sounds following his MANIA FREESTYLE, with his style, it seemed like it was bound to happen. Leaning towards more instrumentals, YOUNG XAV fittingly dips into more rock influences, without abandoning hip hop altogether of course. He balances it smoothly back and forth throughout DEAD BY DAWN in between other styles, creating a diverse and highly entertaining LP, there is no dull moment, despite its length at 13th tracks!
Introducing us with its title track DEAD BY DAWN, with a 80’s dark, electro synth-pop, Stranger Things vibe, featuring Aanjoulique on vocals, creating a mystifying energy. YOUNG XAV enters firing with a prelude as the beat switches up: “If I should die tonight, best believe i lived my best one, if I should die tonight please reflect on all my words, if I should die tonight please my momma love her tell my father… tell my brother…” Opening strong he keeps the energy going with ONCE UPON A TIME, keeping up the heavy hip hop bass. He then switches it up and dials down to something different and personal!
Continuing with a jazzy selection, the LIFE & TIMES OF XAVIER ROBERT opens up with soothing horn instruments and grand piano, as if in a 1920’s speak easy, leading you into the happenings of YOUNG XAV’s mind in his verses. The production of this track in particular sets it apart from the rest of the album, but is not the exception to its diversity. The following title, PLAY PRETEND keeps a similar melancholic energy, as XAV sings over acoustic guitar. Just the introduction of the full LP shows you how far YOUNG XAV has come as he has grown as an artist since his debut LP in 2019 and earlier releases. Whether he continues on this path or not, we are forever grateful for the talent we have been able to experience through him and look forward see what YOUNG XAV has planned next!
Sports and music are heavily intertwined mediums that permeate the fabric of our modern world. Specifically, basketball and hip hop appear to have a more intimate connection than most. In Chicago, we at Ever Evolved have put together a compilation record for your summer listening pleasure called, LEAGUE CHAMPS. A lot of us hit road blocks in our athletic endeavors but now when it comes to Chicago music and beyond, we are the championship team. Ever Evolved and its affiliates have been pushing the forefront of the independent music market for years now. And it is all led up to moments like these, becoming the League Champs.
Fully produced, recorded, engineered and mastered completely in house; much done by the co-founder head engineer RhymSter himself, LEAGUE CHAMPS is a 26 track LP, including a documentary, skits and more special content soon to come, that will surely pique your interest in one facet or another. LEAGUE CHAMPS includes appearances from RhymSter, Keem Singing, Hayward, Ivan L, BeatrixKiddo, CantBuyDeem, C-Mac, Ben Rose, Nate Broskii, Kidd of OTKST Society, Essse, Orlando Coolridge, DJ Hunt, DJ Curt Henny, JaiTheArtist, J-Bose, and William Bolanos.
Track 1 is an introductory record with a sports-like announcer voice over done by William Bolanos promoting the album of LEAGUE CHAMPS. A well done rendition of that vocal style for announcements. Track 2 is HANG UP, which features a voice over from DJ Curt Henny about a situation where someone is getting sent off at the studio. A typical Chicago type of scenario. “Why’d you hang up on me?” And “You didn’t text me back!” are said repeatedly over a dope instrumental containing a sample of a female singer.
BABY LEG is track 3 on the LP, it is a collaboration between CantBuyDeem and Rhymster, with CantBuyDeem on the hook, and then they split two verses. BABY LEG is a vibey track with strong lyrics from the two Chicago rappers. Essse and Keem Singing composed a surprisingly beautiful melody in GO CRAZY track 4 with the refrain lyrics reading, “Baby, can you fly away with me? Maybe, cause we not the same, we go crazy, every night and day my head crazy, but I’ll be OK!!” Track 5 is a Ben Rose production, INCOMPLETE, another surprise on LEAGUE CHAMPS is that you will hear sophisticated, and banging, heavy metal music!
Track 6 is a BeatrixKiddo song called ITS A VIBE, you never heard energy from her like this before on previous kiddo beats, and it is a favoritefrom her so far! Track 7 Interlude 2 is the 1st intermission of the LP featuring another VO from William Bolanos, and the artists who were on the first few records screaming shouts of joy in the background. Track 8 is a trifecta collabos between RhymSter, JaiTheArtist, C-Mac, and Keem Singing. “It’s the way your body moves when the songs on,” sings Jai, with Keem coming in with a complimentary “Shake it for me, shake it for me” and a guest verse in the latter half of the track by RhymSter, referencing Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker, Santana, Dusk Till Dawn, Salma Hayek, Desperados, and Missy Elliot all in one verse.
The next track cuts in immediately with lyrics from RhymSter saying “I made a milli by lunch, life can be great when you live how you want.” A nice lyrical chop by Rhymster on track 8, LUNCH BREAK, with JaiTheArtist bringing in a solid verse as well. SMELLING LIKE THE UNIVERSE, is another strong collab, featuring C-Mac, Cockykidd, Rhymster, and company. The C-Mac line, “You cant have a life if you not really living,” stands out as the main theme from this record. ESTRELLA is definitely a favorite from League Champs, a house record produced by Orlando Coolridge, featuring lovely ambient vocals from Keem Singing. J-Bose comes in on track 11 GET THE DUCK OUT, a superfluous record with amazing chopping and vocal inflection from the Busta Rhymes, Busdriver-like rapper singer. This track has insane energy and flow, highly recommended.
APOLLO is a powerhouse, 2 rapper collabos between Hayward of B.B.E. and RhymSter of Ever Evolved. You will want to bump this track for the hard lyrics, paired with the flow and the beat. A hype song live as well! Next on the super LP is another Ben Rose production, SABRETOOTH TIGER, which reminds a lot of Dragonforce’s, THROUGH THE FIRE AND FLAMES, speed and instrumentation. CantBuyDeem featuring Essse show up with another record in KEEP A WHISTLE. A really fun, incredibly catchy tune with memorable lyrics from the Chicago heavyweights. CantBuyDeem references queso, pesos, cucumber in the water, no Faygo, in the beginning of the record, and that string of lines hits so hard.
BESOS is the next track on League Champs which is a progressive house record with a high pitched vocal sample that only a few might recognize. MY ENTOURAGE flips the famous Eminem and D12 MY BAND melody brilliantly, with Keem Singing at the helm of that record. LAY UP is a strong collab between CantBuyDeem and BeatrixKiddo, who make multiple appearances on League Champs! A major part of League Champs is the Chicago to South Florida connection, thanks to Ivan L Rhymes Well. This record DIS MY SONG features impeccable verses from Rhymster and Ivan L with a flawless hook from Keem Singing. A video is out to this now on YouTube shot by Hayward of B.B.E.
SKIP A BEAT is another super collab on League Champs between CantBuyDeem and Keem Singing. Hayward shot the video to this joint as well, while the Ever Evolved family traveled to South Florida for shows earlier this year. PAIN OR PLEASURE is a Ben Rose production featuring vocals for Essse, who also doubles as a versatile rock and heavy metal vocalist, incredible song. REPEAT begins hilariously as you can hear Hayward continually tell CantBuyDeem to do the hook on the record. A bumping track that will surely have you giggling from hilarity. The theme of REPEAT has to do with the repetition of the rapper lifestyle, to keep it from becoming monotonous we must make dope tracks about it.
BOOTY CALL ends the LP with a low bass voice over on a house record that will have you dancing and vibing out wherever you are listening to it. DJ Hunt has a special extra exclusive mix attached to League Champs Vol. 1 as well, look out for that during the related content campaigns surrounding League Champs. In the last interlude, William Bolanos explains that there will be a billboard on Cermak and Racine, with all the colorful bobble head characters part of the Leauge Champs compilation record. This was done by graphic designer and artist Amanda MacMillan.
Are there any other independent recording artists that put themselves on a billboard in their own city? It is a special one, and it is encouraged everyone reading this to go see it when it is up and completed. Ever Evolved continues to push the envelope in the indie music market based in Chicago Illinois. Chicago is notorious for negativity and hatred in the hip hop scene and culture, but that is disproven over and over again by the collective of Ever Evolved and all its affiliates. Independent people, creating a true civilian based entertainment industry.
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!
Coming across another Chicago artist that takes lyrical content and flow to the next level. Blac Samurai, focuses greatly on lyrical content more so than he does the production on his tracks, however the beat is equal in quality; it just caters to, or emphasizes the words. Armed with a few singles and an EP, Blac Samurai also recently released a full length album called COMPENDIUM. Now with that title, you can tell this artist owns a dictionary, and does not mess around with his words.
Once the beat drops you instantly get that old school, boom bap vibe on the first opening track PLAY ME CLOSE. Blac Samurai was looking for an old school and alternative sound and he nails it, with the balance between old and contemporary styles throughout COMPENDIUM. His next track, U WANT, sounds more modernized, with trap influenced beats, bass and hi hats, snares, but still heavy on a lo-fi ambient energy. This will be the consistent theme throughout the LP, you can comfortably play it out without disrupting its own flow.
Samurai notes that this COMPENDIUM is an album that has taught him patience, evidently from his lyrics in MASK. “Why do you continue to hide these emotions, how can you understand someone else when you never understood yourself, have you ever asked for help?… How do you really feel? Just take off the MASK…” Followed by a beautifully sung verse within the same idea, and a commentary that goes even deeper within the lines of self understanding. KELLY ROWLAND really captures the Notorious BIG 90’s R&B essence, and some Pusha T within DNA and HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW INTERLUDE, with some A$AP Rocky inspiring tracks like KNOW THAT and BRAND NEW on some acid rap. As those artist come to inspire Blac Samurai, he establishes his own flow, style and energy with COMPENDIUM, the full 12 track album is a good one to put on repeat; and he really saves the best one for last, with the smooth jazz hip hop vibes, rightly named WILL BE CROWNED.
The potential of human beings is only limited by their minds, and one in particular, Ryan Hayward Macmillan, is taking his to its limits! The Midwest artist from Michigan came to Chicago at the age of 20 to pursue his passions, which turns out to be a long list. The multi-talented artist takes it upon himself to perfect videography, directing, production, engineering, recording and even acting! Now that is a lot of potential.
Recently, Hayward finished a music project, produced by himself, with the help of Ignit Ronriguez on the single, DO ME LIKE THAT. Dubbed BLUES IN RHYTHM, the playlist runs through relaxed, Lo-fi production, with R&B influence; similar to the WEEKND. With lyrics expressing melancholic states of minds, many of the songs regard a relationship with someone significant. All ready for the release of a music video for TRYNNA DO, keep on the lookout for more projects by this Beat Box Entertainment mogul.