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Joey Batts - "Chris Farley" [prod. blckwndr] (Video)

I was first introduced to Joey Batts a handful of years ago and I enjoyed his music - clearly the dude knew how to string words together and cook up some entertaining tunes. At the time, however, Batts was running heavy with the now defunct Joey Batts & Them, an ensemble that featured a live band backing Joey's lyrics.

The band always presented a fun live show but the music was predominately tailored for a more family friendly, light hearted experience. Having gotten to know Batts more personally during the post-& Them era, I can reflect on that music and, while appreciating it for what it was, recognize it was never fully allowing Batts to embrace the full version of who he is. And, as a result, the music lacked the authentic rawness that has so clearly surfaced over the last couple of years.

When Batts called upon the top-shelf talent that came together to form UZOO in the winter of 2016, it felt like - from this blogger's perspective - that a transformation was tak…
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Vee Skeeno - "A Feeling" [prod. KingNamedTutt]

Vee Skeeno is a rare form of artist and it's difficult to capture exactly what factors allow for him to stand out so uniquely.

His content is personal, but a lot of artists come through with true-to-life stories and revelations in their music. Listeners get a range of emotions from Skeeno, but how many artists don't present different emotions throughout their tracks? He's a talented lyricist who can run the gauntlet as far as flipping his delivery based on the vibe of the record...but, again, that isn't a "unique-to-Skeeno" trait.

All that being said, when I listen to Vee Skeeno recite his prose, there is a certain energy and aura about the music that puts it in a league of it's own. And that's not even saying it's "better" or "worse" when compared to his contemporaries. It's just different and - speaking only from my perspective - it captures my attention in a truly idiosyncratic fashion.

The music Skeeno creates radiates…

Lan Amore - "Dreamcast" [prod. RUDY] (Video)

Gotta be honest - I hit play on this one because of the production credit but I have replayed and ran the record back a few times because of the overall wave of the complete package. 
Lan Amore's "Dreamcast" is a vibe, presented in a simultaneously simple yet complex product. The track, in it's entirety, is a wonderful workshop on duality - it's dark and uplifting, humble and self-assured, self-aware and lost in self-discovery. And Amore is hardly "rapping" in a fashion one may have come to expect a hip-hop artist to deliver their prose. "Dreamcast" flows like a casual stroll, more like a poet reading a poem than a rapper spitting a verse.
The light atmosphere created through the production serves as a form-fitting backdrop for Amore's content and delivery. Amore floats over RUDY's instrumentation with grace, picking up and slowing down his pace and flow to the beat pristinely. The low-budget, DIY energy of the visual only heightens t…

Review: ROY G. BV II

Exactly one year after the release of their first short film, the ROY G. BV crew returned to the Wadsworth Anthanum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT to reveal ROY G. BV II. A stark contrast to the original documentary, this time around the film had a much more personal feel to it, offering the audience an intimate look at the lives and minds of Joey Batts, Rudy and Bklyn Lo as they traveled to Nova Scotia.

Surrounded by both friends and strangers, Batts, Rudy and Bklyn sat amongst those in attendance as the film played, before taking the stage to thank everyone for coming out. Having amassed supportive circles and fan bases in their own right through music, videography and other endeavors, ROY G. BV II served as a means of telling the creators' personal stories while also providing onlookers with some deeper revelations on society, conditioning, fear, the process of creating art, and more.

While the original ROY G. BV was crafted in a very linear fashion, transitioning through the c…

Nate DAE - "Panther" [prod. Sandro]

Back in the days of #SFDotNet, Nate DAE was an artist I was covering pretty extensively. We had the pleasure of premiering some of his records on the site and shared a friendly relationship with the Jacksonville-based artist.

During my hiatus from the blogosphere, I lost a great number of my correspondence with different artists but there were a couple handfuls whose music I still kept close tabs on despite not actively writing about. Nate was one of those artists - and it's wild to see where his personal and artistic evolution has taken him over the short number of years since I was first put on to his music.

In 2017, Nate released his first full-length project, the well-recieved CALIFORNIA PSA. And today, Nate DAE is preparing for the release of his sophomore effort, Death By A Woman. Originally scheduled for an October release, the liberation of the project has been delayed but Nate made sure to hold his fans over with the recent release of "Panther", which serves as…

GRiZ - "It Gets Better" (feat. DRAM) / "Can't Get Enough"

Welp, it's about time you go into your closet and dust off those dancing shoes because GRiZ has returned from his self-imposed disappearing act and the tidal waves of vibes have crashed down upon us all.

Mmm...let's bask in it, baby.

After roughly a year taking necessary and well-deserved time to be with himself, the wildly talented artist surprised fans with the greatest of treats on Halloween in the form of two new records, both of which will unquestionably be on the receiving end of countless playbacks as listeners wait for whatever is coming next.

"It Gets Better" comes at a time when the world needs to be reminded of the power of love and acceptance perhaps more than ever. And the DRAM-assisted joint serves as a perfect anthem for anyone in need of some feel-good vibes and reassurance. True story: I woke up to "It Gets Better" this morning and I've been riding the waves of this ultralight beam since rolling out of bed. Between GRiZ's funky ins…

Aaron Cohen - "24" [prod. Kemal] (Video)

Since, like, forever it's been common place for hip-hop artists to call upon models to fill their music videos with an abundance of scantly clad sex appeal.

For his Maxime Ellies-directed "24", Aaron Cohen takes a different route. In a somewhat poetic fashion that is symbolic of his career path, Cohen is flipping the script on the common rap video trope, featuring a diverse collection of models who certainly don't look like those we've come to expect.

And Cohen's use of Wanted Models works so well on many levels, not the least of which is how captivating their appearance is without causing the viewer to focus solely on the curves or "assets". The models don't feed into some hip-hop stereotype nor do they detract from the artist's presentation. Instead, they add a new layer to the Kemal-produced "24", serving to accentuate the artistic atmosphere of Cohen's latest video - it's "artsy", but in a raw and authentic w…