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Showing posts from January, 2018

Raz Simone - "Around The Way" (feat. B-ragg) [Video]

While we're currently here on Earth, inhabiting these physical vessels, it is each individual's responsibility to be the architect for the life they desire. As such, one has the power to actively choose to manifest and live the life they want - whether an individual chooses to thrive and live in their light or succumb to the comfortable complacency of their darkness is solely that person's decision to make. But, based on the thoughts, words and actions you consciously or subconsciously decide to put out into the Universe, the Universe will return to you exactly what you send out. 
So take your power back. 
Far too often, people surrender their personal power to exterior forces - be it money, relationships, jobs, environment, dis-ease, etc. Despite all the "darkness" that seems to be taking up space around the world today, we are living in extremely auspicious times. And now, perhaps more so than ever, is the time for each and every being on this planet to take b…

Gifted Gab & Blimes Brixton - Come Correct [Video]

Ya'll...it's 2018. Probably time to stop referring to women who rap as "female rappers" or "femcees". OK? If you go to a restaurant and the head chef is a female, do you say your meal was cooked up by a "female chef" or that you're eating "female food"? Let's move past gender, race, religion and all those other illusions put in place to keep us divided. 
Bars are bars. Does not matter if they are coming from a female or a male - dope is dope, whack is whack. Let's focus on the music and not the private parts of the human fucking being supplying the content. Besides, your physical is just a vessel for your spirit, homie. Get yo' chakras right! We all gotta acknowledge and balance our masculine and feminine energies anyway...that's right, fellas - you got a little divine feminine in you, too. 
So respect it. 
This is a topic of conversation I feel rather passionate about. Not because I'm woke but because Rapsody ha…

Raz Simone - "Jose" (feat. Anthony Danza) [prod. Paul Judge] (Video)

If the last couple weeks are any indication, it would appear safe to presume the Black Umbrella family is ready to unleash an onslaught of content upon the masses this year. It became evidently more clear when, after dropping the cinematic "Clout", Raz Simone returned with two new videos in just about as many days. 
The first release came in the form of the Paul Judge-produced "Jose", a plug-feuled anthem accompanied by another Jacob Hill-shot visual experience. Filmed on location in Guadalajara, Mexico, "Jose" showcases Simone and Anthony Danza laying their fiery verses in all the places most tourists would be unable to visit. Apparently, someone in Black Umbrella knows the plug...
"To by my friend, I should make you have a wavier signed, 'Cause anytime I'm out, it could be danger, danger time"
In the heart and soul of cartel country, Simone uses the video to once again reveal and put on display just how "real" he is. As noted …

Warm Gun - "Nu Diamonds / Got Me Now" (feat. Emree Franklin) [Video]

If you've been following artists like Raz Simone or Sam Lachow - or a number of other Seattle-based artists - then you're most likely familiar with Brain "Warm Gun" Chinn. The multifaceted artist has become well respected for his ability to shine across the board in regards to the creation of music, whether he's producing, engineering, laying vocals or writing songs. Those familiar with Seattle's scene have no doubt seen Warm Gun's moniker attached to a track, record or video on numerous occasions.

Last year, Warm Gun let loose what is arguably his best collection of music to date, the 10-track Rare Candy. The project not only showcased the beautiful and original musical stylings of Chinn, it also put on full display his ability to craft a cohesive album that revealed intricate storytelling and well-thought out concepts. The fact it heavily featured Gun's Black Umbrella brethren certainly did not hurt Rare Candy either.

After giving the project plent…

DJ Snake - A Different Way (feat. Lauv) (Jake Crocker Remix)

After years of putting in work and honing his craft, it's been beautiful to witness Jake Crocker receive some well deserved recognition as of late, especially following the release of his official remix to Aluna George's "Turn Up The Love". Rather than sit around and bask in the limelight, it appears the Seattle-based artist has been hard at work making sure the momentum continues on strong this year. 
Crocker's latest release showcases his re-interpration of DJ Snake's Lauv-featured "A Different Way". The vibes are real on this hard-hitting, synched-up remix. 
As a listener who only got into electronic music over the last couple of years, I find myself often times being overly critical and a little less open minded than I'd like to be. But, credit where credit is due, Crocker smashed this joint. When a record allows me to lift from my physical body and feel the music moving me around the dance floor, it unquestionably gets my personal stamp of…

Zhero - Losing Our Mind is Fine (If You're Okay With It) [prod. Matthew Cyr]

Following the release of "Strawbridge" last month, Zhero once again links with producer Matthew Cyr for his latest drop, the captivatingly titled "Losing Our Mind is Fine (If You're Okay With It)". 
I'm absolutely loving the vibe of Zhero's work as of late, and I think it's safe to presume he's surrounding himself with the right people to keep the music progressing in the proper direction. It's different, but not in a "hey, look at me, I'm trying hard to be different" type of way. Rather, there's a fine balance of unapologetic realness and emotion that flaunt Zhero's authenticity - he has feelings and, thanks to the music, we get to experience, connect to, and relate to the young artist's feelings.  
The production and instrumentation throughout the record really sets the stage for the entire experience. As I play the track, I find myself getting lost in the vibes of the sonic backdrop, just sort of floating in the…

Raz Simone - "Clout" [prod. Anthony Danza] (Video)

Fresh off the heels of another trip around the sun, Raz Simone comes through with his first visuals of 2018. In typical Raz fashion, the Black Umbrella founder holds nothing back on "Clout", addressing a myriad of subject matter with a confidently calm yet simultaneously aggressive delivery.

Simone has always been one of my favorite artists to cover, thanks in large part to the layered presentation of his content. With "Clout", an essay could be composed on both the track itself and the accompanying video - while both seem almost overly simple upon first glance/listen, the song and video cover a lot of ground over the course of five and a half minutes.

The visuals are split between two backdrops - Raz being "studied" in a research facility and Raz rapping in the street.

The vibe of the production on "Clout" syncs up perfectly with the dreary, simple visual of Simone in the rainy streets...appropriately carrying a black umbrella. It's dark, …

Aaron Cohen - "Hit You" (feat. GODBODYWATI) [prod. Kemal]

It's wild to me that I've been listening to Aaron Cohen for damn near five years, jumping on the bandwagon right around the release of his 2013 project, Potential Fans. In some instances, being initially introduced to an artist with such a strong collection of music (Potential Fans was unanimously voted one of my old website's Top Ten Mixtapes of 2013) can make it hard for said artist to meet expectations with future releases. 
Fortunately, the NY-by way of -Seattle artist has continuously pushed his artistry to new levels with each release since Potential Fans. Also fortunately, Cohen has blessed his fans and potential fans with a v nice catalogue of music over the years. 
As his circle of peers gets smaller and his ability to create even more captivating music grows, Cohen is gearing up to drop a new project later this year. Following the release of the title-track late last year, "Hit You" serves as the second single off the upcoming, 12-track See Red. 
If yo…

Vee Skeeno - "Ravaged" [prod. Red The Chef] (Video)

Go Skeeno, go Skeeno, go!

Connecticut's Vee Skeeno released the track's audio a few months back but he closed out 2017 by giving "Ravaged" the visual treatment. The Red The Chef-produced record features personal lyrics delivered in an aggressively confident, in-your-face manner, juxtaposed with a catchy, sing-song of a chorus/hook.

The Cole Eckerle-directed music video showcases Skeeno around his hood, sometimes surrounded by his peers, sometimes surrounded by a group of younger children. It also follows a younger male walking and biking through the same neighborhood.

At the end of the video - spoiler alert - Vee Skeeno and the boy walk past each other, the video closing after Skeeno turns to look back at the child, his eyes revealing a sense of reflection and possible worry in regards to his own life and environment and that of the young male. Like all of us, Vee Skeeno was at one point the same age - and perhaps in the same situation - as the child he crossed path…

CrissB.amazing - "Mood" [Music]

There are a handful of artists from my home state that remind me of why I once dedicated so much time and energy to the blogosphere and those same artists no doubt heavily influenced my decision to return to the world of bloggity blog blogging. 
Enter CrissB.amazing, who hit me with a recent release, the aptly titled "Mood". 
The Hartford-based artist, who also performs as 1/2 of AQMNI and a member of UZOO, is currently cooking up ideas for a new project which will serve as his first solo release since 2015. "Mood" provides listeners with a small glimpse of what they can expect from Bawrs' upcoming album, although he is planning to flip the Duke Ellington sample into a longer version for the official release.
Experience CrissB.amazing's "Mood" below.  

Sam Lachow - 'Play/Pretend' [EP Stream]

I started listening to Sam Lachow back in 2012, right around the release of 5 Good Reasons, his collaborative EP with Raz Simone. It didn't take long for me to dive deep into the Seattle-based artists's previous releases and, for the duration of my previous writing stint, Lachow's music was some of my favorite to cover (peep my interview with Sam Lachow here). 
Over the years, I've thoroughly enjoyed witnessing Lachow's growth. Like any individual currently here in the physical form, however, Lachow has been faced with his fair share of personal demons - fortunately for his fans and family, the multifaceted artist has seemingly thrived through the hardships to reach a new peak of artistic and personal expression. 
After releasing a small handful of free projects, Lachow let loose the 15-track Huckleberry in 2014, his first "official" release. The album showcased the diverse nature of Sam's music, featuring both his "fun", upbeat party-orien…

Zhero - "Strawbridge" [prod. Matthew Cyr] [MUSIC]

A couple years ago, when I was writing for a different website, I was fortunate enough to cross paths with CT-based artist Zhero. Right off the jump, I was captivated by the ambiguous, prowrestling-esque storyline surrounding Zhero and his music/releases. Props to Albert for the introduction. 
Fast forward to today and that old website is a thing of the past (RIP). But, praise the musical Gods, Zhero is not only still here creating music, he's managed to grow in regards to his artistry, touching on new waves sonically with his latest release, "Strawbridge". 
Granted, I am/was a big fan of Zhero's "rap" music, but I've got an invite to a super kick party for anyone telling dude to "rap more". Let Zhero create whatever his heart moves him to create...and I'ma be here enjoying the ride he takes listeners on. With "Strawbridge", Zhero croons over a fairly stripped down track, which leaves plenty of room for his vocals to breathe. Ba…

Great Dane - "A Million Cents" / "Without You (Spooky Black Bootleg)" [MUSIC]

According to the reposts on my SoundCloud, I was introduced to the musical offerings of Great Dane over a year ago. But, for all intents and purposes, I'm considering my reintroduction to his music this week to be the official crossing of paths for my ears and his sounds.

And what a glorious encounter it has been thus far. As my friend who put me on to Great Dane so eloquently put it: "he makes really lovely, soft melodies that you can just float to and then he'll create something that's pure filth". Not much is left to be said, as she hit the nail on the head - Great Dane has a collection of music out there for your listening pleasure that covers a wide range of vibes. Again, in her words, "he definitely doesn't box himself in." As someone who tends to enjoy more ambient electronic music, with a touch of "filth" thrown in, Great Dane is/was precisely what I've been searching for.

The Fullerton-based artist has a decent catalogue of t…

On this day we become legendary...

As an avid proponent of all things Kanye West, people frequently ask me why I'm such a strong supporter of Mr. West - both the man and his music. I'm sure someday I'll share a long, wordy response...but until then, this video pretty much encapsulates how Kanye has influenced my life and why I speak so strongly in favor of the man, his beliefs and his music:

...Could you do a lil som...Somethin' beautiful, somethin' that the kids is gon' love?

I used to write for a website that covered music - it was one of the most fulfilling projects I've ever been associated with. Lately, I've been sitting with the idea of launching something new that would allow me to do what I used to do while also expanding and pushing the self-imposed boundaries that existed with the previous project.

Until this new idea is fully developed and manifested, I decided to create a discount rack version of a website using Blogger. Basically, dopeness is what i like the most will be utilized as an outlet for whatever I feel like sharing - an online diary, of sorts. You might see some music shared or covered, there might be some random musings, possibly some more in-depth glimpses into my headspace and/or my heart space...tbh, I don't know what will be shared here or when it will be shared. But, rest assured, it will be "dope"...

Why?

Because Yeezy taught me. *rocket ship emoji*