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Showing posts from March, 2018

Rudy - No Time

God willing, each and every person birthed into this world will grow up. Some of us may reach an old age, some of us may be called home earlier than others - but, in some form or fashion, we all will grow older. 
It's a funny thing, the way our society perceives age. In some cultures, the elders are held to the highest esteem - for they are the ones with the knowledge and experience to hold true wisdom. While many in our society praise youth and the physical beauty associated with being young, it is only through the experience of living life that one learns about the world, and in turn, has the capability to learn about their own being. And still, we tend to look down upon those who have been blessed to experience a long, full life.
Perhaps it's because so many "old" people seem to live a life of regret, looking back on their youth with a mind full of "what ifs" and "should haves". While young individuals are rushing to reach maturity, not taking…

Raz Simone - "Your Hands" [prod. Antwon Vinson] (Video)

Often times in life, the hardest lessons to learn are the ones that lead to the greatest amount of personal growth and expansion. And, of course, it's always best to learn first hand, through experience, rather than through second hand story telling. Let's be honest, someone can drop knowledge on you time and time again but we, as humans, have a tendency to ignore that wisdom unless the Universe hits us with some personal experience. 
Regardless, on "Your Hands", Raz Simone takes it upon himself to share his experience with anyone willing to listen - not necessarily to benefit the listener, but to put into perspective his D.T.A. (don't trust anyone) mentality. 
Shortly after the release of "Your Hands", Raz tweeted the following: 
"I genuinely don't expect a thing from another person but betrayal. I still keep hope and love for everyone tho. More and more from afar."
While this may come across as a negative, pessimistic attitude, Simone ut…

Vee Skeeno - "Crucial" [prod. Sun Sidran] (Video)

Based on what we've seen and heard from Vee Skeeno so far in 2018, it seems apparent that the Hartford, CT-based artist is ready to make his biggest impact yet this year. 
The latest musical offering from Skeeno comes in the form of his Dr. Visuals-directed "Crucial" music video, which kicks off with the emcee sitting in front of a chess board. Talk about some meaningful imagery - deep in thought, looking both inspired and somewhat defeated, Vee appears to be contemplating what's next in his physical journey here on Earth. While shaped by his past and living fully present in the now, Vee Skeeno is also treating his life and career like a chess game - he's preparing for his future by thinking several moves ahead. 
I like how Skeeno manages to be come across as both sophisticated and ignorant throughout the video. Anyone who follows him on social media gets a glimpse of this with each post that goes live for the world to see. In "Crucial", we see a nicel…

Aaron Cohen - 'See Red' (Album)

Since first releasing Crack in 2012, Aaron Cohen has been blessing fans and potential fans alike with an ever growing catalogue of music. Whether he was releasing mixtapes, EPs, or dropping features on various InnerCityKid records, Cohen has allowed listeners to witness firsthand his growth as an artist. As such, he was giving those who chose to pay attention some insight into his evolving headspace on a personal level as well. 
Like many up and coming artists, Cohen has been faced with - and thrived through - a plethora of trials and tribulations that tested his will, drive and determination. Rather than giving in to industry standards or demands, or succumbing to the pressures of being an independent artist in a oversaturated online market, the New York by way of Seattle artist has managed to pave his own lane into the spotlight, staying true to his personal values and integrity in the process. 
After spending the better part of the last 7 years dropping well received mixtapes and …

Sol - "If You Don't Call" [prod. Teal Douville] (Video)

The first artist I ever wrote a blog post about was Sol, so his music has always held a special place in my heart. That was back in like 2012, for his still stellar "2020". 
Despite how much I enjoy "2020", it's safe to say Sol has been living his life since the release of that record. And, in doing so, his experiences have been helping him grow and evolve into himself as a spirit, a human being, and an artist. 
And that brings us to his latest release, the official music video for "If You Don't Call". The audio, originally dropped in November of last year, features relaxed production from Teal Douville and a smooth, almost effortless flow courtesy of Sol. Fittingly, the combination of the delivery and production give the track a vibe of acceptance, as if to sonically say that the world keeps turning no matter what connections fade. 
As Sol reflects on past relationships coming to an end, his lyrics showcase how he's come to terms with lettin…

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

Aaron Cohen kicked off March with the release of his latest album, See Red. In anticipation of the project, Cohen surprised fans and closed out February by giving "Hit You" the visual treatment. 
Allowing the Kemal-produced and Godbodywati-featured single to speak for itself, Cohen kept the video relatively simple. While the Omar Jones-directed flick includes some tripped out editing that adds a unique element to the "Hit You" experience, the video itself remains low-key. For the majority of the video, viewers witness Aaron, Wati and Kemal mobbing in a dark alley. Eventually, we see Wati and company in the daytime, taking the mobbing to the open streets. Again, the editing utilized certainly gives "Hit You" a nice twist, but Cohen apparently saw no need for any high budget, flashing lights, bells and whistles type of music video. 
Why? When you're making music like this, it's best to let it sit by itself without all the unnecessary distractions. 

Romaro Franceswa - "Chips" (feat. Warm Gun) [prod. Sango] (Video)

Seattle's hip-hop scene in general, and the Black Umbrella family in particular, has been proving to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to artistic and musical consistency. Hopefully you're familiar with Raz Simone by now, but Black Umbrella runs much deeper than the founder. 
On "Chips", Romaro Franceswa links with Warm Gun and Sango for a money hungry anthem. The record kicks off with Warm Gun's smooth crooning before Franceswa comes through with his versatile flow. Over the course of the record, Romaro switches up from laying his vocals to lacing Sango's production with a lively, nimble delivery. 
The Swim Team-directed visuals showcase Franceswa, Warm Gun and their people collecting stacks on stacks on stacks, by whatever means necessary. 
Peep Romaro Franceswa's "Chips" video below.  

Ceschi - "Serenading A Brick Wall"

The first time I saw Ceschi perform live was at my friend's art show in 2014. I'll never forget watching this guy sit in - and then stand on - a wooden chair, rocking the fuck out of an acoustic guitar while lacing the music with his thought provoking lyrics. 
I've been fortunate enough to catch the New Haven, CT native perform a number of times since then and each experience leaves my jaw on the floor. Man, as my mind takes a stroll down memory lane, I wish everyone could have seen the rockstar performance in his hometown when Broken Bone Balladswas released in March of 2015. 
When you remove the intense, high energy performances - which seem to always include ample crowd participation and involvement - and the beautiful music, you're left with Ceschi, the human being. Without question, this is one of the most humble artists I have ever had the pleasure of crossing paths with. And Ceschi also has an incredible story, one that includes a B.S. arrest, prison sentence (…

CrissB.amazing - Mended Heartbeats

If you thought CrissB.amazing was only good for turn up anthems or enlightened lyricism (strange combo, but homie has both on lock), then you're sleeping on the wolf. 
Since the start of 2018, we've heard a few new records from CrissB, including "Sense of Self (The FLex)", "CNote" and "Mood". Now, as he continues working on the various projects that are currently being cooked up, Bawrs lets loose a folder of unheard material. 
Mended Heartbeats reveals a more emotional side of CrissB, as the Hartford native takes listeners on a journey through love, lust and all the highs and lows that come along with the "L word". In addition to subject matter that veers from what may be expected, CrissB uses this project to flex his vocals, crooning and even rapping in a softer manner than usual. 
The change of pace came as an unexpected but well received surprise. I always appreciate seeing an artist push their boundaries and step out of what my be co…

Vee Skeeno - "Ghost in a Shell" (feat. Jaden Castro & The Sloth) [prod. KingNamedTutt]

Another one from Vee Skeeno, Jaden Castro and The Sloth, once again featuring production from KingNamedTutt. 
"Ghost In A Shell" has me floating, thanks to Tutt's spacey production. And I love the way the chill instrumental juxtaposes with the verses, as each artist lays their lyrics down with a fiery delivery. 
And you gotta love Sloth and Skeeno's outro. Talk that shit, fellas. 
I've said it before, but I really enjoy these three together on the same record. I know they are all working on their own thing right now, but a collective project from Sloth, Castro and Skeeno would be greatly appreciated and, in my opinion, very well received. 
Hit play on "Ghost In A Shell" below.