Drew T announces Smoke Signals in the Clouds which will release on May 20th, 2018Read More
On October 28th, Drew T released his newest gem with Gore, and right in time for Halloween. The beat was crafted on the 27th, and released the very next day. The beat has no vocalists on the track, and is intended to be open for artists to freestyle over in light of the Haloween season.
The track is the first release from Drew T in nearly 6 months, who has silently been working on his latest project, which is anticipated to come out in early 2017. The project details will be released in November 2016.
You can listen to the track below,
And let Drew T what you think of the beat on Twitter @DrewT513
JohnNy U is back, and doing his thing in his brand new video 1 N Only. With classic New York Production mixed with an ill flow and harsh lyricism, JohnNY U on 1 N Only creates a unique vibe. He has a strong hook combined with good verses that combine to leave a track that has mass repeat value. Make sure to check out the video below, as well as JohnNY U on twitter: @JohnNY_UniteUs
Also, tweet me and tell me what you think of the track and video. Let's keep the conversation going: @DrewT513
AC Fresh is back at it again with a track that is just as fresh as his last name. "Lotta Hoes" is the standard track that could take over radio play moving forward across the US. From Cincinnati, Ohio AC Fresh is a relatively young artist, but isn't new to the game by any stretch. With over 12,000 Twitter Followers AC has made his rounds and paid his dues in terms of music, and the hard work is starting to pay off. Lotta Hoes which just got released today at 3 PM EST is a turn up song about just that. Hanging out with lots of girls. But it also plays with a very interesting touch of irony. If you know AC, you know he works way too hard. Which would lead me to believe that his time for girls is on the low lately. So it may be a stab at the music scene and how the turn up vibe is lately in popular music.
For more on AC Fresh follow him on twitter - @theACFresh
And let me know on twitter what you think. Lets talk music - @DrewT513
It’s a dark evening in a Long Island suburb in New York. A water balloon flies through the air and shatters against the driveway outside of a home. A group of guys run back inside the house that the balloon came from. The man who shot the balloon, won a Grammy last year. The 24 Year Old Jon Bellion is one of the most unique and unknown upcoming producers today. Don’t believe me? Let’s talk numbers. Under 100,000 Twitter followers, seems low right? How about 128 Million views. Not enough? What about 365 Million?
Jon Bellion is a high school all conference basketball player that dropped out of college and still produces from his parent’s home which he just built a brand new studio in the basement of. Yet his lyrics and production have graced the airwaves across the globe in a big way on songs like Trumpets from Jason Derulo and Monster from Rihanna and Eminem. That’s great right? But who cares. Producers never get any credit right? But what about a producer who’s also an artist?
49.8 Million views on a song as a feature artist seems pretty big right? Bellion featured on a song with Zedd called Beautiful Now. So how is his best individual song only topping out at nearly 4 Million views? Because Jon Bellion doesn’t want to be a superstar.
“I don’t wanna show the world my life all the time. I don’t wanna owe the world a selfie, or owe the world anything. I did this because I love making music. I just love making music.”
Jon Bellion doesn’t want to have millions of fans, or have to be a superstar. Yet his production and writing is skyrocketing to the top of the charts, and his solo projects are some of the most infectious songs I’ve come across. Described as Dilla meets Pixar, his latest project The Definition is the perfect blend of pop and hip-hop, and doesn’t feature any other producers. It also doesn’t feature a single 808.
This won’t be another article about checking it out though. In fact, I’d rather you didn’t. Like Wu-Tang’s album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, I’d prefer that you let all Jon’s artistry and skill remain unique for only a few to hear. Don’t let Jon become famous.
Do any of you enjoy Jon's music? Let's Keep the conversation going on twitter. @DrewT513
Scrolling through my Soundcloud feed each day can either be a drone of single songs that either perk my ears a bit, or make me work harder. In stumbling across Truth Be Told, Jane Handcock's smooth voice filled my ears with silky jams. Handcock reminds me a bit of the Female Bryson Tiller. The beats on the project Truth Be Told however are a little more upbeat and a little more happy sounding then Trap-Soul, but aren't too far away. But this isn't a relation of projects. Handcock represents a new wave of artists who work behind the scenes before making their own personal debuts. I'd put her in the Ty Dolla Sign, James Fauntelroy wave in regards to that. But her style on Truth Be Told is very unique. Reigning from Oakland, the smooth, soft production is contrasted with strong hard drums and is complimented by Handcocks strong vocal performance. My favorite track on the project is Nina's Blues which puts Handcock in a poetry setting and shows her performing for a guy who doesn't end up going to the show. She talks about how she's infatuated with this guy who is then leading her to drink more then usual. Obliviously the guy doesn't love Handcock the way that she feels about him. This deep story is complemented by a mellow instrumental that is driven by the drums and has incredible replay value. As if you needed any other reason to listen to the project by Handcock below, she's worked with a bevy of great artists and producers including Justice League, Vinylz, James Fauntelroy, Big Krit, 1500 or Nothin, Keke Palmer and the Social Experiment. Handcock is what's next in terms of RNB so make sure to brush up now rather then later.
As always, let's keep the conversation going on Twitter. What do you think of Jane Handcock and Truth Be Told? Let me know and let's talk about it.
Joe Da Pro released Social Rehab to the world on February 10th 2016 which a hosting coming from DJ Noize. The Project released via Soundcloud.com as well as Datpiff.com. The album is a smooth project that combines rhythmic and vocal samples with smooth sounds and hard drums. The project talks about females, and Joe's struggle with relationships along with a bevy of other topics. He uses lyricism that touches on the surface as well as the next level combined with a certain level or realness and relatibility. Canis Major holds down a strong percentage of the production on the project with Taz Taylor grabbing two placements on the project himself. Social Rehab has the common ground of planes and a flight, and a lot of the tracks begin with the sound of a plane taking off or landing. This is something I felt was a real weak tie during the album and could've been left out. The beats on the project are strong, and have something that both the golden era hip-hop head can love as well as the current hip-hop crowd can love. Joe Da Pro brings quality lyrics and realness on Social Rehab and a unique vocal performance which combines a few different artists. You can listen to the project below via Joe Da Pro's soundcloud as well as download for free via the link to datpiff below.
As always, Tweet me what you think of the project and let's keep the conversation going.
If you scorned the Internet to find this post, you probably watched Kanye West's live Yeezy Season event via Tidal on the Thursday before The Life of Pablo dropped. Myself, I couldn't care less about the fashion. As a college kid with barely enough money to buy a Yeezy sock, I think the style and simplistic approach to clothes is a great idea, but extremely over priced when it comes to clothes. But I'm getting off-topic. I put the stream on and put my phone in my pocket. I stayed up till midnight Thursday waiting for an ITunes drop so I could pay my 15 dollars to listen to TLOP on my 4 hour bus ride at 7 the next morning. But the drop never came. Over the weekend I checked ITunes periodically and was astounded Sunday night to find that the album never dropped on iTunes. So with that aggravation, I write this article that will entail every single thing that Kanye West did wrong in regards to The Life of Pablo.
1. Late Drop
Blame Chance if you want Kanye, and don't get me wrong, I appreciate the extra tracks. But it takes away from the drop to hold it for extra days and looks extremely unprofessional. It no doubt lost millions of streams through frustration and people illegally downloading the live rip.
2. Not Available for Purchase
Hows Kanye going to claim he's 53 million dollars in debt and then put an album out with no option to purchase? He must be doing Jay a major favor by only releasing it on Tidal, but he's no doubt missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars by not allowing people like myself to buy he album and "Support Kanye Ideas"
3. Low Lights and Highlights are too low on the tracklist
Low Lights is arguably the most gospel song in the album through and through besides possibly Ultra Light Beam. I feel like the album slowly twists away from being a gospel album as you near the end with FML and Wolves, so why break up the two most gospel songs on the album? Highlights fits perfectly behind Low Lights. Here's my album lineup to this point
1. Ultra Light Beam 2. Low Lights 3. High Lights 4. Father Stretch My Hands 1 5. Pt. 2
I love the hook, the outro, and the concept of this song. But Kanye West nearly ruined the song for me with the verses. In all honestly he only had about 4 lines per verse and repeated a line in almost both verses. Kanye I just expected more for you to delay the album for this one song... Please don't turn in to DJ Khaled.
5. Move Real Friends
FML is when he album starts to take a dark turn, and I don't understand why real friends cuts off the dark vibe that Wolves and FML share. So either switch FML and Real Friends or Wolves and Real Friends. Instead the two small dark bumps, make it one dark swing down that is brought back out near the end to contrast the light that is portrayed at the beginning of the album with Ultra Light Beam and (in my version) Highlights
6. Silver Surfer Intermission
Would anyone who thinks this intermission has a purpose or should remain on the album raise their hand? I literally skipped this track every time I've listened to the album besides the first time. It has no purpose and leaves no general impression on the album. Pointless. Cut it. (Which I did from my listening regimine)
7. 30 Hours second "verse"
Okay Kanye what the fuck? Who mumbles for an entire verse on a track that has Andre 3000 on the hook. Did the actual verse get lost and Kanye was like "Fuck it, just play the ad-libs" Just cut the record short. Although, quick fix, gimmie a 3000 verse on he remix and it's all good.
8. The Artwork
Kanye West. Self-Proclaimed Artist and Fashion "God." Why in the world is the cover of this album what it is? The concept of the album is choosing a life. One that follows god or the light, and one that falls into the vices of the darkness. This is really obvious on the cover where it says choose one and theres some church going people and a woman with a fat ass. But the orange and black type? Peter De Potter did that artwork, and I understand what Kanye was going for here, I've seen the conceptual pictures, but this is the worst cover for a conceptual album I've ever seen. Here's some more artwork for the album that I feel would better represent the concept for the album:
With all of this said, I really do like this album and appreciate it's place in the world. I don't agree with some of Kanye's ways of handling the rollout, but I do respect him for the message behind the album, because it really is a message that people need to hear. Choosing between darkness and light is something that the world and people make daily so it's great to see Kanye address this on such a grand scale. Kanye if you're reading this, hit the gmail, let's make your next album the greatest of all-time. I hate burning bridges before I get to them, and I'm not trying to do that here. I'm simply trying to give constructive criticism.
But what'd you think? Tweet me and let me know what you thought about the album and some of these points i've brought up and we'll keep the conversation going.
Fonzse on Concious Decisions leaves a lot vocally left to be desired. At times he seems hesitant and almost cautious or unsure of his rhymes on the project. But that doens't mean that the project isn't dope in itself. UK Hip-Hop is usually very soulful in the production and Conscious Decisions is no exception. Adim controls the production which really stands out on the project. Fonzse's subject matter on the project is very relateable for most musicians and is all about working towards being the best person he can, as well as the best artist. The project hails from Nottingham, and is inspired heavily be 90's Era Hip-Hop. Conscious Decisions talks about a lot of fighting between two earlobes and is the type of project that usually follows a long bus ride from place to place. The project isn't supposed to drop until March, 7th but is on Bandcamp now for at least streaming. So make sure to take a listen and keep up on Fonzse who has a quality future coming for him if he can continue to improve as an artist.
Top Dawg Entertainment released a mysterious instagram post this week with a whiteboard that outlined the 2016 Album Plans for TDE who obliviously have been working hard. Not only have all 6 TDE artist been working on albums, but they also have two John Doe artists working on albums, just waiting for the right moment. Meaning 8 tenative albums coming from TDE in 2016. So with the world entering the final month of the first quarter of 2016, it didn't surprise me to find out that we'd be getting a TDE release sometime soon. However, I was suprised to find out that Kendrick was the first sacrifice to the world in 2016 from TDE. It's been 12 days shy of a year that we've had To Pimp a Butterfly and I still find people on the internet saying the album is trash in a time when the world needed TPAB the most. But this isn't time to review that, it's time to look ahead.
Spotify tipped TDE's hand today as they have in the past, by putting the Album and Tracklisting on Spotify before the actual release. From the looks of the tracklist, it would appear that the album is cuts that missed To Pimp a Butterfly, but were played at various shows on TV by Kendrick. Like the cut from the Colbert Report that sent the internet into a frenzy trying to find the track.
The title Untitled Unmastered is a clever play on words to the anticipated live album that could theoretically not be mastered, as well as Kendrick's take on Black Heritage and slavery, especially after the controversy with which his grammy performance yielded in the following days.
The cover of Untitled Unmastered also looks a lot like the cover of Depression Cherry by the group Beach House, who if you didn't know, made the song Silver Surfer, which provided the sample for Kendrick's hit song off his debut album, Money Trees. Coincidence between the two? Doubtful.
Keep the conversation about Kendrick Lamar's upcoming release Untitled Unmastered going in the comments below, as well as by mentioning me on twitter @DrewT513 and let's talk about what we expect come the drop.
Conflicts is Laparo's independently written, recorded, and produced R&B Love song. The song is a love song about the Conflicts within a relationship. It's really a song split into two parts, one of which is a smoother portion lead by the synths and sounds, and the second part of the track being lead by the drums and breakdown. Take a listen to Conflicts and let Laparo know what you think of the track, as he will be watching. And always, let them know DrewT513.com sent you.
You can follow Laparo on Twitter @Laparo94
Incredible Heat Machines is the first release from a group of producer BSTFRND and artist/poet Robalu. The album incorporates a couple different vibes, and the first and most prominent being space. From the stars on the cover of the album, Soluh! wants to take this album out of this world and time. The two met in college in Richmond, Virginia and built the group from there. They have both worked independently on their crafts, BSTFRND releasing his own independent projects and Robalu writing poetry and rapping via many different outlets. Robalu on the album channels inspiration from a wide variety of artists of the time. I'd compare his flow to Ab-Soul meets Childish Gambino with a splash of Kendrick Lamar. This creates a very unique flow and vibe from a rhyme standpoint on the album. The album is written in memory of Robert Earl Gibson Sr. who is commemorated most commonly on The Departure. The Albums aura is mystical and rhyme infested with metaphors taking over and dominating a smooth solid productional album from BSTFRND. My only critique would be that I wish the Rhymes were a touch louder. But it's a great product overall and well worth the $10 they're selling it on Bandcamp and Itunes for. Show this new group some love and let 'em know DrewT513.com sent you.
Musashi Xero's gruff voice infects your ears in his new project 25 Years Somethin over smooth and unique P3RIPH3RAL production. The record is a lot about the struggles Xero goes through as a young man struggling to continue pushing forward while working as a rapper. He mentions a lot of different vices during the record including women, drinks, and more. The Gruff vocal performance by Xero is a sharp contrast from the production and this creates a very unique project as a whole. "Sip" is the best track on the record, with the head nodding production leading the record forward, while Xero continues to vocally show off. The mixtape is available for free, so make sure to at least take a listen.
At 21, Enoch Da Prophet has a 3 track EP here that compares a lot to the top of the underground game at the moment. Demo Tape sounds a lot like just that. The Project sounds like something that would be pitched to some labels trying to sell Prophet as an artist. While the tape doesn't show a lot of diversity, it does use samples to really take a different turn when it comes to sampling. "Rap Dreams" the opening track is the best of the three on the project, and sounds like a sample Just Blaze would want to get his hands on. Enoch Da Prophet comes from Duval County in Miami Flordia, and I made sure not to mention that until now, because the music sounds nearly nothing like what you'd expect from the Miami underground community. The beat on Rap Dreams reminds me a lot of Big Krit's production, with flows his style is fairly unique, but I can think of a few artist he would collab with well. Overall the project is a very positive start for the artist, and I'd suggest that you keep him on your radar. However, the one negative to this album is that it's listed at $5, and for three songs, in an age where everything all the way to the a Bryson Tiller album are free, I have a hard time seeing Enoch having successful numbers unless he lowers the price.
Winter of Zen is a project by a virtually unknown artist and producer named Zentellect, out of Richmond, Virginia. He produced a lot of his own tracks on project, but really shines over production from the likes of Taylor King, MarcDBeats, and BlueNova. He has one freestyle over Bryson Tillers Rambo, but for the most part gives us original music on Winter of Zen. The project is a mix of trip-hop and smooth rhymes, with a nice mix of the two coming out on almost all tracks. Zen talks a lot about pain and how when he's rapping he doesn't feel some of the pain of everyday life. Neverland is one real standout on the album, with it's unique production really setting the stage for Zentellect to stand out. Personally, I feel like the Winter of Zen can relate to nearly everyone from loads of walks of life. Zentellect also has quite a few clever punchlines.
The tape is available for free download via Zentellect's bandcamp, so make sure you check it out and show the man some love.
In 1994, Biggie Smalls rapped the lines above without a second thought. He was only 22 at the time, and the club, girls, and taking those young women home was the only thing on the mind of the newest rap star out of New York. Except at 22, in August of 1994, Biggie Smalls married Faith Evans. So now we have a conflicting story, is Biggie in the club looking for girls, or is he at home with his wife. Reports say that Smalls wasn't just with Evans and instead was involved with both Lil Kim and Charli Baltimore. Biggie Smalls at 22 didn't respect that sacredness of marriage, and this spilled over into the culture and into kids of today who grew up listening to Big's lyrics from Ready to Die.
In 2013, the Huffington Post announced that the Marriage Rate had declined to an all-time low. The rate was at 31.1 which means out of 1,000 single women from the past year, 31 got married. For perspective, the rate in 1920, was 92.3. Obliviously we can't put the blame all on Biggie here, but the super star status and groupies as a whole has been glamorized in the media for a few decades now, starting with the rise of personal film and the ability for anyone to tape anything which rose in the late 90's and has continued and advanced into the modern day.
The advancement of lyrics and the general feeling towards women in Hip-Hop in the current decade has been on such a downswing that it has affected the connotation of hip-hop as a genre. I was dating a girl once and when her parents asked what I was planning on majoring in, I said Music Production with a focus on Hip-Hop. Obliviously I didn't ask for their opinion, but I saw a bit of not only doubt, but concern in their eyes for their daughter and her potential relationship with a person who listens to a genre of music that disrespects the gender as a whole. I can understand the concern. Americans as a whole are slowly moving towards a more complacent group of people, who tend to follow the ideas of celebrities and role models no matter what the idea may be.
At Saint Johns University in New York city, J. Cole met Melissa HeHolt. The two have been dating ever since. The relationship is something Cole doesn't talk about much on a public scale, but is one that he has been forced to lately after Cole proposed and got engaged to HeHolt.
Cole at 31 is getting married 8 years before his boss and idol Jay-Z was married to Beyonce at 39. While 31 is still 4 years above the national average age of 27, it's certainly young for rap artists as a whole to tie the knot. Kanye West was 37 when he finally tied the knot with Kim Kardashian. The example that Kanye and Jay have set is that it's okay to get married on day. Which is a great step in the right direction. One which J Cole, and close friend Kendrick Lamar have taken one step further. At 28, Kendrick Lamar is engaged to be married to his long-time girlfriend Whitney Alford, and could already be married considering that the odds are the ceremony would be private.
The culture is making a shift. In a day and age where everyone is a rapper, and rappers who make it are stars, stars in the past have been messing around with girls almost non-stop from the way their songs portray them, Kendrick Lamar and J Cole are leading by example to show that marriage is still an important institution, and one that should be brought back into the swing of the culture. Culture and opinion won't change overnight, but I commend J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar for being a positive example of success and marriage in Hip-Hop.
I'll just start this one out by saying that I wasn't born when Disco music was big. I've listened to some Disco Music around the time I was finding out was music I really liked, but decided to choose Hip-Hop over Disco as well as Rock N Roll, and god forbid Country music. But when !llmind randomly dropped the Four Three Two EP, I was a little confused with what to think. !llmind kills the Hip-Hop production, and I'd be comfortably confident in his ability to make RNB, Electronic, and probably even Soul music. But Disco was one that I didn't see coming. But I listened. The Four Three Two EP is a bridge between modern music, and the disco the past has known. Most of the songs start off with a solid drum track and beat, that then builds into the song, where the drums continue. This makes it nearly impossible not to nod your head along with all the changes through out the EP which keeps your attention. Every Hip-Hop fan should consider listening to this album to work on their instrumentation work as well as their track layouts. !llmind keeps the attention of the audience beautifully on this EP as he toes the lines between repeating and new material in each song. The EP is available for stream via Soundcloud.
Sun.N.Y is an underground artist that reveals some of his best and most personal songs to date on his latest project "Book of Daniel - Written by Sun Born." The Project was released independently via BandCamp on Saturday February 20th, 2016. He rhymes effortlessly over smooth production that has consistent and soulful production as well as strong basslines. Production on the album is from a lot of undeeground producers as well, but does feature a track from Don Cannon. The Project also includes 5 features, which blend well with Sun.N.Y's style as a whole. On tracks like Hand & Hand, Sun.N.Y looks at his vices and possible addictions and how he's been trying to quit. The song touches on Self-Medication as well and is laced with infectious Guitar Chords.
You can also check out SunN.Y.'s video for the track I Am I above.
The Album only costs $10, so don't act like it's ten G's and help this young man out with support.
Follow SunN.Y. on Twitter - https://twitter.com/sunizout
Around 2011-2012, through a related video on Youtube, I stumbled across an artist from Memphis Tennessee by the name of Skewby. His beats were soulful and infectious, and one of his main producers was DJ Charlie White. In doing my research, I learned that in 2010, Skewby was co-signed via Youtube video by 9th Wonder himself. The same year, Skewby opened for Lil Wayne on the Farwell Tour. Skewby then dropped his new project Humble Pie. This project was Skewby for me in a new light. This excited character over up beat soulful production rhymed over a slower sadder beat about being just one step away from greatness on his track Almost There.
This was a unique side of Skewby but one that I felt as an artist he needed. He finally felt like he opened up and became vulnerable. Skewby was open to showing the world his story in a different light and what he was afraid of. I asked Skewby around the time on Tumblr what the best piece of advice he ever received was:
On the back end of 2011, a video was uploaded to the 3 Little Digs page on Youtube, it being a 9th Wonder and Justice League Studio video. Intrigued, and a fan of both, I watched. And Skewby pops onto my screen (2:32-2:35) Not a long cameo, but he's there. With two of the biggest and best production teams in the game for this genre of hip-hop.
Come 2013, Skewby drops a project called "Wishful Thinking." Skewby reiterates that he's different from a lot of his peers from track number one on this project, while applying a few new flows over some production that isn't necessarily different from what you're used to from Skewby, but does feel a bit different. I download the project and support one of my favorite artists. He's not the most lyrical, the fastest spitter, or have the very best production, but the feeling he emulates in each track and story is genuine and you can't help but feel like you should be having a conversation with Skewby about life and music and just making great music.
Since 2013, Skewby has shut down his Social Media. He's blanked out his twitter as a whole, and has even removed his avatar from both twitter and Youtube. This would lead for a fan of one of the most soulful rappers I've ever come across to wonder if he had called music quits. Wishful Thinking could imply that he's tired of making music and has given up despite being on a Lil Wayne tour and being in the studio with 9th Wonder and the Justice League. But Skewby in 2015 takes to twitter to voice that a return will be coming.
As a fan, I miss Skewby's music, and as a producer, I can't wait to see what's next for the young rapper. Keep this man's twitter on watch. When Skewby comes back to the surface of music, he will make waves.
Untiiitled is a unique album with an old school sound and a new school vibe. Hajj Prime is an artist from the United States who wrote the album while moving from Hotel to Hotel from Chattanooga Tennessee to Atlanta Georgia. Hajj said:
"I had to lose everything I had in order to gain what was needed in order to stand strong and give you a part of me today. "
Production on the record is soulful at times, sad at other times, but classic the whole way through it. It includes cuts from Pete Rock, Freddie Joachim and more. The rhyming scheme and flow changes from track to track, but has head nodding potential through and through. Stand-Out Tracks: Mamma Loves Me, Smock Flow (Interlude), and MiYagii
Untiiitled is available on Bandcamp via Strong Roots Records