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Showing posts from November, 2020

Kill time at work with Hasan Minhaj and Complex

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  I don't know about y'all but because it's a holiday week, I've absolutely checked out at work (which is alarming because I'm a reporter and I can't really check out....oh well). Instead, I've mostly filled my time so far with watching videos on Youtube. Of course, I had to write about the new Sneaker Shopping episode with Hasan Minhaj, one of my favorite comedians and reporters out today. This episode doesn't disappoint either: we learn about a few of Minhaj's break out news segments and the story behind his new shoe collar with Cole Haan. Hopefully, there's more in the works for him down the line. The Patriot Act was mine and Zoe's favorite show to watch before going to bed every week.  I'm still chapped they canceled it. Let me know what you  think, Lux

THE CUT: Make Flyboyeli your next go to good vibe artist

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  For those of you that follow the blog, y'all know I've been absolutely swamped with my current status as managing editor for my 9-5 in Cleveland. I have barely had anytime to sit back and relax to some new music. Luckily, this week I got a chance to listen to up and comer Flyboyeli. The New York artist based in Yonkers has seemed to pop up out of no where and has been garnering some pretty big attention online. It's not hard to see why either. On one song he can rap about falling hard for a girl and on another he can sing about dealing with mental health issues but doesn't matter what the topic is, it all vibes well. If I could some his music up in one phrase it would be: easy listening, easy vibes. I wouldn't be surprised if Tik Tok's algorithms picked him up or one of those D'Amelio girls appropriates his music for their dances.  Yes,  that's a compliment. and Let me know what you think, Lux

Start your day with Nicx's new freestyle "Silverback"

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  Okay, I'm hella late to this track which was released *checks notes* three days ago now? It was too fresh not to write about though. Cleveland artist Nicx has been out here for a minute and is essentially the definition of the Clevelanta movement. On "Silverback,"Nicx gives us another reason why he's the king of it. Clocking in at just 1:42 the song provides just a little taste of what the artist has in store. It's hard to tell my favorite part of the song. I'm stuck between the mesmerizing beat with a screwed sounding synth and perky beat or how quickly Nicx navigates through it with his verses. I got to say, it's left me satisfied and wanting more. Hopefully there's a new project by him in the works? I feel like it's been a minute since he's released an album/mixtape/EP. Let me know what you think, Lux

Shawn K releases a hot new track

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Shawn K continues his streak of releasing heaters - this time literally. Today, the Cleveland artist released "Spicy Ramen" Ft Benji a love song involving the love interests favorite food. I really like this track because it's bubbly and easy to listen to, neither rapper is taking themselves seriously and it's refreshing. Shawn has been killing it recently by showing fans all the different styles of rap he can do. Hopefully, the end result is a project by the end of the year but that's wishful thinking. Let me know what you think, Lux

THE CUT: Xavier Clark is one of underground rap's wonders of the world

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  There are some things that boggle my mind. How did they build the pyramids with such primitive technology? Who was Jack the Ripper? Did the Warriors really blow a 3-1 lead against the Cavs? Something I've recently added to my list of things that keep me up at night is how people don't talk about Xavier Clark more. Sure, there've been articles about him but those were written years ago and there hasn't been a thing since - why? One play through of his music and its clear Clark deserves the hype.  It's not so much one thing that makes Clark's music stand out above the rest - it's how it moves together to form one glowing product. His production is clean, his lyrics are smooth and he has a certain swagger with his delivery that's striking.  His vibe is perfect for late night smoke sessions or gaming live. The bottom line is that this man deserves more recognition for the hustle he's put into his work.  Check out his new single below: and Let me know w

THE CUT: Whoseray is Cleveland's next wild child of rap

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  There's a ton of rappers form Ohio making a name for themselves in the game right now. I'm pretty sure none of them green screen themselves to review movies like Fifty Shades of Grey, unless you're Cleveland artist Whoseray. Don't get it twisted, it's not his videos I want to talk about - although his on screen personality is enough to shoot him to the top of Billboard - it's his music. Somehow, Ray has managed to blend a laid back trap sound with dynamic lyricism. On one track he'll be rapping over a trap beat, the next he'll rap over sampled jazz music and he doesn't miss a step. This is perfect party music for any stage of the night. Okay, let's talk about his videos ie: they're amazing. Ray's energy and charisma is enthralling and every video is entertaining as hell - even if he's just walking around in them or in the recording studio. He has a wild look in his eye that screams "fuck you, vibe with it or die." I will s

Why you need to listen to "Louder Than a Riot," right now

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It's no secret that I love podcasts. I mostly listen to them on my way to work every morning covering the suburbs of Cleveland for my 9-5 job as a reporter. There's something engaging about them that I don't get from music that keeps me moving in the morning. A show I've been listening to that mixes both my love of music and podcasts is "Louder Than a Riot," on NPR. Hosted by Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden, the series covers how the law and the hip-hop industry have been at odds since the beginning.  While its only in it's first season, the show covers extensive topics including Don Cannon's mixtape empire and more recently Bobby Shmurda's rise and fall. My personal favorite is the episode on Cannon because of how wild they treated one of the biggest legends in the game today. If I had to some it up - it's like This American Life met the Breakfast Club. It's an extremely interesting and extensively reported series that will keep you ho

Gems Select: Five things every rapper should get this holiday

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  Tis' the season ya'll which means it's time to break out our pen and pads to find some dope xmas gifts to ask Santa for this season. Unfortunately 2020 has hit every one hard so not everyone can ask for Hublots, PS5s and Gucci sneakers (one can dream though). Luckily, I have five items that are all dope and won't break the bank that I think every up and coming artist should have. Obviously this list could also include typical things like microphones, studio equipment and other things. Honestly though,  think after 2020 we all deserve to treat ourselves, so this list will focus on things that we can get ourselves for a job well done of not dying this year. Gun metal Invicta Watch Yeah, yeah, we've heard about the gold watch - been there, done that.  Why not try something different with a gun metal watch this year? This thing is hard core - it's eye popping but subtle, it's serious hardware but can be worn without a suit, it's jewelry for those uncertain

THE CUT: Ericdoa is too kinetic to slow down

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Soundcloud rappers long shaped what mainstream music looked like (just listen to Drake*). One rapper you're bound to hear more about is Ericdoa.  Releasing two projects in the span of three months, the 18-year old artist is making a name for himself for infectious emo rap that makes you want to punch dance your angst out. Utilizing a mix of distorted drums and EDM/Dance music Doa sing raps about love and loss. However, his music is so kinetic that you won't notice you're listening to a song about his mental health. But Doa isn't a one trick pony and knows when to slow it down for listeners. On his slower tracks you'll here angelic background vocals, acoustic strings and stripped lead vocals.  Ericdoa's music is a roller coaster and in this climate, I think we've all learned to live with the extreme highs and lows. Soon, he's going to be a household name that I'm sure others will try to copy and emulate (see above*). Listen below:   and my personal fa

Kipp Stone releases video for "Everythang"

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Check out the first video from Kipp Stone’s recently released album "Homme." Taking place in at what I assume to be a campsite, the video provides a stripped back visuals representation of the song. It's soothing to the eyes, which if you've been following the blog recently, you know is a huge plus. For real though, I've been eager for this video since they started posting stills of the shoot on Instagram. Now it's finally here and -ope- I can't stop watching it. Let me know what you think, Lux

Joe Biden is our next president, but it isn't over yet

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  Well, I did it. I endorsed a candidate for president and because of that endorsement they won. Just kidding. It feels good though. This is a step in the right direction in undoing all the horrid shit that President Trump has put the country through over the years. Don't get it twisted, the chaos will not end this week, next week or even when President-Elect Joe Biden takes office. This will take years to undo, especially the strong divisions President Trump has put us through. So I am once again asking for your patience. This is going to take a long time to fix and an even longer time to heal - but we will.  Also, I know this blog has been ghost town for a little bit and Mondays are normally my dump of weekend music but I have been temporarily promoted to Managing Editor of my 9-5 and will be focusing my efforts on that for the next week or so. This means posts may seem sparce (I'll post every day though) and at odd times. So for now, keep your spirits up and enjoy this openi

The best rap artists to relax to right now

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  For those of you like me - obsessing over the polls, constantly refreshing browsers, trying to keep track of how many votes are where - we gotta talk. This election is extremely important and nerve wracking and I will admit that two nights ago, I didn't write any posts for the blog because I was too hyper focused on the polls. I actually didn't fall asleep until 4 a.m. that night and barely got any work for my actual job done. I even had to take a two hour nap because I was about to have a melt down. Which brings me to my post today. It's important to remember to take care of ourselves, including showering, getting extra sleep and hydrating. Let's be honest, none of that's going to be possible in the next days/weeks/months and that's understandable. At the very least, we have to try and relax and luckily, there are a few rappers off the top of my head that can do just that. Check out my list of the five best artists to relax to: STATIC RES I know I featured th

The best political rap albums to bump today

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  Yo, this post is going to be brief.  Today is going to be frantic, stressful and high strung for many eagerly waiting to see what's going to happen tonight. Go out, go vote, be a part of the conversation or don't be a part of it all. I'm going to be out at the polls not only as a voter but as a journalist covering it. In light of that, here are five political albums to bump to get you through the day. RUN THE JEWELS 2 - Run The Jewels Rap's loudest political voices right now, their second album features fiery verses, intense drums and punchlines that will put your favorite rapper to shame. The perfect political pump up album. Album link: https://music.apple.com/us/album/run-the-jewels-2/1438904728 TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY - Kendrick Lamar Kendrick Lamar's first fully realized political album. The content covers America's Reagan Era and what it was like to be black during it. Album link: https://music.apple.com/us/album/to-pimp-a-butterfly/1440828886 DAMN- Kendrick

From the editor: Joe Biden is the only path to rebuilding America

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  Last week both Lil Wayne and Lil Pump endorsed President Trump for another four years. I can't say it's entirely shocking - it's not at all because at the end of the day both of them are just looking out for their own interests. Lil Pump doesn't want to be taxed 60% for his income. On the other hand, Wayne endorsed Trump for his two page platinum plan laying out how he would help the black community. Of course, by doing this they completely ignore Trump's racist history. (Central Park Five, Targeting black residents at his apartment properties, calling Colin Kaepernick and any black athlete that kneeled to protest police brutality "sons of bitches," retweeting racist videos, Obama birtherism he still hasn't apologized for etc. etc. etc.) I won't argue with them but I will say one thing: Joe Biden is the only way this country can start rebuilding and unifying. Think about it, it's all we see on the news any more: -Trump nuts ambush a Biden bus

The Cut: Mellow out with Static Res' laid back emo rap

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  This week is going to be an absolute panic inducing nightmare ride from hell. Maryland rapper Static Res can help make this week easier with his mellow take on Emo Rap. His music, complete with mellow drums, acoustic guitar riffs and calming rhyme style sounds like it belongs in an A24 film or something like Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind.  That being said, it's easy to fall into the normal conventions that define the genre. Singing about suicide, loneliness and drugs is common place now for it. While some of those themes take shape in his music, Res prefers rapping over singing. Because the market is so saturated with Lil Peep imitators, it's a breath of fresh air to listen to an emo rapper making his own lane. Sonically he recently said his music has been inspired by: Third Eye Blind, Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, Pink Floyd, Mac Demarco, Kaytranada, Mobb Deep, bsd.u, Shiloh Dynasty, Wale, Logic. While I don't like comparing the rappers I feature on this blog to othe