“Tell ’em I’m back, and proactive, I need no practice, I know I can hack this..” – Klashnekoff

Before I start, just want to say I’m saddened to hear of Klash’s loss, and rest in peace to his mother. My prayers go out to you.


One of the leading pioneer figures, he emerged vividly painting pictures of the realer, more grittier parts of the country, captivating those that could relate and those fascinated by the authenticity. Honest and uncensored, Many have likened him to Nas, and he is most certainly one of our legendary rappers. Returning with this video, Klashnekoff keeps it sincere as ever, opening up about the loss of his mother, but emphasising more on his strength to continue, and such a common feeling for many, it serves as motivation.

Hand on Heart is exactly what the title says, the production is comfortable territory for Klash to flow, and there’s an eagerness in his voice, as he cements his intentions of his return. The visuals help establish the sentiment, as he looks through old family pictures, and press cuttings, with the added elements of nostalgia transitioning into the present helping portray how far he has come and reinstating his presence today, overall supporting the song.

We have not had a full release from Klashnekoff since 2012 with his Fu*k The Long Talk mixtape, and prior was the underrated Back To The Sagas album (2010), so it is definitely welcomed and I look forward to it.

 

Tagged , , ,

“I’ve been boxing with my demons, ’til my knuckles turn purple..” – Gunplay

Don Logan returns with the sequal to his introspective classic Bible On The Dash

Part 2 might not be as impactful as the original, but it definitely has the same feel and authenticity, as the underrated wordsmith vents out with a slight growl, painting a picture with a similar emphasis to DMX. (If they ever do a Hip-Hop Honours for X, they gotta have Gunplay perform Slippin’).

It frustrates me as a fan, that Gunplay has not been able to deliver with the same consistency, and cement his presence. This track really provides some hope though, as the multilayered rapper reintroduces himself to audiences who might not have been paying attention as much. With this track, he (open as always) pours on his battle with mental health, friends locked up and substance abuse, but it’s not a lost fight, as he speaks, “I need some Percocets, no I need some self-control”. As outcasted as he seems to become, he sits in a unique space between the likes of Gucci Mane and Joe Budden. Despite his versatility, the dark music definitely helps shed light on the realities, and thus make him an important part of the spectrum.

With a new appreciation for lyricism in motion, it’s a good time for Jupiter Jack to return, either way I’m certainly hoping for a follow up to Living Legend.

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Scorcher – Paranoid

One of the best things about our scene taking back the power, is the re-emergence of the rightful. For those that may not be aware, Scorcher is in, “your favourite rapper’s favourite rapper” category, one of the veterans who many believed from early was destined for great things with his evident potential. It did feel like at some point that it was because of that very notion, people bitterly didn’t want to see him win. You can’t stop the Winner Flow in motion though, and so after dropping one of the best songs two years ago with No One Else, he followed up his Top Boy stint, with an entertaining performance in the movie The Intent, a project with Splurgeboys, Scorcher now returns with the anthem, Paranoid.

Produced by Donae’o, the track sits somewhere between Grime and Trap, with his signature flavour, fusing it’s choice of sounds and pattern. It’s enough for Scorcher to have some fun and vent that aspect of his armour. I do believe that this is light-work for Scorch, but regardless, that merely highlights his vast ability. The two trailers for this prior, do set it up to be a more cinematic affair, with possible narrative, and that can taint things, however, the quality of this balances that. Appreciative of detail, and this video did capture well with the shots and edit, down to the tones, to really compliment and most of all showcase Scorcher in adequate visual that stands out.

“Fuck my ex..I got new tings, Fuck my next..I got two tings, I’m up again, like fuck a friend…They weren’t ‘ere where I was going through tings..” – Scorcher

Tagged , ,

“If you’re a fuck nigga, a backstabber, you disloyal, I pray death upon you” – 21 Savage

21 Savage has been enjoying quite the success, obtaining x2 Platinum certifications with X and No Heart, and the project Savage Mode, which has maintained it’s relevance since it’s release last summer. Amidst the obvious face tatt and the savagery, he can be considered a “real rapper”, and I agree, however not for the same reasons.

In his most composed interview thus far, he showed something that the fake ones don’t, vulnerability. Especially when speaking on why he doesn’t like to fly commercial. It’s not a weakness whatsoever, as he speaks sincerely, and honestly. He is not afraid to speak from the heart, and that’s what prompted me to post this. A product of his environment, he appears positively evolved from our first introduction. When mentioning Chicago as one of the cities he likes, he refers not to the obvious violence, but rather the architecture and structure. He speaks on wanting to work with legendary R&B group Jagged Edge, and wanting to win a Grammy, which are some encouraging aspirations.

Shout out to B Dot & Elliott Wilson, because they made the effort to although touch on the obvious questions, but to get a further insight to the man behind the music.

I always knew of his influence, however, after this interview, there’s no doubt that he could (in future) go on to create even more open and introspective music (potentially even politically charged and conscious), as a real voice for the generation.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Big Sean – Halfway Off The Balcony

With Sean’s fourth studio-album ‘I Decided’ on the way, the latest offering shows more insight into what we can expect on the 3rd of February.

Initially, the hook is catchy, and we’re well aware of Big Sean’s capabilities with words, however, to be able to pen such a record, where he is ultimately venting yet the narrative of the song is nothing short of motivational, is no easy feat. Often an artist’s success and the change of lifestyle naturally pouring into their music, can distance them from the listener, yet with Halfway Off The Balcony, he manages to contain the authenticity and is able to stunt, whilst maintaining the balance with the overall emotive. Emphasising his hunger, drive, vulnerability and morals, producer Amaire Johnson and the Sean Don are able to really play upon the concept of the album.

If this track is anything to go by, and hoping the project stays true to the concept, then Big Sean has a very solid project that obviously will be well-received, but truly embraced, further establishing him amongst Rap’s elite.

 

Tagged , , ,

Polyester The Saint – Grey Filas

If you thought LA’s current run was slowing, guess again. Ladies & Gentlemen, introducing, Polyester The Saint.

Now, this is by no way, his actual introduction, I’ve heard him prior, courtesy of collaborations with some of my favourite artists (Dom Kennedy, Freddie Gibbs), and (like his name) his verses stood out, leading on to hearing some of his own material, and initially it was evident potential, until last year, when I came across the wavy project, entitled ‘Pop, an acronym for “Passion • Obsession • Profession”. It featured this song, which was an instant hit as I had a pair, so it became a sort of anthem, Pop also featured another personal favourite 5-hunnid Benz. Throughout the project, he tackled the production with such originality whilst paying homage to the classic West Coast theme, I was impressed with the structure, and the overall wave.

Fast forward to now, I’m about to step outside, slipped my grey Fila ’96s on, happen to peer online and saw this new video, leading to me rinsing the internet on my phone, watching the video at every opportunity (Thus this review being written now, as I’ve just got back in, Filas still on). Directed by Andre 4k, he gives us a good balance with the artist being the focal point, whilst keeping the theme and vibe of the record accentuated.

“I’m yellin’ Thug Life..”

The record itself has such a southern flavour to it, Pimp C would be proud, with Pac feeling as satisfied with the West Coast soul that flows through. As usual, I have a remix in mind, I think musically it would work, if it were to feature Chase N Cashe, and the reasoning behind it, isn’t just that he’s also a dope musician on the rise, but because he too reps Fila, it would be a good look for the brand, for sure. There are a lot of people standing with their surfboards, hoping to catch onto a wave, then you have a player like Poleyster The Saint, who happens to have his own. If you like this, then definitely check out ‘Pop’, and be ready for the new project, due soon.

“Squares can’t keep up, I’m in the grey Filas..”

Tagged , , , , , ,

Chase N Cashe – Prozac

With production on Troy Ave – Your Style, Mr Cha-Ching himself, Chase N Cash has the summer (as they say), but showing no signs of slowing down, we get this ode to Detroit, in the form of visuals for the motivational Prozac.

Even in those ’94 Nike Zoom Turfs, you could not mirror his steps, as the young producer, transitioned into an artist & movement, with Crown Bearer records rightfully represented. I like the D town love, many relate to the struggle, and in such a city, there is still so much beauty and spirit, nicely displayed. The beat is catchy, with the choice of sounds used, especially with the drums, they’re soft yet impactful, it’s well composed. The flow is wavy, this track is quality, cool personified, and there is a sense of proudness as I watch the video, knowing how far Chase has come.

Prozac is one scale of the spectrum for the Surf Club alumni, when it comes to his versatility and ability even, until his next project however, you can check out his previous mixtape, HeirWaves.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

ScHoolboy Q – Studio ft. BJ The Chicago Kid

What is probably my favourite track off Q’s incredible offering of an album, OxyMoron, receives the green light as the next single, with the cool monotone visuals to match.

Studio, featuring (the equally talented) vocalist, BJ The Chicago Kid (who for Q fans, is no stranger to the TDE camp) is another example of how the Groovy Gangster has really managed to take great strides towards the top without compromising in the slightest (even as I write this, it’s hard not to think about how great the album is). Not many expected the impact he has had, whilst those that religiously listened to Habits & Contradictions (and even further down the catalogue) would beg to differ. He has remained himself, and that is how you get an honest song that is in no way a desperate crossover attempt, it just flows well. Similarly, this transitions through the video, with the Jerome D visuals capturing classic Q in a more sensually-lit, promiscuous theme. Much like the song, the representation and clarity is captured & edited nicely, it’s less of a staged event and more personal, also realistic. Such qualities can be associated to the artist himself, and it just allows enough space for the record to be the main focus, rather than overcasting it with effects, the video merely compliments the record, further emphasising how good the song actually is.

OxyMoron continues to get spins, with a new favourite track depending on how I’m feeling, the album is ‘that’ versatile (ended up talking about the album didn’t I?!), oh well, fuck it, it’s one of the best albums in recent, definitely this year, out of any genre.

 

Tagged , , , , ,

G-FrSH – Falling High ft. Sonny Reeves

“Paid So Many Dues, I Must Have Credit”

Trust it to be G that brought me back out the hiatus. Truth is, substance has lacked heavily in today’s scene, with only a handful of music that stands out (those reviews are on the way). I have been wanting to review this from when the audio was uploaded to Soundcloud, but this is G-FrSH we’re talking about, so it was only right to wait for the video.

G’s emergence was down to quality music, his respect as a lyricist can be attributed to various freestyles and features, but in a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ industry, it was his passion for the craft that kept him consistent. His talent, evident as always, at times was overshadowed by some of the more commercial outlets, and their choice of content, meaning there was a detachment between artist and audience. However, hustler by nature, he supplied to the demand that Legoman created, with a handful of projects, and there are still records in the vault that would sound just as frsh.

“Floating, I’m Floating On A Dream, ‘Cos I’m Falling High, I’m Falling High..”

The smooth vocals of newcomer Sonny Reeves, may not be the generic uptempo club smash chorus that seems to be the trend, but rather takes you to a more closer and personal world, without sounding like a reach or a crossover attempt, a great example of the versatility that G (so effortlessly) brings to the game. Falling High, reminds me (in feeling) of his track Tears (ft. Bluey Robinson & Tania Foster), it has that honest essence, a more introspective portrayal of his current position and mindset within his career thus far. “I Swear I Got It, I Don’t Get Why They Don’t Get It, I Been Goin’ In For So Long..Maybe I Should Find An Exit”. The song can be interpreted in many ways, which allows it to resonate with people individually (a sign of a good record). It’s easy listening at it’s finest, with a strong core of substance, it does not need an overflow of metaphors & punchlines, “..Where Alcohol And Endo, See UThrough Our Pane (Pain) Like Windows”. It is self-expressive, and genuinely refreshing to hear.

It’s almost as if it is a behind the scenes record, even the visual, again..not a reach or out of his comfort zone, with James Partridge brilliantly executing the mood of the song, it fits within his previous work, yet like the record, it’s own authenticity projects through, in an almost minimalist concept. With his forthcoming Alfie EP on the way, it certainly seems set up for a more mature feel, especially with Falling High being the first release, which is great for music, and really shows his artistry, further separating him from the average rapper.

Artwork by Funny Tummy

 


 

Tagged , , , , , ,