Jarrod James – Whippin (Submission)
On a personal note, we could do without the noticeable auto-tune on the track, but we think “Whippin” by Jarrod James has a catchy hook. Check out the latest single from the Bronx-based rapper’s EP.
ArchrFox – Human x Love Bomb featuring Mia LJ (Submission)
There’s not much written in the press release about ArchrFox, but based on what we’ve researched, it is supposed to be that way. Hey, a little mystery ain’t ever hurt anybody. Mia LJ, on the other hand, is a young R&B singer-songwriter and instrumentalist currently residing in New York City. Moreover, we selected to write about “Human x Love Bomb” because we imagine it sounds like what a Kevin Gates and an SZA collaboration would sound like—honestly.
Rob $tone – Lemon Grove featuring Malik Burgers (Submission)
Releasing more content into the world from his latest album entitled: Don’t Wait For It. Showing off his hood and friends in the visual, the San Diego, California-native Rob $tone teams up with fellow rapper Malik Burgers to promote their lifestyles. Check out the video for “Lemon Grove” below.
Aaron Robinson – High Maintenance (Submission)
Sharing a name with the new HBO series, “High Maintenance” finds Aaron Robinson on a basketball court rapping about his enemies, and more. Personally, we thought the lyrical delivery could get batter. However, we admired his interactions with the young boys.
Soulé – Purpose (Submission)
We didn’t receive any information about the artist, but we liked the cleanliness of the music video, its direction, etc. Check out the video for “Purpose” below.
Max Park – Say Their Names
On a piano-focused production, Max Park sings the names of individuals killed by law enforcement in America. As a result, the Black Lives Matter movement started. Today, February 26, marks the sixth year since Trayvon Marton died. The track features the Oakland Youth Choir. It’s heartbreaking. There are one too many names of African-American women and men on the list. Listen to the track that the band refers to as a “social justice project and living memorial”. Max Park wanted to shine a light on the ongoing dehumanization of people of colour in the United States of America. We think they are doing a good job.
If you’re looking for a party, this is not your rap song. “In My Lifetime” comes with a heavy note of the circumstances one faces when growing up in a difficult situation. This song is riddled with a detailed narrative of Coll’s afflicted rap biography which he’s quick to rhyme had its “good points.”
COLL – In My Lifetime
“I’ve seen my granny raise 8 kids, then her daughter raise me, lived with the minimum but always got the maximum” lyric speaks of family loyalty, commitment to hard work, and a better life. “Street cred” earned. It’s pretty much a given that a “lyricist” will at one point rep about their earlier life (more often than not, it’s bleak). What sets the true MCs apart from the mundane is their ability to do it with presence, pizazz, and vigour; a certain “je ne sais quoi” of the rap world so to speak which jazzes up the audience and makes them want to listen to your story and keep coming back. It seems this track could use a bit of that spirit. This thought-provoking walk down memory lane shows COLL’s thirst for life despite all matters of happenstance. (Kathryn Ogletree)
Blanco Suave – De Novo (Anew) (Submission)
“De Novo (Anew)”, meaning “start from the beginning” speaks of the possible consequences of a hangover and having to deal with it, or in this case, not deal. Well, she did it again, one too many times for me. There has to be something beyond repetition. This sounds like a rush job, and frankly having listened to a few other tracks of Blanco Suave’s this song seems the least put together. I dig her “rapping” voice it’s unique; it’s not the current norm. However, this song needs revamping; there’s no real melody to the hook: “I done it again, I fucked up again, I done it again I fucked up again, I did it again, I fucked up again, if I keep this shit up I’ll lose all my friends” which adds to the blatant repetitiveness of the whole track. Although I love a good metaphor, there are way too many within this 3 minute and 14-second song that really doesn’t start until the 1 min. mark. This brings me to my next qualm: The famous “learn the rules before you can break the rules” remark. Please drop your vocals sooner, you will keep your audience longer that way. Frankly, the beginning has potential to be its own song; the instrumental portion is very nice however it gets lost… perhaps turning this track into a ballad and doing more singing would give it more potential. (Kathryn Ogletree)
Dee Wallz – Yen (Submission)
Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee is Rapper/Hip-Hop artist Dee Wallz. Wallz is working hard on his game and it’s showing with the plethora of recent work he’s got flowing out there (check him out on Soundcloud). “Yen” is his most recent work; it shows off Wallz’s lyrical abilities (clearly spoken may I add) while giving props to the old-school way of rapping. It brings you back to the classic style of rap. And no, it’s not dead. We still have some up and coming artists out there reppin’ for it! Kudos. Wallz begins “Yen” with “When I kick the pan up, you can call the coroner, tryin’ to get my Yen up but I ain’t-a foreigner….”, which tells a good story: how he’s on his grind, focused, and ready for long-term plans in the music industry. It’s full of punchlines and metaphors about his life and even brings a note to the topics of genocide and violence in his city. This artist has clearly taken the time to produce well-recorded songs; it makes a difference and has not gone unnoticed. Wallz could have a really bright future if he can find a way to get himself out there and stand out in the crowd. (Kathryn Ogletree)