Dzh has shared a brand new single called “Practice”. Here, he provides a refreshing take on his usual sound and breaks into new ground with glitchy, progressive production that neatly splits the line between boom-bap, trap, and experimental hip-hop. Atop wavering, booming bass, grimy drums, and psychedelic, dark samples, Dzh weaves together poignant lines at a rapid pace, demonstrating his focus and inimitable mic presence. His flow is commanding and fluid as he attacks the track with a resonant confidence, shining with a laser-like delivery that hits the target with each syllable. As the production creates a buoyant, powerful backdrop for him, he steals the show as a vocalist and proves that his technical abilities are up there with the best in the underground with “Practice”.
New Jersey artist Dzh is a dual threat on the mic and the boards, developing his own sound and style through years of hard work and experimentation. Building a burgeoning, dedicated fanbase through engaging projects like his 2019 debut Under This Hoodie and 2020’s The Durag Tape and La Vita Nuova with Oklahoma’s Levi Hinson, Dzh has consistently displayed passionate, focused songwriting across his discography. His latest offering “Practice” is a real scorcher with a progressive edge to it, making us excited for what may be coming from him this year.
When it comes to hip-hop, Motor City is a locale synonymous with the genre. Over the years, the city has spawned many sub-genres, sounds, and styles that have resonated with many and laid their imprint upon the rap game as a whole. On Mike Wilder and Jake Bass’ new album D.E.A.P. (an acronym for Detroit Emcees and Producers), they tie all of these sounds together in a cohesive manner alongside a gifted set of collaborators. A poignant, infectious set of 10 songs that is diverse as it gets, D.E.A.P. brings in elements of boom-bap, lyrical hip-hop, trap, and more, to further exemplify why Detroit remains as one of the top cities in rap year after year. It’s a potent statement backed by powerful sonics and sharply-crafted lyricism, and D.E.A.P. makes for a strong offering overall that combines the sharp skills of multiple talents, including the likes of Pariis Noel, Marvwon, and more.
Some highlight tracks here include the atmospheric “Pray For Me”, which includes a dazzling set of lyrically-focused verses delivered smoothly, and the heavy, trap banger “Roll Witta Clique”, a track densely packed with charisma and style.
D.E.A.P. is the latest poignant offering from Mike Wilder and Jake Bass. Wilder, who executive produced this album alongside Jake Bass originally got his start in the industry by co-producing Eminem’s debut album Infinite in 1996. He also co-founded the prolific music company NUKID, LLC alongside Marky Bass. Be sure to check out D.E.A.P. below and further familiarize yourself with some of Detroit’s most talented rappers and producers.
Rising out of one of the south’s music capitals Houston, Texas, comes CA the Don with a captivating new release titled “Too High”. An engaging, genre-bending track that combines elements of hip-hop, R&B, and dance for a truly versatile joint, “Too High” presents another strong release from the consistent CA. In particular, “Too High” puts his songwriting on center stage, while also demonstrating his sharp ear for poignant production. CA the Don continues to push his own boundaries with each new release, isn’t afraid to experiment with his sound, and delivers to his audience time and time again, and “Too High” is another example of this.
Rich guitars and infectious bass open up “Too High”, followed by an engaging drum groove that pairs smoothly with the track’s warm instrumentation. CA starts off slow and slick with vocals that combine hip-hop and R&B elements with melodious inflections, before the song makes an engaging transition into a dance-infused joint. Throbbing percussion and immersive synths give the track a clean club feel, as CA takes the song to new heights as a vocalist with his silky delivery. The new video makes for a cohesive accompaniment as well, with balmy shots and a retro filter that immerse the listener in the track’s energizing yet laid-back feel.
Produced by Scar, cam sos, and CA himself, “Too High” is a solid new offering from him that continues the Houston artist’s run into the new year. Check it out below and connect with CA the Don on social media for more.
Dami: So y’all just released a collab project. Can you tell us more about it?
Sareem: Yes, it’s a project that’s been in the talks since 2019. Alex, Sean, and I put a ton of work into this project over the years to be able to release it as it is now. It is probably the third version of the project as we know it. We had to make sure it was released in the best possible state.
Alexander the Great: Me and my homie, Sareem just put out the tape and we been working on it for a little over 2 years now. It started off as just a song or two we made together, but we had a good chemistry going and we are from the same area so we just decided to run it. Really glad it’s finally out. It’s also completely produced by Sean McNamara, our other homie so it was the three of us on the whole tape together.
Dami: How were y’all able to pick the songs that made the final version?
Sareem: We probably went through 15-20 songs and re-recorded the whole tape on a whole new interface. After that, we cut it down to around 12, then we stagnated on the project because we didn’t have a solidified banger that we wanted to put out first. One night before going out last month, Sean came up and, in an hour, we made both the beat and recorded Roll Bounce and that changed the entire trajectory of the project. From there, we felt a new wind and finished the project that same weekend. To answer your question though, whatever slapped the hardest and was a legit reflection of us was put on the project. I have a few drill songs I recorded for the project that were left off because that just ain’t my energy lol. We experimented heavy tbh.
Alexander the Great: We actually had multiple versions of multiple songs on the album. So, the first thing we did was decide what songs we even liked enough to make it. It ended up with 8 songs together and 1 individual song. We sat as a group with Sean and listened to all versions of the 8 songs we chose and decided which versions were best and which songs we needed to fix. And then we each had a song in mind for the tape that we pitched and that’s how we came up with the songs we picked and the order.
Dami: How did y’all meet and what made y’all decide to do a collab project?
Sareem: We met through two of our mutual homies. Shoutout Seth and Sammy. We met pretty early in our respective careers. I had just come off my first album and was just looking to make as much shit as possible. He invited me over to record at his producer’s crib and we made a song called “Yessir” that you can still find on my SoundCloud. The chemistry was there and we recorded a few more times that year. His girl went to the same school I did so he’d come up to visit her and I introduced him to Sean during that 2020 summer when we were making “Ignorance is Bliss”, and we busted a couple songs out that weekend and decided we wanted to go all in on a collab tape. We visited Alex’s apartment a couple times, but life got in the way of the project for sure. But after Sean and I graduated, we made sure to finish the project at some point and well, here we are now.
Alexander the Great: So, we actually got put into contact through some mutual friends who don’t make music. Shoutout Sammy and Seth Kett. Sareem and I both lived in Carlsbad at the time and both knew these homies and when they heard I made music, they got us to link up. At first, we did our own thing and just said we would collab in the future. Pretty sure it was 4th of July and we decided to link up and he was with Sean and they were working up there so I slid with a bottle and we made two or three songs that day and we loved them. Sadly, I don’t think 2 made the tape because of how far we grew musically after that.
Dami: What were the vibes for this project? How would you describe the sound?
Sareem: Whatever Sam was on, we’d be on hahaha. There aren’t many people on the planet that work harder than that dude. He’s always working and even outside of the project, that’s how it usually goes working with him so it helps his artists get out of their comfort zone if they want to. This played into what we were doing since it’s more of a trap project than anything else. My projects range from old school to new west with a little trap mixed in, but this project was damn near all trap until my solo track. The production he put on is crazy and I feel like we matched that energy in our hooks and lyrics fasho. Bouncy with a mix of some shit you can kick it and get high to.
Alexander the Great: I would say the vibe for the project is confidence with a little something to prove. For the sound, I would say it’s some hype shit that bounces and is definitely wavy.
Dami: What do you want people to take away after listening to this project?
Sareem: That we can do it all while getting lit with it. You can make turn up songs and keep it lyrically inclined. Sometimes, it ain’t even about the lyrics. Not everything gotta be serious. I went into the project thinking I gotta have the hottest verse on every song and if anything, that hindered our process in making the project because I was tryna do too much. It’s important for Alex to have his shine as much as it is for Sean or me. It’s a lot more that goes into a track than just being the best rapper on it and when you let go of your ego, you end up with a cohesive ass collab album that slaps pretty hard. And to add on to that, San Diego got something to say!
Alexander the Great: I want them to enjoy the music most importantly. I want them to like it and, in the process, hopefully trigger some interest in Sareem’s career and mine moving forward because we both got a lot of heat coming out soon.
Dami: What are 3 words you’ll use to describe the project?
Sareem: Hard hitting, hopeful.
Alexander the Great: Hype, fire, and wavy.
Dami: Even though it’s early, do you think you and Alex are gonna drop another collab tape in the future?
Sareem: Yeah once it makes sense. We haven’t even performed a song off the tape yet hahaha. Alex has his album he’s gonna put out and I have a ton of shit I’m tryna put together currently. If we were to do another collab tape, I’d wanna include AG3 and a couple other homies on it too. Keem and Zay, Stella and some homies I’ve met in LA. Making a collab album takes a ton of effort from everyone involved. Like Black Hippy never even made a collab album. Bottom line- it’s gotta make sense in the moment and “A. Anonymous” made sense for both of us. If it makes sense again, then we’ll run it back.
Alexander the Great: Definitely early so we wanna see how this one turns out. Like I mentioned earlier, we got a lot of individual stuff coming out soon that I think is really gonna catch some people’s attention. Sareem and I will collab 100 percent in the future but if it’s for another tape, I think we both wanna see the demand from the people.
Detroit artists Valid and Stretch Money are back with a new single, titled “Commentate”. Produced by Slot-A with co-production from DJ Head, the song contains a vibrant soundscape based around raw synths, hard hitting drums, and potent bass. Vocally, Valid and Stretch Money shine as they trade raw, passionate verses back and forth that demonstrate their focus as lyricists. Full of clever lines containing engaging references, their verses meld with basketball-related clips to enhance the track’s themes. All of these parts work together to create a strong cohesive whole from Valid and Stretch Money, who continue their potent run of singles ahead of their new collaborative project Bill & Isiah.
“Commentate” makes for a strong new track from Valid and Stretch Money, with critically acclaimed producer Slot-A (producer of Legacy! Legacy! by Jamila Woods) linking up with Detroit MC’s Valid and Stretch Money to deliver a unique, never been done before, gritty display of lyrical penmanship with “Commentate”. Co-produced by platinum credited Grammy-Award winning DJ Head of Shady Records, and Grammy-Award winning Anthony Rizzo, “Commentate” is a hard-hitting, memorable display of potent lyricism and slick flows.
Listen to “Commentate” here:
The duo have also released an engaging new visualizer that enhances the track’s basketball themes with a retro feel. Check it out here:
Chaos0911: Really, I grew up around it. My older brother was big into rap so I heard it all my childhood and then the people I was around started rapping and freestyling (which I couldn’t do) so I got some equipment one day and started recording them. But I really started writing a little before that, but it was mainly poetry.
Dami: When did you start writing poetry:
Chaos0911: I started as a late teen while I was in a bad relationship. I actually did it by accident. I would sit in the bathroom at night reflecting on the day and listening to music and write down my thoughts in my notepad. Then one day, I reread it and the words were rhyming like a poem. After that, I tried to do it intentionally and then it turned into raps.
Dami: Would you say poetry influenced the music you make?
Chaos0911: I would probably say so among other things such as growing up in the south where music is a way of living. Louisiana, music, and food all day every day.
Dami: When making music, where do you grab inspiration from?
Chaos0911: Honestly, it’s just the mood I’m in really. I just find a beat and if it speaks to me, I keep it and start recording what comes to me on it. Mostly past evets in my own life and others along with how I’m feeling at that moment.
Dami: What are 3 words you’ll use to describe your music?
Chaos0911: Chill, unique, new.
Dami: Who are your biggest inspirations? Chaos0911: My biggest inspirations are tough. I listen to all kinds of music but I’ll try this. I gotta say Lil Wayne because I’m a 90s baby from Louisiana, J Cole, TI, Boosie, also huge fan of King Los’ freestyle ability, as well as Juice WRLD but I also get inspiration from people such as MGK, Iann Dior, Nic D. I love artists that haven’t blown up yet though. They have so much ambition and you can hear it in the music.
Dami: How would you describe your sound?
Chaos0911: I’ll be real with you. I have only been doing music as an artist for about a month now and only have 2 singles out so far. “Dependable” is my first song ever and “Expensive” is my first solo song and that was after a very long break, so I am still looking for my sound. If I would have to describe it, it would probably be versatile. I can adapt pretty well to whatever is thrown at me. Had to my whole life so yeah.
Dami: Can you tell us a bit more about both singles?
Chaos0911: Well the first single “Dependable” happened out of nowhere. I was in a Discord server and met a guy, KSB, whom eventually made the beat for me. Then through other people in servers, I met the very talented Bunny who is the featured artist. The inspiration actually came from my most recent past relationship and how it made me feel then and now. It’s kinda a story. At first, I wanted her and needed her and now, I want her out of my head. “Expensive” was something different. Me and some people were joking around and the idea came up, but then I decided to have a little fun and see if I could remember some lyrics from my past, so I freestyled the song and just had a little fun for everyone trying to clown. I had to show I can clown too.
Dami: What do you want listeners to take away after listening to it?
Chaos0911: I just want them to take joy in the song man. To just vibe out to it. If you’re getting through something, especially a relationship issue. Just vibe man and keep your head up. Things always find a way to get better.
Dami: What’s your creative process like?
Chaos0911: I usually just find a beat and try to come up with the hook that fits it then I just press record and let it flow. After that, I take the parts out that I don’t like and insert new ones until it is finished, then I have to mix and master and release the music. I am actually recording Geeked (Expensive pt. 2) as we speak. I could probably say my process is a little chaotic, but it works for me.
Dami: What should we expect from Geeked?
Chaos0911: It’s honestly still an extension of Expensive. Just me having fun again and freestyling. If you liked “Expensive” and the uniqueness of it, then you will love this. It picks up right where “Expensive” left off.
Dami: Any expected date for the drop?
Chaos0911: I will drop it soon but I’ll first put it out on YouTube before I release it on other streaming platforms. The tape that all these songs will be on “This is Life” will be coming later this year.
Dami: How would you describe the sound for this tape?
Chaos0911: It will be very unique. It will have you feeling high and low and everywhere in between. It will be a story somewhat of a picture into my life and thoughts.
Dami: What are some things you’re tryna achieve this year?
Chaos0911: My absolute main goal is to keep supporting my daughter and make sure she has everything she needs and wants. But musically, I would say it’s just to increase my fanbase and develop my craft. I also hope to release as much music as I can to my supporters.
Dami: What’s been the hardest part of being an artist?
Chaos0911: Honestly, the hardest part is approaching people for me. I have anxiety so I get bugged out around people I don’t know. That’s a tough one in this industry where networking is key. I think I’m getting the hang of it though.
Dami: How’s it like facing anxiety while still trying to spread your music?
Chaos0911: It can be tough man. I even have problems recording knowing it will be released but it’s something I am getting used to day by day. It’s a constant battle though daily trying to wake up and reach out to different people and get my music discovered.
Brooklyn artist Nkosi Bourne has dropped off a new single called “Final Form”. Containing a vibrant, soulful backdrop that blends cohesively with Bourne’s thought-provoking lyricism, “Final Form” continues his prolific run and demonstrates his signature sound in the process. A motivational anthem filled with raw vocals and reaffirming lyrics, the song gives perspective on accepting where someone may be isn’t where they want, but one must continue to take steps to get their “Final Form,” aka their best self, no matter what obstacles may arise.
“Final Form” contains vivid production centred around colourful samples, warm, minimalistic percussion, and rich bass. Creating an emotive, refreshing backdrop for Bourne’s sleek, laid-back flows, the instrumentation melds cohesively with his potent vocal performance. Lyrically thoughtful and focused, “Final Form”’s depth and messaging makes it a multi-dimensional release.
Give “Final Form” a listen below and further familiarize yourself with the talented Brooklyn rapper.
Arkansas-born artist YB has shared a new single called “PLAY FOR KEEPS”. A hard-hitting song that grabbed our attention immediately with its powerful sound and poignant lyrics, “PLAY FOR KEEPS” continues his prolific run in to the new year, as he keeps feeding his fanbase with engaging songs at a rapid pace. Showcasing his ear for infectious production and sharply-crafted, thoughtful lyricism, “PLAY FOR KEEPS” is a potent song that grips the listener with its tour-de-force of sonics. With bassy, trunk-rattling 808s and sleek, menacing synths, the production creates a foreboding backdrop for YB’s intense vocals. Detailing his personal life and trials and tribulations, the single is relatable as well, connecting with listeners with its emotive, heartfelt messaging and authenticity.
The latest from YB, “PLAY FOR KEEPS” continues his fiery run and has us excited for what else may be coming from him this year. Give it a listen below.
It’s Midnight has come onto our radar for his fresh single called “Show Me”. A glossy, engaging pop and R&B-influenced joint that showcases the rising artist’s versatility and sharp songwriting skills, “Show Me”’s elegant melodies and sophisticated sonics make it a heavily repayable and focused new release.
As It’s Midnight continues to rise within the industry, it is evident he is putting his best foot forward when it comes to offering dynamic and diverse releases for his fanbase. Refusing to be boxed in to one style, he pushes forward with “Show Me”, taking on a refined pop sound for a refreshing cut. Atop warm synth pads and buoyant percussion, the artist demonstrates his skill as a vocalist with a series of tightly-woven melodies that blend cohesively with the atmospheric production.
Give “Show Me” a listen below and be sure to connect with It’s Midnight on all social media platforms to watch for updates from this up-and-coming musician.
New Jersey-based artist RUYi has surprised fans with the release of his new single “Heart of the World”. The single also features fellow Jersey artist, Nike’ the Artist.
On this 3-minute 90s-retro inspired track, RUYi and Nike’ flow effortlessly to portray a flurry of emotions- from love to hope to disappointment. Nike’ starts the song off with otherworldly vocals, which can be described of as nothing short of perfect. She talks about the steps she’s taking to gain success in music- from “one more TikTok, one more show, one more video and interview”. RUYi follows up using his verse to highlight some trials and tribulations black people face on a regular basis. To add more emphasis to his verse, RUYi dropped a skit, to accompany the single, titled “Children of the Diaspora” in which he showcases his frustration with the government due to the systems put in place, or the lack thereof.
RUYi and Nike’ showcase amazing chemistry on top of an amazing production. Make sure to check out the new single below.