Virginia artist mynameisntjmack has dropped off a new track, titled “transport”. Continuing his prolific run into 2023 after last year saw the success of his genre-bending track “BUNKER/ PREROLL” with Tommy Richman, as well as his well-received, introspective track “Leak”, “transport” presents a mysterious, hazy soundscape that provides a solid foundation for jmack’s thoughtful flows.
“transport” contains smooth production, containing watery, layered keys that blend with organic-sounding, dry percussion for a hypnotic groove. Enhanced by a particularly infectious bass-line, “transport”‘s mesmerizing instrumentation suits jmack’s calm yet emotive delivery and moody, pensive lyricism. He delivers a sharp performance on the mic that demonstrates his penchant for relatable, ruminative lyricism, making “transport” another solid outing from the Virginia artist.
The smoky, relaxed “transport” precedes mynameisntjmack’s upcoming EP BOOKMARK, and it gives us even more reason to be excited for the release of that project. Give it a listen below.
ArmstrongWW has shared a new single called “January Girl”, featuring Johnny Noble. Born Armstrong Tanyi Orock, ArmstrongWW is a genre-bending, multi-talented musician born in Cameroon, but now based in Houston, Texas. Starting his songwriting journey at the young age of 6, Armstrong spent years working on his craft and harnessing a versatile, idiosyncratic sound that combines hip-hop, R&B, and more, also sometimes incorporating elements of ambient in his instrumentation. A producer and vocalist, Armstrong has continued to prove himself within the underground scene of his home city of Houston, as well as beyond, and late last year released a well-received EP in Recovery.
His latest, “January Girl”, presents the same sort of atmospheric, engaging warmth heard on Recovery, but takes it even further with ambient sonics that feel refreshingly airy. Paired with an organic-sounding, rich rhythm section, the track’s vocals take it to new heights with infectious melodies drifting in spacey layers. With some indie and lo-fi flourishes, “January Girl” is a truly genre-bending track that continues the Houston-based artist’s run. Give it a listen below.
New Orleans’ DAMAG3 and Philly’s OJ Mountain have recently dropped a new project called The Valhalla Tapes: Vol. 1, and their track “SIN TAX”, featuring jules filmhouse and made by ok!, caught our attention right off the bat. The two prolific artists share a natural chemistry throughout the project, and nowhere is it more evident than on “SIN TAX”, an elegant, smoky cut that utilizes mercurial production and kaleidoscopic lyricism to great effect.
Drifting strings create an emanating warmth, while organic-sounding percussion and rich bass merge for an enticing groove beneath. The emcees sound assured and yet laid-back on the song, while delivering vivid, abstract lyricism that capture’s the beat’s ethereal, mysterious feel. It’s a track that beckons multiple re-listens to catch everything, as the rappers deliver complex, thoughtful verses atop layered production.
Take a listen to “SIN TAX”, and if you like what you hear, be sure to check out the entirety of The Valhalla Tapes: Vol. 1.
Hip-hop collective Hidden Renaissance have come through with an eclectic new instrumental album called BARBAROIS. Chock full of colorful moments laced within textural, soulful beats, BARBAROIS demonstrates Hidden Renaissance’s eclectic sound and outside-of-the-box creativity. Featuring a talented cast of producers, BARBAROIS makes a character-rich sonic statement across 28 tracks, and demonstrates the power of the art of collaboration.
To select the producers for BARBAROIS, Hidden Renaissance founders T H R O N E held a contest in a private discord server, in which 23 beatsmiths were chosen to compose the album. Including the likes of Protagonist, Delorean McFly, ZuRu, flywilliums, and more, the cast of producers on BARBAROIS oozes talent, while keeping things diverse enough to make the project’s long run time engaging throughout. The core of the record’s sound is built around coarse, soulful samples and dusty drums, and it often uses a “wall-of-sound” approach to add dynamics and layers. “New Friends, Same Old Pains”, produced by kllz, provides a highlight early on, with its weaving, nostalgic samples and punchy, gritty percussion. “Turn Back!”, produced by Protagonist, creates a hazy, nocturnal warmth with its lo-fi sampling and laid-back, swinging grooves. “The Ship” is an elegant, refreshing cut, using a minimalistic soundscape built around graceful keys to a great effect.
The versatile, vivid BARBAROIS marks a continuation of Hidden Renaissance’s prolific recent run, and it features a talented cast of collaborators that bring extra life to the project.
Queens, New York artist Winny SM‘s track “City Crisis”, off his recent album Concrete Jungle, caught our attention for its poignant lyricism, and smoky, gritty instrumentation. On “City Crisis”, weaving, dusky woodwinds and textural, dry drums create a stripped-back yet evocative backdrop for Winny, who shines as a lyricist on the track as he describes the daily struggles and hurdles that come with life in a complex, fast-paced city. His vocal delivery is captivating and emotive, and he flows dynamically and with gymnastic ease, with fluid rhyme patterns that match the beat’s laid-back yet engrossing feel.
Take a listen to “City Crisis” below and further familiarize yourself with the Queens lyricist, and check out his project Concrete Jungle as well if you enjoy the track.
SolH has connected with kojima plus, Chaos1.0, and Pareto for a new single called “Rollin”. With sleek, laid-back production and sharply-crafted flows, “Rollin” provides a refreshing offering that finds each artist bringing a unique contribution to the table for a cohesive whole. The 420-themed song has a warm, glowing feel, with expansive, balmy guitars underscored by rich, infectious bass, and locked in by crisp percussion. The emcees tackle the relaxed beat with ease, matching its easy-going energy with focused yet calm flows. The track feels both effortless and well thought-out, which can be a rare combination to come by.
The slick, bouncy single makes for an apt soundtrack to the warming weather of late spring, and it keeps things playful but also introspective. Take a listen to “Rollin” and further familiarize yourself with SolH, kojima plus, Chaos1.0, and Pareto.
Detroit’s Valid and Stretch Money have delivered their highly anticipated joint album Bill & Isiah. Preceded by an intensive roll-out that found them hitting fans with track after track of diverse, vivid sounds that kept them on their toes, they come through with the finished product now in Bill & Isiah, and does it ever impress. Across 11 concise yet detailed songs, they further prove that they are a duo to be reckoned with not just within Detroit, but on a wider scale as well.
There are many potent moments that draw the listener into Bill & Isiah’s tasteful and retro-futuristic soundscape, beginning at the gate with the opener “89′ Cadillacs”. The track demonstrates the artists’ focus and dedication to the record’s themes early on, showing their integrity as songwriters and emcees. Bolstered by strong flows, engaging rhyme patterns, and vibrant production, “89′ Cadillacs” is a standout near to the start of the tracklist.
Then there’s the funky, velvety “Revenge”, which drips with swagger and style. Melodious, 80’s-influenced moods continue onto “Sentimental”, the well received single from the record, and show up again at numerous points throughout Bill & Isiah. However, the album does not lack in hard-hitting, lyrically-focused moments either, with tracks like “Game Film” and “Commentate” showcasing both rappers’ venomous pens. Closer “Like This” brings in a classic Detroit sound, with rolling bass and bouncy percussion that recalls the hallmarks many of us love about Motor City hip-hop. It’s a potent mixture of styles and sonics that makes Bill & Isiah stand on its own and finds both rappers bringing their full effort alongside a talented cast of producers and collaborators.
Detroit legend Stretch Money links with Valid on the full-length LP Bill & Isiah, overseen by platinum- credited Grammy-Award Winning DJ Head formerly of Shady Records/ Interscope. Although this is a concept album with a theme throughout, the album is far from a gimmick. Valid and Stretch Money honed in on exactly where they are in their careers and personal lives while adopting the Detroit Bad Boys persona. Give Bill & Isiah a listen below and further familiarize yourself with Detroit heavyweights Valid and Stretch Money.
Shore has shared a new single called “7.7.7”. Shore is a developing independent rapper, singer and songwriter from Annapolis, Maryland. The 19-year-old has shown his versatility and ability to write catchy hooks, sing with conviction and spit emphatic bars, which have perked the ears from outlets such as Lyrical Lemonade, Fashionably Early, Daily Chiefers and more. Shore hopes to continue to be a source of inspiration for the youth in his community to show that your dreams are worth chasing and there is a way out.
His latest offering, “7.7.7”, follows soon after his well-received single “Pure Souls”, and it finds him taking on a crisp and clean, yet hard-hitting sound. The production on “7.7.7” is focused and compact, as booming 808s contrasting with inspiring, emotive keys, locked in by punchy percussion. Shore himself shines as a vocalist with memorable melodies and a heartfelt delivery that grab the listener’s attention from the get-go. Following up a prolific streak of releases, “7.7.7” provides us with even more reason to be excited about Shore in 2023.
King Adroit‘s song “Louis Armstrong”, from his recent project Nicaraguan & Malt caught our attention for its smooth, luxurious feel and potent lyricism. Full of clever, cutting lines that have the listener rewinding throughout, Adroit’s verses are sharply-crafted and focused, as he takes on a laid-back yet confident delivery. The sleek production features gritty, jazzy samples and minimalistic percussion that give enough space for Adroit’s gymnastic wordplay. He balances rawness with a certain refined feel that gives “Louis Armstrong” added personality and character.
Hailing from the Bronx, Adroit continues to build a formidable discography that includes recent releases like Nicaraguan & Malt and The Belgian Blue 2, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Houston artists Bowen Thi and ArmstrongWW have joined forces for a new single called “Relapse (Ah Ah Ah)”. A colorful, energizing new release that displays a natural chemistry between the two Texas-based musicians, “Relapse (Ah Ah Ah)” blends genres engagingly. With elements of hip-hop, alt-pop, and indie, the song’s warm grooves and memorable songwriting make it a standout from Bowen and Armstrong. They play off each other’s energies for a track that remains fun-loving throughout, with a vibrancy that makes it infectious.
“Relapse (Ah Ah Ah)” makes for Thi’s first release of the year, following up well-received singles like “GO!” And “DIVING” from last year. ArmstrongWW is fresh off the heels of his eclectic project Recovery, which earned praise from ELEVATOR, DailyChiefers, and more.