Galaxy Francis drops two-pack, announces upcoming EP

Chicago rapper-singer Galaxy Francis, formerly known as L.A. VanGogh, has carved out his own lane within the local music scene due to his uncanny ability to straddle the line between hip-hop and R&B with ease. When he’s not churning out thought-provoking, Saba-esque rap verses, he’s laying down warm, lively vocal performances, usually over jazz-tinged production topped off with grandiose horn sections and dense vocal layering.

On past projects such as his Everything Is Subjective series, Francis explores the depths of his inner-psyche, his relationships with vice, existentialism and his past.

But after undergoing a name change, announcing the May 24 release of his upcoming EP iNNERGALACTIC: Side A and dropping two brand new singles from the project, Francis is entering a new era as an artist, one where he invites us to blast off with him into outer space.

On this brand new two-pack, Francis trades the jazzy, neo-soul sounds that usually pop up in his music for a more accessible, laidback trap sound without compromising quality.

The first track, “Skip To My Lou,” is a hazy, smoked out tribute to the city of St. Louis. Assembled with minimalism in mind, the instrumental is sparse, consisting of little more than a scampering set of 808s and some broad, watery synths, setting up the perfect backdrop for Francis to deliver his breathy, intimate vocal lines.

“Smoking this, Reefer Alston hit the skip 2 my Lou,” Francis spits in the track’s first line, a poignant triple-entendre referencing his home city while comparing his love of smoking weed to NBA player Rafer Alston’s ball skills that earned him the nickname that also happens to be the track’s namesake. 

The second track, “SOURFACES,” is way busier despite its brief runtime of one minute and 20 seconds. Over a more piercing, urgent set of synths, Francis brings a much faster flow and a lot more clever lines: 

“I can see the future like Eminem in 8 Mile,” he raps in the second half of the song.

While some fans might be taken aback at first by the sudden change in sonic aesthetics, Francis sounds right at home going over these synth-driven trap instrumentals.

Stream “Skip 2 My Lou/SOURFACES” here.


Dzh shares versatile 2-pack ‘RANTS’

New Jersey’s Dzh has returned with a fresh 2-song release called ‘RANTS’. The appropriately titled set finds him expressing himself in a cathartic manner, detailing his trials and tribulations- while keeping its sound and style engaging and infectious. The release showcases two sides of Dzh, and captures his dynamic persona concisely. It’s also sharply written, and it is evident throughout that Dzh put much thought and planning into each bar and each note. These immaculately crafted songs contain elements of hip-hop, trap, and rage, and refuse to be boxed in to categorization.

“You & Tha Raps” takes on the introspective tone that we’ve been hearing frequently from the East Coast wordsmith. It features a watery, laid-back beat that contains an immersive feel, moored by feathery but bouncy percussion. He then switches it up engagingly with the hard-hitting “Tha Most”, which brings in vibrant rage elements with winding synths and a booming rhythm section.

Give ‘RANTS’ a listen below and further familiarize yourself with Dzh.

Follow Dzh for more: Spotify | Instagram | Twitter


Johnny VúDOE shares a new 3-pack, ‘2pieceAAbiscuit’

The Bronx’s Johnny VúDOE has come through with a fresh EP called 2pieceAAbiscuit. The 3-track project finds VúDOE flowing smoothly atop character-rich, dusty samples layered on psychedelic drum patterns. He shines as a lyricist, as he packs his verses with thoughtful and clever quips that beckon many re-winds from the listener to catch it all. 

Coated with an enveloping warmth, the EP feels immersive, drawing one in further with each minute. In particular, “introducing” makes for a highlight with its grooving, textural bass-lines and lo-fi, grimy horns. It’s true-to-life music with a healthy dose of surrealism in its sound, and there’s a lot to be liked when it comes to the personality entrenched in VùDOE’s brief but potent 3-song project.

Give 2pieceAAbiscuit a listen below.


On “TRUTH,” Juice Mazelee shares his pain

Chicago hip-hop artist Juice Mazelee loves channeling his pain through song. His 2021 project Hvnsnt (pronounced heaven-sent) is an emotive rumination on hardship, despair and ultimately, personal growth.

His new single “TRUTH,” released on January 5, touches upon a lot of the same sentiments while also packing the same level of emotional punch.

Over a spacey, drawn out synth line and a heavy set of bass kicks, Juice celebrates his successes while drowning in his deepest burdens, all while exuding an undeniable, even-keeled confidence in his delivery throughout.

“I volunteer my heart and story to peers, I saw some shit I always fear so over years I shed tears,” he rhymes, expressing a desire for his personal struggles to be educational for others.

In moments like this, Juice is vulnerable and open, willing to share a piece of himself to the world. In other moments, he’s more closed off, yet every bit as revealing:

“Can never show ’em what I feel, won’t see emotions from me/Mama’s baby coldhearted, stuck with PTSD,” he spits jarringly in the second verse.

Despite the piercing level of emotional intensity, Juice sounds completely comfortable on the mic. His tone is confident and ever-so-slightly gruff, never wavering in his belief in himself.

“TRUTH” sees Juice picking up right where he left off from previous releases. Sharing his pain is his bread and butter, and as the calendar flips to 2023, he is sounding smoother than ever doing just that.

Stream “TRUTH” on Spotify here.


Cldwaterr and Mugen! The Human officially arrive on new single “LOSE !”

There was a time when labels such as “rising star” and “next up” were often used to describe Chicago lyricists Cldwaterr and Mugen! The Human. Between their soulful odes to the underground rap of a bygone era, their sharp, aware lyricism and a willingness to experiment and evolve, it was only a matter of time before these two young spitters shed those labels, proving to the world that they are here to stay.

On Cldwaterr’s new single, “LOSE !,” both artists show that that time is now.

Arriving just in time for Cldwaterr’s birthday, “LOSE !” sticks to a familiar blueprint for both artists: dusty, old school production, reflective lyricism and piercing deliveries. The only difference now is that both artists are following it better than ever.

“Chop it up with God, fuck it we alive/Got my family by my side, can’t lose if I’m the prize,” Cldwatrr spits triumphantly over some airy synths and a rhythmic snare pattern.

Mugen! pops up in the middle of the song to deliver one of his best verses to date. His deep, groany timbre meshes perfectly with the laid back instrumentation, and his lyrics cut through as always:

“I want more out life than money, but for more the fam I cannot stop/I would trade my life away, could give a fuck ’bout what I got,” he spits authoritatively.

With both artists fresh off of stellar EP releases, “LOSE !” is yet another stepping stone in both Cldwaterr and Mugen!’s ongoing artistic maturation. What is different this time, however, is that they are no longer “up-and-coming.” They have arrived — and are here to stay.

Stream “LOSE !” everywhere here.


Occ Taee continues streak with “I H8TE HOES”

Occ Taee has returned to our pages with a fresh new single called “I H8TE HOES”, which follows up his well received prior song “Whats His Name”, released just 3 weeks ago.

Based in Indianapolis, Taee has been an artist on the rise, catching the attention of major labels with his tenacious authority and rising social media presence. 

Shimmering harp strings and engaging trap drums create an immersive, hard-hitting backdrop for Taee’s commanding, powerful flows on “I H8TE HOES”. This track continues to remind fans of his grit, hard work, and attention to detail. It’s a track that expresses his feelings to never trust anyone, sharing his past experiences and reminding his listeners to stay on their toes.

With “I H8TE HOES”, engineered by Tyler Weaver, Occ Taee proves once again that he’s here to stay. With his streak of consistent music drops, Occ Taee will make his name is not forgotten.

Listen to “I H8TE HOES” now:

Follow Occ Taee on social media:


S.U.R.F and Ben Reilly connect for refreshing single “Bet”

Atlanta’s S.U.R.F has connected with Atlanta-by-way-of-Brooklyn artist Ben Reilly for a refreshing new single called “Bet”. Showcasing his engaging, powerful sound and ear for infectious flows, “Bet” is a memorable banger that finds the two artists delivering stylish, energizing performances.

“Bet” opens with breezy synths before rich, bouncy 808s and crisp percussion are added to lock in a buttery rhythm. An addictive refrain kicks off the track, before the two artists deliver catchy, confident verses atop the sleek instrumentation. A lively track that provides heavy replay value, “Bet” makes for an atmospheric banger that will have the listener continuously rewinding.

The latest from S.U.R.F, “Bet” finds him connecting with Ben Reilly for an infectious banger that provides refreshing energy throughout.

Listen to “Bet” now:


Rokko Ca$h debuts at Roundhouse Music with his single “Selfish”

Rokko Ca$h – Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville-based artist Rokko Ca$h debuts at Roundhouse Music with his 2021 release, “Selfish.” The Florida musician delivers this uplifting Alternative R&B track that evokes the feeling of fulfillment on a warm summer day. Shown through a series of impressively double-timed vocal patterns atop a bright & cheery production – Rokko Ca$h exhibits a pristine display of artistry & proficiency. The self-taught artist composed this innovative array of sonics which has allowed him to develop an eclectic sound & style – perfect for blasting through the streets of Jacksonville. “Selfish” is indeed a refreshing listen, and we look forward to hearing more from the artist here at Roundhouse Music.

Click here to listen to “Selfish”


01.EKKA shares nocturnal release “Hotel Eternal”

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, rapper 01.EKKA has come through with a new release in “Hotel Eternal”, accompanied by a refreshing, nocturnal visualizer. An immersive, dark track, “Hotel Eternal”‘s chilling sound is built around menacing keys and ghostly guitars, underscored by crisp, head-nodding percussion. Paired with 01.EKKA’s charismatic, bold flow and descriptive lyricism, this track provides a cohesive package that kept our full attention throughout. This song explores how leading a life of lust can lead to clashes with long term goals, making for a thought-provoking theme as well. An intriguing, addictive new offering from 01.EKKA, “Hotel Eternal” will likely remain in our rotation for the foreseeable future.

Watch the visualizer for “Hotel Eternal” here: