Big changes over here at DTR, as we proudly announce the signing of Adrienne Mack-Davis. Already called “The Voice of a Generation” hers is one that will not only define that generation, it will lift it up.
Classically trained at a young age with influences ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Sting, Mack-Davis is a true renaissance woman. Her 2010 debut album Music In Me: The Process, catapulted her into the Boom Bap and R&B underground annals. Since then, she has collaborated with many artists including Dead Prez’s M-1, and Top-40 House DJs Jared Dietch and Jupiter Ace. She has performed Van’s Warped Tour, South by Southwest and MTV’s “The Beat,” where Swizz Beats recognized her prolific range citing that, “she sang [them] from A to Z.”
It is not only her sound that reflects her versatile range, it’s also the way in which she has chosen to live her life. Her passionate and informed politics create a nuanced lyrical style that carries right into the differences she is making. Mack-Davis is one of the first artists to represent Fighting for Futures, an international organization focused on creative education and hands-on problem solving for such issues as human trafficking. Her second album Fighting for Futures: For the Love is a testament to both her commitment to her art and to her causes.
“I am at the top of my game and couldn't be in a better position to both challenge myself and gain even more skill as a master at my craft,” Mack-Davis said. “The roster that we are now blessed to be a part of is glowing with infinite talent and potential and I am truly humbled and motivated to be a part of this bigger experience. DTR is going to make it possible to play alongside bigger and better talent, which in turn will make me a better and stronger artist. Big year ahead!”
Mack-Davis is currently wrapping on The Perpetual Tour, an ongoing journey that has already involved over 150 shows in 15 months. She’ll be featured at the Virginia Key Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance in Miami in late February and will return to SXSW this March.
Check out her latest mixtape CirclesAndLines and prepare to be inspired.
"Evidence has gone from strength to strength since breaking out of Dilated Peoples with his solo albums getting steadily more and more polished. Dilated have always had that clean, thumping production that earned them mainstream success in the early 2000s, and Evidence has maintained this momentum with slow flows over self-produced speaker splitting backdrops. He's an excellent producer, but Alchemist is clearly an influence. Evidence featured Alchemist on his "The Layover EP" record some five years ago, and they were billed as Stepbrothers on a song called "So Fresh". The two have admitted that they got their name from the brilliantly juvenile Will Ferrell film and this long awaited collaborative album is equally entertaining, and at times as utterly ludicrous as anything Will Ferrell has done. It's hard to picture Evidence and Alchemist trying to bury one another in a parent's garden, but if they were to build bunk beds in order to 'make room for activities', it looks like Evidence got caught short lying on the bottom bunk, as Alchemist goes on to produce 13 of the 14 tracks. The Dilated Person even sounds more winded than usual throughout "Lord Steppington", an album that lacks the natural chemistry of duos such as Red and Meth, Mobb Deep and even Dilated Peoples themselves. That's not to say this isn't a great listen; production is largely on point (as you'd expect) and both artists are more than capable of providing interesting performances. Many have expressed how Evidence 'kills this' album, but its Alchemist who walks away with his head held higher. You'd never have him down as a rhyme animal but there are songs here that will have you questioning how this long-established beatmaker holds his own against emcees of the calibre of Mad Skillz, Styles P, Rakaa, Blu, Action Bronson and Roc Marciano."
Black Knights :: Medieval Chamber :: Record Collection Music
as reviewed Grant Jones
"Remember when the Wu-Tang Clan ruled the world? Well they did in the late 90s, with "Wu-Tang Forever" being one of a few hip hop albums to reach the #1 spot in both the US and the UK. Just to put that in to perspective, Jay-Z has only just had "Magna Carta, Holy Grail" reach #1 in both the US and the UK after releasing THIRTEEN albums. Of course, with "Wu-Tang Forever" storming the charts worldwide, "Triumph" possessing a suitably ridiculous, blockbuster video and yellow Ws popping up on clothing everywhere, it was only natural that the record labels would give the fans as much Wu-Tang as possible. In 2014, it feels like we entered 36,000 chambers given the endless releases from solo members, affiliates of solo members, affiliates of affiliates and solo members of affiliate groups milking the Wu brand as much as possible. In all fairness, Black Knights have been associated with the Wu-Tang Clan since 1998's compilation album "The Swarm" which helped launch numerous careers. Rugged Monk and Crisis the Sharpshoota have never been the most noteworthy off-shoot members of the Wu-Tang family. This record isn't full of effortless charisma like classic Method Man, nor exemplary displays of flow and rhyme schemes a la Inspectah Deck, but it's solid enough hip hop with a hint of that trademark Wu-Tang sound. Production is handled throughout "Medieval Chambers" by John Frusciante, and there is an atmosphere that whilst unremarkable, at least provides an atmosphere. It's not the intense, medieval experience some of Killah Priest's records evoked, but there is death, depression and an essence of chaos in Frusciante's instrumentals that echoes the dull pain of being locked up in a dark prison. Songs like "Keys to the Chastity Belt" are barebones to the point of lacking any real melody, which sees the beat switch up more drastically than feels natural."
DJ Format & Phill Most Chill :: The Foremost :: Project Blue Book
as reviewed Matt Jost
"Remember random rap? Random rap was a phenomenon that emerged in the last decade, partially originating in a discontent with contemporary rap and spreading across the blogosphere as collectors unearthed obscure and overlooked tunes from their vinyl vaults and made them available in digital form. 'Random rap' then was simply a neutral tag to specify rap that didn't fall into any of the established categories. The growing hype inspired twelve-inch reissues and incited bidding wars for original pressings, finally turning 'random rap' into a selling slogan by the late '00s. Although the relevant bloggers and mixers always saw the term as a broad umbrella, random rap ultimately came to mean late '80s/early '90s, sample-based East Coast hip-hop from acts that never cut more than a handful of dope records. It was basically the internet catching on to an idea the editors of ego trip magazine had back in 2000 when they put out the compilation "The Big Playback".Phill Most Chill could have easily had a song on "The Big Playback," for instance "On Tempo Jack," the title track of his 1988 single. For other valid candidates, look no further than his new album. How come? Does "The Foremost" gather unreleased material from that era, similarly to Dooley-O's "Watch My Moves 1990" ten years ago? Nope. "The Foremost" is all new, named after its two collaborators, Phill Most Chill and DJ Format. Phill hasn't just stepped out of the time capsule, he's actually done this kind of thing before, while Format too makes no secret of the fact that he's inspired by the later '80s. Together they travel back to the days of high-top fades and gold rope chains, of James Brown loops and breakneck-speed raps. Speaking of, 'fast rap' was another new tag for old music, and it applies here a number of times as well. The duo even creates a fast rap theme song of sorts with "Get Busy Music." They set the pace right from the beginning with "The Feeling," Phill declaring, "Enough with these gimmicks / My rap has no respect for speed limits." "
"The Holographic Pagoda label has been hitting us up as far back as 2008 with Twin Perils albums for review as well as Lone Ninjaand June Marx solo albums. There's a very recognizable Wu-Tang Clan sound and style to the group, both in terms of their production and choice of movie dialogue snippets, but done in a way that resembles respectful homage as opposed to a style bite or a lack of originality on their part. A decent sound and respectful homage is not enough to carry an album. Lone Ninja therefore presents a unique problem to the listener, as his lyrics are clearly well thought out, and executed in a mechanically acceptable way. In some ways his trademark lisp could even be given praise given it tends to remind a listener of Kool G. Rap or RZA. The flipside of that equation is that Ninja takes his rap and his delivery of said rap so seriously that he intones it in the most singular manner possible. Every word is delivered with a flat calm that is occasionally intriguing for the implied psychotic nature - as though Ninja was heavily medicated until the point he's no longer physically or mentally capable of emotion. Otherwise songs like "Tranquil Mind" are unfortunately accurate in titling. "Mind elevation, and zen/divine revelation, transcend." Boring delivery, must end. Some songs like "Warpath" (produced by 5 Element Ninja) do break through the tedium a bit."
Migos :: Young Rich N***s :: Migos-ATL.com
as reviewed Patrick Taylor
""Versace," the breakout hit by Atlanta trio Migos, could easily be a parody song meant to make fun of how stupid rap has gotten in the twenty-teens. The hook is just the word "Versace" repeated eighteen times in a row, and lyrically it doesn't get deeper than "shoes and shirt Versace/Your bitch want in my pockets/She ask me why my drawers silk/I told that bitch ‘Versace'." The video, which features the rappers hanging out in a mansion showing off their Versace clothes and jewelry with a bunch of finger-sucking models and a panther, wouldn't need too much to be a Lonely Island bit. It was one of the stupidest songs of 2013. It was also a hit that earned the trio a remix with a verse by Drake. I was so put off by "Versace" that I wrote off Migos and avoided listening to "YRN." Then the mixtape ended up on a bunch of best of 2013 lists by people whose opinion I respect. I decided to give it another listen to see if there was some hidden genius in Migos that I was missing. After listening to "YRN" for a week straight, I think I understand the appeal. One thing I have to say about the Migos right off the bat: when Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset aren't just repeating the same word, chirping like a bird, or using white pop stars' names as drug slang, they can actually kind of rap. In true Southern style, they rap in triple-time, dropping verses that are kept strictly to sex, drugs, luxury brands, and occasionally giving shout-outs to dead homies ("R.I.P."). Their flow alternates between chanting and sing-songy, adding a catchiness to the songs that works well with the melodic production. They may not have much substance, but they have an excess of style. They aren't going to give Earl Sweatshirt a challenge in the lyricism department, but they are a lot more fun to listen to."
Adam: "Over the past few weeks we've heard a lot of talk regarding Grammy controversies, and who should have taken home the honor for Best Rap Album. The funny thing is, most everyone yelling about it has no idea who the best emcees in the game are right now. You know who does know? YOU, because you actually investigate what's out there that ISN'T played on mainstream radio, and this month's edition of my ABX podcast has more of what you crave, as we have some of your current underground faves, and some new names to get familiar with. I even smooth it out a bit with a track that's a bit of a throwback to when hip-hop and R&B mixed in the best of ways (not just sh*tty rapper features on R&B tracks that had zero connection whatsoever). Enjoy!" Follow me on Twitter at @AdamsWorldBlog or hit me up with feedback at AdamB@RapReviews.com." The Adam B Experience is 100% PODSAFE and FREE so tell your friends to download ABX right here at RapReviews.com!
* Snow Tha Product - Good Nights
* CookBook & Blu - Lethal
* Bryant Dope - Real Is All I Know
* Ciphurphace - Maker
* Koncept - Malt Disney
* World's Fair - '96 Knicks
* Ankhle Conscious - Marvin's Ghost
* Dana Salzman w/ Valentino - Joy
* My Son The Hurricane - Call Me Mister
* Tom Charles & Digital Keyz - Lights Out
Audio: Minty Burns f/ Hefna Gwap "Champagne and Caviar"
Courtesy Matt B.
Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Minty Burns has spent the last several years honing his craft and developing an enthusiastic global fan-base. Minty is definitely making his mark as an up-and-coming artist to watch.
The Bay Area’s Jesse Medina will be releasing his new project, Meet Jesse Medina, on 4-1-14 and it will include collaborations with Ab-Soul and Sir Michael Rocks and production from Jake One and Nottz.
After a brief hiatus, Easy Yves Saint is back and ready to reveal his first solo effort to the world. Scrapping the previous title Clockwork and instead opting with a simple Yves, the Evesborough Films directed "Babes, Blunts & Booze" is just a small look into what you should expect from the Queens New York MC.
Video: Scavie Scoobs x Woody Medz - "Go Up Boyz Trailer"
Courtesy Custom Made.
Scavie Scoobs and Woozy Medz are GO UP BOYZ, a new hip hop duo from Los Angeles, CA. Woozy Medz previously worked with Custom Made and was extensively featured on their 2010 LP, Hi-Def. After several successive nights of substance abuse Woozy and Scoobs decided to form GO UP BOYZ. Stay tuned for their debut EP dropping 2014.
Video: Arsenio Hall BTS w/ YG, Rich Homie Quan, Jeezy
Hip-Hop’s hottest newcomer Rich Homie Quan (Think It’s A Game Ent.) joined rap star YG (Def Jam), Jeezy & DJ Mustard on stage at the all-new Arsenio Hall Show Tuesday night, to perform their platinum selling record “My Hitta,” produced by DJ Mustard (RocNation). Jeezy publicly gifted YG with his first platinum plaque celebrating 1 Million singles sold for “My Hitta My Hitta,” as the hot record continues to dominate radio airwaves across the country.
Spade-O is ready for the world with his new original project Spade-O Unchained, which is now available for download!
Hosted by DJ Drama and Cosmic Kev, Spade-O Unchained features appearances from Meek Mill on the original song "All For The Love" and popular "Pound Cake Freestyle", as well as Freeway, Aylee P, Quilly and Chief Keef.
Production includes All Star (2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Rick Ross) - who also lends a verse on the track "Original Players" - along with Roc Nation's Jahlil Beats (T.I., Chris Brown, Lil Wayne), Neo Da Matrix (Jadakiss, Fabolous, Juelz Santana), and more.
Spade-O Unchained is the Philly rapper's battle cry that he's let loose and ready to take over. "What you see is what you get. As important as success is it is more important that I look in the mirror and respect what I see. Hopefully the world can respect that too."
Rocky Rivera releases a brand new single and music video with Northbound Films, "Ain't No Way", that revisits the start of her music career and journey with her bandmates, DJ Roza and Irie Eyez. A nostalgic anthem and personal look into her upbringing like never before, Rocky shares her passion for music, friendship and as always, kick-ass girl power!