Audio: Shabaam Sahdeeq - "Limitless" (prod. DJ Doom)
Dean: Limitless produced by Dj Doom is another leak single from the Album (Timeless: of the collection) that S.S has been slow cooking for a while of that pure boom bap hip hop that he is known for. It is something new to hold you down till the album drops entirely top of 2017.
Mixtape: 704 'Heart of the City' w/ YG, Big KRIT, 8Ball & MJG, Nipsey Hussle & More!
Dove: Charlotte, NC is the move today as rapper/songwriter 704 unleashes Heart Of The City with the help of DJ Chuck T and DJ ESudd. Full of smooth lyrics and hard beats, the 16-track original project features YG, Big K.R.I.T., Nipsey Hussle, Lil Keke, 8Ball & MJG, Cap 1, Verse Simmonds, Young Scooter and more.
Audio: Chris Rivers f/ Whispers - "That Ghetty Green"
Dean: This week Chris Rivers and Whispers tackles School Boy Q's 'By Any Means' instrumental for Freestyle Fridays. Whispers delivers a dope rendition of School Boy Q's flow while Chris brings melodic hard bars to our ear drums. Whispers 'The Red Door' project is slated to drop this September.
Wanja: Punskription’s latest single “Dreams from a Cubicle” is an ode to the struggle artists experience while following their dreams and working a full-time job. Inspired by the band’s reality, the song explodes with an unwavering passion for music and hip-hop.
"ScHoolboy Q is a known factor by now but on the off chance you've somehow never heard of him before he's a quick primer. Q was born on a military base in Germany, and since his parents divorced before he was even born, his mom named him Quincy Matthew Hanley and allegedly gave him a brand new last name at random. Even though he's been a California kid for as long as he can probably remember, Q spent a couple of years of his young life in Texas after mom returned from Europe. Eventually he settled on 51st street in L.A. and once he was old enough to roll with the O.G.'s in his neighborhood he was a 52 Hoover. Years of small time petty crimes and run-ins with the law were to follow even as he "stayed legit" to a degree by finishing Crenshaw High and going to community college afterward. Thankfully Q's talents as a lyricist and performer, first discovered when he was 16 years old, would eventually lead him away from a life of struggle to a life of musical hustle once he linked up with Top Dawg Entertainment. Sure he's had the same share of petty charges any popular rapper seems to get (marijuana posession and the like) but he spends most of his time recording, touring and stacking chips these days. Having a daughter in 2010 was also undoubtedly a good influence on him and you can see and hear her on Q's "Oxymoron" album. As his popularity has continued to incease thanks to hits like "Hands on the Wheel," "Man of the Year" and "Break the Bank" he's also made bigger connects in the industry outside the Top Dawg family, as witnessed by Kanye West on "THat Part" from his latest "Blank Face LP."
Depending on the day or time you could call Jon Bellion a singer or a rapper, but TBH in 2016 I've gotten used to a large part of the genre being interchangeable anyway. It seems to me in the 1980's and early 90's there was a definite anti-R&B sentiment in hip-hop ("Rhythm & Bulls@$t") but that seems to have all but vanished. I think if push comes to shove when I look at the career track of Jon Bellion, he started out as more of a rapper in his mixtape days, but on songs like "New York Soul (Pt. II)" that old hip-hop swagger comes back through loud and clear. The largely self-produced Bellion has hidden depths within his upbeat swing. "Guillotine" with Travis Mendes is a pop single, no question about it, but the name hints at the sharper edge. "There's bones in my closet, but you hang stuff anyway." Ouch. It's the kind of song you can dance your cares away to without really having to think about the message, but it makes me smirk to listen to songs like this from Bellion. He's crafty, he's sneaky, he's just a little bit subversive. Guest appearances are pretty minimal on "The Human Condition." In fact the only one I can think of other than Mendes is the Blaque Keyz on "Weight of the World." I don't think I'd want one on tracks like "Maybe IDK" though. It's a soul-searching journey for one, where Bellion is questioning his own behavior past and present, trying to evaluate whether or not he's on the right path in his life. The funny thing is he CAN'T decide or figure it out and ultimately concludes "maybe that's okay."
"By now you know the deal with drill. It's the signature hip-hop sound of Chi-Town for the 2010's, with prophets like Chief Keef, G Herbo (Lil Herb) and Fredo Santana leading the way into the darkness. The music is much like the hardest enclaves of Chicago - unrelenting in their bleakness and nihilistic outlook. You can hear all of this encapsulated in the title track of Lil Durk's "Lil Durk 2X," produced by Cassius Jay and Zaytoven. The AutoTuned sung vocals and crisp background drums might briefly fool you into thinking it's an upbeat song, but when you pay attention to the words it's clear Durk came up in a war zone and war is all that he knows. Even though drill has developed into a regionally specific style and sound, it's not hard to hear the influence of Southern trappers like Gucci Mane on the scene, and collaborations like Future appearing on "Hated on Me" are both natural and expected. In fact there are virtually no surprises in terms of cameos on "Lil Durk 2X." He doesn't hit us with anything out of left field like a song with ScHoolboy Q orKiller Mike, but his fans aren't asking for that anyway. What you have to respect about drill rap, even if you're not a fan of it personally, is that the rappers in the scene are relentlessly producing exactly what those who love the music and live in the same neighborhoods as its biggest stars want to hear -- and "My Beyonce" with Dej Loaf is exactly what they're asking for. C-Sick's track and Durk's duet might be the 2016 equivalent of Ice Cube & Yo-Yo's "Bonnie and Clyde Theme." It also might be the furthest outside of traditional drill that the album reaches and not just geographically (Dej hails from Detroit) in that it advocates a romance worth living for instead of a life where there seems to be little hope on the horizon. "
"Joseph Rose (a/k/a Joe Ro) is a Battle Axe Warrior affiliated emcee who appeared on Madchild's "The Little Things" among other tracks. On "Become What You Are," the opening track of Joseph Rose's "True Colors," sets out to advocate for hip-hop that's color blind, ignores geography, and sets a common bond in the elements of the art and culture. Maybe 20 years ago as a college student I could have seen things as being that easy. That's not to say Joseph Rose is naive or ignorant - rather it's to say you can't just end racism simply by declaring you don't believe in it. Anyway let's move on and give "Joe Ro" the benefit of the doubt on other tracks like "Know Which Way to Go." And using those Battle Axe connections to the fullest, Joe Ro gets Pro Logic (OVO) to produce and Rob the Viking to record his single "Pour You Out." Connections also gave him enough of a budget to film a video and put it out to support his short 31 minute album, which officially drops next Tuesday (August 23rd). If I learned anything from his previous appearance on "The Little Things" it's that Joe Ro is a self-declared ex-addict who wants to spend the time he used to chasing paper in that life to MAKE paper and take care of his family a couple of generations beyond his own. Hints of his past still pop up on songs like "Only Way Is Up" though when he talks about bagging up the work and says "hopefully I get out before I go to the pen." He also sounds the despair of that lifestyle, talking about his feelings of suicidal depression, and even if the flow isn't a revalation musically his honesty is lyrically. That's what makes it hard to have a "meh" reaction to a rapper like Joe Ro. It's like he enrolled in Hip-Hop University and got a passing grade in every class, graduated with a degree in how to emcee, and immediately went to work punching the clock. "
AKW: Trap King Fetty Wap gifts fans "Different Now," the second single off his upcoming sophomore album, due out this winter. Produced by Vinylz & Frank Dukes, the track evokes a signature Fetty feel as the immensely popular rapper recalls a time when he wasn't so #blessed.
DMV: The talented emcee KinG BillionHeir (@KinGBillionHeir) just dropped a dope new track on us, "Indo". The song has been receiving a great response since its premiere on DMVLIFE.com. Whether you are a smoker or not, the song is definitely something you can turn up to!
Q: Since the end of the year release of his latest project "The Last Mixtape" hosted by Bigga Rankin, Jacksonville artist T'Juan has been putting in work and positioning himself for all the right plays.