Following Release of "Concrete Jungle Juice" Video, DaVinci Releases Collaborative Non-Album Track
Critical Praise for DaVinci:
Selected as a member of 106 KMEL's (the biggest Bay Area hip-hop station) Freshmen Class of 2010.
"...The Day the Turf Stood Still feels like an attempt to do something unique within the Bay's insular world, all while retaining the new Bay's characteristic cannibalizing of different moments in rap history." - 7.6/10 Pitchfork.com
"I'm keeping DaVinci on my "artists to keep an ear on" list - he's got enough moxie and production to keep moving on his turf, rising from the merely above average to something special as long as he doesn't stand still for too long." - RapReviews.com
Coming off of a string of hit singles from his debut record, The Day The Turf Stood Still, including his freshly released video for "Concrete Jungle Juice", KMEL Freshmen 10 certified Bay Area rapper DaVinci is now releasing a newly unearthed track, "The Beginning." Recorded before the March release of his debut, the cut features Webbz and J. Rockwel, along with recent Def Jam inductee Big K.R.I.T..
"The Beginning" showcases powerfully and energetically delivered lyrics over a loose, jazzy saxophone line, the combination of which ensures the listeners' attention over the track's six-plus minutes. Unlike many collaborative tracks of this type, each emcee is given enough time to exhibit their skills, yet still leave you wanting more. For fans and followers of DaVinci, an extra special treat is in store, as the gruff-voiced rapper unleashes a double-time flow over the track. “You can get a head start / On your mark, set, go / Your heart get slow / When I rock that flow” he rhymes. From its hard-hitting verses, it is clear to see that this song marked something special, a fact that the artists must have been aware of when they gave it the wholly appropriate title "The Beginning."
The Fillmore District has bred more rappers per capita than any other district in San Francisco, and although the older generations recall its rich musical history rooted in Jazz, the Fillmore today is rife with drugs, turf wars, and mass gentrification. DaVinci, a young MC raised in the Fillmore, is a prime example of the duality of this area, who at the age of 13 was homeless, hungry, and hopeful for a way out. Explains DaVinci, "My music has everything to do with my environment: from robbing, killing, pimpin' to selling and abusing drugs," he explains about his heavy content. "It's a direct reflection of what my friends and family have been through and are still going through." While his story is similar to many other young rappers’ upbringings, DaVinci was surrounded by an incredible pool of Fillmore talent and by studying with the greats, he was able to sharpen his skills and aim higher than most, cultivating his story-telling abilities beyond mere drug-and-gun-talk. Growing up in the same 10-block radius as Bay Area rap legends San Quinn and JT the Bigga Figga, DaVinci was content in merely watching the next generation follow in their footsteps, until he received overwhelming praise from his peers from a mixtape appearance, which then prompted him to pursue rap professionally. In 2006, San Quinn welcomed him onto the "Pressure Makes Diamonds Tour" with rap veterans Xzibit and Tech N9ne. Since the tour, DaVinci has kept busy appearing on numerous mixtapes and compilations, as well as preparing his official debut album, The Day The Turf Stood Still. The Day The Turf Stood Still is available now via SWTBRDS Creative Collective.
Apollo Brown Joins Forces With Stik Figa For Emotionally Charged New Single
"Seasons," the latest Apollo Brown single off of The Reset, is very much an exercise in melancholy. "I really wanted to hear something on the sad side, some grasping-onto-life type music," Apollo explains of his vision for the track. The old-time radio crackle, sparse guitar work, and echoing hook provide the perfect backdrop for the wistful lyrics of rising Kansas City emcee Stik Figa, currently working on a full length with producer Oddisee. A longing to escape his hometown and make it big flows through every syllable and the rapper uses seasonal imagery - winter in particular - to represent the stark and unforgiving emotions that can accompany such lofty goals. Still, both Apollo Brown and Stik Figa have achieved a level of success that only comes through perseverance, no better stated than in the line, "With the sun still shinin' / It doesn't seem as cold." "Seasons" explores sentiments we can all relate to and its sadness proves cathartic when coupled with the achievements of the song itself.
Born into a bi-racial family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Apollo Brown's early influences skewed more toward the music of Journey and The Carpenters than the urban genres his peers often cite as inspiration. This is not to say that once hip-hop came into play, Apollo wasn’t all in. Just as easily as he can praise the virtues of yacht rock, the 29-year-old beatsmith can name personal heroes - Gang Starr, Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, M.O.P., Nas, and Black Moon - from the early 90s period in which, for him, beats and rhymes became life. Apollo began making his own music in 1996 using Voyetra audio software, then upgraded to Cool Edit 2000 in becoming a self-described bedroom beat-maker for roughly the next eight years. It was the mid-2000s, and the upstart producer saw no future for his work - work he had dedicated his life to - in an industry where radio was setting a formulaic pattern for mainstream music. But he eventually began to miss the creativity in his craft and began producing once again, releasing the instrumental albums Skilled Trade (2007) and Make Do (2009). He went on in 2009 to win the Detroit Red Bull Big Tune Championships and competed in the national finals. Apollo then signed as a producer with the Mello Music Group in December of 2009. His debut album, The Reset, is available now via Mello Music Group.
About Mello Music Group:
Like Lao Tzu in hip-hop, Mello Music Group provides music for the soul, from the heart of American culture, opening the realm of the intelligent hip-hop experience through melodic evocations, beats that corroborate the truth, and voices that roar above the rising void and impose order on the terrible & triumphant moments of everyday life. This is the compelling sound of Mello Music Group. Industry newcomer Michael Tolle founded MMG in 2007 and is acting Director of Operations. MMG will be releasing projects from Oddisee, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Kenn Starr, Finale, Trek Life, Dudley Perkins, Sareem Poems, UPS, and YU in 2010. http://www.myspace.com/mellomusicgroup .
Realized i hadn't updated the blog in a few days, mainly cuz i been locked in my newly setup home studio aka "Studio Champloo"mixing & mastering lots of upcoming projects! As always, i got a lot of music on deck, so i'm really trying to focus on finishing one before i get too engrossed in another... and of course i'll keep everyone posted right here on the blog and on my forum as to what exactly i'm working on.
All i'll say for now is that my next record is a real special one as it celebrates 10 years of producing for me and the concept behind the album is pretty slick (at least to me). It'll be out end of summer which is right about the time i dropped the VERY FIRST PANACEA record, and NOT the Panacea you all know as me & Raw Poetic... i'll explain the complete history of the group very soon in another post! In the meantime, stay tuned & stay cool- its hot as FUCK out there!
Houston, TX - Thursday, July 22nd marked the 3rd anniversary of Houston rapper, Trae Tha Truth's annual celebration of Trae Day and despite the fact that Mother Nature was less than cooperative, gracing the crowd with her uglier side, the thousands that attended seemed barely to notice.
Instead, they showed all of the enthusiasm and support due an entertainer who had clearly gone out of his way to show his appreciation and support of them. Nationally known artists like Lupe Fiasco, Young Buck, Yo Gotti, Gorilla Zoe and Young Money signees Jae Millz and Lil Chuckee joined Trae on stage with media outlets like MTV News' Shaheem Reid and Rahman Dukes, Ozone's Julia Beverly, Sirius' Angela Yee and XXL's Brooklyne Gipson on hand to capture it all for posterity.
Trae Day was definitely a day for family and Trae proudly sported the latest addition to his, baby son Houston. School supplies were given out to those less fortunate, as were free back-to-school immunizations and health screenings.
As the days festivities drew to a close, the massive crowd dispersed peacefully, making it the perfect end to the perfect day.
The message of the day seemed to be "you can't ban the truth" and if the size of the crowd, without the support of local radio for the event, is anything to go by, the message indeed holds true. Trae intends to keep that message alive. His Can't Ban Tha Truth mixtape drops August 24th and will feature Lupe Fiasco, T-Pain, Yo Gotti, Jae Millz, Yung Quis, Gutta Gutta, Jay'Ton and more. Stand by for details.............
NEW MUSIC: BEI MAEJOR "Boxers" Written & produced by Bei Maejor
After the rave reviews for "Kisses in the VIP" & "Gamez" feat Keri Hilson here is another track off of Bei Maejor's soon to be released free album uʍop ǝpısdn (Upside Down) entitled "Boxers".
uʍop ǝpısdn (Upside Down) is hosted by Clinton Sparks and features a flurry of other big time features. Bei Maejor wrote and produced the entire album, and it will be available for download within the coming weeks.