Orlando and Tampa take flight on this new Niko Is and Vinny Virgo collaborative effort “Lava Lamps.” Coming from the project The Other Side of the Velvet Rope that dropped yesterday, the Thanks Joey produced cut is a standout substance anthem that lays the foundation for Virgo to elevate over the snare and looped out riding beat. Fitting vocoders and a hook with catch quality are just the details that combine to make this track a statement that both emcees are hell bent on dropping nothing but dope shit from here on out.
I can not recollect how I first stumbled upon the sauntering bars of Beantown’s next up emcee Cam Meekins, but I do remember that I had no trouble spinning his first two projects NTRSPCTN and : ) :/ :/ without interruption. I am the first to admit that at artist keeping my attention for that long is a feat in of itself. His uncanny ability to extend narratives beyond just a verse, but to entire tracks ad the project at large, tap into the core of the hip-hop legacy that might sometimes get lost in the smoke and mirrors of the industry. It words are easily digested, but the meaning behind them has a habit of lingering enough to warrant more spins.
Two weeks ago he landed on the iTunes charts with his follow up project Lamp City, and has solidified his status as a young artists to watch in the North East. Subject matter deviation seems to be his strongest tool in the craft, but it would be a discredit to his drive to say he doesn’t back it up with solid flows and original self-produced instrumentals that dwell on live piano utilization. With plans to take the music on the round beyond his homebase of Boston, Meekins took some time to connect with us about his history, the new project, and what Lamp City is beyond the album. (more…)
If you are wondering how our dude Fiend has been living then just look back on his last few freestyles before spinning this feature with Disturbing Tha Peace record’s emcee I-20. Coming correct and consistent with high brow bars with his last few releases, this Fiend collab with I-20 is just more proof that the New Orleans emcee is keeping his game as elevated as it was on Lil Ghetto Boy. Word from the man himself is that he is back in the studio with some names that should turn heads that we can not release just yet. In the mean time roll up and listen to him follow I-20s verse over the smooth DJ Pain One instrumental set to be released on The Amphetamine Manifesto: Part Two.
District of Columbia’s Uptown XO keeps the grind alive for his Mello Music Group release Colour de Grey with this official animated visual for “Everyday.” Teaming up with Creative Junkfood to bring the track into an entirely different presentation seen from him previously, the mix of vibrant cartoon elements and psychedelic backgrounds really brings the track to life. With production and a feature from A.B. the Pro, this fourth video installment from the record continues the XO trend of being an artist beyond just the bars.
With singles and live performance teases coming from his upcoming project theredtape, Tampa emcee/producer Gatsby somehow snuck in an instrumental release titled elephantgraveyards. The fresh release will feature two new tracks, two released tracks that previously included vocals, two updated tracks, and a remix. The surprise release is a departure from standard hip-hop parameters that sits somewhere between what you might expect from Flying Lotus or a dark Cudi project, yet still maintains all the signature synths and creative, non-linear movements that we have come to expect from Gatsby. Although it’s not set to officially drop until tomorrow, we have the exclusive stream here for you today.
PRE-ORDER: GATSBY – ELEPHANTGRAVEYARD
Check this Jake Handegard directed visual for Trek Life’s lead single “Just The Music” off the recent Mello Music Group release Hometown Foreigner. The variegated video pops off the screen as Trek spits down introspective bars over the Duke Westlake instrumental. Roll one up and follow the emcee California emcee as he dips into the record store to dig, checks out murals in the art district, and all around keeps it cool as Summer approaches.
Rel.b dropped the It’s Not Bragging mixtape late last year, and now offers the third visual accompanyment via “The Wave” featuring QuEST. Partly shot on site at Harold’s Coffee shop in West Palm Beach, the video traces a telling narrative that reinforces the embedded conceptualization of the lyrics. Rel has given us the exclusive drop and an interview talking about the collaborations that went into making “The Waves” happen. Check it after the jump. (more…)
The latest Mello Music Group rare drop features producing savant Oddisee remixing The Black Opera track “Queen of Hearts” featuring Mayer Hawthorne on the hook. This is the first we have heard from The Black Opera since their Libretto: Of Kind Legend album dropped late last year, but the guys have been busy on tour opening for the likes of Ghostface Killah and Adrian Young up until now. According to MMG they are back in the studio working on a new EP to tie fans over until their next full length drops. For now enjoy this clever Oddisee reworking of their standout cut.
Although Boston lyricist Cam Meekins doesn’t plan to drop his next project Lamp City until May 21st, yesterday he offered up something to relieve the wait. “Advil” combines Brandun Deshay arranged pianos and synths with some of Meekin’s own drums work that he rides on this reflective track. Word play, solid flows and progress in his spitting bode well for the release next week.
Poet turned thriving member of the Florida hip-hop scene, Vinny Virgo has had a big year dropping tracks that have landed him in front of the likes of Talib Kweli on Rap Fix. Beyond that hype moment in time, there is a lot more to the mind behind the Smoke and Smile empire. The West Coast Florida emcee took a few off and connected with Chiefer Adam to talk about the changes he is seeing in his city, recent and future collaborations, SXSW, mind exercises, and way more. Roll up and get familiar with Vinny Virgo. (more…)