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I Swear They Hate U – [BBY GOYARD]

If you’re unfamiliar with BBY GOYARD, one of Maryland’s most promising talents, it’s about time that you tap in and understand what you’re missing out on. He’s basically your favorite underground rapper’s favorite underground rapper, and he is appreciated by a cult following that has been growing consistently for years at this point. Despite his growth and success within his blossoming music career, he still doesn’t get nearly enough credit or recognition for the plethora of individualistic styles that he experiments with. It’s almost like every time he hits the studio, he makes a conscious effort to make a song that sounds unlike anything else someone has made in the past. Not only this, but it’s almost like he challenges himself even further to create sounds that he himself hasn’t even made yet. Due to this experimental nature and constant drive to try and invent new styles, he’ll keep you on your toes time and time again and GOYARD basically makes it impossible to be bored with any of his offerings. Take his latest single “I Swear They Hate U” for example. The beat, co-produced by deceased, blvnts, and snoozed, is created with rhythmic, animated, almost video game sounding synths …

Five Excellent Beat Projects Pt. 2 – [Marcus D] x [Stan Forbee] x [Oilix] x [A N T I T H E S I S] x [Fujitsu]

Producers/beatmakers are often unfairly overlooked because of artists. Truth be told, producers are artists themselves, as every instrumental requires its own unique form of craftsmanship, and a precise vision to execute the idea. Without producers, your favorite hit single would simply not sound the same, yet alone exist! Comparable to the clientele work of an artisan or sculptor, when producers craft beats for artists, they must put themselves in another’s shoes to innovate. However, the music of production pioneers Nujabes and J. Dilla demonstrates that instrumentals are entirely separate and complete bodies of work. Applied rapping or vocals are not complements to production, but instead honorary elements that create an alternative version. Therefore, to an extent, the artist serves as a guest feature over the producer’s original creation. To effectively shed greater light to the creative brilliance of producers, I’ve chosen to start a monthly series titled “Five Excellent Beat Projects,” which will highlight five instrumental works that I consider exceptional. This is the second installment of the series. Marcus D – Kirin – Marcus D is a phenomenally talented producer hailing from Seattle, who currently lives in Tokyo, Japan. Marcus has collaborated with American hip hop legends, such as Del the …

Otherside of America – [Meek Mill]

With everything going on in the country right now, it seems as if pretty much everyone in the Hip-Hop community is taking different approaches to making a change regarding the same topic. This variety of voices ensures that the topics of police brutality, prison reform, and especially Black Lives Matter will get through to everyone, and they’re narratives that can no longer be ignored by the ignorant citizens of this country. One rapper that these topics hit especially close to home with is Meek Mill, who has been in and out of the prison system multiple times due to harsh punishments for certain things over the course of the last fifteen years or so. After being freed in 2018, he made it a very important point in his life to speak out and bring light to the idea of prison reform. Meek knows he has a very powerful voice and can speak up for those who might not be heard nearly as easily, so this has become a very important part of his life. In light of recent events, his messages are as relevant as ever, and he hasn’t remained silent about them either, unsurprisingly. After taking to the streets …

Medicine (2020) – [Hannah Rodríguez]

Amy Winehouse may be deceased, but her musical influence is eternal throughout contemporary music. Such a claim is startlingly evident through the artistry of Hannah Rodgriguez; a British songwriter originating from the Lake District in northern England. Rodríguez began writing songs during her school years, which prompted her to self-learn how to produce music when she moved to London at the age of eighteen. Along with Winehouse, Hannah likens her sound to Kali Uchis’s, with Rodríguez’s musical influences spanning from Billie Holiday to Alton Ellis and King Krule. Rodríguez has a wittiness with her words; her records are intimate, personal, and relatable, yet simultaneously humorous in a self-mocking manner. Moreover, Rodríguez is able to craft poetic and sophisticated lyrics beyond her years that reflect a thoughtful, intellectual, and sincere old soul. Despite only being in her early twenties, Rodríguez already has impressive performances at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club and the Roundhouse in London under her resume. Last year, she joined Project FILO, an independent creative talent agency that delivers experiences ranging from music across the globe, films, compelling photography, fashion, visual art, honest writing, and storytelling. Rodríguez’s latest offering, “Medicine (2020)” is a harmonizing, hum-filled tune with passionate love lyrics. Stating …

No Dealings- [Lil Keed]

Lil Keed has been on an absolute roll when it comes to dropping music. He has amassed a notable following through his various mixtapes and projects, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Sometimes being referred to as “Young Thug’s son”, the resemblance and influence are noteworthy of course, but his out of the box style is subtly different from the legendary Atlanta mainstay. Keed is back and better than ever with his most recent single “No Dealings” which is a peek at what he has in store for fans on his upcoming mixtape Trapped on Cleveland 3, the follow up to its 2018 predecessor. The production is set with expressive guitar strums, rattling hats, and absolutely booming 808s. Keed shows of his shrill delivery as he underemphasizes his words, simulating the idea that his talents come so natural to him that he doesn’t even have to try. Although his voice sounds like an instrument in and of itself, his always lively background ad-libs bring the energy levels on this track to new heights. He might not be rapping as intricately or fast-paced as he is known to spit, but his melodic delivery shares emotions and …

Brothers- [Maxo Kream] ft. [KCG Josh]

When I think of one of the best cities in the country producing some of the most unique artists, Houston is at the very top of my list. While Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, and even Chicago have a surplus of artists creating music in a similar fashion that pairs with their respective regions, it seems like no Houston artist sounds even remotely similar to their peers. Travis Scott obviously has the world in his palms with his unique sound, Megan Thee Stallion has taken the world by storm with her unapologetic style, and Maxo Kream rounds out the list with his ruthless, gritty demeanor. Although all of these artists are incredible in their own rights and even work together to bring their city into the spotlight, Maxo has been one of my favorite H-town rappers from the first time I heard his music. Last year’s project Brandon Banks was one of my favorite albums of the year because the narrative throughout touched on so many different topics near and dear to Maxo’s life. Whether he discussed life in the streets, the loss of loved ones, or many other topics, he did it in such a way that you could …

Outside – [Sada Baby] ft. [Trap Manny]

As far as artists who have been making the most out of a pretty macabre year, Sada Baby is at the very top of the list. He has been consistently releasing singles, music videos, and he even just dropped a deluxe tape called Skuba Sada 2. The Detroit emcee is known for putting his all into his music and this fact is beyond evident when you listen to his delivery. His raspy and gritty voice is the basis for the significant and essential lyrics he spits, and the stories he tells in his music are nothing short of menacing. One of the standout tracks on the aforementioned project was by far “Outside” featuring Trap Manny. This song has a beat containing a building violin sample, deep and epic piano chords, and trap-inspired percussion of course. Sada and Manny share the hook, as Sada aggressively beckons the opposition to come meet him outside and Manny hypes him up with some drowned out background ad-libs. Sada has the first verse, talking about how he’s all over the city, making moves that may or may not be legal, but they’re in abundance so no one should be surprised when they see him on …