SEARCH FOR: MIXTAPES

Popping (Remix) – [Lil Xelly] ft. [Tony Shhnow]

Back in his hay day just a few years ago, Lil Xelly was putting out more music on his own than pretty much the rest of the music industry collectively. I don’t know how he found enough time in a day to record the number of songs he would put out, but I think that just speaks to his talents because it takes a truly special artist to constantly bring something new to the table with every new song, especially when you’re putting out multiple mixtapes per week. While his productivity might’ve slowed down slightly, and I want to emphasize slightly, he is still putting out so much new music that constantly showcases his incredible skills time and time again. Just a few days ago, he put out a project entitled Trap Boyardee, and while I didn’t realize this was already out until today, I’m now extremely excited to tune into the 9 new records he blessed fans with, even though I know he’s going to have more records out in the blink of an eye. One of the standouts from my early listen to this project was “Poppin”, a song that seems to utilize an instrumental from one of …

The Top 10 Moments From Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash Festival

Creative Direction: @shotbycones We are a couple of weeks removed from our annual Summer Smash festival, and we are all still having major withdrawals from such a great weekend. After the past year that we had of quarantining, social distancing, and avoiding large events, it felt amazing to be able to come outside and enjoy our festival once again. With over 75 artists on our lineup ranging from the up-and-coming rappers to superstars and legends, it was truly a weekend to remember, and a special moment for not only Lyrical Lemonade but Chicago as a whole. I had the opportunity to work as a lead for the Summer Smash Media Team—a squad full of some of the best photographers and videographers in the game put together by our guy Cones. All weekend long, they captured tons of videos, photos, and clips of the entire run of show. While our full recap of the entire Summer Smash weekend is dropping very soon, I felt it would be a great idea to give my perspective on some of the best moments that happened during Summer Smash. At last, here are some of the best moments of Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash 2021!   …

When We Shoot – [Jay Montana] prod. [Evrgrn]

Mobile, Alabama artist Jay Montana is as prolific of an artist as they come right now, dropping almost a dozen singles as well as two mixtapes with his projects B4DACHECK and The Vulture that showcase his smooth southern vocals, lyrics that range from clever, to sarcastic, to intimidating. This is yet another collaboration between him and Toronto producer Evrgrn who has been the backbone of many of the industry’s best songs this year, perhaps most notably with his track “On Me” with Lil Baby, but he and Jay Montana are already building a strong artist/producer bond that I hope continues on for years. Mobile based director Frazier Productions brought this visual to life and captured all of the cast of characters well, continuing to be quite prolific himself in a city that is jam-packed with rap talent. I am really eager to see Jay Montana start collaborating with more artists across the industry as his sound is extremely refined and unique for an artist his age.

The Vulture – [Jay Montana]

The increase in regional rap’s diversifying of sounds has lead to a lot of new recent trends in sound, from Brooklyn to Memphis to Baton Rouge and of course Detroit, the way people rap is more than ever reflecting the part of this country they come from, and that is especially becoming the case in Mobile, Alabama. However Mobile is much more than your standard regional outpost of music with a cool local scene or a couple names making noise in the industry, and that could not be further from the case. The city has produced bona fide stars such as Yung Bleu, NoCap, or Flo Milli, and plenty more artists that are easily identifiable in the mainstream but have more underground, cult-like followings with OMB Peezy and Rylo Rodriguez, and there are plenty other names as well that are worth mentioning for their contributions to the region’s overall sound, but none have been quite as innovating and prolific as Jay Montana, who has given his fans seven mixtapes already since picking up the mic in 2019. He has continued off of the sound that NoCap and Rylo Rodriguez first popularized and has continued to build off of elements of …

Local Joker – [Maxo Kream]

Houston is a music city that has slowly but surely been gaining more and more recognition over the past couple of years, and I’m excited about that more than I can explain. It seems like there aren’t as many underground acts that are receiving as much shine, but the artists that are making waves are all out superstars. Whether we’re talking about Travis Scott or Meg thee Stallion, the scene goes much further, leading us right to one of my personal favorite artists Maxo Kream. He’s just so smooth and quick-witted with his words, making him an artist that I feel needs much more recognition than he gets, and even after a bit of a hiatus, he’s still as silver-tongued as ever. The break was necessary, though, considering he recently lost his brother, so even though I don’t believe there is a time frame to come back from such a massive loss like that, he decided to get back in the swing of things with the release of his latest song “Local Joker” and a NotAChance-directed music video. With an instrumental created by Kal Banx and Mario Luciano, a very vibey, smooth synth takes the bulk of the melody as …

War On Drugs – [Los]

The last year has seen the whole world turn their eyes to the Detroit music scene through a variety of different avenues as many, many artists at this point have stamped their names into the national consciousness from the Motor City, but to me the group of artists that are both some of the purest embodiments of the chaos and problems with their city as well as the ones who are the most committed to telling their stories in the most creative fashion possible are without question Los & Nutty, who alongside their Daisy Lane companions, have built a cult-following for their music almost as rabid as the fiends they rap about serving from Michigan to Tennessee, not to mention having been arguably the most consistent out of their city as the last two years has seen them drop three collaborative mixtapes, several individual projects, and dozens more features and singles to boot. While I also really, really enjoy WB Nutty’s music, Los has always been my favorite of the duo, and honestly from a personal perspective is my favorite rapper out of Detroit period, and on his latest project War on Drugs he delivers some of his very best work …

I Don’t Wanna Die – [G Herbo]

At this point in time, it should come as no surprise that G Herbo is one of the most legendary artists to come out of Chicago. He has one of the strongest track records in music, and even before when he was releasing some of his acclaimed mixtapes while still hustling in the streets, he was making a legacy for himself that is going to go down in history. Just the other day, Herb decided to keep his legacy going stronger than ever with another incredible album entitled 25, which gives us a look inside of his life as he turns a quarter-century old and reflects on his journey thus far as well as the future. Alongside the album, he decided to highlight one of the most revealing songs on the project by dropping a child-directed music video for his record “I Don’t Wanna Die”. As chilling sound bites and ominous lyrics are sung out by what sounds like a children’s choir, the black and white visual begins with a little girl dancing around in a patch of grass with a flower. From here, we’re introduced to other characters like some kids in a school bus, other children playing in …

Avalon – [$uicideboy$]

I remember back in the day a few years ago, I was just beginning to realize how few boundaries there were when it comes to music, so I literally looked out to try and find some of the most diverse, individualistic artists I could experience just to see how far the boundaries could stretch. That’s when I came across $uicideboy$, a duo of cousins that literally took the music world and flipped it on its head, but of course, you probably already know that if you’re reading this right now. While I’ve been genuinely curious to know what their next move was going to be considering it seems like it has been quite some time since their last release and they used to drop EPs and mixtapes like once a week, I was beyond excited to wake up to the news that they released a brand-new song entitled “Avalon”, and it takes me back to the early days of their careers. When pressing play, you’re smacked in the face with a beat made by Sambo Bachrack, PVLACE, and Budd Dwyer (Scrim’s production alter ego). When dissecting it, there is a classic sample and vocal chop that is nothing new to …

Little While – [Sada Baby] ft. [Big Sean] & [Hit-Boy]

If you think about the rap industry in general, it’s no surprise anymore that Detroit is one of the biggest hubs in modern rap music currently, and that’s not going to come to an end anytime soon. While Lil Yachty helped highlight some of the immense talents throughout Michigan on his Michigan Boy Boat project that came out not too long ago, that tape definitely can’t act as the end-all, be-all for all the incredible musicians coming out of the state. It’s no secret that out of all the big names, Sada Baby is definitely always in the conversation, and rightfully so. While he has been one of my absolute favorite emcees in general over the past year or so, it’s even more insane that he has only put out mixtapes and EPs which leaves fans begging the question, when is an album going to come out? Luckily, Sada decided to put those questions to bed, announcing that his debut album Him Not Them is going to be coming out soon. Along with this announcement comes an insanely entertaining new song called “Little While” that he debuted earlier today on Apple Music 1 with Zane Lowe. Produced by the legendary …

A Beginner’s Guide To NYC Sample Drill

Sampling isn’t a new thing, and it surely isn’t new to hip-hop. In the 90s, during what some would consider the “golden age” of hip-hop, producers were flipping the soul records they grew up with into cutting edge rap records. But as time went on and hip-hop grew, the laws surrounding the use of other artists’ music for sampling grew increasingly restrictive, and the connections and money needed to successfully clear samples partially closed that window for smaller, independent artists. As a result, some producers even made it a point to make sample-free music, reflective of the general attitude toward the arduous process and legal implications of sample-clearing. There’s a new sound taking over New York right now, though, unconcerned with any of this. A wave of sample-based production is happening all over the city, pairing classic songs of all genres with NYC’s omnipresent drill sound – a lethal combination of hard-nosed drum patterns and soaring 808s with colorful arrays of samples, from rock songs to soul songs and everything in between. Artists are ignoring the “red tape” of sample clearance and releasing new music at breakneck speed, encouraging others to do the same. As a result, an entire world of sound …