SEARCH FOR: PROM D8

Top 50 Chicago Projects of 2020

It’s obvious that 2020 didn’t turn out nearly how anyone expected at the top of the year. With a global pandemic shaking things up, a pivotal presidential election coming to a head, numerous generational talents passing away, and racial injustice protests taking place across the country, it’s safe to say that this year was beyond unpredictable from even the most seasoned psychics. Nonetheless, Chicago persevered like only we know-how, bringing attention to these issues while also divulging into a plethora of other, more personal narratives in the form of music. Throughout the year, some mainstays in the city continued to impress us here at Lyrical Lemonade while other up-and-comers made some very valid, attention-grabbing claims as to why they’re the next rising star that deserves a place at the table. Also worthy of note, Chicago had some truly excruciating losses this year in terms of music legends whose work still shined through as some of the most impressive of the year, primed to carry on their legacy for years to come. All of that said, we’re more than excited to round this farfetched year out with Lyrical Lemonade’s Top 50 Chicago Projects of 2020. This is our 5th year bringing …

Freestyle – [Baby Smoove]

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote about one of the various Detroit talents that have been steadily putting the Motor City on the map as a low key hub for Rap and Hip-Hop, and it feels like an eternity because of the amount I used to write about them. Baby Smoove is a D-Town artist who I’ve become absolutely enthralled with because of his unique disposition and effortless charisma, and other fans are beginning to catch on as well. Most recently, he dropped a brand-new single entitled “Freestyle”, which is somewhat interesting because many of his songs come off as being freestyles in general, even though his wordplays and lyricism are way too intricate to come off the dome. Then again, with just how talented Smoove is, I wouldn’t put it past him to create these sonic landscapes off the top of his head in the moment. Michigan Meech, a producer that Baby Smoove has worked with copiously in the past, paves the way for the Detroit superstar to do his thing with an unbelievably groovy bassline, some hasty synths of some sort, and piercing percussion that is familiar to Smoove, but definitely uncharacteristic for any other …

Personalities – [Heffie]

Emerging out of the SoundCloud scene that gave way to names like Lil Tecca, Pasto Flocco, and countless others, Heffie is a New Jersey-based artist who lives by the same principles as the aforementioned names: consistency, melody, and undeniability. The release rate in the SoundCloud world is a fast one, and few names have maintained such a quick pace without missing a beat – never mind doing so at just 17 years old, entirely out of a bedroom studio. We’ve featured Heffie in the past, but today, the NJ talent might just have his finest release to date in the form of “Personalities.” Recently getting picked up by Promoting Sounds, the song is already off to the races as one of Heffie’s finest displays yet, and justly so. It builds on an undeniable foundation of light, bright guitar riffs and ear worm melodies, not to mention one of the stickiest choruses I’ve heard all year. Add this to Heffie’s signature, accented vocal style, and you’ve got a song that oozes replay value. Heffie’s sound is the kind that you find yourself singing without even thinking, and “Personalities” is no different. Stream the infectious new track below:

Jesus – [Jimi Somewhere] x [Kacy Hill]

Pop music is beginning to take a seemingly endless amount of forms as each year and each era progresses day by day — a trend that is just as old as the genre itself, but one that also becomes more and more apparent as working creatives begin to explore new and unfounded avenues.    Though this idea of always experimenting and moving forward with the idea of pop music in general is true in the way that it is, that does not mean there still isn’t room for past aspects of this genre to continue to be drawn upon and conclusively perfected in our current times. And in the realms of tried and true indie-pop balladry, perhaps no one is doing this more exceptionally than Jimi Somewhere.    The Norwegian standout has been on an upward progression as far as his status in the grander pop landscape is concerned since bursting onto the scene towards the tail end of the 2010s, seeing his most resounding success come about due in large part to his anthemic singles and the videos that paired with them, along with his ever-impressive 2019 EP “Ponyboy.” But as it stands in 2020, Jimi is far beyond …

The Marvelous Misadventures Of Tony-T – [Matty Wood$]

The midwest has been an underrated region of the country when it comes to producing musical talent if you ask me. States like Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin + even Kentucky have produced some dope artists over the last handful of years, and one of my favorite artists from St. Louis is Matty Wood$. Matty is certainly no stranger to our platform, we’ve featured his music releases countless times and even interviewed him once before, but today’s a huge day for him as he just released his new album “The Marvelous Misadventures Of Tony-T”. Matty has released some solid projects in the past and I’ve always thought of him as one of the midwest artists that could do some serious damage in the future, so coming into this one, I had some massive expectations. I don’t really know how else to say this, but, Matty has some fucking bangers on this project! Easily some of his best work to date is featured here, out of the ten songs, the two standouts to me were the hazy “Break Sum” as well as the hard-hitting joint called “Bryant Park”. Take some time out of your Friday to get familiar with Matty Wood$, I promise …

Hellbent – [PROM D8]

A quick listen to PROM D8’s discography so far offers just a glimpse at the range of sounds that the Chicago-based band has up their sleeves, and now, they’ve refined those sounds even more with their latest single, “Hellbent”.  Falling into the group’s unique mix of rap, electronic, and goth influences, “Hellbent” leaves a listener with plenty to be excited for from PROM D8 as they continue to tap into the aspects of their music that set them outside of genre boundaries. Namely, the collage of soothing melody, aggressive flow, and haunting lyricism coalesces nicely on this song. It’s a difficult challenge to get all of these elements to work in harmony together, but PROM D8 proves to have a steady handle on all the styles at their disposal. The energy on “Hellbent” rises and subsides in a natural wave, and the band sounds less concerned with following a predetermined song format and instead letting the emotion of the track decide where to go next. The result is a punchy, energetic first half that dissolves into a eerily blissful conclusion—it’s a lot to pull off in just under 3-minutes but the group does it with finesse and imprints their name …

After Hours – [The Weeknd]

Take off my disguise. I’m living someone else’s life. Suppressing who I was inside. -The Weeknd on “Alone Again” When The Weeknd dropped his single “Heartless” back in November of 2019, in my original write up, I stated “The Weeknd is way too calculated for this to just be a one-and-done”. That statement alone, followed by what we have been witnessing for the past three, almost four months, has been nothing but the perfect setup to debut his next body of work. After being relatively silent since the release of his last debut album “Starboy” in 2016, and his “My Dear Melancholy,” back in 2018, fans were long overdue for a new full-length project from The Weeknd. After months of visuals, singles, late-night television appearances, promo and all, our eardrums have finally been blessed with the newest release from The Weeknd, After Hours. The traditional album rollout has not been as prominent in the landscape of the music industry as of late. Many artists lock in for some months, cook up some music, and announce a project weeks, sometimes hours before release. While this may work for some, others may not be afforded that luxury. While The Weeknd definitely has enough …

With You – [Sky McCreery]

Music promotion has taken a very different form in the past few years, artists feel that the only way to really build a fanbase is to be in front of everybody’s face at all times and never lose their attention. If we’re being honest, this strategy can often burn artists out before they even begin. Today we have soulful new cut titled “With You” from LA’s Sky McCreery, who has spent the past 7 months incredibly quiet loading up this next release. The wait was worth it. Being elusive and mysterious are both qualities than many seem to overlook in their social strategy but it has begun to pay its dividends to Sky. His voice is incredibly powerful for such a young artist, bringing a certain level of raw emotion that will surely connect with fans across the globe. Any artist that can bring an authentic version of themselves to a release is sure to be received well with the public, the time Sky took off was clearly to focus on what’s important to him and its definitely showing with his latest release. Listen to “With You” on all platforms here!

Uncommon Nasa: The Backbone of The Underground

Uncommon Nasa is authenticity at its finest. He’s comfortable in his own skin, and he’s been operating on his own terms for years now. His unapologetic commitment to himself and his art for over a decade is what has solidified him as an impactful legend in the New York Indie scene. Nasa’s music is deeply rooted in New York culture, which is to be expected, considering he’s been there his whole life. It’s his default, in a sense. All of his music references home, sometimes more than others, but it’s always there. Despite some of the topical similarity that echoes throughout his music though, he refuses to stick to one sound. The classic, New York boom-bap influence is there, but Nasa understands the importance of pushing the ball forward, and makes his art with the intent that it won’t grow stale. His style is hard to pin-point, as his delivery can almost be classified as slam poetry at times, with extremely tight rhyme schemes and lyricism that demands the listener’s attention. Incredible amounts of time and detail go into Nasa’s art. He takes his time to make sure that every aspect of a record makes for a cohesive and engaging …

La La Lost You (Acoustic) – NIKI

NIKI is without a doubt one of my personal favorite new artists out right now. The Indonesian singer/songwriter is one of 88 Rising’s most promising musicians right now, and her recent appearances on the collective’s compilation album only serve to illustrate that point further. Last week, she decided to release acoustic versions of all of her tracks from ‘Head In The Clouds 2’. There are certain instances when a stripped-down, live version of a record rivals or even surpasses the original, and NIKI’s acoustic take on the track “La La Lost You” just may be one of these instances. She’s not new to delivering stellar live renditions of her songs, and this one hits especially hard thanks to her crystal clear vocal quality. It almost feels like she’s performing right in your living room—singing with this careful balance of vulnerability and power that breathes new life into her meticulously written lyrics. Watch NIKI’s performance below, and check out her other acoustic sessions here.