Bellwood Product – [Caleb Steph]

In life, we’re all a product of our environment to an extent, and further, we all possess an innate pride and love for our origins, wherever they may be. Music often reflects this sentiment, as rap’s obsession with geographic location often yields thoughtful reflections of parts of the country that we may never visit, but can temporarily transport to through music. Proving this exact idea today, one of my favorite recent discoveries, Caleb Steph, is here with his highly-anticipated debut project, Bellwood Product. Paying homage to the apartments where Steph was raised, this Virginia-minded EP brings listeners directly into the complexities of the budding talent’s world, as visions of temptations both good and evil constantly push back and forth from the opening seconds all the way to the album’s close. Throughout the space in between, Steph provides ample evidence of the lyrical prowess that listeners have come to know and love him for, producing an album of two central functions: first, to introduce Caleb Steph to the world and track the journey that made him the man he is today, and second, to illustrate a raw, soul-stricken display of the atmosphere and circumstances that we often aren’t exposed to. Achieving both …

Paid in Full – [SAFE] ft. [Playboi Carti]

After a long hiatus, SAFE has returned with an updated sound and a direct path to superstardom. In the time following his critically acclaimed debut project, Stay Down, in 2016, the budding talent has kept an incredibly low profile, although he broke the silence last year dropping 2 singles in 2018, leaving fans questioning when a new feature-length project would arrive. Luckily, this week, SAFE made two exciting appearances, first providing a feature for Khalid’s sophomore album, which was followed by a Playboi Carti-assisted single, “Paid In Full,” that is sure to be in heavy rotation for old fans and new. In this single, SAFE effortlessly cruises along a bubbly Pluss-produced beat that seems to bring out the best in both artists while Carti delivers in his regular fashion alongside the Toronto native. It’s as promising as ever that we’ll receive more music from SAFE in the near future and there are serious signs that he has been working a number of talented artists and producers. After last week’s releases, I will be anxiously anticipating the follow up to his debut, hopefully dropping sometime before the summer. Stream the new single below!

Maxo Kream: The Power of Storytelling

In an age defined by the over-consumption of media and the bombardment of news, minute by minute via social media, we often lose sensitivity to the human side of the tragic occurrences and misfortune we hear about. As devastating as it may be, receiving news of a tragedy that occurs anywhere other than home is either entirely ignored or only paid attention to until the next tragedy comes up. Consequently, now, more than ever, the world needs to embrace the value of personal account and further, the power of storytelling. Humanizing these tragedies, whether they be instantaneous or generational (not justifying, which is an important distinction), reminds us that what is presented on the news is a reality, and while these realities may not strike anywhere close to home for some, they permanently alter the lives and communities of others. Houston native Maxo Kream has developed himself to be just the storyteller that music needs, in a time like this. Before this prowess receives celebration, however, it’s important to note that Kream’s stories are, in no way, derived from any sort of motive or political narrative. If they were, Kream wouldn’t present the two sides of his life so clearly …

Imported – [Jessie Reyez] ft. [6LACK]

Jessie Reyez and 6LACK each have a unique sound, but their careers share a similar arc. Both the Toronto songstress and the Atlanta crooner had tremendous years in 2018, dropping acclaimed solo projects paired with a few huge guest spots. Reyez even nabbed herself (another) platinum record in 2018, thanks to a songwriting credit on one Dua Lipa’s smash hit, “One Kiss.”  Emerging as two of the games brightest, young stars, it was only a matter of time until their paths crossed formally. The first (of hopefully many) collaborations between the two comes in the shape of a remix of Reyez’ rebound anthem, “Imported” and their chemistry is palpable. 6LACK’s presence gives the remix a special energy, taking things up a notch from the original while still fitting seamlessly into the fiber of the Hennedub-produced song. His sound works so well with Reyez, as they both share a distinct nip in their emotionally-driven voices. A rare feat for a remix and a testament to the blockbuster feel of this one, a music video is on the way as well! Hopefully, the momentum from this one carries Jessie over as she finishes hammering out the details on her next project, but for now, check out “Imported” below and let us …

Delaware’s Free Spirit With the Wild Mane, Lil West, Talks Mining Relationships, Finding ‘Balance’ and More on the New Vex Part 1

It’s a safe bet that the vast majority of Americans, asked to name someone from Delaware off the top of their heads, could only come up with that of Joe Biden, the former vice president currently dragging out a will-he-or-won’t-he-run guessing game regarding the 2020 presidential race. But that doesn’t mean the nation’s “First State”—our second smallest in area—hasn’t produced other accomplished individuals, including, in the hip-hop world, one of the more quietly promising young talents to emerge in recent years: melodic genre-buster Lil West. The southern Delaware town of Bridgeville—population, 2000 and change—isn’t what you’d call a hip-hop mecca, but then 20-year-old West is hardly a conventional singer and rapper. The first thing I notice as West and I sit down in a booth at the midtown location of Manhattan favorite Blue Ribbon Sushi—is that his famously wild hair has been brought under control. If the artist has one signature visual trait that’s helped stand him out from the pack during his come-up, it’s a leonine mane that serves as a nice  visual signifier of his free spirit. The hair has been on full display in videos like last year’s “No More” and the recent “Somedays” – but this …

Deceived – [Ryan Caraveo]

Making his Lyrical Lemonade debut today, Seattle native Ryan Caraveo delivers an impressive new single titled “Deceived”. Remaining independent, Ryan has been consistently growing his fanbase over the years with multiple projects, engaging singles, and touching visuals. After becoming a fan back in 2016 when Ryan released Maybe They Were Wrong, I’ve had fun watching the young artist captivate his fans and flawlessly execute every move he makes. Today, “Deceived” serves as Caraveo’s first single this year as it establishes a solid foundation for Ryan to have one of his biggest years thus far. Between his infectious melodies and his empathetic word choice, it becomes very coherent as to why his fans fall deeply in love with not only his music, but more-so with him as a person. As we can only anticipate more from Ryan and his team later this year, do yourself a favor now and get familiar with “Deceived” by streaming below. Lastly, follow Ryan Caraveo on Instagram and Twitter to see future announcements and upcoming tour dates!

Released – [Sydny August]

Sydny August is a super talented artist from Chicago who I have been covering here at Lyrical Lemonade since about 2015, and today she is finding herself back on our platform with the premiere of her brand new record called “Released”. Sydny has always had an ear for great production and that’s exactly what we got here as Db_Flock blessed her with a slow & steady yet beautiful instrumental, and Sydny took full advantage of the golden path in front of her and created an ear pleasing jam that anyone can vibe out to. Stream this brand new joint below and if you like what you hear be sure to keep up with Sydny by giving her a follow on Twitter here. produced by @db_Flock

Five Life Lessons From J Dilla’s ‘Donuts’

By: John Matraia Loops surround us in our everyday lives. Rings. Coins. Wheels. Even donuts, a favorite snack of the late producer J Dilla. But loops mean much more than those run-of-the-mill items when looking at J Dilla’s magnum opus: the 31-track journey through life that is Donuts. For those unfamiliar with J Dilla (also known as Jay Dee), he was a music producer and rapper from Detroit, born in 1974. On Donuts, his most acclaimed solo body of work, he proves himself as the master of loops (short, repetitive sample patterns) found at the core of every song. In fact, the album as a whole acts as one never-ending loop, running seamlessly from the first song to the last and then back to the first. Dilla communicates through these loops on this instrumental project, speaking volumes without any vocals from the man himself. Dilla created Donuts entirely on an MPC3000, a device that the Detroit producer knew the ins and outs of more than almost anyone, without any technological help from the machine’s myriad of capabilities. More specifically, Dilla famously made the project without “quantization” — a feature of the MPC that moves certain drum notes in place with …

Gucci Flowers – [Cameron Bolden] ft. [Graves]

As the winter fades away and it isn’t quite time for spring yet, things feel kind of locked in this odd, dazy transitional phase. It’s always fun to come across new music that captures exactly the right vibe at this very moment, and I felt that once I hit play on Cameron Bolden’s “Gucci Flowers”. Bolden, a 20-year-old artist out of Chicago, finds his footing on this track in the form of fast-paced flows that let his mind run loose. His long-winded raps over bedroom-style production by Sriram Iyer bring the track to a state of ennui, stuck in a lo-fi afternoon stupor. Vocals from an artist named Graves only add to this feeling of apathy, as their smooth melody acts as a bridge that brings the track together. Listen to Cameron Bolden and Graves team up on “Gucci Flowers” below:

A Closer Look Into Wicca Phase Springs Eternal

On the Road Again, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal Talks the New Approach of Latest Project “Suffer On,” the Impact of Lil Peep’s Death, Major Label Wooing, and the Future of GothBoiClique For the first time ever on a headlining tour, Adam McIlwee, the Pennsylvania  electronic angst auteur who records as Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, has gone out with a stage backdrop, and it’s impressive. But last week in Brooklyn, he didn’t use it. No need, really, as the artist was performing in front of one of the most dramatic views a New York venue has to offer: the elevated tracks of the J, M and Z trains, which rumble by periodically mid-set, just outside the beloved indie venue Market Hotel. It feels like a moment for Wicca Phase. Maybe not a splashy, look-at-me moment, but then, flexing is not really for McIlwee, who at 29 has already logged several notable chapters in an unlikely musical path, one that’s bridged punk, hip-hop, emo, and most recently evolved into singer-songwriter acoustics. He’s still based in his native Scranton, PA, where in the late 2000’s he fronted the indie outfit Tiger’s Jaw, until more electronic and experimental tendencies led him to split from …