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Five Excellent Beat Projects Pt. 3 – [Cookin’ Soul] x [Jazzinuf] x [Leavv] x [Hazy Year] x [Elijah Nang] x [Figub Brazlevič] 

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 third installment of the series. Cookin’ Soul – Carribean Bites – Despite being a Grammy award winning group, the Valencia, Spain based production duo (Big Size & DJ Zock) still somehow seem underrated. With production credits …

The Ultimate Drake Album: A Twisted Love Story

FOREWORD In the history of the hip-hop industry, there has never been a more dominant artist than Aubrey “Drake” Graham. The 33 year-old superstar has undergone several re-inventions over the years, much to the delight of his ever-growing fanbase. As much as we have seen him progress, however, the substance in his music carries one glaring constant – heartbreak. It’s no secret that Drake is the master of the introspective love song, and as much as it probably pains him to have to go through experiences that inspire these records, the music has continued to serve as salvation for distraught fans everywhere.  At this point, we owe Drake for giving us all this incredible music at the expense of his own emotional distress. My first thought in paying homage was to curate a carefully-selected 100-song playlist of all his best music. Quickly, I realized that: 1) it’s an impossibly subjective task to narrow down his 100 “best” records, and 2) a playlist that deep is sure to oversaturate the respect we’re trying to pay in this instance. So I took a different approach. I thought to myself, ‘what would Drake appreciate the most from the perspective of a long-time fan? …

Twilight – [Amaria]

Undeniability is essential in challenging a listener’s ear. In order to push a fan outside of their comfort zone, there needs to be a certain “eureka” moment that strikes across any type of listener, which isn’t something that you stumble upon often. Once in a blue moon, though, a song will drive straight toward this direction, which is exactly what it feels as though Tampa artist Amaria has done with “Twilight.” Produced by the UK’s K, Le Maestro – a Soulection affiliate – “Twilight” steers toward a decadent intersection of R&B and electronic elements, guided by a body-moving bassline and Amaria’s penchant for silky smooth vocals. As I’ve noticed is the case with many great songs, the singing and the production work hand-in-hand as opposed to presenting one on top of the other, and the yield of such is a cohesive wave of sound that sets the mood in an infectious way. As if the sonic strength of “Twilight” wasn’t enough, this release also comes paired with an equally as illustrative music video, using textured footage to capture the romantics that weave themselves into the lyrics. Working in seamless cohesion with the feeling that the song exudes, the visuals act as a …

Off-It* – [T$AN]

Philadelphia artist T$AN is back with a new visual for his track “Off-It*” off of his Manny Laurekno produced EP Farewell that released earlier this year and he exhibits all of the charisma and swagger that enticed Columbia Records into signing the teenager recently. His flows are futuristic and complicated and he never seems to be copying anyone else with his music, and while there are obvious influences at play he is still able to be true to himself. I am very excited to see what the Lil Uzi Vert collaborator has in store next and I am eager to see more of his artistic progression as he continues to mature.

Think of Me – [Adam Acosta]

One of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time was dropped about a year ago in 2019. Even though it’s been out for some time, I’ve been listening to as if it holds the top spot of NMF. The emotion fueled track entitled “Think of Me” is by an artist named Adam Acosta. Before I get into the song, I want it to be known that this kid is going to be a star one day. If you don’t believe me, listen to this latest song and you be the judge. “Think of Me” is the perfect example of what happens when raw talent and raw emotions are combined. Adam Acosta has one of the greatest voices I’ve heard in a 19 year old and this song just affirms that. The Oxnard native explained to me what this song meant to him and he stated: “To me, I’d say writing Think of Me was like one of the first times I got myself to sit down, focus and try and write a good song. And so, I wrote about some honest insights into how I was feeling about how missing someone can sometimes feel one sided. Found some …

not ok – [Peach Tree Rascals]

Rising LA-based collective Peach Tree Rascals continue to establish themselves as a group with distinguishable talent on their latest single, “not ok”. The multi-faceted band continue with the more somber tone set by their previous single, “Things Won’t Go My Way”, with more reflective songwriting combined with downcast trap production on “not ok”. Inspired by a desire to escape reality for a moment, PTR craft a trippy and atmospheric sound to match this emotion integrating alternative and hip-hop production elements to fit the vibe. The versatility of the group’s members also shines through especially well on this song, with equally strong vocal and rap performances that all align with the common escapist theme. Listen to “not ok” below and hear from PTR themselves in our exclusive Q&A below: — This song’s tone is more somber than your other recent releases. What are some experiences that inspired it? We were inspired to write this song about that feeling of hopelessness you have when you’re stuck in your own thoughts / feelings and feel like there’s no out. We’ve for sure all been there before, especially in times like these where many of us feel alone and separated from those we love. …

Summertime 2016 – [Jae Luna]

An artist named Jae Luna made it onto our pages a couple of months ago and ever since then, I’ve been waiting for him to drop some new tracks so he could grab the attention of all the Lyrical Lemonade readers out there. Today, I’m so pleased to announce that the day has finally come. Jae Luna just recently released a track entitled, “Summertime 2016” this is bound to have you reminiscing on better times. The first time I stumbled on Jae, his vocals mesmerized me in a way that I never thought was possible. His silky smooth delivery is enough to put any mind at ease. When you pair that with some amazing production, its only a match made in heaven from there. This track somehow manages to captivate you from the moment the play button is pressed. Jae’s entire ambience just screams super star and I’m really excited for him to get the acknowledgment he deserves. “Summertime 2016” is truly a vibe in every sense of the word. The dope guitar strum and hard hitting beats pave the way for Jae to do his thing throughout this 3 and a half minute track. I really can’t stress how …

Premiere: Bang (Official Video) – [Belaganas]

The video that’s premiering on our page today has been something that I’ve been looking forward to for some time now. About a month ago, I got put onto a ridiculously dynamic group that goes by the name of Belaganas. When a buddy of mine connected me with these guys, he proceeded to tell me how much I was going to love their energy and overall presence; Flash forward to a couple of weeks later and its safe to say that Belaganas might be my favorite emerging artists in the industry right now.  The core group, made up of Shanker, Joey J, and Nick Wille came together after various run ins with one another through mutual friends, skating and the preforming arts. I got the chance to talk to the fellas on the phone and they explained to me that they all found themselves tied into the arts community, which is what led them to eventually meeting. After those chance encounters, the 3 then found themselves bonding over the same type of music which ultimately led to Belaganas being born in late 2017. What I love most about this group is that they’re from my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. When …

Nothing but a Monster – [ARI]

ARI is a rising artist who’s making her debut on Lyrical Lemonade today for her very first single release. Just like most people growing up, the 21 year old enjoyed singing as a past time, but never thought of taking it seriously until a good amount of people noticed the potential she had. From then on, the star in the making began to post videos to social media and youtube, which successfully blossomed into a solid following and some impressive buzz. Soon after, ARI decided to pack her bags and make the trek to LA. With a mixture of good luck and hard work, the singer/songwriter was able to meet the right people and walk into the right opportunities, which brings us to present day. This brand new offering entitled, “Nothing but a Monster” gives a first look into the mind of ARI and what she has in store for us as an artist. After briefly talking to her on the phone, she was able to share some insight on this track of hers. She explained that growing up in Toronto definitely had a love/hate dynamic. This song is meant to somewhat represent that as “the feeling” she sings about …

Maybe, Always – [Angel Cintron] x [Sage]

Texas, although known for its flood of breakout Hip Hop artist over the past couple of years, is simultaneously busting at the seams with dynamic new acts operating in Pop and R&B. An incredibly bright light helping to lead this charge in shifting the perspective of music coming out of the Lone Star state is none other than Angel Cintron. The San Antonio based artist’s latest collaboration, with fellow San Antonio based producer Sage, “Maybe, Always” is a departure from some of her more glossy Pop ballads and a step into something more comparable to sultry R&B. Break-beat production from Sage crafts a euphoric and simultaneously driving sonic texture for Cintron’s soaring vocals and intimate lyricism. This beautiful balance, from a sonic perspective, sets up Cintron to serenade listeners with a story of a troubled relationship and its cyclical arch of break-ups and rekindling. Not only is Angel Cintron talented but her range and ability to deliver a multitude of moods and sounds continues to place her on the highest of spots on the list of San Antonio artists that are helping to push and shift the sound associated with the Alamo City. Listen to “Maybe, Always” by Angel Cintron …