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Why Look Up, God’s In The Mirror – [Lukah]

Memphis, Tennessee is without a question one of the most historic outposts in the history of music, far predating their storied and vastly influential run of rap music from the late ’80s and on, going back to a history of blues and jazz and even rock and roll. From the depths of the Delta and on up to Nashville, there is something about this part of the country that just has music in its veins and that continues to be the case to this day, while each of these areas have certainly for the most part migrated to the trap-tropes of production that can without a doubt be traced back to Memphis first. However if any criticism could be made towards the city of Memphis’s music scene, from a strictly sonic perspective mind you, is that it is beginning to become a bit singular in sound, while there are obvious more mainstream leaning exceptions, the city has largely strayed away from experimentation and embracing the styles of more progressive artists, if you will. However that is certainly not the case with South Memphis lyricist Lukah who paints similar broad strokes as his city’s peers whose music deals with the drugs …

SUE ME – [Chow Lee]

New York’s own Chow Lee came across my radar recently, and I am elated that he did. The rapper’s introduction to me was through his latest project, SUE ME, a seventeen-track project that flips some of the most recognizable songs from Mariah Carey, Drake, Fountains of Wayne, who were responsible for the massive hit, “Stacy’s Mom” and Pretty Ricky. It’s these very clever flips that completely sucked in, keeping me on my toes while keeping me steady with familiar sonics. The sprawling project, although admittedly dense, has something for everyone and is a truly trailblazing new mutation of the drill sound that is addictively melodic but still packs a punch. Although this may have been my first introduction to Chow Lee’s music his choices in production and pioneer spirit to shake things up have solidified me as a fan. Check out the rising rapper’s latest project below, and make sure to keep your ear in tune for some of the most subtle flips. My personal favorites are “JUE LAN,” “WHY CAN’T I?,” and “POWER CREW.” Listen to SUE ME by Chow Lee below.

Dead & Gone – [Joey Fatts] ft. [Dave East]

Joey Fatts recently teamed up with New York icon Dave East, for his lead single, “Dead & Gone,” previewing his upcoming project releasing September 24th, Joey The Album. The track features two raw, uncut and unfiltered artists who pair up to form a tough, but poetic four minutes of artistry that will only leave the listener wanting to hear more. Joey spits about the music industry and the grim realities that come with it; fame, two-faced relationships, greed, and jealousy – but also about how he’s overcome, and that his goals and mindset are on preserving the future and not dwelling on the past. “My daughter need it all before I’m dead & gone, gon’ give this sh*t my all before I’m dead & gone.” Dave East, whose popularity has steady risen among new listeners, and remained constant among old, continues to go to war with every verse he touches. His raw abilities are gravitating, and his raspy, new-old-school flow will leave listeners entranced. He talks words of success and themes of feeling untouchable, “I took plenty drunken advice, then fell in love with this life, I am not coming down, this sh*t like I’m stuck on a flight.” The music …

FIX YOUR FACE-[seeyousoon]

“Simply put, FIX YOUR FACE is a song about getting weird looks from people in public. As a rather weird-looking group of people, we’re no strangers to this concept. It’s a feeling we wanted to harness and turn into something empowering. The next time you catch a weird glare just listen to the song and you’ll understand.” – seeyousoon Floridian 9-piece collective seeyousoon returns to Lyrical Lemonade with a unique song and visual titled “FIX YOUR FACE.” Off their upcoming project HZLIKHELL, the track follows their first single “NO DAYLIGHT.” Everything about the record peaked my interest, and the emphatic song title alone enticed me to give it a listen at the very least. The accompanying CULT CLASSIC directed music video fantastically captures the overall vibe of the offering as well as the personality behind it. I also love the cover art, which similarly juxtaposes attention and bewilderment via facial structural positioning. Conceptually it’s probably one of the more clever tracks I’ve heard all year, since the meaning behind it is widely understood yet rarely discussed. Sonically the release is experimental with a fun variety of indie and hip-hop elements, and the Pharrell esque production is what I’d also expect …

Get Refreshed: Lessons On Dance, Pop, and Purpose

“Get Refreshed” is a column by Billy Bugara covering all things digital in the music world. Refresh yourself here.  Cover by Bernard Vernon Full Playlist (2021) Dirty Bird: Dirty Bird Dirty Bird is dance music’s preeminent academic. They make a living out of educating others on the craft they know so well, all the while farthing that very craft to new, unfounded places. Just like any professor and/or researcher in academia, they’ve earned their place by showing a simultaneous understanding of this craft’s contextual history and a beyond-adequate usage of it through action and practice.  If Dirty Bird is dance’s professor at large, then their recent self-titled offering is their full-length curriculum. Even the most astute dance music heads learn quite a lot when listening to the discography of this Eldia Records standout; this project essentially serves as the one-stop hub for their endless library of electronic knowledge — and all the careful consideration of culture that comes with it. If you walk away from an album like this and fail to recognize just how tightly Dirty Bird grasps the nuances of their musical environment, then you either didn’t listen to the album at all, or you’re being purposefully dismissive …

Get Refreshed: Lullabies, Tears, and Trends

“Get Refreshed” is a weekly column by Billy Bugara covering all things digital in the music world. Refresh yourself here.  Cover by Bernard Vernon Full Playlist (2021) Vision4k: “Lullabies, From a Ghoul” Vision4k spent 2020 in the deepest, darkest doldrums one could imagine. Anyone who experienced their long-awaited album R at the very end of that year would say the same; it was an intoxicating journey through the most ominous spaces of one’s psyche — a pure and utter bone-chilling alternative rock showcase. Not a single ray of light shone over any one of those tracks, as though Vision themself wouldn’t dare to let them in.  “Lullabies, From a Ghoul” – their first transitional release after R – could’ve laid dormant in those same doldrums like a castaway still wallowing in the pains described on that album. Instead, this EP sees Vision finally opening the blinds and letting some light in.  Don’t get it twisted, the project is still far grimmer than the average alt-rock spectacle. But the 6 tracks we have here display the sweetest take on the sinister one could ask for. Though tracks like the opening “Silver & Strained” and “Swan Song of the Buried” chug along …

Get Refreshed: Getting Fat, Meeting “Drayan!” and Making It Look So Easy

“Get Refreshed” is a weekly column by Billy Bugara covering all things digital in the music world. Refresh yourself here.  Cover by IllustratorFile Full Playlist (2021) Kai Whiston: Drayan! Conceptual undertakings in electronic music are a dime a dozen. Extraterrestrial motifs in electronic music are a dime a dozen. Abrasive instrumentals and distortion-tinged vocals in electronic music are… a dime a dozen. Drayan! – the latest mixtape from rising producer and performer Kai Whiston – holds all of these ideas as its main features, but its price is certainly not as easy to come upon. Throw any sense of commonality out of the window; all 9 of its tracks might as well be worth a million dollars each. What we have here is a project that, from a spectacle, is akin to a standard release in this genre. But someone as ferociously passionate and talented as Whiston is simply could not play into these standards without transcending them entirely. The Lux Cache founder took the magnificent photographic work of Janaina Tschäpe’s “After The Rain” and effectively gave it its own score — telling the story of a hybrid alien figure as they proceed through the trials and tribulations of their …

Get Refreshed: June’s Best Videos, Maple’s Scene Exhibition, and Being BetterTogether

“Get Refreshed” is a weekly column by Billy Bugara covering all things digital in the music world. Refresh yourself here.  Cover by IllustratorFile Maple: PLASTIC SURGEON If online music’s limitless boundaries were to symbolize any single notion in regards to its own working status, it would have to be the fact that there’s no such thing as “too much” anymore. Today’s online acts are able to freely string together as many genres, scenes, and collaborative showcases as they’d like, and if the product is resounding enough, nuanced enough, or just downright effective as a standalone creation, it becomes yet another contributing piece of evidence to the above belief as it is.  I could go on and on about the pure and utter freedom of the online music world, but that would be pretty damn boring after a while (even that intro paragraph… pretty boring, yeah?). So just like with most, if not all forms of art, it’s always better to show, not tell. And fittingly enough, resident super-producer and all-around musical exhibitionist Maple just dropped an all-encompassing project that does a lengthy amount of showing… 20 tracks worth of showing, that is.  PLASTIC SURGEON is an hour-long romp through just …

Get Refreshed: ericdoa’s Guide To The Music Industry, Inside “Insignia’s Manor,” and Resonating With DV-i

“Get Refreshed” is a weekly column by Billy Bugara covering all things digital in the music world. Refresh yourself here.  Cover by Nick D’Apolito DV-i: “Resonance” With drum and bass still on its gradual journey of increased relevance throughout 2021, the genre has been recently jam-packed with artists both new and old to the approach coming through with some exceptional offerings at a blistering pace. But even though it can be difficult to peer through the mass amount of new content coming out of this style each and every day, it is quite easy to still see the work of a tried and true purveyor of the genre like DV-i shining as bright as it always, always does.  And if for some reason you’ve had trouble identifying such a bright and magnificent star like she is based on her latest output this year, her latest single “Resonance” is practically unable to be ignored once listened to for the first time. I’ll just put it straight; this is without question the best single offering out of the d&b-sphere to release this year, and it even rivals some of DV-i’s most exceptional work beyond just the past few months as well. It’s …

Right Guy – [ALX]

Alt-Pop artist ALX returns with his new single and video for “Right Guy.” The Florida native made an impressionable introduction for himself with his 2020 EP, The Fantasy, and appears ready for the next chapter in his electrifying career. Although still somewhat new, the rising pop savant continues his brash and unfiltered take on pop music that is personified in his latest visual.  Welcomed by ALX’s metallic vocals over a steady kick drum and breezy guitar riffs, the song taps into a combination of alternative pop weaving in and out of rap-delivered lyrics. Illustrating the internal struggle between being the “nice guy” or the “bad guy,” ALX goes back and forth with good and bad versions of himself while trying to figure out who the “right guy” is. The Neal Farmer-directed video is as fun and exciting as the single in creating a world that exemplifies the who-cares attitude that has become synonymous with ALX’s persona and music. Cutting back and forth between shots of the two versions of ALX, and a garage band, megaphone-led performance, the burgeoning pop star makes one thing clear; ALX is going to do things his way and let his off-the-cuff personality lead the charge.  Watch …