Maxo Kream: Unparalleled Integrity

It’s 8:30 PM on Wednesday night, just two days before the release of Maxo Kream’s major-label debut, Brandon Banks. Piling into a dim, luxurious room at Manhattan’s 40/40 club, fans and peers alike await Kream’s arrival. Conversation is light, but the overarching meaning of the moment makes the air feel dense. Now years in the making, Maxo Kream’s slow-burning ascent is reaching a new apex, and this small room of listeners is fortunate enough to become witness just days before the album’s official release. A few moments later, a thunderous presence makes his way down the hallway. Turning left, he enters the room, 4 glossy chains on neck and followed by a posse of friends. It’s Maxo Kream, the man of the night. With each step, his presence grows stronger as the heads begin to turn toward his direction. Kream’s face lights up to see the welcoming crowd of listeners, but his eyes maintain a focused glare under the soft lights. The closer and closer he moves to the center of attention, the more the moment begins to set in. Here, just minutes away from clicking play on his long-awaited new album, time seems to slow down. The message becomes …

VVS – [D2X] ft. [Kid Marquis] [Glohan Beats]

A lot has changed in the career of rapper D2X since I first encountered the Chicago emcee’s music last summer. From dropping his ‘Enjoy Life’ EP to getting spun on legendary Chicago hip-hop rap radio station Power 92, D2X has seen his stock rise steadily since he started fully committing himself to his craft in 2016, and he continues this growth on his latest track, “VVS”. While D2X has proven he’s capable of spitting more introspective bars when he wants to, he instead takes a moment to flex. Painting a rags-to-riches picture with his verses, D2X uses “VVS” to refer to the diamond-level luxury he’s been aspiring to while still making use of his impressive lyrical capabilities. He keeps his circle consistent too, working with frequent collaborators Kid Marquis and Glohan Beats who accentuate the rapper’s flows with their own.

Cousin Stizz’s Suffolk County: Identity, Storytelling, & Longevity

As an artist in today’s day and age, it’s easier than ever before to make your music accessible to the world. This empowerment for creators arrives with numerous benefits, but it also operates at the cost of visibility and in the long term, longevity. Now that anyone can put their music online and gain a following at the click of a few buttons, it’s easy for great art to get lost in a sea of mixtapes and loose singles, regardless of quality or sound. Furthermore, even if a given project or upcoming artist does begin to receive their deserved attention, the sheer volume of options that listeners are now presented with makes it difficult to capture an audience’s focus for more than a few moments. With this in mind, how, in the current condition of music, does a project last? Why do people keep listening and what is it about either the music or its positioning that makes them want to stick around? Well, like all things, there’s no black and white answer to provide here. Nevertheless, one reason that we’ve seen in several cases throughout recent years is that of cultural context. If a project can capture and create a moment …

A Conversation with Omar Apollo, the Soul, Funk, Rock and Hip-Hop Showman Who’s One of the Most Refreshingly Real Rising Stars Around

Preternaturally gifted, singing, dancing artists with effortless charisma who seem destined for pop stardom simply do not just come around every day. And ones who don’t feel corny, canned or prepackaged? Ones who defy genres and deftly maneuver between R&B and hip-hop, funk and acoustic pop-rock? Ones who haven’t come up with the promotional force of a giant corporation (e.g. Disney) or a network talent competition behind them, but rather emerged organically through Soundcloud connections, from a truly hardscrabble, blue collar, midwestern, immigrant background? Well, now we’re talking about something that happens with the frequency of a total solar eclipse. But that’s all a fair description of what we’ve witnessed for the better part of two years in Omar Apollo, the first generation Mexican-American showman from small-town Indiana who through great, often remarkably vulnerable songs featuring irresistible melodies and earworm beats; electric live performances; affecting if largely modest videos and no-bullshit charm, has only seen his profile rise. The buzz began as far back as 2017, but with the April release of his second EP Friends and a sold-out tour to go along with it, it’s turned into a low roar.   By all rights, Omar should have canceled lunch …

Our 50 Favorite Wiz Khalifa Songs

In the music world, influence manifests itself in many different ways. Whether it be sonically — changing the sounds that artists use and often creating some sort of new trend and/or subgenre in the process — or aesthetically — changing the “cool” styles in music and the lifestyles that artists speak about in their songs — influence can arrive packaged as a quick viral moment or a lasting flame, both of which hold value in their own rights.  Pittsburgh’s own, the Taylor Gang representative himself, Wiz Khalifa, is one of the rare talents who comes around and entirely shifts the culture in both of the aforementioned ways. Especially when he first came out, Wiz’s lanky, tattooed build and effortlessly cool stoner lifestyle made him a genuinely alluring artist, and while his personal style (snapbacks, the dyed patch of hair, etc.) was worthy of mention, the music was there to back it all up. Simply put, Wiz’s style, both on the mic and off, quickly set a standard for creatives and other artists to congregate toward, marking him as one of music’s most underrated culture-shifters of the last decade or so. Even further, beyond the influence that Wiz has had on a …

You Got It – [Vory]

If you tuned into Rich The Kid’s new album then it’s likely Vory already got your attention with his stellar guest spot on “Ring Ring.” I mean, his crisp, clean style is damn near impossible to ignore. In addition to the feature, the Kentucky native dropped off a video-assisted cut of his own with “You Got It.” Though leaning more towards the R&B side thanks to a whirring, hazy backdrop from J Gramm and Lewis Bell, Vory, again, showcases his clean sound that really pops out. More than just the stellar vocals though, he has the sharp pen to match. I love his phrasing as he puts his spin on a break-up cut; it’s easy to see why he’s written for artists like Drake, Bryson Tiller, and Beyonce and Jay. With the vocals, the pen, the resume, and the ability to take a song to take over a song with a guest spot, Vory destined for big things.  

Watch Rich The Kid’s brand new interview with BigBoyTV

Rich The Kid is fresh off of the release of his well received new album, so it’s only right that he stopped by the neighborhood for a brand new interview with Bog Boy! You will find Big and his team asking Rich about plenty of things such as what has changed in the last year for him, being close to having a child, what kind of father he is, naming his son, his brand new album, being selective of who he works with, having a unique beat selection, his relationship with J. Cole, Britney Spears, his upcoming tours, traveling overseas, his relationship, building a home studio, having the album of the year, being on billboards, his appreciation of riding horses and so much more. Check out this awesome new conversation below.

Rockstar – [Lil Shock]

It’s time we introduce you to Lil Shock as he makes his debut to the Lyrical Lemonade pages with his brand new anthem, “Rockstar.” I have to give a shout out to Fashionably Early because Kyle is actually the one who put me onto Shock in the first place. Since then, I’ve gotten to speak to the young rapper for a little bit and see what he has going on with his movement, and it turns out that Lil Shock only been making music for a couple of years now, studying different genres and eras of music to mold and refine his own sound. Some of his favorites are older rap, Lil Yachty, Rich The Kid, and Juice Wrld, who even gave Lil Shock an inspirational message to “never give up.” That said, ”Rockstar” is a hard-hitting single in which the Durham, North Carolina emcee explained to me that he wanted to make something that listeners could get hype to, but also have them feel some emotion — and looking at the ways in which this single is able to play both sides, Shock certainly achieved his goal. Stream Lil Shock’s emotional banger “Rockstar” below.

Baby On Baby – [DaBaby]

Charlotte, North Carolina’s DaBaby is one of the hottest emcees buzzing right now in rap, and today, his major label debut, Baby On Baby, is finally out. With all eyes on him, this is just the right project for the rising star to release, as it perfectly reflects the captivating person, both on and off the mic, that DaBaby is. Speaking to this, if you follow DaBaby on his Instagram, the one thing that stands out is his sense of humor. He’s really entertaining and funny but he’s just himself so it doesn’t seem forced. Those are the kind of traits that cause people to want to root for and get behind your movement, and you can be sure that these traits are infused into Baby On Baby, as it serves as a solid building block and follow up to his previous album, Blank Blank. The Queen City rapper is able to recruit Offset, Rich The Kid, Rich Homie Quan and his Interscope affiliate Stunn4Vegas for features. Some of my early favorites are “Goin Baby” and “Surge,” and I expect new and old fans to gravitate around those records the most off of the first couple of listens. Check out …

UnoTheActivist, Thouxanbanfauni, and the SoundCloud Age

In the age of the internet, the avenues in which we consume music are constantly changing. From DatPiff to Apple Music, artists and fans constantly chase one another around, assigning value to platforms using the metrics of social media and, often times, pure volume of music available. When people see new communities form, they flock, just as we have watched happen with SoundCloud in recent years. With this, eras of music are becoming increasingly defined by these avenues in which they’re experienced and therefore, remembered (Napster, being a prime example). We associate music with the platform we enjoyed it with, and not until the 2000s has this platform-defined nostalgia truly come to prominence — just look at social media and you can find a plethora of odes to the not-so-convenient methods of getting music that sites like Napster and Limewire once offered.  Adjacent is the fact that, in the age of digital streaming, the decision of which platforms are prominent and which platforms are left behind can often exhibit listener-induced trends in the ways we all consume and promote music. For SoundCloud, characterized by its accessibility and DIY spirit, it’s time to assess where we are on this curve, all …