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Baggy Eyes EP – [Michael Christmas]

This past Friday, Boston’s very own Michael Christmas blessed streaming services with his Baggy Eyes EP, originally released in 2016. It was clearly long overdue, given that it’s a project brimming with well-produced bangers that should be heard by any fan of the relatable and talented Michael Christmas. Baggy Eyes consists of charming and catchy tracks that continue to show off Christmas’s budding personality and humor. The production on here is really impressive, as we get a collection of uplifting and soulful instrumentals, along with some bouncy and melodic trap-flavored beats. Christmas also proves how talented a rapper he is, with some really slick flows and jaw-dropping rhyme schemes supporting his addicting hooks. The nuclear “Drums Might Wake Ya Mama Up” is the hardest-hitting track on the project, and features some dramatic strings during the chorus of the track, along with some flowery and spacey production during the verses. Vintage Lee, who released a single last month with MadeinTYO, is also featured on here and makes this track an overload of charisma between the two emcees. The legendary $ilkMoney is also featured on “Who Cares”. This is a great collection of tracks that stand as some of Christmas’s best work …

Watch Riff Raff’s brand new interview on This Past Week

Riff Raff is a Houston, Texas legend who has been doing his thing in the music community for some years now, and he recently sat down with Theo Von of the This Past Week podcast for a dope new conversation. You will find the two of them speaking about a ton of random yet interesting subjects including when he first moved to Los Angeles, his come up, life before social media, Hulk Hogan approaching him about being a WWE wrestler, losing thirty pounds since being in Florida, some of his favorite cars, people that he thinks should grow mullets, his many animals he owns, shoes, the pants on the ground guy, some of his favorite sports figures, his favorite snacks as a kid, selling lemonade as a kid to get money, CD’s and more. Take about an hour out of your time to check out this hilarious new interview below.

Baggage – [Na-kel Smith]

The rise of Na-kel Smith has been one of the more inspiring sights of the past few years. At heart, Smith is a renaissance man. He refuses to stick to one trade, and furthermore, he constantly challenges the bounds of his ability and career, never failing to prove people wrong and excel at all costs. Today, this sentiment comes full circle, as Smith is back on our pages with a set of brand new visuals from one of his recent mixtape’s standout cuts, “Baggage.” Of all the songs featured on the project, this one, in particular, is a perfect representation of the reckless energy that oozes out of Twothousand Nakteen. It’s brash, it’s dead set on success, and more than anything, it’s unapologetically true to self, checking just a few of the boxes that make Na-kel such a lovable character in the first place. That said, the visuals are sure to attest to the aforementioned characteristics, bringing forth a slew of scenes during which Na-kel makes sure he gets his money — at all costs, that is. With cameos from several notable names including Dro Fe and Illegal Civ’s Mikey Alfred, this video is deeply entertaining, and it reminds us that …

Deem Spencer: Low-Key Taking the Legacy of Queens Hip-Hop Into Soulful, Vulnerable, Experimental Directions

Hip-hop is a big tent, with room for all kinds of voices, vibes, looks and personalities, right? Or at least, it ought to be. Too often though, as in other genres, one success story spawns scores of imitators, and A&R reps, managers and promoters—not generally known for seeking out the most unique and unconventional voices out there—scramble to find the next version of that person who blew up a few months back. Duplication is rewarded, and deviation from the commercially proven is viewed as suspect. Likewise, in a crowded landscape marked by a perpetual jockeying for attention on IG and Twitter, it’s often the loudest voices, the most colorful characters and outsize personalities that win the day and, of course, grab that money. Sometimes they’re little more than personality, but they know how to get noticed. So where does that leave a rapper with a subtler, less flashy, more low-key approach? Ask Deem Spencer. A product of south side Jamaica, Queens—a stone’s throw from JFK Airport—Spencer is a far cry from the noisy jets that populate his neighborhood, and not exactly a sonic descendant of Jamaica’s most celebrated musical idols, 50 Cent and G-Unit, though he’s a lifelong fan. With …

Injury Reserve: Commitment to Quality

Ahead of their self-titled major label debut album, we look at what makes Injury Reserve great, and why they should be admired by not just up and coming artists, but all artists. In an era where 20+ song albums laden with filler have become an unfortunate commonality, artists who truly care about pushing the hip-hop genre forward and taking risks are hard to come by, and often end up lurking in the shadows. Armed with their original ideas and captivating creative arcs, these artists not only make for longevity, but impact, just as well. Injury Reserve is a hip-hop outfit hailing from Arizona that has been consistently dropping boundary-pushing and inventive rap music for a few years now. The group consists of two emcees, Ritchie with a T, and Stepa J. Groggs, along with the glue of the group, producer Parker Corey. There is a clear sense of care and attentiveness to detail when it comes to the entire package of Injury Reserve. Not only is the music polished and amusing, but so are the visuals (directed by Parker Corey) and the live shows. On an adjacent note, the group’s live performance, in particular, had me, along with the rest …

Premiere: Hold It Down – [Lonny X]

Obvious as it may be, for any job, especially as a musician, hard work is a core ingredient that you simply can’t get around. No matter what, you need to have the drive and the work ethic to achieve a given goal, and few artists embody this devotion toward bettering oneself than Connecticut native Lonny X, whose new song “Hold It Down” is the subject of our latest premiere. Lonny and I have been speaking for a little over a year now if I’m correct, and on occasion, we DM back and forth. Recently, aside from music, he’s conducted a few interviews for a site called Fresh Fruit. At first, I was slightly surprised — I had no idea Lonny was a writer and I definitely didn’t know he was focusing on anything other than music lately considering the growth that he’s seen in the past year or so. Needless to say, I reached out and told him that I really liked the articles. So why do I tell you this brief story? Well, it arrives in line with his new single, “Hold It Down.” Produced by frequent collaborator Gravez, this song is just about as money-minded as it gets, …

Slime – [Rad Luck]

Rad Luck first made his debut on our platform a couple of weeks ago with “Blood Money”, and this evening he is finding himself back with his brand new release titled “Slime”. I have only been in tune with his music for a few weeks now but one thing has been clear to me, Rad Luck is going to rap his ass off and he excels on menacing production, like the beat featured here by Andruuw. It’s going to be very interesting to hear a full length project from the Charlotte emcee, but as we wait for that go ahead and get familiar with him by pressing play below.

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 …

IOU – [Justin Clancy]

Boston-native Justin Clancy is making his debut on our pages with his latest single and accompanying visual for “IOU.” Putting monetary gain on the back burner, Clancy focuses on what’s important, hard work and dedication and his optimistic attitude is only one special part exuded in the new visual. The record begins bubbling, capturing a sleepy Clancy being abruptly awoken by his screaming mother. The screams are deafened by the growing crescendo of the song’s electro-pop centered production that explodes as Clancy launches himself out of bed. What ensues is a medley of falling money and grooving, as the singer-songwriter relishes in his ability to make the best out of not so sweet situations. The glass-half-full charisma of Clancy is on full display in the video that beautifully compliments the energetic nature of the song’s chorus. This is Justin Clancy’s first release of the new year as well as his first offering since sharing his nine-track project, The Color Blue, last June. Check out the new visual from Clancy below If you’re feeling the new single from Clancy make sure to show him your support by following him on Twitter and Instagram.

Bad Boys 3 – [Reese LAFLARE] ft. [Blaze Servin] [Ken Carson]

Reese LAFLARE is a gem. He’s an effortless trendsetter, a certified hitmaker, and someone whose coolness never fades. Today, we see this in the context of LAFLARE’s latest single, “Bad Boys 3,” alongside Blaze Servin and Ken Carson. Backed by a simplistic, haymaker-inducing instrumental from Pyrex and Chasethemoney, this hard-nosed offering keeps things simple while maximizing the force with which each artist delivers their lines. One beat after another, it’s wildly entertaining and easy to throw on repeat, making “Bad Boys 3” an unskippable slap that I’m sure I’ll be listening to well into the summer. In addition to the excitement of this new song, LAFLARE also included in the description that he has a new album on the way this summer, so don’t sleep. Prepare yourself by streaming “Bad Boys 3” below! Produced by Pyrex and Chasethemoney