SEARCH FOR: REASON

Rucksack (live) – [Qari]

One of the most impactful Chicago artists over the last decade is Qari, who some may remember from his Hurt Everybody days or his amazing catalog of solo releases, most recently being 2022’s Stronghold project. This was one of my favorite bodies of work to come out of the city last year, and one of the fan-favorite tracks off of the tape was the introductory record “Rucksack”. Waaaaaay back in 2019, Qari and Eddie Burns actually teamed up with many other talented creatives to shoot a live performance of this record, and now nearly four years later, we are finally getting to see this masterpiece. Although it’s years later, I believe that it only adds to the allure of this piece of content, and I am glad that this didn’t slip through the cracks. They could have easily not have ever put this out, for reasons such as it being outdated or wanting to shoot something new with a similar concept, but I appreciate this not only for how good it is but for the moment in time that it captured. Shout out to everyone that was involved in this project, you all did a fantastic job and I thank …

$windlaaa – “Late Night Thoughts”

Today we are featuring a buzzing rapper who has been making some noise. He goes by the name $windlaaa, born and raised in upstate New York and South Florida. If you’re a fan of Melodic rap, he is one for you! People have been discovering his music through his videos Shotbyjolo. His catalog is already reasonably deep, but his incredibly catchy single “Backend” featuring Trapland Pat stands out. Recently $windlaaa released his second Mixtape, Late Night Thoughts. Spanning 21 tracks, the new project recounts the rough circumstances of his upbringing and emotional setbacks. “My inspiration behind this release is being able to share my story with others. I feel relieved once I get whatever is in my head out and my fans say they experience the same emotions.” he shared. In a recent On the Radar interview, $windlaaa discussed the project, expressing his growth as an artist, betrayal in the industry, and dating relationships. The mixtape is home to stand-out singles Skrrt’n thru Traffic, Money, and Price On My Head. $windlaaa rolls out the red carpet for a tasteful selection of feature appearances from Trapland Pat, FL Dusa, Lit Yoshi & tracks from top NY producer Jbanga Beats. Ready to bring his melodic raps to a larger audience, the rising star has the potential to make it …

No Reason (Lie to Me)-[Ok Tav]

I’d like to think that I have objectively good music taste, but half the time, I tend to just write about songs that I like; and today I’m back putting pen to paper for a song that I’ve been obsessed with as of late. Ok Tav is an up and coming artist who I discovered through my submissions email last week and he’s quickly become someone who I haven’t been able to stop listening to. I came across his track, “No Reason (Lie to Me)” and found myself replaying it over and over again. From start to finish, this offering is utterly infectious. The production does a great job of creating a groove that carries throughout the song, while Ok Tav showcases his smooth lyrical flow and and subtle vocal talents. What I appreciate most is that Tav isn’t on this beat trying to imitate anyone else, but is truly just operating in his zone which is a breath of fresh air. “No Reason (Lie to Me)” is a part of a bigger project by Ok Tav that I encourage you all to listen to as it just dropped towards the end of 2022. Make sure you tap in with …

Aaron May keeps growing his brand with visual to “HIDDEN VOICES.”

The independent Houston artist Aaron May revisits LL in his latest visual (produced by BLACKSHEEPFILMZ) for “HIDDEN VOICES.” In my short time living in Chicago this last year or so, Aaron May and his music accompanied me on seemingly every train ride, walk to class, and walk to work, as I kept digging deeper into his work the more I listened. 2022 ended with him in my Spotify “wrapped” top five, as projects like No Recognition and Outside Looking In filled my library with tracks I didn’t know I needed. One chunk of his discography that also came out during that time was a two-song simultaneous drop that included one of my most-played songs of the year, “HIDDEN VOICES.” This track emphasizes what I already knew and loved about Aaron’s work; unique vocal delivery, melodic and genre-crossing instrumentals, and masterful lyricism. I can’t tell you how many times I replayed this joint last Spring. With great pleasure, I was reintroduced to the track a couple of weeks ago as he dropped the visual. BLACKSHEEPFILMZ took a simplistic, yet effective approach as many producers have with Aaron’s work, and it works well for whatever reason. I’m a huge supporter of in-studio content, and …

White Elephant (feat. Illa J)-[FINKEL]

I know a lot of our readers don’t know me personally, but if anyone ever has the chance to talk to me, then you’d know how cool I think marriage is. My parents have been happily married for almost 30 years now, which excites me for possibly tying the knot with my future wife one day. The reason why I’m over here getting emotional about the concept of marriage on this random Wednesday afternoon is because I just recently came across an La-based husband/wife indie-pop band that is definitely worth keeping an eye out for. The talented duo named FINKEL is making an appearance on our page today for their song, “White Elephant” that caught my attention over the weekend. For the most part, I think you can tell a lot about a song judging by the first few seconds of pressing play and with this one, I knew I was going to fall in love with it as soon as I heard the first few sounds. “White Elephant” is an intentionally crafted offering that creates a dream-like ambience that is captivating in every way. As you continue diving in, you’ll definitely discover an appreciation for FINKEL as they’ve done …

Rent Free-[Syo]

One of the best songs you’ll hear on this fine Monday afternoon is by an artist who goes by the name of Syo. I love writing for so many reasons, but the ability to unearth unbelievably talented hidden gems has to be one of my favorite and Syo most definitely falls into that category. Any time I open up my email for submissions, I always approach it with a grain of salt, not really knowing what I’m going to get, but today, I was more than blown away by the Houston, Texas artist and the music he sent in. If you’re in need of just a beautiful vibe to get your week started, then you NEED to flip on Syo’s track called, “Rent Free” as it is a track that will unapologetically live rent free in your head from the moment you press play on it. I wish I had all of the words to be able to describe how this song makes me feel, but it might be impossible due to the pure magnificence of it. “Rent Free” starts off with a really cool bassline that makes room for every other element to be layered over top of it …

22 songs that inspired me in 2022

In my opinion, inspiration is one of the most valuable feelings known to man. When you have it, you feel unstoppable, but when you’re without it, life feels nothing more than a useless search for meaning and fulfillment. What I love most about inspiration though is that people can find it in so many different ways. If you’ve kept up with my writing throughout the year, then you’d know that I made a vow to myself earlier in 2022 that I would only write when a song or project inspired to the point of wanting to put words behind it. Although this past year was a fast one and it seemed like new songs were dropping left and right, there truly were exceptional artists who inspired me more than they would know. For my last article of the year, I wanted to do something special, so I decided to compile 22 of my favorite songs this year with small personalized notes to each artist. Each song and artist on this list mean a lot to me and I pray they inspire you in the same way they’ve inspired me. — “Security” by Will Keeper Will, This is the most beautiful …

12.23.22 – [Jaah SLT]

Music is one of those things that is great for more reasons than I can count, but one thing that I truly appreciate is that it allows an artist’s voice to remain relevant even after they aren’t around anymore. Jaah SLT was one of those emcees that I simply could overlook as soon as I tapped in with one of his songs more than a year or two ago, and even though the Charlotte, North Carolina music scene isn’t the most notorious, he was blazing a trail regardless of what the industry norms had to say about it. Unfortunately, Jaah passed away earlier this year in a tragic way, but he was a workhorse, always recording whenever he could, so he did a wonderful job of continuing his legacy as his team drops more and more of his previously unreleased recordings. After going viral, hitting Shazam and Rolling Stone charts, and receiving quite the admiration from his loyal fanbase, Jaah’s team decided to continue the fun, dropping a brand-new album called 12.23.22 on the same date as the project’s title, and I couldn’t waste any time before checking it out. Although it is only 7 songs lasting almost 17 minutes, …

withered. – [KILL.ZERO]

The music industry is often a place that’s very public. It can be hard for artists to conceal their identities and grow a following because so many fans feel like they need to connect with an artist, but that’s hard to do if they don’t know what they look like, there are no visuals out, or they don’t know anything about them deeper than their musical content. It’s also difficult with technology because people are wizards with computers nowadays, so even if someone attempts to hide their identity to the best of their abilities, a fan might just uncover their entire life story out of intrigue or curiosity. KILL.ZERO is an emcee who has built up quite the notoriety over the past 5 years or so, utilizing SoundCloud (as many other artists do) to build a reputation and craft his sound. While his identity is quite the enigma and I haven’t been able to find out too much information on KILL, it is abundantly clear after tapping in with even one song that his sound is more unique than most and it’s the main reason why he has achieved so much success despite his secretiveness. When I was sent his …

Sell Dope – [Viva Mescal] [MC Wicks] & [Hollow Visions]

Music has always and will always be a melting pot of artists with different backgrounds, experiences, and reasons as to why they got started in music in the first place, and that’s one of the many things that make it so great. It’s no secret that the African American community has impacted this industry and the rest of pop culture as long as Pop culture has existed, but I think there are other nationalities and origins that have had a huge influence on the scene as well. In Los Angeles, it’s impossible to look past Latino emcees because they have blazed their own trails and made music based on their own experiences,  and it’s their unique backgrounds that have also pushed this industry forward. For Viva Mescal, he has been making music for over a decade, and even though he didn’t quite get his first big break until years after his introduction into this world, it was his hard work and perseverance that has gotten him where he is today. I respect the hell out of him because most artists give up after a year or two with no luck, but he believed in himself, his skills, and knew that …