Strangers Of Necessity – “Abundance” – dripping with jazzy soul!

Every once in a while, there comes a track that arrives out of the left field and takes people by surprise. One that can prematurely declared an instant classic and actually lives up to the title. I love all types of music, but my taste is irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact that the single, “Abundance” by Midwest duo Strangers Of Necessity, will be considered great years from now. The track speaks to a generation of people struggling to prosper and find harmony, in a confusing, stressful modern environment. The duo bring forth their mindset and experiences, with immaculate flow

The Love Theme – “Hold On” – one mighty swirl of dance-floor groove

“Hold On” is a groovy cauldron of electronic shades and textures. Part dubstep, part soul, part funk, pretty much all breaks; there’s a rhythmic melting pot attitude that runs through the track, which ricochets off the walls with crusty slapping drums and long-dark-tunnel basslines. This is the latest track by The Love Theme – the brainchild of producer Dominic Owen on his Smokersblend record label. The cut is taken off an upcoming album, out later this year. “Hold On” is an absolute monster of a tune with soulful vocal chants, and some funky bluesy guitar throughout. As with a lot

MACKENZIE NICOLE’S TEDX TED TALK ‘MYSTIC: A MENTAL HEALTH ODYSSEY’ IS NOW LIVE

NEW ALBUM MYSTIC OUT NOW VIA STRANGE MAIN/STRANGE MUSIC NEW VIDEO FOR “GOODBYE” With authentic storytelling and varying sounds, Mackenzie Nicole bares her soul and shares her most intimate emotions, thoughts, and struggles throughout the songs on her new album Mystic out now on Strange Main (the pop music division of Strange Music.) “It’s a story I needed to tell,” Mackenzie explains. “I’m not the only person who’s been through this. I’m not the only person who has broken down and felt like the only one in the world.” With a desire to reach others who are struggling and further

Matthew J Van Howe – “Emergent Narrative” – a deluge of his sonic palette!

You could call this ambient, experimental, drone, avant-garde, cinematic or simply electronic music, the fact is “Emergent Narrative”, is so impactful it’s like it’s its own genre. It’s as if some new musical form has been created from retro synthwave sounds, and ultra-modern avant-garde motifs. I was stunned by the textures, and the moods that got stuck in my head, along with the intensity and dynamic depth. This is an album to hear again and again. Loud, raucous, serene, gentle, stretching, insistent, melodic, dissonant. It is a collection of 12 musical pieces with simple one-word titles. Meaning, the Chicago composer,

Andy Pett – “Back Again” turns hurt into art with great results on this song

Experience with adversity builds exemplary character and a spirit of resilience that allows artists to deliver great music. Their personal stories provides them with original ideas and profound insight to rap or sing about, creating a relatable feeling of vulnerability that fans emotionally connect with. Many prominent artists from today’s culture have battled through adversity to become widely accepted and beloved. There is an interesting argument – and quite a lot of statistics lean toward this theory – that adversity is necessary to become successful.  The bottom line seems to be that many artists lack the ambition to succeed because

Onicks – “High” is a deep slow-burn

With its enigmatic beauty, intoxicating depth and intense emotion, the follow-up to “High” is one of the most intriguing records of the year so far. The lyrics are elliptical and fragmented, touching on addiction, identity and eroticism. The track’s mood is druggy, dislocated and tortured – there are frequent metaphoric references to substances and psychedelics – the shape-shifting structure of “High” will capture your attention from top to bottom. Snapshots of elusive love and fleeting lust are scattered throughout – for whom, or for what, is where you need to read between the lines. Born and raised in the San

Midwest Hiphop duo Strangers Of Necessity drop their new single “Abundance”

Strangers Of Necessity are an American hip-hop duo, based in the Midwest, consisting of prolific producer, CoryaYo and veteran lyricist, Fooch the MC. They linked via Twitter and quickly became friends, sparking an immediate chemistry and need to make quality music together; hence the name Strangers Of Necessity. They instantly began recording music and doing shows locally, generating a nice buzz in the area. Their sound is best described as a fresh take on that golden era of hip-hop, blending tasteful jazz and soul samples, crisp snares, boomy kicks on wonky patterns with a soulful delivery, dense schemes and potent

Kilo M.O.E. – ‘Fly G’z and Palm Treez’ – serves as the perfect canvas for the rapper’s elite lyricism

The Baltimore-based producer, songwriter, rapper, Kilo M.O.E.’s evolution over his past three albums has been inspiring to see. I’ll always admire artists who push themselves creatively, and that’s exactly what, Kilo M.O.E. has done on his fourth studio album, ‘Fly G’z and Palm Treez’, and it pays off in leaps and bounds. Each instrumental is rich and developed, serving as the perfect canvas for the rapper’s elite lyricism. Something that this recording and Kilo M.O.E.’s recent albums have done well is allow him the freedom to rap for the sake of his craft within the confines of the album’s larger

Jim Wyly – “You Took Me” – It’s rhythmically tight, warm and edgy

Texas singer songwriter Jim Wyly is back with another soul-stirring track from his “The Artisan” album. Over 40 years deep into his craft, the Austin troubadour sounds like a home-cooked meal. He deals out comfort food for the head, heart, and soul. All of this serves his finely drawn guitar lines, bourbon-stained-like vocals, and funky acoustic-driven grooves as thick as molasses. A subtle blend of blues, country, folk and southern rock runs right down the middle of “You Took Me”. “Musicians’ musician” is an overused term. Why wouldn’t anyone with two good ears appreciate Jim Wyly? As Jim doesn’t cater

Hanen Release Brand New Video For The Song “Breathe”

It’s never been easier for artists to stay independent. Of course you can get good music producers, good visual directors for videos, good rappers and good singers to feature on your track without a great budget, but you have to search the world over to find deals you can afford, or convince creatives to work with you. Texas born artist, now living in the LA area, Hanen, somehow got it all together on his latest track called “Breathe”. He sings soulfully and raps with an urban edge all by himself, backed by an atmospheric slow-burning, and ear-warming beat made by

John J: “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters” – strap yourself in and enjoy this vibrantly orchestrated roller coaster

I have always been eager to pick up every piece of music John J issues because of the lyrical expertise he demonstrates in every song, and the attention to the music production and features he provides. John J has just dropped a 5 track bonus EP, entitled “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters”, which comes hot on the heels of his latest release, “Pain To Power”. Like his previous recordings, each song on this EP carries a different succinct feel and hook while the flow stays swift and acrobatic. The beats, features and subject matter again excel well above average. In a weak, saturated status of the rap industry that has succumbed to pop-filled radio hits and mainstream artists that receive tremendous backing from ghostwriters, production labels, etc., John J has beaten them at their own game.

John J

“Pain To Power 5 Love Letters”, plays like a twenty-minute shot of adrenaline, as it reverberates transcendentally through the speakers. This is only amplified by presenting to listeners some of the catchiest instrumentation and largely breakneck, infectious and amazing flows the John J has ever assembled.

It helps too, to have Breana Marin on the hooks as she is a delight to listen to, both melodic and soulful. When “Last Love Letter” kicks in, after the introductory “The 4th Date”, it is not to be taken lightly. Instead it’s a signal to strap yourself in and enjoy this vibrantly orchestrated roller coaster ride of wordplay.

The four minute and four second sonic explosion that is “Crossfire” ft. Breana Marin showcases the same solid elements of strong rhyming over an electronic groove. The work features terrific, addictive and head-nodding production, plus the scintillating Ms. Marin on the vocals. I wanted to choose this as the Ep highlight, but couldn’t because of the subsequent track.

Just how do you choose the best track between this one, and “Never Good Enough ft. Breana Marin? It’s a tough call. This guitar strummed anthem continues John J’s fiery rhyming found throughout the entirety of this recording. It also contains another highly infectious refrain from Breana.

A special word of appreciation has to be said in favor of Breana Marin. Over the years I have heard hundreds of hook singers on singles, EP’s and Albums, many of them brilliant with extremely distinctive voices. Breana beats them all hands down. She currently has to be the best hook singer in the entire universe…and many galaxies beyond too.

Her secret is that her vocal deliveries encompass everything a hook would need to make any track become an ear-worm, yet at the same time her voice is subtle and eloquent enough to never encumber the track, or take over its ownership. It’s a fine line between being impressive and being overwhelming.

Breana Marin has fine-tuned her craft to perfection, and a talented and astute rapper like John J has fully grasped the potential of her art on his tracks, thus heightening his already incredible orchestrations. Such creates the wonderful formula of the emotional, vigorous and ear-catching tunes found within “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters”, which stands as one of John J’s many signposts signaling his mastery of hip hop in all its facets.

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