Jona Da King – “Roots Of Love” EP – balancing rhymes, and soulful crooning|

Jona Da King is a hip-hop artist from Toronto, Ontario, based in Edmonton, Alberta. Jona is set to release his EP “Roots Of Love” which is scheduled to drop September 30th 2020. The artist has an eclectic musical palette which is colored by Hip-hop, R&B, Pop, as well as Jazz and Rock tones. We checked out his prime tracks in anticipation of the EP, and if the goal of this release is to make a breakout statement that Jona Da King is getting seriously started, he’s succeeded, delivering some of the smoothest, most mellifluous urban sounds we’ve heard in music

Berani – “Cut And Taste” strikes an incredible balance of disparate elements

Berani is an electronic beat maker with a diverse sound spectrum and a tendency to produce bouncing rhythms or spacious and relaxing aural experiences. In a short time span, this emerging artist out of Byron Bay in Australia, has discerning music fans and casual listeners paying attention. The sound design throughout his latest single “Cut And Taste” is what we’ve come to expect from this creative top tier producer: popping percussion, basslines that melt like butter and a healthy dose of twisted horns to make everything bump in a soul-like fashion. Sprinkled around the track are sonic effects that keep

EsZ – “Liquor & Emotions” – introspective and emotional

Hip-hop has been cranking out bangers and high energy anthems for decades, but the average genre historian is well aware that dark or emotional thoughts on a chill backdrop is not a foreign concept for the game. After all, profound moodiness feels rather natural for a culture that grew out of urban plight and the trauma of purposely disenfranchised people. It makes sense that at least some mellow tunes in the genre, reflect deep-thinking speculation, in what artist EsZ, describes as thoughts on “life, growth and fake friends” in his track “Liquor & Emotions”. The song is a drunk text

Quad – “Love” embellishes each track with his personal revelations

Based in the south of Chicago, Quad started making music when he was around 14 years old and started taking it artistically seriously two years later. He produces, records, mixes and masters, using only a Blue Yeti microphone and FL Studios. So far Quad has written over 300 songs and released 1 EP, 1 Album and 8 singles. Currently training as an audio engineer at SAE University in Chicago, Quad explained that his latest album “Love” describes his personal understanding of the sentiment. The album “Love” was written and recorded over the course of 2 months after Quad was electrocuted

Acemattz & Bipha shine on “Tshanana”

Watching Acemattz & Bipha perform in any of their videos is like watching friends realize they’re onto something big time. They are accomplished rappers individually, on their own terms, and as collaborators, as a unit, their styles gel perfectly. They’re not just comfortable performing together—they are feeding off of each other, refusing to be one-upped, beaming and grinning and head-bobbing as they take turns impressing one another. By the end of each of their performances, their formation into a real show-stopping combination seems inevitable. In the new wave rap scene, there is plenty of talent to go around, Acemattz &

FuzzKill – “The Get Better” reaches all the expected heights!

FuzzKill is a four-piece rock band that started in Boston, MA. Introduced to one another through musical theatre, the band’s sound is firmly rooted in early 2000’s pop-punk influences. They released their debut studio album, “Happen”, in early 2019, and their sophomore album, “The Get Better”, just dropped on September 19th 2020. We have all heard the biggest punk bands of the 90’s and early 00’s. Their music mainly consisted of driving drums, distorted pop-punk guitar work and a set of memorable lyrics to go with the angst-filled high energy vocals. Today punk bands are a rarity, and any good

Dan Friese – ‘Jane Songs’ is something to be treasured!

Dan Friese is an Oregon-based songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist. In April of 2020, he released his debut EP, ‘Happiness’, a collection of self-reflective psychedelic indie-folk tracks. His first full-length effort, ‘Jane Songs’, was released on September 18th, and is available on all major platforms, along with the singles “Streetlight” and “I Can’t Say”. There’s a lot to appreciate on the new album, and Dan’s voice is arguably the most attractive aspect. Moreover, his vocals are often enhanced by inspiring songwriting and raw emotion, not to mention a wealth of down to earth acoustic guitar strumming. Dan Friese has an organic,

INTERVIEW: C.E.N. – the voice of the people

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and currently a resident of Dallas, Texas, C.E.N’s natural proficiency over poetry allowed him to produce meaningful and profound lyrics. Although he initially took the initiative to become a music artist for fame and fortune, he later realized that all he desires as a musician is to be respected and valued for the art he brings to the table. His music is deep lyrically and spiritually. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started? C.E.N.: I was born in Oklahoma City, OK, and was raised in a

Hitrocker – “Project One” – breathtaking sound design!

Hitrocker is a German based producer who creates mainly within the EDM subgenres of House, Electro and Deep House. His first album, entitled “Project One” was released at the end of July, while “Project Two” is also out now. When I clicked on the playlist of “Project One”, I was met with song titles that were merely numbers – such as “Project 1.1” or “Project One.Four”. This falsely led me to expect generically themed instrumentals, simply meant to rock the dancefloor. Wrong. Well not totally. They do rock the dancefloor. But they also do a whole lot more. These are

Rashod Holmes Announces New Single ‘The One’

The soul singer relives how he met his wife and started his family on a tender new song. Rashod Holmes is known for bringing romance to life with his evocative voice, but he has never told as personal a story as the one he tells with his latest single. ‘The One’ is a true life love story that acknowledges the struggles and triumphs that go into building a long-lasting relationship. “I found the one for me” Rashod sings. “She is the girl of my dreams.” While Rashod is convinced that he has found the perfect partner, there is much more

Jewish rap pioneer SHI 360: “Chapters: Jewish Rap Bar Mitzvah”

SHI 360 is a Jewish rap pioneer. He is an Israeli born Canadian rapper, producer and performer. Being raised by North-African parents in the complex reality of Israel has influenced his music to reflect an eclectic mix of Middle Eastern melodies, North African Rhythms and thought provoking lyrics. His ability to switch between English, Hebrew and French rhymes has opened up the doors to a global audience. After receiving global acclaim with his various releases, SHI 360 has decided to rework his debut album “Chapters”, thirteen years after its original release. Recorded in the pre-digital era, SHI 360 wanted to give the tracks a fresh new sound which more people could access online. Hence the release of “Chapters: Jewish Rap Bar Mitzvah”, a remastered version containing 13 tracks plus 4 remixes.

CHAPTER-SHI360-COVERThe fact that most newer music, and rap in general, has devolved into mind-numbing garbage, becomes clearer when you listen to this album. SHI 360 comes out flying in all of his tracks. If you are a hip hop head from the 90’s, this is the kind of album that would be talked about in all circles. 90s hip hop really set the stage for things to come in the next 10 years. It’s too bad that 10 years later, hip hop just does not measure up, bar a few exceptions such as “Chapters”. This particular time period for hip hop was more about the music as in beats, rhymes, lyricism, creativity, and all that makes hip hop great. And that’s what this album contains – only it has now been turbocharged sonically and brought into the 21st Century by SHI 360.

SHI 360 is by far one of the best Israeli rappers ever to walk the face of the earth and he proves it yet once again on “Chapters: Jewish Rap Bar Mitzvah”. This amazing album and artist is somewhat underestimated by the mainstream radar. If you have not heard of any of the SHI 360 music or style, this will get you hooked first time. He catches some deep lyrics with clean cut productions and mixes them into a warm dark haven that takes you to another dimension. You can tell when a musician is totally into creating, not just a song, but a work of art. SHI 360 in my mind is an artist and not just another rapper. To say that SHI 360 knows what he is doing is an understatement.

CHAPTER-SHI360-350It’s good to see an artist grow and mature musically over the years, but it’s even better when they know how to go back to the sound that got you interested in them in the first place. Only this time they do it better. SHI 360 definitely does that with “Chapters: Jewish Rap Bar Mitzvah”.  Ever since his music career began, he has had lyrical skills that have always been hot and crisp like fries fresh out of hot grease. One listen to “Jacob’s Ladder”, “I Was There”, “Open Your Eyes”, “Resistance” or “Chapters” not only confirms this statement, but also certifies SHI 360’s introspective and socially conscious verses. Outspoken honesty and versatility is this album’s strength. Its hard tracks are just as amazing as its soulful or socially-conscious tracks.

If you’re sick of non-talented rappers pushing out the most simplistic irrelevant banter, with a cheesy hook and a stupid dance rhythm, you’ll need a daily dose of “Chapters: Jewish Rap Bar Mitzvah”. Seriously though, this is a very good album. I love that SHI 360 always tells stories in his songs. I enjoy how he is able step back and bring an outside perspective as well as firsthand experiences into his lyrics. In my opinion SHI 360 is probably one of the most underrated underground Hip hop artists currently doing the rounds. So what made SHI 360 go back and courageously restyle his debut album 13 years later? Who better to tell us than SHI (Supreme Hebrew Intelekt) himself!

What was the idea behind releasing a remastered version of “Chapters”, 13 years after its original release?

SHI360: I got the idea from a fan that wrote me how “Chapters” is his favorite album and more people should know about it. “Chapters” came in a pre-digital era, and today, more people can access music online. So I was waiting for the right moment and what’s better than a Bar-Mitzvah?

What are the major differences between the 2002 version of “Chapters” and the latest release of “Chapters: Jewish Rap Bar Mitzvah”?

SHI360: The Bar Mitzvah Edition is digitally remastered and has 13 tracks instead of 17. It also has 4 remixes. One of them is from the biggest hip-hop artist in Turkey – Sagopa Kajmer. We actually connected thanks to “Chapters.”

Between lyrics and music production, which did you handle on “Chapters”?

SHI360: On the original “Chapters” I was only handling the lyrics. I have grown a lot as an artist since… So in the Bar-Mitzvah Edition, you will get to see me on the production side with 2 remixes done by myself.

CHAPTERS-SHI360-680Are there any featured artists on “Chapters” or do you handle all the rapping. And who actually sings the hooks, like for example on “Jacob’s Ladder”?  

SHI360: “Chapters” was featuring most of the big Hip-Hop names in Montreal at the time: Obscure Disorder (A-trak’s group), Manchilde, Mr. Malish, and TFS singing the hook on “Jacobs Ladder.”

Since the original release of “Chapters” and the new remastered version, how much do you think your rapping style has changed, if at all?

SHI360: I think my rapping style progressed and has grown since to be more versatile. This was my very first album. I was raw, young, and didn’t have the same experience as I have today. However, it’s still positive, still conscious.

In the same context how much do you think Hip-Hop and the music business in general has changed during this time period? And do you think it’s for the better or for the worse?

SHI360: Hip-Hop changed A LOT since then. Some will argue that it’s a question of taste, but I genuinely feel like Hip-Hop had more meaning back then. More substance.

How much does it bother you, to know that you could sing songs like “Open Your Eyes” and “Resistance”, in 2002, in 2010, in 2015 and probably even in 2020, and nothing would have changed in the socio-political world?

SHI360: This is an unfortunate reality. We will always have people with their eyes blind to the truth. I try and shed light through my music. If I’m able to touch one soul – I feel a great accomplishment. I’m also an optimist so I do believe things will change for the better.

Why did you add the title “Jewish Rap Bar Mitzah” to “Chapters”? Is there a specific significance to that?

SHI360: There are a few rappers that are Jewish, but there were no “Jewish rappers” at the time I came out. No one rapped about Being Jewish, Sephardi, Israeli, etc. They were just rapping. I put that on the map, so it’s the “Bar-Mitzvah” of Jewish rap! Simple as that.

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