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

Billy Ray Rock – “Get The Funk”- hitting up all the classic tenets of funk

Washington State Singer-Bassist, Billy Ray Rock, plays more than 10 instruments and produces and performs every instrument you hear in his music. From Rock to R&B and Dance, Billy delivers them all. His single “Get The Funk”, simply adds another delicious flavor to his sonic menu. His unearthly bass chops, resonant vocal wobble and inner funk DNA is scorching hot, while it straddles the genre’s trademark grooves. Blaring horns and slapping drums accompanies the party-styled adlibs, as the track treads its momentum. If you’re looking the glossy high-tech dance-club funk perpetuated by bands like Chromeo, then this is not the

Reggie VaShaun: “Riches” – the true direction of the hip hop culture!

Reggie VaShaun was born and raised in Waukegan, Illinois. He began rapping at the age of 16 as a way to express himself and get away from the troubles that surrounded him. The first song he ever wrote was to the “Success” Instrumental off Jay-Z’s American Gangster album. Now at the age of 24 he releases his first EP “Riches”, which features Kevin Cassanona, Jon Content, Eddie Lamont Aka Marcus G.R.A.M, Blake Novia, Shelby Obleton, Brianna Oglesby, Robina Strowder and DJ Ledroc. Producers involve in the project include Kevin Cassanova, Jon Content, Thovo Beats, as well as Reggie himself.

Reggie VaShaun

Reggie VaShaun

Starting off with the woman talking on track one, “Stimulus (Brianna’s Intro)”, I have to confess: this EP caught me by surprise, and then some. “Riches” has a refreshing flow to it that hip hop albums lately have been totally lacking. It exhibits hip hop artists, holding out their notebook and showing you a compass pointing to the true direction of the hip hop culture that most albums fail to point to as of recent years.

And it’s not just someone barely mumbling over lyrics with a single distorted drum machine going in the background: it’s drowned in superb instrumentals that leave your head moving while Reggie VaShaun and his featured crew brings their A-game to the mic.

“Motivation” shows how cocked, locked, and ready to rock Reggie is. It seems that whenever Hip Hop looks bleak there is a bright light that comes along and gives those of us who have been here from the beginning and knows what Hip Hop is, hope. And it just gets brighter as the EP moves forward, starting with “Serenade Ft. Kevin Cassanova”.

Reggie’s appeal comes partly from his novel storytelling and his raw honesty, and there’s no shortage of that on this EP. “Riches” sees a hungry young emcee fighting for his place in hip-hop while simultaneously opening up his stories like a novel listeners can hear told from front to back. Especially interesting are the sermon-styled interludes like “RīCHəs Or Riches (Eddie’s Interlude)”.

The production captures a deep, soulful and retrospective mood on “4 U Ft. Robina Strowder, Shelby Obleton, Blake Novia”. “On The Rise Ft. Kevin Cassanova, Blake Novia” is a major standout tune as the rolling bassline and epic keyboards drives the track behind Reggie’s energetic flow. VaShaun demonstrates his strengths on this 8 track effort with no filler and rarely a dull moment.

The cover artwork

The cover artwork

“RīCHəs Ft Kevin Cassanova, DJ Ledroc” sees the crew spitting bars on another dynamic instrumental. Though Reggie has a strong affinity for the ‘pussy’ word, which can be found sprouting out all over the place, there’s enough lyrical depth on this recording to balance things out nicely, between the profound and the profane.

The production throughout “Riches”, serves as adequate canvases, avoiding over production. Production is used to set a mood, and create a groove, not to carry a track, which is left for Reggie to do. So while the production is solid, it’s very clear the star of the EP is Reggie VaShaun.

What a relief that hip hop is still being created up to this caliber. If you are looking for a modern evolution of hip hop from the late 90s and early 2000s, let Reggie VaShaun take you to his “Riches”.

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