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

Critical Opinion – “Blocks” – acute wordplay and smooth flows!

Critical Opinion are made up of two best friends – Ardin (AKA DIZZ-E) is from the UK, and Peter (AKA Base – P) is from the US. Both highly educated doctors – Peter is a Medical Doctor and Ardin is a criminal Psychologist – they met in the Czech Republic back in 2010, when they were teaching at the same high school. Coming from tough backgrounds, where they lost many friends and family members along the way, they managed to make it out. Now working hard to accomplish Rap music has helped both of them to stay positive and motivated. Currently still living in the Czech Republic, where they continue to teach, Critical Opinion have dropped their album “Blocks”, which is the first in a series of 5 they have planned. Ardin and Peter also have their own record label called, Phat Track Records, and video production company called, Kool Kats Production.

Straight of the bat, this duo has a consistency in their music that’s rather inspiring. “Blocks” comprises 12 songs with a variety of sound, rhythm and melody. For their beats BASE-P and DIZZ-E rely on producer Valentine Beats and good friend, Simon Kang, who mixes and masters their material.

The beats on this album are so well laid out, and they only get better after each listen. They hook you hard and don’t let go until the songs are over. The beats match the mood and theme of each song very well, proving that they aren’t there just to give Critical Opinion something to rhyme over, but they are good enough to stand on their own.

Add in the in-depth rhymes, the acute wordplay and the smooth flows that Critical Opinion deliver, and you have an explosive combination that runs from track one to the very end of the recording. In fact you’ll be so overpowered by the constant pull of the album, that you’ll be left with only two listening options for “Blocks” – play it loud, and play it often.

From when the album opens with the mellifluous “Not Gone Forever”, BASE-P and DIZZ-E prove their ability to create music that endures without ever compromising their vision, elevating their skills without ever chasing trends. In an ideal world, they could flourish indefinitely.

On “Hustlin”, the duo turn up the urgent ruggedness in their toolkit, without losing the melodic edge which is served in the hooks. “Ain’t No Sunshine” leans on its anthemic groove while lyrically Critical Opinion roll out a set of conscious rhymes. This leads us to the title track, “Blocks”, which is built on a rich and thickly layered orchestration.

This might be some of the best rapping you’ll hear all year, at least in the old-school style. The chemistry between BASE-P and DIZZ-E is insane, and the production is killer. “Perfect” increases the booty-shaking quota of the album with a warm tropical bounce.

“Warning” takes Critical Opinion back to the lyrical grindstone, with an incessant rhyme-scheme riding the hard-hitting beat which has a subtle eastern flavor. By now it’s fairly clear that Critical Opinion is a hip-hop group who are definitely much better than the majority of hip-hop crews that have been spoon fed to the masses like so much fodder over the last few years.

Compared to much of the future-oriented lyrics and beats of artists that have been releasing records recently, BASE-P and DIZZ-E sound like they come from a legendary category. You only have to listen to the album’s centerpieces and standouts, like “Realest”, “Respect” and “Crooked Cops” to hear the vintage quality in creating lyrical jams that are simultaneously effortless and complex.

Unlike many of their contemporaries, or so-called peers, Critical Opinion have a level of substance that can rival Rap artists from any genre and style. And on this album, the duo does a great job of delivering stellar beats and rhythms, while bolstering their songwriting with creative concept songs, such as “No Limits”, “Pay Homage” and “Power”.

Rap and Hip-hop is in an animated state at the moment, with mainstream misfires, and once dependable artists who seem to have lost their edge, substance, and confidence as of late. This makes the album, “Blocks”, and the duo, Critical Opinion, stand out even more in the current urban scenario. BASE-P and DIZZ-E have been steadily laying out their path — always honing their sound, always evolving their style, and, most importantly, always having fun doing it.


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