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

J-Carter – “Hip-Hop Til I Die” – stunning gems of epic proportions

J-Carter is back with his 4th album, entitled “Hip-Hop Til I Die”. Set to drop at the end of July, this promises to be another whopping epic, containing something like 38 tracks of music. The album will proceed to shine a light on the many styles this artist is capable of bringing to the table – from Hip-hop, R&B, country, to pop, rock, and even the blues. J-Carter meticulous. Thanks to a bevy of thoughtfulness and remarkable craftsmanship, he has attracted a sizable audience with his previous releases. What he displayed as a lyricist and conceptual album constructor across all his long playing projects places the New Jersey wordsmith in the company of the genre’s brightest rising stars.

To observe J-Carter, is to view an artist who doesn’t dance to the industry’s tune. He takes his time crafting stunning gems of epic proportions. Rather than deliver a handful of throwaways, J-Carter serves up a fully flavored smorgasbord. “Hip-Hop Til I Die” is once again an exploration, but this time around, the journey is straight into the mind of J-Carter who observes the world from close-up and comments on its workings leaving no stone unturned, no matter how uneasy the topic.

In “Unborn Dead” he cuts straight through the controversial abortion issue. On “Own Your Skin Tone” he tackles the problems of self-appreciation, and accepting yourself for who you are. While in “No More Drinking”, he affronts the theme of alcoholism. Lyrically, J-Carter has elevated. He has also completely mastered the art of the memorable hook, and there isn’t a verse that isn’t filled with enthralling lyricism.

From the anthemic “World We Live In”, to the rockers “Real God’s Never Die” and “Keep Holding On”, to the soulful slow burner “Got Me Where U Want” and “Everything”, these songs are befitting of an album that doesn’t have the feel of compromised creativity.

“Hip-Hop Til I Die” is about the man, his thoughts, and what he chooses to share with the world. Honesty, the unapologetic kind, drives the project and can be heard on “I’m Spitting This”, “Modest Not The Hottest”, A Lyrical Addict” and “Get High For You”.

Setting a strong mood and creating a universe where wordy, layered lyricism can cut through the layers of melodic sound is a gift that few have. There are dynamic sounds, verses, and moments, while the album, keeps a consistent groove.

On an album where the tone is set by the rapper’s voice, the atmosphere often changes based on J-Carter’s approach. This is something he does on almost every track, as he moves from cinematic to dark and somber, and then to relentlessly urgent and upbeat to anthemic. He lets his thoughts and emotions take control of the album, as each song and feature seems well-placed and natural while the tracks flow seamlessly.

One of the best things about “Hip-Hop Til I Die”, is that J-Carter doesn’t seem to be chasing one specific sound. He seems to be creating what inspires him. It feels like he has reached a point in his life an artistry where he is in total control.

J-Carter delivers consistently strong rhymes on this album, while using the extended track list for a variety of beats. There’s an immediately gripping sound to “Ill Versus No Curses” while J-Carter brings a color out in his rhymes to keep the momentum on this track moving.

The rapper is rolling in a rhythmic heaven on “Bottom To The Top” through intoxicating percussion, driving guitars and a soaring hook. All the vintage hip hop pristine comes out on “Can’t Smile” as J-Carter delivers surprisingly appropriate and slowly blown out rhymes to ramp things up.

Across this album, the fluctuations of J-Carter’s voice provides an effect of multiple voices from different people that seem to match each and every featured artist on the tracklist. This album is an ambitious leap over J-Carter’s previous works, and encourages listeners to lose themselves within the artist’s thoughts.

Throughout “Hip-Hop Til I Die”, J-Carter’s effortlessly basks in both his poetic complexity and his rigorous rhyming stamina. The production is phenomenal, the songs themselves are memorable and wonderful in their own ways, and the project as a whole is the most bold and ambitious underground hip-hop album I’ve heard in a long time.


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