Following 2 EPs that were released earlier this year, Johannesburg emcee/producer Selema Writes delivers his full-length debut There Were Mermaids at the Stream.
Watch the new video, “Table”, by rising Harlem-bred emcee donSMITH featuring Radamiz. The single release is off, “Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From“, the new soulful and culturally articulate full length album entirely produced by Zoomo, a soul sampler buzzing amongst the underground and Peter Rosenberg’s weekly real late night Hot 97 radio show.
For nearly five years, the Orlando-based tandem, RedRum—comprised of Racks (emcee/producer) and Red Eye (emcee)—have been consistently elevating their craft, and at long last are pleased to present their official debut album, The Lucifer Effect. Following the release of countless freestyles and singles, the duo continue to push forward their grass-roots approach to hip-hop: breaks, samples and low-end, with the grit from the Golden Era. Today, we catch up with the duo in this exclusive interview below along with premiering their new video and single, “Cold Blooded“.
-What inspired the album title, The Lucifer Effect. Where did the idea come from, and how do you feel it relates to your music?
Racks: I guess you can say it’s about duality…two sides of a coin. When most people hear of the name Lucifer, they automatically think it means something evil but Lucifer was a Light Bearer, a bringer of truth. Lucifer was a beautiful angel who handled the music for God and somehow became corrupted as he became aware. Lucifer realized he had the same powers as God. The Lucifer Effect is the early stages of us realizing we are truly just as good as the God Emcess. He was considered good until he challenged the authority of God. We challenge the conventional thoughts of mainstream music and hereby got cast into the underground. Redrum is murder in reverse which is a birth. We are bringing life and light to real hip-hop.
Red Eye: The Lucifer Effect describes the point in time when an ordinary, normal person first crosses the boundary between good and evil to engage in evil. We make music for the streets. Most people are good people who had to do bad things due to circumstances and situations. Thats the Lucifer effect.
– What’s each of your favorite tracks off the project, and why? And please reference your favorite bar (and breakdown the lyrics if need be).
Racks: Honestly I love em all but if I had to pick just one I’d go with “Adjustment Bureau.” My favorite bar is from New Thangz; “Nobody hears the cries of a villain / my gun hot blood in my sock like Curt Schilling.” Basically when u get labeled as the bad guy nobody cares about how you feel but I’m a warrior who performs the best when it’s needed most. Curt Schilling is known for his clutch killer instinct he was a pitcher for the Red Sox who famously pitched with a terrible injury to secure a world series win.
Red Eye: My favorite track is “New Things” featuring HEIST-N-FLOW. It showcases our crew, A.O.D. (Army Of the Dead). The track is produced by DJ Tray. Every emcee bodies the joint. Racks probably has the illest verse on the track. “I’m rated R, this is a warning you bet avoid / I push a button on my android and your hoods destroyed”
– Racks: Aside from track seven—which is produced by DJ Tray—you produced the entire project. Did you start off as a producer and branch off into rapping, or did you first jump into the game as an emcee and then begin producing? Please provide some personal history as to your musical background.
I was a rapper first and basically didn’t want to wait on anybody to produce my music and I had my own ideas of what I wanted my sound to sound like. I started off using the SP-1200 and that turned into me actually going to school for audio and eventually teaching at Full Sail University.
– Red Eye: In addition to releasing solo material, you’ve also been affiliated with other groups and crews; The Closers, Infiniti Gauntlet, etc. How did you first connect with Racks, and at what point did you realize their was a unique chemistry?
We started working together back in 2010 on my music videos. Racks is a jack of all trades. He’s a beast with videos, a beast with production, a beast on the mic. He was featured on my first project, St. Fatrick’s Day and on the follow up, Fatrick Ewing. We started working on Redrum back in 2017 and it took us a while to find our sound. We didn’t want it to be a Racks album or a Red Eye album. I think we found our sound in 2019. Dropping weekly freestyles allowed us to work on chemistry. Now it sounds like we’ve been a group since the jump. Craziest shit is, we haven’t event reached the prime of what we’re working on.
– Racks: Expanding off the aforementioned question, how did you decide on the name, RedRum?
It was actually spontaneous. It just fit. We knew for sure that we were going to murder the rhymes…it’s no question that the bars were going to be up. We also had to try to figure out ways to combine our names. We had to try to figure something out that signified what we were doing. Murder in reverse is a birth. We were trying to resurrect some of the core principles of hip-hop. We wanted to give you the grass root elements of hip-hop; breaks, samples, a lot of bass and the grit from the Golden Era. We’re bringing life to the foundations of hip-hop.
– What do you want fans and new listeners to take away from this project?
Racks: The level of skill that was implemented along with the chemistry that we have going on musically. The whole project is done in house from the recording, mixing and mastering to the filming and editing of the material. We are also our own label.
Red Eye: Contrary to popular belief, real hip-hop is alive and kicking. There’s tons of wack sh*t out there but there’s also dope shit if you know where to find it. We make music for intelligent thugs. There’s a lot of food to digest from our bars. And there’s much more to come.
Twiztid is a hip hop duo from Detroit, Michigan consisting of Jamie Madrox & Monoxide, both of whom got their start alongside The R.O.C. as part of the trio House of Krazees throughout the early/mid 90’s. After their initial disbandment in 1997, the Insane Clown Posse almost immediately took Twiztid under their wings & signed them Psychopathic Records. But at the end of 2012, the demented duo decided to branch out on their own & started up their own record label Majik Ninja Entertainment just a couple years after. They’ve released a few outings on their own since, with the latest being Mad Season back in April of this year. However, Jamie & Monoxide have decided to go back-to-back & drop their 14th full-length album.
The album starts off with “Hallelujah”, where Twiztid talks about the game being fake over over bass-heavy trap beat. The next song “Blueprint” talks about going back to their old ways over an ominous instrumental while the track “We Just Wanna Be Heard” literally speaks for itself over an apocalyptic beat. The song “Get Through the Day” talks about wanting their pain to be taken away over an instrumental a flute in the background & a heavy guitar during the hook while the track “Come Alive” with Kid Bookie sees the 3 talking about living every day like they don’t see the sunlight over a trap beat with blobby bass.
The song “Clear” takes aim at those biting them over an instrumental with a pots & pans loop while the song “Hold Up” with Young Wicked finds the trio talking about pushing it ‘til the wheels fall off over a tropical trap beat. The song “Separate” talks about escapism over an instrumental that continues to build up while the track “Twinz” gets on their shit-talking tip over a boom bap beat with some chimes.
The song “Laughable” with Lex the Hex Master sees the 3 talking about how “one of us has to go & no it won’t be me” over an instrumental with some angelic background vocals while the penultimate track “Change Me” talks about striving to become the person you want to be over an acoustic instrumental. The closer “Never Be Nothing” talks about being misunderstood then over a trap beat with some somber piano chords.
Not only is this better than Mad Season, but I’ll also say that this is Twiztid’s best album post-Psychopathic. It all flows together so well as the lyrical subject matter has a touching, more serious tone to them & the production only enhances the emotion of each joint.
Elcamino is a 26 year old MC from Buffalo, New York who blew up in late 2017 when he dropped his self-titled EP with Griselda Records. This was followed up by his Walking on Water mixtape in the summer of 2018 along with dropped 2 studio albums & a few EPs last year. He just dropped an dope EP produced by 38 Spesh back in February called Martyr’s Prayer & now as we start the 4th quarter of the year, he & Spesh are back for another one.
The opener “Hammers on the Hip” talks about being strapped over a glistening instrumental whereas “The Avenue” horrendously sings about what it’s like on his block over a slow, dreary beat. The track “Hold U Up” continues to sing poorly (this time on some gang shit) over a gloomy instrumental while the song “Don’t Know” hops back on the rapping tip to boast over a slick beat.
The track “Hustle Like Me” talks about his grind over a woodwind-infused instrumental while the song “What I Be On” talks about being rich over a boom bap beat with some synth-horns. The penultimate track “Camino Season” talks about taking over the rap game over an instrumental with a funky bass-line & some synth-chords whereas the outro is a decent remix to “If You Want It” off the Trust Army’s sophomore album Army of Trust II.
I prefer Martyr’s Prayer of the 2, but this is still a solid effort nonetheless. 38 Spesh comes through with consistent production once again & Camino sounds like he took his time on it in contrast to a some of his latest material.