Usual Suspektz – “Put In That Work” (Video)

Hailing out of Toronto, Canada rising underground Hip Hop duo Usual Suspektz (Shawn Knottz and Sos – A – Leo) drop their latest hard-hitting music video titled “Put In That Work“.  This track is the lead single off their upcoming EP.  Follow them on Instagram @usual_suspektz.

Hailing from West Indies (Trinidad and Jamaica) the duo grew up in the inner cities of Montreal and Toronto and have been honing their skills for years as MCs while navigating all that comes with living in the big city. They have rocked on festival stages and small venues with the same energy and entertaining the crowd has always been the number one priority. Students of the 90’s era hip hop class, they stay close to the roots and stay true to the form that is making its way back to the genre. With the help of  veteran DJ and producer,  DJ Mercilless (Benny The Butcher, Ghostface, Styles P, Moon Crickets), they have found their current sound and are ready to take the hip hop world on and over.

Vish-K – “Lucky Turned Favored” (EP Review)

With so many hot new artists coming out of Atlanta, GA right now, it’s the perfect time for Vish-K to follow suit and receive his seat at the top among the rest.  With his recent debut EP release “Lucky Turned Favored” the five-track project takes fans inside the emerging artist’s underworld adventures. Arising from the bottom, the project is a short but sweet effort that brings the artist on the rise sound to the masses. Starting off with a real heavy hitting single “Part of Me”, he decides if he will be the next big thing or back to the drawing board.

Lyrically, Vish-K is, if anything else, cunning and chameleon, especially on his track “Upper-Unity”. Surprising, aggressive and street smart, he rhymes in code, integrates trending terms and tells a cliche story that fans love with a fresh take. It’s almost effortless how impressive the rapper’s street-driven abilities throughout the bite-size project. With one listen of  Vish-K and you’re be instantly addicted.

The EP’s production is simplistic, with a raw mix of Boom Bap and trap at the same time. Being so short, the EP’s sound easily attracts as it stay consistent track-to-track. This is a similar trait that many legends have been known to follow when it comes to beat selection, especially with his most notable single “Irregular”. Vish-K builds trust and genuine chemistry for all his fans that reflects off his astonishing work that will go unforgotten.

A real student of the game, the new EP showcases an ever-evolving Vish-K. His gritty rhymes perfectly reflect the late 90s Hip Hop that propelled today’s superstars (Jay Z, Eminem) with a solid Atlanta homegrown influence. Understanding what works, how to execute and how to intrigue, Vish-K converts newfound fans easily and will have them eager to check out previous releases. A pivotal moment in his career, Vish-K is only one song away from becoming a trailblazer. Overall, if you enjoy or miss that raw Atlanta street knowledge than Welcome to “Lucky Turned Favored”, which is just for you.  Follow him on Instagram @vishkmusik.

Ratings: 8/10

Highlights: Lyricism

Benni J x O-Naje – “SoulRap Psychology” (Album Review)

Coming to us from Oakland, California, is Benni J and O-Naje! The two have just released their debut collaboration “Soulrap Psychology“. The duo’s goal when creating this album was to deliver a thought-provoking and life-changing experience. Setting the bar high with an improbable task, will they be able to deliver a conceptual masterpiece?  

O-Naje and Benni J show they can rhyme with the best of them on this record. Naje’s hard-hitting delivery perfectly compliments the laid back philosophical approach of Benni J. “Gratitude”, and “Grooving” show off their intense, gritty side while “Rise N Shine” and “Mind + Body + Spirt x J-Flo” displays the emotional depth behind their lyrics. “Tap In” previews Benni and O-Naje’s hitmaking ability as they trade fun lines and intuitive flows against one another. “Live Infinite” was a definite standout as they pay homage to legendary bay area group Souls Of Mischief and their infamous classic “93 ’til Infinity”. Out of all the cuts on SoulRap, none are more groundbreaking than their cover of 2pac’s “Thug Maison”. Both artists recollect on their scariest moments and fears with heartfelt and vivid songwriting. Overall, the only complaint I could draw about this album is that some of its songs could have been cut off.

Sonically, SoulRap does a formidable job at creating a compelling soundtrack for the duo to rap over. From the tracks that use classic Dj Premier and 9th Wonder beats to the indie produced “Grooving”, there is an array of different styles displayed. “Live Infinite” was a fantastic listen as the instrumental was a remixed and chopped up version of its classic counterpart, “93 ’til Infinity”. Anything from Jazz to Boom Bap seems like a fitting beat for these two as they have an abundance of styles in their arsenal. Overall, none of the instrumentals are truly mind-boggling on this record, but they certainly get the job done.

In conclusion, “SoulRap Psychology” is a solid debut from a prominent young duo. Lyrically, it seems O-Naje and Benni J can already hold their own against anyone in their weight class, while stylistically, they show glimpses of what could turn into a decade defining concept album. Going forward, I hope these two continue to grow and develop together as I feel they could take over the game very shortly. If you want to stay updated on this talented duos journey, be sure to follow @onaje_is_infinite on Instagram!

Rating: 7/10

Highlights: Lyrcisim, Chemistry, Subject Matter

WishGranted – P.W.R.R. (EP)

From gifted underground sensation to promising triple threat, Baltimore’s WishGranted navigates the grind, pressures, late-nights and early mornings of his music career told in the new project, titled, P.W.R.R. (Produce Write Record Repeat). A project perfect for these trying times, WishGranted creates an underdog project that connects worlds through a similar story drawn out in five all-new songs.

A follow-up to his 2019 debut, Wishful Thinking. For his second effort, the writer/producer/engineer delivers a deeply personal project that shares intimate thoughts, stories and emotions. Everything on the project self-made, WishGranted proves his incredible abilities as a recording artist and foreshadows his presence at the top of the charts that awaits him. On tracks like “Eagle Vision” and “My Word,” the rising star shines brightest with slick wordplay, catchy production and realism. “A lot of this project is focused on self-confidence,” he says about making the album. “This is for people like me that’s out here struggling but they got dreams. A big part of why I make music is I just want to help somebody. This is my way of giving back in these crazy times.”

P.W.R.R. is set to bring light into other’s life and hope into their hearts during a world that needs it most. WishGranted wrote in the album’s press release, “The goal is to give people hope and relief from the normal day to day stress. The first song is Never Stress and that’s the energy I want people to walk away from this EP while also getting a glimpse of my view of the world. I hope y’all enjoy.”

P.W.R.R. features Lydia Zeller and The Rap Game’s Deetranada. For everything WishGranted, follow the climbing artist on Instagram and Twitter for daily updates.

P.W.R.R. is available now on all DSPs via WishGranted Music.

Michael De Vinci – “Roid Rage” Ft. OGTHAGOD (Video)

Michael De Vinci is moving on a wave of his own with the new “Roid Rage” music video. The East Chattanooga rapper is one of many that have made the state’s trunk-rattling rap scene too loud to ignore. With the new visuals for the single released last month, Michael is rolling deep with his crew collectively known as The House. While the group has built a noticeable amount of momentum breaking out of the Volunteer State, the song signifies that the “Fake Trill” rapper and other House members are still building from the ground up.