Sanity Menon & Ra.Instrumentals – “City Dwellers” (Album Review)

Sanity Menon and Ra.instrumentals are two California based rappers who have been building up a strong fanbases since there emergences in the underground scene around the ladder half of the 2010s with their renowned solo projects Flip Side and Ra’s Buck. The two have come together for their first joint effort titled “City Dwellers”. The album fuses profound lyricism with vibrant production, which ultimately results in excellent hip hop.

Sanity shows off his versatility as he can switch up his sound and, additionally, cover an array of potent subjects in depth. Whether he’s talking about depression on “Hallow Heart” or loss on “Bittersweet”, the raw emotion in his voice is compelling and thought-provoking. One of the standout tracks is “Mirror” which unravels Menon’s mind as he tells his life story from birth and the darkness which has accompanied him since. Sanity’s performance is solidified due to his intricate lyricism and songwriting. His technicality and rhyme schemes flow with ease as he is a true wordsmith that can create complexion in each bar he writes. Overall, Sanity Menon shows off his top tier rhyming ability and genuine emotional capacity.

Ra’s low-fi production creates the atmosphere and tempo of the record. Predominately using Jazz, the instrumentals feel pure and genuine, which gives the album a wholesome feel. Tracks such as “Workflow” and “Freeway Blues” show off Ra’s versatility and ability to chop up samples. Each cut has a distinct feeling as the pacing and sonic tone of the beats differ from track to track. The pinnacle of the production can be seen on the song “Growin Up”, which contains a soft minimalistic beat loaded with powerful tone changes and background vocals. Overall, modern minimalist production doesn’t get much then this project.

In conclusion, City Dwellers is both artist’s best project to date. With well-written thought-out lyricism and cultivating production, Sanity and Ra seem unbeatable throughout the record. The only critique I have with the project is that the running time of 52 minutes could have been cut down a little as the album seems to drag in the middle. Going forward, I hope these two pair up for more collaborations as their chemistry is undeniably solid. If you’re like me and want to stay up to date with these two gifted artists, be sure to follow @sanitymenon and @ra.instruemntals on Instagram!

Rating: 7/10

Highlights: Lyricism, Emotion, Production

June Popi – “Calvin Klein”

A Valch Vallav directorial. The new Oklahoma City rapper June Popi drops the audio-turned-visual presentation for “Calvin Klein.” In the dark visual, June Popi hits the block and things get bizarre. A solo cinematic feature, June displays an undeniable street persona that matches the mood of the music perfectly. Nothing fabricated about this new star coming from the unknown. The latest visual follows previous videos “NAWF” and “Racks.” “Calvin Klein” is a perfect transition into the anticipated late-2020 project on the way. 
Referencing the iconic fashion brand, on “Calvin Klein,” June Popi raps about fashion drugs, serving the fiends and enjoying the fruits of his labor, showcased within his lavish lifestyle.  Produced by Atlanta’s DJGQthekid, “Calvin Klein” is a dark, disruptive and ambitious song that epitomizes Popi’s real-life trapper image. June Popi prides himself as “The Big Trapper” which he often hashtags on social media. Popi heavily indulges in coded wordplay in majorly of his content which fans have come to adore and recite proudly.

Check out the new video below and follow the rising star today on Instagram. 
https://youtu.be/BVVMFbzEJCU

Skrizzy & 24Hrs Get Into Disguise for “Undercover Hoe”

Skrizzy returns. The striving new artist links up with the popular recording artist 24hrs (“What You Like”) for a womanizing new song, titled, “Undercover Hoe.” Perfect for the summertime vibe, the two stars detail a playboy-ish lifestyle filled with situationships.

Marking the first collaboration between the two, Skrizzy calls the single “curious.” He states: “This song is an ode to LA party girls. You know the ones that take pictures holding a guys hand just to show off his AP. The type that shows face at a different ball players VIP section every week, but got a boyfriend; yeah – that girl. 24hrs spoke from the perspective of a “rapper boyfriend” with an overly curious girlfriend who constantly has her heartbroken due to curiosity.”

“Undercover Hoe” puts Skrizzy on an ominous quest which leads up to a promising new album predicted for 2020 release. The release will be Skrizzy latest effort, following his memorable mixtape series, Music We Fuck To. Past Skrizzy collaborations include V.I.C. and West Coast superproducer DJ Mustard. After the stream, follow Skrizzy’s journey on social media.

24hrs appears on “Undercover Hoe” via Rostrum Records. On Forever Trill, stream “Undercover Hoe” now.

Young Malk – “Plandemic” (Mixtape Review)

Young Malk is a rising rapper from Newport Beach, CA. With all of the chaos occurring in our society, Malik has decided to use the crazed year of 2020 to create his new album “Plandemic”. The project isn’t just one of the most socially aware projects I’ve heard this year; it’s one of the best as well.

Young Malk is a lyrical genius as he uses grief and fury to fuel his pen game. He covers an array of subjects ranging from his personal losses to the current coronavirus pandemic. You can hear the raw emotion in each word Young Malk blurts out as he questions things such as why lawmakers would let such a deathly outbreak rise out of hand. Talking about subjects like these, make the Newport Beach mc feel super relatable to anyone listening. Matching the strong content is Malk’s writing skills, which feel nearly perfect as he has a plethora of quotable lines, clever wordplay, and thought-provoking rhymes. Being relatable, complex, and loaded with depth is arduous to most rappers but, Malk is excellent at all three.

The production on Plandemic is versatile and intuitive. Each instrumental plays to the mood of the track, causing the overall theme and lesson Malk is trying to get forward to feel stronger. The beats range in style as the track “Blame You” contains a trap beat but, the song “Will The Cycle Change” has a more minimalistic approach. While some albums with a display of different styles may seem rushed and messy, Plandemic thrives with its vast beat selection.

In summary, Plandemic checks off all the boxes a great rap album requires. With super-strong substance, profound lyricism, and beautiful production, the project is easily one of the best in 2020. It is evident everything Young Malk stated came from his heart, and his only goal was to spread awareness and make the world a better place. After this tape, I’m stoked to see what Young Malk has planned for the future. Be sure to follow @YoungMalk on Twitter so you can see what he has in store for his next masterpiece!

Rating: 9/10

Highlights: Lyricism, Production, Relatability