Lupe Fiasco Explores the Eternal and Ephemeral with album ‘DRILL MUSIC IN ZION’

After sharing two singles “AUTOBOTO” and “DRILL MUSIC IN ZION”, veteran Chi-town lyricist  Lupe Fiasco returns with his awaited new album, DRILL MUSIC IN ZION. The project is made up of 10 tracks produced by his in-house producer Soundtrakk who weaves jazz-infused soundscapes for Lupe to blend profound lyrics that dwell on street music from his hometown and how it serves as a form of escapism.

The project starts with “THE LION’S DEEN” featuring poet/Lupe’s sister Ayesha Jaco who helps set the tone with her commanding vocals and heartfelt lyrics on modern lifestyles as it affects black and brown people. The first song is the somber “GHOTI” which is less than 2 minutes in length. Here, Lupe talks about a myriad of things from nihilism, corporations pimping the masses to human idiosyncrasies. This is followed by the previously released single AUTOBOTO,” a mischievous, playful, and deceptively dense single that finds Lupe weaving his precise barbs around Soundtrakk’s arpeggiating guitars and a soothing airy melodic performance by singer Nayirah closes it out. “PRECIOUS THINGS” is a soulful, reflective tune featuring singer Nayirah who sets the tone with her angelic melodic runs while Lupe details how the things and people he loved and revered lost their appeal and in a tragic turn of events, he has to take a stand against these things. In “KIOSK”, he embodies the life of a kiosk owner trying to sell jewelry to anyone interested. It’s quite an engaging piece that goes deeper than just selling ice to wanna-be rappers and gangsters as he even touches on the domino effect of having these expensive things around. Lupe also takes listeners deep into the action with lines like

“The diamond sometimes are suedes while putting ’em to the blade
I have hesitations
There, I’ve put it all on the table, I have my reservations
Besides, we’ll find something else useless to put our faith in
You won’t finish this here, we’ll pick up after meditation”

“MS. MURAL” starts off the second half of the album and it’s a continuation of his “MURAL” series as the title suggests, it’s Lupe crafting verbal pictures using painting references and such over Soundtrakk’s jazzy soundscape. This is followed by the jazz-hop aesthetics of “NAOMI” which juxtaposes religious elements with modern-day parameters. It’s both reflective and thought-provoking and in the usual Lupe manner, he ends it with a clever Malcolm X rhyme scheme that pulls from Star Wars, Microsoft’s popular home console among other subtle things.

The title track and “SEATTLE” are next in line. The former is a  graphic detail of the numerous forms of escapism, personal greed, and the insatiable need for profit while the latter is Lupe’s ode to the streets where he has to move in mysterious ways to avoid a host of evils that lie in wait for his soul. He is once again joined by singer Nayirah who adds a soothing melodic touch to the track with her airy vocals.

The project closes with “ON FAUX NEM,” Lupe starts off with an observation “Rappers die too much, that’s it, that’s the verse” and continues with a detailed narrative of gang-related violence in inner cities, the hypocritical view of it all as he admits that he is not essentially a saint.

Buy/Stream DRILL MUSIC IN ZION on all DSPs here.

Keep up with Lupe Fiasco: Twitter: Instagram: Facebook: Spotify

Rico James links with Bobby J From Rockaway and Muja Messiah for “Nonchalant” (cuts by DJ Myth) [Video]

Producer Rico James recently dropped his new album Language of Spirits and now returns with the hard-hitting track “Nonchalant” featuring Bobby J From Rockaway and Muja Messiah. The result is a flurry of unfiltered raps and energetic performances from both emcees over Rico James’ pounding horn-laden production. Nothing is spared with Muja’s unhinged flow and Bobby’s effortless rhyme schemes. They are also joined by DJ Myth who adds some flavorful cuts to the mix.

The video was filmed and edited by Rico James who captures a chef’s cooking session.

“Nonchalant”  is lifted off the new album Language of Spirits Out Now on Man Bites Dog Records here.

 

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Psych Major presents “Posse Track 101” ft Reef The Lost Cauze, Bub Styles, Psych 101, K Burns, Toneyboi, cuts by Jay Ef

Hard-working producer Psych Major  returns with an entire posse in the aptly titled single titled  “Posse Track 101” which sees him teaming with Reef The Lost Cauze, Bub Styles, Psych 101, K Burns, and Toneyboi with cuts by Jay Ef. The hard-hitting production is dark and ominous and serves as the perfect backdrop for these emcees who came to do one thing, wreak havoc on the microphone. Reef The Lost Cauze sets it off with his smooth laidback flow followed by Bub Styles’ gruff delivery. Psych 101 comes through with K burns’ melodic flow  and Toneyboi who help close out the track on a solid note. Jay Ef ties it all  up with some solid scratches.

 

Stream “Posse Track 101” on all DSP’s Here

 

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JIRI shares ‘Up From Here’ EP

Raleigh, North Carolina-based rapper JIRI returns with Up From Here EP, a 6-track body of work that dives into personal territory, from personal loss, friendship, self-doubt, insecurities, and more. The project sees him working with producer Stoic.

The project opens up with Leap of Faith” which dives into the concept of taking risks in the face of doubts and fears. JIRI runs through his journey as he pursues music and digs deep into his own flaws but far from being a sob story, he takes the bull by the proverbial horns and follows through with his plans. This is followed by the previously released single “Offended” where he shares candid thoughts on the clout chasers and overrated emcees who permeate the current rap game. He makes use of a bouncy, cinematic trap backdrop in “Hol Up, Wait” where he flexes his lyrical muscles while reflecting on some of the obstacles in his way. In “Not Enough” he talks about the various insecurities that inhibit him from maintaining meaningful relationships. Over a moody and solemn backdrop, JIRI delivers an emotion-filled performance ripe with unapologetic and candid lyrics that listeners can relate to. He shares with the listeners, his self-doubt, and battle with depression, and wonders what the future holds for him.  The final track is the title track and it starts on a somber note over Stoic’s moody and sparsely arranged beat. JIRI starts off the verse with vivid detail of how he fell out with his mother and also how his ex-girlfriend affected him negatively. He reminisces on the good times but unfortunately the bad outweighs it and he has to find his own inner peace far away from the aforementioned women.

Overall the EP gives listeners a glimpse into what makes JIRI tick while showcasing his songwriting skills.

Keep up with JIRI | Spotify: TikTok: Twitter : Website: Instagram

TENNIN teams up with Justo The MC and maticulous for new single “TRAPPED AGAIN”

French artist TENNIN teams up with NY producer maticulous and emcee Justo The MC for a heartfelt single titled “TRAPPED AGAIN”. The record has a smooth soulful texture and soft drum groove reminiscent of 90s r&b/hiphop tracks and sees TENNIN reminiscing on falling in love with the wrong person. She delivers a soothing performance with evocative lyrics that detail the emotions that come with the situation, Justo adds his own 2 cents to the matter with a vivid verse and Jon Doe adds in some solid scratches to solidify the track.

 

Stream “TRAPPED AGAIN” on SoundCloud, and YouTube.

Keep up with TENNIN | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Nyiam shows his skills as an “Unsigned Hype” [Video]

Canadian rapper/producer Nyiam returns to the forefront with his self-produced single “Unsigned Hype” which comes with the perfect visual representation. The track sees him blending soulful jazz aesthetics over soft punchy drums while he delivers vivid bars laced with references to rapers and record labels that help change the music industry. He sure knows his onions and brings forth a solid mix of wordplay and wit in a seamless and effortless manner.

The visuals by Video by Nyiam and Quincy Schmidt make use of performance shots of the rapper spliced with images of the rappers he speaks about in the track. It is quite nostalgic and uses 90s VHS effects to good use.

 

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TRP.P share new visuals for “Doin’ It For Me” [Video]

Eclectic genre-bending duo TRP.P return to the forefront with the bright visuals for their heartfelt single “Doin’ It For Me”. The tune talks about self-love, confidence, and being in tune with oneself regardless of what everyone says. The production by Truss is smooth, soulful and bouncy while Phoenix’s sultry melodic performance really stirs the soul alongside her deep evocative lyrics.

The visual is bright and employs performance shots of the duo while highlighting the attributes of individuals from different backgrounds who society might want to ostracise. In a nutshell, TRP.P has created a judgment-free and safe space for every one of us.

Toronto-based TRP.P (pronounced “TRIP-ee”) is made up of Truss (producer, singer/songwriter) and Phoenix Pagliacci (singer/songwriter)

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Maybach Stank Drops “Ace Boogy” Video

Oakland’s own Maybach Stank, also known as Pierre Rushing, may be behind the wall right now, but that won’t stop his grind as he releases a new music video for his latest single “Ace Boogy.” Stream it now via own imprint.

Directed by Zero Creationz, behind bars, Maybach is a testament that people can accomplish any goal despite their set-backs. The song and visual follows previously released singles “Run It Up” and “Put Some Respect On My Name,” which all appear on the thriving artist’s latest album, Appeal Season 2. For newfound fans, “Ace Boogy” and Appeal Season 2 is the perfect origin point to hop on the Maybach Stank bandwagon.

Watch Maybach Stank’s “Ace Boogy” music video below, and afterward, follow him on social media.

DSwervo Drops “Me & Mine” Video

The tragedy of Uvalde, Texas was one of the most horrific events in U.S. history with the loss of 19 children and two teachers. Miami recording artist DSwervo pays respect to the victims with a new song of remembrance, titled “Me & Mine,” accompanied with a music video. Inspired by grief, the song is meant to be an eye-opener.

“I look around and every time you turn on the TV another mother loses a child, another family is crying, it’s getting out of control,” said DSwervo in a press release. “I just wanted to make a song to shine some light on these problems. I want people to know they aren’t alone in their suffering.”

Directed by Christopher Diaz, the Padrino-produced single is empowering, impactful, and overall much-needed. It’s the perfect introduction to the up-and-coming rhyme slayer. “Me & Mine” follows her debut single “Hmmmm.” DSwervo is best known for her consignment from award-winning music billionaire Kanye West.

Feel free to take a look at the “Me & Mine” music video below.

STORRY shares a heartfelt tale of “Intimate Abuse” [Video]

Eclectic genre-bending sex-positive, queer, feminist artist STORRY caught our ears with her heartfelt single “Intimate Abuse” and its engaging visuals. The track is a punchy ballad ripe with anthemic textures and somber keys that ebb and flow as it progresses. “Intimate Abuse” dives into the moment one finds a lover who fully accepts our intimate flaws and complexities with no conditions. STORRY delivers a soul-stirring performance underpinned by her commanding vocals and soothing melodic runs that draws listeners closer to the action.

The visual has a nostalgic and retro aesthetic with its VHS style textures and set pieces that aim to capture STORRY’s unique style in all its glory.

STORRY is a multifaceted wonderwoman who writes and produces her music, and is intrinsically involved in all aspects of her career from designing album covers to directing award-winning music videos. Her debut concept album ‘CH III: The Come Up‘ was produced and released independently, and was nominated for a 2021 JUNO award for Adult Contemporary Album alongside Celine Dion and Alanis Morrissette.

Stream “Intimate Abuse” on  SoundCloud, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer

Keep up with STORRY | Soundcloud: Spotify: Facebook: Twitter : Instagram