BLU’s Bridgetown Homecoming

Catch me on the freeway, 110 South ‘til it ends at Bridgetown, USA

 – Blu & Exile “Simply Amazin”

In a quiet hillside neighborhood, the amber colored lights of El Principe lit the streets for BLU, San Pedro’s rap king, to return to his humble small-town roots. The Bridgetown Homecoming also featured performances from local stalwarts Block Scholars, Cashus King, Yuckee, SPVCE, and Mike G.

Street Status Studios organized a night of homegrown talent and implored the local residents to celebrate their champions from around the block. El Principe is known for hosting live bands and karaoke, so this hip-hop show was an alternative twist from their usual events.

As I walked in the nightclub, I was amazed at the colorful murals that covered the walls – the neon paint was accented by the black lights, which emulated a psychedelic vibe for all to experience. The sounds provided by DJ Lapaz created a party atmosphere, for the women enjoying their buckets of beer, while also respecting the hip-hop lovers in the crowd.

Mike G performs on stage at El Principe in San Pedro, Calif. on Saturday March 18, 2023

I didn’t have much downtime before the host called Mike G to the stage to kick off the night. His quick set gained attention from the guys playing pool in the back of the club. Halfway into his performance, he introduced new music produced by fellow Odd Future alumni Leftbrain – the sound system highlighted the eerie and deep bass production. While debuting the new music, Mike G slipped up on his lyrics but bounced back with no problem. His performance left me wanting to hear more from his new output.

Block Scholars perform on stage at El Principe in San Pedro, Calif. on Saturday March 18, 2023

The next performance was energized by the Block Scholars. This trio calls San Pedro their hometown and the local crowd showed them lots of love. The three emcees traded verses and slapped hands with the enthusiastic people in the audience. Seasoned veterans is what I would call them after watching their showmanship and signature production.

Yuckee performs on stage at El Principe in San Pedro, Calif. on Saturday March 18, 2023

As the clock neared 11:40pm, renowned bassist Yuckee took the stage. Although, he is known as a supporting member of alternative reggae rock band Special Blend – this instance he was backed by DJ Kut Kaper. Yuckee is now exploring his love for rap and focusing on a solo career. His blend of boom-bap beats and introspective rhymes made fans get closer to the stage to take in the vibes. At one point, Yuckee made his way into the crowd to give the crowd that face-to-face interaction and created a deeper connection to his music. His set was met with applause and appreciation.

Donel Smokes performs on stage at El Principe in San Pedro, Calif. on Saturday March 18, 2023

The conclusion of a Yuckee’s set was met with a fan favorite track from JayLib. This set up a great alley-oop for one of the special guests of the night and an exceptional producer set from Donel Smokes. Smokes used the Roland SP-404 like a wizard concocting specialty spells to snap the necks of every person in the crowd. Their heads bobbed in unison and bodies swayed to every filtered sample and beat drop. As a frequent collaborator with BLU, Smokes production fell in line with the soundscape of the event’s headliner.

Cashus King performs on stage at El Principe in San Pedro, Calif. on Saturday March 18, 2023

30 minutes after midnight, Cashus King graced the stage and brought his thought-provoking lyrics to the forefront. He was wearing a shirt that featured an iconic image of LA rap legend, Tupac Shakur – the stark similarities of their ideals and lyrical content reminded me why I supported Coss (King’s former pseudonym) in the mid-2000’s. He was backed by SPVCE on the turntables and their chemistry was on full display. To get a grasp on King’s musical offerings, check his latest album “Lost in the Wilderness”.

BLU performs on stage at El Principe in San Pedro, Calif. on Saturday March 18, 2023

The night had reached its tipping point, when the hometown hero BLU invited everyone to the front of the stage. He was met with cameras, “bridgetown” chants, and a clamorous welcome. The smile on BLU’s face, while kicking off his set with last year’s Fatlip-assisted “Gangsta Rap”, was great to see. He then jumped into “The West” a familiar tune (produced by Bombay) from his 2014 ‘Good To Be Home’ album. BLU’s appetizer provided an opportunity to bring the supporting acts Block Scholars and Donel Smokes to the stage and perform a posse cut that cemented the hometown brethren’s legacy.

M.E.D. joins BLU on stage at El Principe in San Pedro, Calif. on Saturday March 18, 2023

Fans graciously approved when Oxnard’s finest, M.E.D. hopped on stage to perform hits alongside BLU from their Madlib-produced ‘Bad Neighbor‘ LP.

Exile joins BLU on stage at El Principe in San Pedro, Calif. on Saturday March 18, 2023

The crowd erupted when Exile joined BLU to perform “Simply Amazin’” – it was great to see these two trade verses, and more than likely you will be able to catch BLU & Exile perform together very soon. Overall, BLU’s Bridgetown Homecoming was adrenaline-pumping night for San Pedro’s hip-hop scene. Hopefully, more shows in the area will inject the energy needed to sustain the platform for others to ascend. Peep more flicks from the show below:

AZUL Releases Debut Album, ‘Rich Off Conversations’


AZUL, a buzzing 18-year-old recording artist coming out of Los Angeles, introduces himself to the mainstream with he release of his debut album, Rich Off Conversations. Available via 365, the 13-song debut tells the story of the emerging new artist’s rise from rags to riches and all the dangerous twists and turns in between. Featuring guest appearances by rarra and RobRaccs, AZUL formal introduction is filled with slick-talking rhymes, trendy production, and grandstanding from beginning to end.

Hailing from South Central, AZUL identifies himself as a product of his environment, where it’s not your normal living. “Growing up here you’re normal, isn’t everybody else’s,” he says in the press release. “You’re more likely to be introduced or offered things early in your adolescence. Walking to the store, you might see a girl you know doing prostitution, or your childhood friend who you grew up playing sports with probably died to gang violence.”

The debut’s standout tracks are “Where Would I Be,” “What God Gives,” and “Pilot.” Rich Off Conversations is the perfect origin point for newfound fans of the rising star with big plans for 2023, including more new music and a follow-up album. AZUL credits 50 Cent as his inspiration to pursue music. Feel free to stay up-to-date on everything AZUL via social media.

Stream it here:

RiskTaker D-Boy Releases Buzzworthy Track “Ready or Not”


Rollingstone recognized him as one of the “Michigan Rappers to Hear Now,” RiskTaker D-Boy is proving he’s here to stay with his new track “Ready or Not.”

Even though he’s lived a life of crime since a young kid, his life changed in prison, where he began his music craft. Inspired by Eminem and Tupac, he pursued his talent once being released and returned to his hometown, Detroit, MI. RiskTaker D-Boy’s debut project Turnpikes and Toll Booths, was released in 2019.

Since then, his buzz has grown, recently being featured on Kash Doll’s latest, Oh Boy. Now, he’s back with his own single. Check out “Ready or Not” below.

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Chicago’s Leo w3st Brings A New Sound With Debut Album “Just HML” Feat. Mick Jenkins, Hugh Lee & More

Authentic, laid back and self –assured are just a few words that embody independent artist Leo w3ST. This proud Chicago WestSider is on his way to making his mark on the independent hip hop music scene as proven with his over 60 show performances including his riveting performances at the House of Blues and Hip Hop in Chinatown. w3ST uses the influence of music of today and the past to give rhythm, lyricism, feeling and melodic tunes.

His latest album release “Just HML” features 16 songs that are sure to create a vibe within each listen. With songs like “Outside,” Everything U Want ft,. Mick Jenkins and Breaking Point ft. Hugh Leeand “Euro,” captures a refreshing new sound coming out of the city, Leo w3ST sT proves that his music is consistent and exceeds beyond expectation while making strides in perfecting his craft. “Just HML” proves to be a true testament to his creativity. 

Leo expresses that “Creating this project has been a journey. My mind was really all over the place during the creation of this but I feel like that helped me during this process.” When asked about the meaning behind “HML” he says, “HML really is a global sayin, in some way or form you are always gonna find yourself telling somebody to hit your line or vice versa.” His producer and partner in crime, “DommOrElse” has been making music with Leo for 10 years creating their first full project together. Leading up to the release, Leo has been featured on major media sites including Whats The Word TV, Dirty Glove Bastard and more. Click the link below to listen to his latest ALBUM “Just HML.”

Hit-Boy Releases Highly-Anticipated New Album ‘Surf Or Drown’

Today, 10X Grammy-nominated and 3X Grammy-winning producer/recording artist Hit-Boy drops off his defiant new album, Surf Or Drown – released via his label Surf Club. Hit’s 21-track project arrives in the wake of the Nas-assisted “The Tide,” which was released earlier this week, and “Slipping Into Darkness” with The Alchemist – a standout collaboration that sent the internet into a tizzy.

Joey Cool New Song & Video “Great Time”


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Today, Joey Cool releases a brand new song and video for “Great Time”. It’s the first taste off his forthcoming album on Tech N9ne’s Strange Music label that he’s been teasing to fans recently on social media.

In 2021, Joey Cool joined forces with Tech N9neKing Iso, and the legendary Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for the biggest independent rap song of that year, “Face Off.” Its success would be downright unprecedented, birthing a TikTok challenge and amassing over13 billion views! The track has crushed nearly 160 million Spotify streams so far with 71 million views on the blockbuster music video. The track saw him mentioned by everyone from Variety to Entertainment Weekly.

Kool Keith & Real Bad Man Release New Collaborative Album ‘Serpent’

After teaming up with Boldy James to release Real Bad Boldy (2021) and Killing Nothing (2022) and linking up with rising star Pink Siifu for Real Bad Flights (2022), Real Bad Man returns to announce his first collaborative album of the year with Serpent

Serpent brings Real Bad Man together with the inimitable Kool Keith and is produced in its entirety by Real Bad Man.  Serpent features appearances from Slug of Atmosphere, Ice-T, Edan, Cool Calm Pete and Zeelooperz