Oz Sparx Shares New “Vlone Friends” Visual

When it comes to Hip Hop, fashion has always brought along a level of respect that people would kill for. Today, for the latest release from his popular project, Vibin, Slidin, N’ Connivin,’ rising recording artist Oz Sparx connects his style to the final destination in the music video for cut “Vlone Friends.” In the new visual, Sparx is casket sharp as he spits arguably his best verses yet from the spreading like wildfire EMPIRE release.

The Visual by Luke presentations serves as both an ode to A$AP Bari’s international streetwear brand and an on-camera vent session about finicky friendships. When asked about the record the Philly native states: “This is one of my best videos. What better way for me to descriptively depict my pessimistic philosophy. When it’s all said and done, you’re brought into this world alone and die alone.”

“Vlone Friends” follows “YSL” featuring 2kBaby. Vibin, Slidin, N’ Connivin is filled with hits. Released late-2020, the 18-track project has spawned breakout songs like the previously released “Dancin Wit The D3vil.” The project also includes fan-favorites “Antisocial,” “Backseat Freestyle” and “Way Too Much.” The album features JGreen and 2kBaby.

Sparx and his latest project have positioned themselves to be one of the biggest highlights of 2021 hip hop, period. The array of hit singles is undeniable popularity going into his next project, expected late-2021. Vibin, Slidin, N’ Connivin is available now on all DSPs via 510 Music Group/EMPIRE. Follow OZ Sparx on social media for daily updates of his forthcoming project.

Watch the new video to “Vlone Friends” by Oz Sparx below, afterward, add the single to your playlist today.

Gotham – Self-Titled (Album Review)

Gotham is an MC/producer duo from New York consisting of Talib Kweli & Diamond D. The latter being a founding member of the seminal collective D.I.T.C. & was one of the first to co-sign Kweli back when he originally formed Black Star alongside childhood friend Yasiin Bey. The first time we really heard Gotham together was on “Where’s the Love?” off of Diamond D’s 2014 solo album The Diam Piece & then they got back for “The Zone Out” on the follow-up The Diam Piece 2 back in 2019 but ever since then, they’ve been hard at work on their full-length debut as a duo & I’m very excited to hear the results.

“Sons of Gotham” kicks the album off with a misty boom bap beat along with lyrics calling out “rappers acting like Kanye” whereas the next song “Olympic” incorporates an organ & a guitar as Kweli proclaims that they do this rap shit for sport. “The Quiet One” touches down on being the voice of the people accompanied by an eerie instrumental & an animalistic Busta Rhymes verse while “On Mamas” goes into a more synth-heavy direction with Kweli spitting about getting the speakers pumping. Meanwhile, the song “Attention Span” is a more atmospheric cut addressing those who’re out to lunch & the Skyzoo verse hits the nail on the head.

The track “In Due Time” is a fiery anthem about how you’ll be getting yours eventually on top of a classy boom bap instrumental whereas John Forté of all people comes into the fold to take a jab at the system on the minimally-produced “Pick Ya Head Up”. The song “Chillin’ While Black” is the one of the only 2 on the entire thing where Diamond D himself jumps on to spit as he & Kweli talk about racial profiling over a horn-inflicted beat & even though the penultimate track “I’ll Tell Ya Later” has a cool concept, the skeletal beat is underwhelming & the Niko Is feature is kinda weak. The album does end strong though, as Kweli & D hop on a dusty instrumental with some jazzy undertones to talk about holding it down.

Despite the fact that Talib’s recent output has been hit or miss with me admittedly, Gotham knocked it out of the park on this one. He & Diamond D do a damn-near perfect job at paying homage to their home-state as the lyrics & production both take listeners back to the traditional days.

Score: 9/10

Recognize Ali & Bronze Nazareth – “Season of the Se7en” (Album Review)

Recognize Ali is a Ghanaian emcee who’s been shaking up the underground for the past several years now off projects like Back 2 Mecca, The Shining, I.S.L.A.M. (I Self Lord And Master) & Guerilla Dynasty. Dude’s previous effort Recognition just dropped back in August & for his 9th full-length outing, Ali has enlisted Bronze Nazareth of the Wu-Elements to produce the whole thing from front to back.

After the “Motown Connection” intro, the first actual song “God Aura” incorporates some horns as Ali spits about the champ being here whereas “Hand Count the Cake” is a dope money ode & the vocal loop was well-picked out. The orchestral-tinged “Tear Drops in the Sky” connects with his Dueling Experts cohort Verbal Kent alongside former Army of the Pharaohs member King Magnetic to rap about catching bodies while “Street Gospel” is a soulful tune about “bringing Terror to your Squad like Big Pun”.

After the “Knew Legends” skit, the song “Silver Spear Promise” seems like a homage to the iconic Jay Electronica joint “Exhibit C” from some of Ali’s rhyme schemes down to the sample of “Cross My Heart” by Billy Stewart while the gospel-tinged “Olympic Gold Medalists” taps in TriState & Willie the Kid to get on the spiritual side of things lyrically.

After the “Find It in Him” skit, the title track has a plinky piano loop throughout with lyrics about greatness whereas “How Many Times” finds Bronze hopping on the mic with Ali as the 2 pondering about a number of things on top of an elegant beat.

“Rivers in the Basement of Truth” taps in Napoleon da Legend & Lord Jessiah to spit the battle bars over a piano & some vocal harmonies while the track “How We Roll” brings in a boom bap beat with some harmonization in the background as Ali spits about being on the corner until the AM. I also like the Money Miz shoutout at the end of the first verse as well.

“Camouflage Dons” is a cool homage to the Wu-Tang Clan & the Killa Beez as Ali jumps on an instrumental that has the Wu sound alongside Dom Pachino & before the “Outro to Detroit” outro that finishes off the album, “The Grind” is a symphonic coda about his hustle.

In my opinion, this is one of the best albums that Recognize Ali has ever done. Dude continues to further demonstrate as to why he’s one of the most thought-provoking MCs to emerge from the underground in recent years & Bronze Nazareth comes correct on the production per usual.

Score: 8/10

BIG S.I.N. – “The Hulk Smash” EP

Bar for Bar, we haven’t heard a refreshing project like this in years! Stream “The Hulk Smash”, the new EP by North Carolina standout BIG S.I.N..

CONSCIOUS – “HIS STORY PT. 2”

Up-and-coming recording artist Conscious provides a sequel track to his 2018 original with the release of today’s single “His Story Pt.2.” Picking up where his 2018 album Spectrum left off, the sequel escalates the plot and adds deeper meanings in the verses. Improved story-telling, dramatic finish and so much more, Conscious’s latest is easily his best work yet.

A set up to his forthcoming project arranged for a 2021 release, the song is a follow-up to the top-of-the-year single “Go.” Conscious’s new single is the perfect origin point for any newfound fan excited to adds some uprising new music to their playlist. “His Story Pt.2” is available everywhere via DPC Indie. Hit the play now, enjoy the cinematic vibe and for more Conscious, follow him on social media.