Hey everyone, hope you’re keeping safe and healthy! A lot has happened over the last week, and it terms of music is has been as fantastic as per usual. So let’s get into it!
Blu & Exile’s new album Miles is a beautiful, poetic project that embodies themes of love, struggle, loss and freedom
There’s honestly so much I haven’t covered on this album, and to be honest I’ll definitely need quite a few more listens to fully appreciate all aspects of this sprawling, incredibly lush and textured album. Lyrically, Blu talks about Black history, paying homage to jazz and hip-hop legends as well as using “blue” as a metaphor for power and freedom. And for it’s 1h35 minute runtime, it’s quite a cohesive and consistent album. I wouldn’t skip a single track. Miles is a beautiful, poetic project that embodies themes of love, struggle, loss and freedom. Blu and Exile have come through with a monumental album that was well worth the wait, and one I will be enjoying for quite a long time. Read more
Should white people review black art?
So, should white people review black art? Probably not. As I mentioned before, a lot of black art is rooted in the struggles and pains of being black in the West. A lot of art comes from black trans and non-binary people who deserve the same level of love, respect and accurate representation as everyone else. People who do not relate to these experiences will be much more likely to misinterpret or gloss over these struggles than someone who lives them every day. So it’s our responsibility to firstly, ask ourselves whether we are most knowledgeable and best suited to review a particular work of art and secondly, take full responsibility and accountability to report facts and experiences accurately and not diminish people’s art because of incorrect and ignorant assumptions, especially if you’re benefiting from it financially. Read more
Kamaal Williams’ new album Wu Hen is a concise body of work that feels orchestral, lively and stunning from front to back.
As a keyboardist and producer, Kamaal Williams has worked under different aliases, producing music that ranges from spiritual jazz, funk and house music. His music sounds visceral, lively and beautifully textured, creating atmospheric compositions that are just utterly captivating. He is back with a brand new project following his incredible 2018 album The Return and his Dj-Kicks Mix he released last year. The album is titled Wu Hen and contains 10 tracks of pure rhythmic jazz bliss, with additional string arrangements from Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and vocals from Lauren Faith. His incredible eclecticism and musicianship shines through yet again on this album, with a diverse set of sounds and rhythms that perfectly capture his aura as a musician. Wu Hen is a concise body of work that feels orchestral, lively and stunning from front to back. Read more
Lupe Fiasco & Kaelin Ellis – HOUSE EP
Florida-based producer Kaelin Ellis and legendary rapper Lupe Fiasco team up for a brand new EP titled HOUSE. The production is lavish, textured, jazzy and beautifully melodic, enabling Lupe to spit some poignant truths about self, bringing introspective and a fascinating historical raps about the origins of life, the concept of home and much more. It’s a deep listen, as per usual with Lupe, and tracks like “DINOSAURS” featuring Virgil Abloh and “SHOES” featuring Virgil Abloh again makes me want to replay and study these tracks. The way he is able to flow throughout these tracks is incredible, and his intricate raps are poetic and beautifully constructed. As for Kaelin Ellis, I’m happy to see his successes just grow from year to year, and I predict big things for him in the future. Definitely one to digest.
SIDEWALK KAL – Pink Moon EP
New York rapper SIDEWALK KAL has come through with a phenomenal new EP titled Pink Moon. With hard-hitting, groovy production, the talented emcee is able to bring incredible rhymes and raps to this concise project. Tracks like “Ashes II Ashes” produced by Iron Feather and “Still Loading” produced by Hood Rich are examples of incredible, visceral tracks that showcase his eclectic lyricism and flow. His presence on the mic makes his raps captivating, and I hope more and more people discover this man’s music, because his growth is super inspiring.
TEK.LUN – Know Pressure
Baltimore producer TEK.LUN is known for his bass and synth-heavy production, drawing influence from hip-hop, electronic music and house. His new project Know Pressure is an excellent body of work that showcases his eclecticism as a producer, bringing heavy, hard-hitting tracks that perfectly embody his creative spirit. From the crazy “Intro Feat.” to the 7-minute thriller “Your Master”, this project is dynamic, dance-heavy project. “CHEESE N CHIPS” is an example of this, a thumping record that punches through my eardrums a way that I haven’t felt so far this year.
Mirror Gazer – Ordeal Erasure
This is probably my biggest surprise of the week. Mirror Gazer is Brooklyn-based artist Dorian Duvall and Ordeal Erasure is his brand new album. I say surprise because I’ve never heard of his music until a couple of days ago, and I’m absolutely blown away by the incredible, psychedelic sound he is able to create. The rhythms and grooves throughout the project are beautiful and melodic, with guitar and synth leads that meander throughout the incredible drumming and basslines throughout. It’s a psychedelic, new-wave album that is pretty phenomenal, and I really hope more and more people discover this man’s music. Favourite tracks include “Bound For Nowhere”, “Inhale The Sky” and “Lifestyle”. Go support!
VEDA BLACK – Sad Girls Club
It’s great and super exciting seeing friends succeed the way VEDA BLACK has. The London-based artist has released her highly anticipated new EP titled Sad Girls Club and it is a beautiful, textured, melodic, introspective and ethereal body of work that showcases her range as a vocalist, songwriter and guitarist. My girlfriend and I had a listening party the night it came out, and she adored it, so you know it’s good! But seriously, tracks like “Serious” and “Only You” are stunning. The former track especially sounds otherworldly, as her vocals shine throughout the subtle layered instrumental. The beat and rhythm changes throughout this track are amazing, and her personal, introspective lyrics are relatable and important. So I recommend you check this project out and support!
.nomind – sour
Italian producer Odeeno and drwn. have come through with a new collaborative project titled sour under the name .nomind. Both of them, separately have released some incredible beat tapes and projects, so seeing them together on a project just means more great beats, more great melodies and more great rhythms. They do not disappoint one bit, with key and synth-heavy production that feels groovy and hard-hitting. Their ability to create a consistent, cohesive sound throughout the 10 tracks on here makes this a brilliant project, and I hope more and more people get to know these two producers, separately and as a group. More great music to come, I’m sure of it!
Bugseed – Pawn Shop
Tokyo-based beatmaker Bugseed has come through with a phenomenal new beat tape titled Pawn Shop. I haven’t covered much of the Japanese beat scene lately, and listening to this project I’m reminded of why I miss it so much. These beats are absolutely crazy. The thumping drums on the opening track “Caria” is just the start. Throughout the 12-track album, Bugseed is able to create incredible beats, drenched in thick basslines and heavy energy. As I write this, I’m nodding my head uncontrollably, thinking, “how is this even possible?” That’s how good this man is, and if you’re into beat tapes, this is definitely one to listen to and support!
Cousin Feo – Belegen Kaas
LA producer Cousin Feo has come through with another Football-themed project titled Belegen Kaas. Focusing on Dutch football legends, this project features incredible verses from the likes of Adonis, Left Lane Didon, Lord Jah-Monte Ogbon, Skunkz, Arun Eastwood and Jay Nice. The production throughout is phenomenal, with drum and synth-heavy production that slaps throughout its 6 tracks. Songs like “Wes Sneijder” featuring Left Lane Didon and “Edgar Davids” featuring Lord Jah Monte Ogbon and Skunkz are examples of tracks that are hard-hitting and incredibly well produced, with intricate verses that are just incredible throughout. It’s definitely a project to support, and I hope there’s more to come from this talented musician.
Blu & Exile – You Ain’t Never Been Blue (Miles)
Blu & Exile – Roots Of Blue ft Jacinto Rhines (Miles)
Blu & Exile – Dear Lord ft Jimetta Rose (Miles)
Kamaal Williams – 1989 ft Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Wu Hen)
Kamaal Williams – Toulouse ft Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Wu Hen)
Kamaal Williams – Save Me (Wu Hen)
Lupe Fiasco & Kaelin Ellis – DINOSAURS ft Virgil Abloh (HOUSE EP)
Earl Sweatshirt – GHOST ft Navy Blue (FEET OF CLAY (Deluxe))
.nomind – hoodies (sour)
Bugseed – Three (Pawn Shop)
Ayeisha Raquel, Intalekt & TINYMAN – Feel It prod. R-Kay (The Loosies Project Vol. 1)
TEK.LUN – Know Pressure (Know Pressure)
VEDA BLACK – Serious (Sad Girls Club)
David Marston & Aquiles Navarro – Mercury In Retrograde ft Jitwam (Single)
Mirror Gazer – Bound for Nowhere (Ordeal Erasure)