I’ve been writing for well over three years now, and as a music blogger, there’s nothing I enjoy more than having a great song come across my feed on a day where I can’t find anything to post. Healy is a diamond in the rough. He’s a Memphis based acoustic rap artist who’s just starting to gain some momentum on soundcloud; 35,000 plays on his latest release, and a lot of love from different music outlets around the world. The only way I can think to describe his sound is Chance The Rapper with a splash of Frank Ocean. That might sound like a hyperbole, but you really do need to hear what Healy can do behind the mic. Azulejos is a slow, piano-heavy, jazzy rap and R&B track; every element of a love song that you could hope to hear on a song is in here, right down to the flirtatious saxophone samples and subtle Spanish lyricism. This is as early as you can hope to get on an artist before they blow up, so enjoy the free download and be sure to follow him on soundcloud and twitter if you like what you hear.
Russ has released 35+ tracks in the last 9 months alone, and if you aren’t impressed by that alone, he’s also accrued over 10K followers on soundcloud in that short time-frame. Russ Diemon is this secretive Saudi Arabian artist who rocks a man bun and Versace on a daily basis, and although I can’t say too much about his personal life, I can tell you that his craft is far more cultivated than many of today’s hip-hop competitors. He also does all of his own production, so there’s yet another check you can put under Russ’s name. Uniqueness is important when you get into the rap industry, and the middle-eastern flow that Russ maintains is unlike anyone else I’ve heard, especially when you throw in the fact that he’s a singer too. Don’t sleep like I did, start following Russ on soundcloud and twitter to keep up with his future releases.
When you combine two of California’s best alternative hip-hop duos for a collaboration, this is what you get. Eventide and ACADEMY have both been making waves across the country on 10+ city tours, consistent new music, and seemingly endless good vibes. Time To Kill follows suit, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is my favorite release from either of these artists all summer; their vocals compliment each other naturally, the instrumental is centered around acoustic piano and tangy guitar rifts, and the progression makes for a smooth ride from start to finish. Enjoy, and be sure to throw Eventide and ACADEMY a follow on soundcloud if you like what you hear.
I’m always skeptical of Drake covers/reworks; no one can hit the custom OVO-crafted beats quite like the 6 God himself. I hit play on this because I’m a fan of just about everything Steezefield and Emilio have dropped together. That being said, I can’t honestly say that I liked this track more than the original Drizzy release from last week, but I can say that this is some of the best delivery, production, and all around music that this duo has put out. Steezefield sounds like a refined R&B singer on the chorus, and both of their verses showcase an intimate yet still characteristically somber style. If you dig it, show some support by throwing Steezefield and Emilio Paredes a follow on soundcloud.
Every artist has at least one track that I’m not feeling, but LITERALLY everything on EDEN’s soundcloud is gold. I dare you to find a song on his page that isn’t just absolutely fantastic in its own right. Lyrically, he’s unmatched. His delivery is consistently stunning. His production — which is all solo work — sounds like a modernized symphony; innovative arrangements, timely changes in tempo, and an entourage of both organic and electronic instruments. Since his “re-branding”, he’s been hyping up a forthcoming EP, and even released a track list that revealed three unreleased songs set to drop officially on 8-8-15. Ironically, end credits isn’t at the end of the EP, but it’s fitting when you realize that the two following tracks are Gravity and Nocturne. While EDEN’s poetry can sometimes be hard to decipher, End Credits is fairly straightforward; running away with someone you love, living each day like it’s the last, and taking their poorly melded relationship down in a final act of passion. One more week until he drops his much anticipated project, so be sure to show EDEN some love on twitter and soundcloud.
This line up was unexpected — I was honestly wondering whether any of these artists were going to drop a track this summer, but I couldn’t have predicted they’d be dropping a collab together, much less collabing on an original Rhett Wellington beat. Surprisingly, the production is awesome; a soft guitar progression at it’s core, arpeggiated electronic keys over the verses, and a hypnotizing high-hat sequence throughout the instrumental make for a deep back-track to the despondent lyricism. Rhett has come a LONG way over the last few years. He submitted his first project to me all the way back in 2012 when I was running the site by myself, and although I didn’t post his music initially I knew he had the potential and the passion to become a great artist. The features on this track are no strangers to UniversityHype either, and each verse resonates with each musician’s unique style and flow. The gist of the track is getting tired of doing the same shit, sleeping in the same bed, being with the same person all the time, and figuring out how to deal with someone who isn’t as driven as you are. It was easy for me to empathize with, and hopefully this song hits home for you too. Cop the free download if you like what you hear, and be sure to follow Rhett Wellington, OnCue, Alex Jordahl, and Sophia Z on twitter to show some support.
It’s hard to be in a bad mood while Jackson Breit is playing, and his rendition of Fetty Wap’s 679 combined with Blackstreet’s No Diggity follows his tradition of releasing unfathomably smooth feel-good music. The self-produced cover is set at a relaxing BPM and is full of layers upon layers of fluid electric guitar, simplistic percussion, and a steady bass line. As per usual, Jackson’s vocals are the focal point of this release. If you’re familiar with the two songs he’s covering you’ll understand how diverse this rendition is from the originals; from hip-hop classics to a sole effulgent indie jam, I have yet to hear an artist — other than Jackson Breit — who can mold rap tracks into semi-acoustic summer anthems. Cop the free download, show Jackson some love on twitter and soundcloud, and share the track with your homies if you like what you hear.
I’ve seen the Chicago-based Alex Jordahl on a few features this summer, but his original releases have been few and far between. As per usual, Steezefield dominates the production of this track with an ambient, string-heavy instrumental. The pace is a little bit faster than what we’re used to hearing Alex flow over, but his filtered vocals seem to settle into the electronic percussion comfortably. The beckoning lyricism and plastered hook make this track perfect for the bedroom, and with the promise of a full-length project coming soon, you can be sure that Alex Jordahl is going to be the background to some of your intoxicated escapades this semester. Be sure to show him some love on twitter and soundcloud if you like what you hear.
Andrew’s been working with his Daruma collective for a few months now, and all of his original material on these free projects have been nothing short of masterpieces. The Kanye sample you hear is from his 2008 feature on Estelle’s American Boy, but unlike the old Pop single, the production on this track is a showcase of experimental arrangements, instruments, and tempos. If you’re like me, the intro will sound like some sort of satanic oompa-loompa chant, but if you stick with it long enough you’ll see what Andrew can build around an unsettling sample. At the 2:11 mark, you’ll geek out how hard this twangy space synth slaps, so hold out for it and trust that Luce will keep you entertained for the entirety of the track. Check it out and show Andrew Luce some love on twitter and soundcloud if you like what you hear. Oh.. and stay tuned for the interview we got with him dropping this weekend.
RIP to Meek Mill’s career. No words — just enjoy.