Last we heard from Tyler Keys was his Jaae Kash produced track “Was It Worth It?”, now he’s back with a brand new cut featuring our good friend Jaae Kash but with JakeGoesDigital on the beat. When the instrumental drops the rapid tempo fills your ears but the haunting sample behind the beat reminds me of the music played on the home screen of the Halo games, let’s call it divine. Both of these artists have been on the site before and are gearing up to drop their freshman projects in the coming months, which is probably why Tyler decided to come out with a track about staying in your own lane. Even though their styles are a bit different behind the microphone these two come out of the gate full throttle, and make this interesting beat into another Tyler Keys success. Hit that play button one time and make sure to show Jaae Kash and Tyler Keys some love on twitter and keep posted as 2014 is going to be a monumental year for both of them.
Houston legend Trae Tha Truth goes coast to coast for the features on his newest track and freestyle “Breathe Easy”. With New York’s emcee Troy Ave opening the show, then the southern slang of Trae, and all followed by Problem’s West Coast sound this track literally has something for everybody. Even though the cover art labels this song as a freestyle all three artists effortlessly body their selective verses, and Trae even throws in a small hook to essentially make this his best release of 2014 yet. If you haven’t heard any of these artists spit off the top hit that play button one time and see who you think took home the crown on this diverse freestyle.
First things first, watch their dope recap video of SXSW14. These guys are literally the most motivated and fun group of people we got to meet at South By, and there’s a little clip of us doing this interview in there too. Get familiar.
What’s it like being artists from Tuscon, a city that hasn’t bred many rappers?
Trix: Tuscon’s not a very big city you know, it’s just us and a couple other names out there just really doing it for the city. We’re probably the first artists from Tuscon to perform at SXSW, since we’re not from a big city we’ve really been focusing on reaching out to people and making connections.
Millionz: Like he said, there’s a lot of artists out there reaching for the same goal, some more motivated than others. At the end of the day it’s the artists who have their heads right and their business right, the guys making smarter and better moves than others are the ones coming out on top. I just think we’ve been blessed with making some of the right decisions.
I heard y’all used to go by The Movement as opposed to The Kennedys, what was the reason for that change? And what made you choose The Kennedys?
Millionz: Man that was really a rebranding thing; we got to the point in our career where we realized that for the better of our future we needed to change things up a bit, get our image looking right. We stepped things up, had a lot of talks and decided that The Kennedys best represented what we were trying to do with music as a whole.
From what we heard y’all weren’t always the beat-killing duo we know today, and y’all actually had to overcome some differences before working together. How did y’all end up deciding to work together and how did you overcome those differences?
Trix: A lot of the issues just worked themselves out when we started rapping, we had something in common you know? It was me, him, and these two other dudes; we took it more seriously so that fell apart. He moved away from Arizona at one point, and we’d call eachother up on the phone everyday and just go back and forth rapping verses. Eventually he moved back and we just kicked things off, got the ball rolling.
What about Bootleg Kev & Dizzy Wright? They’re pretty influential names in music right now, and clearly played a role in ‘As Requested’. Where did they come into the picture?
Millionz: Honestly it was just an outreach thing man. I met Bootleg Kev back in Vegas when we went out there with the big bro Juice McCain. We introduced ourselves, kept contact, and when we decided to do this tape we reached out and showed him some music. He liked our sound so he helped us out, ya know? He’s a huge in the industry, so having him on board definitely helped out.
I know this is y’alls first time at SXSW, so what are some of the goods and bads you’ve seen so far?
Millionz: Good has to be the people man, a lot of people and an experience that you can’t really get anywhere else. The open-mindedness, the exposure we’re getting, it’s all really good for us.
Trix: The bads is just all the damn walking bruh, my feet hurt man. But other than that it’s just a lil crowded in certain places, a lot of lines. All worth it though, having a great time out here and getting a lot of love from everyone here.
As Requested was a 6-track project, but it took y’all a couple years to put it together, so why the wait?
Trix: I think a lot of artists just have the mentality of, “Fuck it I’ll put this mixtape out” but we wanted people to give a fuck about us first. We dropped a few singles, dropped a couple videos, and earned some hype around us so that people actually gave a damn when we dropped our tape. So that’s where 2 years went, not to mention some shows and other shit. So we waited, and when we thought the time was right we dropped the project for the fans, which is how we got the name – As Requested.
Do y’all think it got as much attention as it deserved, or would you have liked to see it get a little more?
Millionz: I like the attention it got. As artists, obviously if the numbers were higher we would’ve been happier, but for the first project we’ve ever put out we’re satisfied with how it did. We feel a little under rated, but at the end of the day all it means is we need to keep grinding and getting in more people’s ears before our next project drops.
Trix: Like he said, the numbers are good but we always feel like we can do more. I mean I feel like it’s a 50,000 download project, but we’ll get there.
So what’s next? SXSW was clearly a step in the right direction, any more festivals planned for this summer?
Trix: We killed it at the Bootleg Kev showcase, next year hopefully we can be out here doing double the shows we did this year. We’re gonna start working on another project here pretty soon, don’t wanna give y’all a release date yet, but other than that it’s just videos and shows all summer
Millionz: That’s it man, we’ll be out here with y’all again next year, and just grinding on more music until then. We’ll have more shows lined up, new tracks, new visuals, all that good stuff. Who knows, we might actually be headlining SXSW15.
French house DJ Jean Tonique headed back to the 90s vault of R&B and procured Get Involved, a single from the soundtrack of the 90s hit TV series The PJs. His edit isn’t too different from the original, but everything is all sorts of ramped up, from the octave, tempo, and overall energy. The ultra groovy disco beat reminds me of Duck Sauce and The Knocks. Great track for DJs looking to play a slower R&B hit with a more upbeat kick. Snag the free download, and go listen to more of Jean Tonique’s Disco Edits on Soundcloud.
Sterling Duns is back with another smooth soulful free single called Walk It Off. Sterling continues to impress me with his impeccable sense of vocal rhythm. He changes up his emphasis on words enough to keep it interesting but still manages to keep consistency along the entire track. Girls, the evolution of hip-hop, sense of self, and life are just some of the themes he manages to jam pack into these three minutes. A lot of the hip-hop of today is evolving to include more trap and bass elements, but Sterling brings it back to the feel-good beats of 90s-era Common. Shouts to Clouded Slum for the slick jazzy production. Peep the music video on this one too to get a feel for how Sterling and his crew get down.
Rap trio and DMV collective Black C.O.A.L hit our inbox yesterday and decided to flex their lyrical muscles on an unconventional instrumental in their newest release “Big Trouble”. Although I’m unfamiliar with the sample they used, the beat sounds like a choir of children resonating with a female lead all on top of a crazy drum solo. Despite the peculiar choice in instrumental these three DMV natives hold their own as they miraculously ride the beat for over three minutes. All three have a unique sound behind the microphone and come out swinging, all offering up a few punchlines to call their own in this free release. Although I wouldn’t consider the song itself catchy, it’s definitely memorable and worth a few listens to appreciate the lyricism. Hit that play button one time and if your feeling this make sure to show some love to this promising hip-hop group via soundcloud and/or twitter.
FINALLY I get to share this track with you; I got this submission from Pollimer last week and needed his okay to release it to y’all fo’ free. His vocal range is unreal, every note is hit flawlessly, and he simultaneously keeps up with a melancholy acoustic guitar loop. The beat is simple, just some simple bass build-up coated in a chorus of strings. Everything just comes together to create a pristine Indie gem, something you can aimlessly drive your car to while thinking about your life. The track is about following your dreams; which Pollimer depicts as an impossible task, but that’s not the point. The point is that the struggle is worth it, that doing what you love is the only way to be truly free. It’s the chase that sets you free. It’s the chase where you find yourself, where your passion is exploited, your name is defined, and your life is lived to its fullest. Great message, and after listening to his entire Find Me EP (available on iTunes May 1st) I can honestly say that the whole project is golden. Mark your calendars to buy this ish in a couple weeks, it’s only $6 and it’s the best new Indie tape I’ve heard so far in 2014. Give Pollimer a follow on twitter and enjoy the exclusive free download.
In honor of the Redbull Music Academy and the RMBA Sound Select Showcase at the Masquerade in Atlanta this weekend these four artists team up to drop a bomb on the rap game. These four artists are performing at the event in Atlanta this weekend so whether this track was to build chemistry, promote the event, or just pass the time is unclear.. but we did get a monster of a banger out of these fantastic four. This is everything you’d expect from Trinidad but at the same time compared to previous releases this is by far the best sounding release Trinidad has blessed us with this year. Still waiting on official news of a project coming from Trinidad’s corner this year but in the mean time hit that play button one time, and see how much your feeling this new cut from these ATLiens.
I know the track art looks like a bad acid trip, but you should know by now that Jon’s style is a bit off; he likes flowing over weird beats, using the purple devil emoji extensively, and working with trippy producers like Kevin Carey. It took awhile, but this track grew on me. The creepy strings and cluttered sampling would probably sound distorted on their own, but somehow when you put Jon on the beat he makes sense of NOVA’s incongruous instrumental and turns the track around. Good ish, enjoy and follow Jon Waltz on twitter.
When has Kygo not come through with his chill tropical vibes? This time he remixes a familiar artist, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, the chill Indie artist that Thomas Jack remixed last week. Kygo does a pretty simple rendition, nothing too special or out of the ordinary from his usual work, if you like his other remixes you’ll definitely dig this one. Enjoy the free download and follow him on twitter if you’re feelin it.