The intro to this song reminds me of Look What You’ve Done by Drake; something about the piano melody and muffled conversations in the background just sounds familiar. Emilio linked up with a different producer for this release, and although Steezefield has been a key ingredient in the somber music he’s been making over the past year, his compadre DRVMRBOY stepped up to the plate and killed it this time around it.
‘WYA/WYD’ is an acronym, first and foremost, for “where you at” and “what you doing” respectively. The song itself is an upbeat R&B/hip-hop jam, and strays from the typical melancholy sound that Emilio has mastered in exchange for a more sentimental tone. Although it’s still too heavy on the production end to be considered a love ballad, the balance they’ve found between their gloomy ambiance and mainstream delivery styles.
I’ve been putting Emilio Paredes on for well over a year now, and he has yet to disappoint us; every move he’s made has been carefully calculated and has resulted in a fuller, more palatable sound. Check it out and throw Emilio a follow on Twitter and Soundcloud if you like what you hear.
If I’m being honest, I don’t know what I think of Meek Mill anymore. I feel like his sound is limited to turn up/war anthems, which isn’t a bad thing, but a multimillionaire artist without diversity is bound to be a has-been, not a legend.
Meek’s album that dropped over Summer 2015 was highly anticipated; I mean, the release date was delayed two years because the MMG rapper ended up in jail after violating his probation and posing with some guns on Instagram. However, the project didn’t live up to the hype, and he’s spent the last few months recovering from the failed release, the embarrassing Drake beef, and a world tour with his wifey Nicki Minaj.
4/4 is the first “project” that Mill has released since last summer, and at the very least it’s on par with what we’d expect from him. Each song on this project features explosive, monumental, Chicago-branded production accompanied by violent lyrics about surviving in the trap, getting money, etc. It’s not an original story, but it’s definitely the kind of music that’ll have your speakers knocking, and that’s all that matters from a Meek Mill drop. Check it out and throw him a follow on Twitter and Soundcloud if you’re feeling it.
Jeremy Zucker is a young indie musician hailing from somewhere in New England. He’s most easily comparable to our Irish electro-indie producer/singer/songwriter EDEN, but unlike him Jeremy hasn’t tried to sculpt his branding, rather he’s kept every single song that he’s released in the past two years live on his Soundcloud for fans and artists to judge.
His most popular release to date is You Should Get To Me, which is a production-heavy collaboration with Quinn XCII that features a similar style to today’s drop. ‘Weakness’ is another lyrically bi-polar love ballad; describing all the things he hates about this girl only to realize how much he loves her. The self-produced gem is simple at first — muffled synths slowly panning from left to right, distant claps stand as the sole percussion instrument, and Jeremy’s vocals are the clear focal point — but as the song progresses string instruments ensue and an emotional electronic breakdown slides right underneath our noses.
Phenomenal song by a phenomenal artist. Don’t sleep, throw the boy Jermey Zucker a follow on Twitter and Soundcloud and check out his NE music collective 3OAK if you’ve got a minute.
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Ash Riser is an interesting artist; he’s a burly white guy with an extremely unique voice, he’s recorded with/for Kendrick Lamar, he’s accrued hundreds of thousands of plays on a handful of tracks, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you’ve never heard of him. Ash is an artist who has been close enough to the lime light to touch it, but who didn’t have the backing or experience at the time to make the final push into fame and fortune. Today he dropped HOME, a 7-track EP that showcases an artist who has a firm grasp on his own sound and style.
His music is an irreplicable blend of brass-heavy blues, hip-hop percussion, and southern folk vocals. I decided to share this song off the project because it represents Ash better than anything else I’ve heard by him. ‘If You’re Watching’ follows Thanks For Asking chronologically on his tape, and it’s the happy ending that this project needed. Whereas it’s predecessor is a slow melancholy anthem with it’s core message being “screw off”, this song reveals his true emotions a little more clearly. The hook describes his loneliness and his insights from the perspective of his subconscious. It’s a dope song, and we’re fans of Ash over here at UH, so if you like what you hear throw him a follow on Twitter and Soundcloud and stay tuned for more great material.
Shoffy is a new artist to the site, so I’ll run through his basic stats just so we’re all on the same page. He’s based out of LA, just released his first project Conversations In The AM, and has a small, but quickly growing, fan base. His songs are marketed well, and everything is branded with his rectangular minimalist logo.
Panning pads and a complex percussion arrangement from Matthew Burnett — who’s produced for the likes of Drake, Nicki Minaj, Eminem, and countless others — culminate into a hypnotic instrumental. The upbeat tempo and inaudible samples seemed to contrast Shoffy and Bobby Brackin’s vocals at first, but as the beat drops and the song progresses your head starts to nod along, your fingers start to tap along with the beat, and any reservations or uneasy feelings dissipate.
‘Automatic’ is about the seemingly instinctual actions and emotions that this girl makes Shoffy do and feel. Whether it’s the enticing movement of her body or the vibrant colors of her personality, this song full of lyrics to steal for your Valentine’s Day card this year. Check it out and show Shoffy some love on Twitter and Soundcloud if you’re feeling it.
Belly is a relatively new artist for most of us here in the U.S.; he made a few headlines when he released his project Up For Days back in May 2015, but his tape was quickly over shadowed by a summer full of hip-hop drama and hot new album releases.
The last song we heard from him was Money Go, which dropped back in November and featured some vocals from Travis Scott. Since then he’s been off the radar, but out of the blue he released this cleverly titled track with Juicy J. ‘Zanzibar’, as you can probably guess, is a combination of the two words “Zanzibar”– like the country — and “Bars” — like Xanax — so what better artist to feature than the pill-popping strip club veteran from three six mafia?
I can’t say there’s a hidden message underneath the shallow lyrics about turning up and taking a trip to Africa, but I can say that this song is a hard hitting party anthem with an easily memorable hook. Give it a listen and follow Belly on Soundcloud and Twitter if you’re feeling it.
When I say something has a Toronto sound I feel like I’m stereotyping, because although it seems the whole city is on an eerie-ambient wave, it’s important to realize that these artists are exploiting, experimenting, and pioneering a style of music that wasn’t even possible ten years ago. SAFE is one of the musicians who wanted to see just how far the rabbit hole goes, and the result is his first official project ‘Stay Down’.
It’s only 8-tracks in length, but the consistency of the production and the sheer quality of each song proves that this isn’t a sample platter that was thrown together without purpose. This is a carefully developed and branded piece of work. It serves as a testament to what true talent can accomplish in a city like Toronto, especially when you have connections to producers like Eric Dingus. The whole project has a melancholy and unearthly vibe to it, but the change in tempo and delivery showcases how diverse SAFE can be. This isn’t just some kid who’s putting in hours at the OVO retail location, this is a musician who’s being molded by one of the most influential cities and some of the world’s most influential artists.
Check the project out and cop the free download if you’re feeling it. Regardless, you should throw SAFE a follow on Twitter and Soundcloud, because nothing is worse than sleeping on someone who’s backed by OVO.
One of my favorite things to do is drive. Windows down with the wind blowing, two 12’s bumping in the back, whipping my coupe around in the hills — there’s nothing quite as relaxing. If you know what I’m talking about, ‘Glossy Ride’ is for you.
Appleby and Anthony White encapsulated the feeling better than I can explain it. An airy, ambient intro comprised of an optimistic piano progression, waning background vocals, and a crisp high-hat arrangement. When the beat switches up Appleby comes in with his intoxicating R&B vocals, singing “riding in the coupe sitting low, riding with the bass so high” as he breaks into a sensual verse about cruising around his city.
This artist has been making appearances across a few of the music blogs I frequent, and his following has been growing exponentially despite his faceless persona (literally, Appleby has never shown his face online, and he’s about to blow up under his mom’s maiden name). Check this dude out on Soundcloud and Twitter, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
This is the kind of music you listen to with a rolled up hundred dollar bill pressed to your nose; euphoric synths, bluesy chord progressions, and Lais’s heavily filtered vocals describing the 80’s vibe in his penthouse. It’s a different vibe for him, a little less gloomy than some of his recent material, but I think you’ll find this is one of his best releases to date.
First and foremost, this song is expertly written and produced. Lais takes us on a journey, starting slow but changing up the tempo as the drugs start to hit, and finally digressing into a somber comedown. Explicit lyrics aside, the song describes more than just a drug addicts paradise, it describes the shameless limitless feeling that this young artist is feeling as he accrues more and more success.
Although I don’t have a sick black leather jacket like Lais, I think the groovy, upbeat vibe of this track is a language we all speak. If there’s one artist from Toronto that you shouldn’t be sleeping on right now, it’s Lais. Show this young singer, songwriter, rapper, and musician some love on Twitter and Soundcloud if you like what you hear.
2 Chainz is known for his insouciant attitude, so it shouldn’t come as surprise that he delivered this 6-track project solely because he felt like it. His last project, Trapavelli Tre, was targeted towards the hustlers and hookers living in the trap. This is more smoking music than strip club anthems, and I think our fans will be feeling this project much more than his last.
The title track sets the tone for the rest of the tape as a finger picked bass line rides underneath the expertly produced instrumentals. The lineup of ATL-based musicians on this project is impressive, and these beats were clearly crafted especially for this purpose. Moreover, Titty Boi’s hooks and verses are much more refined on this little EP than they were on his third Trapavelli installment. It’s as if he put more time into perfecting this nonchalant 6-track sampler than his full-length mixtape that featured the likes of Wiz, Cap 1, and Kevin Gates.
All in all, this project bumps. If you’re looking for some rowdy turn up and smoke out anthems, look no further. I was feeling Felt Like Cappin and MF’n Right, but check it out and see what you think. As always, follow Chainz on Twitter and SC if you’re vibing to his new ish.