Portland natives Rare Monk have found just the right mix of alternative, radio-ready riffs and swelling, violin-tinged pysh-rock freakouts on their latest release, Sleep/Attack. Even with the inclusion of some syth elements that have been overly used industry wide (see: Read more
St. Louis rapper Chester Watson should be on your radar like... now. Since he dropped "Hubris" a year ago, his flow has smoothed and his wordplay has molded to form the type of seamless verses on downtempo beats we've Read more
Okay, this smoke machine electronic R&B genre has got to be my favorite in the last few years, and Joel Compass takes it to new heights. The obvious comparisons to the Weekndand Frank Ocean are there, but I think Compass holds a little stronger to traditional R&B lyricism. Feels less… high on Oxycotton.
We don’t have to talk about the video. Just watch it and be excited that the 19-year-old Compass has an EP coming out in June on Black Butter Records.
We’ve been on board with Skizzy Mars since we featured his cut “Pay For You” in January. Today he released a new mixtape PHASES, which you can download for free at SkizzyMars.com. We were fortunate enough to catch an interview with the upcoming rapper as he begins his assent to stardom. Check it out below.
Soooo Mr. Mars,
What are you going for stylistically and what influences brought you there? Is there a rapper you look to model, or are you, as Drake would say, just doing you.
I like Cudi. I like Kanye. I like The Killers, Beirut. Those are the guys I learned a lot from growing up. My sound is just a combination of everything I listened to growing up. My style is New York City man. The crazy childhood I had, the crazy shit my friends and I experienced and saw.
Where does a name like Skizzy Mars come from?
I don’t remember. I literally don’t remember. I remember my favorite teacher used to call me “Skills Mills.” It came from that somehow.
When did you start rapping, and when did you decide to make it a career?
I started at maybe 15 years old. I started taking it seriously when I turned 18.
I am aware of the grind a startup music career requires, but what do you do when you aren’t in the studio or club, or sleeping? If you could be something other than a rapper what would that be?
A sportscaster or journalist. I watch a gross amount of sports so that was what I was planning on doing before this rap shit.
I’ve encounter two perspectives on paying for things in rap. 1. The, we buy everything for everyone cause we rich and don’t give a fuck, and 2. I get women to support me because I’m a badass rapper. And then there’s the I just rob people with guns. What is going to be your transition to that first scenario, which seems to be the most ideal (in my mind).
I guess when I’ve made that much bank I’ll be able to flex on people like that, but for now I just rap about what I’ve experienced. I never paid for shit but I always hung out with rich kids so I experienced a lot of shit your typical broke kid wouldn’t. “Pay For You” was cool because it was a different play on the money thing.
I’ve listened to more Miike Snow “Animal” remixes than whole discographies of my favorite artists. I might like this one the most.
Although Jordan Corey’s track is actually titled after Rihanna’s grammy-sung song “Stay” (and carries most of the mashup), an indistinguishable beat creeps in early, and the whole time I’m thinking, where is it, where is that goddamn “Animal” chorus that defined my college party experience?
Jordan Corey really nails this mix (Classixx can be heard laced lightly in the back). She does it all live with a group on a roof, looping her voice and instruments, letting the sound grow and scale back at times, then allowing all three to merge into one full form.
If you’re impressed (which you should be or you’re stupid), check out the video for this mash-cover. And hit up her websitetoo.
Kidz In The Hall are somewhat of an anomaly considering the current state of Chicago hip-hop (at least the Chicago hip-hop that’s garnered attention in the last year). Compared to the Drill scene, led in large part by Chief Keef, Kidz In The Hall don’t even remotely sound like they’re from the same city – much less working in the same genre.
Far from saints, Kidz In The Hall sound positively wholesome next to the violence and drug-fueled lyrics of the Drilluminati. (No doz, by the way, are caffeine pills, for whatever that’s worth.) But perhaps the best thing about them is that they can actually rap. Really well. It’s nice to hear, and hard to come by. Hip-hop is after all, at least in theory, about the words. In that sense, Kidz In The Hall sound more like the various groups affiliated with the Beast Coast movement. Then again, maybe they just sound more professional because they’ve been rapping since Chief Keef was in kindergarten.
If you have plans on road tripping in the near future, or maybe just rolling to Trader Joe’s after work with your window down, please download this song and burn a compact disc asap.
For real though, “Satellite Galaxies” is the perfect sunny driving tune. I can see the music video now: flashes of lovers in some beat up El Camino, the girl in Native American Apparel, Coachella boots, cigarettes, Tecate, playful wrestling, wheat fields, Ray Bans, Levis, leather jackets in hot as fuck Texas summer, motel with neon sign, one on one spin the bottle (hella cute), make out, dissolve with backs on the cold desert ground, eyes to the sky. Annnnnd… shooting stars. Yeah I went there.
Despite the new age cliche “Satellite Galaxies” sends me to, I really do enjoy the fun-loving indie rock the Fair-Weather Kings offer. With great hooks, high energy, and happy feelings, it’s hard to deny yourself a little Fair-Weather treatment.
Listen to the Kentucky crew below and visit their Bandcampfor more.
Oh Danny Brown. Up to your same old tricks, I see. On “Kush Coma” Danny once again turns his attentions to, well, you know.
Brown has continued to release a steady stream of music since 2011′s XXX – an excellent ode to debauchery of all kinds. Recently, he’s been hinting that his 2013 followup Old will be even darker. Yikes. Either way, it’s nice to have someone as enigmatic and eccentric in the game as Danny. “Kush Coma” comes on the heels of his recent diss song “Hottest MC,” a track directed at MTV’s annual Hottest MC list, on which he was noticeably absent.
Danny is a lot less angry here, instead choosing to talk about good old fashioned substance abuse, perhaps his favorite topic. Either way though, Danny seems to excel at whatever he puts his mind to. Oh, and for the record, “Kush Coma” is produced by Skywalker, the eminent producer from Danny Brown’s Bruiser Brigade crew, who is also a nerdy looking white guy. So that’s awesome. Here’s hoping for lots more of Danny and Skywalker to come.
HIYT’s alternative dream pop is mysterious and surreal. Actually it is just like those words mysterious and surreal - harder to define than envision. Harder to describe than to picture that still, ethereal image; so high that you can’t come down. And then, naturally, so low that we can’t get up.
I’m calling it now, Here is Your Temple will be blowing up soon. They are the best thing to happen to synth pop since Beach House. Watch their video for “So High” below, and listen to the whole EP So High on their Soundcloud. It’s great I promise.