Reviews, unsigned hype

A.Levy’s “Reparations” Is A Well-Curated Winner

A. Levy is a New Orleans artist who I’m kicking myself for just now getting up on; his latest LP…

A. Levy is a New Orleans artist who I’m kicking myself for just now getting up on; his latest LP Reparations is at once assertive, heavy, accessible, and just dripping with flame emoji juice. The 12-song effort — which dropped back in February — is unique in that it’s sound isn’t indicative of his region, nor does it ride any specific waves currently hitting the rocks of the game. It doesn’t even really subscribe to any old school or boom bap vibe. 

Off the top, his wordplay is crazy. When researching him, I uncovered a collabo with Skyzoo, which is the way to my heart [pause], so the top to bottom listen was immensely satisfying. There are more than a few highlights; let’s start with the drum-less tracks that allow his vision to sparkle. The super-lyrical “Emancipation” with its soulful 2-minute chorus-less vibe and the ode to fatherhood “Black Boy,” which, as a fellow father, I felt.

STREAM THE ALBUM HERE.

“Fuck Rap” was my fave joint; his ode to Hip Hop, which really illustrates his where he came up — “we really debated who was better, Turk or Lil Wayne” — and also uncovered a disappointing story from early in his career when No Limit Records artist Fiend gave him a wrong number after meeting at an event. It also seems to uncover that rap was never his first love with bars like “fuck rap, I wanted to be in the NFL,” and “fuck rap, I wanted to be Claude Monet. I guess the calling was too strong.

He also spends a considerable amount of the project speaking on racial issues — and identities — from different angles. Examples are “Django,” the title-track, and the “If I Was White,” which rhetorical ponders what he would do if he were Caucasian; there are some funny moments, like poking fun at the potential inferior basketball skills, while also showing more thought provoking commentary like not having to worry about police at night, or even have to acknowledge the hardships of African American.

Overall, the LP is well produced, curated, and balanced. If you’re up on A. Levy already, you’ll love it. If not, you’re welcome.

Early.

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns
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Cleveland’s Nija Gal Represents a Nation with Bars

They gone be looking for you one day they gone see 🙏🏾 drop 🔥🔥🔥 if you mess with the vibe…

With Hip-Hop at the height of its popularity internationally, the success opens the door for the future to be welcomed with open arms from all across the world like the new Nigerian-descent recording artist, Nija Gal. Born Nnena Aidgwe, thanks to her impactful and pride-centric content, the Cleveland, Ohio indie act has quickly become a new found sensation in music that the world is quickly paying close attention too.

A triple-threat at heart (actress/recording artist/writer), Nija Gal got into music through her inability to purchase song licensing for her filmmaking endeavors. Unable to get the perfect sound, Nija began recording her music to input her features. Realizing she had some slick wordplay, Nija took her act to social media and started recording and posting freestyles. Nija quickly accumulated thousands of views along with positive responses to her empowering rhymes over Instagram and began producing more clips showcasing her must-see potential.

 
Nija Gal’s style is blended with thought-provoking, brazen lyricism that allows her Nigerian roots to speak volumes. She gained the moniker of The Nigerian Nightmare from her impressive viral foundation. Music isn’t shy of Nigerian success; a previous artist of Nigerian-descent to shine bright is Warner Music signee Wale. Nija is quick to follow in the same successful steps with her unique presence.

As Nnena Adigwe (22) is a very proud Nigerian and a female of many avenues as she is a Comedian, Basketball player, and Director. Nnena is the screenwriter for her upcoming original series, titled, Damn Nnena: The Hurt Bitch Chronicles, the same project that kickstarted her musical career.

In 2018 thus far, Nija has released two buzzworthy songs “Me & You” and the new lover’s scorned anthem, “Not the Thumb.” On the track, Nija crafts an in your face tell-all official universal response for any woman who has endured an unappreciated relationship. The infectious track is raw and uncut, the perfect depiction of what goes through a woman’s head when dealing with a good for nothing man. Interesting enough, “Not the Thumb,” is a self-reflection and self-healing body of work that will quickly become a fan favorite from the up-and-coming artist’s catalog for years to come.

As the year continues, Nija Gal promises plenty more freestyles and release of original music for her consistently growing fanbase. With Cleveland a current music melting pot for hit new artists, it’s only a matter of time that Nija Gal will carry the indie label before being a top prospect for the majors.

https://soundcloud.com/nija_gal/me-you

Enjoy Nija Gal? Follow The Nigerian Nightmare on Instagram for up-to-the-minute info on everything Nija Gal.

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A Conversation With Florida’s Own Larry Kusha

Florida rapper Larry Kush, made his debut this year scoring a feature with childhood friend Kewl CutLis on the major…

Florida rapper Larry Kush, made his debut this year scoring a feature with childhood friend Kewl CutLis on the major hit, “Bussin That Pack Down.” With the summer season in full swing, Kush is working on his debut mixtape J Co.’s Most Wanted, as well the highly anticipated Band Tawk 2. He recently took some time to chat with Above Average Hip Hop, and walk us through his career thus far.


 
“My love for music started at an early age,” he tells AAHH. I was two or three years of age when my parents bought me an acoustic guitar for Christmas … I played it for a day until I turned Rockstar and smashed it, while entertaining company.

He began writing music around the age of seven. “I always wanted to make hip-hop,” he confesses. “Every chance I got to kick a freestyle or be apart of something to entertain I was there.” He recorded his first record with partner Kewl CutLis (forming New Nu Music Group) and never looked back. Three years of building their sound led to their 2014 debut mixtape, Band Tawk. “[Band Tawk] got a lot of attention, and folks quickly started to notice us for the music,” he notes.

Unfortunately for the pair, they were hindered by legal roubles the following year that resulted in lengthy jail time and probation. Upon being released, they got back to business. “I took a year off to get back to the money, and in 2017 we started back with records like “Running off,” “Solid,” and “Tom Brady” which are all available on SoundCloud (Kewl Cutlis).

The duo spent 2017 looking for a way to market their unique brand of music, spending countless hours in the studio and with TRU Digital — their in-house graphic designer.

By the time 2018 rolled around, they were locked in. “Kewl started going to record in Atlanta at Loud House, and when he came back from the first trip he came with some of the best quality music I had heard,” he admits. “I knew that was going to be our new recording spot. Thanks to After-hours who is one of the principal engineers at Loud House, we got invited back to the studio in Buckhead where we made new hit singles that we have yet to
release.

“Stay tuned in to Larry Kush and Kewl Cutlis; we are The New Nu Music Group.”

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Trillz “Da Yung Apprentice” Shoots (Musical) Shot At Sevyn Streeter

Brooklyn NYC’s one Trillz “Da Yung Apprentice” is having a hot summer so far; the Bajan rapper is prepping to…

Brooklyn NYC’s one Trillz “Da Yung Apprentice” is having a hot summer so far; the Bajan rapper is prepping to drop Road 2 Riche$ II before heading out on tour to support the project later this year. “I was always into art, so I figured I could create art with my music and tell my story,” he says of his humble beginnings. 

Aiming for a Halloween release date, he’s currently in the lab, but there’s one feature he really wants to make the project complete — singer Sevyn Streeter. 

 

“She’s dope as fuck,” he notes in his recent video devoted to professing his interest in working with her. Aside from

both being talented, they also share another unlikely connection — depression.

The singer has been quite vocal about overcoming depression — at one point contemplating suicide. Trillz has battled similar demons, even losing a friend to suicide.

Ultimately, he wants this project to be the best it can be. “Need it to be one the biggest albums on the radio,” he says.

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Force Reaction Drop Music For The Revolution

Force Reaction — the duo of Silus Bedlam (vocals) and Bitter Sweetness (production) — are carrying on the tradition of…

Force Reaction — the duo of Silus Bedlam (vocals) and Bitter Sweetness (production) — are carrying on the tradition of Hip Hop with a message; mental health, politics, art, and big pharma are among the bevy of conscious topics they traverse with their high energy music. In an era marred with many head scratching injustices, a presidency that is baffling to many, and a rise in violent crimes as a result unchecked personal demons, Hip Hop needs all the heroes it can get.

“In order to stay standing you must exert a force equal and opposite to the trials of life.”
— Force Reaction

Their latest project, Equal and Opposite, is ten songs filled with knowledge, gems, and theme songs to chant on an eternal quest for wokeness. Silus’ unique cadence is perfectly complimented by Bitter Sweetness’ signature production that would lead itself well to live performance. There are a few different vibes — like the cinematic flow on the moody “Out Of My Element,” the head nodding drum loop of “Aside,” and the 80s/early 90s vibe of the instrumentation on powerful “Rise Up.”

Give the album a spin, below.

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