#IndieSpotlight, unsigned hype

Donny DoomsDay Goes Against The Grain

Three listens had us open!

Going blind into an album is a liberating experience; with preconceived notions, it’s easier to take a raw listen at the actual material — without politics and BS. I had such an experience just this week with an artist name Donny DoomsDay. Everything about this guy is intriguing post-three listens. His latest LP, the hefty 17-song slice of hip-hop that is Reality Raps is loaded with positivism, a good amount of relatability, BARS, and unabashed nods to his Christianity.

To top it all off, he delivers a healthy tribute to the screwed up sound Texas is synonymous with.

What was most intriguing about the album was the layers I uncovered during my three top to bottom spins. Upon the first pass, I was taken in by the production. The project begins with “Moonlight,” which has an eerie/jazzy sound; “who’s the dealer and who’s the fiend,” he asks rhetorically. Elsewhere, I found myself running back “Fifth Wheel Motion,” his (sonic) salute to the style Texas became famous for, where you can almost imagine his dense wordplay getting a “chopped not slopped” treatment.

“Texas Made,” which walks you through life in the section was another one that got a few run backs, with it’s slick, atmospheric record pops.

Upon the second pass, I got deeper into his wordplay. He’s a Christian rapper, as I’ve come to know upon more research, but he doesn’t at all shove it down your throat; instead, he makes positive music. Not rainbows and shit, just … positive. Let me break that down.

 
“Graveyardz” follows him as he comes home from a literal graveyard shift at a plant, only to look at the face of his sleeping with and realizing his grinding is all worth it. “Selfish” is another example, where he raps about how he — despite circumstances — manages to stay out of jail, chases degrees rather than selling drug; he even raps about paying taxes on the second verse.

Keep in mind, the production on this LP is amazing, so he has these trap tinged, dark, southern tracks made for rolling around to in a candy painted Cadillac at midnight, but it is at points, (lyrically) swimming against the grain like a hip-hop salmon.

Then there are these really powerful records in the mix, like “Nothing To Something,” where he addresses the sameness of emcees in the game: “concepts are the same … the producers are the real artists, I’m a say it.” Another clear standout for me was “Villainy,” where he discusses the illusionary nature of the “things” that hip-hop culture consider important. This particular song is two-fold, also looking at the way he perceives himself as being viewed, despite being anything but a basic “rap guy.”

“You can run the trap; I’ll run to the bank with a business plan.”
–Donny DoomsDay

“Many Blessings” was probably the song with the most overt show of his faith, though he does instill it into bars throughout the album, and you can’t overlook “Been Praying,” either.. Tracks like “Coach Store” and “Give It and Go” do throw you off the trail though, without really listening to the bars, a light listen of this LP lets a lot of amazingness go over your head.

There is a ton to love and unpack on Reality Raps, but it’s worth getting lost in for a day — or two.

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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Virginia Artist MASS Drops “Phase 1” EP

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Following up his self-titled project — which premiered on XXL back in January of 2017 — MASS is back (and hungrier than ever) with a brand new project, Phase 1. The five-song EP features appearances by Surfwav.eatn, BKA Trip, Young Young Syrup, and of course D.R.A.M., whom appears on the latter two songs on the project, “O U LIT” and “ONLY GANG.”

Stream Mass’ impressive new project, Phase 1, below.

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Jayzon – “Bestie”

Today West Coast rapper JAYZON returns with his new music video for the song, “Bestie.” In just a few short…

Today West Coast rapper JAYZON returns with his new music video for the song, “Bestie.” In just a few short months the song has already earned over 180k plays on Spotify alone, solidifying the West Coast rapper’s spot on the LA scene. JAYZON penned track based on personal experiences, placing himself between two females in a drama filled love triangle.

“Bestie is my first real single and I’m putting a real push behind it. So far it’s been doing pretty good, and it’s about a guy that’s in love with his girl’s best friend. It’s the typical story that people go through everyday, but nobody wants to talk about it,” JAYZON said laughing. “I felt it would be a great record to push because people can relate to it and controversy sells.”

“Baby I’m in love with your bestie / Shouldn’t have never told her tried to test me
Even told how the good sex be / Now she on my back tryna stress me”

As a rapper JAYZON hasn’t had the most traditional path to becoming a success in the music industry. JAYZON got his break in music by focusing his efforts on producing, earning income with music licensing and working with a production team called The Neckbones. Working with the best of the best, producing on soundtracks and working primarily for television and movies, JAYZON was eventually encouraged by his business partner and management team to pursue his career as a rapper.

“I started off as a producer with The Neckbones production group. From there I produced music for Eve, WC, Beanie Sigel, Austin Powers Gold Member, the movie Biker Boys and that kind of just got me in the game,” JAYZON explained. “It’s an inside the box thing and it’s all about meeting the right people, once you’re in there it’s a wrap.”

Eventually JAYZON released two projects in 2017 titled, Tell the Truth and Love Songs which show fans the duality in JAYZON’s music, proving his ability to make songs for the streets and songs about love and relationships. When asked about what it was like to record with major artists like Eve and Young Jeezy who is featured on his Tell the Truth album, JAYZON explained he just wants to make good music.

“I still work with a lot of the artists from the past. It’s all about showing love, trying to unite and make some history. No matter who the music is with, as long as it’s dope and it’s good music, that’s all that matters to me,” JAYZON said.

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Bolo3k – “Trappin Memories”

Putting his whole North Philly hood on his back, Bolo3K launches his new music video for the song, “Trappin Memories.”…

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Picking up a microphone just 8 months ago, Bolo3K has been working at a furious pace having shot more than 15 music videos for his songs since he began rapping less than a year ago.

“Basically I started like 8 months ago, I went to the studio and started doing songs. I wanted to do videos for them so I found a camera man and I put everything together myself. Ever since then I got about 15 visuals in 8 months. I just been working and grinding and I enjoy doing it. It’s authentic – it’s all me,” Bolo3k said.

Hoping to make an impact on the Philly rap scene where artists like Meek Mill and Lil Uzi Vert have thrived over the past few years, Bolo3k understands he has some catching up to do as some rappers have been rapping their whole lives. But just this year alone, Bolo has released two projects, Rappers Dream and most recently Zone20, proving he has an uncanny work ethic that relates to the hood.

“The Philly rap scene has a lot of talent. Theres guys that have been doing it for years and it’s a tough city so nobody is cutting you any slack. You got a few guys that are the top artists in the world with guys like Uzi and Meek, so I’m just trying to keep pushing and earn my respect,” Bolo3k said.

Describing his music as confident, militant rap, Bolo3K is proud of the fact that he’s from the trenches and rough streets of North Philly.

“Its just me man, it’s confidence, it’s militant rap. It’s the story of a guy from the trenches. I’m not the guy with the colorful dreads and tats and all that,” Bolo3k explained. “But I got a real story and people from my hood are responding to the message, it’s amazing to see so many people respond.”

Gearing up for his homecoming show on June 22, Bolo3k is expecting a few major celebrities to show up and represent at the mixtape release party.

“I do it for the hood man, like Jeezy said. I’m just working hard and striving to be great. I’m putting all this energy into this rap music and I know it could work, so I do it for my people. I tell the story of the hood and I give my vision of the hood,” Bolo3k explained. “I’m on my way – I started my own little label, my clothing line and I’ve been on a few podcasts lately. I’m working everyday.”

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Aeris Hennings – “So Cold”

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