Fly From The 518: Abs01ute and Shyste Pack Style and Substance Into Debut Concept Album

Travel 150 miles north of the Big Apple on I-87 and you’ll hit New York’s Capital City, Albany. Amongst the…

Travel 150 miles north of the Big Apple on I-87 and you’ll hit New York’s Capital City, Albany. Amongst the city’s blue collar herds of hard workers and packs of drunk, stumbling college kids, you’ll find Abs01ute and Shyste, a producer and MC whose hard-nosed sound is the lovechild of the hustle and grit the city is known for. It’s easy to get lost between Albany’s bars, but it’s those same dark alleys where Abs01te and Shyste’s Lord of the Flys had time to incubate.

Like the boys from the 1954 novel by William Golding, Shyste and Abs01ute were left to govern themselves over the past four years, crafting and fine tuning a project that mirrors the social and political shit storm we’re currently living in. The result is a standout project featuring Abs01ute’s carefully complex production and Shyste’s menacing bars.

The duo took a few minutes to discuss the project’s origins, life in Albany, and what it would be like to smash Bea Arthur.

How did you two link up and craft the idea for Lord of the Flys?

Abs01ute: We have known each other for years prior to collaborating. After talking at a few shows here and there, I sent Shyste some beats. Recording a few songs was all we were aiming to do at first, but after recording them we agreed we should move forward with a full length. Shyste came up with the idea for the title, and I went ahead and dug into the sample stash to craft a sound I thought would reflect the vision. The 1990 Lord of the Flies film provided the backdrop, and I sprinkled in movie clips to add a cinematic angle. We would send each other verses and beats until we piled up 17 tracks. The collaborative process was seamless. We both let each other tackle our respective roles, and the final product is something we are both very proud of.

Explain the hip hop dynamic in the 518. Does art imitate life in the capital city?

Shyste: Albany is a blue collar city.  I think that reflects in the art on many levels.  From the process of creating and performing the music, to marketing yourself and trying to stay in everyone’s focus, it’s a grind.  It’s time, energy, money, stress.  A little less time, a little less energy, a little more money, a little more stress. It’s a serious grind, like grinding down stone into sand for others to walk on (laughs). And it’s not just Albany, it’s the entire 518.  There are a lot of people putting in work out here.  If you want to make some noise, you have to be consistent; you have to be your own union, your own promoter, and so on.  Hip hop, and music in general in the 518, is definitely a blue collar grind. 

The record samples from Japanese pop records from the 60s. Where does an idea like that grow roots?

Abs01ute: The Japanese pop stuff came to me randomly. I tend to search anywhere to find samples. Over the years it has changed. I sample literally anything I hear and think I can flip. I found the bulk of the samples used on LOTF online. One source led me to another and before I knew it I was deep into obscure records from overseas. LOTF is about half sampled from those records, I also added other beats I thought fit nice. Without indulging too much about the samples, it was a mix of records from movie soundtracks, video games, and even Game of Thrones.

The album mirrors the themes of William Golding’s original book. Explain those ties.

Shyste: The album loosely mirrors Golding’s themes from the book.  There’s a variety of concepts like chaos, abandonment, ego, and the power struggle.  These are all presented from different perspectives.  The story line of the book is a solid reflection of what’s going on in society right now.  There are many different personality archetypes struggling for some kind of power, freedom, war or peace.  This is how factions are created and people begin to choose sides.  All these different concepts are presented in a hip hop format. All off the cuff.

There’s plenty of people out there who love full length releases; people who devour entire projects from end to end. What can we expect from Lord of the Flys?

Shyste: In an industry of cookie cutter artists and artists who rely on gimmicks, we are giving the listening audience an actual experience.  It’s best to listen to the album from beginning to end.  The movie clips are placed in a way that gives the project a linear feel. The album definitely has its own particular sound and vibe in order to give it a more dramatic or theatrical feel. The lyrics, the production, the mixing and mastering, are clean and professional.  It’s not just music, it’s an experience.

Speaking of an experience… Fuck, Kill, Marry: Hillary Clinton, Bea Arthur, and Mariah Carey?

Shyste: Fuck Mariah Carey, because I’m assuming that’s a given and everybody else has (laughs). Kill Hillary Clinton because she’s awful; one of the worst. And marry Bea Arthur because she’ll kick the bucket way before me and then I gets me some of that “Golden Girls” money.

Upcoming shows? Where can people buy or stream the album?

Abs01ute: Our release party is at Lost & Found in Albany, New York on December 16th at 9:30 pm. You can find our album on all digital outlets including Spotify, iTunes, Tidal, Amazon, and YouTube. Or you can check out for hard copies that will ship with a signed poster and two artist stickers.

Big thanks for to Shyste and Abs01ute for talking with us. Be sure to check out Lord of the Flys, available now on all streaming platforms.

My name is J.D, the music fanatic, writer, blogger, and educator. I've been in love with hip hop since Bishop got too close to the ledge. If it moves me, I'll cover it. I've written an unpublished novel, created Shiny Glass Houses, and had my work featured on the Bloglin for Mishka NYC. I'm lurking in the shadows on twitter @ThexGlassxHouse. Read. Comment. Get money.
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World Premiere: Bhadwaiz Drops New Single “My Wave”

“When people hear this for the first time, I want them to take notice of what I’m trying to do and what lane I’m in.”

Ohio-based rapper Bhadwaiz likens himself as someone who brings hope to those around him; a shining example that following your dreams can pay off. “All I really wanna do is ride my wave,” he says confidently. Having generated some buzz on the Ohio scene for a minute, his first release of 2018, “My Wave,” is poised to take him to the next level.

“Straight to the point, I want this song to be the anthem for people who want to do their own thing, their way—and without any doubt,” he says. “This song is a mixture of contemporary and traditional hip-hop. When I say that, I mean the production is similar to what you hear today, but the lyrics are what makes the track stand out.”

“When people hear this for the first time, I want them to take notice of what I’m trying to do and what lane I’m in,” he continues. “I want people to appreciate this track in all aspects, and I know they will. I’m very confident if done right; it will be my breakout track, and I can’t wait for what’s in store after this.“

“My Wave” by Bhadwaiz will be available for purchase through iTunes — or whatever streaming network floats your boat. Check out the exclusive premiere, below.

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Kash Doll Drops New Mixtape ‘Brat Mail’

Detroit native Kash Doll has decided to surprise her fans with a special delivery on her birthday. The rapper releases…

Detroit native Kash Doll has decided to surprise her fans with a special delivery on her birthday. The rapper releases new mixtape, Brat Mail.

Kash started taking music seriously while working in the strip club as an exotic dancer. “I never really danced, Kash Doll tells The Fader. “I used to walk across the stage rapping songs, and they used to just throw me all the money.” She started gaining a buzz from her well-received single covering AV’s “Run Me My Money” and her 2015 mixtape, Keisha vs. Kash Doll. The next year, Drake slid in her DM to ask if she would like to perform at his Detroit stop on his Summer Sixteen tour. And Of course, she said yes. Her 2017 smash hit, “For Everybody” is one of my favorite tracks by the rapper. Inspired by Hype Williams’ film, Belly, Kash raps from a side chick and wife’s point of view which racked up over 10 million views via Youtube.

Kash Doll Drops New Mixtape 'Brat Mail'

The nine-track project features guest appearances from Natasha Mosley and Scrilla. Known for making boss moves and flaunting it in her lyrics, Kash reminds us why she’s up next up in the game. “My neck froze, it’s all ice/Put a ring on it, and name it Mr. Nice/His credit score 800, call him Mr. Right,” she raps on “Dancin.”

Her fans, which she calls “Bratz” couldn’t be more thrilled about new music by Kash.

“Today is not only special because of my birthday, but it’s the day my father passed,” says Kash Doll. “Brat Mail is a collection of songs I’ve teased on my socials that my Bratz have been waiting for.

Listen to Brat Mail below.

“For Everybody” video.

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Manny P Makes Debut With Single/Video “Facts” [Interview]

Manny P is an artist to put on your watchlist for the coming months. In the meantime, check out his latest visual, “Facts.”

Rapper Manny P regards himself as molded by the culture of the world, having lived in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Vermont, London, and currently, the Mecca, New York City. “Music has always been apart of my life … since before I was born,” the Mexican rapper tells AAHH. “My mom did a lot of musical theatre back then, so [I] was backstage immersed in all that while still in the womb.

Currently working on his debut album, Manny has been recording music since High School. “My sound kinda goes anywhere from really abstract, highly personal, to turn up raps,” he says. “I don’t stick to one type of beat/sound. One minute I’m on a dark ass lofi beat rapping the whole shit in a real monotone voice, and the next I’m loud and expressive over something more up-tempo.”

“Different beats give me different energies … they put me in different places in my head,” he continues. “All the pieces come together [though] to make up the full picture.”

Manny cites Pro Era head honcho Joey Bada$$ as the reason He started rapping seriously. “I was chilling with some homies real late one school night, and one of them had thrown on ‘Suspect’ from his first mixtape 1999,” he notes. “I penned my first shit to that beat. The verse still sits at the top of my google doc … like 50 pages ago. Through him I learned about pro era, then beast coast, and all that spiritual third eye indigo shit – I used to be on that.”

He recently dropped his official debut single on all streaming services and doesn’t plan on slowing his pace going forward. “I’m working on a lot of music, getting a live set together so I can start doing some more shows, and eventually I’ll have an album,” he says.

Manny P is an artist to put on your watchlist for the coming months. In the meantime, check out his latest visual, “Facts,” a colourfully trippy, and engaging visual feast to accompany the must-bump single. Manny has a clear delivery, and some surprisingly focused bars for new artist. The instrumental has a soulful undertone, dripping with a late 90s southern tinge that seems to get more infectious with each listen.

Add this joint to your playlists!


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Mixtape Review: Logic – Bobby Tarantino II

Logic has become a superstar in the two years since his last mixtape, and he wants to celebrate. I think you should join him.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Bruce Wayne and Batman. Logic and Bobby Tarantino. To establish an alter ego is no easy task, and the Maryland rapper has done just that with Bobby Tarantino II. The (somewhat) surprise mixtape is the sequel to the well-received project Logic dropped in the summer of 2016, which gave rise to fan favorites such as “Flexicution” and “The Jam.” This time around, Logic did not feel compelled to drag out the hype; he dropped the three singles, which we recently discussed on the site, over the course of a week.

In some respects, the new effort is similar to its predecessor: a tight tracklist, an abundance of bangers, and a self-congratulatory sentiment. Whereas Everybody gave us the super deep, this right here is just the jam. However, despite the isolationist spirit expressed throughout the 12 tracks (‘I don’t trust nobody/Put my homies on the payroll’), Bobby Tarantino II is more collaborative than the original. On “Indica Badu,” laidback yet anthemic, Logic and Wiz Khalifa share their love for pot over a gorgeous instrumental and an Erykah Badu sample. Wiz kills it on his guest verse and Logic kicks it up to a rare falsetto on the hook. 2 Chainz comes through with a verse on “State of Emergency,” a hook-less track with production from DJ Khalil, Tariq Beats, and Vontae Thomas. The synth-heavy instrumental is alien, unsettling, and mesmerizing. “Wassup” features long-time friend Big Sean; although it bangs, it feels a bit monotonous after ten tracks with similar lyrical content.

Critics have long claimed that Logic borrows too much from his contemporaries, and there is no doubt that these accusations will emerge on the internet this week. The pre-chorus on “BoomTrap Protocol,” a densely layered and beautifully assembled track, screams Travis Scott. I have no idea who 6ix sampled on this song, but it sounds dope. The Rodeo rapper and producer clearly influenced “Wizard of Oz” as well. Don’t get me wrong – this track bumps. However, one cannot ignore the melodic use of autotune and Scott’s signature ‘yeah! yeah!’ ad-lib. Finally, as much as I dig it, the beat on “Yuck” immediately brings to mind Drake’s “10 Bands.”

Perhaps the most admirable characteristic of Bobby Tarantino II is the sonic diversity. “Midnight,” a two-part track courtesy of 6ix and Frank Dukes, is uncharted territory for Logic. The first half is a melodic ode to Logic’s resistance of the club lifestyle in which so many of his contemporaries indulge. After the beat switch, Logic puts together another super sticky hook and drops a killer verse dense with clever similes. Then, on “Warm It Up,” he does a complete 180 and throws it back to the sound of his Young Sinatra days. Co-written by Nas, this braggadocious track rides a strong old-school vibe and a banger of a drum beat. It’s a dynamic cut: Logic goes hard on the verses and dials it way back on the hook. “Contra,” despite the trendier beat, brings a similar sentiment. The pre-chorus is catchy as hell and Logic pushes the envelope on the verses with some impressive rhyme schemes.

The introductory skit featuring Rick and Morty establishes a distinction between “album Logic” and “mixtape Logic.” I tend to agree. If you’re looking for the introspective, vulnerable, and critical tone of Everybody, this is not the mixtape for you. And that’s okay. Logic has previously stated that he drops these tapes to hold his fans over until the next album. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a fun, sonically diverse project full of banger beats and braggadocious bars, you’re going to enjoy Bobby Tarantino II. Logic has become a superstar in the two years since his last mixtape, and he wants to celebrate. I think you should join him.

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