Reviews, unsigned hype

Han Sino Drops His Opus ‘Exquisite Gardenz’

There is something inherently perfect about the right soundtrack for your movements at the right time. In a wave of…

There is something inherently perfect about the right soundtrack for your movements at the right time. In a wave of commercial Hip Hop — with the genre being at its absolute height regarding actual quantifiable popularity — it may be hard to explain to someone why instrumental LPs are so vital for your soul. But in the word of King Push: “if you know you know.”

I continuously thirst for new instrumental soundtracks, and French producer/poet/creative Han Sino is someone that I’ve covered in the past — in particular his project titled Glucose. He creates this refreshing blend of funk grooves, jazz, ambient hip-hop, and atmospheric melodies that seriously make for a trippy experience, dependant on how you consume his ambitious projects.

Relevant: Check out the run-down of Han’s LP Glucose

His latest output, Exquisite Gardenz, is one which Han himself considers to be his opus. Much like his previous release — during my first few listens, I noticed that the core bass lines created that signature continuous flow that moved the 12-song soundscape along. The best way to describe this project is that if a crate digger were to randomly come across this during a record shop excursion, and take it home and drop the needle anywhere, they’d be excited as hell to fire up the MPC and start chopping. It’s gorgeous.

Beginning with the atmospheric intro track “Exquisite,” we’re introduced to an Asian influence that creeps in throughout the project. The second track “Red Fishes” gave me chills off the top, as the bassline was reminiscent of the iconic bass strums from Eric B. & Rakim’s “Don’t Sweat The Technique.” Rather than commit to a hip-hop-centric platter, though, it expands into this difficult to describe Sunday afternoon, soulful, 70’s vibe — accentuated with these ambient wind chimes that make for a crazy audio trip.

Later on in the tracklist, I found myself drawn to the mysterious vibe of “Deep Lagoonz,” with an almost video game vibe, set-off with this super cool flute, and some frantic strings that add this odd amount of tension to track. The strings in the album closer “Gardenz” also had me intrigued; groovy, jazzy, and insanely engrossing.

As Han himself says in the album’s liner notes, “I hope you will [take] this Opus as a proposition to see life differently, and bite it to the fullest … drunk of the liquor of paradise.” This should be the goal of any great instrumental affair — a soundtrack to the movie that is your life; whether you’re getting lost in a world of writing or banging it which you’re trekking through the metropolis after dark. Exquisite Gardenz is a beautiful body of work. If you’re into nu jazz, rare groove, or a fan of instrumental hip-hop, you’ll want to give it a spin.

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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unsigned hype

Quality Control Announces QC DJs Tour

Too Official Promotions in conjunction with Ov’r Da Top Promotions and Industry Rollout have partnered together to bring us The…

Too Official Promotions in conjunction with Ov’r Da Top Promotions and Industry Rollout have partnered together to bring us The Quality Control DJs Tour. Quality Control has its finger on the pulse of today’s hits with multiple hits by its roster of superstars including Migos, Lil Yacthy, and Lil Baby. Spearheaded by Too Official who is the marketing manager for Quality Control Music Group, the QC DJ’s 2018 Tour will start August 10, performing in 15 cities across Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, and St. Louis. The three artist that will be headlining this tour are Erica Blac , DurtyDu And Trap Dinero.

DurtyDu mixes the hard sounds of the streets of uptown Washington DC, where he was born and raised, with chill, hip hop vibes. Raised by Muslim parents from Sierra Leone, DurtyDu uses his time spent abroad to creatively blend both his American and African influence in his lyrics and style. Raised in Cypress Hills in East New York, Brooklyn Erica Blac is a singer with an island sound stemming from her Haitian roots and spiritual vibes. Her soulful lyrics are inspired by her love for reggae and soul music.

See the complete tour dates below for a city near you.
August 10th, 2018 In Jackson, MS At Freelons

August 13th, 2018 In Macon, Ga At Sparks Lounge

August 17th, 2018 In Warner, Robbins At Blitz

August 18th, 2018 In Gainesville FL At Saga Nightclub

August 19th, In Savannah, Ga At Dapphin Park

August 23rd, 2018 In Valdosta , Ga At Stadium

August 25th, 2018 In Fort Valley, Ga At Shaggys

August 30th, 2018 In Columbus, Ga At Club Fetish

September 1st, 2018 In Millidgville, Ga At Ballroom

September 7th, 2018 In East St. Louis, IL At Da Beno

September 8th, 2018 In Augusta, Ga At Club 706/ Private Eye

September 15th, 2018 In Jacksonville, FL | TBA

September 16th, 2018 In Aiken, SC At Seventh Lounge

September 21th, 2018 In Ridgeland, SC At Pluto

September 22th, 2018 In Barnesville, Ga At Rendezvous

The tour is lead by the new single, “Every Little Thing” by Erica Blac. Listen to the new single below, courtesy of Spotify.

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Main, Reviews

Did Denzel Curry’s Ta13oo live up to its hype? (mostly)

During the week of July 23rd, Denzel Curry (aka Ultimate Denzel Curry aka Zeltron aka Aquarius Killer aka Denny Cascade…

During the week of July 23rd, Denzel Curry (aka Ultimate Denzel Curry aka Zeltron aka Aquarius Killer aka Denny Cascade aka the Black Metal Terrorist) dropped his long-awaited album, Ta13oo.

According to Curry’s Twitter, he waited 13 months to drop the project that had been ready for the shelves since 2017, building up hype and making multiple public statements on the state of Hip Hop culture during the interim. Ta13oo serves as a follow up to the well-received album Imperial which was first released as a free album on Soundcloud and then tweaked for major distribution in 2016.

When news came that Curry’s album was going to drop the Carol City emcee claimed that it would be a game-changing album designed to shake up the rap world. To further differentiate himself from other artists he dropped the album in three parts (or acts) on three different days. Each act was labeled Light, Gray, and Dark respectively. And as if this wasn’t enough of a statement in itself, Curry further promoted his album by dropping the highly sophisticated single and video “CLOUT COBAIN | CLOUT CO13AIN” a week prior; a song that is designed to be an introspective and critical examination of dangerous trends in Hip Hop and the commoditization of the modern artist.

Upon my first listen I was surprised to hear how different this album was compared to Curry’s previous work. Act One: Light, packs in his smoothest and most positive songs at the head of the album; leaving the listener unprepared for the dark turn it quickly makes. And while the title track that opens act one is a sad love song that drones about a girl who has suffered abuse and touches on the idea of our society’s taboos, it hails in darkness compared to supercharged songs like “BLACK METAL TERRORIST” that finish out the album. Act Two holds some very impressive bangers reminiscent of Imperial’s first version, including my favorite track “MAD I GOT IT,” which describes envy from different perspectives while stomping over a bass heavy, head pounding instrumental produced by pop outlet Hippie Sabotage and Finatik N Zak.

Unfortunately, at this point in the project, a lot of songs sounded very familiar. If you were on the edge of your seat waiting on this project to drop like I was, you know that most songs were released as singles even before acts One Two and Three came out. In fact, six of the project’s 13 songs were dropped beforehand which made the scattered album drop feel awkward and spread out; especially since each four-song act dropped separately in the midst of all these singles. On Friday the 27th every single and act were reverted back to one album on all major streaming platforms and remain that way now.

 
Despite its awkward and fragmented release, Ta13oo is a much better listen when similar to grayscale with Denzel’s anger and social commentary growing more and more intense as it progresses; eventually combining to become a dark, dark album. Zeltron fans probably expected this after his EP, 13, dropped last summer, giving us six tracks of absolute insanity. The EP was hyper-aggressive in production as well as lyricism with songs like “Hate Government” and “Heartless,” that foreshadowed Ta13oo’s approach and sound.

The project does shift gears away from Denzel’s older music, especially my favorite Curry project to date: Planet Shrooms. Planet Shrooms was a bold and experimental project that used unconventional beats and vocal distortion to display its psychedelic themes and imagery. It sounds like a rap album from the future- with imagery describing drive by’s on hoverboards, green colored guns, and an obsession with the year 2077. This EP was also stacked with features from some of Curry’s go-to guys like JK the Reaper and Nell who added some of the project’s most memorable bars and supported Denzel’s phonkiest, most out there tracks. Much of the production also included live instrumentation which really made it stand out and feel extremely advanced for a free project released on Soundcloud- where it remains exclusively today.

The HiphopDX community rated Ta13oo a bit above 4.5/5, and overall the project has been very well received by fans and reviewers. I think this album did live up to its hype and will age better than 2018’s other notable releases because of its lyrical complexity and flawless production. Stream the album today and check out the provocative video for “Clout Cobain” if you haven’t already.

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#IndieSpotlight, unsigned hype

Mr. P Chill Returns With “Funky Uncle Chill” — A Crate Digger’s Dream

Mr. P Chill is no stranger around these parts; he’s remained one of those fixtures who stays true to the…

Mr. P Chill is no stranger around these parts; he’s remained one of those fixtures who stays true to the grind/hustle without wavering. Flying under the radar, he’s continued on the road, bringing positive energy and a love of Hip Hop across the nation. His 13th solo album, Funky Uncle Chill, is a testament to his non-stop journey, a realization and acceptance of his OG status, and a simultaneous nod to loop diggers everywhere.

You can almost picture P in his studio surrounded by stacks of dusty vinyl while putting together this tracklist. From the onset of the super laid back breakbeat of “The Rhyme,” he laments that 25 years later in his career he’s far from finished. He also fondly reminisces about the early days (golden era) of the culture which birthed him.

The theme of keeping it moving is present in a few spots. He revisits it most notably on “More Time,” where he asks for “a little more time” to reach his dreams. “I Don’t Care,” dripping with a funky almost vintage Too $hort vibe he raps “till the day of my death and my very last breath, spread knowledge on tracks trying to do my best.” He does this of course, as the chorus suggests, whether you’re feeling him or not.

Some shining moments on the project see P take slightly different approaches to the album’s big-picture arc of riding out an innate need to reach goals within our lifetime. “Summertime” is a laid-back ride through Sacramento; top down, blunt rolled, sunshine beaming.

The production is noteworthy as hell. Handled by OmegaZ, Elephant Gerald, Joe Doose, and P himself, it has a meticulous aura about it; tracks like “4 AM,” the super poignant message to gun-happy police officers “Don’t Give Up The Fight,” and even the title track (which is an instrumental) are laden with funky samples worthy of a standalone Tidal playlist.

Overall, P stays true to himself. It’s something he contextualizes best on the last track “Reach You,” where P accepts that he continues down the same path with a throwback sound that may be hit or miss; however, he continues to craft songs packed with honesty, relatable truth, and an endearing dedication to the culture. All — as he notes — to reach you.

Give Funky Uncle Chill a spin!

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#IndieSpotlight, unsigned hype

#IndieSpotlight: ATL’s Primo Jab Keeps It Extra Grimey On ‘ The Book Of Jab’

There is a certain sonic element that we quite naturally — and unjustly — attribute to Atlanta artists, quite honestly….

There is a certain sonic element that we quite naturally — and unjustly — attribute to Atlanta artists, quite honestly. With a particular wave bubbling out of the cultural epicenter of the south, rapper Primo Jab is swimming against the current, delivering healthy doses of that Hip Hop that I try (and sometimes fail) to not hold unsigned rhymers up to. The man can spit, and his latest effort, the ten-song effort The Book Of Jab is an unexpectedly grimy 90s vibe with a timeless gloss. Plus, Ras Kass … so auto cop.

The project is his second of 2018, as he released a collaborative EP with Ice Lord earlier this year titled Pot Work. Officially his 5th solo-LP, TBOJ is a reaffirming slice of raw uncut that would be at home on the tape deck of any fans of shit that falls in the vein of 90s era underground college radio gems.

 
Stitched together with movie clips and production that keeps the vibe strictly backpacking through the metropolis with your polo on, it sometimes borders on dark. Not horrorcore dark, but like RA The Rugged Man dark … if that makes sense. Kicking off with the almost Wu Tang-ish vibe of “Natural Selection,” the project is all protein no filler.

The whole shit is a flame emoji, but I found myself revisiting the three-song run of “Hard to Kill” featuring El Camino and Flee Lord — with its drumline pattern — the wordplay of the a.flip and Blacksmith featured “Facts,” and the masterpiece that is “Pokey” featuring iconic west coast wordsmith Ras Kass. “Disrespectful, thinking they special being successful,” he spits on the track, holding his own alongside the well-respected MC.

In fact, none of the features overtake him; instead, they all serve to compliment the overall vibe of the project, which is wildly cohesive. His longtime producer godBLESSbeatz is the glue that sonically gives the project an incredible top-to-bottom playability.

His past release gave me immense Griselda Records vibe, and this project didn’t fail to live up to the hype that he’s set for himself. It feels like people are sleeping on the kid, but hopefully, you all start smelling the Folgers!

Early.

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Malachi Grant Returns With Inspiring New Project “On My Way”

Straight out of Yonkers, New York (City), rapper Malachi Grant returns four years following the release of his well-received Welcome...

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