unsigned hype

Hefe Heetroc’s Box Set Is As Ambitious As It Is Experimental

Hefe Heetroc is not a new artist to us here at AAHH; though we’re familiar with him, it’s always been…

Hefe Heetroc is not a new artist to us here at AAHH; though we’re familiar with him, it’s always been in smaller, manageable doses of artistic output. Alienz & Conspiracies box set is his ambitious new release that — if we’re honest — we were slower to jump on. Not for lack of interest, but rather out of intimidation of its length (it’s 33 songs).

“My dream was always to have a box set,” Hefe admits to AAHH. “I thought a theme compilation boxset consisting of a hybrid of an experimental trap, emo, with ‘3rd eye woke’ lyrics could work.” The elephant in the room — which he points out to us — is that box sets generally aren’t themed experiences, but rather compilations or anthologies of music.

“A friend observed that my older music was all aliens and my newer stuff was all conspiracy theories, a lightbulb popped into my head of not only the title but the theme.”

Though the lengthy affair does have some overlap, such a clips of his songs being played/broke on WRIU FM, and what feels like reworkings throughout the tracklist, there are some gems. Staying heavily thematic throughout, the project is a really complex blend of styles and intriguing writing elements. The delivery, however, is eclectic in nature ranging from easy to follow, to what borders on slam poetry, to distorted and obscured to the point that dissecting becomes a bit labored of an experience.

 
The songs that are more straightforward — concerning its approach and flow — like all three parts of “Do U,” “Shroomz,” and “Global Economics” all (tbh) show Hefe at his best. Even if you disagree, you can’t argue it’s his most approachable. His wordplay and content are all fascinating stuff; peep the bars on “Global Economics,” and even the really dope “Lemon Yellow Sun.” It has this KRS-esque level of actual knowledge injected. We’re talking like keep Wikipedia open and get lost in research type bars. “Truth 2 Be” is another excellent example.

 
“Bravo Tango” is a big record we found ourselves revisiting a few times; what stands out is his cadence, which seems like a warm blend of Madchild and Vinnie Paz, that hugs beats and ride them like Cadillac with the top down on a warm LA night.

He takes on this alternate persona throughout the collection of music of 27 Savage, which he unleashes on songs like “Rap-tilian,” “The Awakening.” While ok in doses, the raspy almost whispery flow does make the potency of some of his bars harder to follow. The same issue presents itself when his instrumental choices become more abstract on songs like “Alien Sky,” with it’s glitchy slightly off/beat delivery that is still contextually strong, but a more frustrating listen.

“On all the conspiracy theory tracks my goal was to try a new poetic device, metaphors, allegories, iambic pentåmeter, and golden and silver lines,” he tells us. “I wanted to try a new poetic device out of my comfort zone.”

As he explains, he used the William S Burroughs cut n paste technique on all his songs that deal with conspiracy theories. It’s this deep level of thought that went into the project that definitely necessitates the need for some context to accompany it, as the behind the scenes details often get lost during musical experiments. Much in the same way, it may be hard for a consumer to wrap their minds around the cost associated with wallpaper that is hand printed, as it closely resembles manufactured work for a fraction of the cost.

That though should never be a deterrent for a true artist, and this collection has this niche feeling to it — Hefe’s artistic merit shines through, like that of an MF DOOM offshoot project like Viktor Vaughn.

Overall though, the project is an obvious labor of love and an example of calculated experimentation. Songs like “Talk 2 Loud” where the premise is that he’s being followed/tapped by the Illuminati as he attempts to pull listeners out of the matrix lyrically are among the various examples of his willingness to commit — reminiscent of a late 90s Kool Keith.

 
Though the message may get a little muddied at times as he leads listeners on a sonically diverse experience, which could best be described as a rabbit hole—hearing some of his more approachable material having bomb sound effects dropped on them during radio sets shows that he is in fact on a sustainable path, should he choose to lather a little more mainstream gloss on his material.

It’s the age-old concept of the iceberg, which we only asses based on the tip that pops of out the water. This box set is the same thing — but instead of an iceberg, it’s an underground bunker built by a man willing to take you on a journey should you take the right pill.

It’s worth tackling.

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“Play To Win” Is A Celebration Of Getting Over And Going For The W

A new EP that landed on our desk this week is Play To Win by Dre Steelo. Hailing from Michigan,…

A new EP that landed on our desk this week is Play To Win by Dre Steelo. Hailing from Michigan, Dre dives head first into a sea of familiar soundscapes but manages to distinguish himself sticking to not only a decree of keeping it real with those that matter most but also an endearing level motivation to rise above, layered over a humble base of blessings that he is more than aware of.

Sitting at 6 tracks, the album’s production is tightly curated, keeping the vibe consistent — but varied enough so that there isn’t time to get bored at all. The project starts off strong with the salute to his team “Don’t Matter” produced by Aham — who produced “I Can Tell” from his 2018 effort Over Tha Top. Here he drops introspective gems like he doesn’t have friends — but rather brothers — and a reminder that he’s from the (bottom) bottom. He follows up with the determination anthem, “Win.”

“I Know,” with its hard drums and dope muffled looped up sample has a more reflective aesthetic about it, as he gives everything he overcame before putting it all into the bars. “Let em knwo you human,” he says on the chorus, referencing the track’s slightly more personal touch.

The album project ends off with the massive “Miracles,” which caps off what stands as a strong collection of tracks to add to his already impressive catalog. Winning by adding personality and unique perspective to an already surfable wave, he manages to command attention without fading into the baseline. He has come a long way, and in many ways, Play To Win is a reflection of that, as he sorts out trust issues, comes to terms with truths, and does his best to get where he wants to ultimately be.

Check out Dre Steelo’s Play To Win, below.

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unsigned hype

J. Irja The Sexy Psycho Preps Her Debut EP Featuring Paul Wall, Lil’ Flip & More

Respect the hustle.

Came across a Canadian-born MC named J. Irja The Sexy Psycho that is putting in some significant grind time — and it’s starting to pay off. A hustler and all around a business-minded individual, her music isn’t just a white girl throwing words together trying to be down, it’s all shit she’s experienced first hand; delivered with rapid-fire bars that are impressive as hell.

She’s been through some real shit, like having to recover from two serious head injuries and living through a relationship with an abusive ex-manager.

Endearingly, though, she’s kept her career moving with her head high — forming a non-profit foundation (comprised entirely of women) called the “Female Empowerment Movement Militia” in honor of her daughter. Its ultimate mission is to uplift and motivate women to succeed and smash ceiling, shatter sexual inequality once and for all.

“I’ve been grinding for years and am finally starting to gain traction,” she tells AAHH excitedly. This grind is well-documented on her You-Tube, as she hits shows alongside acts like Stevie Stoned and Rittz and puts in serious groundwork during SXSW.

 

 
All of her hard work will come to a pinnacle though when she drops her debut album The Sexy Psycho EP vol 1 at the end of the month (January 31). With features from platinum-selling artists like the grill king Paul Wall, one-time Timbaland collaborator Bubba Sparxxx, Twista, and H-Town legend Lil’ Flip — among others — she’s aiming to finally take her career where she’s always envisioned it going, the top.

So if you’re keeping track, she’s touring with artists affiliated with Strange Music, earning stage time and going hand to hand at SXSW building her fan base, and has a foundation that is elevating women and helping create a more leveled playing field with the industry and in society at large. That’s a lot to hang your hat on — and her debut is the icing on the cake.

She has hella video content in her back catalog, but give her a spin. Respect the hustle.
Early.

 

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unsigned hype

GentleBeatz Drops The Perfect Soundtrack For Your Weekend

Mozambique-based producer GentleBeatz is helping ease us into the weekend with his eclectic instrumental LP Soul City. Recorded following his…

Mozambique-based producer GentleBeatz is helping ease us into the weekend with his eclectic instrumental LP Soul City. Recorded following his return home from college after 4-years, he himself describes the sonic journey as different from his usual vibe. “[The beats] are a bit more complex,” he explains via SoundCloud. “I tried to fuse lo-fi hip hop, jazz, funk and a bit of alternative rock.”

Blanketed in the warm embrace of dusty vinyl pops, the title-track, which caps off the eight-song project, stands one of its brighter moments — from a sonically emotional standpoint. From top to bottom, the project is a musical ascent from a broken heart to all the way over it, with a lot of personal growth in between.

If you’re a fan of instrumental projects, definitely load up this new GentleBeatz joint, it’s a great listen.

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#IndieSpotlight, unsigned hype

#IndieSpotlight: Getting To Know Provincetown Artist Silas Luster

This week, we’re introducing you to Provincetown, Massachusetts, native Silas Luster — a filmmaker and hip-hop artist, who’s part of…

This week, we’re introducing you to Provincetown, Massachusetts, native Silas Luster — a filmmaker and hip-hop artist, who’s part of a bubbling creative collective called The BuLife. “I make music that is true to me,” he tells AAHH. “The inspiration from my everyday life, where I’m from, and what I’ve experienced so far in my life goes into music … it’s real and it’s vulnerable.”

“There is content and emotion only my close friends know, things that I don’t like to speak on, that I put in my music,” he adds.

We initially got into Silas over the holidays after he floated me a visual for a “ZeZe” freestyle, that had this hard to explain flow that had us intrigued. We uncovered lots of quality stuff while digging around.

“I like to show people a different perspective,” he says. “I know my sound is different, my story has layers to it … if you give my music a little effort, you will understand my dedication and the depth in my artwork.”

 
Silas has been making both films and music since a youngster — messing around with a camera and whatever recording program he could get his hands on back in high school. “I took it more serious around 2014,” he explains. That’s when I linked with @RichmondVisionStudio and really started locking in the studio recording.

To date, he’s released one solo mixtape, Frick It, and a few mixtapes with the BuLife collective: The Rosenhan Experiment, Cape Tippin, and The Nor’Easter Tape. Most recently, they dropped last year’s Beauty of the Day.

 
Right now though, it’s all about Silas and his solo flex. “I’m working on my EP which will be fully produced by my homie TMAC [droppin in March]. I’m also always working on different music videos, films and my debut album.”

Having independently toured the North East with BuLife, he’s looking forward to locking down a couple dates for the near future — on top of just stacking up music. “We working,” he says. “A lot of music, visuals, shows, and creative content coming in 2019. Look out for us. BuLife!”

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Muzik Genesis’s ‘Sequoia’ Is A Call To Action To Discover Our Relationship To Nature

Santa Cruz, California, producer Muzik Genesis drops off his latest (instrumental) LP, Sequoia -- the official follow up to his...

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