#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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“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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Honor Flow Productions’ “The B.L.A.C.K. Odyssey” Is An Eclectic Trip Worth Taking

Los Angeles, California, trio Honor Flow Productions embody that classic formula of rapper/DJ crews. Reminiscent — if only in actual…

Los Angeles, California, trio Honor Flow Productions embody that classic formula of rapper/DJ crews. Reminiscent — if only in actual make-up — of fellow LA crew Dilated Peoples mashed up with a sensibility of a squad like RUN DMC, they managed to create this unique vibe that sounds like Tribe Called Quest and Digable Planets melded together then moved to the West Coast to drop a new album.

Their latest LP The B.L.A.C.K. Odyssey is a unique journey and collective piece of artwork that bobs and weaves its way through vibes while maintaining an honest, down to earth, and relatable train of thought that was an absolute pleasure for our staff to follow along.

 
The 16-song efforts — whose title is an acronym for Beyond Light Years Away Carrying Knowledge — also features some of the best up-and-coming artists bubbling under the radar in the LA scene, which HFP have collectively dubbed “The B.L.A.C.K. Odyssey Players.” To support the project, they’ve released videos for two of the singles, “Alright” and “@ The Speed Of Light.”

Check those out, below, and be sure to give the LP a spin.
 

 

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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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