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#IndieSpotlight: Kaiju The Unconquerable Releases New Short Film

One part MF DOOM, one part living breathing Anime story line, Southwest Miami, rapper Kaiju The Unconquerable is in a…

One part MF DOOM, one part living breathing Anime story line, Southwest Miami, rapper Kaiju The Unconquerable is in a lane all his own. A glorified, self-identified nerd, he started rocking stages at comic conventions — and even has the credit of being the first Hip-Hop artist ever to be featured in Shonen Jump, which has been the (print) ground-zero of all things Manga since it was launch 49 years ago.

Kaiju differs from other “weirdo” rappers, though — unlike an act like DOOM, he isn’t a character (per say). His songs and his image don’t hinge on each other to coexist. I mean, he uses a healthy amount comic and anime references, but no more than your average nerd-core spitter. He thrives on a wave-appropriate trappish vibe.

Case and point is his newest release, “CYBERPUNK 2050.” Over a bouncy trap tinged instrumental, he criticizes artists who create fake personas via social media that they can’t necessarily live up to in real life. “I’m the kid with the new option, fans waiting like a shoe dropping,” he raps amid a laid back, well-paced barrage of straight bars. Like, this kid can rap!

Where the nerdery comes in is his visual treatment. In this case, “CYBERPUNK 2050” serves as the sixth installment of an ongoing series of self-directed videos that Kaiju has been dropping over the past year. It’s a complicated storyline to explain, buy in this episode; Kaiju has used a portal to the future, and — to keep it simple — is engaged in some dope martial arts hijinx that make for an entertaining and engaging 6-minute watch.

Artists are NOT putting this level of original thought process into their shit — don’t @ me!

“I love embracing who I am that’s why I respect Wu-tang so much,” he told Lisa Ford Blog last year. “Because even though they’re from the streets, they embraced the fact they were fans of martial arts movies.” It’s easy to make stylistic parallels to the dedication they have to their respective overarching themes.

Kaiju has a great back catalog, with a full-length LP, ONI, and then all the material used for his video series following. It’s not clear if there is an actual project lined up that will house records like “Forbidden” and “Note 7” ( a banger, BTW) and this new one, but get acquainted — and get ready.

You’re welcome.

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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#IndieSpotlight: Major D-Star Drops Off “Stack Pray & Stay Out The Way” Visual

Gotta love when an artist you like drop a project you’re feeling, and proceeds to give a visual identity to…

Gotta love when an artist you like drop a project you’re feeling, and proceeds to give a visual identity to the records you were feeling the most. That’s the case for AAHH mainstay Major D-Star; after releasing his long-awaited Trap Star  mixtape back in February, he is dropping off “Stack Pray & Stay Out The Way,” a song I personally described as an illustration of his immense focus on his “current hustle of choice, music.”

RECENT: Major D-Star Drops “Trap Star” Mixtape

The video, like his others, delivers on quality. Directed by Wally Woo, with a multitude of scenery interspersed around a loose storyline of himself working as a mechanic — which he playfully describes as his way of “stacking and staying out the way” in the into — it gives ample life to one of his project’s most infectious earworms. If you have yet to bump his full mixtape, go ahead and click here; either way, press play on this catchy little banger, below.

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#IndieSpotlight: Long Island Rapper Maui ARN Premieres “Feelings Attached” Visual

Sometimes you just have to make things happen. Every artist’s love for their craft comes from somewhere. For Long Island,…

Sometimes you just have to make things happen. Every artist’s love for their craft comes from somewhere. For Long Island, New York rapper Maui ARN, he knew he had music in him. Maui’s career in music began in 2010 when he joined a rap collective known as Maui Nation with friends OTHERPRO (producer), DapperDon E (rapper), S-Clive (rapper), and Flee Capo (rapper). Although, Maui officially started taking rap seriously three years ago.

“That turning point was when [I knew and said] ‘oh I’m nice,’ I’m doing something other people aren’t doing,” says the rapper. Hailing from Long Island, New York a place that has produced legendary hip-hop artists like Rakim, Biz Markie, EPMD, Public Enemy, Method Man, and MF Doom, Maui ARN explains how being from the suburban county shaped him as a person and artist.

“It made me take risks, everyone does their own thing out here,” says Maui. “I pretty much did my own thing. I have been a fan of music for so long; I just make music that relates to me.”

#IndieSpotlight: Long Island Rapper Maui ARN Premieres "Feelings Attached" VisualGrowing up Maui listened to all types of music. He’s a big fan of R&B which rubbed off with his smooth sound in raps. Some of his favorite artists growing up were, T-Pain, Ne-Yo, and Kendrick Lamar because of their delivery and storytelling techniques. Maui uses this technique with his music. In his latest single, “Feelings Attached,” Maui talks about a young lady in a relationship catching feelings for Maui because of his suave persona.

“You gonna need more than racks, cuz lil momma got feelings attached,” raps Maui unapologetically in between scenes accompanied by friends and beautiful women in the newly released visual shot by Qasquiat and featuring DapperDon E.

“Feelings Attached” captures the essence of mainstream hip-hop culture. However, fly clothes, fast cars, and faster women do not overshadow Maui’s mastery as a rapper. “The substance [in music] is lacking nowadays,” he notes. “I like to say what I’m going through. It makes better music for listeners to relate to.” “Feelings Attached” will be featured on Maui’s first EP Don’t Sleep On Me which is set to release later this year.

Towards the end of our conversation, we touched on Maui’s interests outside of music. He’s interested in learning more about stocks and investments. “Some people get into music to get whatever is useful out of the game [money, cars, jewelry], but they don’t know how to maintain it,” he notes. “This is why what Nipsey was preaching was so pivotal.”

Maui plans on making it big in the rap game because he will always stay true to himself. “The impact I want to leave on the world is to be yourself and take chances. I’m going be me regardless.” Says Maui ARN.

Make sure you check out Maui ARN’s new visual for “Feelings Attached” above.

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#IndieSpotlight: Silas Luster’s “W.A.V.” Is A Slice Of Subversive Goodness

Provincetown, Massachusetts, MC Silas Luster released a brand new EP W.A.V. on March 29th that I’ve meant to share my…

Provincetown, Massachusetts, MC Silas Luster released a brand new EP W.A.V. on March 29th that I’ve meant to share my thoughts on, but to be honest, it was a dense listen. Not in an unapproachable way, mind you. Instead, it’s like an onion made of many, discussion worthy layers, painted atop lush soundscapes that are (at points) reminiscent of OG EL-P production from the early Def Juxx days.

RELEVANT: Getting To Know Provincetown Artist Silas Luster

 
The EP kicks off with “Sion,” which starts with his wordy flow over a head-nodding instrumental that switches up halfway through, into this bongo drum pattern over which he drops the strongest verse easily on the project; I’d love to see it live. “Diewittit” is another song that I found myself revisiting over and over. His cadence and rhyme schemes at times have this loose appeal that reminds me of the Freestyle Fellowship-esque aura that dominated college radio in the 90s.

 
He speaks a lot about his journey, and also a lot of spiritual topics — from the universe to putting meditation over medicine. It’s a lot to unpack, in a good way. You can hear the spoken word elements that seem to be the backbone of his bars — check the acapella interlude “What’s Love?” as a great example of what I mean.

The almost haunting chorus on “O.S.H.N” wasn’t necessarily jarring but did set the song apart as a black sheep of the EP. Not that it’s a bad song — it’s one of the strongest tracks — but, it’s just a different vibe that stuck out to me.

Overall, I dig this EP a lot. If you find yourself a little inundated with the sea of Lil rappers, and the endless sea of meh that often dominates the mainstream consciousness, Silas offers up a slice of subversive Hip Hop. It’s music crafted to both cathartically get things off of his chest and also get your thinking — depending on your aptitude on some of his topics, maybe even get you googling and reading shit.

He is currently touring throughout New England and the Tri-State. Check the schedule.

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Garcia Vega – “Bruce Leroy”

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Vast Aire And Cosmiq Give Fans A Taste Of The New LP

It takes a great deal of confidence to walk into the fold of a group like Canibal Ox, whose LP...

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