Reviews, unsigned hype

Kettie Munroe Delivers An Eclectic Symphony On ‘Venus Fly Trap’

Kettie Munroe prides herself on her uniqueness; she opens her mouth and starts singing this great blend of genres that…

Kettie Munroe prides herself on her uniqueness; she opens her mouth and starts singing this great blend of genres that you may not immediately expect from just looking at her and the artwork of her EP, Venus Fly Trap. “I’m known for a lot of upbeat pop tunes yet a little trance and dark [sounds] as well,” she said in a recent interview with BostonVoyager. “I have a balance between the two genres … my songs never sound alike, and I’m well known to fuse different genres into one.”

The Boston-native couldn’t have contextualized her sound any more accurately. Across the short-yet-poignant six song tracklist, the pop-hop singer belts out a curiously eclectic mix of raw emotion and carefully curated beats that run the gambit from pop to radio-ready trap-infusion — like the Dyno produced “Misfit.” This was one of the standouts on the EP, along with the super fierce “Kids Play With Guns.” It was exciting to see that she had given the song a killer video treatment, laden with fresh colors, guns, and lots of attitude.

“Puppet” is another cool record, with an almost Lady Gaga vibe to it; all her songs seem to have a different feeling to them. The EP opener “Omen” sees her taking on this dominant role, reminiscent of the early work by Kelis with Star Trak/Pharrell.

The special sauce of Venus Fly Trap is the songwriting. She has this booming voice with a cadence that’s hard to explain with lyrics that have Adele-level depth, and an emotionally charged energy to them that create this hard to explain connection with her music. It’s top 40 — no argument — but it also has an undeniable amount of heart behind it.

By the time you get to the echo chants of “in love” at the tail end of the EP closer “Star On Earth” — amid the sound of crowds chanting — you can feel that there’s something special about Kettie. It’s that aura that afforded her the opportunity to perform at New York Fashion Week in the World Trade Center, and allowed her to attend the 60th annual GRAMMY Awards viewing party hosted in New York City. “The pop industry has a lot of standards so not fitting in with the rest can be difficult, yet there’s Nothing wrong with being different,” she says. We concur.

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Gage Keeps It A Buck On His ‘With Love’ EP

When it comes to marking out your legacy in the music industry, almost a third of the total recipe is…

When it comes to marking out your legacy in the music industry, almost a third of the total recipe is determination; with determination for success comes plenty of byproducts, mainly sacrifice. With his latest EP With Love, Massachusetts-native rapper Gage Tielr has put these elements of his journey into a concise and impactful package worth a few spins.

Off the rip, the projects positions itself worthy of placement with any major mainstream market. Sure shot single like the intro, “F.W.Y.S.” — an acronym for Fuck What You Sayin’ — the dream big single “Emblem” (which received a visual treatment), and “Speedin'” featuring the silky vocals of Pyro Da God, establish Gage as ready.

 

It’s the insanely humanizing and — if your an artist — relatable tone he takes throughout the project that makes it connect. The lamenting of a fed up partner tiring of sticking it out for her rapper boyfriend’s dream of making bags is universal. The love letter to the one that got away, “Written Down,” and the closer “Talk About” with themes that touch on mental health, see some of the project’s most profound depth.

There’s this unspoken cohesiveness to the setlist that positions Gage in the fast lane; he has an excellent ear for instrumentals and careful curation of his work that make the EP come across as polished — right down to the artwork.

From what is gleaned from the literature attached with the release, it’s the result of two years of working to develop his sound. While the project fails to sonically breakthrough into any new artistic territory, his personality, cadence, and sheer honesty shine through and create a great impression — especially if it’s the first.

A lot of rappers like to take the fake it until you make it approach; Gage keeps it a buck, painting the everyday roller coaster of the road to riches with vivid color. With Love is worth a spot on your playlist this week, hands down.

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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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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…

Santa Cruz, California, producer Muzik Genesis drops off his latest (instrumental) LP, Sequoia — the official follow up to his debut LP, Retrospection. “I’ve always expressed myself through music ever since I was really little,” the producer explains via press release. “I’ve always also had an affinity for the natural world.

Sequoia is that precise connection between ourselves as human beings and the natural world – we are one with nature.”

Comprised of lo-fi, ambient, hip-hop-trap sound beds — which does feature vocals from MC Khan (“Bliss of Inspiration”) and childhood friend Amir on “Livin’ Life” — the project is a pleasant journey that we’ve been playing out here at HQ for the last few days while we work.

 
His first LP, Retrospection, reached listeners in Europe and Latin America — and the self-titled single’s music video received national attention stateside, airing on cable television in cities nationwide. It was a vastly different sound, much more rooted in Hip-Rock mashups. Overall the diversity is real.

Give it a spin.

Pre-order, here.

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Bronx MC Fadetheblackk Teams Up With B*Star For New Single “Visions”

Bronx MC Fadetheblackk grew up in the home of hip hop — Bronx, New York City. It’s this raw energy…

Bronx MC Fadetheblackk grew up in the home of hip hopBronx, New York City. It’s this raw energy that he’s managed to distill into his music, which is built around themes of life, the struggles within, and the battle we face living in today’s society. Roaming behind the scenes for the last seven years, his new single “Visions” featuring B*star is his first offering via the Warner Music indie platform Level Music.

“[I] speaks on the facts of life and the illusions that we allow to control decisions in everyday living such as chasing the American Dreams,” he says.”Dare to be different then be yourself.”

Check out the single, below.

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