unsigned hype

L.S.D – Off The Grid

Hip-hop truly is world-wide. I’ll preface this by admitting that my knowledge of the hip-hop scene down-under is less than…

Hip-hop truly is world-wide. I’ll preface this by admitting that my knowledge of the hip-hop scene down-under is less than expansive, so if I sound off base at all, that’s why. I recently came across an Aussie (Perth to be exact) artist that I’m really digging. He goes by the name of L.S.D, and (to me anyways) he’s an Australian answer to Rob Kelly [who by the way is a must listen]. Four years after his last release, a Lighter Shade of Darkness, and a brief retirement/hiatus, he’s returning to the scene with an album entitled Off The Grid – and he reached out to AAHIPHOP to spread some of his vibes. I saw the obvious fit, because we’re big fans of Blackalicious over here (peep our Gift of Gab interview), and he very much fits into that pocket. In fact, he worked with him on his first album.

His album is a wonderful mix of old school charm, High and Mighty-esque sonic beds and turntablism (orchestrated by Rob Shaker). To top it off, L.S.D has bars –like REALLY dope bars. It’s a great listen. After the first track, I didn’t even notice he had an accent at all, and the fact that he’s from Australia isn’t used as any sort of gimmick or on-running pun. From the jump, with the high-energy title track, Off The Grid, L.S.D sets the tone, and carries the pace throughout with few missteps. He tackles a range of topics from the staple “overcoming in the face of adversity” on the uptempo (very fun) GO, to soaking in the experience and perspective from a conversation with a 75 year-old on the song Story To Tell. Standouts for me were the joints Alive Again, where he discusses universal true-school hip-hop relevancy struggles, the infidelity shaming Cheaters and the uptempo (sexy) sax laced Rio.

The album’s overall strength lies in its intricacy. The micro details (like the cuts) and the general quality – sonically and creatively – are top-notch. It’s a very solid effort, and with exception of a few references I just didn’t understand, it was quite universal, while remaining true to what I perceive the Perth scene to be. It’s full of real-world stories, hardship and most of all, substance. The fact that I’m limited by North American references to give this man context is a testament to my narrow-minded my view of the culture. I’m going to work on that.

Recommend Piff for your work week!


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

Rapper Tuu Ra Combines Metaphysics Into His Music

His latest single, “Get Something” is worth a spin!

Tuu Ra, representing Brooklyn, has been writing and producing music since the young age of 14. Using a keyboard his mother gave him, and being introduced to fruity loops daw on his laptop by his father, he began a journey that he’s been on ever since, combining spiritual training and deep-rooted knowledge of metaphysics into his always evolving music and art (he’s multi-disciplinary).

“I was introduced to creating music by my father who is also a musician,” he tells AAHH. “Writing was always a strength for me.” With early influences that include the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Talib Kweli, Rakim, Krs One, his love of the meticulous attention to the art itself emanates from his work.

“On the production side I drew inspiration from Dilla, 9th wonder, Pharrell, and Ryan Leslie to name a few,” he adds. He dropped a mixtape in 2014 titled Nu Perception, and a beat tape two years later titled Hip Hop Archives — on top of a handful of singles.

His sound is versatile, from old soulful hip-hop waves that have long since dispersed since hitting the rocks, to today’s trap vibes that are flooding the streets. His latest “Get Something” — for example — is overflowing with lyrical content, an atmospheric instrumental, and a high quality visual — with tons of movement and engaging transitions. It’s when you take time to listen to his bars; you can hear his teachings scattered throughout.

“I practice Qi Gong, which is the grandmother of Tai Qi, and meditate often,” he says. “This helps a lot in my creative process while giving me resilience as I navigate this [tough] music business. Currently, he is working on an album; “my focus is collaborating with other producers to create a different sound,” he notes, adding that he’s looking to drop it by the end of this upcoming fall.

Currently living in between the mecca and sunny LA, he’s been making new connections. “You can look forward to hearing the east coast west coast vibe in my upcoming project … my next goal is to expand overseas and book more gigs. I love traveling and look forward to sharing my music with a broader and more diverse audience.

With new connections in the UK, and enjoying a brewing creative run, Tuu Ra is in an exciting space. Stay tuned — and add him to your socials @tuugod.

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#IndieSpotlight, unsigned hype

Detroit’s Own Arius Is Our New Singer Crush

She has a gorgeous voice, and a great vibe about her.

23-year-old Detroit-native Arius is a star on the rise with a cadence that commands attention; her debut LP Pandora’s Box dropped last summer — and she’s about to drop another project this summer.

Her latest, the super impressive “4U,” is an airy R&B appetizer that’s building buzz as she finalizes her upcoming project Reality. The track itself gives off an aura reminiscent of Ashanti’s “Foolish,” in that it’s easily relatable for many females, making it an almost anthemic single that you could picture a packed audience singing along to. It definitely has replay potential.

Having rocked shows in cultural hubs like LA, Miami, and ATL — and releasing her music through independent label MafiaSoul Records — the songstress has her sights set on a major label look.

She has a gorgeous voice, and a great vibe about her; she’s an artist to put on your watch list. Check owut “4U,” below.


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unsigned hype

TreCartel’s Latest Single “Rock-N-Roll” Is The Wave

Born in the borough of Queens, but raised in the cultural hotbed that is Atlanta,  Georgia, rapper TreCartel — an…

Born in the borough of Queens, but raised in the cultural hotbed that is Atlanta,  Georgia, rapper TreCartel — an esteemed vet who served in the US Air Force — is on a musical journey. “My grandfather would create beats on fruity loops while I was in high school,” he says about his beginnings in the game. “My friend [made beats] as well. I started recording music when I came home from the Military in 2014.

To date, he’s released three projects,  ‘Pharaoh Muzik,’ ‘Pharaoh Muzik 2’ and ‘GoldMind’—along with a handful of singles available via all popular streaming networks.

His latest single, Rock-N-Roll, is an airy song that rides the current wave effortlessly, with a catchy chorus and vibe perfect for late night drives — or strip club vibes. Definitely worth a few spins! While you’re at it, check out “Stay Away,” also on his SoundCloud.

Check it out, below.

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unsigned hype

C Wells Pulls Up With “New Whip”

Hailing from Lynn, Massachusetts, C Wells made a name for himself with the high-profile 2015 Don Cannon-hosted mixtape, ‘Before the…

Hailing from Lynn, Massachusetts, C Wells made a name for himself with the high-profile 2015 Don Cannon-hosted mixtape, ‘Before the Tour Bus’. Best known for his G-Herbo-featured track, “For the Paper” (2015), C Wells continues to raise his stock with the release of his new single, “New Whip”.

Produced by Marz, C Wells resurges after ten months hiatus with convictions of becoming the next big thing out of Massachusetts alongside Joyner Lucas. C Wells has identified the track as a “Summer Anthem,” with catchy hook and three sizzlingly attractive verses about riding fast and living life just as fast.

C Wells on the making of “New Whip”:

“The recording process wasn’t to complex I just really wanted to stop taking myself
too serious and get back to having fun with music and I wanted the listeners to have fun listening to what I was putting out it’s really a song I wanted to use to open up the door to this new style of music that I’ll be putting out but there sure is a video on the way.”

Stream C Wells’ new single, “New Whip” below via Soundcloud.

“New Whip” is slated to appear on C Wells upcoming new project slated for release late-2018.

Like “New Whip”? Become a fan of C Wells today, follow him on Instagram.

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