Reviews, unsigned hype

Marcoof500 – “Marco The Merchant” #Review

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]rom the onset of his debut project, 2018’s The Travels Of Marco, Marcoof500 — an entrepreneur in every sense of the…

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]rom the onset of his debut project, 2018’s The Travels Of Marco, Marcoof500 — an entrepreneur in every sense of the word — the Virginia upstart has been feeding his extremely loyal cult following with a steady slew of releases. Since that initial warning shot, he dropped the 4-song Kitchen Chronicles EP, which featured (among other things) the song “10 O’Glock” — a record he’s chosen to make the cut for his latest LP, Marco The Merchant.

The nine-song affair is an exciting blend of stylistic elements with varying degrees of commercial viability and earworm appeal. “10 O’Glock” for example has this vintage No Limit appeal to it sonically, that grow on you with Marco’s bars and loud, but noteworthy adlibs like “fuck Trippie Redd,” or the “Left-right uppercut that ends the song off.”3

While he uses a familiar formula on a number of the songs — that still manage to work — like the piano-driven “500k,” it’s when he puts his marketability on display that you get a full spectrum of his vision. “Pesos” is a definite standout, with an instrumental that sounds ripe for a YG feature. It’s one of the sole records that you could easily hear at the club, or within a mix show format, with its repetitive chorus that you’ll find yourself singing throughout your daily moves.

Another surprisingly flame emoji record is “Designer,” which we found ourselves returning to throughout the past week. Over the blown out bass of the lo-fi banger, he finds his footing and keeps the flow steady, with a razor-sharp barrage of bars that is perfectly encased by the soundscape.

With his label 500entertainmentllc and a track record of having toured as far as Japan, he’s clearly defined his lane and is keeping his overall aesthetic on the right track. Even when his material works harder to merely fit in with the wave, it manages to swim with the best of them — but when he’s hot, he’s hot. His journey is exciting to witness, and by intertwining it into his music, he’s giving his music not just a personal touch, but an inspirational gloss for a generation of new listeners and artists looking to see who ultimately floats to the top.

Whether it’s on some smooth Valee-esque vibes, or if it’s on some darker street fare like “Will They?” there’s a sense of authenticity that shines through. Marcoof500 is that dude!

Take Marco The Merchant for a spin, below.

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New Music, unsigned hype

@CJFlemings – ‘Mascara Tears’

Recently Canadian R&B/Rap sensation CJ Flemings delivered his newest project, Mascara Tears.  Delving deep beyond the superficial appearance of the album title, CJ Flemings spent years developing his…

Recently Canadian R&B/Rap sensation CJ Flemings delivered his newest project, Mascara Tears.  Delving deep beyond the superficial appearance of the album title, CJ Flemings spent years developing his breakthrough project that has once again shines a light on the Canadian R&B/Hip-Hop music scene. While some fans pressing play on Mascara Tears might be unfamiliar with CJ’s sound, CJ Flemings pulls on the heartstrings of his listeners while also providing music that Hip-Hop fans can ride to, a duality rarely seen in today’s artists.

Known by his fans as the “Soft Spoken Prince,” this cold weather crooner has been making music since he was 12, developing himself and his sound for almost a decade. Drawing inspiration early on from some of the greatest rappers of all time like Lil Wayne and Kanye, CJ Flemings’ sound eventually evolved in to an R&B sound with all the nuances from Hip-Hop that he grew up admiring.

Executive produced by his close collaborator Michael Lantz, Mascara Tears carries a theme that took CJ nearly 5 years to bring to perfection. Since then the album has earned thousands of streams online and he’s been featured on numerous Canadian radio shows that have highlighted his undeniable ability to reach listeners with both Hip-Hop and R&B flavored music.

Mascara Tears is a project that I had to put out. It was produced by Michael Lantz who was my executive producer for the project, but Lance and I sat down and he worked with me for the whole project.  I decided to call it Mascara Tears, which is a title I had for about four or five years.  For a while I was kind of sitting on the title and trying to figure out what the message and theme were going to be, revolving around it,”CJ Flemings explained.  “I feel like it’s the perfect title because it’s not what the title would seem. My story is authentic and that what I think people look for in relationships.  For example you may have situations going on where women tend to use mascara to cover up their flaws. If you just keep in authentic you might not run into those issues and it might not have been as much of a disaster as if they had stayed true to themselves and kept it real. There’s no need to cover up your flaws, you just have to keep it real.”

Led by the singles, “Don’t Know You,” “Acquainted,” and “Judgement,” this project shows  CJ Fleming’s versatility and ability to make upbeat R&B music that connects with a Hip-Hop base.

“You hear it in the album from beginning to end. I did the best I could to deliver the message of being yourself and not switching and just keeping it solid personally. With everything gong on I wanted this album to touch everybody in a way so that they could use this album to not feel like they are doing something wrong. Sometimes relationships are tough and this album kind of is a guide for your emotions. I feel like I had to put myself in a very vulnerable position to make this album so I hope that this is relatable and whatever the case may be I hope people can connect.

Backed by a host of appearances on radio including his Live Nation performance in support of his project Mascara Tears, CJ has connected with fans more than ever on this project.

“In November I started doing a whole bunch of press and we had three shows where I did eventually opened up for Jack Harlow’s show. Jack and I were able to connect like it was nothing. The Lil TJay show as sold out and I did a set there and the crowd went crazy. During that time it was kind of wild experiencing all that press in one week and I was really conscious of my performance and being on time,” CJ explained.

To date CJ Flemings has blessed the airwaves of The Beat 92.5 with Jeremy White, CBC Montreal Radio with Sabrina and Duke, CKUT 90.3 FM – All The Way Live, CINQ 102.3 FM, Global NewsToronto: Live Nation’s One To Watch @ the Lounge by Live Nation, Virgin Radio 95.9 Recap Rap with Adam Greenberg and many others.

“These songs that are buzzing are all songs that I have grown and developed based on organic reaches. For every song that’s out I feel that I grow beyond the song once its out, but I love all the songs and can’t wait for the fans to connect.”

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Devious (@Deviousontwitt) – ‘Devious & Friends: For the Culture Vol. 1’

Recently New Orleans artist, producer and writer Devious releases his new compilation project, Devious & Friends. Promoting the importance of…

Recently New Orleans artist, producer and writer Devious releases his new compilation project, Devious & Friends. Promoting the importance of the famed “Bounce” music genre that was derived from the clubs of New Orleans, Devious’ new compilation project that will showcase New Orleans music at its core.

To date Devious has been sampled by Nelly, Beyonce, Rihanna, Travis Porter, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco, Cardi B, City Girls, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Duval, Project Pat and the Ying-Yang Twins to name a few.

After allowing a host of artists to sample his music and grab pieces of the culture Devious has decided to work on a compilation album with staple Hip-Hop and R&B acts from his city called Devious & Friends.

“My City doesn’t really understand how deals are made and how they are put together with some of these big artists that I have worked with like Beyoncé and Rihanna. They tend to think the artists or labels in New York and California are stealing our music. They don’t actually know there are deals being made with people like Cardi B and the City Girls. So I wanted to put a face to the music of our city, because pretty much all the guys I produce with are getting opportunities too and they deserve some attention. That’s what made me start Bounce Factory and make Devious & Friends,” Devious explained.

Prompted by the singles, “Lift Ya Rump” featuring 5th Ward Weebie and “Really Got It Going On” Ft. Rooftop Rafe (Prod by BlaqNMild), Devious and Friends is jam-packed with artists and sounds that people have been taking from for years. Also featured on Volume 1 of this compilation are Iris P, Lenny Green, Paije Rush, Niyo and more.

“We started with the R&B for the project because they are pretty much locked in and have positive energy. The next project will be back to the bars. This is more of the eclectic project,” said Devious. “For The Culture represents New Orleans. We plan on releasing For The Culture Vol. 2 or a deluxe edition which will feature some of New Orleans dopest emcees. There’s so much talent in New Orleans and as a songwriter I try to collaborate with as many eclectic creatives as I can. We definitely have the gumbo flavor in our music.”

Other key people who worked on the album are DJ Slab 1 & DJ Ro from Q93 FM, Lenny Green, and S – 8ighty who also took the time to comment about their input on the project:

DJ Ro – Q93 FM

“The role I play in Devious’ movement is to break his singles in his city and the surrounding areas. Devious started out as the freestyle king and he played a part in many of our New Orleans hit bounce music recordings as well as creating the hooks for many of our homegrown artists. It means a lot to be a witness to Devious’ success! I’m just a vessel for artists to get their musical message out. With the influence of Devious’ vocals and his savvy business ways, we now have major artists from around the globe wanting a piece of the bounce sound that was born in New Orleans.”

Lenny Green

“To be a part of The Bounce Factory project is a privilege and honor. I believe the new song “Never Let Geaux” by Devious produced by S- 8ighty is innovative in nature because it’s a true bounce ballad! To be able to work with such great artists is refreshing and in my opinion this project can open doors to mass appeal and will spark major label interest.”

S-8ighty

“Devious came to me and wanted production work and feature work. He came with the ideas that he wanted. Whenever he wants something, it’s in a particular way. Usually when he asks for something, I give it to him. It’s always a fun and great time working with him.”

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New Music, unsigned hype

MJ Grizz – “Outside Looking In”

Coming straight outta the Chi, comes a MJ Grizz, who carries a smooth flow and demeanor with the lyricism to…

Coming straight outta the Chi, comes a MJ Grizz, who carries a smooth flow and demeanor with the lyricism to match.

Mj Grizz just released an introspective and reflective track, “Outside Lookin In” produced by A DOT that touches on working towards your dreams even when it’s tough remembering why you started on your journey.

Combining forces with management phenom Smit of BDM Management, Mj Grizz has a new direction and movement as Smit brings a wealth of knowledge and connections in the industry from radio to the blogs.

“The track samples Erykah Badu’s Bag Lady.” Mj said, “This song is one of those records that means a lot to me. It helps me get through the moments when I’m going through some shit. It reminds me to trust the process and never give up.”

Growing up, Mj often felt like others doubted him and downplayed his dreams. He wanted to take that negative energy he was harboring and turn it into a positive for his fans to relate.

“Yeah, this song is for the underdog and the outcast. The ones who can’t speak up for themselves. The ones who have big dreams and visions that no can see yet but know they’re coming,”Mj also stated.

Mj always had a love and passion for music at an early age. He grew up in Bolingbrook, a small suburb outside of Chicago and began his journey into Hip-Hop at the age of 20. Since then, he has become a prominent name in the local scene.

“The local scene is great. A lot of dope artists are coming up from the city. It’s not like Atlanta where everyone support each other but it’s also very much competitive and it seems like most people have that every man for himself mentality,” said.

Mj Grizz is currently working on more music and content to be released in 2020. His message to his day 1 fans and supporters is, “I just appreciate everyone who’s been with me on this journey and I got a lot more music for you in the future. I appreciate every fan and person who shared my music, who follows me and plays my music when they have the aux cord. Thank you all. I got a long way to go but It’s going to be one hell of a ride.”

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New Music, unsigned hype

Dwayne M – “Like That”

Queens’ own, Dwayne M is ready to step into the spotlight as the self-proclaimed “King of Romance Rap.” Setting the tone for the…

Queens’ own, Dwayne M is ready to step into the spotlight as the self-proclaimed “King of Romance Rap.” Setting the tone for the upcoming new year, Dwayne unveils his debut single, “Like That” with steamy visuals. With the artistic direction of Rhademes Julian, Dwayne M and his leading lady get up close and personal for the camera – leaving enough room for imagination. 

Inspired by the likes of LL Cool J, and Biggie – and mentored by Mr. Cheeks and Buddy Wike of Intro, Dwayne brings a New York swagger in his seductive interpretation of Hip Hop meets R&B.” 

 

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