unsigned hype

Royce Ripken’s Long-Awaited Debut Delivers

After building a pretty notable buzz with his first four mixtape releases, emcee Royce Ripken, formerly Stretch Dinero—aka Supastaxx—has finally…

After building a pretty notable buzz with his first four mixtape releases, emcee Royce Ripken, formerly Stretch Dinero—aka Supastaxx—has finally released an official full-length debut, Home Run Ripken.

The 13-song affair is seemingly scattered regarding contextual content, but it is—after a few top to bottom listens—actually entirely cohesive, and packed with a balance of motivation, hype, and tunes for your girlfriend (see “Double Up”). Though the production credits aren’t front street, this man needs to buy his team a few beers, it sounds great.

Now, let’s break down the highs and lows; we’ll start with the standouts. “Flame Out” and “Run It Back” are his best attempts at generating an anthemic vibe on this LP. “Grand Slam” also deserves honorable mention. Lyrically on all three, he packs in as many smart punchlines as possible and then unleashes super catchy choruses. Sounds simple, but it isn’t. Earworms are an art.

Zac Alan’s chorus on “Run It Back,” with its grungy distortion in the high-end has an alternative vibe that feels top 40 radio ready.

If tasked with naming a top 2 on this album it would hands down be “They Want The Real. Pt. 2”—the most intimate point on the LP—and “Jiggle,” with it’s sped up Ellie Goulding sample. Throughout the project, he alluded to street life at a few points, but “They Want The Real. Pt. 2” is the first time that he seems to let you in, discussing his time in the streets, being locked up, and his daily struggle to stay on the right path as he explores his career in music. It’s more retrospective than descriptive.

“Jiggle” is way less profound, but garnered about 15 plays in a day on my phone. That beat is Fuego.

There are few actual low points on the project. He is an intelligent guy—lyrically—so “That Bag,” when compared to the (kind of) avant-garde thinking of “Catch These Fists,” seems pretty necessary.

Overall, though, it’s a respectable debut from Royce Ripken, and sure to set him on the right path!

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, 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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Reviews, unsigned hype

Jahan Nostra’s “ESP” Project Is A Dope Ride

Had a new LP float across my desk this week, ESP by Jahan Nostra — an emcee mounded by Stamford,…

Had a new LP float across my desk this week, ESP by Jahan Nostra — an emcee mounded by Stamford, Connecticut and Mount Vernon, New York. Now, the project isn’t new per say, as it initially dropped in 2016, and was remastered late last year. Regardless, I made it my movement music for a week.

Here’s the breakdown.

Sonically, it’s difficult to put my finger on. The beats don’t quite hit the mark of what’s going on in-game today, not even quite from a backpacking 90s perspective. So it has this kind of literal timeless feeling to it. From the jazzy big-city New York vibe of “Welcome Home,” he sets a great vibe. It’s fully consistent, but it’s not a bad thing. He does maintain a keep it moving, maintain, and make it to the top theme for the first half of the LP songs like “Embrace The Rain.”

The features on the LP are quite impressive. Philly mainstay Tone Trump hops on the super atmospheric “Whole Life,” and Brooklyn legends Smif N Wessun hop on the album highlight “No Stress.” The Rey Vega featured “One of Them Days” is way too understated, though. It’s probably one of my fave songs on the project, basically following him as he hits up ATL.

The second half of the LP has a few gems; “El Chapo” with Ceschi, “Time” featuring Kyro & Wednesday Atoms, and “Bricks and Sponsorship” all give more insight into Jahan as a street guy—without being at all explicit. The latter record, explores the cause and effect of street-life, with a running commentary on the prison system in the US.

At 16-songs in length, there is a lot to love. He’s a project boy who puts a lot into this music shit; everything about him suggests quality—right down to the photography. He has an excellent package. Looking forward to new material.

Early. 

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Reily Marte Keeps it Authentic For His Fans

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