Reviews, unsigned hype

Tae Groove Sticks To His Vision While Catching New Flows On His Latest LP

Progression isn’t about staying stagnant — nor is it about abandoning your underlying ideals. This is a sentiment explored in…

Progression isn’t about staying stagnant — nor is it about abandoning your underlying ideals. This is a sentiment explored in the arc of rapper Tae Groove’s new LP, New Waves Old Ways, the 11-song follow up to 2017’s Finding Direction. “This album means a lot to mean cause I took over a year putting it together as far as picking songs etc.,” the rapper explains to AAHH. “[Also] I stepped outside my comfort zone a lot on the project.”

While not completely night and day, as Tae seems to have the same energy, the vibe of this project is noticeably different; the flow structure has been tweaked, and in many spots — like “Lifestyle” and “The Weekend” — are much more melodic in nature.

There are a few topical regions he explores, from following his own path among the adversities of his environment (“Livin My Life”), winning by staying true to his vision (“Plan”), Love (“Saved”) — and repenting on past mistakes (“Can I Live”). Overall, the aura is relatable with enough depth to find gems in his bars with repeated spins.

 
“Livin My Life” actually comes across as the standout; its almost anthemic chant of trusting the process as prescribed by your own soul has an almost sense of rebirth to it that really plays well to the album’s theme of new beginnings (waves).

Ultimately, New Waves Old Ways is movement music for anyone trying to make it this game — and any game, for that matter. You can’t expect to take the same steps repeatedly and achieve different results. Tae is making his way and investing a lot into his grind independently — diversifying his sound along the way without losing his footing. The album closers “Take It Slow” and the testament to his grind “No Sleep” pretty much say it all.

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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V12 Teases “The Commission” LP With New Single

Having started in the music industry as a teen, V12 is making a return to the grind following a nine-year…

Having started in the music industry as a teen, V12 is making a return to the grind following a nine-year hiatus. The Boca Raton, Florida, native — who’s since relocated to Las Vegas — has a sound that has obviously grown and matured and he’s elated to finally unleash his first official (solo) body of work, The Commission, into the world. 

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@preddy_boy @philthyrichfod The Commission coming soon 😈

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The first single, “What You Need,” laced with eerie keys atop a booming baseline, is a hearty slice of street-hop. Give the track a spin, below.

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Maui Rapper Mr2theP Drops “SANDCASTLES” Single Produced by Dj1mor

As he feverishly plugs away at the tweaks on his brand new LP produced entirely by longtime friend, L.A. based…

As he feverishly plugs away at the tweaks on his brand new LP produced entirely by longtime friend, L.A. based producer and DJ 1mor — host of CashOnly Radio, which airs Thursdays from 8-9 pm on Dash Radio — Mr2TheP drops a brand new single “SANDCASTLES,” complete with an introduction to his latest hat, videography.

RELATED PAST CONTENT: #IndieSpotlight: Mr2theP Emerges With Two New Singles

The Orange County-born Maui rapper tells AAHH that the album — tentatively titled LSP — was mostly recorded in a short period. “[The album was] produced while 1mor was staying with me at the compound in Maui,” he says — recalling the sessions at his Maui studio, which he christened last year with his deeply personal musical-journey (album) Island Fever. He relocated to the Central Pacific island in 2017 and beginning building the creative hub after the loss of his daughter

“You was hoping that I’d stop and fumble, what … because I’m middle-aged dope and don’t f*cking mumble?” — Mr2theP, “SANDCASTLES”

The visual for the super cool single was shot via iPhone X with anamorphic lens and edited by P himself, is — according to him — beyond a display of his creativity, a taste of what’s to come. “I recently took up video directing, and I’m looking to expand on my visuals this year, crafting videos to some of the significant features I’m sitting on,” he says.

He’s mum about the features themselves, preferring to show and prove, allowing the product to speak for itself; however, based on his track record, which includes a discography packed with quality releases (and collaborations with Daylyt among others), we’re in for something special.

Check out the video, above.

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unsigned hype

Major D-Star Drops “Trap Star” Mixtape

Florida MC Major D-Star is someone who we’ve been covering on the site since late 2017, and we’re excited about…

Florida MC Major D-Star is someone who we’ve been covering on the site since late 2017, and we’re excited about what he’s up to for 2019. He and his team released “Rappin & Trappin” as part of his MAJOR Monday’s campaign late last year, which was meant to hype us up for his upcoming mixtape, Trap Star — which he’d been prophesizing for a little while at that point. Well, he’s blessed fans with the goods, and we aren’t one bit disappointed.


 
The 12-song project is hosted by the acclaimed DJ WildChild, who is affiliated with Wakka Flocka Flame’s Brick Squad Monopoly. With intricate production and bars (and bars) dripping with replay value, honesty, and everything we’ve come to expect from him over the past few releases.

Led by the infectious piano-driven bop of “Rappin’ & Trappin’,” the project is a hearty body of work, full of celebration, reassertion, and straight up Hip Hop. There are a breadth of vibes — all in a cohesive sonic pocket — that see him take a few different turns, before the last track, “It’s All Hype,” which in many ways feels like the highlight.

A good portion of the album sets out a lot of the success he’s seen thus far — such as “Stack Pray & Stay Out The Way” where he describes his immense focus on his current hustle of choice, music. But there is this looming sense that he feels the need to remind everyone that he isn’t where he is because of music solely. Still, he’s chosen his path and is seeing the fruit of his labor. “Nothin’ To Do With That” is a great example, as he notes that he has “nothing to do” with the same old shit, nor does he condone lying in his raps.

This idea of authenticity reiteration makes songs like “War Time” and “Tax” feel more potent on second listens. Still, with rap being his bread and butter, we can circle down to “It’s All Hype,” a declaration of realness, drive, and subtle — but heavy-handed — dedication to the new school acts who thrive off of social media. “What comes easy don’t last,” he laments as the song comes to an end.

It’s a sentiment that couldn’t be more telling of the blood sweat and tears he’s put into his craft and discography thus far.

Check out Major D-Star‘s Trap Star, above.

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AjGod Puts Knowledge Over Everything On ”E.S.O.Teric”

Bars packed with meaning.

We had a really unique project drop across the desk this week all the way from Oakland, California. We get a lot of submissions [editors note: this is an understatement] but not many from an artist who describes their production as syncopated, a great word — yes — but also an intriguing approach to consciously adopt.

Rapper AjGod describes having a bevy of Influences that range from Cole to Marley, all of which help him to create this very engaging, clear commentary on the struggles of his hometown, and being black in America while remaining palatable enough to ever push listeners away.

What is oddly alluring about the eight-song effort E.S.O.Teric — for and foremost — is the production; over breezy bops dripping in this unmistakable Bay Area funk, with a vintage gloss, Aj drops this really interesting blend of bars packed with intellectualism.

It’s clear that Oakland runs deep in his veins, molded by the same environment as iconic voices Tupac and (more contemporary) Kendrick Lamar, but he has this added layer of knowledge, almost KRS ONE-esque, injected with a sense of black power. On “Black Boy No,” for example, he confronts the concept that African-Americans are held below a systematic ceiling, by empowering and shattering his way through with powerful bars like “When you tell that black boy no just know he hear the opposite,” and later in the track “woke got vision like I’m sleep,” noting he was born in a cage but he’s a locksmith.

“Know Your Self” is another example of self-betterment; he’s speaking on the true motivations that many have for getting their hands dirty in the streets. “Are you getting big just to get a pound,” he asks rhetorically, challenging listeners to consider who they truly are when the crew isn’t around. Also, the consistent references to the Pan-African flag, while noting he’s not your enemy appears to be a clear delineation to black on black crime — which is something that has plagued our communities for decades.

With the latter four records being solely instrumentation, we’re given these boisterous beats, either meant to be a gift to MCs or simply an atmospheric demonstration — nay reminder — that this is a top to bottom self-produced affair.

With a sound that seems to swim against the grain of mainstream waves, E.S.O.Teric is a project hellbent on giving listeners a bigger picture, with a purpose beyond entertaining with the more mindless fare. His cadence clear, and his bars approachable complex, the project is a noble pile of gems worth exploring.

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