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The Outcastkid Drops Impressively Complex LP “Nerd DNA”

Nerd-centric Hip Hop is a lucrative niche, to say the least. The genius of it is that unlike other sub-genres,…

Nerd-centric Hip Hop is a lucrative niche, to say the least. The genius of it is that unlike other sub-genres, listeners within this demographic are prone to intense fandom and financial support of shit that they feel; to that end, they are amazing fans to amass. The problem, though, lies in making the crossover. That — of course — refers to the delicate balance that exists between traditional Hip Hop and that which is littered with comic and game references to the point that it obscures itself, stifling an artist’s ability to compete on a mainstream level.

Young New York upstart Outcastkid is on a quest to break the mold with his latest LP, Nerd DNA. He first came onto our radar when he dropped a remix of the Smoke DZA and Joey Badass collaboration, “Mood.” While that track didn’t accurately establish the nerdism this LP encapsulates, it did give us a taste of his cadence and flow — which is trenched in a New York sound.

RELEVANT: Check out his “Mood” remix

Reminiscent of an artist he has an affinity for, Joey Badass (he even mentions the rapper on the song “I’ma Get Mine”), Outcast’s music is built around lots of complex wordplay. Interestingly, the thematic context of the project seems to shift as it rolls on, from “nerdy” to more of the everyday portrait of a high school underdog engrossed in Hip Hop culture.

To illustrate this take, we look at tracks like “Shock Jockey,” which plays up a concept he also rolled out online, building himself as a character who was experimented on as part of a secret government project. Then there’s “Rick and Morty’s Outcast,” laden with punchlines from the popular show — sure to make fans drool.

 
That’s the nerdy shit, though.

Songs like “Outcast Vibe” and “Bad Girls” see him lusting after girls as — more or less — that every-man in the back of the class that they don’t notice. He laments, especially on the latter track, how popping off in the industry will have all these girls that once overlooked him taking a second (or third) look.

Then bangers like “Indigo Smoke” — a clear highlight — and “Printer Life” seem to also portray this weed smoking kid with confidence and swag. It’s a weird juxtaposition that ultimately illustrates the multiple relatable facets to this kid’s personality (as a rapper), which plays out quite organically. This is even true as he switches gears for a trap vibe on “Cash Flex,” for example.

Ultimately, what I like about this kid is his willingness to be deceivingly diverse while staying on topic. Sure, he raps about video games, comics, and other overt nerd shit, but he also creates this relatable young guy aura — kind of like Khalid — and he has pretty dope pen game. It will be interesting to see if he continues to run with the “nerd rap guise”; this album is (actually) less “nerdy” than he may consider it to be. At points, it’s actually just “smart.” Solid listen.

Early.

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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Major D-Star Releases “Rappin’ & Trappin'” Single

The latest installment of his “MAJOR Monday’s” is a banger.

Florida-based MC Major D-Star is back with a brand new single titled “Rappin & Trappin” as part of his MAJOR Monday’s campaign, which he and his team are undertaking as they roll into a big 2019.

RELEVANT: Check Out Some Of Our Past Major D-Star Coverage

The song — with its catchy chorus and bouncy piano-driven beat — has an anthemic feel to it, with a bevy of big bars and motivational psalms. “I’m woke and still living like I’m dreaming,” he spits.

He’s had a dope run thus far thus, with some insanely high-quality releases and visuals to date, and with his next project Trap Star coming soon, he’s looking to take things to the next level. For now, check out “Rappin & Trappin,” below, and stay locked to his social media for “MAJOR Monday’s.”

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#FreshMusic: MaliFromCali Is On The Rise

Out Of Class Records artist MaliFromCali has been on the rise since she signed just over a year ago. The…

Out Of Class Records artist MaliFromCali has been on the rise since she signed just over a year ago. The San Diego, California, MC is looking to climb to the next plateau of her career with her EP Half Full, the follow-up to The 411 — an impressive eight-song project light on features and heavy on potential.

Jhene Aiko and Dreezy are amongst her biggest influences, but she shit is anything but sweet. The traptastic first single, “Trending,” is a saucy swag fest that puts her attitude and endearing cadence on full tilt. 

The EP and single come hot on the heels of her dope visual for “No Love,” an aggressive display of bars, with a treatment that includes guns, money, and a lot of energy. With a whole heap of heat in the cannon, keep on eye out for Mali!

Check out MaliFromCali‘s Half Full, below.

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Check The Bars: J. Asadi Spins His Struggle Into “Lazarus Experiment”

Sometimes you need to fall to get back up; for rapper J. Asadi, that fall meant serving seven years in…

Sometimes you need to fall to get back up; for rapper J. Asadi, that fall meant serving seven years in the prison system — an experience that ultimately gave him a renewed outlook on life. This new outlook has shown him a new way to approach his dream. Currently majoring in Business Administration, and signed to his own Indie label Dark Mafia Entertainment, he’s recently released a dope new LP that walks listeners through his story while dropping psalms filled with unexpectedly powerful inspiration.

The vibrant eight-song project, titled Lazarus Experiment, is an eclectic mix of vibes — albeit with very cohesive soundscapes produced mainly by Steffon Petrovic. All the songs have a message. Nothing is out of place.

The intro “The Invitation” is, in essence, his story, detailing issues with baby mother, his time in the Marines, his time in the box, and above all this overwhelming sense of perseverance. The LP has this overarching theme of scaling adversity, with songs like “Never Fail” and “Undefeated” coming across as the type of records that help listeners through their darkest moments. It’s powerful stuff.

“Spirits” has a different vibe than the other tracks, trading bars with E-Po over this soulful trap infusion, dripping with gem after gem. “My life is far from perfect, but better tha expected,” is one jewel that shone extra bright.

Through the sense of sadness that dwells in the bars of this project, there are rays friends of light beaming from the content. From living through the system and having to readjust his entire life — and see so-called friends for what they truly are — gives this project an overwhelming aura of thoughtful reflection. Lazarus is a Hebrew word that translates to “God has helped,” which is fitting, as this is the type of music that saves lives. Recommended listening.

Early!

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Chris B Skates Past Detractors On New Single “Still Up”

Lake Elsinore, California, native Chris B drops his lyrically scathing new single, “Still Up.” Without knowing the context — there…

Lake Elsinore, California, native Chris B drops his lyrically scathing new single, “Still Up.” Without knowing the context — there are tons of personal jabs, like for Justin who he tells to eat a dick within the first eight bars — the track is overflowing with frustration and energy. “Now that I got my shit together, people hate that I’m so fuckin’ clever,” he raps in the chorus.

In essence, this is an anthem for putting people who are swirling with negative energy pn blast, as you skate past them on your sharp ascent toward bigger and better things — something Chris B, who has been dropping music for the past 18 years, knows all too well.

Doing it entirely on the indie tip, Chris aims to motivate and inspire fans, telling honest stories with his music. The latest single is off of his eight-song Reflection project, which is his follow up to last year’s 4 AM project. Check out the track, below.

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