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Twondon Drops Anticipated EP ‘Paradise Isn’t Free’

“TwonDon continues to show and prove that he refuses to die a “nobody.” He plans to work hard until reaching…

“TwonDon continues to show and prove that he refuses to die a “nobody.” He plans to work hard until reaching a point (paradise) where he can reap the fruits of his labor. Unfortunately, Paradise Isn’t Free.”

Baby Twon floating in a sea full of big bucks, expensive car keys, a rollie, a girl’s number, and note that reads “R.I.P Kenny,” are all ingredients that create this eye-catching cover-art to Paradise Isn’t Free by New Jersey rapper TwonDon (artwork by @KoyoDesigns). This symbolic cover art also gives clues to what this EP might entail right away.  This EP tells a story from beginning to end–taking you through the motions of feeling dispirited, zealous, grievous, motivated, proud, and whatever other emotions that triggers within you. Coincidently, I found myself listening to this EP on a Thursday evening after a discouraging day of work, and after hearing the last track ‘Successful” I was fueled with confidence for the rest of the night. With no TV or phone distracting me (besides a few tweets sharing how fire some tracks were), TwonDon and I vibed out song for song via SoundCloud.

As soon as I heard the intro begin with a reversed melody looping in the background, I grabbed my pen and paper and began breaking down this EP. With the excitement and anticipation revolving around this project, it was only right that the writer within me shared this EP through my own interpretations. With the masterminds of John Sparkz and Frankie Metalz, it is clear that this EP was well thought-out and created. Take a listen to each song as I break down the latest EP, Paradise Isn’t Free from well endowed rapper, TwonDon.

Track 1– Paradise Ave

Begins with high-energy, reversed-powerful vocals played in the background–it sounds like struggle mended into a beautiful melody. I called this song the breaking free song because TwonDon speaks on “birthing a new nation”–shaping a new idea of what it means to reach paradise. Twon mentions heavy lines like, “Holy water, I bathed in it” and “40 acres and my reparations, because my n*ggas slaving. TwonDon is demanding his respect and calling for his hardwork to finally pay off. Twon in some ways, paints images through his lyrics, of what his paradise should be like.

Track 2– My City (201)

This track embodies the idea of putting on for where you come from. TwonDon drops the line, “I can make a mil without a scholarship..” and hailing from the urban parts of the east coast (Jersey), it isn’t hard to understand what Twon means by that line. Being a part of an urban environment, you are forced to work harder than most to reach “paradise.” TwonDon even name-drops Max B and Pimp C, (two well-respected rappers), who have concretized their environments, and what it means to be hood-rich and stunt. TwonDon repeats, “Everything I do be for my city” and it is clear that he understands the necessity to pay homage to the place that made you.

Track 3 Jennifer’s Song

The recognizable melody “Do you mind if I stroke you down, I don’t mind” by classic R&B group Changing Faces, over a more up-tempo beat, sets a totally different tone for Paradise Isn’t Free. With TwonDon coming in with his most salacious sound yet, he serenades the beat with quotable lines like, “Promise you’ll get it as long as I get it, get it in all through the night.” Twon definitely shows his grown and sexy side by portraying his ability to wear his heart on his sleeve, and pursue a woman. ‘Jennifer’s Song’ makes me believe there is some connection to the phone number written on a note, on the cover art of this EP. Maybe Twon can’t envision his paradise without a lovely lady by his side?

Track 4– Black Bar Mitzvah featuring Dessy Hinds (Pro Era)

We already cracked the inside scoop on this phenomenal track weeks ago. Click here to find out what we thought about ‘Black Bar Mitzvah

Track 5 – Lately

In 2017 it isn’t common to call out “fake love” when you see it (thanks to Drake). Twon is unapologetically claiming his spot in this one with hard-hitting lines like “Fake love is all they show” and “Marshall Law, bring it to n*ggas door.” TwonDon lets it be known that he will not be slept on, and will work hard to claim a spot in “paradise,” (even with it’s price). Mentioning Marshall Law is a heavy metaphor–Twon isn’t playing with letting the world know who he is, even if that means taking over the game with a new order. Lines like “Sat with God, wrote my fate” solidifies that Twon believes that through faith and himself, his destiny is ineveitable.

Track 6Supreme featuring JAG

Now this here is the IDGAF track. Twon’s energy is high and consistent throughout his entire verse. This track is up-tempo and raw to the point where you need to let that bitch breathe. Twon comes in crazy with lines like “Told me to pick Malcolm or Martin, I’ll pick the balcony later”–showing that he’s not here to play nice when it comes to leaving his footprints in the game. TwonDon is gifted in showing the rawness and versatility of his lyricism and content–he has great control over his energy and tonality. The beat slightly changes and becomes more gory as JAG comes in throwing crazy metaphors that may go over your head at first, but makes you chuckle as well. JAG’s style of rap is distinctly different from Twon’s, but they both portray confidence over cockiness, in their own right.

Track 7– Successful

Connecting to the style of the first track ‘Paradise Ave,’– ‘Succesful’ comes in with a mellow-subtle voice singing in the background, reversed. This time sounding more euphoric and relieved in a way, this song gives the listener an immediate feeling of  resilience. The title ‘Successful’ couldn’t speak more clearly to what the track is about. Every lined rapped makes you feel that you still have a chance at success no matter where you come from, or what you are going through. “The journey to your dreams can have you feeling stressful, but we just dying to be successful.” Twon mentions the obstacles he overcame, as well as close friends, and how he kept believing in himself, and instilling drive in others. After listening to ‘Successful’ it is likely to feel inspired and determined to beat the odds. Twon makes it clear that his success will be a “paradise” that is created especially for him. He may have to pay the price of being judged, losing friendships, being hated on, and staying true to himself when others make him feel other wise, but in all, it may be a price that has to be paid.

TwonDon continues to show and prove that he refuses to die a “nobody.” He plans to work hard until reaching a point (paradise) where he can reap the fruits of his labor. Unfortunately, Paradise Isn’t Free.

Paradise Isn’t Free available now on Soundcloud, iTunes, and Spotify!

Follow TwonDon on Social Media @TWONDONUC

Listening party for Paradise Isn’t Free EP is set to take place June 3rd, 2017, in Newark, NJ at secret location via @WolfJuiceShop. Hit up Wolf to RSVP!

Amber Corrine or call me AC, (its fine) lol. YouTube personality| videographer-singer-writer-photographer. I like to dabble in all kinds of media. I am a two-time college grad and I run my own beauty&lifestyle website www.ambercorrine.com
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#IndieSpotlight: Dough the Freshkids’ ‘Black Rome’ Is A Buzzworthy Slice Of Hip Hop Goodness

There have been many eras in Hip Hop, but none as forgotten as the Nubian era, which was characterized by…

There have been many eras in Hip Hop, but none as forgotten as the Nubian era, which was characterized by a heightened sense of knowledge of self and anti-oppressive forces that be. The ironic commercial appeal of empowering groups like Public Enemy or Brand Nubian eventually morphed into the current era where “rap” has become a business move/career choice rather than a voice of the underdog filled with subversive talking points that rival university lectures.

This is what I found so intriguing about the new project Black Rome by Dough the Freshkid — representing Crenshaw, California. The follow up to his free tape Six Shots and released via his independent label Every Penny Count, the 15-song effort is a blend of vibes, ranging from an early millennium G-Unit mixtape structure (see the chorus on “Cookin’”), 90s east coast soundscapes (see “We Rich” with its scratch hook), to deeply reflective contextual content aimed at giving opposing viewpoints to widely accepted “fact.”

 
An example of this is the title track, which focuses on the idea that a false image of “white Jesus” was shaped by artist Leonardo DaVinci. Its execution is reminiscent of similar records, such as “Why Is That” by BDP and “Nature Of The Threat” by Ras Kass. This song could literally be transcribed into an incredibly compelling University level essay.

 
Elsewhere on the record, he traverses themes such as the (historical) political and social-economic climate in the United States (see “God’s Curse” verse two) to gang life in LA. Nothing is ever glorified, and everything comes off as methodically thoughtful. On the track “I See He Blued Up,” he addresses industry Crippin,’ as well as unnecessary killing in the streets. “Man up, out the choppas down and out your hands up,” he raps, pointing to the glorification of needless gun violence.

 
Some of the standouts include the gorgeous instrumental that rides with the top down on “Palm Trees II” featuring Tropic626— which I found myself revisiting quite a few times this week — and the unspoken dopeness of “Still Arlington (1994)” which featured Wee Dogg.

“I never promote crack in my raps, I only promote facts in my raps,” he implores as the project comes to a close with the dramatically honest, autobiographical “Sincerely Me.” Even at its most informative and reflective, Dough manages to make this project an incredibly digestible gem packed with lots of wisdom and great talking points. Worth a spot on your end of year playlist if you’re looking for some undeniable fire that is still creeping under the radar.

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Outside The Box: Discover The Positive World Of Krhazey Whytheycallhimthat

Every once in a while you come across an artist who falls outside the box of industry convention; by that…

Every once in a while you come across an artist who falls outside the box of industry convention; by that I — of course — an artist who doesn’t seem motivated by the basics that have poisoned the soul of the culture. An artist that puts his music first. Brooklyn MC Krhazey Whytheycallhimthat is one of those artists. “A positive change in consciousness has the power to topple barriers almost as easy as a negative change creates them,” he tells AAHH describing his mantra for creating.

If that doesn’t create an immediate sense of urgency for his music, then I don’t know what to tell you.

Off the bat, there is something endearing about his admirable need for not only a purpose but to give back. Early on in his career, he began volunteering his time — and his unique brand of Hip Hop to the 25-year-old Art Start. The program dedicates itself to New York City’s underserved youth, delivering consistent creative workshops inside homeless shelters, alternative to incarceration programs, and partnering youth agencies.

“The program gave me a sense of direction, understanding and a hope for change; real change in myself and my environment,” he says.

 
What I find so cool about his music is the way that it all seems to contrast and compliment itself at the same time. His latest joints are a great example. “Jack Frost” for example has this bouncy ballad behind it, paired with these haunting lyrics that have this almost literal intention of describing this cold-heartedness developed though…well…life. Then there’s “23:5,” which has this almost “Marvin’s Room” feel to it — complete with a call to his ex. But it spirals into this realization that the liquor is a crutch, followed an aggressive assertion of the path before him.

Then the vibe of his latest “Makeda” is a pseudo-love track with hella depth, and again a completely different vibe.

Everything I hear from this kid I like. Even going back to the summer, with his super dope single/video “BTD,” with it’s kind of goofy visual concept.

 
Without being driven by the same old, his music has this certain unspoken originality to it. Even the fact that he rocks an anime-inspired kung-fu headband ends up coming across like DOOM’s mask in a sense. It’s hard not to get into.

And the spirit of giving back, which inspired him to start his own foundation — Young Heroes Undefeated — is an added layer that makes you want to root for him. “We make original comic books for children with special needs and use the profits to send the kids and their families on all expense paid vacations,” he explains of the foundation’s mission.

With a four comic series being released next year — on top of a solo LP and a project from my his Audio Temple — there is a lot to look forward to here. He’ll be launching a kickstarter for his foundation in coming weeks; stay tuned to our Instagram for details on how to support something positive.

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#Indiespotlight: Prototype & Lazarus The Kid’s ”Voicemail” Is A Journey Worth Taking

Duo Prototype & Lazarus The Kid Just dropped a new project, and believe me, it’s worth a spin. On a…

Duo Prototype & Lazarus The Kid Just dropped a new project, and believe me, it’s worth a spin. On a rainy day, I rode around giving this one a fair shake and was taken for more of a journey than I expected. 

The concise EP is immensely musical, with these lush, expansive musical landscapes for Prototype to literally bleed his heart out upon; there is no hyperbole in the emotion packed within these five tracks. Atop soulful samples, energetic drum patterns, and pretty piano keys, there’s a sense of loss and sadness that lingers amongst the celebration and assertion of the dream chase. 

Immediately on the heartfelt “Color,” we’re introduced to demise of a powerful relationship in Prototypes life — one which he gave his all to, and once thought would possibly end in marriage. It’s a loss that is later encapsulated with an emotionally charged piano interlude brimming with a heavy-hearted sense of despair. 

There’s also the loss of Jason Kalinga, who is actually featured “Simba.” The second verse of “Better Way” is a letter to his lost friend, who was another powerful figure in his life.

Amongst the deep moments standing as an endearing open book into his world, there is an incredible sense of confidence; Prototype is chasing the vision in his head — and it’s hard to imagine anyone attempting to detract him from his vision after taking in this project. 

Ending off with the crown jewel, “November 15,” Prototype & Lazarus The Kid position themselves as exciting artists putting out music with not only a purpose  but a strong sense of its emotional connection. They know what they’re doing, and it’s something that hinges more on the artistic merit side of things than the trendy shit. This isn’t for cool points, it’s a therapeutic listen made for longevity. This is a catalog worth keeping an eye on.

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#IndieSpotlight, Main

#Indiespotlight: Prototype & Lazarus The Kid’s ”Voicemail” Is A Journey Worth Taking

Duo Prototype & Lazarus The Kid Just dropped a new project, and believe me, it’s worth a spin. On a…

Duo Prototype & Lazarus The Kid Just dropped a new project, and believe me, it’s worth a spin. On a rainy day, I rode around giving this one a fair shake and was taken for more of a journey than I expected. 

The concise EP is immensely musical, with these lush, expansive musical landscapes for Prototype to literally bleed his heart out upon; there is no hyperbole in the emotion packed within these five tracks. Atop soulful samples, energetic drum patterns, and pretty piano keys, there’s a sense of loss and sadness that lingers amongst the celebration and assertion of the dream chase. 

Immediately on the heartfelt “Color,” we’re introduced to demise of a powerful relationship in Prototypes life — one which he gave his all to, and once thought would possibly end in marriage. It’s a loss that is later encapsulated with an emotionally charged piano interlude brimming with a heavy-hearted sense of despair. 

There’s also the loss of Jason Kalinga, who is actually featured “Simba.” The second verse of “Better Way” is a letter to his lost friend, who was another powerful figure in his life.

Amongst the deep moments standing as an endearing open book into his world, there is an incredible sense of confidence; Prototype is chasing the vision in his head — and it’s hard to imagine anyone attempting to detract him from his vision after taking in this project. 

Ending off with the crown jewel, “November 15,” Prototype & Lazarus The Kid position themselves as exciting artists putting out music with not only a purpose  but a strong sense of its emotional connection. They know what they’re doing, and it’s something that hinges more on the artistic merit side of things than the trendy shit. This isn’t for cool points, it’s a therapeutic listen made for longevity. This is a catalog worth keeping an eye on.

Continue Reading
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