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#IndieSpotlight: Vas Leon Impresses With A Deluxe Version Of His Album ‘Krossover’

We shared a record with you late last year by a London artist by the name of Vas Leon. What’s…

We shared a record with you late last year by a London artist by the name of Vas Leon. What’s unique about him is that unlike some of the overseas hype we feature here on the site, Vas has strong ties out here, as a member of the Miami-based collective GTPS. He’s also been [more than] about that tour life, rocking stages across the nation as well as in the UK; he even toured with the highly respected Fat Boy Slim, which gave him a ton of exposure. He dropped his album, Krossover, last September to much acclaim, landing himself on the UK Hip Hop Charts. Recently, though, he dropped a deluxe version of the project, with the addition of five new records. As I missed the train the first trip, this was an excellent opportunity to see what I’ve been missing out on. I pressed play, and here’s what happened.

Off the jump, the project–which is entire self-produced BTW–has a very epic grandeur about it. From the opening bars, “if they tell me no, then I say why” you get the sense that Vas is all in. This is echoed throughout all 19 tracks; it’s a long listen, but it doesn’t feel that way. Like a Peter Jackson film. He moonwalks through two overarching themes that steer the vibe of the project, love and proving people wrong. He kind of attacks the first idea from multiple angles, like “The Vibe,” which plays like a lyrical promise ring to the most important woman in his life. Then, in an almost opposite stance, he proclaims that he’s still “A Player For Life,” but willing to change. He also takes a third-party/advisory role on the “Problems Interlude.”

#IndieSpotlight: Vas Leon Impresses With A Deluxe Version Of His Album 'Krossover'
Vas Leon

The new records available on this deluxe version–for the most part– were my favorite records on the project. His literal crossover appeal is evident, and he speaks at lengths about it throughout numerous tracks, but he has bars; on the second track, “Lyrical Slaughter,” he describes it as having “two minds.” On the come up record, “My Life,” he drops gems like “no homo, but this song is like a mandate,” amidst a declaration of how he put his all into this music. My two absolute highlights, though, are the single/video, “I’m Reborn,” which is a theme song of a grinder/dreamer, and “Away,” a relatable record about a lost love that he still can’t quite come to terms with.

Overall, the record is an incredibly strong effort–and that’s without the deluxe version songs. All the hype I’ve heard/seen seems to have been justified. Krossover does a great job of taking UK grime/aesthetic and making it universally relatable and digestible. If you’ve been sleeping, wake up!

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: Reíne Imoan Sets The Tone With Her Soulful Debut “Soul Sista”

Long Island, New York, singer Reíne Imoan is about to make a splash in 2019 with her debut VWR. Her…

Long Island, New York, singer Reíne Imoan is about to make a splash in 2019 with her debut VWR. Her first official single “Soul Sista” produced by Shepard X is out now — and as Imoan recounts to AAHH, the track was fun to create. “It was made off of groove and straight vibes … brings me back to the late 90’s early 2000’s, which was one of my fave eras of music.

“I remember Shepard X introducing the beat to me with the concept and instantly I started bopping and knew I had to have it,” she continues.

She has always been involved in music — and it all started with her father, who used to play his vast music collection constantly. “From Roots Reggae to R&B soul every Sunday dinner,” she recalls with a smile.

“I remember singing the first verse I ever wrote to my friends and they hyped me so much,” she says. That push made me want to keep going and see what else I can do. I searched on youtube for beats and just kept writing. I felt it in my heart that this is what I’d be doing for sure.”

All roads have led to her upcoming project, but she’s not rushing anything. “I want to take my time with this one and give people something they can relate and bump to,” she says adding that the collaborations lined up are worth waiting for. I used to rush things because I saw other people putting stuff out … I was just so eager to get out there. But I had to center myself and say Fuck that, take your time and don’t let others make you feel like you have to rush anything. Quality over quantity, always.”

Ultimately, she’s crafting a first impression that she hopes will be great. “I’m working every day and practicing my craft to be one of the best entertainers in the industry. I plan on writing songs for other singers and artist in the industry, along with working with them on projects,” she says, describing her long-term objectives.

“After I drop my EP, I’m going to keep creating and see where the universe lands me. I plan on doing lots of performances this year and putting myself out there. Later in my career, I plan on dabbling into acting — another art that I’ve always enjoyed. When God gives you a talent, I believe you have to share it with the world.”

Check out her debut single, “Soul Sista,” below.

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Honor Flow Productions’ “The B.L.A.C.K. Odyssey” Is An Eclectic Trip Worth Taking

Los Angeles, California, trio Honor Flow Productions embody that classic formula of rapper/DJ crews. Reminiscent — if only in actual…

Los Angeles, California, trio Honor Flow Productions embody that classic formula of rapper/DJ crews. Reminiscent — if only in actual make-up — of fellow LA crew Dilated Peoples mashed up with a sensibility of a squad like RUN DMC, they managed to create this unique vibe that sounds like Tribe Called Quest and Digable Planets melded together then moved to the West Coast to drop a new album.

Their latest LP The B.L.A.C.K. Odyssey is a unique journey and collective piece of artwork that bobs and weaves its way through vibes while maintaining an honest, down to earth, and relatable train of thought that was an absolute pleasure for our staff to follow along.

 
The 16-song efforts — whose title is an acronym for Beyond Light Years Away Carrying Knowledge — also features some of the best up-and-coming artists bubbling under the radar in the LA scene, which HFP have collectively dubbed “The B.L.A.C.K. Odyssey Players.” To support the project, they’ve released videos for two of the singles, “Alright” and “@ The Speed Of Light.”

Check those out, below, and be sure to give the LP a spin.
 

 

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#IndieSpotlight: Getting To Know Provincetown Artist Silas Luster

This week, we’re introducing you to Provincetown, Massachusetts, native Silas Luster — a filmmaker and hip-hop artist, who’s part of…

This week, we’re introducing you to Provincetown, Massachusetts, native Silas Luster — a filmmaker and hip-hop artist, who’s part of a bubbling creative collective called The BuLife. “I make music that is true to me,” he tells AAHH. “The inspiration from my everyday life, where I’m from, and what I’ve experienced so far in my life goes into music … it’s real and it’s vulnerable.”

“There is content and emotion only my close friends know, things that I don’t like to speak on, that I put in my music,” he adds.

We initially got into Silas over the holidays after he floated me a visual for a “ZeZe” freestyle, that had this hard to explain flow that had us intrigued. We uncovered lots of quality stuff while digging around.

“I like to show people a different perspective,” he says. “I know my sound is different, my story has layers to it … if you give my music a little effort, you will understand my dedication and the depth in my artwork.”

 
Silas has been making both films and music since a youngster — messing around with a camera and whatever recording program he could get his hands on back in high school. “I took it more serious around 2014,” he explains. That’s when I linked with @RichmondVisionStudio and really started locking in the studio recording.

To date, he’s released one solo mixtape, Frick It, and a few mixtapes with the BuLife collective: The Rosenhan Experiment, Cape Tippin, and The Nor’Easter Tape. Most recently, they dropped last year’s Beauty of the Day.

 
Right now though, it’s all about Silas and his solo flex. “I’m working on my EP which will be fully produced by my homie TMAC [droppin in March]. I’m also always working on different music videos, films and my debut album.”

Having independently toured the North East with BuLife, he’s looking forward to locking down a couple dates for the near future — on top of just stacking up music. “We working,” he says. “A lot of music, visuals, shows, and creative content coming in 2019. Look out for us. BuLife!”

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Last ‘On The Cusp’ Playlist Of 2018

On The Cusp is a living playlist dedicated to showcasing the buzzing new music on our radar — as curated…

On The Cusp is a living playlist dedicated to showcasing the buzzing new music on our radar — as curated by our writer Riley Wallace. For all inquiries and submissions, hit up the playlist’s official Twitter feed.

This week’s cover artist is EverythigOShaun.

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