Mob Deep :: Ben Al And Friends Wax Poetic On ‘The Real’

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There’s something about a good hip-hop song that is majorly enhanced when guests MCs jump on… especially if everyone brings their A-game.  That is most certainly the case with The Real, a recent Ben Al and Iso collaboration with a who’s who of guest MCs invited to the track : Read RichartsLace TunesMarcus JDdotElles and Karma Jones all bless this banger with top notch bars.  I’m feeling bad because I already turned in my Best of the Year 2017 list for OVRLD, and had I heard this prior to forming that list, this track would have made it hands down.  Consolation prize?  Regardless, check this one out, heart it, comment on the track, and help boost those play numbers, because Austin deserves the chance for it’s dopeness to shine.

-chief

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Real Talk :: Alesia Lani, G-Jet And DVZN Media Bring ‘Intentions’ To Life

2017 has been all about putting in work and building towards big moves for Alesia Lani.  She’s been putting in work in the studio and on the promotional fronts, and the music video release/rollout of Intentions shows this.  When this collaboration with G-Jet (produced by Jon Deas) first hit Soundcloud, it definitely got some attention, and it showed a bit of growth and edge emerging in Alesia Lani‘s music.  Add a bit of DVZN Media‘s visual magic, and some choreography courtesy of Michelle Gomez that has me getting Aaliyah vibes, and you’ve got a money music video.  Big ups to Alesia Lani and her whole team on the moves being made.

Someone really needs to put together a music video reel for Austin 2017, because the output has been stellar on all genre fronts.

-chief

Insomniac’s Night :: Virgil Wolfe Releases ‘Before The World Wakes Up’

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Not many MCs straddle the line between confidence and humility better than Virgil Wolfe.  The Baytown resident is known for dropping extremely thought provoking, and sometimes coded, lyrics in a manner so laid back that much of the information may be missed through the first listen or two.  Before The World Wakes Up is a project that revels in that realm.  A unifying double-theme of putting in work while everyone is sleeping and being ‘woke’ in the midst of the oblivious is executed masterfully.  Production duties were handled mostly by Calamity, with Virgil Wolfe handling the beatsmithing on Donahue.  This one is definitely dope, and perfectly placed in terms of release date to make me rethink my whole Best of 2017 standings for the homies.

-chief

Money Rotation :: Clova Brings A Crew For ‘Bandz’ Music Video

Clova just made the blog about a week ago, but you know how you’ve gotta do it in this rap game… hit folks again quick, and hit them harder than you did the last time.  Bandz finds Clova trading bars with some hard hitters in the Austin scene.  SertifiedGeeweezy and Domincan Jay all drop the science on keep stacked up.  The Real Chino comes through with a rock solid video, yet another one in a year full of wonderful Austin-based video output.  Here’s to hoping that 2018 can even hold a candle to what a wonderfully creative year 2017 has been for Austin rap, hip-hop and music in general.

-chief

Family Ties :: Emcee Eats Drops Knowledge On ‘Connect To Kin’

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It’s another one from Emcee Eats, and this time he’s taken a classic underground beat (props if you can name it) and repurposed it into a tale about understanding the power of lineage.  Connect to kin is a call for listeners to embrace the fact that blood is thicker than water, and to make sure that time is spent with those that should matter most to you.  With the holidays rapidly approaching, that’s a message we should all take to heart, so props on Emcee Eats for addressing it with the urgency needed.

-chief

Curating Culture :: Faylita Hicks, Arrondi Creative Productions, Ripple Market And Much More

Poet, songwriter and photographer Faylita Hicks has always had vision.  Over the past year or two, I have watched her become inspired, crystallize her vision into the formation of Arrondi Creative Productions, and slowly make headway towards unification of the artists and businesspeople of San Marcos.  With events like The Ripple Market and more becoming regular installations in the scene, the hope for artists to be able to make a living wage in this creative oasis is slowly turning from dream to reality.  Be sure to support Faylita HicksSplash Coworkings, and all of the creative endeavors that exist and are sure to come.

-chief

Hidden Gems :: Discovering Xela, ‘Eleventh’ And Much More

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One of the handful of life transitions into this daily blogger realm involved having to dedicate time to Facebook and the rest of the social media info-storm that I have now become a part of.  The silver lining, however, is the development of a quick and keen eye when it comes to discovering content.

For example, while combing through my timeline yesterday, I noticed a post from the homie Evolve1980 stating that he had exhausted his treasure trove of production and needed more, because he’s ALWAYS writing.  The first comment was a link to an album titled Eleventh by an artist named Xela.  I clicked, and man oh man, am I glad that I did.  Eleventh, on its own, held my attention just fine.  The beats are well crafted, diverse, and hold their own as instrumental tracks.  It was the discovery that Eleventh was the representation of a monthly beat series that Xela started in February that was the real win.  I have not yet listened to First through Tenth, but it is on my list of things to do immediately, with my end of the year lists rapidly approaching.

Discoveries like the Xela catalog are extremely inspirational.  Always stay working, and always stay creating.  You never know who out there is recognizing what you’re doing.

-chief