Roundtable Discussion :: CHHK Drops ‘CYPHER 2’

It’s getting to be that time of year now that normalcy is creeping back into play, and that time is cypher season.  As always, the College of Hip-Hop Knowledge (or CHHK) never misses an opportunity to show what they can do as a collective, and CYPHER 2 serves two purposes : an introduction for recent CHHK addition Ative, and a refresher course on standing members SillCasino ATXBig MicMic Trey and Big Tree #4Real.  The entire crew gets the setup from DJ Berlin prior to making quick but efficient work of a beat provided by Jinx.  Thanks to Caveman Films, we get to enjoy the CHHK adding another visual chapter to their quickly growing history, so if you’re digging what the crew is spitting, don’t hesitate to leave a like, comment the line that got you, and share the vid around to run the numbers up!

-chief

Vision Questing :: Kae Astra Releases Impressive And Inspiring Video For ‘Grow’

As the masses collectively emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic in an attempt to find footing in our ‘new normal’, it’s good to see expressive, boundary-pushing artists like Kae Astra emerging with an inspirational message.  Kae Astra is no stranger to visually dynamic and engaging presentations, but Grow hits a little differently in the way that it presents us with a symbolic analogy about discovery in isolation.  The song is as upbeat as it is lush, which matches the haunting visuals that literally find Kae Astra learning about herself with assistance from projected versions of herself out in the midst of the desert.  Thanks to the work of director HM and crew, Kae Astra‘s beautiful song has been transformed into a beautifully cinematic video that is sure to leave an impression on all that discover it.  If you dig it, leave a like and a comment before you share it with anyone else you feel might dig it.

-chief

Summer Shades :: Maikéru Sets Off Summer With ‘PASTEL – EP’

In the short time that I’ve known Maikéru, I’ve been most impressed by the composure and thought that goes behind his releases.  The run of impressive work continues with PASTEL – EP, a collection of varied tracks meant to get everyone in the mood for the first summer post-COVID-19.  From the upbeat braggadocio of PHOTOSHOOT to the somber vulnerability of POOLSIDEBLUES, the range that Maikéru is able to provide in such a short amount of time is inspiring.  As a bonus, we even get a streamlined version of LEGENDSONLY, one of the signature songs in the Maikéru catalog.  Definitely don’t sleep on this one.

-chief

Dripped Out :: Poolboi Blu Strikes Again With ‘Designer Only’

If most artists had dropped an album within the last two months and another addition to an ongoing mixtape series in the last two weeks, they’d be content with the level of output they achieved, but then, poolboi blu isn’t most artists.  I know the homie is always working on something, so it comes as no surprise that poolboi blu had Designer Only waiting in the wings, a new single breaking down his penchant for dressing fly and getting lifted.  As always, I continue to stay impressed with each release and the growth that is shown, and this time around it’s clear that poolboi blu‘s confidence is pretty much right where it needs to be to succeed in a game full of fly-by-night acts.  I shouldn’t even have to sell folks on poolboi blu anymore… it should be automatic at this point that whenever you see him drop, you purchase, download, stream and all that good stuff.

-chief

Tagging In :: Chief And TheDoomsdayDevice Feels In Last Minute With DJ Set For The Weird Rap Radio Show

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… the opportunities I’ve gotten as a part of the Weird Rap collective have been extremely fun and fulfilling.  With the creation of The Weird Rap Radio Show, many of the artists and creatives connected to the Weird Rap crew have gotten a chance to share music they dig, and I was scheduled for a July set.  Me being the DJ that I’ve been for decades, I knocked out my set weeks ago in anticipation of making sure I was putting my best foot forward.  As the people say, “the best ability is availability”, and my availability came into play when a scheduled set suddenly fell through this weekend.  The call came through to me, and I was able to fill in with little to no notice.  The set is now on Mixcloud, so check it out above, and tune in to SPAZradio every Sunday evening for the live airing of The Weird Rap Radio Show.

-chief

Party Restarter :: Poolboi Blu Returns To Form With Release Of ‘Sincere (Volume 015)’ Mix

A lot of us had momentum going in different areas prior to the sudden and shocking pandemic-based shutdown caused by COVID-19, and one of my favorite examples of this was poolboi blu‘s instantly classic mix series s i n c e r e R A D I O.  You’d think that with the world shutdown, the series would continue (if not gain traction), but instead, poolboi blu seemingly turned his DJ focus towards Twitch streams in order to hold (and grow) his audience.  Now that some version of normalcy seems to be making its way slowly into our collective lives, it makes since that poolboi blu would lace us with sincere (volume 015), an instrumental-heavy affair that showcases his growth as a DJ.  Here’s a quick tracklist : 

 

You already know the drill… check it out, leave likes and comments, and spread the mix around for everyone to enjoy.

-chief

Next Level :: Kendra Sells Spreads Her Wings With ‘All In Your Head’ EP Release

Here’s a little truth about All In Your Head straight from the Kendra Sells Bandcamp page : 

“As Kendra‘s debut foray into DIY production and solo work, All In Your Head is concerned with advocacy: how does one advocate for themselves in a world where your inner circle and daily interactions can be less than ideal, less than healing?  Who ultimately grants the time for rest, reflection, understanding, and celebration?  Across a varied and twisted landscape that tackles unease with artistry and anxiety with tenderness, Kendra‘s debut EP acknowledges the hurdles that exist when mentally and emotionally growing into self-acceptance, and topples them when their blooms finally show.”
James Cassar

“True to the title and the project’s sketchbook collage aesthetic, it’s a record that puts [Kendra] Sells more in touch with their musical impulses; keep the jazz scat singing, but replace the full band grooves with bedroom pop beats, and there’s nothing to stop her from swerving on a dime, flipping the vibe of a song at the speed of thought.  Take the singles, which pull Sells in wildly different directions–from twinkling chimes and effervescent synths on the pop gem Call Me When Ur Dead to jagged guitars on Wondering//Bad Doctorzz‘ a rocking critique of the healthcare industry that twists, turns, and gathers steam as Sells gets more and more righteously fired up.  Each track comes with at least one beat switch of its own, and the EP culminates in a multi-part title track, a survey of her unleashed imagination and captivating voice.”

I’ve always been a fan of Kendra‘s bold approach to her singing, songwriting and performing, and I feel that All In Your Head is a major step in not only capturing all of those aspects in a project, but in displaying aspects of her personality that may have not have previously shone through in her collaborative efforts with BluMoon.  Long story short, if you’re looking for something new and inspiring, hop on this project immediately via whatever your favorite streaming service or digital storefront may be, and make sure your friends do the same.

-chief

Revolution Rock :: Acclimated Assassin Goes Heavy Soul With ‘I Call This Place Home’

I put on I Call This Place Home, Acclimated Assassin‘s brand new release, this morning while driving to work.  I was immediately moved by the samples from Punishment Park (a personal favorite underground film of mine), and I knew I was in for something not only moving, but timely (and in an ironically bittersweet way when the subject matter is considered, timeless).  I was formulating a bunch of eloquent words, but then I took a look at the description that Acclimated Assassin provided for the project, and I felt those words to be more appropriate : 

“One part dystopian world one part modern day America.  That’s what invoked the production and direction on Acclimated Assassin‘s newest beat tape.  I Call This Place Home is a look at what plagues the world, with many of the beats on this tape crafted after watching the film Punishment Park and being reminded of the many issues this country faces.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself.  There are plenty of merch options for this release, so support if you can, but spread the word about this one regardless, because it deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.

-chief

Double Feature :: Chief And TheDoomsdayDevice Drops A Duo Of Film-Based YouTube Videos

Recently, the homie Big Black Guy Reviews and myself decided to tackle a review of the Richard Pryor classic Bustin’ Loose in the wake of Cicely Tyson‘s passing.  Ironically, what started as a quick examination of a seemingly light-hearted Pryor offering not only sent us down a number of rabbit holes, but ended up taking so long that it became bookended by the passing of Richard Pryor collaborator and friend Paul Mooney… and once you hit the end of the video, you’ll realize the madness is far from done.

With that collaboration under the belt, not to mention a number of projects outside of the film realm being wrapped up or nearing completion, I turned my attention back to the DOOMonFILM YouTube channel and decided to produce a re-entry video of sorts.  Rather than jumping headlong back into some crazy observation or theory video, I decided it might be beneficial to share a short list of films that I currently would hold as my top ten, and thus, my latest DOOMonFILM entry was created : 

If you enjoy either of the videos (or maybe even both), then like them up, comment then up and share them around! If you’re really into what we’re putting down, then don’t hesitate to subscribe to Big Black Guy ReviewsYouTube channel and DOOMonFILM, and as always, support your local and independent creatives!

-chief

Reel Rap :: DotdotDotdotDotdot Drops A Bomb With ‘From Russia With Drugs’

When the homie DotdotDotdotDotdot hit me up super excited with a sneak preview of his upcoming opus From Russia With Drugs, I got excited myself.  This hypeness came from the fact that referring to any single one of his works as an opus seems redundant, as he never puts anything less than his all into the music he releases.  Still, I was not prepared at all for what From Russia With Drugs held in store for me… DotdotDotdotDotdot took the Prince Paul approach made famous in A Prince Among Thieves and essentially made what equates to an audio movie, and as difficult a task as that is to pull off, my man does a killer job of it.  Thanks to some vocal assistance from Alesia LaniPro Zay and Dray Yard, the project has a range of vocal textures, and with such an intriguing story enhanced by DotdotDotdotDotdot‘s stellar wordplay, this is a project you’d be foolish to skip.  Dig this one and dig it good.

-chief