“Texas artist Kenny Casanova aka Ken Casio is on his way to carving a definitive lane for himself as he continues his musical journey with his upcoming album, Mercury In Water. This 12-song experience has enlisted features and production from WiFiGawd, Tony Seltzer, Popstar Benny, Clayco & more.
The album Mercury in Water is Kenny’s declaration of his existence. It belies a story telling format, walking the listener through vignettes, in no chronological order, that communicate the laws that rule over Kenny’s being. Mercury is a planet associated with communication and is the planet closest to the sun; water is a multidimensional element known for its fluidity and it’s physics-defying properties; Mercury in Water is Kenny’s interpretation of the intercepted culminations of his subconscious brainwaves. In layman’s term, this album is Kenny playing connect the dots with the thoughts that enter, inhabit and frequent his mind.”
Kenny Cassanova stays putting out dope music, so check this one out and spread the word for others to do the same!
Shout out to BigBlackGuyReviews for once again letting me take part in a collaborative review! This one is just as hilarious as part one, so jump on it immediately, drop a like and a comment, and share it around!
Here we are, nearly ten months removed from the death of iconic hip-hop figurehead MF Doom (eight months if you are counting from the date of the death announcement), and many of us are nowhere closer to coming to terms with this monumental loss. To be fair, 2021 has not been easy on hip-hop fans, with Doom‘s passing marking the first of several iconic members of the hip-hop community passing away, but with Doom standing as ‘your favorite MC’s favorite MC’, it will be a long time before the masses are able to move on. That being said, his legend is being kept alive by artists like heir MAX, who recently dropped a video for Exclamation Mark, one of the tracks off of his tributary MAX DOOM Mixtape. The video, directed by Murdered, is a straight-forward affair, with heir MAX dropping his testimonial while donning the MF Doom mask as bits of his fictionalized discovery of the masked interspersed throughout. If you’re a fan of MF Doom, or just someone who respects a proper tribute, then check out the video, leave a like and a comment, and share it with other hip-hop fans and lovers.
If one were to go by the example that the homie EVOLVE has set, then people would collectively have the craziest work ethic ever. If more than a few months goes by and I haven’t seen news of a new EVOLVE project or collaboration, then I know either something is going on in his personal life or he’s incubating another masterpiece, with the second situation being the case more often than not. For Hustler S. Thompson, the self-titled debut for the collaborative project of the same name featuring EVOLVE rapping over the production of Chef Mike and Tommy the Collector, EVOLVE does what he does over a selection of instrumentals from the production duo’s previously released Mr. Brown / Mr. White tape. If you’re familiar with EVOLVE and company, then you’ll already know what you’re getting : headnod-worthy beats showcasing methodical, introspective and sharp lyricism. Cop the album if you have a buck, stream it if not, and tell everyone you know about it either way.
It’s hard to go a day in Austin without running across some creative output that one of my many talented friends put together or were involved in. Recently, my old friend, past college peer and fellow thespian/musician Tricky Jones posted a link to Amphibians, a short film she starred in with Devin Finn, who also shared a directing credit with Drake Howard. For a single location film, the journey is quite the captivating and vivid one, with Jones and Finn turning in performances full of dramatic and emotional range, not to mention some stunning lighting and a visual trick or two that elevates the gravitas of the material outside of the singular location. Writer (and fellow former college peer) Casey Wimpee turns in a wonderfully poetic and ever-evolving script that gives our performers plenty to chew on, and with the dedication credit to Jeremy Torres punctuating the end of the journey, the weight of the entire affair was not lost on me. Don’t sleep on this one… give it a watch, give it a like and a comment, and share it around for all to see!
During a recent DJ set at The Porch, someone stepped up to the booth. This is nothing new, and normally, it’s the signal that someone is about to ask for (or, more often than not, obnoxiously try to force) a request. Luckily though, he just said what’s up and told me he was enjoying the mix. I thanked him and went back to focusing on my mix, as DJ’ng requires much more concentration than the average observer realizes, but he kept going with the conversation attempt. Normally I would feign interest or cut things off so I don’t run into a bad conversation situation, but I let it ride that time, and this is how I met Donja and learned about his music. The catalog was prolific, and much like MAIKÉRU, who I also recently met, Donja sounded seasoned, and he was doing genre-blending music that purposefully stood out from the norm in terms of both quality and approach. His latest single, the super catchy Phone Home, serves as a continuation of the vibe that I was picking up when checking out Donja‘s back catalog, and if you’re unfamiliar with him like I once was, then the single serves as a perfect introductory point. Check out the track on your favorite streaming service, and find Donja on your favorite social media site to stay in the release loop!
By now, you should know the drill when it comes to the Weird Rap Discussion Gang… the conversation topics span the gamut, and the discussions go deep. Recently, I had the pleasure of inviting the homie Protextor to join Th’Mole, Beverly Fre$h and myself for an episode of the Weird Rap Discussion Gang where we focused on concept albums, which are basically albums with some sort of connectivity throughout that attempt to present an idea in a long-form manner. With Dr. Octagonecologyst, Splendor & Misery, Funhouse and Because The Internet on the table, you know that we had a good time, so check out the episode, leave a like and comment your thoughts or favorite concept album, and help spread the word by sharing this episode around!
While I am happy to see so many hip-hop acts in Austin receive props in the press nowadays, it is frustrating to see one or two specific styles dominate the scene. As someone whose age runs essentially directly parallel with hip-hop, I have held on to my so-called ‘backpack’ ways for decades now, and while I have learned to adjust to a mind-state where I can be more open-minded and accepting in regards to new sounds and styles, I can’t allow my love for boom-bap hip-hop to fade. Maybe that’s why I’ve been super hype for AUX CUTTER, the debut self-titled album from the trio of Ben Buck, Nate thee Great and producer Shadowboxin. AUX CUTTER is clearly not hear to play games… the album hits hard and is relentless from front to back, with the lyrical energy easily matching the pounding and intense production. Come year’s end, don’t be surprised if you see this near the top of many lists. Do yourself a favor and get hip early, and if you’re feeling it in any capacity, tell your people to follow suit.
If my blog had a common theme, it would likely be ‘talented peers’, as I often find myself amazed at how many truly gifted individuals I can consider friends and acquaintances. Case in point, my friend Kayleigh : she is a talented singer and musician who has been part of a number of bands and collectives in the central Texas area, and recently, she took a moment out of her day to film a quick performance of Mac DeMarco‘s Chamber of Reflection. With just her voice and her guitar work, she is able to create a moving and chilling experience, so if you find yourself curious, take a moment to watch, like and comment if it moves you to do so, and share it around for all to see.
Getting to know the new homie Maikéru has been one of the true highlights of 2021. I’ve met a lot of creative people in the central Texas area, but there’s something about Maikéru‘s poise and polish that makes it feel like he’s doing what he was truly born to do. Recently, SYN SESSIONS showcased Maikéru singing YIPPEEKIYAY with acoustic accompaniment by Eric G of Kid Brothers, and while seeing Maikéru with full production is on some other ish, seeing this performance in such an intimate and stripped down presentation is equally powerful. Take a few minutes to dig it, and if it moves you, hit the like button, leave a comment, and share it with someone you care about.