Category Archives: Spotlight

Artists of all varieties that I know and work with.

Statement Raps :: Levi Deadman and MaxMilly Talk Culture On ‘Dead Wrong’

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Austin-based artist Levi Deadman is one of many who finds himself at an impasse due to the cultural divide that hip-hop currently faces.  On the one hand, in hip-hop almost more so than any other genre, change is inevitable.  On the other hand, we cannot let that change be at the expense of the foundations that have been laid.  With that in mind, Levi Deadman and MaxMilly found a way to have a foot in both worlds without having to give an inch for their stance or in regards to how they feel about the culture.  MaxMilly drops a hook that many of the young guns would kill for, while Levi Deadman drops a style reminiscent of the popular late-1990s Midwest flow that artists like Twista and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony made popular, all over a bone-chilling track that is equal parts horror score and hip-hop banger.  This is how you can make a statement without causing a further divide, and for that, I must give Levi Deadman all the props he deserves.

-chief

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Ripple Effect :: Ben Buck Making Waves With ‘McNasty Was Here’ Video

Ben Buck most certainly embodies the Austin aesthetic, and his video for McNasty Was Here cuts right to the heart of that matter with its two main elements : weirdness and live music.  Director Gravy Jones cuts between live footage and material that looks like B-roll from a skate video to perfectly capture what a day in the life of Ben Buck must feel like.  I’m not the man, so I can’t speak for him, but to my knowledge, most days entail kicking it with his crew, being creative, making music, and whenever the chance affords it, jumping on stage to further the legend.  Definitely check out the video, give it a like and a share, and leave a comment for support!

-chief

Natural Mystic :: BlackLight Goes On A Vision Quest For ‘Woah!’ Video

BlackLight has been on a very public and heartfelt journey to better his craft on all levels, both creatively and as a man, and it has been a very inspirational journey to watch.  Aside from the public works and songwriting that he does, he’s delved into the world of visual production as well, and a significant point in the growth was marked by a pair of music videos : Crying AF, which was previously covered on this blog, and Woah!, a slightly heavier allusion to the journey on which BlackLight was about to partake.  The video shows him symbolically (and, at a certain point, literally) stepping outside of himself to explore his life, journey and choices from a number of different angles, all with the help of a mystic woman and some time spent alone in nature.  The video has a wonderful DIY ethic, but it still manages to have a deep enough psychedelic aesthetic to make its point clear and concise.  I am definitely looking forward to what future creations BlackLight has in store, as he’s mentioned that he’s cooking up a couple of projects that promise to entertain to maximum potential.

-chief

Throwback Vibes :: PNTHN’s ‘Megatron’ Video

PNTHN is back at it again, which is a good thing, because their music video game has been strong since day one.  For Megatron, the crew goes for an older vibe, dusting off the late 1990’s aesthetic to the fullest.  All of the earmarks are there : donuts in the parking lot, rapping in an abandoned warehouse, fire in a barrel, dutch angles, tons of crew, and even aged video all add to the quality and feel of a song with strong energy as a foundation.  Henriques definitely did his thing visually, and PNTHN did what they do, making the result one that speaks for itself.  Dope, for sure, and has me ready for more.

-chief

Dark Arts :: Gain Gang Connects With Sertified And Pirscription For ‘Voodoo’

Gain Gang, the ‘national beat store for rappers’, just hooked up with Texas rappers Sertified and Pirscription for Voodoo, an extremely moody banger with subtle allusions to both flexing and mysticism, all cleverly intertwined with a music video that shows growth for the artists involved.  Elements of clairvoyance and voodoo (of course) permeate the video, especially in the extremely well-lit tarot and crystal ball sequences.  Add in the blunts, gold teeth and Texas flavor, and you’ve got a familiar foundation with a fresh twist on the top.  Good stuff all around.

-chief

True Foundations :: ImYoungin Talks Real On ‘Change Up’

Life is full of odd behavior and second guessing, and it’s crystal clear that ImYoungin understands that to the fullest.  Change Up, his latest music video, is a focus on staying real to yourself, embracing your come up, and navigating the mine field that is jealousy and envy at your success (and/or others’ lack of success).  ImYoungin avoids the cliches of fancy sets and big money objects, instead opting to keep he and his daughter looking fresh while hanging out in the neighborhood, possibly as a testament to show how he will always support those that show support back.  The track hits hard, ImYoungin effortlessly switches between a mellow hook and blistering verses, and the video is full of images that would make even the most heartless cat on the street stop and smile for a second.  Check out the vid, give it a like and a share, and leave a comment… and as always, support local!

-chief

Master Mentality :: Curbside Jones Laces Us Up Quick With ‘Lupin’

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Curbside Jones, possibly more so than any other Texas hip-hop artist, continually finds ways to reinvent himself and sound fresh while keeping a signature feel to his sound.  On his latest drop, the Lupin single pack, Jones offers up a quick banger with clever wordplay and a methodical track with some weight to it, and as a bonus, he gives an acapella for anyone wanting to mix (or possibly remix) things up.  Even the cover has a flare and style of its own while simultaneously mirroring the aesthetic of classic jazz albums.  For a buck, what have you got to lose?

-chief