Street Wise :: T$O, Eric Dingus And Grind Life Films Connect For ‘Nevermind’

The Austin hip-hop scene, since day one, has been a diverse one.  For every backpack lyricists or abstract thinker’s rapper, you’ll find a street-wise, school of hard knocks rapper counterpart.  Recently, the homie Dominican Jay posted a video for Nevermind from Austin-based T$0, and it definitely caught my attention in terms of that street vibe.  The prolific Eric Dingus provides the production assist for the onslaught of bars, and the always on point team at Grind Life Films dropped a heavy dose of dope aesthetic touches on straightforward performance and candid footage.  There’s no need for extra flare or thrills on this one… this is hard hitting product for heads that can deal with the real.  You know the drill… likes, comments, shares and support are always welcome to our local creatives.

-chief

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Root Down :: Deano Coate Turns Travels in Guinea, West Africa To ‘Conakry’

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Deano Cote, integral member to Fort NeverNGHT HCKLRS and Blastfamous USA, is quite the accomplished musician and interesting individual in his own right.  During a recent trip to GuineaWest AfricaCote took the opportunity to gather field recordings that sparked his interest during the journey.  Upon his return to the states, he took these elements, and combined with his own original production, Conakry was born.  The project is an embrace of rhythm, the drums, naturally soulful expression and innovative methods of bridging sonic gaps.  This one is currently on Spotify and other streaming services, so I’d definitely suggest doing yourself a favor and checking it out if you’re looking for something new and eye-opening.

-chief

Looking Back :: Unusuals Reflects On Two Year Old Self-Titled Debut

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From the digital desk of Unusuals :

‘This album celebrates its 2-years since its release date this upcoming August.

I wrote a majority of this album while going through some crazy times, & went back to rewrite it after my appendix surgery.

I feel y’all should check it out, I may be on a current hiatus from seriously listening to music & making music, but this album is something I hope one day people will understand its concept.

It was inspired by dark times & the study of the lust for human interaction.’

I wasn’t hip to this when he first dropped it, but Unusuals is definitely a completely different animal from If You’re Waiting Till We’re Dead, Don’t Bother Listening.  This project plays more like a Trent Reznor album than a hip-hop album, with deep sonic textures to match the deep emotional tones hit.  This album is definitely worth taking some time with.

-chief

Quick Fix :: Virgil Wolfe Collaborates With Big Lo For ‘Lovely To Look At’

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Virgil Wolfe recently dropped a new track, a collaboration with producer Big Lo titled Lovely To Look At.   The beat is wonderfully off-kilter and lo-fi, with an eerie vocal sample and purposeful recording/aging distortion integrated into the track.  It’s a suitable soundscape for some of Wolfe‘s more cryptic lyrical fare.  His verse and delivery put me in the mindset of a Labyrinth-like situation, where I must solve the riddles Virgil Wolfe presents me before I am able to progress further.  My only real frustration with the song is that it is simply a single verse… an extended break and a second verse would have made this one pure gold.  Maybe a remix featuring Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice on a guest verse could solve that?  Regardless, here’s to Virgil Wolfe for continuing to put out both quantity and quality when it comes to tunage.

-chief

Award Tour :: Austin Hip Hop Awards Cyphers 2018

The Austin Hip Hop Awards 2018 took place recently, and with that comes the traditional set of cypher videos.  Each video is meant to highlight notables from the awards while giving these artists a chance to showcase their talents and introduce new viewers to what they’re all about.  The 2018 editions, curated by Austin mainstay George VonDoom, definitely stand up to the test when it comes to giving a solid cross section of Austin talent.  There are definitely artists I personally would have loved to see involved, but I give much props and respect to all of those involved, as these cyphers proved that these spots were earned.

Part one took place at the Metropolitan apartment complex, home to many hip-hop shows and events over the years.  This cypher took on a more hardcore edge, featuring Tone BriganteSpefyLoose Cannon, and strong closeout verses from Geezy Goin Ham and 245 Nixout.

Part two was the more ominous, 1990’s-esque aesthetic edition.  Raps in the kitchen, no frills, just straight talk and straight lyrical prowess.  Mista D and George VonDoom set things off proper, with Foolish Karlito closing things out in immaculate style.

Part three, set in front of an impressive mural, was more straight talk from a diverse group of MCs.  Sixxx kicked the door down, Kannkasso and D.R.O.I.D. lit things up with wordplay and high energy flows, and GA Daniel cleaned up with a heartfelt flow.

Here’s to those showcased in the Austin Hip Hop Awards 2018 cyphers, and props to the Austin Hip Hop Awards for taking the time each year to put this level of recognition together.  Not everyone makes music for validation on this level, but you can best believe that receiving this kind of validation encourages artists to keep moving forward and to better themselves.

-chief

Diversified Elements :: Clemits Drops ‘A Cult Classic’, Continues To Grow Creatively

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Clemits is setting himself up to reap the rewards from loads of hard work he’s been putting in the last few years.  His latest project, the hypnotic beat tape A Cult Classic, not only entertains, but has been rolled out by the likes of Hip Hop DX, among other tastemaker blogs currently helping to define the hip-hop culture.  The tape covers a variety of feelings and moods within a tight 14 tracks, with clear influences to jazz, film scores and even hints of electronic music all emerging from the boom bap foundation Clemits provides.

On top of what will surely be a successful album release, Clemits is also nearly a full season deep into The Clemits Show, a podcast designed to showcase fellow creatives, discuss creative methods and inspiration, and hopefully help those looking for creative motivation to move forward with their ideas.  Click the pic below for access to the podcast via Apple :

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Hopefully, Clemits continues his current trajectory, as he seems to be headed for good things in the near future.  Make sure to support him and other local creatives, simply because it’s the right thing to do.

-chief

Funny Games :: Baby Lion Presents ‘Rappers Playing Games’

The recent emergence of the Austin-based Baby Lion production company has been the catalyst for a handful of new programs and outlets for creative types looking to diversify their content output.  One of the collective members, rapper/actor/filmmaker Protextor, found a way to merge a few of his loves into the show Rappers Playing GamesWith the help of Game Over Videogames and Mopac Media, and a different guest from the deep pool of Austin-based hip-hop talent for each episode, Protextor sits down for a game and some casual talk.  For episode one, Feral the Earthworm stopped by for a round of Earthworm Jim on the Sega Genesis.  The inaugural episode serves mostly as a proof of concept, but according to Protextor and Baby Lion, big ideas and plans are on the way for the series, so definitely stay tuned.

-chief