I can’t lie, I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time, and have been very excited to share it with the world. For those who know, they know the wheels of entertainment turn a bit slower on the film side, so after a successful production, an impressive run at the film festival circuit, and a bit of unplanned time on the shelf due to COVID-19, it brought me great pleasure when Ryan Darbonne let all of the I AM TX cast and crew know that the film was finally ready to share to the world. It stars the multi-talented Jonathan K. Horstmann from BLXPLTN, Urban Heat and much more, Pleasure Venom lead singer Audrey Campbell and myself, and featured the talents of many Austin-based members of the film scene. We’re very proud of what we made, and even prouder to share it with everyone, so please take a moment to check it out, and if you feel inclined to do so, let us know what you thought and share it with others.
When it comes to the homie poolboi blu these days, I don’t know whether to holler at all of our collective friends and schedule a party or an intervention. Work ethic has never been a question, but very similar to the Kydd Jones situation I mentioned yesterday, poolboi continues to put out high quality work at a pretty impressive and slightly alarming volume, to the point where I’m wondering when cats sleep. After putting a rush job on following up the ultra-mellow sincere (volume 015) with the banger-filled sincere (volume 016), poolboi dropped a very timely single titled pandemic p hours after the Los Angeles Clippers managed to make the first Western Conference Finals in team history. poolboi blu isn’t playing around with these dual releases, so go give them the like and comment treatment, and share them around so others can do the same!
Like many of the artists that I cover on this blog, Kydd Jones is seemingly always working on something new, so you usually don’t have to wait very long for something new to hit the streets. I recently found myself in a bit of a delay on the blog, and in the time that the unplanned hiatus took place, Kydd dropped 3 different singles. TV On is a mellow banger from TyOnDaTrack where his style emulates that feeling of catching random bits and pieces of information from a stimulus running in the background on a subliminal level. Elon Musk, another strange but mellow banger courtesy of Butcher Bear (the homie), finds Kydd, Tank Washington and Bryson Brown talking about personal evolution. Native Tongue, the most recent of the batch, finds guest vocalist Y2 joining Kydd on a track by Haris Qureshi as they get vibey and abstract on what feels like an ode to an avatar meant to represent powerful feminine energy. I’m hoping that this batch of singles means a project is on the way, because as always, the work is very strong and definitely worth checking out, so do so immediately!
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 Sill, Casino ATX, Big Mic, Mic 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s a little truth about All In Your Head straight from the Kendra SellsBandcamp 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.