Time moves on, and as many people have said, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’. Whether planned or not, the day after many were let down by the American justice system once again in the wake of the Breonna Taylor grand jury decision to try 1 of the 3 cops connected to her killing for ‘wanton endangerment’ of the neighboring apartments, Blackillac and Caught A Ghost released REVOLUTION, a moving single and video montage honing directly in on the civil unrest and lack of justice that many minorities and disenfranchised communities face on a near daily basis. Zeale and Phranchyze set aside their normal braggadocio and verbal complexity to tell strong truths over the sparse but stout backing track provided by Caught A Ghost. Check this one out, leave a like and a comment if you support the message, and spread it around to help those who need to wake up do so.
If you’re looking for a visual blueprint on how to achieve with integrity in the music business, look no further than the recently released All In single and video. The track, a ShaunSolo banger with help on the hook from current Austin standout J Soulja, is a textbook statement on how one makes moves to better themselves with little to no worry about what others are doing. In my opinion, there is really no other method or approach to making real moves, so it’s good to know that other artists feel the same way. Definitely check out the video, leave it a like and a comment if you’re feeling it, and share it around for others to do the same!
Austin-based record label Cream Dream Records, the collective brainchild of standout artists Bird Peterson and BoomBaptist, has been making a push for the ages in 2020. After using the label as a foundation for a solid run of Bird Peterson releases, the new year finds the roster expanding, and one of the promising additions is King Khary. His debut single, the hypnotic Stuck Off The Realness, uses a familiar sample from Prodigy of Mobb Deep as the main vocal element, but the lush and inspirational instrumental he surrounds the sample with re-contextualizes said ‘realness’ into a thing of beauty rather than a celebration of grittiness. Based on this small sample size, I can only imagine the sonic landscapes that King Khary has in store for us.
Back in his long-haired heyday, Michael Bolton proclaimed that “love is such a wonderful thing”. That man has never lied. The wordplay rings true to this day. Anyway, do yourself a solid. Look in the mirror and repeat: “somebody loves you”. Let’s do this.
“On S.L.Y., Sivion, Bavu Blakes, The ARE and NickNack check in on their strong friends (each other). The result of their digital palavers is this syrupy and snappy jam that will lay the smackdown on lockdown. The ARE‘s production is fresher and funkier than fish wrapped in foil. The way that synths and percussion pops and drops will make you clap to this. Toe taps and finger snaps are included. Sivion and Bavu Blakes know it’s all about the love as they drop healthy servings of home-cooked happiness and reflection. On the first verse, Sivion confesses that he’s “guilty of a lot of things I had to unlearn”. Cancel culture be damned! Self-accountability is a superpower, and Sivion is Black Superman. On the closing verse, Bavu Blakes whips up some wicked wordplay with lines like “life moves in cycles, are you backpedalling?:. Questions deserve answers, and we all need to know. You, most importantly.
Whatever your love language is, there is a lot to love about music when the loving is this good.”
Definitely don’t sleep on this goodness. Share it around, and cop it while it’s ‘name your price’… maybe even donate a buck or two!
Austin hip-hop remains one of the most diverse scenes out there, with most any flavor of the culture you can think of represented by quality artists and art. For those looking for depth and a touch of spirituality in the work, look no further than J Soulja, who has proven over the years that his work contains both of these aspects and much more. Recently, J Soulja tapped New High Filmz to help bring Allah, a collaboration between himself and fellow thought-provoking MC BLakChyl, to life with a highly professional music video reminiscent of the late-1990s, early 2000s aesthetic that hip-hop is famously known for. The juxtaposition between the raw, unbridled, very human passion of Mike Tyson, and his musings and references to Allah and personifying God qualities, works well in both the song and video form as well, neatly tying everything together. Check out the video, leave a like and a comment if you dig it, and share it around for others to do the same.
Back in the mid to late 1990s in Austin, there was a golden moment of musical synergy that took place every Wednesday night at The Mercury known as Hip-Hop Humpday. Anyone lucky enough to have experienced one of these legendary nights can tell you how wonderful it was to hear MCs Tee Double, Tray God and Bavu Blakes take turns blessing the crowd with bars over a live band/DJ combination. It’s these memories that make the instant classic Ovidalo, the latest single from Universal Seedz featuring that very trio of MCs, such a special moment in its own right. Over one of the most vintage-sounding jazz/soul instrumentals I’ve heard from a modern day band, the group of MCs do what they do best, wowing us with their verbal skill while educating and uplifting. Definitely dig this track, share it around for others to check out as well, and support if you can.
If there were an underground MC whose musings I wouldn’t mind listening to in a collective, non-album intended format, I’d imagine it’d be Virgil Wolfe, based simply on their penchant for deep analytical thought and the skill of wording the unique way they views the world. With B-Sides, a project released on Bandcamp‘s September-edition of their revenue sharing special, we get the closest thing to a free roam through Virgil Wolfe‘s mind that I imagine we are able to get… musical sketches, abstract and experimental sequences and a handful of proper songs make up the project, all with a surprisingly strong ability to hold together despite their different reasons for and times of creation. If you’re looking for a chance to support a true original, definitely drop a few bucks for Virgil Wolfe, and if nothing else, share this one around for others to take part in.
Austin-based MC Salvasquared has taken the old-ish adage of ‘think globally, act locally’ to heart with his latest single and video, the Usedtobe-produced ditty that is SnowMelt. Over a diverse-sounding, cultural mixing beat, Salvasquared talks about how the experience of seeing the world not only puts your home-realm into perspective, but it changes you mentally as well, sometimes erasing thoughts and issues that formerly held you back. Though most of us are grounded per shelter-in-place rules, I agree with Salvasquared in regards to how seeing the world can improve your scope, and highly recommend travelling to those that are able when they are able. As for this video, definitely leave a like and a comment, share it around for all to enjoy, and support your local wandering creatives!
For those of us that have been in shelter-in-place for what is pushing 9 months now, there are two (in my opinion) proper ways to approach it : circle and assess your creative wagons, or take the time for deep introspection. It seems that Levi Deadman is on a similar page based on his latest single and video, Patient Zero (Najar Media). Levi Deadman‘s new banger focuses on the impact his simple statement of being alive and aware can cause, and in the way that leaders do, the single serves as an example for others to follow. Add a bit of down south, psychedelic, indie-level imagery to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a winner on all fronts. Dig the video, leave a like and a comment if you enjoy it, and share it around for others to do the same.
My man Bjorn Vader, as I’ve mentioned many times before, puts out tracks faster than I can keep up with. So, as I do every once in a while, here is a mass share of his latest batch of content to hold you over for a while.
As always, support monetarily if you can, and even if you can’t, jam the songs a few times and share them around for others to enjoy.