Tag Archives: hip hop

Rebel Music :: Secret Levels Goes Off With ‘The Game is Never Over’


I’m all about innovation in hip-hop.  I don’t think we should be chained to production and performance tropes, and I find the divide in tastes emerging between the last few generations disturbing.  That being said, I love hip-hop that is rooted in the elements that brought it to the status that it has achieved today, and it’s apparent that Secret Levels feels the same way.  The Game is Never Over is drenched in the boom-bap aesthetic, and while dropping tons of homage to days past, the album never sounds dated.  Think Ugly Duckling with a bit more bite to it, or a linear evolution of what Pharcyde was doing.  Period point blank, this is an album that should be in your rotation if you care at all about supporting the Austin hip-hop scene, because this is high quality work.



Styles Clash :: The PNTHN Release ‘POTLUCK’


As much as I dig individual skill in hip-hop, I’m more so a fan of a crew that can get down.  The PNTHN seem primed to be the crew to watch for in the central Texas scene these days, taking all of the necessary steps to blaze a trail.  After a handful of memorable videos and some time on the road, the crew has released POTLUCK on all of the streaming sources.  The project, while only 6 tracks deep, does a great job of showcasing each member’s skill and personality without being disorienting.  Those familiar with the live shows should easily be able to identify who is who, which will certainly amplify reaction at the live shows.  Plain and simple, I’m excited to watch the trajectory of The PNTHN, because it feels like success will be as attainable as they want it to be… staying focused and driven will be the key to making it a reality, and the crew has already shown they are ready to make moves.


Overly Dedicated :: ‘No Sleep No Breaks’ Coming Soon

Those in tune to the Austin hip-hop scene are well aware of MDK (Mindz of a Different Kind) and all the moves they’ve been making over the years.  Blackchyl and Chiclopz have teamed up with Fum Fum KO productions in an effort to express the essence of what they’ve been doing in the form of a short film.  No Sleep No Breaks, from the looks of it, may serve to be an honest look at what it’s like to devote your heart and soul to the culture while still struggling to maintain from day to day throughout the worldy madness and obstacles.  This is one that I am very much excited about, and hopeful that it gets the attention it seems to deserve upon release.


More Doom :: George VonDoom Talks ‘Power’

Austin has a vast and diverse cross section of MCs.  Some spit bars about money, some drop knowledge, and some are abstract.  Some, such as George VonDoom, find ways to touch upon several areas, each with equal passion.  Power finds VonDoom in video form talking about the main aspect that keeps him a head above his competition.  The beat is a nice, dense, driving production that works perfectly for the forceful lyrics, and the blend of lights throughout the video give it an MK Ultra mind control vibe.  Very cool work from an artist holding it down for the Austin underground.


Trending Topics :: Kal Kal Finds New Forms With Lil’ Obtuse Angel’s ‘Walter White’

When it comes to exploring new formats, new sounds, and new styles, Kal Kal is a force to be reckoned with.  Having already tackled standard issue hip-hop and lo fi, Kal Kal has found himself donning the wonderful moniker Lil’ Obtuse Angel in an effort to explore vibe-based rap.  Be it parody or sincere, it is undeniable that Walter White jams.  Tastes of his lo fi aesthetic remain in the music video, along with ironic visual trappings of the genre being taken in a much lighter form (ie Caleon Fox).  The tree that Kal Kal has planted continues to intrigue, and each branch demands attention.


Wise Words :: Syllable Releases ‘Rep My City’ Mixtape For 2018

Syllable has been on the Austin hip-hop scene for a number of years, and throughout that time, he has continued to create and support.  Rep My City, his first mixtape in quite a while, shows Syllable reflecting on that time and those experiences, and the result is both a display of gratitude and a blueprint for possible success.  The vibes are positive and honest throughout, the production provides a number of different looks, and overall, the project upholds its name.  This is definitely a solid way to set off 2018 for Syllable, and here’s to hoping that things continue to move in positive directions.


Solo Soul :: Image Steps Out On ‘Someone You Discover’


After putting in many years of work with The Lower Class, MC and soundsmith imaGenius has ventured into the solo realm with the release of Someone You Discover.  The project was 3 years in the making, and the vast range of sounds and ideas found within it is a testimony to that time and dedication.  From song to song, thoughts grow, are handed off from track to track, are left for the listener to resonate, and amidst all of that, the ever changing range of sounds and instruments keeps us guessing and anticipating the next song.  The beautiful album artwork is the cherry on top of a true sonic treat.  Definitely listen to this one, share it around, and give image (imaGenius) some support if you can afford to.  You know… for the culture.