My man Cory Kendrix stays in the booth. Personally, I’d find myself distracted by all the party favors in Colorado, but Cory has managed to not only find his voice as an MC and an artist, but he continues to grow in terms of confidence and range with each new song and project. For July 18th Freestyle, Cory whipped up a deceptively simple monster of a track and hollered at his homie Sloesip to jump on board for some braggadocio bars. Cory Kendrix even put the artwork together for this one, showing that he sees the bigger picture and is not limited to traditional rapper roles. This one sounds like it’ll find itself comfortably within someone’s mixtape with its all business approach, so don’t sleep on it.
The Austin-based LNS camp is taking the creative lead in terms of topical, moving music related to the racial, systematic and economic unrest we are dealing with these days. This time, Tank Washington steps up to the plate with I Can’t Breathe, a self-explanatory ode to what has become an unfortunate statement uttered in multiple instances of police brutality and untimely death. With Kydd Jones assisting on a moving hook, every bit of this unbelievably touching song resonates from start to stop, so definitely take a few minutes for this one, spread it around for others to hear, and if you can spare a buck, go ahead and support.
When it comes to pushing the boundaries of style forward, the LNS Crew is far and away in a league of their own these days. Cory Kendrix has been one of the most vocal and productive members of the crew on top of that, and his latest single Dirty Champagne is a pleasant reminder of all these facts. The dark, brooding track (produced by L Devell) serves as the perfect backdrop for Kendrix and guest MC SUPERLOVE to go completely dumb with complimentary styles that mirror one another without sounding identical, and infusing the style with a frantic pair of verses that sound like confessions as much as they do warnings. As always, this is classic output from the LNS camp, and it is certainly worth your time, so check it out, and donate a buck or two if you’ve got it.
Over the past 6-8 months, I’ve been keeping track of the singles coming from Kydd Jones, Cory Kendrix and Tank Washington of the LNS Crew camp, all the while wondering what was in store for the next round of releases. About a week ago, the crew dropped LNS Mixtape Volume 3, and it all came together for me. The previously released singles have been paired with a collection of infectious flows and beats, like someone gave the LNS Crew new inspiration. With so many different people on the project, it could easily come off as scattered, but the collective manages to keep a strong and solid balance between styles and voices that all come together in harmony. The best thing about these songs is how, despite them sounding like an album project, they could easily be found on the mixtapes of other DJs (and more than likely will). The way that the members of the crew are taking cues from a wide range of modern day MCs and flipping them on their head to make them aspects of their own styles is truly impressive. Don’t sleep on this one.
Cory Kendrix is starting to build a reputation as a stylistic chameleon. He’s always been known for dropping bars, but recently, he made a shift into KNDRX mode, which allowed him to explore the more melodic realms of his sound. I initially thought that this was an overall style shift, but I’ve come to find out that that was just foolish of me to assume, as Cory Kendrix seems to be prepping us for the release of Ignorance 2 by dropping a certified banger in the form of OMG. The beat is fire, the bars and delivery are on point, and the overall vibe sticks in your head, so much so that you’ll probably find yourself humming the track well after you’re done listening. You know the drill, people… share it, support it, and keep checking back here for more and more of that good stuff.
While attending and performing at Austin City Limits Festival 2018, local hip-hop standout Kydd Jones of the LNS Crew took some time to stop by Bedstock 2018 for an intimate acapella performance of Untitled. Bedstock, an event hosted by MyMusicRx, is a Cancer awareness movement where artists perform in a bed as a show of solidarity for children fighting Cancer that are stuck in a bed. As the flagship program for the Children’s Cancer Association, the work that MyMusicRx does is important for educating and informing all sides on an illness that has made an impact on most all of us. It’s good to see artists like Kydd take the time to align themselves with positive groups like this, as it shows a real awareness of how much weight their voices carry, and it can hopefully help in the efforts of finding cures and affordable treatment for all dealing with Cancer.
It’s no secret that LNS Crew is a forced to be reckoned with. From day one, every member was bringing skill to the table, but over the last four years or so, every member’s maturation and journey through life has resulted in significant personal and musical growth. As the member that has kept his roots firm in Austin, Tank Washington seems to personally attempting to put the city on his back and further the steps towards putting Austin on the map as a hotbed of consistent creativity. 183 has the production and performance chops to stand up to anything making noise in the pop realm right now, with Tank proving he can rock most any style beat with confidence and captivating storytelling. The only thing keeping Care Free from being my summer jam is the fact that this album is coming out on Thanksgiving eve. You can find this one on all of the streaming services and download sites, so if you aren’t listening to and supporting this one, that’s on you.
LNS crew member and producer/remix aficionado Haris Qureshi has carved out a niche for himself of the past half decade or so as someone who can take a good track and spice it up a bit to make it something fresh and unique. His remixes have appeared as one-off uploads and compilation fodder for years, but recently, Haris decided to do listeners a favor by compiling nearly 50 of his favorite remixes into a single collection. The artist list is diverse, covers a wide range of hip-hop aesthetics, and most definitely puts it down for the South. Best of all, this behemoth is a name your price download, meaning you really have no reason not to get it. If you can’t drop a few bucks for your download, then do the next best thing and share it around.