Before we start off the new year, we have to finalize the last submissions of 2012. Let me quickly say my personal thank you to everyone who keep submitting and keep letting me do this post. Keep that #IndieLove strong!
1) Klassik – “’89 (Year of the Artist) [Song]
Named Radio Milwaukee’s Artist of the Year, as well as gaining the title Milwaukee Magazine’s Song of the Year, Klassick recently released the joint “’89 (Year of the Artist)”. The self-produced track mixes a slick flow (ridiculous flow, actually) with a dream-like production, creating a fresh little number for the new year.
2) Rippy Austin – Patiently Waiting [EP]
I stumbled upon Rippy Austin this past week, and thank thee heavens I did. The singer/rapper/producer from L.A. recently dropped his debut EP, Patiently Waiting. Fusing neo-soul, experimental chord structures, jazz and hip-hop together, Rippy Austin killed this 7-track EP.
3) Palermo Stone – R.A.R.E [Album]
I originally came across Palermo‘s lead single “Freedom Writers”, but once I realized the entire album was out, I opted to post this instead. R.A.R.E, which stands for Revitalizing Art; Reinventing Emotion, is a 15-track album that explores a variety of topics and transcends a knowledge throughout each one. As Palermo’s third solo album, he states that this album ‘looks to break down the walls of what is considered traditional hip-hop’. Whether it’s the production from 16-year old British producer Jazz Logic, the feature from New Orleans’s Dee-1 or the dope talent of Palermo Stone, R.A.R.E. stands by what it stands for through and through.
4) Clew Rock – “Wind Chilz” [Song]
Legitimately described as “chill Chi-Town ride music”, Clew Rock achieved just that. Produced by RoKnew, Clew Rock smoothly presents his Midwest state of mind over a horn-based instrumental knocked with some dope jazz-infused drum beats. It’s a great track for a chilly winter day, real talk.
5) Nemo Achida – Climax Shit II [EP]
As a follow up to his Climax Shit EP, released last year, Kentucky’s Nemo Achida has come through with Climax Shit II. The self-produced 7-track EP features guest appearances from his CultCheck crew [GodFlow, Bump] and once again, shows Nemo’s versatility on the boards and on the mic.
6) Sum feat. Airon Azure & Malkovich – “Excuses” [Song]
Chicago native and bi-coastal transplant Sum hit us up with the track “Excuses”, from his recently released album Dragon, Volume 1. The track, produced by Needlz (G-Unit , Lupe Fiasco, Young Jeezy, Bruno Mars etc.), also features L.A. artist Malkovich and Chicago singer Airon Azure. “Excuses” is a perfect blend of lyricism and soul, concept and heart. Be sure to check this one out…can’t wait to see what else Sum has in store for 2013!
7) Rocky Duh feat. Keyiara – “Already Gone” [Video]
Coming out of Ohio, Rocky Duh is a storyteller rapper who’s difficult history can be felt in his delivery. Shot in Atlanta, though I’m not sure by who, “Already Gone” features the vocals of singer Keyiara and tells the story of love and lost. The fairly relatable track, which is off of his EP Forward, allows Rocky to transfer his own emotions over a subtle instrumental and familiar hook.
8) L.U.K.E. – “Window Seat” [Video]
Putting his own spin on Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat” (produced by James Boyser and ?uestLove), New York native L.U.K.E. starts by dedicating this video to people dealing with their lowest lows. Directed by Misha Merino and Derrick M. Calrke, the track that is fittingly off his upcoming mixtape titled Breath of Fresh Air, promises a new day and new starts, and he doesn’t spit too shabby either.
9) Maffew Ragazino – “Friday” [Song]
Maffew Ragazino recently dropped the record !llmind produced track “Friday”, off his upcoming EP White Gold. The Brownsville, Brooklyn native has worked with artists like Masta Ace, Skyzoo and Roc Marciano, and has generated a fairly heavy buzz in the past few years. If you’re looking for that hard NY sound, this is where to find it next.
10) Big Pat feat. Domanique Storm – “Retrospect” [Song]
Connecticut’s Big Pat, not to be confused with Fat Pat, recently dropped a video for his track “Retrospect”, which features Domanique Storm. Directed by Eric Shrader, the visuals compliment the silky Bravestarr production effortlessly. This is one of them joints you reminisce about from the 90s, except it was dropped in 2012. I hope the rest of his upcoming project Something For You carries this sound, I’ll bump it all year.
11) Ordinary Cool – Welcome to November [Album]
New York duo Ordinary Cool, comprised of 22-year old Jamir and Nyrell, dropped a tape entitled “Welcome to November”. Unfortunately, this tape slipped up in my inbox and got hidden and I had been meaning to post it for a while, so here it is now. While Jamir is the lyricist of the duo, Nyrell handles the production and spits the occasional bars. The collaborative project paints a solid picture over dope beats, and while it does touch on ‘swag rap’ at times, it’s still a good project.
12) V3rb – “Streets Talk” [Video]
Cali artist V3rb released the new visuals off his recently released album Standing Ovation for the the track “Streets Talk”. Directed by Daniel “Rusher” Ruczko for Misfit Media, the OC the Kidd produced track is definitely a street anthem. The ill visuals are made up of different cities (L.A., NY, Chicago etc.), and you best know I spotted home-sweet-home Toronto shining brightly at 1:42 seconds, hah.
13) Kato Dox – “Diamonds” (Remix) [Video]
While going through submissions, I came across three separate remixed to Rihanna’s “Diamonds”. I’m not normally one to post up a remix to a song I love to pieces, because generally, I’ll just start singing the original version…. but Austin, TX native Kato caught me off guard with 3-minutes of straight spittin’. While the video, directed by Ransom Life and XKYmedia.com doesn’t reflect what he’s speaking about, the visuals fall into the backdrop against this kid’s delivery. Appreciated this.
14) Alexander Dreamer – Another Year Down [EP]
19-year old Columbus, OH native Alexander Dreamer recently celebrated his birthday with the 5-track EP Another Year Down. As a prelude to his debut album Dancing with the Devil, the EP, recorded and mixed by the artist himself, it’s a ill collection of songs that has something for everyone. Not to mention the production is extremely tight!
15) G-Milla – Tonight We Die [Video]
Directed by Zac Facts for Independent Muscle, the dark and dreary video from Toronto’s G-Milla captivated by attention off-hand. Produced by Drop, “Tonight We Die” equally tells the gritty story of a relationship gone wrong and the dirty part of love, much reflected in the dreary [but great] visuals.
16) JSwiss – “Four Corners” [Video]
Off of his EP #LeaveMeALoan released last year, JSwiss dropped the visuals for the track “Four Corner”. With production by Dee Jay Element of the Brown Bag AllStars and cuts by DJ Brace, the New York native and director Ryan Cocca teamed up to neighborhood visuals, ultimately allowing JSwiss to shine through. Dope track, definitely.
17) Benny Jaddua – “For Sale” [Song]”
Benny Jaddua of the Chicago group N.O.M.A.D.S., dropped the street single “For Sale” off his upcoming album No Shorts,No Losses, & No Room. This is one of the most catchy songs I’ve come across in the past two weeks. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in party mode. Regardless, to post hip-hop, you have to accept and grow with all forms of hip-hop. I know I may catch some shade from some of y’all for this, but it’s a good track.
18) Chize – Chize x Silenthand Presents: SOULxGOOD [Instrumental Tape]
It’s a beat tape! With obvious heavy influence from J.Dilla (“J.Dillaspeaks”), Miami-based producer Chize (of the expermental hip-hop ensemble SilentHand) hit us up with the second installment of his soulful instrumental album.
“That crackling from the old record player. The muffled dialogue from the movie playing on the television. Those torn and tattered photographs of a young jazz musician and his songstress back in their heyday. All of these sentiments and more captured on a project that can only be described with two words: soul and good.”
19) Wem feat. Neako – “Always Put In Work” [Song]
Off his Intelligent Ignorance mixtape, which features the likes of Rockie Fresh and Nickelus F, New Jersey native Wem just dropped his second single “Always Put In Work”. Produced by Johnny Juliano, Wem describes his music as “range of avante-garde music with an extremely well put together theme”.
20) KaliRaps – Sandy’s Song [Video]
This is ending this week’s post. It’s an event that rattled everyone’s lives worldwide, a catastrophe that embedded heartache in us all. Hollywood artist KaliRaps and producer[s] Slapp Symphony created the tribute track “Sandy’s Song” for all the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. It’s a track that embodies courage, strength, heartbreak and sorrow. As we move into 2013, don’t think twice about telling someone you love them.