In the beginning the origins of Hip Hop music was used to teach and unite. In 2019 an artist returns with that intent.
On his fifth studio album, Def-I truly shows a reflection of all he is. A community activist who works consistently with the youth and organizations to better others. Def-I reached out to Southern California Hip Hop veteran producer Ariano & Washington States legend Smoke M2D6. The production is cinematic, moody and true to Def-I’s Boom BAP roots. Combining true lyrical craftsmanship with content that touches the heart, the album ‘Dream Trails’ is a reflection of many years on the road, and the travels embarked on by this is New Mexico Native MC .
The album features legends like Kool Keith, Abstract Rude, JFK Ninjaface, DJ Element, and a slew of talented artists and friends that add harmonies, vocals, hooks and live instrumentation. Opening up about his personal battles and bringing light to the pain in the world , Def-I is not just a rapper. He is a true artist that bleeds his craft on two tracks that unite the young and the old. This is not his beginning but far from the end….Dream Trails
“Closet Fulla Fresh Lo” is hard hitting underground hip-hop track that takes the listener into the sound of when rap music had a grittier tone. That old school, 1988 with graffiti on the trains, New York City vibe! Paying homage to the infamous Lo-Life crew that was notorious for running into department stores and then fleeing the scene with thousands of Ralph Lauren Polo merchandise, LAUREN wastes no time letting you know why his “Closet Fulla Fresh Lo.”
Check out the video and grab your copy of the track below.
“Bear Handz” is the title track off ethemadassassin’s 2019 release, “Bear Handz 3: Animal House.” The dark visuals, provided by @bzfilmz, take the viewer through E’s neck of the woods as he shows you how he gets it with his “bear” hands.
“Unplug!!” is the latest single from SageModeWrex (formerly Wrex) in which he questions our new obsession with the internet and the way it controls into our lives. The words point to being more in tuned with the spirit and monitoring the mental health effects of our new technology.
Produced by Eye Jay The Boy this track has a golden era Hip Hop sound with SageModeWrex’s conscious lyrics to match.
Switzerland / Ghana based rapper Kromanteng, who has his roots in Accra and was raised in the US, releases the video for his single “Real Code”.
He dedicates the track to the memory of Nipsey Hussle with the following words:
“Rest In Power Ermias Joseph Asghedom aka Nipsey Hussle. Recently we have seen an upsurge of African popularity within worldwide “pop culture”. To be African is trendy now. Sometimes people get a fake sense of unity when they are emotionally driven. In reality, there are serious issues that need solutions before “black unity” can occur. Self work needs to be done before joining a collective in any situation; so understanding yourself and the trauma you’ve seen in your life is essential before you try to join hands with others that you feel are similar to yourself. We don’t have a Wakanda in our everyday lives in Africa or in the diaspora. I stick to a code that is not defined by being “conscious”, or “woke”; I do what I feel is right from my heart. I wrote this song to reflect those ideas, so I don’t really care if some people feel offended, I know my intentions and live them through the work that’s done. “The Marathon Continues” – Nipsey Hussle. “We got work to do” – Kromanteng
Co-starring: Jayden and Janiya Fofie
Check out the video and grab your copy of the song below.
Los Angeles production wiz Duke Westlake blends bright synths and the neck snap factor with the playfully catchy, lyrical stylings of Menacin Johnson on this galactic ride. Phil Mao directs this spacey, hazy visual for their first single from their impressive full length album, released on The Order/Alpha Pup label entitled, ‘Stargate Aquarius’, now available on all digital outlets.
Drop into a wormhole for way-out rhythms and rap paradigms in Stargate Aquarius(The Order Label), the new LP by Los Angeles lyricist Menacin Johnson and producer Duke Westlake. Johnson’s golden era raps and Westlake’s riveting beats play together with pleasing juxtaposition: aggressive yet beautiful, gentle yet hard, vintage yet future.
Playful tracks like “Level Up” and “They Can’t Hold Me Down” sparkle with dreamlike color. Soulful, starry-eyed echoes create a sun-faded richness in “What It Means (feat. Rain Bisou).” Ride the feel-good flow in “Summer ‘19” as it flips through blue-sky days and lemonade – the blunts are already rolled. “Bigger (feat. Frank Nitt)” revs up fast and flickers while “Coldest Party Crisis (feat. Slimkid3 and Pigeon John)” slaps its way into outer space. Brilliant, bouncing, and free – “Show Me the Real You (feat. Ariano)” floats off on a high note that thumps hard and glows deep.
Stargate Aquarius by Menacin Johnson and Duke Westlake is out now on The Order Label and available at digital retailers worldwide.
Check out the video and grab your copy of the album below.
Menacin Johnson & Duke Westlake "Level Up" (Official Music Video) - YouTube
Khalid Salaam drops “Plenty of fish” from the new “Barehand Fisherman” album. The song was produced by himself and features Detroit’s own, Boog Brown, whom you may be familiar with from her Mello Music debut “Brown Study” album produced entirely by Apollo Brown, as well as her other phenomenal projects to follow. This was a beautiful pairing of tones and clever wording in which both compliment the other in the manner that opposites should.
ethemadassassin & Luse Kanz return with their high powered release, “420 Cannabis Cup,” off their joint EP, “Motivations.” Shot on Venice Beach, the stony visuals (provided by Akthentik Works) and the dreamy sounds (provided by The WDSMN) elevate the viewer to a higher stream of consciousness in celebration of 420 Culture.