Thursday, October 23, 2014

Jitta On The Track - Don't Care About Yah

With his highly anticipated mixtape Bipolar dropping in a few weeks, Jitta on The Track gives us a brand new song which will be appearing on the project. Jitta has been killing it on the low for a while, but I think this mixtape is finally going to wake up everyone that has been sleeping on him. This track has an amazing vibe due to Jitta's laid back veses and the sample which is literally perfect for the record. I can't wait to hear Bipolar when it drops on November 5th; it's going to be a mixtape to remember.

Connect with Jitta On The Track: Facebook // Twitter

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Saba - Burnout (Ft. Eryn Allen Kane) [Video] + ComfortZone [Mixtape]

Saba might just be the best rapper you haven't heard of just yet. The young emcee, from what is arguably the capital of hip-hop today, Chicago, has been steadily building up buzz since the release of his sophomore project "ComfortZone" back in July. "ComfortZone" is an amazing project. Saba is laid-back, thoughtful, and an impressive lyricist, and also has a firm grasp of smooth melodies in his production, and an ear for a catchy hook.

You may recognize Saba from his guest verse on Chance The Rapper's "Everybody's Something", but the 19 year olds own work is certainly worthy of praise as well. Saba's latest drop is a music video from one of "ComfortZone's" standout tracks Burnout, which features the incredible vocal talents of fellow Chicago native Eryn Allen Kane.

Burnout is a soulful track, with those keys, thumping drums, and little guitar riffs in the background, all overlayed by Saba's complex wordplay, and young wisdom, as he talks about some of the realities of his life, his aspirations, and where he came from.

The beautiful Eryn Allen Kane does her thing on the uplifting chorus, really making this a must listen track, as she croons sweetly, and provides a contrast to the occasionally gritty lyrical content. Ultimately, the track is about just escaping the negativity, and just riding away.

The video is a little trippy, as we are transported back and forth between reality, and an animated world where Saba and Eryn just cruise through a starry night, peaceful. Definitely check out this incredible piece, and peep the whole mixtape below. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from Saba very soon.

Connect with Saba: @sabaPIVOT

Ibra Ake - b i r d s [Mixtape]

ROYALTY team member Ibra Ake released his newest piece of art in the form of mixtape today. Comprised of an impressive collection of contributing artists, anyone searching for an emotionally raw music project will find their musical pallet satisfied throughout birds. 

The prologue to the mixtape, performed by Bridget Minamore, captures the essence of the project through a captivating spoken-word piece that feels as if less than a minute has elapsed when the piece concludes. The time freezing production in the simplicity of a hotel room portrays a message that speaks for itself, and seems to be a present feeling throughout the mixtape. That's right, we're knee deep in symbolism and emotion and the mixtape hasn't even started yet.

 In its simplest form, birds is an important work of art because it projects the evolution of hip-hop, music and musical projects in its structure. The concept of a "mixtape" was born in hip-hop and has become one of its uniquely defining features. The idea of combining producers, emcees, samples and sounds together on one tape is one of the many features that has lead to the rise of hip-hop. Ibra Ake captures the idea of "art" and puts it into the structure of a mixtape, which lends itself so well to the idea. The raw format of a mixtape is integrated with diversity, contrast, symbiosis and emotion in birds.

From tracks like "Murda" that take the listener into a beautiful interpretation of soul, to an alt-pop vibe on "Thunder and Lightening" to the multiple hip-hop contributions that are bursting with flavor and talent (did you think Steve G the Prince was just going to roll over on this one?) birds covers many genres of music and connects them together amazingly. Each artist in bird gives there own independent contribution that is woven into the formation of a well connected mixtape.

Birds is one of the most important projects of 2014 for any music fan that is searching for meaning beyond the cover of sound. Ibra Ake needs to keep using his ear for talent and juxtaposition when it comes to music, this surely cannot be the last musical project he puts together.

Side note: SOS2 is shaping up to be one of the more intriguing and anticipated projects around and I always knew Around the Horn was the best sports show on TV (shouts to Reali too).

Birds [Click to Download]

Connect with Ibra Ake Twitter

Jared Evan & Statik Selektah - Scene [Official Video]

After releasing the track list and artwork for their upcoming project, Jared Evan and Statik Selektah give us their second release off of the Boom Bap & Blues sequel, Still Blue. In this record, Jared shows off his pipes while giving us an impeccable verse in the middle of the track. The main reason I love Jared's music is because of its diversity. Not many can combine singing and rapping, yet he does it flawlessly with every release. Plus, the CK-directed video compliments the track perfectly with Jared being kidnapped and eventually escaping the hold of some creepy looking masked men. Be sure to check out Scene and purchase Still Blue when its released on October 28th!

Connect with Jared Evan: Facebook // Twitter

Jake Miller - Ghost

Jake Miller has been killing it lately. From releasing his single First Flight Home to being on the bill at various Jingle Ball events, there's not doubt that Jake's time has come. His buzz is at an all-time high and he doesn't show any signs of slowing down. For those of you who fell in love with Jake's emotional songs, this one is for you. The Warner Brothers recording artist has always made music with a meaning whether it be his song A Million Lives or I'm Alright; and they always give off such a great message. In his latest release, Jake links up with Nikki Flores to bring us yet another emotion-filled record which a lot of people can relate to. In Ghost, Jake addresses loneliness and the feeling of having no one to turn to. However, we are reassured that this happens to everyone as Jake himself says "you are not alone". Check out this amazing song and be sure to buy Jake's EP Lion Heart in stores or online when its released on November 4th!

Connect with Jake Miller: Facebook // Twitter

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Exclusive Interview with MKTO

Its not everyday that I get an opportunity to interview one of the biggest breakout groups of the past year while they're on an arena tour, but I was recently given that privilege when MKTO traveled to Connecticut while on Demi Lovato's world tour. About eight months ago, we introduced our readers to the upcoming pop/hip-hop group composed of Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller. At the time they were gearing up for the release of their debut album and immediately caught my attention. Eight months later, the duo's single Classic has gone platinum in four countries and they have been touring the world non-stop. I've had the chance to see Malcolm and Tony perform twice, and I can genuinely say they are some of the most talented performers I have ever seen; not to mention their debut album is one of my favorite projects released in the past five years. While on the Demi World Tour, I caught up with MKTO and talked to them about their success, their acting careers, touring, plans for the future and so much more. Check out the video above to learn more about these superstars.

Connect with MKTO: Facebook // Twitter

Lion Babe - Jump Hi feat. Childish Gambino

The New York based duo Lion Babe drops off the newest installment to the 2014 Childish Gambino campaign. The alt-funk vocals and production are an interesting pair for an awesome Gambino verse (as expected). 

Childish Gambino has had a roller coaster of features in 2014 crossing many genres. From Fredo Santana to Ariana Grande, S-X and now Lion Babe (to name a few), the voyage of tracks Gambino has dropped verses on shows just how amazing and important of an artist he is right now. If you haven't already be sure to check out Stnmtn/Kauai!

Connect with Lion Babe Facebook // Twitter
Connect with Childish Gambino Facebook // Twitter

Eastside - Ellie (Loyal x Don't) [Michael Keenan Remix] Feat. Skizzy Mars

Michael Keenan, the producer behind Skizzy Mar's "Pace", and many of the New York City rapper's recent slew of hits, is here to bring us some long awaited solo material. Keenan is also a New York native, and over the last few months has been building quite a name for himself with his smooth up-tempo electronic productions. 

For this cut, Keenan puts his own spin on Eastside's Ellie, which itself is a cover of Chris Brown's "Loyal" and Ed Sheeran's "Don't". Keenan trades the stripped down acoustic backdrop of the original for a bouncy instrumental, complete with some rattling percussion and smooth melodies. 

The new production you might notice, sounds like something the aforementioned Skizzy Mars might flow over, and Skiz does in fact lend a verse to this stellar track. Between the airy vocals of Eastside, Skizzy interjects with a verse where he peddles through a series of females, while indulging in an intoxicating lifestyle. 

Michael Keenan really does a fantastic job with this, and he and Skizzy Mar's chemistry on a track is undeniable. Stay tuned for more from the duo, and show Michael some love for the awesome new tune.

Connect with Michael Keenan: @Michael__Keenan // Facebook