New projects from these hard-working artists deserve your ears
Before the end of 2016, check out the artists and projects featured below. Created by some incredibly diverse, unique, hard-working and sincere people, the singles and their accompanying full-length projects are under-the-radar but entirely deserving of audiences everywhere.
FLEX THE ANTIHERO — “STICK UP KIDS” (featuring Emerson Brooks)
Produced By: Emerson Brooks
A star in the making, Flex The Antihero will deliver his second solo record Born Rebels on October 21, 2016. The proper follow-up to his March 2014 solo debut Salem, Flex plans a more cohesive and introspective project with Born Rebels. Judging by lead single “Pray” and second single “Stick Up Kids”, Flex has an entire album full of heat on deck.
Joined by longtime collaborator Emerson Brooks, the single and video for “Stick Up Kids” delivers a trip full of nostalgia and ambiance.
Emerson works closely with me to evoke a certain mood out of my records and always finds it during the mix downs. I wanted to counter the intensity of “Pray”; still dark undertones but more accessible.
Can’t wait to hear the full-length Born Rebels project.
SAUCE WIT SPAGHETTI — “Talking Horses”
Produced By: Ni$any
How did I come up with “Talking Horses”? Well, I heard this beat Ni$any produced and I was like, “Let me try to rap to this.” I wanted to rap how my name sound ‘Sauce Wit Spaghetti’ and I think this song defines that name.
The name of the song “Talking Horses” — I came up with that… Well, really for that month I kept telling my grandma, “What if there was a talking horse in like a suit?” Almost like Bojack Horseman.
And it also makes people’s reactions to the name like, “What? Why?” But it’s the best song I did from what my friends say, because that’s what started something as an artist for me even though I was like a conscious rapper before this.
I’m from Rocky Mount, North Carolina and the city that I live in is what most people my age want to get out of. And I say most people because some people just stay behind off of making bad decisions. It’s a bad city — well, actually we’re one of the worst cities — but it’s off of killings, money, gangs, etc.
Most people that live in this city want to get out, and I plan on doing that and living the life I want to live… Even if it’s not music.
I learned that you can’t be in another artist’s lane, you have to have your own lane. Be you, don’t try to be better than anybody else. I mean, I’m going to try because it’s Hip-Hop — it’s competition — but you know… Be you. And I think Sauce Wit Spaghetti is me.
KING SHAMPZ — “Autobahn”
Produced By: Azzan
“Autobahn” is the newest single released from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania MC King Shampz — and it is truly a gem.
In the Azzan-produced song, Shampz describes his love for fast cars while comparing the road ahead in the world of hip-hop and the game of life to a car racing down the highly active Autobahn highway in Germany.
He masterfully keeps the theme of cars and the often-busy German highway in tact while carefully placing truth about his actual existence in a life of fast women, violence, enemies and the lingering thought of the inevitable.
He runs a record label named Dead Wrong Records along with his brother, producer / rapper Azzan.
E THE REAL PLAINS — “Cold”
Produced By: Portfoleyo
Foley played me a first draft of the beat and he had some ideas for the chorus. The vibes are cold funky, so naturally it grew from there.
I wrote the first verse at his crib and we established a basic chorus, but the song was put on ice for a bit (pun intended).
I was caught up with some personal matters and I wasn’t too crazy about the first verse, but he pushed me to work on it some more and write a second verse.
After I recorded everything it just clicked. Sometimes you need to hear the vocals recorded over the beat to fully appreciate everything.
I sent the vocals back to Foley, he mixed it down and boom. Another cold one.
KALONJI LAW$ — “CRWN”
Produced By: Khrysis
Kalonji LAW$ is one of the founding members of the Flatbush, Brooklyn hip-hop collective named NYC LAW$.
Kalonji’s song “CRWN” is a representation of himself and his belief in Rastafarian culture mixed with gritty Flatbush, Brooklyn culture.
The hook is even inspired by a dancehall artist named Sizzla who Kalonji LAW$ is influenced by heavily.
“CRWN” is one of the singles off of Kalonji’s new EP SPED X, slated to drop very soon in the coming months before 2016 comes to a close.
RALPH WEAH — “Noise [Intro]”
Produced By: Young Taylor x Finest Beatz
Ralph Weah is an ingenious artist who intertwines lyricism with melodies and storytelling.
This song is an intro to his EP NOISE dropping late September.
The project is all about versatility and making music that’s unique without boundaries.
The project is called NOISE to emphasize his love for the art of creatively using various sounds to create each single on the EP.
DREWZ ANDREWS — “Pretenders”
Produced By: Sin V Style
Drewz Andrews is a independent hip-hop artist originally from Pensacola, Florida but now currently resides in Northwest Arkansas. He’s the founder of his brand Flow Game and looks to push that name out to the masses.
He’s currently promoting his new video to “Pretenders”: a very powerful track about what happens when you get caught up in the wrong life and pretend to be something you’re not.
“Pretenders” is the first single from his debut mixtape Midnight Road — released in May 2016 — a project full of great stories people can relate to.
MAURICE DANIEL — “Ain’t No Telling”
Produced By: Maurice Daniel
It’s been nearly a year since his last release Hiding In Plain Sight. Fresh off of a move from his home in the D.M.V to Atlanta, Maurice is prepping a series of releases — starting with a beat tape to display his strenghts as a producer titled The Progressive Paisley Project due for release before the end of 2016.
It’s a mix of boom-bap aesthetics, jazzy and soulful samples, with abrupt turns into trippy territory, meshing synthy vibes with intensely artsy original production.
This will be followed by what is sure to be his best work to-date: Seasons — an EP with extremely jazzy production and lyrical showmanship dealing with the ending of some seasons and beginnings of new ones.
Written By: Matteo Urella / October 2016
- Original photography submitted by featured artists