With both emcee and producer hailing from the Garden State, Jersey reps hard on this one. Fatboi Sharif lays down his convincing and unique cadence over a swaying orchestral loop from The Custodian Of Records. Audio clips of police and civilians discussing domestic disturbances are featured throughout the track as Fatboi takes the perspectives of man and woman on each verse.

Check the track here:

https://soundcloud.com/beatsbytcor/fatboi-sharif/s-FJpuo

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With the third single off his upcoming EP Cipher Carlos takes viewers on a stroll downtown. “Take These Gems” is produced by UK beat master Farma. With the video shot entirely in Jamaica, the scenes capture the metaphors of “taking gems” in a visual sense as Nomad Carlos haggles with store owners about copping some priceless goods. The Kingston, Jamaica-raised, Long Island-based spitter Nomad Carlos plays multiple characters in the video directed by Udemba McLean and Scotty Dreamkiller. The track shows an organ laced beat courtesy of Farma, which Carlos finds perfect space for his patient slow flow.

Check out the video here

Cipher, fully produced by Farma drops May 13th.

With the first single off his upcoming project coming soon, Jamal Gasol shines on the Kil produced “Po Out Some Liquor.” The track sees Mr. 31 display some introspection as he laments over the fallen without ever losing a step in his own progress. The sample is appropriately morose with a bluesy guitar riff coupled with crisp hi hats and punchy snares.

Peep the track here:

https://soundcloud.com/jamal-gasol/po-out-some-liquor-produced-by-kil/s-WwVTh

Check for No Joy Without Pain 3, coming soon, as the Diadora Don again teams up with producers Kil and Quis Star.

With soulful production from Thelonious Martin, these four emcees connect from all over the US. SeKwence brings his raspy Alabaman vocals, Dap’s monotone flow from Virginia, Sleep Sinatra’s poetic acrobatics and Haze’s intense Massachusetts delivery. Thelonious Martin provides slapping drums, high-pitched vocal chops and a glowing vintage vibe to the whole track.

Check the track here:

https://soundcloud.com/sekwence/street-sharks-feat-dap-x-sleep-sinatra-x-haze-prod-thelonious-martin/s-20qfs

Dimetapp, produced by Nautilus features Jamil Honesty, Jay Royale and Codenine spitting over a bouncing beat with deep bass, mellow piano chords and an Isaac Hayes vocal sample. The two Baltimore emcees connect with the Mass lyricist on this head-nodding joint with a touch of soulful reminiscence. All three emcees bring their best here, leaving fans wanting a full collab album from the elite rhyme specialists.

check the track here:

http://jamilhonesty.bandcamp.com/track/dimetapp

By Alex P80 Parks

DC emcee AnkhleJohn has certainly played an important role in this current renaissance and has helped to revive a lost element of artistry amongst underground rappers and emcees. He knows what fans want to hear and is able to deliver that without compromise. On wax, AnkhleJohn presents as a huge, imposing figure. But despite his short physical stature, AnkhleJohn posses the voice of a giant on the mic, a larger-than-life persona with an aggressive vocal delivery. Since his emergence on the underground scene, he’s captivated fans and cultivated a devoted following for his witty, care-free attitude with plenty of polarizing bravado and debauchery.

Rife with murky soundscapes crafted by Vinyl Villain, AnkhleJohn returns with his latest project A Cold World. With moods that vacillate between detached and foreboding, the grim sonic canvas is perfect for AnkhleJohn to spit his harsh bars on.

If you’re newer to AnkhleJohn, his voice will surely pull you in with gruff, strained vocals and his signature ad-libs(“Sweatagawd! “Sick, sick, sick, sick” “talmbout”). He has maintained a steady presence in the underground with his multiple projects from 2018 and myriad of features on records for other artists. Producer Vinyl Villain is coming off a hugely successful project with Eto and continues to get his hand in the works of top- quality emcees. It comes as no surprise that they put out a high quality product.

Deeply Rooted reached out to AnkhleJohn and Vinyl Villain to see how A Cold World came to fruition:

Ankh: “we had already built a chemistry.. we had a show in Philly(Slime Beach), so we built together. It was him and Michaelangelo. We definitely all had fun that night. I kicked it with them guys that night. We cooling and bonding.. We even had to travel together as we went from Philly to NY so we was able to build and shit on a personal level.”

VV: “We been working on this since we first linked at Slime beach, summer 2018, for the Estee Nack and Daniel Son show ”

Ankh: We created that bond beyond just sending me some beats out, just no internet shit. He coulda just sent me beats and done it back and forth.

VV: “And we were gonna end it at 7 tracks but I sent another pack and he ended up writing to 4 more joints which is how we ended up with 11”

Ankh: “Villain sent them fire ass beats. I was real inspired and just went in.”

Ankh: “I thought of the concepts, and wanted to include the fashion with it, cuz that’s one thing I love.”

Pulling the title from Tupac’s character in the ’92 film Juice, “Bishops return” opens up the album with AnkhleJohn’s typical grimy swagger over a wobbly guitar sample evoking a feeling of uncertainty. Vinyl Villain lays an atmospheric sample with pulsating effects on “TwoForFifteen” as AnkhleJohn displays an array of rhyme topics across a single track. On joints like these, Ankh really pulls you into his world spitting rhymes like:

“Those who know don’t talk,

Those who talk don’t really know

Necklace really gold, In a Fendi robe

You know how that semi go (dududududududu)

That n***a life’s worth bout a penny roll

All my life I been that elephant in the room

I feel like Jesus out the tomb”

No features pt 2” sports a menacing piano loop and snapping drums. Check the Video for it here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P-2p8EvJ-4A&feature=youtu.be

Featuring a delicate and very melodic strings loop and beautiful vocal sample “Blood Diamonds” shows Ankh focused on women and finer things here.

Ankh rhymes:

“I’m very young and defiant, short but still a giant

And my opinion is biased, if it’s concerning clients

And my cypher don’t believe in Shit, we deal wit science,

Put the suppressor on hammers just to keep the silence

You see the pressure I’m applying? It’s vibrant”

The Informant” shows a story-telling Ankh detail how the life is “cutthroat.” Vinyl Villain elevates a nervous mood here with chopped piano notes. “The Mob” is slightly psychedelic and sincerely paranoid as the effect is slowly amplified, creeping then receding. Vinyl Villain builds on that with the peak anxious vibe on “Kane Mask” as flute notes spurt and sputter in panic. On tracks like this, for Vinyl Villain, it’s where he lets the sample ride out at the end, with grating violins that embody the intended tone. Ankh capitalizes with his raw voice and unadulterated lyrics. “Voices” is an 80’s B horror movie soundtrack, but with banging drums and synth effects. The eerie tone is perfect for Ankh to describe the voices that linger and those that incite him to continue to rise.

Ankh spits:

“Everything’s a choice

Blade slice ya throat, cut off ya voice

Pop Moet, get the pussy more moist

Roc ya shit like Marciano

Extort you every month like a car note

African queen come from the Congo”

Providing a throwback sound with a slight west coast vibe, “Hitman Holla” hits the low frequencies with vibrating effects, pounding bass and dusty drums.

Ankh: There’s no features whatsoever on this one, it’s just me holding my own.

A Cold World” With a wailing hard rock guitar riff, the title track screams sinister and ominous with a condemning tone. Ankh attacks those with a lesson filled with the realities that this world truly is cold, so now you’ve been warned. To close out the album, “Body Bags” is the most melancholy of the tracks on the album, as Vinyl Villain pulls a sample from the Blade Runner score with somber piano notes.

Ankh: I wanted to drop it earlier, when it was actually cold outside, you know? like, in the midst of the 3 degree weather. I mean this is the epitome of hoodie and Tim’s music. We was supposed to drop this not long after the Eto joint. But it took a minute. It took me longer cuz of stuff goin on in my personal life. There was some up moments and some down moments, which play a part in all the music. It all connects to my personal life. I wish I could take you into all that.”

Clearly Ankh and Villain make a great pairing. AnkhleJohn states that “Villain is one of my favorite producers, man.” While VInyl Villain equally praises his emcee’s work: “The project just came together effortlessly.”

The album shifts from tracks that are straight verses to some joints with hooks as well. Content varies from shit-talking to nasty sex-talk, to one-ups on crumb rappers. His jewels are sprinkled throughout; some are only for those with knowledge of self, while there are still plenty of gems left for the rest. There’s even some enhanced storytelling as well on this album. AnkhleJohn’s devoted following continues to grow as he works with more talented producers, stratifying his sound that much further. This project shows Vinyl Villain’s strengths in developing and varying moods throughout the project. He utilizes a wide array of samples and sounds to accomplish that feat, never detracting from the vision and overall feel.

The album is available to stream everywhere, purchase physical copies here:

https://therealvinylvillain.bandcamp.com/album/a-cold-world

by Alex P80 Parks

When Teller Bank$ and Blaq Knight first connected last year on Hellfire & Brimstone, a formidable duo was created, combining truly unique vocals and rapid rhymes over beats that maintain a dark and ominous vibe with a few lighter, soulful moments to uphold a variable listening experience. The True & Living continues the great chemistry between Blaq and Teller in the second chapter of their sonic journey.

Teller describes of how Hellfire & Brimstone, the first chapter, came together in this saga of Blaq Knight and Teller Bank$.

Teller: “I feel like it’s important to know the backstory before I go into detail on True & Living… So in Hellfire & Brimstone the backstory is shit that was goin on in my life was fucked. Like deadass everything. Gramma passed, my wife divorced me at the funeral and my health was fucked. My mom was goin through it too, my whole mental was fucked. I made prolly like 3-4 albums, self produced, of like the most depressing shit of all time haha.. I was like engulfed in all this terrible shit. The whole time I’m listening to WSG and Conway, thinking like ‘I love how dark this shit is; like this matches my rage but I can’t produce like this. I’m just not givin a fuck so the music is all resonating with me real well. And then I found that first beat from Blaq. ‘No Mercy.’ I hit him like yo, deadass stalked this n***a and made him interact with me till we developed a relationship. When I recorded ‘No Mercy’ I mean… you hear it, ya know? At that time I was readin the Bible a lot and my situation kinda reminded me of Sodom & Gomorrah; like I was surrounded by all the terrible depression and bad shit for years and years and when I finally got my way out or it all got destroyed and burned down anyway, I had to run and never look back. But it’s hard because as dark and evil as that place was, it was home.. that’s how Hellfire & Brimstone got its name and art.”

Teller: “At the end of H&B, with the different more lighter tone of ‘Thellin’ its more open-ended.. Like it’s the precursor to True & Living; a segue into the next story. And every story is like the hero story…”

Taking a different direction from the shadowy Hellfire & Brimstone, Blaq Knight returns with his brand of punchy drums, thunderous bass and unique blends of samples. This particular go around, Blaq and Teller develop a less murky and bleak tone overall. Teller himself describes it as “sonically brighter.” Never soft, but always full of soul and emotion.

Teller: “With my music I want to take people on a journey, a pilgrimage. I feel like with both these projects, I’ve done that. ”

Lamb of God” whooshing synths and bluesy plucked guitar strings combine over a stuttering snare as Teller ascends on the album opener. On “6AM” blaring horns and a gorgeous vocal loop all combine over a thumping beat for Teller to wreak havoc.

“I’ma need like a hundred or sumthin

Of everything that I ever done wanted

Hey, fuck them other n***as always frontin

It’s open season, n***a always huntin

Runnin they mouth, when they see me they runnin

N***as paid for the plays but ain’t gettin paid to play, they on some slave shit.”

His vocal intensity may begin a bit reigned in here but not his quick delivery, as Teller continues to show his crazy lyrical speed especially as the verse comes to an end.

The hypnotic vocal and piano loops of “Trigonometry” seem drugged and hazy, yet awake. after every few bars, the vocal sample breathes to allow just enough warmth into the track. The drums knock plenty as Teller tiptoes his quick verse on over beat.

“Had to get it, it was automatic

Had a habit, it was hard to drop it

Drop a n***a like bad passes,

Had to flip it, almost lost the package

Water whippin, I might have to rock it

Rock the Pippens, feel Like Randy Savage

Line of scrimmage, hundred yards past it

Did the dash, stoppin ain’t a option.”

Blaq goes more atmospheric on “4602” as Teller delivers some honest rhymes with insightful lyrics; the pain in his voice clear as he tells of family and struggles he’s endured. “Dragons Breath” feat SeKwence and Pro Zay As Blaq Knight creates a pulsating beat with a synth harpsichord sounding like some Castlevania shit, all 3 emcees deliver their own brand of rhymes. SeKwence drops his raspy croaking flow and adds a second verse after Teller brings his high energy and quick delivery. Pro Zay comes in with his strained vocals to close out this uptempo joint. The youthful spitters solidly connect with Blaq Knight on this track.

check it here:

http://tellerbanks.bandcamp.com/track/dragons-breath-ft-sekwence-pro-zay

Certainly a unique and quirky beat is “Lil Mcbeanpie Headass.” Using a rich almost psychedelic sample with organs, a bouncing bass line and unique vocal part, Teller stays in pocket. “Redemption” sports a 70’s soul loop chopped up, featuring rising vocals, smooth horns and sweeping strings. With “Fallen” Blaq Knight finds a great balance in beats like this with the somber melody over uptempo dusty snare and bass. Teller spits lines like:

“Might never do another interview,

Might never make another interlude

I’m a inner tube in a swimming pool, full of n***as drownin

they reaching like its they last hope, they’re all around me, surroundin”

On the “The Love of Misery” Teller is having a great time over jumping piano keys, bouncing drums and ever-so-subtle beautifully soulful vocal notes. Check the track here:

https://tellerbanks.bandcamp.com/track/the-love-of-misery

Teller: “Its a sermon, like the first lesson is H&B, this is the next lesson I chose.. Both out the Bible, the events are sequential but the message is there.”

Teller’s songs are truly an extension of himself, as he raps with an incredible energy and passion. He is not one to ever hide behind a façade. Even the cover art for True & Living created by the young, talented Ben MultiiAssassin Haleber depicting a jesus-like figure covered in blood and surrounded by bodies could be viewed by some as somewhat controversial.

Teller: It’s kind of like Metal Gear Solid. Same universe overall, same battle of good and evil but different characters, different eras ya know? It’s more tied by the lesson than the actual series of events… The story ain’t chronological though, ya know? It’s like the same thing. My albums with Blaq are like my bible so it’s like it’s spans a lot of shit so True & Living isn’t a direct sequel to H&B; they’re different chapters in the same book. I’m leaving it open because I don’t know how many I’ll actually do with Blaq, ya know? But it’s essentially like my bible. Hellfire was darker and more pain. Where True and living is more the life and tribulation.”

“The first part of the journey is get out of the home, In Hellfire, it’s all about the trials and tribulations, whereas True and Living is like the prodigal return, like the return of Jesus, where I came back with my version of justice, the way I wanna handle it.”

Teller handles it well, with his undeniably sharp rhymes that leave listeners breathless trying to keep up with his inimitable flow. Blaq Knight continues to prove how underrated and capable he really is at crafting some of the most intriguing beats that capture raw emotion and maintain the heart of dope hip hop.

The album will be available on 4/13 here:

https://tellerbanks.bandcamp.com

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-true-living/1458828333

peep the review of 2018’s Hellfire and Brimstone here:

https://deeplyrootedhiphop.com/2018/09/28/exclusive-review-teller-bank-x-blaq-knight-hellfire-brimstone/