With the first single off his upcoming EP, the South Carolina rapper delivers “Heed The Symbols.” French producer Keor Meteor supplies the mellow groove of the soundscape full of plucked strings and echoing bells. Corey calls on some of the underground’s most distinct talents in Sleep Sinatra and SeKwence to bring inspired verses. Keep an eye out for Gipson’s EP 84.3FM: Carolina Radio dropping on July 31st.
Corey G: “I figured I’d make my own (sound), conceptually, that represented where I live, where I’m at right now in life and with whom I think are the illest in hiphop at the moment.”
“They Don’t Know” is the first single produced by P-Ro & written by Mayhem (of EMS) off of their upcoming “PROclaiMAYtion” EP. “They Don’t Know” is a powerful message of anger, frustration and pain over a soulful backdrop. Truth is a harsh thing to face sometimes, but desperately important, especially in a world that too often turns a blind eye to it. This is a raw, but poetic dose of truth and reality from fed-up black people living in this world, addressed to those who don’t, and can’t possibly know.
On The Definition Of, Michigan’s Substance810 resurrects his career with 11 tracks showing off his rhymes and production skills. The trajectory of Substance810’s music is, at the least, an interesting one. Having been in the game, with several projects since his debut in 2006, Substance810 has seen the change in the music industry, for the better and worse.
Substance810: “I was frustrated with the climate of the industry in 2016. It became work.. And when that happens the fun is lost. So I took a break and started riding bicycles.”
DRHH: What was the new found inspiration? Sub: “While being on a bike listening to beats one day, inspiration just flowed back. In November 2017 I started back making beats on the MPC. I slowly started penning songs to those beats, inspiration grew until the point where I knew it was time. It’s 2020 now, bars are back and I’m here for it. I’m Creating selfishly; boom bap hip hop for myself and heads like me.”
Over a thumping track with digital effects, “All my life” produced by Know It, Sub’s focused flow is reintroduced to hip hop. On “F*ck You Talmbout?!” The track opens with a Lord Jamar sound byte and sports a MTK sample. Substance deconstructs the modern hip hop industry and his experience navigating the game. He spits about his clear dislike for mumble rap and fairy tale rhymes. On the production side, Substance810 brings a slight funk with the falling synths, bouncy bass and slight choir vocals in the background.
Sub gets quality Baltimore features with “Royal Rhymes” feat. Jamil Honesty and “Tunnel Vision” feat. Jay Royale. The top tier features continue with the banger “The Rising” featuring Daniel Son and Rome Streetz. Substance leans on the talented DJ Grazzhoppa to handle the cuts on the album.
On “Chop Suey” Feat Drip Matthews Sub spits lines like “I only know how to kick the truest, cold fit and my kicks is newish,” Here his personality emerges as the everyday guy, acknowledging this reality without playing himself.
The chopped synth organs of “Just Ridiculous,” pulsate as Substance810 delivers clever bars with some witty wordplay. Check out “Just Ridiculous” here:
“Midnight Oil” sees Substance in his sweet spot, both as a producer and on the mic. The beat builds a bit of tension and maintains a haunting, nostalgic quality. One of the standout tracks on the album. The album ends on “Dark Clouds” with Substance810 writing about personal struggles and deals with his demons therapeutically, through the mic. He shows some vulnerability discussing his daughter’s autism, his own depression and how he creates amidst those challenges.
The Definition Of shows Substance810 as an emcee trying to elevate his rhymes above the average rapper and taking his polished beats to the next level with great usage of samples along with plenty of thump. We get a definition of Substance810 with this album. He shows us glimpses of his own pain and hardships but also his triumphs and some good old rap braggadocio. Substance810 brings the talent behind the boards and on the mic with The Definition Of.
With the first single off the upcoming project The Loner, Massachusetts artists Oak Lonetree and Chairman Chow combine for “Late for Supper.” Chow lays down a unique short piano loop with subtle percussion as Oak spits in his soft-spoken flow, maintaining his tongue in cheek humor and candid observations. With a release on Fathers Day, the connection runs deeper than just a tribute to dear ol dad.
Chairman Chow: “The synchronicity on this one is strong for me cause my father had 23 and a half years of sobriety when he passed away. Adopting me a year after drying up. I met Oak 6 years ago, right after he sobered up. Funny cause I bumped all his music about him getting fucked up before, then when I went to pass him a joint he was like “I’m ok.” Glad he found the right path for him cause he ended up starting a family after.
“Fuck Donald Trump. Yeah I said what I said, n***a,”
Spits Ketch as he opens the track, unapologetically. On “Cry For Help,” KetchP drops some jewels for Juneteenth 2020. The Detroit emcee spits the important facts and questions the continued oppression at hand from an unfiltered perspective. The beat, courtesy of Detroit producer Blizzard, sports dusty, droning organs and booming drums. Ketch details the levels of racism, hate and the sheer ineptitude of humanity in our “civilized” society. We all may hear what’s going on, but it’s time we all truly Listen to the “Cry For Help.”
Rec Ali calls on East Coast veterans and Non Phixion alum, Lord Goat (Goretex) and Ill Bill to board the “Bullet Train.” Stu Bangas lays down a menacing piano loop and his signature booming drums for a tense ride. Lord Goat brings his striking lyrics and Ill Bill delivers an in-ya-face hook. Recognize Ali cleans up the track with his brash attitude and clever rhyme schemes.
Check out “Bullet Train” here:
off the brand new LP Guerilla Dynasty available here:
Free Mind: “I almost gave up on making music. I was going through a lot in my personal life and I felt stuck. I wanted to level up. I was tired of the same thing over and over. I wasn’t happy with music or my circumstances at that moment in time.”
Reinvention shows Free Mind’s capable production skills on 10 beats with an enjoyable variety of tones and mood. The LA producer drops his latest instrumental project, full of his signature chopped samples. Known mostly for his warm vibes, soul samples and knocking drums, Free Mind expands his sonic palette for more melodic arrangements, pulling away from solely embracing the warm vibes and weaving in some varying textures to great effect.
DRHH: Why Reinvention?
Free Mind: “I felt like I needed to take my sound to another level. I wanted to evolve past where I was as far as artists I would work with and just have a totally different outlook on life and music overall. So I consciously put forth the effort to grow past where I was… Subconsciously, I just started doing different things. I didn’t even realize it was happening until it happened. I guess I wanted it so bad that I manifested it by doing the necessary work. I started reading this new book by 50 Cent and in there is a chapter titled “Evolve or Die.” I think it’s really important that we always do that, to keep evolving and reinventing ourselves.”
The evolution is apparent across the 10 tracks of Reinvention. Fitting that the first track, “Let my Pen Bleed” shows the soulful chops that have partially defined him previously. Free Mind slides into the melodic groove of “Eye of the Beholder,” with a stirring female vocal loop. “Empty Nest” is a jazzy mellow beat which easily transitions into the somber “ooohs” echoing on “Stories.” Joints like “Go Crazy” just bang hard with Free Mind’s signature thump stamped on every beat. “Cerebral Cortex” shows Free Mind connecting samples to create a melody, while on “Grime,” the prominence of the triumphant horns sample becomes the focus, creating a slight tension, a vibe Free Mind is clearly fostering on some of these new beats. His Nipsey tribute, “Young Kings” is plenty soulful, featuring gospel choir loops. Free Mind closes it out with “Cry Sometimes,” the melancholy joint that symbolizes the growth and evolution as a man, alluding to the fact that we all need a release at times. Free Mind has shown his growth as he expands his range of sounds on Reinvention.
The Queens producer shows us his lyrical abilities, shining over Farma production. The Artivist may be known for his production chops but he’s been rhyming for awhile now, taking it more seriously over the last couple of years. With “Moonflower,” The Artivi$t laments over a significant loss and touches on things personal and dear to him. With a gorgeous guitar sample, Farma creates a soundscape that allows The Artivi$t to take us into his mind and persona, leaving himself still somewhat guarded behind the metaphors and wordplay.
ATL’s HIGHEND GRIMM comes through with his raspy flow again on “Burnt Urnge G Wagon” featuring Massachusetts legend Estee Nack. With the second single off his upcoming EP, Satan Snitchin, HIGHEND GRIMM recruits the ever prolific SupaNackMan for a fly verse over Camouflage Monk production. GRIMM’s contrasting flow and voice finds a perfect balance with the luxurious sound of a simple and delicate flute loop courtesy of Camo Monk. Stay tuned, Satan Snitchin drops soon.
Jamil Honesty: “The dope thing about this project is it solidifies our sound, Grazz and I.”
Frequent collaborators Jamil Honesty and DJ Grazzhoppa come together to form as The Fix. With their debut album, This is War, they bring the heavy artillery to attack the competition. Boasting solid features from Codenine, Cayoz, Ill Conscious, Ace Cannons, Monique Harcum, Supreme Cerebral, Revalation, Substance810 and Josiah the Gift, Jamil’s ever-Sharp rhymes pair naturally over the dusty loops and hard drums courtesy of Grazzhoppa, creating a raw and pure sound. The Belgian DJ and producer adds his own signature cuts and scratch-hooks to many of the tracks, creating an immersive hip hop experience. Grazzhoppa provides the perfect sonic canvas for Jamil to paint his vivid portrayals of street life. Check out Jamil’s own beat-making chops on “Freestyle 2020 feat Supreme Cerebral” as he produces under the alias Macabeats. Standout tracks include “Real Shit”, “Mechanikal Movements feat Codenine, and “Chamber Musik.” With “Pain” feat Monique Harcum, the addition of an R&B hook and more deeply personal content show Jamil’s growth in writing and developing songs.
Jamil Honesty: “Grazzhoppa and I have been collaborating since 2013 and to be honest it has been a pleasure working with him and us creating these moments. This project has been four years in the making, because some of this is even pre- Martyr Musik; actually about half of it. “Real shit” was the first record we recorded as The Fix. A couple of my favorite records we did is Mechanikal Movements and Chamber Musik, I just love the vibe of those joints.”
Jamil doesn’t disappoint with his wordplay and his beat selection remains on-point as always. Overall, a dope project from one of the underground’s most consistent lyricists over solid production.