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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:



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


by Alex P80 Parks

Sleep Sinatra is truly a poet. He just happens to rap his poems over beats. On Sources of Nature, The Nebraska emcee continues to explore the ideas of existentialism and spirituality, common tropes that he’s covered in the past with lyrical dexterity. Defining his raps as conscious is only one aspect of Sleep’s skill set as a lyricist. On his latest endeavor, Sleep Sinatra teams up with meticulous beat constructor, New Jersey’s The Custodian of Records.

TCOR chooses samples that are melodic and pleasant, layering them across a track. His beats are well balanced, full of emotion, with crisp and clean drums that never lose the smoky essence of those early samplers. The Custodian brings elements from obscure yet interesting records into his beats, digging for gems the original way.

Quietly becoming a prolific artist, Sleep Sinatra continues to drop multiple projects every year, each of them showing a fine attention to detail and a high level of production. Sleep is seemingly everywhere; likely found on more albums than any other emcee, certainly a top feature of late.

TCOR: “Sleep was featured over a track I sent to Flashius Clayton (Anchorman Fight Scene) and Sleep and I may have corresponded about working on something.. But we did “B.I.E.” and I was impressed by his work ethic. As we worked, gradually a few tracks turned into an EP’s worth of music.”

Sleep: “TCOR Reached out to me around late 17’/early 2018 and shot me a couple beats.. “B.I.E.” Really set it all off. I then picked what would become “Survivalist’s Theme” and it got a pretty strong response immediately. From that point we decided we should probably do a joint project for the sake of the chemistry. What initially started with the intentions of an EP became a full length, the rest is history. ”

The Poetic Flow of Sleep” The strings loops, jazzy guitar and slow nod of the bass over the punchy snare and crisp hi hat all come together as Sleep tiptoes on it with lines like:

“I was up late night writing,

Conversing with this pen

Searching for my purpose

Puttin in this work until I win.

Never concerned with the trends

Was serving them instead

This is street kid knowledge,

Esoterics in a perfect blend”

Survivalist’s Theme” The layering of subtle loops and effects can’t go unnoticed here as TCOR creates an ethereal beat that transforms into a triumphant crescendo. Here Sleep spits his concepts and larger ideas assuredly without ever coming across as sanctimonious or self-righteous.

Check it here:


Over a somber trumpet, Sleep is apologetic for being so naive in “A Fools Game,” declaring “silly me,” for being such a fool to think otherwise. Always looking inward while projecting outward. Sleep embodies a true artist, questioning life in the smallest of instances with great consideration.

Sources of Nature” feature wobbly resonating xylophone and organs with guitar effects to set the tone as Sleep is inspired and focused without forcing his rhymes. On “Scanners” feat Flashius Clayton, both emcees blackout as the beat shifts from an uptempo jazzy scat organ to a lively, lingering guitar solo. “Guerillas in the Mi$t” feat Ca$ablanca is full of punchy drums juxtaposed against tender and crestfallen flute loops. A definite standout is “Ritual” where Sleep just refuses to be confined or typecast. TCOR creates melodic textures through the chopped vocals, pianos and strings. The percussion is always on-point, using a variety of drum sounds to pair with the samples. Sleep rhymes:


Villains round ya building, casing

Nightmares awaken life, keep the steel adjacent

What you facing in environments that’s downtrodden

all them seeds ain’t growin right without the ground plowed in

sound shockwave through the housing and all that.”

A bouncing bassline, swirling strings and bubbling horns bring a retro feel to “Generations” feat Haze. “Blue Ruins” feat Flashius Clayton pulls a vibrant sample of a blazing guitar, echoing organs and whooshing futuristic effects. Flashius comes again with a ferocious verse to wrap up the energetic track. Flash is know to drop some of the finest guest verses in all of hip hop, and his 2 appearances on Source of Nature are no exception.

TCOR: “What I like about Sleep is he doesn’t tell me how to produce and I don’t tell him how to rap.. We both have a mutual respect for the talents we bring to the table. Working with emcees can be tedious and can even cause strife between the producer and emcee so I usually decline collabs… but when I do, I’m usually very hands on with how the final product comes out.”

Sleep: “TCOR is a particular dude, he’s from that era man, he likes things to sound a certain way. Real classic authentic hip hop craftsmen. Very appreciative of him piecing the album together sonically the way he did.”

It’s evident that Sleep really shines over TCOR’s layered beats. From their first tracks a couple years ago to this project, they truly complement one another’s musical stylings but also in their professional approach to collaborative music. When they link on a track Sleep vibes especially well with the jazzy nuances and subtleties that TCOR often creates in his beats. Sources of Nature is a well-constructed collab project from 2 of the more refined artists in underground hip hop. Sleep brings an elevated level of intricate and thoughtful rhymes. With TCOR, the production is carefully considered down to the minutiae, creating beats rich in textures and layered sounds.

TCOR has more in store for 2019 with his upcoming producer album The Sampler Platter. Sleep also has upcoming projects coming this year, including a project with producer Stu Bangas, amongst others.

cop Sources of Nature today with limited Physicals available at Gourmet Deluxxx

By Alex P80 Parks

In his deep, gravelly voice, the swashbuckling emcee greets listeners to his latest body of work with a smooth “ahoy.” On Black Cesar, Knowledge The Pirate drops jewels straight out the treasure chest and onto some carefully selected beats. All buccaneer metaphors aside, Knowledge brings a level of detailed-craftsmanship on this, his sophomore album. The Pirate has built a dedicated following through strong independent promotion from his own team. Knowledge delivers a solid, cohesive album showing growth and maturity from his 2018 debut Flintlock. On Black Cesar The Pirate returns with more vivid storytelling and an even sharper selection of beats to rhyme over, courtesy of Elemnt, Roc Marci and Don Cee. The beats utilize a solid formula of vintage sounds combining soulful loops, elegant textures and plenty of hard-hitting drums.

Blaxploitation and 70’s pimp themes remain prevalent since Flintlock, but Knowledge adds the mythos of the historic 1800’s Pirate, Black Cesar to those layered themes. Conceptually, he pulls it all together on Black Cesar, giving listeners a multi-faceted project.

The album opens with “Science Born.” Frequent collaborator Elemnt juxtaposes elegant piano loops with Knowledge’s rugged bars while he and his crew prepare for a midnight mission. The video shows him clad in all-black, strutting through the dark NY scenes.

Check the video here:

The fluttering horns of “Mafia codes” create the perfect NYC Italian cafe scene for The Pirate to craft a narrative of crime, gambling, drugs and guns. “Lick a shot” features chopped loops of piano slides and an Egyptian sounding organ sample. Knowledge raps of designer brands, riding fast, shots firing from the foreign whip while the women hang on for the adventure. It’s tracks like these that display the typical Knowledge style of luxury raps mixed with a street edge. On “Shots Fired,” Roc Marci lends his rhymes to the Don Cee produced track which sports a playful vocal sample, echoing effects and booming drums. Roc goes first, coming with his seemingly effortless flow and lucid imagery with lines like “Specs of blood on the funk flex Lugz…” Knowledge follows with 2 verses of detailed and engaging storytelling of an undercover agent amidst wild shootouts.

Elemnt and Knowledge combine on”Making My Mark,” full of pulsating bass and snare. Knowledge describes tending to his lady’s whims, ensuring that she lives comfortably. With “Table Manners” Knowledge creeps over a rising horn and lingering bells as he outlines the unwritten rules of the syndicate amidst his rhymes of success and wealth. Elemnt lays a standout beat on “Time has Come” with a soulful loop, harmonizing vocals and horns as Knowledge provides strong visual depictions with rhymes like:

“Sprawling beaches, Rolling waves,

Stripping out ya Armani bathing suit, Ready to misbehave

In Santorini Greece, at the Amari Bay, taking off ya Versace shades

Havin a long gaze at the Aegean Sea,

Where else would you wanna be?”

Gold Buillion” is the caper joint of the album. Elemnt brings a climbing strings loop to create just enough stirring action. Another standout beat on an album with solid production throughout.

Darko” is a definite gem, where producer Roc Marci blends the atmosphere of the strings loops and some dope effects to build just enough tension every few bars. Compressed and echoing drums complete the soundscape for Knowledge to discuss how he deals with the issues at hand. Roc Marci the producer has taken it to another level with an intended tone of mysticism in beats like this. Knowledge spits in pocket:

“Cannons on deck, Man of respect

Lights camera action, Quiet on the set

Ni**a yeah, the pirates on the set

My life’s a movie, I’m just scribing the script.”

She gone away” is a soulful ballad, about accepting being left by a badass woman. The 70’s soul/blaxploitation vibe is in full effect, as Knowledge describes the intense moments with that woman. With tracks like “Sad to say” and “Honor Among Us” Elemnt lays down chopped samples full of short melodies that he strings together stretching out the effect. Elemnt places some delicate harp notes and a lush arrangement of stings on “Earn the bag,” providing a feel of opulence and luxury. The slight jazzy trumpet adds to the vibe as The Pirate details enjoying all of the finer things in life with his lady. Producing the bulk of the album, Elemnt has certainly found his lane with the sounds he’s created on both of Knowledge’s projects, along with his solid beats for other artists.

Rap fans often want to hear of the materialistic luxury in lyrics. They live them vicariously through the emcees, while seeking a delicate balance with some grounding in reality. Knowledge upholds that balance, provided that fans suspend their disbelief of his creatively striking narratives. Knowledge speaks with a realness beyond the truth (or fabrication) of his lyrics. The elevated storytelling on this project shows more depth to his lyricism. He has patented a style of lavish and extravagant topics without reaching too far beyond reality, and more importantly, without ever sacrificing street credibility. The album is a solid body of work, cohesive through the concepts and whispers of vintage sounds in production throughout the project.

The album is available to stream everywhere, including iTunes here:


and to purchase here: