Representng from Diamond Bar, California, Andre Damar is a rapper with a little more to say than a lot of the stars of his generation. Regarding the single “No Hope”: “I tried to show a vision through my words about the everyday struggles a lot of young black men go through in America through my eyes…I talk about the grind we go through just to survive and I feel we all share the same grind of making it in America day to day. My grind is rapping and the next man grind is hustling and I just think the two worlds are very similar, especially for a black man in my city.” Given his heartfelt delivery and good ear for beats, I’m definitely looking for what this guy has for us in the future.
Front-Free’s been down with Mela Machinko’s workings for a long time, but check out her feature on Essence’s New & Next for a little more insight about where she’s coming from and where she’s going. Check out Machinko’s Bandcamp and cop her 9am Blues EP ASAP.
Shoutout to the righteous brother Joseph Parker for the alley-oop on this one. I love that stuff like this is out there getting made. I’m absolutely on the hunt for more stuff from this guy, so when I get it, you’ll get it. Stay tuned.
Ol’ Dirty Snorlax (Brooklyn Zoo Instrumental) x Oscar O’Malley
A lot of soul singers have good voices, but voices that wouldn’t stand out in your average church choir and since the apparent demise of R&B groups, you also have a lot of voices that could stand to be thrown into a group situation because they lack anything that would make them stand out. Alice Smith immediately grabs you as something different without going overboard on the “I’m Different” over-styling other artists cling to.
Hailing from DC, Alice Smith really proves her versatility and artistry with SHE. Listen to the proof below and be sure to purchase the album on March 19th.
This is one of those rare gems that occur when a blogger delves into his backlog of e-mails and takes a gamble on a submission from an aspiring MC. The few good ones always make up for the tons of sub-par joints you have to subject yourself to. This joint “Green Card” features Ikey rhyming over a Premier beat and is the first of a series of songs from his upcoming EP. I look forward to hearing and posting more as it becomes available.
Usually when I do a “Get Familiar” post, it’s about a brand new artist on the come-up. I’ve decided to do it differently today for a very different MC in hopes that more people being aware of his talent might inspire him to put out a more consistent product. Queens, New York MC Alec Reinstein, better known as Despot, has been rapping for approximately 17 years, performing in the New York rap scene, putting out the occasional track, and most recently supplying random features to the likes of El-P, Das Racist, Meyhem Lauren and Mr. MFN Exquire. Anyone with half a brain can listen to Despot and tell the guy’s got both a razor-sharp wit and a dark sense of humor, but it’s his concise yet rapid-fire delivery that is the initial draw. Despot’s apparently got some projects on the horizon as of last year although he’s a self-described lazy MC in terms of work ethic, so here’s to shaking the vending machine hoping for more product.
Get Rich Or Try Dying x Despot
Look Alive x Despot
BONUS (uh…NSFW): The Last Huzzah x Mr. MFN Exquire f. Despot, Das Racist, Danny Brown & El-P
New York hip-hop definitely made noise in 2011 and 2012 with serious output from the likes of Action Bronson, Maffew Ragazino, Troy Ave, Meyhem Lauren, and plenty others, but get ready to add my man CeeZo to that list. “NY Nostalgia” brings the kind of flavor that even a California hip-hop head such as myself has to admit harkens back to the spirit of 90’s NYC rap, while still remaining current and fresh. Big shoutout to Dux with the alley-oop on this one.
New music from my guy Isaiah Rashad and his homie Brian Cameron. When I first heard Isaiah Rashad, I was impressed with his honesty and unique approach to flow and song-writing. It seems like he is putting the same energy into some new material. Check him out.
I stumbled across this mixtape on Twitter and was pleasantly surprised. My guy Dom Mahoney (@DomMahoney aka Faceman or “The Face” although he says “nobody gets the A-Team reference”) and his younger brother Keys (@DoughboyyFreshh) came together to lay down the TMETape, which can be heard below. It’s always dope to hear something that started as a hobby being laid down in a studio-quality format and people having the balls to release it to the masses. Give this shit a spin.