Category: hip-hop

Innocent? is a New York-based emcee, who first received attention across the blogosphere with the release of the Love It or Hate It double album. The New York-based emcee teamed up with Brooklyn-based Stan Da Man on Love It’s follow-up, Whip Appeal, which T.H.E.M. Recordings released last month.

The EP’s latest single “Old Souls” is a bonus track off Love It and it features Innocent? and the legendary Sadat X rhyming about how things were done back in the day and how today, it’s a much more phony, superficial and distrustful hip-hop industry and scene for artists — and even fans. And they manage to do so over a sample consisting of boom-bap beats and a looped, bluesy guitar that gives the song an old school, stomping, shuffling swagger. It’s yet another example of real hip-hop — of talented emcees spitting fire over dope beats.

New Video: Up-and-Coming Emcee ARoc and The Visuals For His Latest Single “The Future”

Just the other day, I received a Soundcloud link from an up-and-coming emcee from  Inglewood, CA, ARoc. The Inglewood-based emcee started rhyming when he turned 16 and by 2004 he eventually linked up with  Neiman Johnson of YFS and 300 Entertainment, […]

ARoc is an up-and-coming emcee from Inglewood, CA, who started rhyming at 16 before he eventually linked up with Neiman Johnson of YFS and 300 Entertainment in 2004. ARoc spent the next few years developing his sound and voice — but 2015 may be the year he explodes into the national hip-hop map as he’s been featured on guest spots on  Eric Bellinger‘s “Turn Down For You” and “Gina” and a collaboration with up-and-coming singer/songwriter/emcee Jhene Aiko “Team Us.

I recently received a Soundcloud link of ARoc freestyling on his latest single “The Future” and admittedly, I was impressed by his flow complete with a ridiculous amount of braggadocio and playful wordplay over a variety of beats.

Long Island-born, Brooklyn-based DJ/producer/emcee J57 is probably best known among hip-hop heads as a member of the Brown Bag All-Stars, one of the more prolific and underrated crews in contemporary hip-hop. And over the last couple of years in particular, J57 has received attention and critical praise for a production style that channels the sound of hip-hop’s golden age — i.e., big, boom bap beats, heavy synth-based orchestration paired with ridiculously tight, catchy hooks. As a result of being mentored by the legendary DJ Premier, the Brooklyn-based producer, DJ and emcee has assisted Premier on production work with the likes of NasEd Sheeran and Sam Smith. And naturally, those contributions have directly led to collaborations with Joey Bada$$Action BronsonMethod ManRaekwonMack WildsThe Roots and others; in fact, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past few months, you’d likely remember that J57 produced “The Purple Tape” off Method Man’s recently released The Meth Lab.

Also, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of years you’d also be familiar with local emcee Koncept, who like the aforementioned J57 is a member of Brown Bag All-Stars. Over the past few years, there have been few emcees who have been as productive, prolific and consistent as Koncept, who has released a number of impressive singles and albums. Of course because of their connection in Brown Bag All-Stars, it shouldn’t be surprising that J57 and Koncept have been frequent collaborators, including for Koncept’s forthcoming EP The Fuel, slated for a November 20 release.

EP title track “The Fuel” featuring guest vocals by Akie Bermiss features Koncept dexterously rhyming about having the desire and determination to succeed in even the most difficult of situations, including desperate, hand-to-mouth poverty, working soul-crushing jobs with you dignity and sense of self intact. And he does so over a soulful production that features soaring organ chords, Akie Bermiss’s earnest vocals, and boom-bap drums. It’s conscious and thoughtful hip-hop based around deeply personal experiences and hard-fought wisdom — and it clearly draws from hip-hop’s glory days, when a song like “The Fuel” would dominate even mainstream radio. But no worry, real hip-hop featuring emcees actually saying something important over dope production is still alive and well; sadly, we all have to make more of a concerted effort to find it and support it.

2015 has been a busy year for Detroit‘s Guilty Simpson as Stones Throw Records released his latest full-length effort Detroit’s Son earlier this year, and he’s released a couple of incredible, non-album singles featuring collaborations with a number of internationally-based producers. Simpson’s latest single “Greatness” is a collaboration with London-based producer Stone Tone, and it’s comprised of Simpson’s gruff baritone rhyming about being determined to succeed in the face of all odds, haters, duplicitous snakes and others over a production featuring a looped, twisting and turning piano sample, soaring synths and strings, which give the song an inspirational feel, while being bolstered by boom-bap drums. Simply put, the track is real hip-hop and not that bullshit you’d hear on your conglomerate mainstream hip-hop radio station, as the song features an incredibly talented emcee actually saying something relevant and meaningful over dope beats. Certainly, after playing the song you should feel as though you could (and should) go out and there and achieve your own dreams — right this very second.

Blaccout Garrison is an up-and-coming, Minnesota-based artist and singer/songwriter and on his recently released EP, Hungry Soulful, the Minnesota-based artist teams up with the Chicago-based R&B vocalist and singer/songwriter The Elle, Jackson, WY-based emcee Abstract on “Strawberry Cheesecake Dessert.”

The song features Garrison and Abstract trading verses about the women they’re in love with — and they do so in old school terms, as they talk about these women as being confident, strong, stunning and smart as hell, and how they’d treat their women like queens and goddesses while The Elle contribute the soulful and seductive hook over production from Dthr33, who uses what is a familiar sample to real hip-hop heads — the soulful and jazzy sample that comprises A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Bonita Applebum,” to craft a song that channels golden era hip-hop and its positivity.

Certainly in age in which contemporary, male hip-hop artists refer to women as “thots” hearing an old-school leaning love song is much-needed and refreshing — and is perfect for a Sunday afternoon with that special someone.