Monikker is an Austin, TX-based producer, music blogger and emcee, who pairs thoughtful and socially conscious lyrics, a wicked wit and complex rhyme scheme and word play with golden era hip-hop production comprised of tweeter and woofer rocking, boom bap beats, lush, soul and neo soul and old-school hip-hop samples that will remind some listeners of acts like Atmosphere and other indie hip-hop acts. The up-and-coming Austin, TX-based artist has been pretty busy over the past few years — her music blog and podcast focuses on the best indie and unsigned hip-hop artists locally, nationally and internationally; and as an artist she has performed at Dallas, TX‘s Grenada Theater and spent a stint with Austin, TX-based act Savannah Red and the Blueberries, before signing with Royal Lifestyle in 2014.
2016 may arguably be Monikker’s biggest year to date as June 6, 2016 will mark the release of the Free Speech EP with her Free Speech, Vol. 1 mixtape slated for a release at the end of this year. “Heaven on Earth (Gotta Go)” a collaboration with fellow Austin emcee Kwamizzle is the first single off the Free Speech, Vol. 1 mixtape and as Monikker explains in press notes the track is “a nod to the boom bap style and East Coast lyrics, complete with samples and authentic turntable scratches. Lyrically ‘Heaven on Earth (Gotta Go)’ imagines a utopia where people are at peace with one another to achieve Nirvana here on Earth. At the same time, it’s a song that acknowledges one thing we all have in common — our similar fate as finite beings.” Sonically, speaking the song’s lush and soulful production sounds indebted to the legendary J. Dilla — in particular, I think of The Pharcyde‘s “Drop” and Q. Tip‘s “Vivrant Thing” — while lyrically her flow is reminiscent of MC Lyte, Eternia, Rah Digga and others, complete with a wisdom beyond her youth. And Kwamizzle joins in with an equally hard-hitting and gritty and swaggering bars that fit the lush production perfectly. Certainly, this single will remind listeners that hip-hop’s golden era is still powerfully influential, and although finding conscious and thoughtful hip-hop can be difficult when mainstream super conglomerate radio stations inundate listens with empty, soulless and prepackaged nonsense, it’s out there waiting to be found if you make the effort.