Tag: hip hop

New Video: Born Allah Teams Up with Zpu-Zilla and DJ Nu-Mark on a Soulful and Swaggering Banger

Born Allah is a grizzled veteran of Los Angeles’ hip-hop scene. The Los Angeles-based emcee had been quietly enjoying retirement, when German-born producer Zpu-Zilla contacted Born Allah and sent him the beat for “Dedication.” The “Dedication” beat inspired the Los Angeles-based emcee to rethink his retirement — and ultimately, the end result wound up being Born Allah’s latest EP Analog Baby. “After we talked about it, I sent a stack of beats and Born was hyped,” Zpu-Zilla recalls. “I’m so glad I could take him out of retirement for this project, and I hope it was worth it.”

Analog Baby not only reflects the talents and passion of the Los Angeles hip-hop vet, but it lovingly captures the era of hip-hop that Born Allah comes from. “I recorded on four-track recorders, reel to reel, and analog gear,” Born Allah says. “I wanted to tap into that energy, feeling and love I had for rapping when utilizing that equipment.” “This is me having fun spitting again,” Born Allah continues, “I’m an analog baby in a digital world.”

The EP’s latest single, opening track “Dedication” is a golden era-inspired banger centered around tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap, a soulful gospel choir sample, thumping low end and some dexterous scratching from DJ Nu-Mark. Throughout the track, Born Allah spits some witty, grown-ass folks lyrics that mesh swaggering braggadocio and hilarious, self-deprecating and self-loathing: the track essentially finds the Los Angeles hip-hop vet saying “yeah, I made be a cantankerous old head, who talks too much about the ‘good ol’ days’ but my old ass can teach you a thing or two!” (Personally, there’s something about this track that I can really associate with. As I inch further into my 40s within an industry that seemingly values youth at all costs, I’ve kind of felt the same!)

Directed by GuapCityProductions, the recently released video was shot in Downtown Los Angeles — and it captures the bravado and swagger of the song by following Born Allah as he cruises through town and hangs out with his crew. And while the crew does feature some young bloods, they seem to pay the old timers one and respect — in a way that seems all too uncommon.

New Audio: Emerging French Emcee YNG Nine Releases a Radio Friendly Banger

YNG Nine is an emerging Haitian-French emcee, who can trace some of the origins of his music career to when he was in elementary school. Since then, the emerging Haitian-French emcee has committed himself to honing and perfecting his craft — while conveying a multitude of emotions to his listeners. Throughout his growing catalog, his work has featured songs meant to turn the fuck up to, songs meant to make you feel melancholy and others meant to make you feel energetic. And as a result, his work stylistically runs the gamut — with the French emcee bouncing between screamo, melodic and rhythmic flows. But importantly, his work comes from his own lived-in experiences.

Recently, YNG Nine has had tracks receive airplay on independent college radio stations across Canada and here in the States. Building upon a growing profile, the French-Haitian emcee closed out last year with “Observations.” Clocking in at a brisk 80 seconds, “Observations” is centered around skittering trap beats, wobbling and rubbery synths and YNG Nine’s dexterous and melodic flow, describing his hungry, take-no-prisoners mindset on taking over the game. Simply put, the track is a hook-driven, radio friendly banger.

New Video: Rising French Emcee Kodes Releases a Thumping, Club Banger

Kodes is a rising Évry, Ile-de-France, France-born and-based emcee. Initially starting his career as a member of the Bat7 collective, the Évry, Ill-De-France-born and-based artist has had a breakthrough 2020 as a solo artist: “45 AMG,” the first single off his forthcoming full-length debut was released earlier this year — and the track wound landing at #1 on the French charts. Additionally, the French emcee has released a series of attention-grabbing, high energy freestyles titled “Méchant.”

The fifth and latest entry in the Méchant series, “Méchant 5” further establishes his growing reputation as one of France’s hottest new talents. Centered around an eerie production featuring twinkling yet hard hitting piano stabs, skittering, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, and an infectious hook, the track is roomy enough for the rising emcee to spit bars full of self-assured and dexterous French. It’s a club anthem from a hungry and rising artist, who seems ready to take over the French scene — right this very second.

Directed by frequent visual collaborator William Thomas, the recently released video follows Kodes and his crew arriving at a house to rock the fuck out and other sequences where he’s being cheered on by a gorgeous collection of cheerleaders.

New Video: Mista Savona Teams Up with Cuban Star Cimafunk on an Infectious Banger

Melbourne, Australia-based producer and musician Jake Savona has had a long love affair with the music and culture of Jamaica, releasing a string of critically and commercially successful reggae and dub albums with his recording project Mista Savona.

Eventually Savona discovered Cuban music — and he began dreaming of a collaborative project that would bring top musicians from Cuba and Jamaica together to collaborate on material. In 2015, Savona received a great from the Australian Council that funded his ambitious project. Both countries are connected by common African roots and colonial histories and yet the music of Cuba and Jamaica have largely traveled in separate lanes. And while both countries individually have had an immeasurable influence on music globally, their influence on one another have generally been less evident.

The acclaimed Aussie musician and producer along with Sly & Robbie (drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare) traveled to Cuba and began recording in EGREM Studio, where Buena Vista Social Club and a number of equally legendary artists have recorded material. More sessions followed, many other artists invited to take part and after years of painstaking effort, Mista Savona Presents Havana Meets Kingston was released in 2017 to worldwide acclaim.

Slated for release next year through Cumbancha Records, Mista Savona Presents Havana Meets Kingston Part 2 continues the bold and ambitious mission of its predecessor — bridging the incredibly diverse and important music cultures of Cuba and Jamaica. The album features a deep lineup of artists collaborating together including Jamaican stars Clinton Fearon, Randy Valentine, Prince Alla, and Micah Shemaiah, Cuban stars Barbarito Torres, Changuito, Brenda Navarette, Solis and Beatriz Marquez, as well as a lengthy list of others from both countries.

Mista Savona Presents Havana Meets Kingston Part 2’s latest single “Beat Con Flow” can trace some of its origins back to 2015 when Savona first saw Cimafunk performing with Interactivo, years before Cimafunk became a household name in his native Cuba. The backing band, which featured Sly Dunbar (drums), the late Winston “Bopee” Bowen (guitar), Gaston Joya (bass), Julito Padrón (trumpet), Savona (piano, Hammond organ) and DJ Wasabi (turntables) recorded an infectious and hook-driven, strutting party anthem that’s indebted to old school reggae, hip-hop and pop.

Later Cimafunk recorded his vocal parts at a small, rundown Havana recording studio, bragging in Cuban slang that he’s dope and spits fire on the mic — and that along with the backing band, that’s providing the infectious funk that will make you get up, dance and forget your problems for a little bit. 2020 has been difficult for all of us, and the song offers the much-needed fun and upbeat vibes our exhausted hearts and souls need right now.

Directed by Rick Mereki, the recently released video for “Beat con Flow” features beautiful brown and Black people dancing to the song in a variety of colorful and interesting spaces from graffiti covered streetscapes, living rooms, clubs and an abandoned pool.