Novv St. Rivver gets busy with his new upbeat single “OK / Alright”

Eclectic rapper/singer Novv St. Rivver shares the new single “OK / Alright,” which displays his unique melodic raps and characteristic raspy vocal tone. Over a soulful and vocal sample-driven bouncy backdrop, the singer delivers a heartfelt and impassioned performance ripe with catchy melodies and memorable mantra-like hook to match. The songwriting is a blend of bravado and some insightful elements that dive into his life and go-getter mentality. As for the soundscape, he sure knows how to pick them as the 90s infused, cinematic trap backdrop fits his eclectic style to the tee.

Raised in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Novv St. Rivver’s music deals with the most prominent social issues of our time — in particular, those that impact the most marginalized among us in our urban communities. Find out why he’s the freshest new voice in conscious hip hop.

Stream “OK / Alright” on Apple Music

Connect with Novv St. Rivver : Twitter | Soundcloud | Instagram

Kahlil Simplis details a toxic romance on new tape ‘Safehouse, Vol. 1.’

LA musician Kahlil Simplis details the obstacles faced in a toxic romance on new project Safehouse, Vol. 1., exploring his past relationships, rooting himself in the present and looking towards his future. Wrapped up in sonics that are pleasingly raw, each offering on the eight-track production forms around a specific situation in his life, drawing from toxicity and turning it into something more uplifting. 

Opening with the pulsing beats of title track “Safehouse,” the project move effortlessly from the laid-back feels of “Been Playing,” to the introspection of “Skin,” to the confident fierceness of “Nonsense,” showcasing the full expanse of his sleek sound underpinned by intimate messages of different facets of toxic love that are crafted to connect with listeners.

Whether a poignant exploration of self-worth on “Safehouse,” which goes “When I was at my lowest/I knew quitting was a sin,” or the confidence of “If I Knew Then,” which looks back at a relationship in hindsight “Self care and free spirits are ones that I attract/I could never be with someone who’s gon’ hold me back,” Simplis’ music is straight from his heart yet infused with relatability. 

Whether it’s the frustrations that seep through “Options,” the playful charm of “Making It Easy,” or slower contemplation of final track “If I Knew Then,” Safehouse, Vol. 1, gives us a look at Simplis’ most genuine emotions carried forward by hazy but sharp instrumentals that get us grooving along even as we relate to the deeply thoughtful lyricism.

Simplis who treats music as his sanctuary brings us into his safe space with his versatile, emotive sound, as Safehouse, Vol. 1, provides a perfect snapshot of the carefully refined skills that make for a clear indication that the rapper is one to keep an eye on.

Connect with Kahlil Simplis : Instagram| Twitter

Blaqbonez drops deluxe edition of debut album ‘Sex Over Love’

Nigerian rapper turned Afropop singer/rapper Blaqbonez closes out 2021 with the deluxe edition of his debut album Sex Over Love. This new edition goes the extra mile by revamping some of his old tracks and extending the length of the project.  Consisting of several of Blaq’s hit singles such as “Haba”, “Bling”, “Fendi” and “Okwaraji” it includes three new additional tracks “Run My Race”, “Shut Up – Remix”, and “Medicine” featuring Afropop star Oxlade.

On “Okwaraji” he embodies the spirit of a good boy turned player after numerous heartbreaks and disappointments. On there, he is joined by singer Bella Shmurda who closes it out with an unapologetic verse over the sublime and punchy trap backdrop. On “Shut Up – Remix” he recruits Ghanaian rapper Kwesi Arthur,  South African singer/producer Tellaman, and Afropop singer Kuami Eugene who all have fun over the hypnotic backdrop laid before them. Blaq is in his element in “Novacane” a dreamy melodic trap track that displays his braggadocio demeanor in all its glory. He reminds us that he came from the bottom and now he is living his dreams despite what the naysayers think.  Other stand-out tracks include the sensual record “Never Been in Love” and the catchy hit “Bling” featuring singers Amaarae and Buju

Overall BlaqBonez sticks to the anti-love theme religiously in a slightly humorous manner where he seems to be living his best life devoid of girl troubles. In a nutshell, he reminds us that he is just here to have fun and further express his Sex over love gospel. “The album is my most successful body of work,” Blaq said via email, ” I’m just tryna show y’all more reasons why you should pick Sex Over Love.”

Blaqbonez a.k.a Akumefule Chukwu-Emeka George is a Nigerian rapper signed to Chocolate City Music who is popular for his versatile, energetic, and competitive style of rap, as well as his many personas.

Connect with  Blaqbonez :  YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

J-Onyx is all about that “Hood Stuff” [Video]

South London rapper J-Onyx is ending the year on a solid note with the release of the visual for her third single “Hood Stuff.” On the record, she teams up with esteemed producer Ty Metronome, who lays down a synth fuelled bass-heavy drill beat that fires up the listener.  From thinly-veiled verbal jabs, engaging stylish cadence, and an air of natural confidence, J-Onyx goes for the jugular as she reminds us of her rough beginnings and her journey through this music thing will not be curtailed by naysayers or detractors. .medrectangle-3-multi-108{border:none !important;display:block !important;float:none;line-height:0px;margin-bottom:15px !important;margin-left:0px !important;margin-right:0px !important;margin-top:15px !important;min-height:250px;min-width:250px;padding:0;text-align:center !important;}

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The visual is straight to the point and focuses on J-Onyx’s presence while capturing her in her element with her team. It also makes use of expressive choreography, quick-cut scenes, and a bit of dark lighting to accentuate the moody vibe of the song itself. In the same vein as her previous two releases earlier this year, the rising rapper only aims to make an impression with her music which serves as the focal point of her branding. Her face is fully masked and she is usually fully clothed in pictures and videos so the only point of reference is how dope her music is.

“Hood Stuff” is the third single and follow up to her previous singles “Chop The Bummies” and her debut single “Can’t F With.” 

Get “Hood Stuff” on all DSPs here.

Connect with J-Onyx : SoundCloud | Spotify | TWITTER  | INSTAGRAM

Sadistik and Kno show us what lies beneath “Neptune Skin” [Video]

Seattle, Washington-based alternative hip-hop artist Sadistik teams up with producer Kno for this short experimental collaboration entitled “Neptune Skin.” Clocking at just 2 minutes in length, the track is ripe with Sadistik’s distinct laidback flow and stream of consciousness style where he takes us deep into the dark crevices of his mind. From evolving species, solar flares, and aborted flight missions, Sadistik paints a gloomy tale detailing his journey over Kno’s ominous and somewhat cryptic production.

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Directed by Kno and theolddustytrail, the visual takes viewers to what we can presume to be the planet, Neptune. Here, Sadistik plays the role of a space adventurer who crashed on the planet and now tries to find a semblance of the meaning of his surroundings as he faces the adverse environment and an unknown individual lurking around. “Neptune Skin” is the first collaboration between Sadistik and Kno since their 2015 EP Phantom Limbs.

Cody Foster, better known by his stage name Sadistik, is an American alternative hip hop artist from Seattle, Washington. He is currently unsigned to a label. In 2008, he released his debut album The Balancing Act on Clockwork Grey Music.

Kno is a producer/rapper and a member of the renowned alternative hip-hop group CunninLynguists and also Built to Fade.

“Neptune Skin” on all DSPs here.

Connect with Sadistik: SoundCloud | Twitter  | Instagram

Jordan Hollywood talks new album ‘Only the Paranoid Survive’, working with Timbaland, and the music industry [Interview]

Broward County, Florida artist Jordan Hollywood is truly a name worth knowing in the music industry. A songwriter, entrepreneur, label owner, and all-around hustler, Hollywood is a prime example of taking your career into your own hands. The multi-faceted musician started off writing songs for renowned acts like Jason Derulo, while meticulously crafting his own sound through a series of early projects. Branching off after learning everything he could from being in the studio environment, he expanded into production and sound engineering. On the business side of music, he also launched his own label The Wasted Youth with the primary goal of advocating for artists’ rights. His work across the industry eventually caught the attention of legendary producer Timbaland, who co-signed him, and then collaborated with him on his recent single “The Ugly Song”. Now gearing up to release his new album Only the Paranoid Survive, Hollywood caught up with EARMILK to discuss his beginnings, upcoming music, and dealing with the ups and downs of the music industry. 

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Citing the rich, vibrant culture of Broward County, Florida as one of his earliest influences, the area played a large role in shaping Hollywood’s unique, refreshing persona and sound. “Our culture in Broward County is kind of uncensored, and you can hear that in the music, its very truthful and honest. It makes the music funny, entertaining, and interesting”. Hollywood himself was one of the first artists to rep Broward County in his music with his first full-length release Sorry for This in 2016, alongside the likes of Ace Hood, Kodak Black, and more. “When I first started taking music seriously, every rapper that I’ve always loved repped their hometown, but where I came from, nobody was repping it early on. Since my first project, I’ve always wanted to help put Broward County on the map”. 

In order to become one of the area’s prominent voices, however, Hollywood had to make some substantial sacrifices. Dropping out of high school to pursue music full time, the artist dove headfirst into the studio environment, soaking up as much knowledge as he could and sharpening his skillset. “When I dropped out of school, I just knew I wanted a head start on music, I was just so focused on it from the beginning”. The period afterward did not come without its difficulties, however, as is the story for many artists. “For a while, I had to sleep in cars or in the studio. I was using all of my money to invest in my music, and in return I was sacrificing my comfortability. I like to say that you should find a way to feel comfortable being uncomfortable, and if you can master that then you’ll appreciate what you have so much more”. 

Later on, the sacrifices he made paid off for the hardworking Hollywood when he found his stride as a songwriter, crafting songs for other artists who were more established at the time. “The songwriting started happening organically, being in the studio environment often. It actually started with writing female rappers. They really knew how to hustle, while guys wanted everything for free, they were always willing to pay me to write”. While it was never originally his plan to become a songwriter, his buzz grew quickly in Florida, and eventually he penned tracks for household names like Jason Derulo. “I learned a lot from being around Jason Derulo as well as others, like how to approach songwriting from a pop angle. I took the strategy of how they put together pop songs, and put it into the music that I make, whether it’s trap music, hip-hop, or whatever else”. 

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Hollywood’s own creative process contains healthy doses of experimentation, as he always tries to keep an open mind. “I spend the first 20 minutes of making a song just trying to figure out pockets that I’ve never used before. I go in the booth and try to play with my voice and do weird stuff that makes me feel uncomfortable to try for originality”. This is evident when listening to tracks like his Timbaland-assisted banger “The Ugly Song”, with its refreshing, interesting melodies and smooth flows. Showcasing his keen ear and unique vocal style, “The Ugly Song” is pure ear candy, containing winding, electrifying melodies and rhythms.

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Working with a legend like Timbaland on “The Ugly Song” is “like a dream come true” for Hollywood. “He’s the goat, he was always so loving and respectful with us, and treated us so well during the whole process. For someone who’s a legend to be treating the younger generation like that, he deserves so much props”. A re-working of Bubba Sparxxx 2001 hit “Ugly”, the song pays homage to the original while bringing in an exciting dose of Hollywood’s character-rich style. Accompanied by a vibrant music video directed by Austin McCracken, “The Ugly Song”‘s visuals are highly entertaining and refreshingly creative. They depict a variety of off-the-wall situations that keep you anticipating whatever is coming next, including scenes with a horse and brushing his record plaques with a toothbrush. “We were just thinking of a bunch of fun scenarios we can create using a green screen. One of the ideas was getting a horse, but since it was last minute they had to send a guy in a green suit, and I had to walk him on a rope. I was weirded out by it, but they were like “just believe me”, and it turned out sick”. 

Following this release up with his very latest offering “PLEASURES”, a single from his anticipated upcoming album Only the Paranoid Survive, Hollywood’s songwriting takes on a more introspective tone as he discusses topics like family, loyalty, and work ethic. Showcasing his diversity as an artist, the sharply crafted, bittersweet melodies on “PLEASURES” are heartfelt and raw. “I don’t write a lot, but I freestyle a lot. When I do write, I usually get more personal, and more thought goes into it. I wrote “PLEASURES” in about 30 minutes, and I did the whole thing in one take”. The song includes a touching line about relationship with his mother, and how geographical separation prevents them from seeing each other as often anymore. “My Mom lives in Texas and I live in Florida, and we don’t get to see each other as much as I’d like. After she heard “PLEASURES” she called me and was crying on the phone because she heard the line in the song”. 

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Coming soon, Hollywood’s album Only the Paranoid Survive is a product of hard work, focus, and dedication. “I think this is a project where you can really hear the time that was put into it, there are certain songs that you hear and just think “damn this guy must’ve busted his ass on this record””. He is an artist who is meticulous with his process, making sure every little detail fits the bigger picture. “I spend tons of time on post-production, mixing and mastering, and even my adlibs. Everything is very strategically placed”. Produced by his close collaborator SkipOnDaBeat, this album is set to help continue to tell Hollywood’s story and provide a clear picture of his diverse skill-set.

Recently, Hollywood has become more transparent on his experiences within the music industry, detailing some of its highs and lows. His breadth of experience in music has allowed him to confront both the good, the bad, and the ugly in the business. “I always try to respect people I work with, so I’ve never taken credit for any of my accomplishments behind the scenes in the past. But sometimes it sucks hearing songs that you were a part of, and no one has any idea that you played a big role in that song”. With all of the mileage he has put in as a songwriter and on the business side over the years, Hollywood notes some of the complications and difficulties that are intrinsically tied to this type of work. “You can change somebody’s life, but when need them, they won’t necessarily help you at all. Some won’t even thank you. However, those that do treat me respectfully they become like brothers in music, like family. But besides that, this industry is very shady”. 

Label-wise, Hollywood says he is lucky to have a great situation. Signed to renowned label Quality Control and also working with his own imprint The Wasted Youth, the artist maintains full autonomy over his own career, and wishes it could be like that for more musicians. “I’m blessed enough to be signed to an amazing label like Quality Control, but I think some of these other labels need to really sit down and re-think the way that they structure deals and treat their artists. These labels won’t even call their artists to check in on them and make sure they’re feeling okay, even though they make millions of dollars from them”. Moreover, with his own imprint The Wasted Youth, he wants to help up-and-coming artists build framework so they aren’t taken advantage of. “I started signing people to The Wasted Youth and I wanted to really handle the business the right way, helping to change their lives.”. Recognizing a profound lack of morality in parts of the industry, he is one of a small but dedicated group actively working to make positive changes. 

Overall, Jordan Hollywood is a renaissance man in music who has built a lasting career for himself as well as others. Between production, songwriting, and managing a label, he has had an impact in many corners of the industry, expanding his skills and helping other artists with every turn. From humble beginnings in Broward County to working with the legendary Timbaland and becoming label mates with Lil Baby and Migos on Quality Control, he has had a  momentous come-up story. Despite all his success, he maintains an air of selflessness and honesty. “Lots of people are too egotistical to admit that their team is the reason they pay their bills. When it comes to my label Quality Control and the other people on my team, I like to give respect and credit where it’s due. More people should do that, I think it would make the industry a better place”. It is this concern for others and the betterment of the industry as a whole that really sets him apart from the crop, making him even more worthy of esteem. Learning of the character behind Hollywood’s music just adds additional dimensions to his songs, further solidifying him as a voice to keep a close eye on in today’s musical landscape. 

Connect with Jordan HollywoodSpotify | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Canadian rapper DillanPonders celebrates his Jamaican heritage on “Dibby Dibby”

Canadian rapper DillanPonders celebrates his Jamaican heritage on high-energy offering “Dibby Dibby,” which delivers the message that he has no time for senseless chit-chat. Filled to the brim with swag underpinned by booming beats and fierce delivery, the track is accompanied by a stylish video that kicks the groovy vibe up a notch.

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Taken from his much-loved album BECAUSE WE’RE ALIVE, the track channels the rapper’s signature hip-hop style which combines a distorted and hazy sound with sharp, poetic lyricism that make for a well-rounded musical experience. Layered sonics and his gritty rap verses make “Dibby Dibby,” the perfect backdrop for parties, even as the culturally-nuanced style gives us an opportunity to embrace Dillan’s culture.

From homelessness to a part-time job and a small home studio, the promising rapper has grown exponentially within a short period armed with perseverance, passion and talent. Making lasting impressions from one track to the next, Dillan who has established the easy-going versatility of his sound, continues his rise to stardom as he meticulously preps his future music.

Connect with DillanPonders: InstagramTwitter

Kay Slice goes back to his roots in “Slice M Go” [Video]

After cooling off with the visuals for his single “Breeze,” fast-rising Dutch Ghanaian rapper, singer, and producer Kay Slice is back with a brand new rap-Afropop fusion track titled “Slice M Go.” Produced by Kay Slice himself with his three-piece band, the track exudes a vibrant and infectious vibe with its rousing drum grooves, anthemic keys, and thick basslines. Thematically, the song is about taking the negativity and unbelief that is thrown at us and fuelling it into positivity and self-confidence. As Kay Slice explains, “it’s about the underdog who found a way to turn negativity into fuel to rise up”. Armed with his machine gun flow and sharp delivery, he takes us down the road of a go-getter who goes against the odds and obstacles to come out on top.

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The accompanying video sees Kay Slice collaborating once again with burgeoning Ghanaian cinematographer Edward Pappoe for an enthralling visual that was shot across three different landmarks in Ghana – Jamestown, Makola Market, and Legon Botanical Garden. Staying through to the song’s theme of the underdog that rose through negativity, the music video for “Slice M Go” captures the human fighting spirit and our inbuilt ethos of hard work and community, using the snapshot of Accra’s busy go-getting people as a microcosm of that spirit.

Emerging as an exciting and fast-rising new artist in the Netherlands due to his glorious hip-hop and afrobeats fusion, Kay Slice has performed for the Dutch Royal Family, as well as on the biggest Dutch TV entertainment show De Wereld Draait Door, with the likes of Red Bull Music, 3VOOR12 and VPRO also singing his praises.  “Slice M Go” is taken from his forthcoming solo debut album, which is due for release in January 2022.

Check out his 2022 LIVE DATES below.

February 12 – Theater Rotterdam Schouwburg, Rotterdam, Netherlands

February 16 – Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands

March 25, March 26 – Noord Nederlands Toneel, Groningen, Netherlands

March 27 – Paradox, Tilburg, Netherlands

April 14 – PAARD, Hague, Netherlands

Connect with Kay Slice: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram