Category: features (page 1 of 3)

From Cali to The Rock; a premiere: Green Ova South – ‘3 Tha Hard Way’

GREEN OVA SOUTH – ‘3 THA HARDWAY ‘

I just got the private link to ‘3 Tha Hard Way’ and I’m feeling blessed and inspired and not just because I got an advance link on the latest album from some of our favorite collaborators and labels Green Ova South; (Pepperboy and Squadda B. with Young God exclusively on production) I’m at my DJ (my day job…) with two more hours on the clock, on my way back from my truck to retrieve my headphones and it hits me; “Work Till I Die” starts to play. The intro track is just the motivation I needed to get through this day.

Steam the album now via bandcamp and it will drop on all streaming services ASAP!

It would really be tough to sit here and talk about “stand-out tracks” on a 9 track album of straight classics. I’ll just have to touch on em’ all. My words won’t do it justice, but maybe my excitement will! (I’ve only had the album a couple of hours and it comes out tomorrow.) It’s been 3 years since we’ve seen a full length release from these three. If you didn’t happen to catch KRWU (Kome Ryde With Us) now is your chance to get caught up!

The first track “Work Till I Die” hits you right off with an impact comparable to soundtrack vibes with horn-like synth pads and melody. It’s another epically captivating composition from Young God. The opener is a song about the everyday grind required to maintain and survive. Trading verses back and forth Squadda and Pepp come with anecdotes about going to work and affirmations of what putting all that work brings, should their goals be reached.

‘Without U’ is a cruise down memory lane of the history of the Green Ova South saga. Travel back in time with Squadda and Pepp to the beginning of their collaborations as they serenade you, the supporters, the friends, producers, crew members and everyone that’s showed love. Lil B even gets a shout! (they go way back.) This track really harks back to the KRWU record sound. When you bust out the SUB pads on the beat, it just feels like $ !

‘Str8 Off Da Block’; Bridging the Gap from the West to the South is something that comes naturally to these guys. Since Rebel Muzik Squadda and Pepperboy have always met up in person to record and produce their full length joint efforts. This time around Pepperboy made his way to Oakland and met up with Young God and Squadda to write and record the entire project in a matter of days. This song title is also a straight rip of Pepperboy’s FIRST ALBUM EVERY RECORDED from 2002! It has continued as a series over the years with the latest installment ‘Str8 Off Da Block 6’ dropping late 2016. That album also had a feature from Squadda!

‘Take It’, is a solo Pepperboy track that exposes us to some darker places and perspectives. Young God brings the vibes with a whistling melody that reminds me of “the wild west” or something you’d hear in a cowboy movie in 2019 over the chorus while the rest of the tracks’ timbre is a bit more ominous and eerie.

We could call the title track ‘3 Tha Hard Way’ a good way end a Side A, if this were an LP. It may be the most unique on the album in that the beat sounds like some classic 80’s synth pop ballad with a savory, sexy saxophone solo sample blazing through the mix.

By no means is the rest of this tape any kind of “B-side”. ‘From Tha Bottom Up’ is what I would call the most ‘hype’ track. Dope G of Green Ova pops off immediately with a round of the chorus. Young God went across the world and into some worm holes into other dimensions and universes to manifest his sonic palette for this one.

‘Step N 2 Tha Water’ was released around a month ago on a single drop with ‘Without U.’ This is what those who remember may call a “cloud-rap” banger. Slowed down vocals and that half time snare slap get you lifted with the quickness, but the funky legato bass line Young God slathers throughout this track really keeps you moving.

The arpeggiated harp on ‘This Is International’ over the sub bounce groove may take you back to some classic Squadda B and Main Attrakionz days but with a cinematic, enchanting depth.

The track ordering on this tape is perfect. It’s strong all the way through. The conclusion to this piece of art is ‘Made My Mind Up’, an uplifting message over serene melodies (steel guitar samples?). The features from Dope G and Robbie Rob fit like a glove. After several repeat listens I’ve definitely made MY mind up ; this is Album Of The Year so far!

Follow the members of Green Ova South
Squadda B : Twitter, IG
Pepperboy : Twitter, IG
Robbie Rob : Twitter,
Dope G : Twitter, IG
Young God (televangel) : Twitter, IG

-Froze (Candy Drips co-founder) Twitter: @candydrips

INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST COLIN TANIGUCHI by ANIMALKRACKA

Pre-post intro : today is the 2nd anniversary of our blog here at Candydrips.com ; we haven’t done as much as we’d like but we have been blessed with some choice interviews over the past couple rounds of seasons ; Thanks to all readers and contributors and anyone supporting our company by buying tapes and merch! We wouldn’t be here without you all!

Today is June 27th and in the spirit of screwston and to honor this sacred date – big DeMo’s Birthday and the date of the infamous posse cut June 27th vol. 2 tape / epic freestyle we present Colin Taniguchi an artist that has designed custom shirts and paid tribute to some of his favorite Houston, TX rappers ! I won’t spoil too much – just peep the interview and head over to this mans IG to see the proof! also see a link at the bottom of the post for the June 27th release / Houston,TX ‘Screw’d 4 Lyf’ tribute shirt! Pre-orders are over today, but dm to request a size or get your order in ASAP!

For our first Artist Series T-shirt, Candy Drips reached out to the Bay Area’s own Colin Taniguchi to design a graphic celebrating the indelible impact of DJ Screw and his music. Aside from his amazing handdrawn graphics on Pro Club tall tees (which blew me away), Colin was an obvious choice for this project as he’s an avid Screwhead with an insane rap cassette collection. I recentlly had a chance to chop it up with Colin about his art, cassettes and DJ Screw. Kracka out!

ANIMALKRACKA: Who are you and what do you do? How would you describe your art? Where are you from and how does it influence your art?

Colin: My name is Colin Taniguchi and Im an illustrator,100% hand-drawn is my forte. I was born in Daly City,CA but raised in Richmond & parts of San Pablo most my life! I would describe my personal art as just my reality. Most my drawings are the homies kickin it & good times in my life that im tryna immortalize. Or any cute shit that comes to mind when Im in my head rlly. Im from the bay so all that comes into play wit my style via the colors I use to the details in every drawing,just want people to have an idea of where im from witout telling them.

ANIMALKRACKA: How and why did you start doing custom hand drawn T-shirts? How can one get one?

Colin: I honestly started doing hand drawn t’s for fun. Didnt think it would turn into something fools would want,I just kept getting more orders. To the point I quit my job because of it! Now im fulltime freelancing. Anyone can get a piece of clothing hit by me,just dm!

ANIMALKRACKA: How did you get into collecting cassettes? How did you first become interested in DJ Screw’s music and how has it influenced your art and life?

Colin: My love for cassettes started the moment I found my pops tape case when i was 11. Shit was filled with bay area joints,what caught my eye was RBL Posse’s Lesson To Be Learned. Funny thing about Screw’s music was I was confused when i first heard it and looked passed it,then I rlly put the time and really listened a few years ago and been hooked ever since. He started a whole era which birthed my favorite rappers & it influenced my style alot bc I slap it alot while i draw.

ANIMALKRACKA: I recently seen a picture of Lil Flip rocking one of your custom t’s. How does it feel to see people rocking something you’ve created? 

Colin: Flip rockin my shit was super surreal,s/o Slumped Boyz for the flick! I flip out on anyone rocking my shit. It means so much to me to see it. Hypes me everytime.

ANIMALKRACKA: what are the essential tools to your craft that you can’t live without?

Colin: Essentials I cant live to my craft I cant live without are;my brehs,that smooth gfunk,my prismas/copics,& a good head space.

ANIMALKRACKA: Who have you collab’d with? Where can people check out desing work you’ve done?

Colin: I dont collab with alot of brands or people,im real careful bout it. But notable ones are Absent,GX1000,& Bryan Rivera(100br) for Rolling Loud. Im gonna set up a website soon though,I dont post 80% of commissioned things ive done & people always ask to see!

ORDER A SHIRT BEFORE THEY ARE GONE !!!

Follow ANIMALKRACKA : Twitter ; @ANIMALKRACKA
Follow Colin Taniguchi : Twitter ; @_colintanigucci // IG: @colintaniguchi

New Release : ‘Jordough’ Ep : (Review) Jordan Isaiah and Doughboi Phlex

One of our favorite new artists on our radar Jordan Isaiah brought the noise earlier this year with ‘Thank You / Pay Me’ (Blackhouse Records.) On this album we saw multiple producers and a variety of deliveries. When Jordan hit us up about his latest we had to see what he was working with and put some support on the project!

The ‘Jordough’ EP is a raw collection of 9 songs showcasing a timeline of collaborative efforts between Jordan Isaiah and Kansas City based producer Doughboi Phlex. The project is presented by Doughboi and highlights his growth in production and vocals.

To those who haven’t yet noticed, the tape’s name breaks it down with the idea of two “sides.” : “Jor”, short for “Jordan” and “dough”, short for “Doughboi Phlex.” The sides are broken up by an interlude titled “Time Interlude.” The tracks for each side were chosen by preference of the sides’ namesake and feature that person a little heavier throughout the selection.

The whole tape is tied together by something more than the obvious factor of sticking with the same duo throughout. The delivery on all tracks is a culmination of ego-boosted lifestyle bars with an heir of aggravated and warranted entitlement. Based on work put in, determination and passion behind the project these artists know they are onto something. Being that it took a few years to compile this collection of recordings you will notice a slight sonic difference in the mixes from track to track but the energy remains constant throughout.

Starting out the gate with the “Jor” side we are summoned by a whispering chordal wash and eerie bells plucking a melody before Jordan comes in with loosely doubled vocals on the songs hook singing “said we made it through the worst / now every day a holiday ; said we started in the mud , so every day we elevate.” This showcases duality; juxtaposition of a celebratory anthem over an overtly chill but mysterious melody. It isn’t a song about wallowing in the mud, it’s about rising and coming up from that place while maintaining a reverence and appreciation for the struggles since the journey began. The two voices kind of symbolize the harmony of past, present and future existence.

The rest of side “Jor” is immediately more hype, starting with the powerful delivery and regal production on Lilith freestyle ; to the inciteful irony of “Unconcerned”, a title that implies apathy but lyrically suggests anything but. The confident delivery from Jordan is paired with smooth 16’s, adlib assitance and chorus work from the Doughboi Phlex. Check out ‘Exotic’ for a prime example of what Doughboi is capable of.

The neutral track ‘Time Interlude’ is a very big change-up from the rest of the record. Being far removed it serves its purpose well to break up the flow a bit with some icey chords and what sounds like a radio scanning the airwaves trying to breakthrough the dimensions of time and space all over a minimal triplet thump from a dull but punchy kick. The searching tones in the background remind me of a radio attempting to dial into the frequency somewhere between space and time – is this what a time machine might sound like? Have you ever watched the first episode of the original ‘Outer Limits’ show?

The duo pops the ‘dough’ side off hot with ‘Myxed Up’ a bopper about staying true to yourself through the changes and confusing times you experience on your way to success. The rest of the EP turns to a low key point of smoked out cockiness. Doughboi Phlex compliments Jordan’s style in a way only he can; from the perspective of the producer.

One of the standout tracks led by Doughboi is ‘Watchin Me.’ This introspective paranoid confession may actually give you the creeps. The production elements are similar as most of the tracks on the ep but this one is a much slower and darker tune than anything else present. Starting off depicting a recent nightmare where he was shot it seems that the stress of striving for his goals and maintaining his normal life is catching up to him in more ways than one. It’s hard to maintain relationships as it is when you are struggling to survive and achieve your goals, but success can attract all kinds of unwanted energy from those we know and normally trust. That could also bring up dealing with your inner demons as Phlex references in the chorus.

Each track is relatively short at an average of under 3 minutes. It’s an easy listen through that gets better with repeat plays. The project is now streaming on all services!

Follow us on twitter @candydrips

Keep up with Jordan: @JordanXisaiah

Keep up with Doughboi: @Doughboiphlex

2009 and Beyond : 10 Years Behind the Lens with Shedrick Pelt

After hearing  Shedrick was putting out a new book we got inspired to start covering more artistic projects besides video and music releases. For our first non-music feature we are focusing on Shedrick Pelt and ‘2009 and Beyond’ a photography book that compiles some of his finest and most intriguing shots from over the last ten years.

Some of you may know Shedrick has a little history with the label. First introduced through the longtime homie Supa of Sortahuman; we met the fellow Huntsvillian (Shedrick) and his brother Dizzy D when they came up to Nashville in 2012 to support and document a rare occasion. Sortahuman and Dizzy D opened with a set at a show with headliner Riff Raff in a now-defunct boutique shop in downtown Nashville. Footage from this night can be seen in the Sortahuman X Dizzy D collab video for “BOUT THAT.”  (Also Shot and edited by Shedrick) We’ll save the finer details of that wild night out for another time. You can get a good idea of the amount of debauchery from the intro alone…

We worked with him for a good portion of our early releases and he helped develop the standard we set and try to break with every release. He was with us from the first release “Supasonic’ (Supa Sortahuman X Shawn Kemp) and we eventually put out ‘Pine Grove’ by his bro Dizzy D and we have worked with him as recently as our release for Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire ‘Live Forever.’ Shedrick was working with him as a photographer at the time and approached us about a rare release opportunity and he secured that addition to the Candy Drips catalog.

Before and after his time helping Candy Drips Shedrick was busy grinding and building his brand and resume as not only a go-to graphic artist but also as a sharpshooting photographer as well. SdotPdotmedia has done a lot over the last decade. From small business features to shooting live sporting events and concerts he is always taking the initiative to approach his subjects from all angles. He keeps his focus on unique marketing materials while maintaining his roots and always aims to grow within art communities on both underground and main-stream levels. His talents also extend to product promotion and video production. He really is capable of handling a whole marketing campaign from concept to execution and every physical element along the way.

“The book, 2009 and Beyond, is a visual journey through my history as a music photographer and with emerging and world-class artists. Documenting the culture has always been about “boots on the ground”. Whether in DC, New York, Austin, or Berlin, street level is where I want to be – not watching from afar or sitting behind a Mac screen. Right in the mosh pit or on top of a garbage can to get the perfect angle. Images found in this book will give you a glimpse into what it looks like through my lens. I’ve been blessed to revel in many precious seconds and document a culture that is highly exposed, heavily attended, but rarely experienced.” – s.pelt

Check this video out of Shedrick’s visit to SXSW in 2013.

With over 120 photos of some of our favorite artists, artists we’ve seen go from underground heroes to super star status like Kendrick Lamar or Vince Staples to underground underrated taste makers like SpaceGhostPurrp and Main Attrakionz; ‘2009 and Beyond’ is one to cop for the culture! This release is inspiring for us and we all know that’s the reason we do any of this; rap, draw, create and build; to express and inspire! Follow Shedrick and his adventures over the last few years from more intimate concerts to major events like SXSW.

If you move fast you may be able to score a free long sleeve shirt with your purchase of the physical book!  Shirts feature some mono-print versions of pictures from the book. The shirts were made in collaboration with and include original designs on the sleeves from Trill City. Sizes and colorways are limited. ALSO For a limited time let’s say through the end of September, we will honor a 50% discount off your order on our web store. Email us proof of purchase for ‘2009 and Beyond’ at (Candydripsrecordlabel@gmail.com) and use the code “SDOT2009” before making your payment!

We want to do the most for independent artists who are helping to build a scene and document the experiences of these efforts to share with those who support us and our vision and we want to do the most for those supporting them and us! Look forward to seeing similar discounts in the future. Check out some more photos of the book below and fresh pics of the pre-order shirts as well!

Print: sdotpdotshop.bigcartel.com | Digital: Amazon & iTunes

Instagram: @sdotpdotmedia | Twitter: @sdotpelt | Website: sdotpdotmedia.com

-FROZE
@candydrips

Nothing is Promised: An Interview with Billy Woods

Last month, I spoke with New York rapper Billy Woods: the Backwoodz Studioz mastermind responsible for some of the best solo hip-hop albums of the decade. Like Dour Candy (2013), like Today, I Wrote Nothing (2015), like Known Unknowns (2017). Woods is also part of the duo Armand Hammer, a group which includes rapper/producer Elucid. The two returned full force at the end of last year with their third album Rome. Then Elucid released a solo album. Then the duo released three music videos as well as a vinyl-only album Paraffin, which dropped in July. Fingers crossed for a digital version down the road. I spoke with the prolific MC about his creative process, his work space, his music rotations, and much more.

 

 

How’s 2018 been treating you so far right now?

Honestly? It’s been terrible. Hopefully some good writing comes out of it because 2018 has been an unmitigated disaster thus far from the moment I opened my eyes on January 1st.


You’ve released solo albums in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Given this two year pace, can we expect your next in 2019?

I never noticed that pattern before and that’s a good question. I have some stuff I’m excited about but currently waiting for some collaborators to clear their calendars, so it’s hard to say. And I hate stopping the middle of a project to work on a different one because I feel like each thing needs to be it’s own chamber, I get worried they will be too similar. Maybe that’s something I need to let go of, who knows.

Your solo and collaborative albums are incredibly consistent. Do you build them up slowly? Or do you create in bulk and trim down the tracks?

Thank you. That’s a complicated question to answer because every one of them was made a bit differently. History Will Absolve Me had lots of producers but also involved a lot of recording and winnowing out the best tracks. It was really about me and engineer/producer/consigliere Willie Green locking in and working in a bit of a vacuum. Dour Candy and Known Unknowns are basically one-producer records, there wasn’t a lot of extra fat to trim, because Blockhead (nor Aesop for that matter) isn’t giving me tons beats at a time and not everything I get is going to fit what I’m looking for. I do still have a couple joints that didn’t make it onto Known Unknowns though, and bizarrely all of them were collaborative songs. Today, I Wrote Nothing was the quickest album I ever made and was a project where form and concept dictated everything. I recorded most of that at ELUCID’s spot and it was intentionally a very un-fiddled with project. I wanted something visceral and unedited, I made songs as long as I felt in the moment, no longer, I rewrote nothing. As for Armand Hammer; collaboration necessitates entirely different processes.

 

 

You have one of the most unique, freeflowing voices in hip-hop. What’s your writing process like

Honestly, it really depends a lot on the project but usually I find a beat and see where it takes me. Sometimes I just down ideas or concept or just a line that I think might take me somewhere and then come back to that list if I am looking for inspiration. I sit at my desk and smoke and drink tea and write and yell at my cats.

What does the future of Backwoodz Studioz entail?

Nothing is promised. I hope we can continue to build, expand our reach, keep putting out records and artwork that I am proud of.


What’s your workspace/studio space look like? What are some studio essentials?

My workspace is a wooden desk I brought to my current hideout in a semi-abandoned building in Crown Heights, awaiting the gentrifiers wrecking ball. I first got this desk off the streets of Brooklyn in the early 2000s and it’s beyond scuffed, it’s probably fair to say “battered”. On top of that are three books: a dog-eared James Baldwin biography,  John Stockwell’s In Search of Enemies, and Homer’s Odyssey- which I have never actually read. There are haphazard piles of bills, random photos, a hard drive, a cup of tea, water, a watch Willie Green gave to me, a big thing full of pens, markers and scissors, some Harpers magazines, scraps of paper with notes on them and a notice from the gas company that I still owe them money from the old apartment. There is an ashtray with a spliff of that Uptown Haze in it. There is a small black cat looking out the window and an even smaller silver laptop. There is an Ironman CD in the case for Dizzee Rascal’s Boy In the Corner. I have no idea why it’s even out as I currently have no CD player. There is an untidy stack of more books and graphic novels and old comics all thrown together from the recent move that I should organize but haven’t. There is a document shredder and a Sunday edition of The New York Times from a week ago. There are two separate broken pairs of headphones.

 

 

If you were to empty your pockets, what would you find?

I have never had a wallet so, keys, cash, ID and bankcard, papers, loose change, some list of tasks written on a piece of paper and folded up in a back pocket a week ago.

 

Outside of your own music, what have you been listening to recently?

Last couple weeks?

Roc Marciano – RR2
Henry Canyons – The Cool Side
Count Bass D – Dwight Spitz
Diplomatic Immunity
stuff Kenny Segal sends me
Mach Hommy – various projects
That new Small Pro/Zilla Rocca
Serengeti – Friends & Family
Denmark Vessey guest verses – was actually thinking who has the best guest verses
Enjoyed the Pusha T record well enough but didn’t love it. Don’t think I’ll ever be able to dig the solo stuff like I did the Clipse.

Listened to that Tierra Whack album, definitely worth it.

 

 

Do you have any advice for artists/rappers working on their craft?

I’m not really sure I am in a position to advise without knowing what the person wants to get out of it.


Any final words / thoughts / shout-outs?

Check out the new Armand Hammer record, Paraffin, I think it’s an interesting project even thought it wasn’t made like your typical album.

 

Ben Niespodziany

Twitter: @neonpajamas

Lil Percy’s New Record ‘Revenge’ is OUT NOW

 

      On ‘Revenge’ this Virginian rapper’s latest, Lil Percy sounds like he just woke up, sparked up and couldn’t help but go off about the bullshit permeating his atmosphere and his M.O. is flexing. He rises above, dismissing all the obstacles in his way with exhales of legato flows, and Percy isn’t just blowing smoke. Take a ride on this very airy and dynamically punchy roller coaster of intoxicated confidence v.s. introspection, and don’t let the clouds get in your eye, Percy isn’t some old weed rapper, he’s got an energy that’s uniquely chill but far from a mumble.

It’s been said that the best form of Revenge is Success, and while nothing is guaranteed in this life, Percy is gonna get to the top at some point. Paralleled with the progression that the album takes as a whole is his idea of success in self expression and the ability he sees within himself to make his own way and not waste anymore time with fake love and friends or foes. He has his eyes on the prize and he’s locked in.

If “Revenge” were a hot sauce, and it definitely is some flames, it would be a “creeper” … starts off with plenty of flavor and insight into the tracks ahead but it definitely builds as it goes along, keeping you intrigued and feeling like you can’t get enough. With only 12 tracks averaging less than two and half minutes each, you reach the albums last song and aptly titled “Ending” before you know it. This is a great pre-game or after party soundtrack, not anything to sleep to but would suit you well if stuck in stand still traffic with a little time and angst on your hands and visions of achieving your wildest dreams or having the best possible time trying.

This single was featured three weeks ago by LOST APPEAL on their exclusive sound cloud page – you should definitely give them a follow.

They did a nice interview with Percy last year as well.

Go and get a copy of the limited CD release over at Blackhouse Records webstore or stream the album via any major streaming service now!

people to follow on twitter and otherwise;

Lil Percy : @vacantmayne

Holligan Records : @hooligan_world

Lost Appeal : @lost_appeal

Blackhouse Records : @blackhouse_recs

 

 

-Froze

Twitter; @candydrips

[Feature] Melancholic Rain Frown: Catching up with AJ Suede

Rapper/producer AJ Suede will go down as one of the most prolific underground rappers. Steadily releasing cohesive and bar-heavy projects, Suede has already delivered with three EPs in the last three months. Let’s get familiar.

Most recently, we received Rain Based, which came fully produced by cloud rap icon Keyboard Kid. Five songs in length, the EP is lost in the clouds, smooth as hell, and complete with features from BB Sun and BB Rob God. Although Suede is from the East Coast, this is most assuredly a Seattle affair.

Prior to Rain Based, AJ Suede released the five song EP System of a Frown II. It came fully produced by Nedarb (just like the first volume). As a result, it’s dark, it’s haunted, it’s full of hi hats. Suede really shines on the track “Made a Difference”, which demands a quality sound system.

Before these two executively produced EPs, Suede dropped the six song Melancholy Trill II. Recorded in Seattle, it’s a unique release as it features a different producer on every track. With familiar names like BB Sun, Wolftone, and JPEGMAFIA, the project goes down as a quality first release of Suede’s 2018. With three already in the ring, we can certainly expect more as the year progresses.

Ben Niespodziany
Twitter: @neonpajamas

KevinTheCreep; Double Feature; Marble Eternity / Marble Eternity: Synchronization

‘I am no longer making “memphis revival” “phonk” “buck shit” that all gets boring after a while and it will only place me in a boxed genre, I must continue on my sonic quest to create the hottest loops a man could possibly produce. for the sake of TRUE art.’ – Kevin The Creep

Took this excerpt from the linear notes on these albums because it shows growth, not assimilation. Imagine being in a nascent subgenre movement, born out of love for a 20+ year old subgenre, surrounded by half assed attempts, fake reverence and annoying fans unwilling to think outside all boxes on their own and his statement is almost palatable. Everything is becoming so memetic, breaking away is absolutely good for your mental, spiritual and physical well being, and I personally love the sound, from its original period which I was all about, back then, to the handful of young artists breathing life into it now. There is a line though and its getting trampled.

On 4/20/2018, the S.I.C records owner and certified slap creator (having extensively produced for underground greats like Stone Dogg, Lil Kaine, DMT Demons, Five Finger Posse, Tyris White, Mista Frost etc) dropped a Double album, both 50 tracks strong (!) called MARBLE ETERNITY and MARBLE ETERNITY: SYNCHRONIZATION, respectively. They each equally play like lo-fi gauntlets thrown down to distance the artist from a mistaken bunching in with a particuliar wave and it WORKS. Proudly displaying his DJ Screw influence (having already released multiple tributes to the late, great Robert Earl Davis Jr) that blends seamlessly with vaporwave, g funk and that warped cassette sound that only tapeheads can grow to love are found slathered all over both these 50 track strong releases.

One great thing is the sample collecting skills of Kevin The Creep. With 100 short junts, you’d expect to recognize many loops but this cat is in a zone with these obscure cuts right here. Now naturally, there are samples you will catch (not giving any away, you need to enjoy them ya damned selves) but they are reconceptualized, slurred and blurred which gives them a new strut through your headspace. It’s so smoove I don’t feel the need to zoom in on any single cut, the double album works as proper mood music. I dig it all, its like DVD loading screen music for the grooviest, filthiest tagbanging video series that was never released, until now.

Out now via S.I.C Records in limited edition vinyl, cassette and digital format. Check out the shop for this and a WHOLE LOT of other gems, digital and physical!

Thanks to Blam for the write up!

-CECIL BLAM DEMENTED
Twitter: @BLAMLORD

Rap trio is back in rare form with their new single “Pre Season.” After a brief hiatus, the Birmingham group hone in on their patented flows, their strong ear for production, and their unabashed lyrics. Both aggressive and energetic, this drum-laden track (produced by Anthem Beats) is the definition of the talent of K.L.U.B. Monsta. It acts as their manifesto, a testament, an appetizer. With KENXL (one of the best directors in the Southeast) behind the lens, K.L.U.B. Monsta delivers a cryptic but prime view of how they run the city in the visual for “PRE SEASON”. Shot near some of the alleys and railways of Birmingham, KENXL captures the energy of the chase as K.L.U.B. Monsta mobs through the city unknown if they are the hunted or the hunter. “PRE SEASON” is the first visual off K.L.U.B. Monsta’s upcoming debut album When Gawd Ready. This is simply a taste of whats to come for the talented Birmingham group.

Stash Marina Opens Up On The Introspective And Fucking Powerful Xposed

It is so great to hear new music from Stash Marina! The wildly talented rapper, singer’s and all-around-awesome person’s latest Xposed is absolutely her best work yet. The whole EP feels like a sort of personal essay or poem. Really Stash describes Xposed the best on the Ep’s Intro. Over a new age slow jam of a beat, Stash sets things up for us: “I like to keep it upbeat, happy. But that’s not the reality of things. There’s a time to show people they can have fun, but still express how I feel about shit.”  And Stash truly is expressing how she feels. She totally bares her soul on Xposed. The Ep is a mediation on relationships, The good, bad and ugly. And, how they go from good to bad to ugly.

One of the standout tracks later on Xposed, is the dark, wavy R&B of “Swoop’d.” Stash tells the story of a relationship starting out with infatuation: “everything about you I had never seen before/pants, shoes, attitude.” But, as the song goes on we see things fall apart: “you just making shit up to a twisted reality/you don’t want me and/you sabotage it again and again and again.” At this point Stash is angry sad, maybe confused, but then we get to the aftermath when she sings “Yeah I got my heart broke/I don’t give a fuck/because at least I got to try this shit out” Stash’s music has always been self aware and insightful, but Xposed is really next level. Those lines at the end of “Swoop’d” are an important theme throughout the whole project. Stash is right there in the moment feeling these powerful emotions, but at the same time she is taking a step back and reflecting on everything she has been through.

Right after “Swoop’d” is the the EP’s saddest moment, “lovelost.” Stash opens the track the very heavy and very real statement “This is a sad one. It was the only one that actually mattered.” And, she goes on to rap about reconciling memories of an ex who she has feelings for– “visualizing your face thinking of you as nothing but that gold,” –but who she knows has hurt her and will do it again: “you still didn’t hear me/tore me up to watch it/you knew me too well/and you still jumped out of pocket.”

I know I described Stash as a “rapper and singer,” but really her music is unique a hybrid of both.  On one of the Ep’s more playful moments, the excellently named “you betta be muh fuckin jesus,” she raps for the most part, but sings her adlibs in the background effortlessly.  Stash has always mixed singing and rapping in her music, but her vocals on Xposed are the strongest they have ever been.

The production also is a perfect fit for Stash’s balance of emotional depth and introspection, but also just her downright grooviness and swag.  Over its 8 tracks, Xposed features a diverse batch of soulful and complex production with contributions from many of her frequent collaborators. Feathermeal, Don D, Froze and Blown (of Candy Drips fame!) and Stony Willis all have beats on the project. The production ranges from the ethereal reggae of “RosyHips” to the lo fi jazz rap of “you betta be muh fuckin jesus” to the  bass heavy funk of “muerte del amour.” Not to mention that unique synth anthem for the aforementioned “XPOSEDintro”, and the solemn, minimal sounds on “Lovelost.”

Even though she is being very open and vulnerable on these songs, we should  in no way take that as sign of weakness. As Stash points out in the intro: one side of Xposed is exposing her feelings and experiences, the other is about exposing folks who have wronged her. “fuk boi” has got to be one of the most beautiful R&B songs calling out shitty men. And, the more songs calling out shitty men the better. The whole song is full of great lines, but one of my favorites is: “And you bragging to your boys how your money game specific/but you show up to my crib with a beer/asking can we split it/oh you ballin now.”

The righteous anger continues on the triumphant “free.” Stash once again goes in on people who are her way: “excuse me? Do I need to go get my peeps and kick your bitch ass on Canal Street?” It’s a hilarious line, and it’s clear Stash is not taking anyone’s shit. But,  Even though this track is much more aggressive than other moments on Xposed , Stash still keeps things positive: “stop hating on us get your shit up with us.” Having “free” as the EP’s final track is a brilliant way to sum up the project. Stash has gone through a lot. But, in the end she is  moving forward with her head up, handling her shit. She’s free.

You can listen to Xposed, and all of Stash’s music on her bandcamp

-Nicholas Vogt
Twitter: @nicholasvogt

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