Beyond The Surface

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"Better" is Khalid's first single after the release of his debut album, American Teen last year. On the track the rising RnB star sings about a love formed in friendship.
6LACK's sophomore album, East Atlanta Love Letter is just that, the gathering of thoughts in the name of love. The artist airs his vices that have a history of getting in the way of what he really wants. The performance, made public on the 14th, definitely gives the likes of Bryson and mainstream artist, Drake, a run for their money. Though there's plenty of room for all the artists, it certainly makes the anticipation of blended genre releases more exciting. Overall, East Atlanta Love Letter is fluid and solid.
After two years of seclusion, Noname returned on the 14th with her sophomore album, Room 25, a collection of Hip-Hop ballads that tell it like it is. Even with the all the alliteration and allegorical metaphors, the artist's stance is explicitly made: She can rap and America ain't shit. The lyrical activist psychologically dissects the ongoing offenses against indigenous people, insinuating that there is a need for systematic oppression and hate projection to progress political agendas such as the matrix. "Under one god" officials are sedated and manipulated into believing that unjustified murder is on the endless list of things that qualify for repentance, completely eliminating concepts of morality, righteousness, and accountability from christianity. And in the midsts of state of emergency trauma the bottom 90% are encouraged to (temporarily) buy back their happiness from the top 1% -- classic.

Just as the political bologna begins to digest, Noname feeds us truths about her innerworld. The artist accounts for her silent disappearing act, revealing the causes of her depression that drove her to alcoholism.

On the 11th, Dreamville artist, Lute dropped two freestyles. Listen and read along below.

[Intro]
We recording?
Gotta put some respect on my name!
Let's get it
LETS GET IT

[Verse]
When that money hit the bank I buy the hooptie instead of Gucci
Wood grain with the blue tooth, bumpin' Juicy
Mama used to tell us that money don't grow on trees
Now a nigga makin' paper off discarded loose leafs
Truth be, I'm tired of provin' I could rap to niggas
'Till I slap a nigga, he come back with niggas
Then I get to cappin' all these wack rappin' niggas at the same time
Never gave a fuck about what ain't mine, peace of mind
I be sleepin' fine but you still gotta keep an eye
Twenty reasons why, glove box where I keep the 9
Watchin' niggas shine when the light is lime, fuck you mean
Been that nigga since Girbaud jeans, I was 16
Some days I wondered if my days were numbered
Some days I wish I knew what I know now when I was younger
Head above the water line, I'm older, shit can't take me under
Even though I'm swimming in my thoughts, nigga
So much on my mind, surround yourself with those who rock with ya
Plot with ya
Cause same niggas dap me up, would never confront me
I hear more 'bout me from them, through mutual company
Funny how this whole time these niggas thought the goal was money
Meanwhile, niggas on the Gram to hide the fact they bummy
If only niggas focused on the craft, then what you seek is given
Fifteen hundred likes on Instagram and niggas think they did it
Nigga please, that's how much my rent be
Plus my livin' fee, then my Jordan [?]
That's three grand a month, y'all matching to buy a gram of weed
Mind your fuckin' business, I take care of me, fuck you mean
Went from prayin' on my knees to spreadin' my wings, somewhere in between
Must have forgot that I will slap a nigga, ain't your average rappin' nigga
Fuck you mean
So next time you see a nigga chillin', thinkin' that he did it
Tell him he trippin' a thousand likes below the price of livin'
Nigga you broke
Above water now, nigga we afloat
Fuck a boat, I got money now, I should build a moat
You too close, five years ago niggas was a ghost
Be the same nigga sayin' I'ma blow
Damn

[Intro]
This is a homage beat

[Verse]
Head on a swivel, I don't trust nobody at all
Includin' myself, ties I sever off
Cause fake shit be bad for your health
I don't preach, I just keep it real
How can I touch the bases if you don't know how to feel?
Heart full of fear cause you afraid to live, fly on the wall
But you on Instagram reciting hooks by Lil Duval
How can you evolve, if you the one that's stuntin' your growth?
Relyin' on time, in your mind you think the progress is slow
But what's the rush though? I'm just asking for a friend
Same niggas you impress and can you depend?
All be all, but it's not the end, just gotta have trust
I'm all in but you don't think about us
You all about you, and that's cool, but don't tell me how to love
You lack emotion yet my love is potent
You burnin' bridges yet im crossin' oceans
My hand on your thigh, to me that's promise land, im just sayin'
I'm with the shits if you with it too
Forbidden fruit, I take a bite of you
God forbid I lose the sight of truth
Got more to gain but even more to lose
So who I gotta prove I'm that nigga still?
West sides reppin', watch these niggas get to steppin' when I'm unconcealed
Who is you to tell me how to feel?
Head on a swivel, I don't trust nobody at all
Includin' myself, ties I sever off
Cause fake shit be bad for your health
I don't preach, I just keep it real
How can I touch the bases if you don't know how to feel?

Source: Genius

Beyond The Surface

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Guru's Groove is Philly's Jazz Singer, Masie Blu's debut EP. Only consisting of three tracks, the project is a farewell to her once lover and a "hello' to herself. Without the extra baggage, she is more equipped for her spiritual journey to healing and peace-- a message.
Soul singer and Dreamville artist, Ari Lennox, intimately shares the ins-outs of a break-up she experienced years ago with her song "Whipped Cream"-- the title reminiscent of her go-to comfort food at the time. Days ago, on the 5th, she shared the visual for the song which beautifully captures the gist of the relationship.
In contrast, IAMDDB's "Drippy" embodies self-worth. This concept is expressed both visually and lyrically as the multi-faceted artist flosses designer gear while eluding to "leveling up" in men. The song is one of eight that can be found on her album, Flightmode, Vol. 4 released in June of this year on all streaming platforms.
Former Danity Kane, then Dirty Money member, Dawn (now solo), shares the visual for her single "Jealously". While the song is a message to her man's lingering ex-girlfriend, the visual is much more abstract, capturing cultural and lighting aesthetics.
Full Moon Bloom is JuztKP's 3rd studio album. Like his other projects he discusses the topics that matter, but tend to get little air time in pop culture. The album opens up with "In the Waters", a song about being reborn with the revelation of self as a "black" man of royal blood. He goes on to discuss his overstanding of oppression as an illusion, touching on the many efforts to keep the indigenous aloof of their cosmic origins and potential. Such efforts include miseducation, drug wars, mass incarceration, mass murder, and contaminated water supply, just to scratch the surface. Like other conscious rappers as of late, JuztKP predicts that divine intervention is near as prophesied in ancient and modern texts. He ties his exoteric gains to those within himself, acknowledging his growth by way love and fatherhood. This West Coast vibe can be found on all streaming platforms.
"Spirit" is one of two love songs that ambient duo, Majid Jordan released on the 7th, almost a year after the release of his album, The Space Between.
"Circles" by Dahlia is a metaphor for isolation-- the result of her neo-soul longing to escape the cycles she keeps finding herself in along with her unhealthy "survival" habits.
"Think About It" by Hunnah was released at the top of summer. On it the RnB artist comes clean about unresolved feelings she's been carrying from a previous relationship.
Lady Lady, jazz musician, Masego's sophomore album is the ultimate vibe for creative bachelors, centered around intimacy or lack thereof, and full of heart throbbing sensual sounds. While the musician constantly longs for, pursues, and speaks to true intimacy (love), he is actually fearful of it-- poetically revealed throughout the album. His fearful reactions to the possibility of love is easily masked as a healthy appetite for women and excitement, his reasoning for protesting commitment. The timeless album can be found on all streaming platforms.

Submissions: hiiighercalling@gmail.com

 

Beyond The Surface

Never Leave Quietly is RnB diva, M8alla's debut album. The album titles eludes to its stimulus: women's right to expression, and therefore it is rightfully high on the cathartic spectrum. M8alla spills her guts about let downs from so-called loved ones, but the joke's really on them as she makes her way up in the ranks. Originally from Nigera, this African Queen blends native sounds with melodies and quick tempos to give way to well rounded project. Check out the "Illegal" visual below.
M8alla gives way to women's voices on controversial topics like abortion, immigration, and world hunger, taking a slight dig at masculinity in the process.
NAO is back with a banger-- and the help of fellow artist, SiR. Entitled "Make It Out Alive", the hit single revels in the fears of falling in love.
ScribeCash refuses to let up. The upcoming Hip-Hop artist strikes again with her newly released "Massa" visual. The song further perpetuates Black adamancy about the eradication of U.S. cops profiling and murdering indigenous people.

Submissions: hiiighercalling@gmail.com

Rap artist, Austin Skinner release another trap hit entitled "not stressin!" which is pretty self-explanatory.
Released on the 28th, Undeniably Imperfect is NiickTheKiid's first EP. The trap-soul project highlights inconsistencies of his changing heart.
#Equaminity, conscious rapper Glendino's first major project is centered around the perspective commonalities of the awakening collective. Glendino poetically speaks on the social issues that plague the mind and state of humanity that infuriates the heart, all while remaining at peace, understanding divine cause.
Soul singer, Jazmen Safina, shared her first official from her upcoming project, reportedly dropping this fall. "Green Tea" is about the energizing effects of love.

Beyond The Surface

Dreamville artist, Bas, finally released his sophomore album, Milky Way on the 24th, four years after his debut album, Too High to Riot and days after sharing the "Boca Raton" visual. Within the four year period, the hip-hop artist has definitely undergone some milestones in life that has brought him to a state of awareness and being. On Milky Way, he speaks on the influences, touching heavily on a failing relationship along with the formation of another, in between each experiencing different forms of singlehood, finding himself at the pinnacle of it. The album features the likes of label mate, Ari Lennox, A$AP Ferg, and Lion Babe just to name a few. Highlights of the album include lyricism, production, and cohesiveness. The album is available on all streaming platforms.
On the 8th, Top Dawg Entertainment, commonly known as TDE, signed underground Hip-Hop artist, Reason. Upon announcing the new addition to an already stacked label, Reason's first official single under TDE "Better Dayz" was shared.
Jazz artist Masego and Soul singer SiR teamed up to turn out this RnB track celebrating cougars, highlighting that order women are more sophisticated, stern, and cultured. They reference the beautiful Sanaa Lathan as the ideal mature woman.
Earlier this month on the 14th, Rap artist, WARHOLSS, shared a comprised compilation of 3 individual tracks to produce a mixtape entitled Free Andy. The project would be considered trap, but is nicely crafted and executed. Like most trap albums, he discusses money, his means of making it and its uses.
Hip-Hop artist Lord JaH-Monte dropped another interlude-like track on the 24th. The grimy diss track is entitled "Divine (7) Timing".
On the 24th, artist Jay Pluss (+), blessed the music scene with a his debut album Triple Blackness an ode to himself for making it through tough times. On the album Pluss discusses arriving to his authentic self and blissfully embracing his newfound transparency, drive, and confidence. As predicted at the time of the drop of the music video, "So Glad I Found You" the album is very much so introspective and to bring the mood full circle, Triple Blacknessfeatures a range of lo-fi production.
Female lyricist, ScribeCash dropped a dope visual to accompany an empowering song for women, entitled "Queen". The song elaborates on what it means to be a queen and the visual show that though authoritative and productive qualities remain consistent with the title, contemporary Queendom defies the conventionalism.

August 26,2018

Rapper, Pat Junior also released a 3 track project entitle For Summer '18 (Part B). On Part B, Pat gets vulnerable, discussing insecurities and low self-esteem in regards to his craft and being overlook. He reveals his inner battle with sucide that he was rescued from through self-love and discovering his purpose.
Hip-Hop artist, Vinnie Dangerous, released a music video for his single "WRATH" which features fellow artist Konvo. The song takes us back in time to an earlier version of Vinnie, taking on a more grimy sound as he tables his frustrations surrounding herd mentality.

Submissions: hiiighercalling@gmail.com

Beyond The Surface

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Hip-Hop duo, Audio Push, shared their visual for "No regrets". "No regrets" is the official single from their unreleased album, Inside the Vibe 2 which drops on the 21st and is available for preorder now.
Grand Hustle artist, Tokyo Jetz, dropped her mixtape, 90's Baby, earlier this week. Each track samples a 90's RnB or Rap hit. The tape is available on YouTube with DatPiff and Spinrilla.
Moses Sumney literally strikes again with his short, but politically provoking album, Black in Deep Red, 2014. The alum has only three tracks but the message is made very clear.
On August 15th, soul singer, Allie Capo, released an interlude-like track entitled "Call" which highlights the waiting game we often play in love.
"Let's Stay" is a smooth RnB track about a failing relationship. The single was released earlier this month by artist, Twelve'len, and it will be featured on his album in the works, Precious.
This visual for Vic Bald's "The General" featuring Hoddy, The Jedi, captures the mob-like behavior the two Baseville, NJ artists rap about.
On the 15th, notoriously fun, Amine, released his album, ONEPOINTFIVE. On the album he showcases a few melodies of his own while discussing romance and encouraging men to be more vulnerable, but not for long. The artist still manages to deliver mostly uptempo rap songs that encourage the ego. There are few features on the project, "Sugar Parents" featuring rising Hip-Rockstar, Rico Nasty, is my favorite overall. The album is available on all platforms.
6lack shared the visual for his song, "Nonchalant", a word he uses to describe his delivery. In the song the versatile artist airs his inner sentiments and in the video he roams what looks like Iceland while doing so.

Submissions: hiiighercalling@gmail.com