Fresh 11: January
11 Songs You Need to Hear
Every month I will be highlighting 11 songs in the hip-hop, r & b realm which I believe deserve your attention. These tracks could be street rap records, wavy progressive hip-hop, lyrical tracks with a message, or a combination of these boxes people like to put hip-hop music in. One thing is for sure, if its on this list, I recommend you give it a listen.
Rich Iyala - Medusa
Fresh off a name-change Rich Ayala (FKA sayknowledge) drops a unique track which sees him harmonizing heartfelt lyrics and spitting some poignant raps over the serene yet melodic ROM soundscape. This is the first collaboration by the San Francisco-based artist and UK-based producer. The song blends funk, hip-hop, harmonizing and storytelling all brilliantly combining with some cool talkbox work from Mars Today which contributes to the funkiness.
Sylvan Lacue - Televised (feat. Rayana Jay)
The Florida-based emcee/producer does a great job combining soul and hip-hop lyricism to pose a valid question. How ready is our social movements for change, and what do we need to do to fix some of the issues that exists. The track is honest, and features rising songstress Rayana Jay’s soulful touch. The production is handled by Sylvan himself, who sounds very comfortable on this standout two-part track.
Kami - Right Now (feat. Vic Mensa)
(prod. Smoko Ono & Knox Fortune)
Another honest hip-hop track which sees both Save Money artists showcasing heartfelt lyrics, interesting cadences and some suitable harmonizing. The production is addicting and profound from frequent collaborators Smoko Ono and Knox Fortune. Vic spits “… cuz granny lost the crib and now we sleepin in them bandos, police run in at 8am, he jumpin out the window…”. Both speak on issues they still facing and how they feeling right now with some gloomy revelations.
Smino - blkswn
The title track from the St. Louis artist who teams up with Seattle-based producer, Sango for this introspective track which sees him dropping his signature melodic flows over the groovy instrumental. Look for Smino to continue to make great music and grow his brand in 2017.
Mani Draper - Hearts of Men
(prod. Half Black)
Mani Draper hails from Richmond, CA and you can hear the sincerity in his lyrics. On this standout track off his recently released Last MarauderLP. The subject matter of the track expressed signs of our generation’s worries and concerns but still holds a feeling of optimism and confidence.
Trizz x Derek Pope x Sahtyre - Feels Good to Feel Good
(prod. Chase Moore)
This track is special because it is a collaboration between three artists whom have been releasing some great music lately. Southern California emcees Trizz and Sahtyre glide over this dope Chase Moore instrumental with potent bars and wordplay that will cause you to run it back and listen closely. Derek Pope supplies them with a wavy hook. Look for all three to continue making waves in 2017.
Lil Dads - IDK (feat. Rexx Life Raj, YMTK, Caleborate & 1.O.A.K.)
This is a special track by Bay Area genius producers Mikos Da Gawd and Drew Banga who have created the soundscapes for many of the most prominent Bay Area artists tracks. They tap some of their most frewuent collaborators Rexx Life Raj, YMTK and Caleborate as well as veteran R & B singer, 1-O.A.K. Check out the wavy hip-hop track below that has some dope house vibes.
Esta x Rayana Jay - 23
Esta is one of the most talented producers, the southern california beatsmith links with Richmond, CA songstress Rayana Jay on this motivational track which she proclaims “I Want 6 rings, I want big things”. Chill out to this mellow track which highlights both the producer and vocalist’s talents in a major way.
RBC Bugzy - Put On (feat. Rexx Life Raj)
Another solid collaboration by East Bay artists, RBC Bugzy out of Richmond, CA and Rexx Life Raj out of Berkeley who supplies a wavy hook and kills the first verse. Bugzy comes through with some signature hard-hitting punches
Tobi Lou - Game Ova
Another dope soulful emcee/singer from Chicago releasing a infectious song. This track sees him flexing with his catchy melodies over the serene beat which he co-produced with YOG$ & LOTSO. Check the track and dope arcade-filled visuals for the unique track. This one will have you singing along in no time. This song has been out for about a year according to soundcloud however the visuals just dropped and I figured it was still worth sharing for those who may have missed it.
G.I.F.T. - Good Time
San Jose emcee G.I.F.T. dropped a 13-track mixtape, To Whom Have Waited, filled with hard-hitting bangers & hip-hop tracks. On a few of the joints he showed range I had previously not heard from him, and thats why I picked this record to showcase as it is a bit of a change of pace for him with some pop and dance vibes. He does a good job bringing good energy and catchy vocals to the track, which is the closing track on his new project, which is a great listen.
This was the first of a future monthly series of tracks to check out.
Written by Arman "StrongArm" Mahmoudi
g.o.a.t Hip Hop