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Music

The Best Music Merch for Fashionable Fans

Music and other forms of art mesh at many intersections. One of the most notable crossovers is music merch: this is where recording artists and fashion designers connect to make memorable pieces of clothes for fans.

One of the most intriguing aspects of music merchandise is the fact that it’s a useful form of marketing that artists get paid for. In addition to that, it’s a great way for fans to directly connect with their favorite artists, beyond just listening to their music.

Without further ado, here’s a look at some of our favorite examples of music merch (in no particular order):

1. Spider Worldwide (Young Thug)

Spider Worldwide made a huge entrance in the past year. It’s become pretty likely to come across someone rocking Young Thug‘s clothing brand, especially its signature matching sweatsuit in various colors. Though that sweatsuit has become their staple, Spider Worldwide has a variety of other innovative and stylish pieces.

2. Griselda Records (Westside Gunn, Benny the Butcher, Conway the Machine)
Griselda Records / Grailed

As seen in the Westside Gunn piece featured above (which translates to “Almighty”), Griselda Records has become renowned for their merchandise. The cryptic nature of their merch (and any type of external art for that matter – like cover art) is akin to some of the most impactful artists that came before them. Not only is the clothing fire, but so is the quality of the records and other miscellaneous products they put out.

3. Rap Tees (DJ Ross One)

In addition to the traditional idea of artists selling their own merch, the thrift/re-sale model is also thriving. One perfect example of this is DJ Ross One and his Rap Tees online store. It’s a blend of vintage tees from some of rap’s most notable acts, curated by a world class DJ who’s well-versed on the music side of things as well. Ross One is signed to Roc Nation, and is touring the globe playing some of the best curated sets of any DJ.

4. Yeezy (Kanye West)

Kanye West can do it all; everybody knows by now. He emerged from Chicago as one of the city’s top producers, signed to Roc-A-Fella Records, became one of the most prolific artists of all time, and all the while, dipped his toe into fashion and tech in pure Kanye fashion.

When it comes to merchandise, not only are his clothes and Yeezy shoes iconic (every edition thus far), but so is his approach with the STEMPLAYER and his Donda 2 release. Every affiliation with his name when it comes to merch is backed up with quality, and his designs feel like a glance into the future.

5. Travis Scott

Just as impressive as his ability to pack out stadiums on his latest tour is Travis Scott‘s ability to sell merchandise. It sells for good reason, too. Trav’s merchandise tends to coincide with his memorable albums and live performances, and he stays close to some of the best designers in the game.

As a result, he grossed over $250k in merch sales in just one week after dropping ASTROWORLD. As if that’s not business savvy enough, he bundled merch with copies of his album, which ended up contributing to his album sales in a big way. Behind every merch drop from Travis Scott is quality, and that’s a large reason why fans come flocking back for more each time he drops.

6. A$AP Rocky

It’d be a crime to not mention A$AP Rocky in an article about the crossover of music and fashion. He’s been a maverick in this particular space, and has stamped style as a permanent aspect of his brand.

Not only has Rocky fathered the implementation of unique pieces like the babushka (as made evident in his record “Babushka Boi“), he’s introduced some of the East Coast’s most memorable Hip-Hop fashion brands, like Vlone (A$AP Bari), LYBB (A$AP Twelvyy), Marino Infantry (A$AP Ant), and more. In addition, he’s done some crazy collabs with PacSun, Mercedes-Benz, and other notable brands in the clothing space. This has made the A$AP Mob‘s journey become all the more memorable over time, and has largely contributed to the evolution of streetwear fashion in Hip-Hop and beyond.

7. Pi’erre Bourne

Next up on our list is New York-based producer and recording virtuoso, Pi’erre Bourne.

Not only is his “Yo! Pi’erre” merch tasteful, so is the merch for his label, Soss House (which he sports on the cover of his latest project, The Life of Pi’erre Vol. 5). Pi’erre is a jack-of-all-trades, and merchandise is no exception. Some of his most notable pieces include a “Yo! Pi’erre” pillow and vinyl copies of his TLOP5 album.

8. BrainFace (Hass Irv)

Recently mentioned on volume 7 of our ‘Curiously Curated’ series, Hass Irv is a NY rapper who’s proving to be more than just that.

One of the most interesting aspects of his career is his involvement in the fashion world with his brand BrainFace. As the balaclava or “shiesty” (as the internet loves to call it) has grown drastically in popularity this year, Hass Irv’s BrainFace brand found itself in the right place at the right time. Their take on this ever-relevant piece is refreshing; you never know what the next edition is going to look like.

Conclusion

Though we introduced plenty of examples of top-notch music merch and the artists who’ve brought it into existence, there’s plenty of ground we haven’t covered.

As music is evolving, it’s becoming more entrepreneurial than ever. As a result, even up-and-comers are bringing some serious heat to the table when it comes to merch.

Take a deeper look at these 8 artists who are innovating in the realm of merchandise, and keep an eye out for more artists who are bringing a fresh approach to music fashion.

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Music

Curiously Curated 007: Top-Notch Underground Talent

Here we are on volume seven of our Curiously Curated series. We’ve come a long way thus far, and there’s plenty more ground to cover. Today, we’re introducing you to five artists that you need to know.

1. Dee Aura

One of New York’s most impressive talents is Dee Aura. The rapper has come a long way since his start, and most recently was brought out by Skepta on stage at Governors Ball earlier this month. He stepped up to bat in front of a massive crowd at Citi Field, and showed them what he’s got. I had the luxury of seeing it live, and it was beyond gratifying to see Dee Aura come this far. For those who know the rapper, it’s implied that he’s just getting started.

In addition to his ties to Skepta, Dee Aura is insanely tapped in across the globe. Here’s his latest video with Philly phenom Matt Ox:

2. Quarters of Change

With two hits to show for their relatively young career, this band is showing a ton of promise early on. You’ve probably seen Quarters of Change on TikTok, whether for their debut hit via 300 Entertainment, “Kiwi” (featuring Juice) or their scenic Wall Street video shoot for “T Love”. The band has a nostalgic yet original feel to them, and their music (and visuals) make it perfectly clear. Not only are their music videos fire, their TikTok is pretty entertaining on its own.

Here’s the TikTok video that blew up their single, “T Love”:

3. Hass Irv

Hass Irv has made quite the impression with his notable career thus far. He seems to not only have a knack for music, but a similar knack for networking and connecting with his audience. He manages to get in the room with some of today’s most popular act. His impressive level of talent makes it (seemingly) easy to consistently connect dots, resulting in underground hits like the one we’ve featured below.

Oh yeah, he’s also an insanely gifted designer, as made apparent in his boutique balaclava brand, brainface.

Hass Irv’s video with G Herbo for his “All Day” remix is one of the New York rapper’s best. Take a look:

4. Jay Swishes

Another New York talent worth noting is Jay Swishes. He’s built quite the catalog, including a solo hit “Good Company,” and a powerhouse feature from Rowdy Rebel on “John Wicc.”

Jay Swishes has a way of going in on both dancehall beats and harder hip-hop focused beats, giving his sound a signature that is hard to replicate.

In addition to his latest drop, a debut EP called ‘I’m Him,’ Jay made some major noise on YouTube with his video for “John Wicc” featuring Rowdy Rebel. See it for yourself:

5. meat computer

One of the greatest parts of the latest evolution of music is the level personalization you see in artists’ brands. Before the SoundCloud era when artists could (finally) independently distribute their music, when would you ever see a name like ‘meat computer’?

Yes, meat computer is an actual artist, and he’s so, so, so fire.

meat computer is one of a kind – and don’t take that lightly. He always manages to think outside of the box, regardless of the medium: music, visuals, social media, or anything else.

Here’s the perfect intro to the wild world of meat computer, his video for “eyes wide shut”:

What a week this has turned out to be. These five artists are all immensely experienced, which has translated to respective recent success. Take a listen to our Curiously Curated playlist on Spotify, which features this week’s artists, as well as all 6 previous editions – recording artists and producers.

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Music

JELEEL Talks with ONE37pm at The Roxy in LA

Who is JELEEL?

You may have seen JELEEL on your ‘For You Page’ on TikTok doing backflips and ripping off his white tank. He has taken TikTok by storm, amassing 1.5 million followers and 54 million likes. In the span of just over six months, JELEEL has jumped from 115,000 monthly listeners to almost 2 million. That’s the power of TikTok. 

However, JELEEL has been working hard to make a name for himself for years while facing adversities like homelessness in the city of LA. There are clips of him on the internet singing for Adam22 on Melrose Ave back in 2018. JELEEL also tells the story of the time he met Zane Lowe in a pizza shop on Fairfax Ave in an unreleased interview.

JELEEL’s Come-Up

JELEEL’s sounds stem from afrobeat music and inspiration from artists like Kid Cudi, 50 Cent, and DMX. He grew up in Rhode Island where he attended high school and trained to try out for the basketball team. He made the team but unfortunately suffered a knee injury that caused him to sit out the rest of the season. After coming back for his senior year, JELEEL was cut from the team. Once he graduated, he decided to attend Loyola University where he graduated with a degree in Psychology. 

In his time at Loyola, JELEEL found himself becoming more immersed in music and decided to release a number of songs online in the year 2017. After graduating from Loyola, he took a one way flight to Los Angeles. In 2018 he released “WARTIME!” which would go on to be featured on the popular hip hop blog, No Jumper. It was during this time JELEEL was homeless in Los Angeles, focusing solely on building his music career. 

Fast forward to June 11, 2022, the last stop of ‘The JELEEL Experience’ at The Roxy in Los Angeles. JELEEL headlined a venue in his old stomping grounds where he walked around, homeless and performed his music tirelessly to those who would listen. This was a full circle moment for JELEEL and his team after experiencing years of resistance.

The JELEEL Interview

Thanks to JELEEL’s managers, we were able to chat with JELEEL after his unbelievably energetic performance to ask him a few questions. 

Courtney: “What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?” 

JELEEL!: “I guess performing at The Roxy. This was fun!” 

Courtney: “Was this a full circle moment for you, coming back to Fairfax after so many years?” 

JELEEL!: “Yeah, these were my stomping grounds. I used to rip my shirt outside The Roxy everyday and look where we are. We’re at The Roxy performing, headlining.” 

Courtney: “Who is your favorite MMA or UFC Fighter?” 

JELEEL: “Jiri Prochazka. He just fought and won today. Jiri, he’s my favorite. Shoutout to Jiri!” 

Courtney: “And if you had to choose, Gatorade or JELEEL Juice?” 

JELEEL: “JELEEL Juice!”

JELEEL Juice is not only one of my favorite JELEEL songs, but it’s also a tasty juice his team created! Check out the music video here:

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Music

20 Videos From Artists at Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash 2022

Cole Bennett has built an astounding reputation for his video direction prowess. From that solid foundation, he’s built out the Lyrical Lemonade brand in ways nobody could’ve expected. In addition to the actual lemonade the company now distributes, they are the founders of the premiere hip-hop festival in the midwest: The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash.

The festival kicks off today, and has a lineup jam-packed with impressive talent. Here’s a look at the lineup:

Lyrical Lemonade

In honor of the festival starting today, we’ve put together a list of the top 20 Cole Bennett-directed videos with this year’s Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash artists (in no particular order). Without further ado, here it is:

1. Ski Mask the Slump God – “Catch Me Outside”

Ski Mask the Slump God and Cole Bennett made their entrance into the mainstream with this video they shot in Times Square. If you’ve seen it, it’s virtually impossible to forget the moment when Ski loses his hat while leaning out of the car. This legendary drop is a remix of Missy Elliot’s “She’s a B.”

2. Lil Yachty – “Yae Energy”

This video is a gem. It’s Cole Bennett’s first video that he shot on an iPhone, which is one of the coolest displays of expertise that we’ve seen in videography this year. Lil Yachty and Cole have such a genuine chemistry, it’s so obvious.

3. Yeat – Still Countin

Another iPhone-shot video from Cole is this classic with Yeat. It is one of the first iPhone videos Cole shot, and it is the first video he shot with Yeat. Yeat performs on Sunday, and is one of the festival’s most highly anticipated acts.

4. Famous Dex – “With Yo B!tch”

One of the earliest Lyrical Lemonade videos that caught a great deal of traction is Famous Dex‘s “With Yo B!tch.” The song is a classic, and the video seals the deal. It still hits today, and is one of Famous Dex’s most popular songs.

5. Warhol.ss – “Speed Racer”

Cole Bennett and his Lyrical Lemonade brand have both built a reputation for being early on talent and putting them on a higher platform. One of the best examples of this is his relationship with Warhol.ss. “Speed Racer” is easily one of their best videos together.

6. Nardo Wick – “Who Want Smoke” (feat. Lil Durk, 21 Savage, & G Herbo)

Nardo Wick has had a big year as he emerged into the mainstream; he was recently honored by XXL as part of their 2022 Freshman Class. This video and feature combo for the remix of his breakout hit, “Who Want Smoke” solidified what was already in motion. Cole went hard with this one, as did each of the three featured artists: Lil Durk, 21 Savage, and G Herbo. As prominent as the original is with 30 million views on YouTube, this remix’s video has proven to be the favorite with 130 million views.

7. Danny Towers – “What To Do!”

Danny Towers has a plethora of talent and originality, and the same can be said for Cole Bennett. They also both share a way of catching people off-guard, Cole with his out-of-this-world visual ideas, and Danny with his unsuspectingly high voice. Danny’s music is such a vibe, and this song is no exception.

8. SSGKobe – “MIA”

SSGKobe has had a breakout year, just like many others on this list. Are you seeing a trend here? Cole Bennett manages to time his collaborations perfectly, and usually plays a huge role in helping artists to the next level. It seems all of the “undiscovered” artists he puts on have their stage set perfectly, and SSGKobe is a perfect example of that, being one of the first signings to Zack Bia‘s Field Trip Recordings prior to this video.

9. BabySantana & KA$HDAMI – “14”

BabySantana & KA$HDAMI are some of the youngest and most original artists out right now. Their collab single, “14” is all you need to hear to understand just how impressive their abilities are. Lyrically, rhythmically, melodically, everything hits different. Can’t forget about this perfectly complementary video either.

10. Lil Tecca – “Dolly” (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)

Lil Tecca‘s collab with Uzi was one to remember. It further cemented the progress he and his team at Galactic have put in motion alongside Cole. It’s wild to see how these videos helped shape Tecca’s career to be what it is today.

11. BabyTron – “Emperor of the Universe”

BabyTron‘s “Emperor of the Universe” is an exhibition of him rapping over 21 beats in just 6 minutes. Who better to shoot it than Cole? AND on an iPhone? This just can’t get any better…

12. Wiz Khalifa – “Fr Fr” (feat. Lil Skies)

Wiz Khalifa enlisted Lil Skies and Cole Bennett for this Lyrical Lemonade classic. This song gave Lil Skies a large boost in his already-blossoming career. They have such a natural chemistry, and it’s apparent here:

13. $NOT – “Revenge”

$NOT and Lyrical Lemonade go together like peanut butter and jelly. Seriously. I don’t know what it is exactly, but something about both of their brands just clicks perfectly – and it shows, whether through live performances, videos, interviews, or any of their other many collaborative mediums. This video shows exactly what I mean.

14. Femdot – “0’Something”

Femdot is yet another up-and-comer that Cole Bennett has put on in many ways. Cole has been working with Femdot long before this video and Femdot’s Late Night performance with Taylor Bennett. It’s amazing seeing the love Cole has for Chicago and its many talented artists.

15. Oliver Tree – “Life Goes On” (feat. Trippie Redd & Ski Mask)

Who would’ve thought Oliver Tree, Trippie Redd, and Ski Mask the Slump God would connect on a song together. The video is just as shockingly fire as the song is. It’s hard to hate on the energy this group has on display in this classic “Life Goes On” remix.

16. Yeat – “Poppin”

“Poppin” is Yeat‘s second video with Cole Bennett, and is unforgettable. Also, in case you don’t know, Yeat happens to be signed to the same label as earlier mentioned artist SSGKobe: Field Trip Recordings. Things seem to be falling into place perfectly for both of them, and Cole Bennett has played a huge role in each of their careers thus far.

17. Lil Tecca – “Out of Luck”

Lil Tecca has become one of Lyrical Lemonade’s go-to artists when it comes to videos, and vice versa. This “Out of Luck” video is one of Tecca’s best, and currently sits at over 30 million views on YouTube. His energy is unmatched.

18. Lil Tracy – “Pictures”

Lil Tracy is a legendary artist, and for good reason. His come-up with Lil Peep scored him a fanbase with an undying sense of loyalty. This video collab with Cole Bennett and Lyrical Lemonade was exactly what those fans were hoping for. As always, Cole comes through with more than proper visuals.

19. Post Malone – “Motley Crew”

Post Malone and Cole Bennett’s first collab seemed overdue as it happened, and it still does. The only thing this video makes me regret is that they haven’t done more together. Post will be performing tomorrow as the main headliner for the day.

20. Supa Bwe – “LOOK” (feat. Qari)

Cole’s video for Supa Bwe and Qari‘s song, “LOOK,” is one for the books. It’s the perfect place to end our list; Cole Bennett shows an unmatched amount of love for Chicago’s underground art scene, and this video is exactly that. Nothing better than creatives uplifting other creatives, and Cole Bennett has proven to make it a habit.

That’s all for our list. The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival is presented (and co-founded) by SPKRBX Presents, and will be going hard over the course of this weekend. If you’re going, have a great time, and if you’re not, there’s always next year.

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Music

Curiously Curated 006: Four of the Best Hip Hop Producers

Today marks the sixth edition of our Curiously Curated series, featuring some of the most talented producers out right now. The producer element of Curiously Curated is arguably my favorite part, mainly due to the major lack in press coverage that producers experience. For some reason, they haven’t been traditionally spotlighted, but Curiously Curated is actively changing that.

1. 2forwOyNE

One of my favorite phenomena in music is when you come across a producer who has recording capabilities. 2forwOyNE is all that and more, and I’ve had the pleasure of being familiar with his work for a few years now. He’s one of Jack Harlow’s go-to producers, and has served that role since they began their emergence from Louisville, Kentucky.

For first-time listeners, “Sylvia” from Jack Harlow’s ‘Loose’ album is a perfect way to get familiar with Woyne. Not only did he produce the ear-catching beat, but his verse and role in the hook make it what it is. In the time since “Sylvia,” 2forwOyNE dropped off his debut project in 2020, ‘Growing Pains,’ as well as serving a crucial role in the Louisville group The Homies. “Leaf Wraps” and “White Lies (with Jack Harlow)” by The Homies is included below, you can thank us later. Oh, and by the way: 2forwOyNE produced both.

2. ATL Jacob

It is virtually impossible for you to have not heard of ATL Jacob in some way. You would’ve had to ignore the “ATL JACOB ATL JACOB” tag at the start of Kodak Black’s hit song “Super Gremlin,” along with many hits from Future’s latest project, ‘I Never Liked You.’

If you take a deeper look at his Genius page, you’ll notice that he’s produced some of the most iconic hits from the last 5 years. Seriously, I was mind-blown when I realized just how many classics he’s produced: “Sup Mate” by Young Thug and Future, “Intro” with Roddy Rich, Future’s “Ridin Strikers”, and even “Pablo” by Kanye West, Future, and Travis Scott from ‘Donda 2.’

Even though he’s got an extensive catalog, it seems pretty clear that ATL Jacob is just getting started.

3. Roy Lenzo

Just a few years ago, Roy Lenzo was enduring humble beginnings, building a studio business out of his bedroom. Before long, he found himself serving a crucial role at Take A Daytrip‘s No Idle studio in SoHo shortly after their breakout hit with Sheck Wes and 16yrold, “Mo Bamba.” Now, he’s a Grammy-nominated, Billboard #1 hit-having producer.

Over the course of years, Roy has built one of the most impressive catalogs you’ll see from any producer, including Lil Nas X, Kid Cudi, and IDK. He built this brick by brick, with patience and a sharp attention to detail. Whether you check out his work on Lil Nas X’s “MONTERO” or his work with up-and-comers like Pasto Flocco (“That’s Cap”), one thing’s for sure: Roy has a great deal of talent.

4. Lunchbox

Years ago, when Sheck Wes’ ‘Mudboy’ was released, the curation of beats on the project was one of its best features. One of the standout producers who contributed to the album is Lunchbox, an insanely talented producer and recording artist who hails from Harlem, New York. His role on the album even scored him a co-production opportunity with DJ Snake.

Since the release of ‘Mudboy’ and its Lunchbox-produced records like “Live Sheck Wes,” “Gmail,” and “WESPN,” Lunchbox has continued to evolve as a producer and even as a recording artist. As Yeat began ascending drastically, the same began to happen once again for Lunchbox. Not only does Lunchbox frequently produce for Yeat, he also has records in the vault with the superstar talent. This is a mere indication of just how impactful Lunchbox’s multi-faceted career has been so far.

Conclusion

That’s all for this edition; you’ve got plenty of exploring to do amongst the four gems we’ve blessed you up with today. You can find some of each producer’s most notable records at the top of this week’s Curiously Curated playlist, which is featured below.

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Music

Getting to Know Fresco Trey with ONE37pm

Fresco Trey has been steadily growing as an artist. Earlier this year, the talented Memphis-born rapper had a collab video with Draft Kings, and has recently gone on to perform at VeeCon, as well as landing a feature on Vory‘s latest album, ‘Lost Souls.’ Fresco makes the difficult look easy, and is taking his time on his journey – with his creation, his fans, and growing as a human along the way.

When Fresco Trey dropped his “Draft Kings” video, he threw an event at the VaynerMedia office in Long Island City. I had the luxury of meeting Fresco there, and getting an early look at his video. He even sang for Sean Millea and me when we were all talking, which was remarkable. He’s really got it. By it, I mean charisma, confidence, and a clear vision of where he’s headed.

In the time since meeting Fresco Trey, I had plenty of time to consider what was left to learn about him. Not too long after, DRock reached out to say he was going to be with Fresco in Memphis, and checked if there was anything we wanted to ask him.

There were plenty of gems in this interview that you would have never known about Fresco, like the fact his sister was the one who got him started in music. Even the fact that Fresco frequently collaborates with the esteemed ukulele-playing producer Einer Bankz is pretty obscure. Even if you did know about Einer, Fresco names two other low-key producers who you likely don’t know yet. Gems like that are part of why interviews are so cool; if you pay close attention, you’ll start to be able to connect the dots between artists, producers, et cetera.

If you haven’t heard Vory’s project, ‘Lost Souls,’ yet, this is a perfect opportunity. Fresco Trey is on the first song of the project, immediately followed by Kanye West on track two. As if that’s not impressive enough, the album also features NAV, Yung Bleu, Landstrip Chip, and BEAM.

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Music

The Best Places to Buy Vinyl Records in NYC

It’s no surprise that vinyl records are having the boom they are; look at just about any other type of vintage product. Nostalgia has a very strong effect on the market, whether you’re talking about music, fashion, sports, gaming, or pop culture.

Long before the days of DSPs and streaming (even CDs), everybody would consume their music through vinyl records. They’d set up their record player, find their go-to spot, and then vibe out to a whole album – not just a song of their choice, the whole damn album.

There’s something special about this, beyond the nostalgia. It represents a time where listening to music was a significantly less impulsive experience. We mindlessly skip from song to song, rather than listening to projects all the way through – like artists intended them to be. Shuffle is another aspect of modern music listening that has drastically changed the listening experience of music fans.

This piece is not meant to criticize the streaming model of music; rather, it’s dedicated to celebrating vinyl records. Here’s a list of seven vinyl record stores in NYC (in no order) that you’ve got to see for yourself.

Josh Dun, Drummer for Twenty One Pilots

Ever since I was 12 years old, when my fascination and obsession with music started, I would get on my skateboard and ride down to the local record store. I’d find the most tattooed guy there and have him recommend me a new album once a week.

1. A1 Record Shop

Located right next to Tompkins Square Park on E 6th Street, A1 Record Shop is one of the premier record-shopping locations in the city. The shop’s customers applaud them for their expansive record offerings, which span genres from a variety of cultures. It’s a great reflection of the community its located in, as well as the city as a whole. If you love music and ever find yourself by Tompkins Square Park, it’s definitely worth stopping by A1.

2. Stranded Records NYC

Stranded Records is just a couple blocks from the first store on our list; it’s nested between 2nd Ave and Bowery on 5th Street. This shop is known for its music-savvy collection of records dating back to the 1950’s. Stranded is owned by a label, Superior Viaduct, and is one of the go-to record stores in NYC, San Francisco, and Oakland.

It’s not easy to fill big shoes, and Stranded has done just that in the wake of Good Records’ closing. Good Records was located at the same storefront, and had built a superior reputation in NYC since its conception in 2005. If you’re looking for a peaceful Bay Area vibe while you’re shopping for your records, then Stranded is just for you.

3. Hifi Records & Cafe Astoria

Astoria has become known for some of the finest food in all five boroughs, and thanks to Hifi Records, the same can be said for records.

The store can be found on Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens, and is highly regarded for their catalog of pop, rock, and latin records. As if that’s not cool enough, just like the ONE37pm office in the West Village, Hifi doubles as a cafe.

4. Village Revival Records

Just a stone’s throw away from our cafe in the West Village is Village Revival Records on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village. The legendary store has been in business for over 30 years.

With an easygoing staff and wonderfully curated selection of music, this shop is a must if you’re ever in the area. If you fancy yourself a fan of New York Nico, then you probably saw him bring Bella Hadid to Village Revival.

5. Academy Records

Next up is a record store with two locations in the Big Apple: Academy Records. Their stores can be found on East 12th Street in Manhattan, and Oak Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

The company has been in business for over 20 years, and has occupied its East 12th Street storefront since 2008. If you like vintage aesthetics and retro sounds, then you’re going to love Academy Records – regardless of which of their storefronts you choose.

6. Mercer Street Books & Records

Right where Mercer Street meets Houston Street (pronounced houseton for those not familiar), lies Mercer Street Books & Records.

The store is exactly what its name says: it has a top-notch selection of books and records. The appeal of reading books and listening to vinyl records seems so similar, both are a phenomenal way to slow down and take a step away from chaos. The store has been in business for over 30 years, and it’s pretty clear why that’s the case.

7. Rough Trade NYC

Last on our list (again, this is in no particular order) is Rough Trade NYC.

Rough Trade is a chain of record stores founded by music fanatic Geoff Travis in London. The first shop was opened in 1976 in its home city, and was inspired by the inviting nature of City Lights Bookstore in San Franciso, where customers felt a natural urge to not just shop, but stay. I grew up in a small town with a store like this; it does more than just boost sales, it starts to create a culture that surrounds the brand. Before long after its initial opening, Rough Trade spread like wildfire. It even spawned the creation of a record label to be run alongside the chain of stores, Rough Trade Recordings. The label has become known for its work with The Strokes, Sufjan Stevens, The Alabama Shakes, and more.

Their New York City location is one of their most notable, and can be found at 30 Rockefeller Center Plaza, on 6th Avenue between 49th and 5th Street.

There you have it! Now you’ve got plenty of exploring to do – not just exploring from store to store, but within them. Also note: these are just seven of the countless record stores in NYC. There are plenty more to check out as well, in NYC and beyond.

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Music

Ari Elkins on New Live Spotify Podcast, Playlisting and More

Who is Ari Elkins?

Ari Elkins is no stranger to our pages here at ONE37pm. He was recently mentioned in our article about ‘TikTok and Music’s Ever-Growing Relationship’ for his contribution to the TikTok curation space.

In the time since the article, he’s made some big moves. The 21 year-old TikTok curator graduated from Michigan, along with scoring a new Spotify Live show: ‘Soundtrack Your Life.’

In the first episode of ‘Soundtrack Your Life,’ Ari is joined by Quinn XCII, Ashe, and Conor Wood. They work together to curate for an optimal morning wake-up.

In episode two, Ari is joined by Charli Jordan, Chelsea Cutler, and Emma Brooks. They discuss a topic that we’ve come to love here at ONE37pm – music and mental health, which we discussed in-depth with Elina Brown from Headspace. This second episode shows off the breadth of topics that can be discussed in this unique new format.

In the time since Ari started curating on TikTok, many other playlisters have emerged on the platform. However, he’s managed to somehow keep a leg up on everybody, especially after inking this partnership with Spotify for a live podcast. This idea for the show’s theme is brilliant; as time goes on, Ari will surely never run out of ideas or guests. There’s so much ground to cover, and there’s nobody better suited to cover it.

Equally as impressive as his accomplishments thus far is the well-executed balance of school and his career. Now that he’s done with school, it’s gonna be very interesting to see just how much he’ll be putting out on a regular basis. Ari has been building the strongest possible foundation for a long-lasting career in an ever-evolving space. He’s well-versed with music, he’s creative, and more than most – he’s adaptive to the changes happening around him on socials.

We sat down with Ari Elkins to discuss these major milestones and more. Check out the interview for yourself in the link below.

Categories
Music

Curiously Curated 005: Four Stimulating Artists

We’ve made a habit out of putting you onto noteworthy up-and-coming artists. Today is no different; we’re introducing you to four artists that you’re gonna love listening to.

These four artists are indicative of bubbling sub-genres in the music scene, and seemed to have mastered their respective crafts. Today, you’ll be getting familiar with Maasho, CEO Trayle, Brill 4 the Thrill, and DR. GABBA.

Spanning the genres of hip-hop, indie, alternative, and house music, listening to these acts will incite all sorts of emotions. So, let’s get started.

1. Maasho

We’ve covered Maasho before, but since we did, he’s managed to accomplish quite a lot. He’s seen an increase in monthly Spotify listeners of over 35,000, along with 6,000 TikTok followers, and that’s just in the past month alone. Forget about landing the #1 spot in Spotify’s ‘Anti-Pop’ playlist and landing various Apple Music editorial playlists for alternative and R&B genres.

Since the start of the year, Maasho’s 2022 releases have garnered over 200,000 streams and over 11,000 views on Youtube. All of these happenings are pretty clear indications of success for an emerging artist. All of that aside, his music is convincing enough. His latest song, “Black Tie Party” has been getting editorial support and fan love, which seems to be becoming a norm for the talented North Carolina artist.

2. CEO Trayle

CEO Trayle enjoyed a massively fruitful 2021, and he’s continued that trend thus far in 2022. He’s gone viral on TikTok and other platforms, thanks to his well-developed sound and shockingly expansive network. One of his top songs features Gunna, but his other records tell a similarly impressive story.

CEO Trayle’s latest two releases are a single and an EP: “Head Doctor” and The Collection, respectively. Both releases are heat; The Collection features a series of bangers including “Dior Store,” “Of Course,” “Publishing,” and “Mr. Door Kicker.”

The story behind Trayle starts to make sense of his sound; he comes from a storied hip-hop background, being born in the Bronx, raised in Chicago, and then moved to his home of Atlanta. All of these cities are ridiculously influential in the genre of hip-hop, and have surely shaped the unique sound of CEO Trayle. Check out The Collection below.

3. Brill 4 The Thrill

Next up on our list is a rapper who hails from the Bay Area in California, and sports a co-sign from popular Detroit rapper GT: Brill 4 The Thrill.

Brill’s got a very laidback style, while managing to say a lot. He’s not just saying anything, either. If you listen closely to his lyrics you’ll notice his knack for wordplay. He has a great rhythmic capability, and getting money seems to come naturally for the rapper.

Brill’s latest release is an album called Bag Music 2, which features a variety of other talented up-and-comers like Playa Red, illa, wantmoreN8, and Salah Babyy. The 10-song album is a great intro to Brill 4 The Thrill.

4. DR. GABBA
DR. GABBA / Spotify

The final artist on our list is a fictional character named DR. GABBA, who boasts 250,00 monthly Spotify listeners, which is largely thanks to TikTok.

According to GABBA’s Spotify bio, he’s “…an estranged doctor who invented groundbreaking devices in the new emerging school of MUSICAL MEDICINE.” He was supposedly “banished” thanks to his co-founder, HENRY J. KAIZER.

The only way for DR. GABBA to survive was to experiment on his own body, which led to his creation of the ACID HEART, a device that keeps him alive with sonic frequencies. This device will supposedly keep him alive forever, so I think it’s safe to expect new music indefinitely from DR. GABBA.

It’s hard not to root for such a creative take on contemporary artistry. Take a listen to DR. GABBA for yourself in the link below.

In Conclusion

To sum up today’s edition of Curiously Curated, we’re seeing a lot of movement in different directions with genres in the modern landscape of music.

The result is a cutting-edge sound from artists in their respective genres, taking influence from a selection of the seemingly endless supply of emerging genres. Maasho, CEO Trayle, Brill 4 The Thrill, and DR. GABBA are all great examples of artists doing their thing in this crazy era of music. Check out the fifth edition of our ‘Curiously Curated’ playlist below.

Categories
Music

Water and Music’s Year in Review: The Music World is Evolving

If you’ve been reading our articles on site lately, then you’re likely to know what Water & Music is. We recently introduced the DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), breaking down just how crucial their presence is at the intersection of music and Web3.

Water & Music is doing the hard work in the realm of music and Web3. Their research boasts an insane level of attention to detail, which is one of the many things that has made them stand out.

Founded by Cherie Hu, W&M is “a newsletter and research DAO building the innovator’s guide to the music industry.” Their work has been cited in Rolling Stone, Billboard, Forbes, CNBC, Fortune, and other similarly massive publications. In a nutshell, they’ve become a go-to resource for experts of both music and finance.

Breaking Down the Year in Review:

One of their most recent pieces, ‘Music NFT sales: What we learned in 2021‘ is an absolute gold mine for those interested in the music and Web3 spaces. It’s a huge document, so we decided to give you guys the “sparknotes.”

We spoke with the W&M team about what was worth highlighting within the massive case study. Here’s what we deemed as the essentials:

1. The Nature of the Case Study

Water & Music is comprised of a relatively small team, and studying the entire year of Web3 music is no small task. So, the W&M team decided to seek help from their community in the process of building out this case study.

The W&M community supplemented an already-impressive perspective on the subject; the result is arguably the most perfect take on the past 12 months in Web3.

Their year in review is an objective look at what is actually going on in the web3 music space, without any sort of sales pitch. It’s meant for those who are yearning for knowledge and are tired of the smoke in mirrors that Web3 brings.

The team determined that ‘music NFTs’ are identifiable by at least one of these five characteristics:

  1. Released by an artist or a music brand
  2. Featured cited audio from a recording artist
  3. Tied inherently to a recording artist or music brand in it’s characteristics
  4. Revolves around music or music culture as its core theme or value proposition to collectors
  5. Released on music-specific NFT platforms
2. Distribution and Blockchain Movement in H1 and H2

To easily understand the movement that occurred this year in the world of NFTs, Water & Music decided to split the year into two halves, H1 and H2.

Over the course of the year, a lot changed in the space. In H1, Ethereum was dominating, accounting for 90% of music NFT releases. In H2, that 90% fell to 50%, making it clear that other blockchain solutions were beginning to find their place.

Water & Music

Another thing to note is that W&M tracked 163 drops in 2021 that yielded over $100k. Of those 163, 80% were from H1. Artists made a killing in the first half of the year; it’s pretty obvious in this graph W&M created:

Water & Music

3. Differences Between On-chain and Off-chain Utility

Part of the NFT exchange process is the notion of utility; in order for something to have value, you need to explain what the value is. There are two primary forms of utility: on-chain and off-chain.

On-chain utility is mainly comprised of the assets themselves: music, music videos, cover art etc. This is the most direct type of value that could be offered, meanwhile off-chain is arguably the most lucrative.

Off-chain utility allows for NFT projects and platforms to get creative in what they offer their collectors. Take Decent.xyz for example, who we covered on the site recently. Their releases inherently include a percentage of streaming revenue, which allows for artists to get higher valuations. Through offering this highly valuable off-chain utility, their first release drew nearly $30k in exchange for 20% of the song’s streaming revenue. Other forms of off-chain utility include membership to Discord servers, in-person activities, and more. The possibilities are basically endless.

As NFTs are evolving, so is the utility that comes with them.

4. Leading Artists in the NFT Space

One thing that is definitely worth noting is the ratio of independent artists to label-signed artists in the Web3 space. Across the entire year, independent artists made up 64% of the NFT drops, while label-backed artists comprised 36% of total NFT drops.

Another interesting angle is genre: Electronic music led the way, with 65% of the releases, followed by Hip-Hop at 19%. Artists like deadmau5, 3LAU and Steve Aoki led the way with a massive amount of NFT releases, scoring millions of dollars in the process.

In the realm Hip-Hop, Tory Lanez was trailblazing. He dropped an NFT album, ‘When It’s Dark Out,’ which sold one million copies for $1 each. Though there was skepticism surrounding the secondary sale of the NFTs after promises of high valuation, Tory’s drop made him one of the earliest rappers to be a contender in the space.

Water & Music

In Conclusion

There was a lot of ground to cover with this particular year in review, yet to no surprise, Water & Music managed to do an exceptionally thorough job. With the help of their community, they’ve made it as easy as possible to evaluate what exactly is going on around us in the music Web3 space.