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Curiously Curated 004: The Undiscovered Realm of Producers

The Undiscovered Realm

The term ‘undiscovered artists’ in 2022 has come to represent talent that aren’t known by your average person. There are so many niche areas of entertainment that it’s virtually impossible to be totally ‘undiscovered.’

The talented group of producers we bring to you today are all in the undiscovered realm. Though they are all respectively developing committed fanbases, it’s safe to say your average music fan isn’t aware of them yet.

Without further ado, let’s take a look into the undiscovered realm and introduce you to three producers you need to know.

1. Dylvinci
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Cb7l9GIryVa/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Cb7l9GIryVa/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Cb7l9GIryVa/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Dylvinci (@dylvinci)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Dylvinci is one of the most creative producers out when it comes to content creation. Not only are his beats so easy to appreciate, the way he delivers them to his audience is on a whole other level.

In this day and age, music production is one of the most competitive areas of the entertainment industry. It seems like everybody is a “producer” nowadays, and with programs like Splice making it easier than ever to create beats, the best producers have to get creative to be heard.

Whether he’s producing in his room, in the park, or some other random environment, Dylvinci always seems to have his setup on him. It’s very admirable. Take a look:

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”tiktok-embed” cite=”https://www.tiktok.com/@dylvincigtc/video/7058382347711892782″ data-video-id=”7058382347711892782″ style=”max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px”> <section> <a target=”_blank” title=”@dylvincigtc” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/@dylvincigtc”>@dylvincigtc</a> Outside cookup before it snows ❄️ <a title=”dylvinci” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/dylvinci”>#dylvinci</a> <a title=”fyp” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/fyp”>#fyp</a> <a title=”plugg” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/plugg”>#plugg</a> <a title=”pluggnb” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/pluggnb”>#pluggnb</a> <a title=”kashdami” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/kashdami”>#kashdami</a> <a title=”yvngxchris” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/yvngxchris”>#yvngxchris</a> <a title=”earlsweatshirt” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/earlsweatshirt”>#earlsweatshirt</a> <a title=”realyungphil” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/realyungphil”>#realyungphil</a> <a title=”flstudio” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/flstudio”>#flstudio</a> <a target=”_blank” title=”♬ original sound – Dylvinci” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/music/original-sound-7058382333744794414″>♬ original sound – Dylvinci</a> </section> </blockquote></div>

Not only has he cracked the code for his content, Dylvinci is no stranger to landing placements with top-notch artists. He’s produced songs for Tony Shhnow, Casey Veggies, Yung Bans, D Savage, Jasiah, and many more notable names. Take a deeper look at a collection of our favorite Dylvinci-produced songs below.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/5mhzjuZd7B0rs4dpSOXxEp?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

2. Austin Millz
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdZS0VQPQum/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdZS0VQPQum/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdZS0VQPQum/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by AUSTIN MILLZ (@austinmillz)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Like many Austin Millz fans, I first came across his music via TikTok. One of his videos making a mashup was the first of many that I came to consume. His energy reverberates through his music so clearly; Austin Millz delivers great energy in the form of great music.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”tiktok-embed” cite=”https://www.tiktok.com/@austinmillz/video/6918398980615392517″ data-video-id=”6918398980615392517″ style=”max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px”> <section> <a target=”_blank” title=”@austinmillz” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/@austinmillz”>@austinmillz</a> Had to flip this Texas classic. Drop your area code in the comments! <a title=”texas” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/texas”>#texas</a> <a title=”houston” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/houston”>#houston</a> <a title=”ugk” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/ugk”>#ugk</a> <a title=”pimpc” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/pimpc”>#pimpc</a> <a title=”remix” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/remix”>#remix</a> <a title=”htx” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/htx”>#htx</a> <a title=”portarthur” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/portarthur”>#portarthur</a> <a target=”_blank” title=”♬ original sound – Austin Millz” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/music/original-sound-6918398955239918342″>♬ original sound – Austin Millz</a> </section> </blockquote></div>

As if his mashups aren’t fire enough, believe it or not, his original music might even be better. Austin Millz frequently connects with insane vocalists to make unforgettable tracks. We handpicked ten of our favorites from him for you to get familiar with. If you’re a fan of electronic and hip-hop music, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/2oJJOZLoTYveC8VZ7xI9jB?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

3. Popstar Benny
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Cdofz0CJtNr/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Cdofz0CJtNr/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Cdofz0CJtNr/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by popstar benny ♪ ☆ (@popstarbenny)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

The third and final producer on today’s edition of Curiously Curated is Atlanta native Popstar Benny. In addition to making a big name for himself with his calculated placements, Benny is also becoming well-known for his indie label, Popstar FM. He is experienced with graphic design, production, and music business, which each come with massive subsets of specific knowledge. It’s not easy being good, but it takes even more to be great. And that’s what Popstar Benny’s done in each of these realms.

Popstar Benny not only has landed placements with big names like Lil Yachty (he designed the cover art for “Minnesota”), Rod Wave, 6Dogs, UnoTheActivist, and Thouxanban Fauni, he’s also kept a close ear to the underground, linking early with talent like Tony Shhnow, Bear1Boss, and other rapidly rising artists.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdazqcmrSM2/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdazqcmrSM2/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdazqcmrSM2/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by popstar benny ♪ ☆ (@popstarbenny)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Benny is making a big wave out of Atlanta, taking his time with the newest generation of artists. All the while, he’s making even bigger placements look easy. Take a listen to some of our favorites from Popstar Benny.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/7Gty3SkOkfyuOy4prKT0tZ?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

With yet another week in the books, we’re starting to pick up even more steam. Thank you for staying tuned, we’ll be dropping Curiously Curated 005 at the end of this week! For now, here’s our updated playlist – featuring Dylvinci, Austin Millz, and Popstar Benny.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/7BiCSpZiSlzkhdbQqqaRxV?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

Categories
Music

The 29 Best Nas Songs

Nas is, without a doubt, one of the greatest rappers to ever touch a microphone. He has at worst, multiple classic albums and some of the greatest concept records ever. He’s your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper, so ranking some of his best songs of all time is no easy feat… but that isn’t stopping us from trying. Below are the 29 best Nas songs of all time. Let us know what you think about our selection.

Best Nas Songs
Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/A5nM66F903I” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed1. ‘2nd Childhood'</div>
1. ‘2nd Childhood’

Between classic DJ Premier scratches on the chorus, Nas first tells the story of a typical child, before flipping the script and talking about a man and woman who live their life selfishly and without responsibility, comparing them to children.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/tobfI7tl7-g” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed2. ‘Adam And Eve'</div>
2. ‘Adam And Eve’

While a seven-song Nas album produced by Kanye West sounds like gold on paper, the end result that came in June of 2018 left a little to be desired for many. With that being said, the standout track for many was “Adam And Eve.” The “Gol-e Yakh” sample is a perfect backdrop for Nas to do what he does best.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/XK8kZGGx_NM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed3. ‘Affirmative Action'</div>
3. ‘Affirmative Action’

This song is as cinematic as Hip-Hop gets. This was the introduction to The Firm, a group that framed its members as mafiosos, which made up much of their content too. This first offering to the world is arguably still their best. The group reunited in 2020 for “Full Circle.”

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/xP4_0z2M85Q” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed4. ‘Daughters'</div>
4. ‘Daughters’

Jay-Z got a lot of praise for his 2017 album 4:44 and how it conveyed great maturity, but when it dropped, many pointed to Nas’ 2012 effort Life Is Good for his own growth. “Daughters” is one of the standouts from it where Nas raps reflectively about his own fatherhood, its consequences, and more.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/zfyQ8muKLdc” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed5. ‘Ether'</div>
5. ‘Ether’

Wherever you stand on the “Ether” vs. “Takeover” debate, there’s no denying that Nas’ diss track is as scathing as any to ever be recorded. It was so impactful that now, “ether” has become common slang for destroying or ending them. It forced Jay-Z to go too far with ‘Supa Ugly’ and then apologize, which for many is the win itself.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/JCqLlpnUDU4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed6. ‘Fetus'</div>
6. ‘Fetus’

A remix of the song of the same name which was set to appear on I Am…, the clue to this song’s concept is in what he says before he goes into the first verse. “Beginning of me… I could see through my belly button window.” Nas takes us through the thoughts of a baby in the womb.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/6YiJH3-Nkb0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed7. ‘Got Ur Self A Gun'</div>
7. ‘Got Ur Self A Gun’

This song samples “Woke Up This Morning” by Alabama 3, which makes perfect sense since it’s also the song used in the intro for The Sopranos. Nas was going for a mafia theme around this time. This song has no special concept like many others on this list but is a great showing of bravado.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/dKSJN3WWR3E” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed8. ‘Hate Me Now'</div>
8. ‘Hate Me Now’

“Hate Me Now” is one of the best anthems of all time. It’s the perfect song to appear on soundtracks and be used as walkout music for fighters and legends like Nate Diaz and Frank Mir have done so. Getting Diddy for the chorus was incredible foresight and a great choice.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”790″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/RvVfgvHucRY” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed9. ‘I Can'</div>
9. ‘I Can’

Nas himself calls “I Can” one of the most important songs he’s ever made. He’d made so much music that his own daughter and other kids couldn’t listen to by this point that he felt he owed them something that they could relate to.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/aG64AlNgjF0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed10. ‘I Gave You Power'</div>
10. ‘I Gave You Power’

With It Was Written’s “I Gave You Power,” Nas penned one of the greatest stories ever told in Hip-Hop. He raps from the perspective of a gun, giving it complex emotions like lust for revenge and sympathy for itself. For this song alone, Nas is immortalized.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”794″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/3hOZaTGnHU4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed11. ‘It Ain’t Hard To Tell'</div>
11. ‘It Ain’t Hard To Tell’

The lead single and outro of Illmatic samples Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” which Nas was able to get cleared because they were both on Columbia at the time. The Large Professor beat is hypnotic and Nas weaves in and out of it with ease.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/cBZWEGUD1GE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed12. ‘Last Real N*gga Alive'</div>
12. ‘Last Real N*gga Alive’

When the Jay-Z beef comes up, “Takeover” and “Ether” get mentioned, but everyone forgets about the next round of songs which on Nas’ end, saw him address it on “Last Real N*gga Alive” from God’s Son. From a mature standpoint, he talks about Biggie, his stance on the Jay-Z beef, and more.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/AxKleuLBRcw” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed13. ‘Life’s A Bitch'</div>
13. ‘Life’s A Bitch’

“Life’s A Bitch” often gets remembered for being the world’s introduction to AZ and Nas’ father’s trumpet solo at the end, but overall, it’s an exceptional record. No matter who you think got the better of who, the song is timeless.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/V72IAoO5yzM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed14. ‘Live N*gga Rap'</div>
14. ‘Live N*gga Rap’

Nas and Mobb Deep both repped Queensbridge, so collaborations were a no-brainer. “Live N*gga Rap” is a fan favorite of the bunch. It was originally done for Hell On Earth, but Nas loved it so much that he bought it from them for his own album.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”805″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/DhPtRA7zieE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed15. ‘Made You Look'</div>
15. ‘Made You Look’

When talking about this song, Nas credits it with getting Hip-Hop away from the R&B sound that it was geared towards. The Salaam Remi production here is dirty and over it, Nas delivers verses that are stellar and make up one of the signature songs in his discography.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ImSoA_fAVL4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed16. ‘Memory Lane (Sittin’ In Da Park)'</div>
16. ‘Memory Lane (Sittin’ In Da Park)’

“Memory Lane” is regarded as one of the best Hip-Hop songs of all time. Nas takes us back to his childhood where he was forced to grow up quickly, witnessing things no child should. The DJ Premier production, despite his own thoughts on it, is classic.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/hI8A14Qcv68″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed17. ‘N.Y. State Of Mind'</div>
17. ‘N.Y. State Of Mind’

Arguably the best song on the arguably the best album of all time, “N.Y. State Of Mind” would be a gem in any rapper’s discography at any point in their career. The fact that Nas wrote it in his teens is unbelievable. It was made to portray to the world what was going on in New York at the time. This introspective look into the tumultuous lifestyle of a teenager struggling in the “Big Apple” is one of the hardest-hitting Nas songs ever made.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/VC4ORS5n9Hg” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed18. ‘Nas Is Like'</div>
18. ‘Nas Is Like’

Up until this point, DJ Premier had done a bunch of classic records with Nas, but he always wanted to get his first single. “Nas Is Like” ended up being just that. On the track, Nas combines braggadocio with introspection as few others can.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/5XaxoXWR_00″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed19. ‘No Idea’s Original'</div>
19. ‘No Idea’s Original’

Another entry from The Lost Tapes here. Over production from The Alchemist, Nas paints one of his most vivid pictures ever. If indeed no idea is original, the QB rapper does a great job of making his own stories sound fresh.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”801″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/JCOURZ-yx4E” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed20. ‘One Mic'</div>
20. ‘One Mic’

“One Mic” from Stillmatic is another classic in Nasir Jones’ discography. The chorus is quiet and unassuming but the verses rise in energy and rage to a crescendo, quite like Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight,” the song it samples. A fun fact: Jungle wrote the first four lines of Nas’ first verse.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/8YZJEiteun0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed21. ‘Poppa Was A Playa'</div>
21. ‘Poppa Was A Playa’

For this Lost Tapes cut, Nas channels his inner Temptations and takes inspiration from “Papa Was A Rolling Stone.” It’s a dedication to his father who was in his life unlike many of his friends at the time. Despite what the credits say, this song was actually produced by Kanye West.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/LPmUHNaqKP0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed22. ‘Purple'</div>
22. ‘Purple’

The content of this song isn’t dissimilar to a bunch of other great Nas records. He jumps from perspective to perspective, telling different stories with great detail. The catch here is that he uses the weed, a.k.a. purple, to get away from it all. The instrumentation is mellow, which suits the title of the song perfectly.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/yMADeEfEB44″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed23. ‘Queens Get The Money'</div>
23. ‘Queens Get The Money’

Produced by the great Jay Electronica, this beat is stripped down and features a hypnotic, melodic piano. Over it, Nas is Picasso. It serves as the intro to his Untitled album and maybe its best song. There’s also a very slick 50 Cent diss in here too.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/7qOvGyyAmpA” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed24. ‘Represent'</div>
24. ‘Represent’

When a vocal minority talks about Illmatic feeling a little monotonous with age and citing its production as a reason for that, perhaps they’re forgetting about “Represent.” It’s one of the more upbeat records on Nas’ debut album and a fan favorite.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/RhRYq2k8ksU” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed25. ‘Rewind'</div>
25. ‘Rewind’

“Rewind,” as the title suggests, sees Nas telling a story backward. It starts with a bullet leaving a gun and goes from there. The song is really impactful when you read the lyrics from the end. Creatively, on the only part of the song that doesn’t feature a quote backward, the beat is in reverse instead.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/X3CGu0ezd68″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed26. ‘The Message'</div>
26. ‘The Message’

Even if you’re not a big Nas fan (for some reason), you might know “The Message.” It’s the opening song on It Was Written but it’s more well known for being a song that offended 2Pac enough to diss Nas. Nas later confirmed that he was actually dissing Biggie in the song. With that side though, it’s yet another example of some of the best storytelling and picture painting in Hip-Hop.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”787″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/e5PnuIRnJW8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed27. ‘The World Is Yours'</div>
27. ‘The World Is Yours’

“Whose world is this?” Pete Rock asks in the chorus. Nas responds “it’s mine.” It’s a reference to Scarface, to which this song and its accompanying music video both pay homage. Even if you’ve never heard this song, you’ve heard something directly influenced by it. There’s no doubt in my mind that this Golden Era Hip-Hop gem is one of Nas’ best songs of all time.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/pfN0bgTPrKU” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed28. ‘Undying Love'</div>
28. ‘Undying Love’

The last song on I Am… is “Undying Love,” a cruel tale about infidelity. But of course, this is Nas and nothing is ever as simple as that. He paints the picture of himself in Vegas, staying loyal to his girl, only to find her in bed with another man when he gets home. It’s beautifully done and will leave you staring into the abyss for a minute or two after you listen.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/yj31nNryVR8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed29. ‘You’re Da Man'</div>
29. ‘You’re Da Man’

On perhaps my favorite song of his, Nas spits over Large Professor production and a chorus that actually says “sugarman,” but sounds like “you’re da man.” The verses are some of his most poetic. In the second, he utters “I saw a dead bird flying through a broken sky,” which could genuinely be mistaken for Shakespeare.

Categories
Music

Curiously Curated 003: 5 Artistic Aficionados

Every week, we put you all onto a set of artists or producers that are on the cutting-edge of culture. Last week, we introduced you to four very talented producers. This time, we’ve got five masterful artists for you to get familiar with (in no particular order).

1. Sampha
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Bev19uxlL3V/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Bev19uxlL3V/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Bev19uxlL3V/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Sampha (@sampha)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Featured on Kendrick Lamar’s latest album, Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers, Sampha is no stranger to the limelight. He’s previously been featured on records with Drake, Alicia Keys, Solange, Headie One, and many other stars. You might remember his role on ‘Nothing Was The Same’: “Don’t think about it too much, too much too much…”

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/4z7MtC58cINauUuhg5tI9c?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

Sampha has an extraordinary voice. Not just “good enough,” it’s one of a kind. It’s no wonder he’s become such a coveted feature; his voice is an instrument that nobody else has. Even though he’s already had a memorable career thus far, Sampha’s latest feature on MMATBS is bound to equate to even more success. After all, his role in the chorus of “Father Time” is a large part of why it’s one of the album’s most memorable songs.

Check out Sampha’s Tiny Desk performance below:

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”766″ height=”431″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/fnIu25lXXY8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe></div>

2. Rome Streetz
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CasBuhpLiw-/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CasBuhpLiw-/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CasBuhpLiw-/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Rome Streetz™ (@romestreetz)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Next up on our list is NYC rapper Rome Streetz, who’s signed to Griselda Records at the end of 2021. Rome has taken the road less traveled to success, one characterized by challenges, solutions, hard work, and thorough artistic development.

Even though NYC is considered home to the Griselda rapper, he was born in London, moved to New York as an infant, and then was sent back to live with his aunt in London after getting into too much trouble as a kid. Right as he caught steady momentum in London as a rapper, his aunt sent him back to NYC. He would pick up right where he left off, and continue to refine his rhyming skills over time. Just like wine, Rome Streetz’ value has only gone up with time – and it seems like that won’t be changing.

Inspired by what he calls the “golden era” of hip-hop in the 90s, Rome Streetz has a classic sound. There’s no better place for “golden era” hiphop artists of today than Griselda Records, alongside a roster of akin trailblazers. Just like the rest of that roster, Rome Streetz’ music sounds like an evolution of the story told in the “golden era.” Take a listen to a sampling of his best:

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/0WeVqKPNgsFqUPkHwkPMEL?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

3. Belis
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/reel/CdJ_RjapGww/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/reel/CdJ_RjapGww/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/reel/CdJ_RjapGww/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by belis 🎧 (@belisgo)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Another talented act well-worth knowing is Belis. Her catalog sounds like nothing else you’ll find on DSPs; each release continues an evolution of something that’s so obviously special.

Not only is she wildly gifted and innovative, she’s also one of the most inspiring artists you’ll hear of. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that attacks healthy nerve tissue in the central nervous system, Belis started suffering muscle pain, slurred speech, and more. This diagnosis came at a time when she was already establishing herself as an artist. Regardless of her diagnosis, she kept the same energy she had before; if anything, she turned things up a notch.

This optimistic reaction to troubling circumstances and the resulting art she’s allowed herself to make is one of the most heartening stories you’ll find in music. Take a listen to some of our favorite work from Belis below:

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/48WIin96K0cmaAh1AtbNBS?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

4. BADBADNOTGOOD
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CbS2FvoOuSg/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CbS2FvoOuSg/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CbS2FvoOuSg/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by @badbadnotgood</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Founded in 2010, BADBADNOTGOOD is a Toronto-based band with a knack for blending genres in the most artistic way. They’ve made appearances on some iconic records in the past, and are yet another example of a very coveted feature in music.

You probably will recognize their song “Time Moves Slow” from its sped-up remix on TikTok, which blew up in a major way last year alongside the Adult Swim TikTok trend. In the time since, they’ve found a way to progress, which is no easy feat after traction like that.

You’ll notice elements of jazz, hip-hop, alternative and experimental electronica in their jam-packed catalog. Take a look at one of their latest drops with Daniel Caesar along with much more heat in the playlist below.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/1Jm1d3OC2fBAwOOS7sf5vo?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

5. FNF Chop
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/tv/CdMEYXSjwwr/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/tv/CdMEYXSjwwr/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/tv/CdMEYXSjwwr/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Mr.Walkdown🚶🏾‍♂️🤐 (@fnf.chop)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Emerging from the DMV is a star rapper by the name of FNF Chop. While he was locked up last year, his song “Walk Down” was going crazy on TikTok. Enough so to score him a co-sign from Pharrell Willams on his OTHERtone podcast, while the legendary producer and recording artist was interviewing Soulja Boy.

Since getting out of jail, Chop has only progressed. His latest project is the only proof needed. Featuring Young Nudy, Sheff G, Stunna 4 Vegas, YungManny, Kwad, and XanMan, ‘No Way Out‘ gives first-time listeners a perfect understanding of Chop’s style and ability.

This debut album is a phenomenal step forward for FNF Chop, and makes up a large part of our playlist of essentials for the DMV talent.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/1YjdF9oy8VxVl6zhvRjsbO?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

That concludes our third edition of Curiously Curated. Take this as an opportunity to dive into these artists’ impressive catalogs – even when you’re done checking out their music, there’s still videos to see.

Here’s our playlist combining the best of this week’s featured talent with the two editions before:

Categories
Music

Curiously Curated 002: Four Producers You Need to Know

In the world of music, producers have always played a key role. In the modern era of music, that notion has only become more substantiated. Producers are getting much more spotlight through social media platforms, which make discovering them even easier than before. Additionally, companies like BeatStars and Timbaland’s BeatClub have made producers’ lives even easier, connecting producers with other producers, artists, labels, sync licensing companies and more.

As the producer niche of the industry has evolved, so have the producers themselves. In this day and age, producers have to be some of the most adaptive music-makers of all. Think about it: a new trend emerges, and the first producers to master it are likely the ones to land the most placements with budding stars. Some are even fortunate enough to be the reason why the trend starts in the first place.

On this second edition of Curiously Curated, we’re highlighting some of our favorite producers who you probably aren’t directly aware of. Chances are, you’ve heard some of their work before. In no particular order, here are four producers you need to know.

1. Bakkwoods
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CZpjAezJLFd/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CZpjAezJLFd/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CZpjAezJLFd/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by woods light that shit up🔥 (@bakkwoods)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Bakkwoods is a producer who’s come a long way in the past couple of years. He become well-known for his work with SoFaygo, along with many other noteworthy artists. Woods been producing for Faygo since their early days together in Atlanta, and the two have only continued to collaborate.

In his latest Instagram post, Bakkwoods and SoFaygo are at Pharrell‘s crib in Miami, where they’re making music together and pouring champagne together. This is just one of many star-studded scenes that Bakkwoods has found himself immersed in lately; he’s produced for artists like Trippie Redd, Lil Tecca, SSG Kobe, Thouxanban Fauni, 6 Dogs and many other stars.

His “woods light that shit up” tag and his trademark sound are becoming more and more familiar to the world each day, as his music is accumulating a ridiculous amount of streams. Woods has put in years of work to get where he’s at today, and is only continuing to work harder.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/3Dc7EiHP7aDOhTI92OQaKi?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”80″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

2. Cash Cobain
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CbsaNqqrlmo/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CbsaNqqrlmo/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CbsaNqqrlmo/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by SLIZZY ✌🏾❌ (@cashcobain_2x)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

“And this beat from Cash not from YouTube.”

New York producer Cash Cobain has come a long way since he taught himself how to produce drill beats. From pop to hip-hop, R&B and more, his thorough knowledge of music fuels the “sample drill” wave that he’s largely responsible for.

If you were to look at his Genius page, you’d see an insanely long list of collaborations, along with some easily recognizable names: B-Lovee, Lucki, Lil Yachty, Shawny Binladen, Casanova, and many, many more. A lot of the records he crafted for these artists have gone on to be some of their most unforgettable tracks. In the same way that Warhol would include logos of some of the most reputable brands in his works, Cash Cobain samples hits that live somewhere in just about everybody’s mind. And as if that’s not impressive enough, Cash raps on his own beats, too. The young talent does it all.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/0aVXJnOqFE8YTc0fDsuepN?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”80″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

3. AR
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CaQdi8ULRWN/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CaQdi8ULRWN/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CaQdi8ULRWN/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by AR (@afuckinr)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

AR is a Long Island-born producer whose come-up looks like nobody else’s. AR has long been one of my favorite producers, though I’m slightly biased from my time spent as his assistant in 2018 (and being from Long Island). That time, though it was largely spent doing menial tasks, taught me so much about AR, the underground hip hop scene, and music in general. Just by being around him, it was impossible to be behind on culture – from fashion, the best kept secrets in rap and production, cannabis, crypto, and more, AR has a phenomenal understanding of the world around us.

Separate from his other areas of expertise, AR’s musical catalog is seriously impressive. He’s got songs with Bryson Tiller, A$AP Rocky, Lil Gotit, Thouxanban Fauni, The Game, Kevin Gates, Robb Bank$, and countless other highly regarded names in music. Even more impressive than the big-name records he has is his eye for talent. He’s collaborated with artists like Yeat, Ola Runt, Sainvil, Benji Blue Bills, and Lunchbox, long before just about anybody else was aware of them. AR has a very distinguished style and is highly adaptive to the artists he works with, which is a rare balance in music.

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Cor Blanco
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdEg-PSPQT1/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdEg-PSPQT1/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdEg-PSPQT1/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by @corblanco</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

One artist who’s stood out to me over the years I’ve been familiar with him is Cor Blanco. From the beats he creates out of thin air, to the ear-catching lyrics he writes over them, and his ability to put on a performance that ties all of it together – Cor Blanco is on another level. There are some huge artists that I feel inclined to mention in comparison to Cor, but no comparison would do a proper justice. Cor Blanco’s music is incredibly original, from production to rapping.

To a familiar ear, Cor Blanco’s personal catalog of records is just as impressive as the placements he’s landed. His latest project, ‘Globoy,’ is the pièce de résistance of his recording work thus far, featuring his close friends ATM, Stacy Money, PuddaH, Countup, and NEMP. Separate from his impressive work for his own recording career, Cor Blanco landed two placements in Jack Harlow‘s 2019 project, ‘Loose‘: “9th Grade” and “Can’t Call It.” Talk about being early on a superstar. Cor Blanco has proven not only his ear for up-and-coming talent, but a masterful ability to produce and record music.

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Check out our playlist below, which features music from these four producers, along with last week’s picks. The first 8 songs feature 2 songs from each of these producers, in the same order as this article.

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Categories
Music

Inside the Screen: Aaron “Don” Dukes Talks to Jx.Zero

“Sorry… I can’t be your man…”

Jx.Zero has been having an incredible year, especially after the massive success of his mega-hit “Playboy.” The track has become extremely well-known, being used alongside the “griddy” dance trend.

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The trend has taken the song to an extreme, as trends tend to do, resulting in a classical version of Jx’s hit song. The remix is a mashup of “Playboy” and Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker,” which led to an additional increase in videos made with the song.

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With this level of exposure comes a lot of responsibility. Fans are quick to label artists as “TikTok rappers,” when in reality, the only thing that separates them from a “regular” artist is their means of blowing up. Jx.Zero could’ve become well known through a variety of ways, but it just so happened TikTok was it. In 2022, that means an awful lot of exposure.

Jx.Zero / NRG

Last month, Aaron “Don” Dukes from the ONE37pm team linked up with Jx.Zero after a special all-star Fortnite invitational (April 19th) called the ‘NRG Champions Show, Featuring Fortnite,’ sponsored by Omnic Data. After Jx did a performance at the event, he had a chance to talk with Aaron and elaborate on his love for gaming, music and more. As it turns out, Jx is a gaming fanatic.

If you’re like Aaron, and you can see beyond the TikTok-driven hit, you’ve probably found Jx’s impressive catalog of two albums: ‘Hi I’m Jx‘ in 2020, and ‘In My Sins‘ in 2021 – which contains “Playboy” along with many other bangers. Each project is 7 tracks long, and tells you a lot about Jx, from his ability to musical inclinations.

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In addition to the music, this conversation between Aaron and Jx.Zero explains just about everything else that fans are wondering. They discuss his roots, getting started with music, gaming and much more. The conversation sounds like something you’d hear exchanged between close friends; if you’re looking to get to know Jx.Zero, this interview is the absolute best start.

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Jx.Zero is an artist who was blessed up with an extraordinary amount of progress in 2022. As his brand continues to scale, the artist is keeping his eyes directed forward and being himself. Jx is an artist’s artist, not a “TikTok artist.” He seems to have a bright future ahead of him, and for good reason.

Categories
Music

Curiously Curated 001: The Top Rising Artists of Today

As accessible as information is today, it’s no easy feat to stay in tune with even the mainstream music. Our ‘Curiously Curated’ column is dedicated to the tough task of finding the soon-to-be stars, so you don’t have to. This marks the start of a weekly series, which alternates between artists and producers every week. The series will be run in tandem with a playlist of the same name.

In this piece, we list 10 of our favorite up-and-comers in no particular order. Without further ado, welcome to volume one of our ‘Curiously Curated’ series.

1. T$AN

Out of Philadelphia is emerging talent T$AN. The rapper recently finished up his stint with Columbia Records, and has been moving independently in the time since. A good bit of traction came early on from his unreleased record with Lil Uzi Vert, which was leaked on SoundCloud by one of T$an’s fans. In the time since, the rapper has been building out his sound and collaborating with an impressive array of artists, including Lancey Foux, who’s the only feature on T$AN’s latest album, Til The Death of Me.). TTDOM is a 22-song project that’s bound to get you hooked to his music. T$AN has continued to evolve as an artist, from his sound to his style and engagement with fans. Today’s a great day to get hip, especially on the heels of his recent release.

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2. ericdoa

Who hasn’t heard of or seen HBO’s hit show Euphoria? It’s almost impossible to find anyone who hasn’t at least heard of it. That means chances are, you might already have heard this next artist on our list. Even if not from having a song the show, perhaps you’ve heard of him from his presence on Spotify playlists or the rampant use of his music on TikTok.

Say hello to ericdoa, one of the most rapidly growing young artists in 2022. I met ericdoa last year in New York City, and was immediately taken by his charisma and genuine passion for making music with his friends. It felt impossible to not root for him on his creative mission, and still does. ericdoa’s knack for music and stardom in general has set the stage for a major year for him, and a bright future to follow. With almost a million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, and two songs at over 10M streams, it’s only a matter of time before he’s a household name. If you aren’t already familiar take a peek at his video for “sad4whattt,” which was featured in Euphoria, in the link below.

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3. Leeky G Bando

New York hip-hop has evolved over the years, and its latest drill movement has only grown since its conception. Of the many notable characters leading the drill charge, Leeky G Bando is definitely an artist you’re gonna want to get familiar with. His deep voice sets him apart from his competition, and makes any of his songs instantly recognizable.

If you’re familiar with Bizzy Banks, one of the last artists to be co-signed by Pop Smoke, then you’ve probably already seen or heard of Leeky G Bando. Both artists are managed by producer RubiRosa, whose cuts include “Fabo” by UnoTheActivist and “Bully” by Jay Critch. Leeky has his sound figured out, and has been steadily growing alongside his tight-knit team. Getting money is essential for this Brooklyn-based rapper and his crew.

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4. XORA

After catching attention recently for charting in the top 10 on the iTunes store, XORA has continued to become more and more established with every day that passes by. XORA has a very memorable sound, and is rapidly growing with grace.

The Ottawa, Ontario native’s music on DSP dates back to 2018, but his latest project, Moonchild is the apex of his creation thus far. The only feature on the project is fellow up-and-comer cxldface. With 9 songs on the tape, and 8 of them solo, Moonchild is the perfect way to get introduced to the world of XORA.

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5. BabySantana

One of my personal favorite bars I’ve come across on social media in the past year is Columbus, Georgia native BabySantana‘s lyrics for “Antisocial”: “She ask me like ‘tana are you antisocial, and I told her no girl, I’m socially-anti.” Both the writing and delivery felt like a subtle way of making people go, “oh shit, rewind that again.” Sonically speaking, it felt like an iconic moment for the fifteen year-old rap star.

Before this iconic moment, BabySantana signed with Galactic Records, Lil Tecca and his manager Giuseppe Zappala’s imprint with Republic Records. If you listen closely, you’ll hear the reference in “Antisocial”: “Me and Giuseppe, we hit Benihanas and spent us a bag, she like boy you so fancy.” BabySantana is insanely fun to listen to because of a thorough approach to lyrics and an insanely original sound. “Antisocial” proved to be an amazing initial step for the young talent; it charted on SoundCloud and Spotify, and set the stage for BabySantana to be ready to join Tecca and Bktherula on Tecca’s latest tour.

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6. Bear1Boss

If you consider yourself to be in tune with the Atlanta rap scene, then you have to know Bear1Boss. He’s been making a wave out of ATL and online via SoundCloud, Instagram and other platforms.

With 100k followers on Instagram and 17k monthly listeners on Spotify, this artist is at a unique point in his growth process. It seems like any day now that the Spotify stats will have a drastic boost. After all, his name is being mentioned in all corners of the industry, and has even been covered by platforms like Lyrical Lemonade and Pitchfork. Some of his top songs out right now include “Xan!,” “Stoopid Gas,” and “$$$.” Bear1Boss is likely your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper right now, so get familiar while it’s still considered early for the soon-to-be star.

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7. GMO Stax

GMO Stax is another artist who should definitely be on your radar. Detroit has been known to be producing some of hip-hop’s best acts lately, and GMO Stax is no exception. The crisp, calm nature of his sound is one of a kind. Even though many other Detroit rappers are pursuing the same style, he stands apart thanks to his voice, sense of rhythm, and lyrics.

GMO Stax is a standout, and is helping to continue the relevance of Detroit’s slick, relaxed sound. He’s collaborated with artists like Pooh Shiesty and Big 30, along with #10 on our list today, PGF Nuk. When you read more on PGF Nuk, you’ll see how impressive GMO’s taste and strategy is. Not only can he land major features, he has an ear for the underground and impeccable timing.

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8. Shawny Binladen

Introducing the “king of samples,” Shawny Binladen. New York is a hotspot for the unique; after all the whole ethos of the city is to shamelessly be yourself. Lo and behold, Shawny Binladen has emerged in the hip-hop scene with an unforgettable sound.

Sample-fueled drill beats have become commonplace lately, and samples have long been a part of making music. However, Shawny built a direct affiliation with samples, demonstrating phenomenal taste and a knack for making these old sounds feel new. A combination of the producer curation for his work and his distinctive vocal approach have amounted to a very special relationship with his listeners. Take a listen to one of his biggest hits with Bizzy Banks in the link below.

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9. Groupthink

Lately, there’s been a large buzz in the music industry about Groupthink. The 10k Projects signee started his career sounding like nobody else around, and has only continued that trend, which is a proven recipe for success.

Groupthink’s latest release, “Guilty Pleasure” is his highest performing song so far, and it comes with a really fire video to match. I first heard about Groupthink from seeing his marketing tactic of “hacking 10k Projects’ Instagram,” which was pure genius. It brought the mayhem of pure artistry to the company who signed him, and to fans new and old watching, it felt like they were welcomed to be a part of the mischief. From the music to the visuals to the marketing approach behind all of it, Groupthink has a natural ability to stimulate his audience. You’re gonna love it all when you get up to speed.

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10. PGF Nuk

With the craziest song as an official intro to a mass audience, PGF Nuk first stepped into the limelight with a Polo G co-sign and feature. “Waddup” is the only proof-of-concept needed to show just how special this rapper is. After hearing “Waddup,” it’s only natural to wonder if he’s got a severe cold, or if that’s his actual voice. His stuffy-sounding vocals in “Waddup” are in fact not a cold; if you take a listen to the rest of his catalog, you’ll see that is actually his natural sound.

With such a hard-hitting song, it’s typically a challenge to match that energy visually. In PGF Nuk’s case, it seemed like it happened with ease. The chemistry between him and Polo G, along with the rest of his crew, is blatantly apparent in the video. Watch the video in the link below, and see if you can resist looking for more bangers from the young Chicago talent.

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These are the first 10 artists to be covered in what will surely prove to be a memorable journey for ‘Curiously Curated.’ Learning more about the underground artists who are separating themselves from the pack is wildly entertaining. There’s definitely a method to the madness of finding talent early, and we’re gonna be continuing to refine that ability together. Even if you don’t have an interest in finding the talent yourself, you can still stay enjoy the luxury of listening to our finds.

If you have any suggestions of artists you think our team should know about, feel free to reach out to us on Instagram, Twitter, or our Discord!

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Categories
Music

Future’s Best Album, Ranked By Album Title

If you’re out of the loop for some reason, the Toxic King also known as Super Future, Fire Marshall Future, Future Hendrix, and Future Vandross has announced that his new album drops this Friday, April 29th.

The announcement that an album was coming this month was met with intrigue, but the announcement of the album’s title, I Never Liked You, saw fans rejoice. This type of pettiness is exactly what Future’s fanbase has come to expect from him in recent years and this album title and cover feels like him fully embracing it in a way he’d only done on social media previously.

To commemorate the event in a unique way, we had the idea to rank all of Future’s solo albums up to this point… purely by their title. Album titles can sometimes tell us a lot about the music packaged inside them and sometimes, time tells that the names don’t hold up at all.

9. HNDRXX (2017)
Complex

Alright… I called this man Future Hendrix in the introduction to somewhat acknowledge how many crazy nicknames he had, but it’s time to get serious. Future has said before that calling himself that is him “feeding off Jimi Hendrix and just what it represents to me as being different.” Being different is cool, but I still need a little more for you to justify essentially naming your album after arguably the greatest instrumentalist in Rock history.

Now of course, this album was the second part to FUTURE and they were released just a week apart. But the album title must be judged on its own merit and that’s why it ends up last here.

8. FUTURE (2017)
XXL

The aforementioned FUTURE. Self-titled albums are interesting in that artists often do theirs when they feel that they’re making their most introspective music, or the music that best defines them and their artistry. In a way, Future did exactly that here… just like he always does. The album kicks off with “Rent Money” where the Atlanta rapper brags “I just fucked a rapper bitch, I should diss you”, the type of line that’ll make you screw your face up. The entire album follows suit, with Future lacing hypnotic instrumentals with infectious melodies.

In terms of its music, the album is a little underrated, with cuts like “Feds Did A Sweep” being among Future’s best. But of course, we’re not interested in the music today, not primarily anyway. For its lack of creativity, but avoidance of unnecessarily drawing on the late great Jimi Hendrix, FUTURE narrowly avoids last place.

7. Future Hndrxx Presents: The WIZRD (2019)
Genius

The WIZRD was released in 2019 and follows the weird trend that HNDRXX started in leaving out vowels… but it doesn’t even do that properly. Surely the album title being The WZRD would make more sense. It’s not like there’s another word you could confuse “wzrd” for, but Future felt like he needed the I in for some reason.

“The Wizard” is a nickname Future’s late uncle gave him and when he went around wearing Pamela hats for a while, he did actually somewhat suit the aesthetic, so he gets points for that at least. The woods that he’s seemingly in on the trippy album cover also give off that vibe.

6. High Off Life (2020)
Complex

Released in May of 2020, this album was originally called Life Is Good, which would have of course meant the title track was the Drake-featured single. Perhaps with the pandemic going on though, Future or someone wise on his team decided this was not a smart move. We agree.

High Off Life serves the same purpose, but doesn’t speak to the hierarchy in the same way “life is good” might have. We’ve all felt high off life before and it’s all relative. For that, Future gets some points.

The album itself does feel like somewhat of a celebration, but not anymore than any Future album does.

5. Honest (2014)
Irish Times

Released in 2013, this album came at an interesting time for Meathead. He was in a high-profile relationship with Ciara and many were accusing him of going Hollywood on us, leaving Atlanta in the rear-view.

Of course, we know how that all played out, but while he was in the moment, Future did need to address everything going on in a way that didn’t alienate his core fans. That’s when Honest dropped.

It’s a short and sweet title that’s kind of genius because it gives you a pass to do and say whatever you want for the duration of the album with the premise being that you’re just telling your truth. With some of the songs on there though, perhaps Unapologetic would have been a better fit.

4. EVOL (2016)
Genius

The contrast between “live” and “evil”, the latter being the former backwards and vice versa, is not a new concept at all. Miles Davis named his 1971 album Live-Evil and in 2012, on MTV’s ‘Hip Hop POV’ show, Lil Wayne even took the concept a step further and said that he had an album coming called Devol, “because that’s loved backwards.” So it’s clear that the concept isn’t entirely new, but with that being said, is there anyone that embodies the idea of love being evil more than Future?

My only wish, and maybe this is too much to ask, is that Future actually explored the concept of love being evil a little bit within the body of music itself. Instead, we got hard cuts like “Ain’t No Time” and “Wicked,” which are great, but could have appeared on literally any Future album in the past seven years.

3. DS2 (2015)
The Line Of Best Fit

Future’s 2011 mixtape Dirty Sprite was the first time that many were introduced to him and to this day, it is called a classic. Coming off of a classic mixtape run years later with Monster56 Nights and Beast Mode, Future bravely titled his next album DS2. He could really do no wrong during his trilogy of mixtapes, so turning the pressure up here was bold.

From top to bottom, it’s filled with lean raps and some of the best music of Future’s career. “Thought It Was A Drought” is a middle finger to critics of his cough syrup habit, “Groupies” is a middle finger to his old relationship and “Kno The Meaning” gets weirdly introspective by Future’s standards.

Had this album actually been called Dirty Sprite 2, as opposed to its abbreviated version, it might even take the top spot here. Go all the way with it! Of course, that name has implications that might not have sat well in label meetings and boardrooms, but it would have been the only way this album could have been improved. 

2. Pluto (2012)
Amazon

Pluto is such an incredible album title that it’s also a nickname for Future and years down the line, Lil Uzi Vert decided to call himself Baby Pluto. That kind of impact can’t be overstated and for the ATL rapper to do that with his debut album is special.

With his 2012 album, Future really did introduce the planet to his own world, so the name couldn’t have been more fitting. If Pluto isn’t going to get love as a planet from us, at least Future’s holding it down.

1. I Never Liked You (2022)
Rap-Up

Just last night, Future set social media ablaze when he revealed the artwork and title of his new album. I Never Liked You got a rise out of everybody online, because it feels like Future is very self-aware about what he adds to hip-hop culture and what people want from him. “I never liked you”, just as a sentence, has so many connotations and all of them feel like Future.

Admittedly, it’s a trait of Future’s that no-one wants to see in their partners, friends or family, but that’s not what Future is. He represents that side of us that we’re all a little ashamed to let out and know isn’t right.

The album cover got just as many laughs from people. It’s taken from a GQ shoot that was released earlier in the week and sees the rapper wearing about $60k worth of clothes and jewelery, without the Chrome Hearts ring on his left hand even being listed.

Of course, what the music is like remains to be seen, but if the past ten years are anything to go by, this one will have some problematic anthems on it.

Categories
NFT

Lyrical Lemonade Enters Web3 with ‘L3MON’

Lyrical Lemonade and its founder Cole Bennett have had a very successful journey thus far, and somehow they manage to continue evolving.

What is Lyrical Lemonade?

Since 2013, Lyrical Lemonade has actively worked to build a community of music lovers through Cole’s videos, their blog, clothing sales, lemonade sales and their events – which range from early shows like their 2016 Uzi-headlined concert to their annual ‘Summer Smash’ festival. Cole’s superior video direction has driven the value of his endorsement; you rarely see a director with such influence. He’s been responsible for putting on a laundry list of artists, including Lil Pump, Ski Mask the Slumpgod, and many more. In short, Lyrical Lemonade is one of the most intriguing multi-faceted music companies in existence. Not only do they offer a long list of products and services, they pay very close attention to detail in every endeavor and have a genuine interest in celebrating artists and their respective art.

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What is L3MON?

Last week, the company unveiled their web3 project, ‘L3MON’, alongside a collection of 500 NFTs – each one a completely unique take on the famed Lyrical carton. After fully diving into researching NFTs in February of 2021, Cole Bennett was sold on Web3. In the time since, he devised L3MON and ‘The Carton’ collection to introduce Lyrical Lemonade to the Web3 space. 

<div class =”code”><p class = “twitter-tweet”>https://twitter.com/_ColeBennett_/status/1363763250794532864?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></div>

Each ‘Carton’ was originally minted at 0.5 ETH and comes with an interesting set of utilities: whitelist spots for every future L3MON release, 3 years of access to the Summer Smash Festival, access to exclusive Lyrical merchandise drops, and private Discord access. This is a pretty interesting setup for their first drop; all of the 500 cartons are uniquely handcrafted and are of equal value. Just like the effect of his videos, this drop leaves us wondering what Cole and Lyrical’s next move will be.

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Whatever it is that Cole Bennett decides he wants to do, he does. The 25 year-old founder makes the difficult seem easy with his graceful execution of well-thought-out ideas. It’s encouraging to see Lyrical Lemonade joining the Web3 space, and to see Cole Bennett continuing to shine. As the innovative company’s foundation continues to widen, their influence is following suit.

Categories
Music

Kick Off Your 420 Festivities with Our ‘4:20pm’ Playlist

420 has a rich history, and this year, stoners around the US have more legal access to cannabis than ever before. It’s hard to ignore how special this year’s 420 festivities are, especially with how rapidly weed use is expanding. A strong sense of community runs deep throughout all weed-smokers; today, the community is uniting once again to celebrate their love for the recreational drug.

The holiday is said to have originated during the 1970’s in California, amongst a group of friends who called themselves “the Waldos.” This friend group would come together every day after school to smoke weed at 4:20 pm. What started as an idea became a ritual for the Waldos, and before long, the term 420 and its association with cannabis were widely popularized. One of the founding members, Waldo Dave, had a sibling who was good friends with Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh. It’s said that the Grateful Dead were influential in the amplification of the 420 movement.

While many other stories of 420’s origins have floated around, this particular one has been fact-checked by many and is seen as the most valid explanation of the movement’s beginnings. One thing is for certain: from the moment that the term ‘420’ was coined, it has represented a desire to come together and celebrate a shared love for cannabis.

In the same spirit, today, we present you a 42-song playlist called ‘4:20pm.’ The playlist celebrates some of our favorite weed anthems from artists like Wiz Khalifa, Kid Cudi, A Tribe Called Quest, Curren$y, Snoop Dogg, Mac Miller, and more. It’s a great reminder of just how culturally influential marijuana has been for decades. Its influence has only continued to grow, as has its community.

Take some time out of your 420 to kick your feet up, light one up, and listen to our ‘4:20 pm’ playlist! You’re bound to enjoy yourself.

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Categories
Music

The 21 Best J. Cole Features

The J. Cole feature has been an interesting point of conversation over the years in hip-hop. Despite signing with Roc Nation in 2009, J. Cole was pretty independent with how he handled himself and that mentality seemingly shifted to how he handled appearing on other people’s songs. For years, there were just a few artists he’d collaborated with.

Now though, he’s branched out and collaborated with dozens and dozens of different artists. This change in mindset came because of an epiphany he had. He wanted to get out of his comfort zone. During his Applying Pressure documentary that came out before The Off-Season, he walked people through his process of thought. “Do you really wanna look back and be like ‘you didn’t work with nobody’? You didn’t have no songs with nobody, you just cool with that? No. Okay. So start saying yes to some features”

The result of that has been one of the better feature runs ever seen in the genre. As a result, the conversation has shifted from Cole never appearing on other people’s songs, to deciding which of his recent features are the best. We’ve decided to list out what we think the 20 best J. Cole features are, with songs with 21 Savage, Drake, Lil Wayne, Janet Jackson and more making the cut. Check it out below.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”813″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/DmWWqogr_r8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed1. “a lot”</div>
1. “a lot”

One of the misconceptions about J. Cole for years, largely due to him not doing features and not asking for them on his own albums, was that he wasn’t a fan of some of the newer rappers who talked about more surface-level topics. He dispelled some of that myth by borrowing their flows on KOD and also hopping on their tracks. ‘a lot’ with 21 Savage was great because he brought his own flavor to 21’s record, showing support for 6ix9ine when everyone was clowning him. This song also got Cole his only Grammy to date.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/YnV0d8fOJbY” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed2. “American Dream”</div>
2. “American Dream”

When fans saw J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar featured on the same song on Jeezy’s Pressure album, they went berserk as expected. The result was disappointing for many, because Kendrick didn’t have a verse that many could compare to Cole’s. But when the hype died down and you got to appreciate the song for what it was, J. Cole’s verse stood out on the song. His flow changes every few bars and the multisyllabic rhyming is incredible.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Rc-UBGkfQUA” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed3. “Beautiful Bliss”</div>
3. “Beautiful Bliss”

J. Cole had only been signed to Roc Nation for less than a year when Wale’s Attention Deficit dropped. The pair were both nowhere near the superstars they would become, but this collaboration gets credit for starting a career-long relationship. Despite a respectable effort from Wale, J. Cole takes the cake with some memorable punchlines. “Momma I ain’t done yet, kick back and watch your son rise, sit back and know your son set” he rapped. “Wale, good looking” he said at the end and he knew exactly what he’d done.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/f55HngFE9YM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed4. “Boblo Boat”</div>
4. “Boblo Boat”

When J. Cole had a Royce 5’9″ feature as an assignment, he knew he had to deliver. When he was young, the North Carolina rapper used to write up his favorite raps and put them up on his wall and Royce’s bars were amongst them. “Boblo Boat” sees both Royce and Cole reminiscing about their younger days and they paint pictures so well. Cole handles hook duty here too and holds some notes for it.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/x-3Xgwe_LDU” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed5. “Green Ranger”</div>
5. “Green Ranger”

Interestingly, “Green Ranger” wasn’t J. Cole’s first attempt at appearing on Lil Wayne’s Dedication 4 mixtape. The first was a song that we now know as “Miss America Reprise”. JAY-Z heard it and told Cole to keep it, so Cole sent his verse over G. Dep’s “Special Delivery”. He killed it with a long verse, but unfortunately, Wayne didn’t like the beat so he half-assed his verse a little. It only made Cole’s verse, where he takes it back to his younger days stand out more though.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/N0eezhF3RIs” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed6. “Jodeci Freestyle”</div>
6. “Jodeci Freestyle”

This song mostly gets remembered for a big misstep on Cole’s part, which he has since sincerely apologized for. Those lines are muted on the version of the song on Drake’s Care Package, but once you get around that, Cole’s verse is really special here. The occasion of a Drake and Cole collab was massive even in the summer of 2013 when this dropped and both rappers hit a home run. Cole’s verse is like a time capsule of the moment, where he references doing a show in Philly for a dollar, Born Sinner sales projections and competing with Kanye’s Yeezus.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/klZNvJArVSE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed7. “Johnny P’s Caddy”</div>
7. “Johnny P’s Caddy”

A lot of people might not have anticipated that Cole would fit on a song with anyone from Griselda, considering their content. Not only did he show up on “Johnny P’s Caddy”, but he showed out too. In fact, he used the opportunity of standing next to Benny The Butcher to call out rappers that stretch the truth when it comes to gun and drug bars. It’s still early, but this is a verse of the year candidate. One of our favorite lines? “Einstein on the brink of the theory of relativity, really, no MC equal”.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Mzh0Z6TU5cQ” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed8. “Just Begun”</div>
8. “Just Begun”

This song doesn’t get talked about enough. It sees Cole trade verses with Talib Kweli, Jay Electronica and Mos Def over old school production. That’s a tough crowd to stand out amongst, but Cole does a great job of it. It doesn’t get as much love now because it’s from 2010, but it holds up 12 years later. In 2014, Jay Elect actually performed the record and brought Cole out, which is the only time he’s ever performed his verse.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y7d42LJfkqQ” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed9. “Knock Tha Hustle (Remix)”</div>
9. “Knock Tha Hustle (Remix)”

One of the main criticisms of J. Cole over the years has been that he’s boring to a lot of people. But you could never accuse him of that on this song. On the official remix of Cozz’s “Knock Tha Hustle”, Cole pours his heart out about harsh upbringings, his brother heading down a bad path and people from his hometown living a hopeless life. The verse sets the scene incredibly well for 2014 Forest Hills Drive.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/gZFmMoeU5m0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed10. “LONDON”</div>
10. “LONDON”

When they were in the studio together, BIA played J. Cole her song “LONDON” and the one play was all it took for Cole to think about the song for the next month. When she asked if he wanted to hop on it, he was nervous because he didn’t know what to add to it. This kind of genuine care that Cole has for the music he makes is what makes these verses so incredible. As well as being a stellar verse, like BIA, he intersperses a London accent and slang, which makes for some funny moments.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/5yUlxfY1yfs” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed11. “Looking For Trouble”</div>
11. “Looking For Trouble”

To have the best verse on a song with Kanye West, Pusha T, Big Sean and CyHi The Prynce is an impressive feat. To do this in 2010 when all you have out is one mixtape is even crazier. This is considered somewhat of a breakout verse for Cole, with some killer lines like, “they say you are what you eat and I still ain’t pussy” and “ironic you been sleeping on the one that you been dreaming ‘bout”. When he toured his first album, Cole opened the show with this verse.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”805″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/pBTTHT459Po” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed12. “Mama Told Me”</div>
12. “Mama Told Me”

On Omen’s “Mama Told Me” from his Afraid Of Heights mixtape, J. Cole is as honest and introspective as ever. He raps about the complexity of being Black with a White mother, then taking it further and contemplating how hard it must have been for his brother, who is black, but looks white. 

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZwHc33rqAao” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed13. “My Boy”</div>
13. “My Boy”

When rappers are having fun on a record, it really comes through to the listener. That’s exactly what happened here with Wale and J. Cole’s “My Boy”. The song sounds like something that was birthed organically from a great studio session, but the bars are there too. It’s hard not to switch between a smile and a screwface while listening to the Fayetteville MC on this one.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/2_t0ffY3JvE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed14. “No Sleeep”</div>
14. “No Sleeep”

The original version of Janet Jackson’s “No Sleeep” was solo, but for the version that appeared on her 2015 project, Unbreakable, she grabbed a J. Cole verse for an unexpected, but welcomed link up. The song sees J. Cole talk about the contrast between his hectic lifestyle and his girl’s regular life. In the end, they meet in the middle with love that feels like it’s always in that honeymoon phase.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZiADuDjueJc” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed15. Off Deez”</div>
15. Off Deez”

Over the years, East Atlanta rapper J.I.D. has proven to be a great commodity for Dreamville and one of the brightest young hip-hip stars. A couple of years ago, he made our list of the twenty best rappers from the ATL and he’s only showed out since then. “Off Deez” was a big moment for him because Cole hopped on the record. While J.I.D. certainly made an impact on the song, Cole stepped into his lane and held his own too, speeding up his flow and complimenting J.I.D. in the process (“J.I.D. the closest thing to me… Cole and J.I.D., what a tandem”).

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/7CQ1cbl5810″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed16. “Oh Wow… Swerve”</div>
16. “Oh Wow… Swerve”

Thoughtful contributions to songs have become the marker of J. Cole verses and that’s exactly what he offers here on the “Oh Wow” portion of this track. He opens his verse contemplating the idea of hell and entertaining the thought of hell on earth and after taking it a few interesting places, he rounds it up by the end talking about the end of the world and how it being good or bad depends on you and your awareness.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/CYBqCx7jpz0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed17. “Pray”</div>
17. “Pray”

Since he emerged on the scene with The Warm Up, it was clear that storytelling was one of J. Cole’s biggest strengths as a rapper. That’s exactly what he displays here on The Game’s “Pray”, where he speaks of a fling he had with a woman who’s in a rough situation now, so he prays for her.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/iSgUMPHQEWw” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed18. “Pretty Little Fears”</div>
18. “Pretty Little Fears”

The great thing about J. Cole features is that he has great range. We hear him on something like “Stick” from D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz mixtape and he fits right in with what J.I.D., Kenny Mason and Sheck Wes are doing. Then, he’ll appear on 6LACK’s “Pretty Little Fears” and kill that too. Here, he describes a romantic partner beautifully, likening them to a flower he has to protect. It’s a verse that comes round and ends the song perfectly.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/cBZMoCZRp6A” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed19. “Raggamuffin (Remix)”</div>
19. “Raggamuffin (Remix)”

From the late 2000s when he first started to make a name for himself, J. Cole was all about making the struggle seem beautiful and giving a voice to the voiceless. With his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story, he continued to do that, but it was mixed with brags about Rolexes and having 150 women staring at him in the club, skewing the perception for a few somewhat. That’s what his pair of verses on Selah Sue’s “Raggamuffin” are about. He’s open about noticing a change in himself and is poetic in describing it.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ANzgMYgoJsA” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed20. “Sacrifices”</div>
20. “Sacrifices”

During the sessions for Dreamville’s Revenge Of The Dreamers III, J. Cole sent out a rare tweet, where he revealed a verse of his had gotten him emotional. “Shed tears tonight writin a verse shit was beautiful.” Of course, over 100 songs got recorded in the sessions, so who knows if we’d ever hear it? Thankfully, “Sacrifices” did make an appearance and it saw Cole pen a tribute to his wife, in turn revealing that they had a child on the way. Cole’s mellow and melodic flow over the acoustic instrumental match up beautifully.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”950″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/MFN-iKwMrIQ” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed21. “TKO (Remix)”</div>
21. “TKO (Remix)”

Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse still gets talked about today, nine years after it dropped. That type of impact doesn’t come often and naturally, it had ripple effects amongst rappers. The first rapper that Kendrick mentioned was Cole and he did so with his full name, which many perceived as more disrespectful. Cole and Kendrick were friendly, but that didn’t stop a fiery response from the North Carolina rapper on Justin Timberlake’s “TKO” remix. “In case this is war then I load up on all ammunition” he threatened, with emotion we hadn’t heard from him before.