Hip Hop

OJ in the Yams, donSMITH, Alita Moses play The Revolution Vol. 46 on 1.23

National Sawdust’s The Revolution is a vanguard series of exciting artistry, a monthly performance that highlights New York musicians pushing their respective genre boundaries in new and innovative ways. This month’s show is no exception, featuring sets from NYC’s very own OJ in the Yams, donSMITH, and Alita Moses, three artists who have found their own ways to energize classic sounds in novel fashions.

For instance, while instrumentally-driven hip-hop outfit OJ in the Yams find their footing in lush R&B soundscapes, their implementation of equal parts rap, vocal performance, and improvisational jazz components creates an auditory tapestry of smooth soundscapes.

Likewise, rapper and performer donSMITH’s utilization of classic hip-hop sampling techniques, paired with a gritty vox and contemporary perspective breathes new life into the genre’s earliest formula; his track “Penfeld” carries the torch of NYC’s well-vetted rap history while paying homage to its true roots.

Rounding off the evening’s more visceral performers is Alita Moses, whose own brand of jazz vocal performance feels just at home against a contemporary instrumental backing as it does against a three piece ensemble, always effervescent, occasionally playful, and punctuated by an ever-present range. Get your tickets here, and get down in Brooklyn this Thursday for three tremendous performances. 

Young Sham shines in new EP "Out the Mud"

Roxbury, Massachusetts continues to brew some of the hottest hip-hop talents in New England: often referred to as the "heart of Black culture in Boston” and the “Bronx of greater Boston,” the neighborhood is home to Young Sham. The hip-hop artist known as Young Sham released a sonic three-headed dragon of an EP titled Out the Mud that is equally sharp no matter which of the three tracks you listen to. “BlokBoy” creeps in with a piano lead that provides an ominous mood for Sham’s relaxed-confident flow. “R.I.P” is more atmospheric and sees the artist opening up, discussing his determination and mission of success. “Drug Talk Freestyle” has an infectious rhythm to it, driven by a heart-beat bass drum that outlines Sham’s sharp-shooting rhymes of honesty. Like contemporary Roxbury artists such as Oompa, Sham lifts the neighborhood to a light well-deserved indeed. Stream “Drug Talk Freestyle” below for a taste of raw hip-hop that lingers. - Rene Cobar

Mick Jenkins “The Circus”

Mick Jenkins has released a new EP called “The Circus” today, January 10th. The EP’s first single is called “Carefree”, which is accompanied by the video below, and was produced by Black Milk.

You can catch Mick at House of Blues on January 31st with Earthgang.

Leland Philpot “Jesus Take It All (IWannaSee)”

Producer/Emcee Leland Philpot is back with a new single called “Jesus Take It All (IWannaSee)”. The track pulls no punches in stating Philpot’s faith and accompany video demonstrates his love for our city.

Philpot has a lot planned for 2020 and if this beat is any indication it is going to be great. He recently told us that "THIS is the time to go hard as you can for your destiny, alright?”, and it is clear that this is exactly what he is doing.

Desmo opens up in new album "F*cked Up Kid"

Maine’s Desmo seems to have compiled years of reflection, anger, and hope into his latest effort, F*cked Up Kid: the record is filled with life stories, told to the beat of his tracks, exquisitely-produced to contrast against his somewhat crude vocals. The title track, like most in the EP, opens up with atmospheric instrumentation that plunges into an abyss of memories where a sustained bass rumbles on. Echoes, warm piano notes, heavy reverb, and more burst out of each track. From upbeat-yet-ominous songs like “Phantom” to a refreshing take on Puddle of Mudd’s “Blurry,” the record is a delicious alternative rap cocktail, prepped in Portland for all to savor. If the new record is something of a life story for Duncan Cook, the man known as Desmo, then it is well-executed poetry because from one track to the next, there is a feeling of genuineness, both tragic and uplifting. The vulnerable track “Come Home” from the new record is streaming below. - Rene Cobar

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