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Hip Hop





VIDEO: With “Confidence,” Bee-B Demonstrates She Has All Of It

photo courtesy of artist's instagram page

Compton born and raised artist Brittany Chikyra Barber goes by the stage name “Bee-B,” but despite the cutesy name, she has the productivity and work ethic of a veteran industry stalwart, having released multiple critically-acclaimed mixtapes and EPs, along with having written for and collaborated with some of music’s finest, including John Legend, YG, Theophilus London and Kanye West.

Her hot streak extends itself with the debut of her latest track/video, “Confidence,” an assertive and motivational pump-up track, alternating pep-talk with the types of classic self-congratulating boasts that are an defining feature of today’s female-centered rap music.

The track begins with a low, booming electronic drone, almost like the trumpet of a mechanized elephant, instantly seizing the listener’s attention. The rhythm track itself is quite simple, consisting of alternating kick drums and hand claps, carried along by electric organ-like keyboard sounds. Later in the song, buzzing synths that cascade down in tone insert a level of vague menace that compliments Bee-B’s effortless, unbothered flow.

The video itself lightens the mood. Interspersed with scenes of Bee-B and her crew strutting down a futuristic runway, complete with an attentive audience who are all wearing multi-screen video cubes that reflect the artist back onto herself. It’s a vivid metaphor for a rapper’s ambition to be ubiquitous, to “run the game,” so to speak, but it also carries a somewhat dystopian commentary on society’s obsession with celebrity and social media. Fortunately, Bee-B also has a sense of humor, posing as 1) Michael Jackson on the cover of the Thriller album, complete with 80s Jheri curl, 2)a gold medal-winning USA Olympic athlete, complete with Florence Griffith Joyner’s single-leg running pants, and 3)a winner of a $1 billion check for “confidence.”

Humor and bigger-than-life confidence both have a long lineage in the world of rap music, and Bee-B is proving that it will maintain its place as long as she’s around to put her distinctive spin on it. Gabe Hernandez

 

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Ronnie Rage "Born Outside"

Ronnie Rage has released his latest EP, "Born Outside", which features the single "Doing Too Much". This the second EP of 2021 for Ronnie Rage and it feature contributions from Cloud2800, gorillagogetit, and more.

"Doing Too Much" was released earlier this summer and is accompanied by the Sam Ray (X-Ray Productions) directed video below.

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VIDEO: With “Indecisive,” spill tab Shifts Into High Gear

photo credit: jade sadler

 

 

Claire Chicha is an L.A.-based, French-Korean artist who goes by the name spill tab, and she’s released her latest single, the effortlessly fast-paced track “Indecisive” (ft. Tommy Genesis), along with an accompanying lyric video that matches the track’s frenetic pace.

With spill tab’s high school friend, Marinelli, on production duties, the track incorporates a classic jungle-style breakbeat that perfectly accentuates both spill tab’s smoky but nimbly melodic vocals, and featured performer Tommy Genesis’ rapped contributions. True to the title, the lyrics describes the singer’s contentious relationship with someone who manages to draw out the conflicting thoughts she carries inside, as well as balancing the gradually ballooning amount of details she has to keep track of thanks to a burgeoning career. It’s a rarity: a streetwise yet emotionally realistic track that doesn’t compromise on the technical virtuosity of the music, or the sincerity of the mental health struggles of a young artist on the move.

This October sees spill tab headlining venerable local venueThe Echo before going out on tour with Gus Dapperton. Gabe Hernandez





Try Not to Cry: Scott Collins and Kydd Jones Release Powerful New Single

Austin talents Scott Collins and Kydd Jones come together for an unexpected, yet powerful collaboration that pairs an outpouring of emotion with beautiful melodies and poetic lyrics. Both artists have a considerably different musical background, with Collins sticking to a folk-rock, americana type of sound, and Jones being exclusively hip-hop. But it’s undeniable that they were able to mesh their styles together in a seemingly effortless manner, resulting in an alluring piece of music that will compel listeners to play this song on repeat.

The opening piano chords are perfectly complemented by Scott Collins’ high-pitched vocals, which serve as the lifeblood of the song. As is the case with many songs, the simplicity of the music really allows the vocals to shine with the aid of Jones’ production. Having known Scott for a while, I was initially a bit surprised to see him take a step into the hip-hop universe. But supposedly, this has been a prolonged goal for the local legend. He explains, “First off and above all, I've been listening to rap and hip hop my entire life starting with Kriss Kross, and since my youth playing basketball out in LA, Compton, Watts and more on a traveling basketball team… It's been a dream and career goal of mine to start singing with rappers and on hip hop records.” Collins was able to make this dream a reality through his relationship with the rising star known as Kydd Jones. Scott also mentioned that he wrote the hook roughly nine years ago, indicating that he was waiting for the perfect opportunity and partner to showcase what he had in store for so long.

There of course have been many collaborations from artists who cross genres to collaborate. But in some instances, the collaboration might seem forced or unnatural. One of the impressive things about “Headlights” is that it is so easy to digest despite these two artists being considerably different from each other. According to Collins, the creation process was indeed as effortless as it seems. “I already had the hook written so I just hopped into my studio with Engineer Dylan Fischer and recorded my vocals, acoustic guitars and keys… Kydd then rocked out all the production and his verse within a week, got it mastered and released it immediately the same day!” To assist in the process of creating such a cohesive track, Collins referenced “Love” by Kendrick Lamar as an inspiration to the track. There is definitely a smoothness to “Headlights” that is relatable to the Kendrick Lamar classic. “Headlights” consists of thought provoking lyrics, a silky beat, and a catchy hook, bridging these two artists together superbly.

Overall, the professionalism, skill, and creativity is undeniably palpable in this song. These are two musicians who appear to be approaching the prime of their careers. If it were up to me, I’d say Kydd Jones and Scott Collins should make an entire album together. But in the meantime, playing “Headlights” on repeat will have to suffice. Hit Scott's Bandcamp to check the track out and stay up to date with future releases.

— Quinn Donoghue

 





J Bambii "Hermit 9"

J Bambii has released a new single and video called "Hermit 9". The single, which was mixed and mastered by SolarFive, finds J Bambii dominating a J Dilla beat and making her way around New York City.

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