-- By doubleay
Future is a definitive Hip-hop titan who has garnered sky-high numbers in all aspects of his business and has established a platform that ascends from trap music to the mainstream in a way few artists could ever hope to achieve. The past two years of his career have been a wildfire run to say the least and he is currently sitting comfortably at the highest pinnacle he's ever known. As for touring he opened up for Drake’s Jungle tour, then his own international Purple Reign tour, and is now about to embark on another tour with Drake for his huge Summer Sixteen tour. In addition to the rigorous touring, Future has managed to release three studio albums, four solo mixtapes, a collaboration project with Drake, and host DJ Esco’s recent Esco Terrestrial mixtape. At this point Future’s discography has become rather hearty and reliable collaborators say there is tons more unreleased material in the vault. Among his three albums released in the past two years, the most recent, Evol, was just released on vinyl.
Prior to the vinyl pressing, it was originally released digitally back in February of 2016. Evol is 11 cuts highlighting Future’s iconic dark and twisted stylings. Always known for his somber grittiness, Future keeps Evol thematically depressive and street-oriented, but features a more cohesively melodic approach to the album. Future’s vocal capabilities are historically stand-out, but in the past his singing and rapping have seemed less calculated. On Evol his approach is more formulaic, providing more fluidity as he goes from spitting to singing in his tracks. This vocal presence creates a moody introspective body of music that provides so much more physical depth to the project compared to that of an average Hip-hop album.
-- By doubleay
-- By doubleay
Antwon’s Double Ecstasy EP is the merging of an artist’s influence, style, and sound, cohesively culminating into a formula for success. Antwon’s roots lie in San Jose’s punk scene, and his tone and delivery are reminiscent of Hip-hops’s big bodies like that of Biggie Smalls, but his music is completely original. Since first coming onto the scene in 2011 with projects My Westside Horizon and Fantasy Beds, Antwon has undoubtedly never released anything subpar. Over the past five years he has indulged in new frontiers via intercontinental touring and connecting with artists at different platforms such as Lil Ugly Mane, Wiki of Ratking, and producer Hot Sugar, all while improving his craft. These experiences and connections have allowed him to develop a wider source of content to draw from in his music.
The video for Antwon’s break-in record “Helicopter,” from his 2011 Fantasy Beds Mixtape:
It seems many long and wild evenings in Europe’s night clubs have influenced Antwon on Double Ecstasy, both in terms of lifestyle as well as production. The EP displays rap music’s familiar turn up content but in a scene foreign to the average American rapper. Several times he cites accounts of partying, debauchery with females, and drug use in European clubs, which express and reflect his recent lifestyle. Meanwhile, the progressively drilling 808’s, almost more comparable to electronic dance music than Hip-hop, shape the upbeat yet atmospheric sound of the album (“Club,” “Luv”). Ignorant, fun, and accurate, Antwon is really rapping how he’s living on Double Ecstasy.
-- By doubleay
As grime continues to blow up globally, Skepta seems to be comfortably sitting at the top of the game after the release of his fourth studio album, Konnichiwa. Although North America has been fairly aware of prominent UK MC’s like Wiley and Dizzy Rascal, the hard hitting, nitty gritty grime scene has been popping off in the UK since the early 2000’s. Ushered in by Skepta and his Boy Better Know crew, there has been a massive boom in North America for the sub-genre, almost coinciding with the 2014 release of Skepta’s “That’s Not Me (feat. JME)" single.
As North America finally began catching on to the UK’s hottest Hip-hop sound, Skepta did not slow down. From 2014 to the release of Konnichiwa (2016), singles like “That’s Not Me,” “Shutdown,” and “It Ain’t Safe (feat. A$AP Mob’s Young Lord)” all charted in the top 50’s on the UK singles chart, while simultaneously running up millions of SoundCloud plays. Through the great success of his recent music, his association with A$AP Rocky’s A$AP Mob, and a historical performance with Kanye West at the 2015 BRIT Awards, Hip-hop fans everywhere are Skepta’s for the taking.
-- By doubleay
Sacramento rapper Chuuwee has been smashing the underground scene for over seven years now and it's about time Hip-hop fans caught on. He is most known for his solo project South Sac Mack and his Amerikka’s Most Blunted (AMB) collaborations with East Los Angeles rapper Trizz. Between indie projects and working with Amalgam Digital, a digital record label who's artists have included the likes of Lil B and Max B, Chuuwee has a stacked discography under his belt. Chuuwee and Trizz’s collaborative album Amerikka’s Most Blunted was released in March of 2014 and generated a ton of positive buzz. Now, two years later, the duo is back with the sequel, Amerikka’s Most Blunted 2, via Below Systems Records. To learn more about the killer project and duo, I reached out to Chuuwee for an interview; we discussed everything from the artistic direction behind AMB2 to him being the first artist to film a fully volumetric virtual reality music video.
Amoeblog: Prior to Americas’s Most Blunted, you had an onslaught of solo projects. How did you and Trizz link up and start working together and collaborating?
-- By doubleay
In the oversaturated market that is contemporary Hip-hop, it sounds as if flows are endlessly recycled and styles have become the furthest thing from original. But amid the monotony of generic rappers heard in 2016, a diamond in the rough emerges that is refreshing the genre -- Mozzy. With his new album Beautiful Struggle freshly released, the Oak Park, Sacramento rapper has undoubtedly become one of the most exciting upcoming artists in California. He has released five albums and raked in millions of views on multiple music videos just this last year. He even landed the 22nd spot on Rolling Stone’s Top 40 Hip-hop Albums of the Year list. Mozzy’s numbers are clearly apparent but there is just something about his passionately painstaking lyrics that offer so much more truth and genuineness than other any other artist rapping about similar content.
Here’s the video for the title track from Mozzy’s Rolling Stone-rated album, Bladadah:
Mozzy’s 2016 album, Beautiful Struggle, paints a picture of his personal journey. From his first time stepping into a recording booth at eleven, Mozzy has faced adversity in almost all aspects of his life. With his father serving time in prison and his mother dealing with drug addiction, he was brought up by his grandmother. As he grew older he began to find himself surrounded by theft, substance abuse, and other gang-related activities. His presence in school began to fade as he found himself succumbing more and more to organized crime and drug dealing. As Mozzy’s environment continued to have altering effects on his lifestyle and actions, the one thing he remained committed to was his music. In a January 2016 interview on Vice.com, Mozzy said, “I just got involved in everything I saw my peers getting involved in, but I always rapped…I was a kid doing this shit. Sixteen, seventeen, we start shooting, doing drive-bys and shit, stealing our grandmothers’ guns, stealing guns from breaking in houses and shit, but at the time I was writing and I was rapping about this shit.”