On his aptly-titled debut mixtape Hello World, Atlanta emcee Daye Jack first showed us that he was special as an emcee. In the year and a half since that release, though, it’s become increasingly evident that rapping was just scratching the surface for the multi-faceted artist. From singing over incredibly jazzy backdrops to delivering quick-hitting raps on future electronic stylings, Jack’s shown us he can do it all and even, at times, seamless fusions of all of the above.
It’s not just the cadence and delivery that are impressive, though, Jack’s nearly always got a perspective and message. Whether it be social injustice, poisonous relationships or life ambitions, the young artist tackles topics with artistry, eloquence and a wisdom beyond his years.
Never have Daye Jack’s range of talents been more apparent than on the Soul Glitch, his latest EP. It’s a completely fluid, yet varied collection of song that solidifies Daye Jack as one of the most progressive artists in hip-hop. The opening track, “First Glitch,” with its future-jazz vibe, sets the tone for the entire project baking in a sprinkle of the project’s surplus of sounds. From there, the project takes a markedly jazzy feel with “Easy” and “Stars Align,” which seem to be inextricably tied through contrast–the former touching on the struggles of a 9 to 5 and the latter on the triumphs of carrying out your dreams. “Choices,” the next song, continues that theme of life decisions but also introduces the more dance-leaning sound that fully manifests on the Yoko Ono-sampling “Bonds” and “Trapped In Love.” The closer of the deluxe edition, “Save My Soul,” may pack the most powerful emotional punch from both its massive future electronic production and the incredibly powerful portrayal of inner turmoil. It’s the type of project that demands a full listen from start to finish and, with its variation in styles, can be made to fit just about any listening atmosphere or mood.
Stream Soul Glitch below. You can grab a free download over at Daye Jack’s website or pick up the deluxe edition over at iTunes
We’re excited to welcome MondreM.A.N. and Squadda Bambino of Main Attrakionz to our first ever Dojo By the Bay series, a monthly interview feature focused on talented artists from the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 2011, North Oakland’s Main Attrakionz first emerged on the national scene with their Blackberry Ku$h and 808s & Dark Grapes II mixtapes, helping pioneer a style of hip-hop that combines ethereal, lo-fi production with stream-of-conscious flows–a style that rose around the same time as experimentation by Lil B, who Squadda’s produced a number of tracks for, but had an accessibility, positivity and technique all its own.
Dubbed “cloud rap,” their approach on those projects resonated with up ’n coming talent from around the country resulting in collaborations and co-signs from the likes of A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown and Clams Casino. Their ability to combine street lyricism and a distinct Bay Area flavor with atmospheric, hazy instrumentals culminated on their 2012 debut album, Bossalinis & Fooliyones, a polished collection of songs with an array of fitting, top-notch production to match. Over the last three years, Squadda and Mondre have continued to churn out projects under their Green Ova collective while working on their long-anticipated sophomore album, 808s & Dark Grapes III, which is fully produced by Friendzoneand set to drop on June 30th on Neil Young’s Vapor Records.
That breakout year was far from the start for Squadda Bambino (pictured below left) and MondreM.A.N. (right), the emcees behind Main Attrakionz, though. Growing up, the two absorbed anything that was available to them through music videos and radio during a time when rap was flourishing in the mainstream. Their rap careers began at about 12 years old on karaoke machines and any instrumentals they could get their hands on. Squadda and Mondre joined forces in the seventh grade when they entered talent shows together and, their early and shared vision of success, made them quick best friends along with their Green Ova family which solidified not long after.
TMN: What’s one musical memory that stood out to you as kids?
MondreM.A.N.: I’m going to say me buying my first CD. I was like 9 years old. My first CDs I ever bought were B.G.‘sCheckmate and Big Tymers’ I Got That Work. Moms let me buy it, had a cd player. Just, damn, listening to all those lyrics man, that blew my mind away. From there, became a Cash Money fan. I just became a fan of their movement. I realized there was 6 of them, in-house producer, kind of like a family and shit. They were doing their thing back then.
Squadda B: Yeah, Cash Money, was definitely influential. Also, Onyx “Slam” back in the day. I’ve seen a video of me rapping Onyx back in the day.
TMN: You guys first started rapping together at Carter Middle School. Can you take us back to your mindset during those days?
Squadda: Just a thirst to make it happen–a thirst and a fantasy. Really wanting that shit but it not really seeming like reality yet.
TMN: In general, you seem to really rap about what you live but, as kids, what did you rap about?
Squadda: I used to rap about see-through PS2s and shit. Fantasy raps. You know, our visions.
Mondre: We had the imagination, man. [We rapped about] shit niggas ain’t have.
TMN: You started rapping on Karaoke machines and whatever instrumentals you could find. What were some of the ones that stood out to you back then?
Squadda: All the traditional shit—that’s what was presented to us. You get your 50 cent instrumentals, you could find that. You could get the down south ones real then but you couldn’t really get a lot of beats back then, and nobody was giving us them. So, we were on a lot of instrumentals, products of the music and what was going on. We rapped on David Banner & Lil Flip, “Like A Pimp.” We rapped on Lil Flip “Game Over” and “Blood Hound,” 50 Cent back in middle school.
TMN: Did you listen to anything outside of hip-hop growing up?
Squadda: It’s funny because whatever was on the TV or radio was what was making it happen back then. You’re watching TV, see what comes on, top 20 hits—all that shit had influence on us. It’s just evolving to the point where we’re like just making whatever we like to hear now to replace that shit. Songs still come to me to this day from the 90’s or early 2000s—just life has a big influence on everybody. We just re-do it and re-create.
TMN: Can you talk a bit about the formation of Green Ova?
Squadda: We always had families. In middle school we were part of a squad but in high school there was just too many people. There’s only 6 of us now and if you listen to 808s & Dark Grapes III songs we got all of them on there–Robbie Rob, Dope G, Lo Da Kid and Shady Blaze. It just evolved and came to where it is now but we always kind of rapped with a lot of people and moved with big numbers.
TMN: Squadda, as a producer yourself, you always use some really interesting samples. Where do you usually look for those?
Squadda: It’s evolved. Always trying to recreate what influenced us. I would always hear about producers with vinyls and shit but I always grew up with hella CDs so I kind of wanted to make it a thing and create my own culture out of what really touched on me. It’s always different but that’s why I like working with Friendzone because they kind of have a culture of their own too of how they find samples.
TMN: With the Internet being such an integral role in your careers thus far, what are your thoughts on its role in the music industry in this era?
Squadda: Shit, if you got your head on straight, it can only be a good thing. I love it. I remember hearing about other artists really talking about us. It’s a good thing to have so many people have other ways to find your music other than going to a store. Yeah, the money changes and things change, but I think it’s great.
TMN: Mondre, what’s your favorite thing about working with Squadda? And visa versa?
Mondre: I mean, shit, everything man. Watching him grow, you know what I’m saying? With the beats, the music and everything. Shit, I say everything man. We came in this together and we still here. Better than ever. Wiser and everything.
Squadda: Just bringing the flavor, man. When he come with the effort, it’s real nice. The flows that he comes with every time, you can definitely count on it—it’s consistent. From when I first rapped with him, you know Mondre’s gonna come with it. Makes you think about your shit even more. It’s fun working with him because you know he’s going come with something. It’s kind of rare for me to feel like that too. I don’t really get that feeling rapping with other people—no disrespect. But it’s always been like that since we were kids with Mondre.
After weeks of eager anticipation, we finally have our hands on the latest project from Tory Lanez, as he teams up with the WeDidIt Collective for this brand new 5 track EP. As expected, most of the production is handled by heavyweights from the WeDidIt roster, including Shlohmo, RL Grime and D33J along with additional production from Baauer and frequent collaborator Play Picasso, who Tory once told us was his 40. At this point, we feel like we’ve said just about everything we can about Tory’s tremendous talent, but it still amazes us to see how much growth he’s shown in just the past couple of years. Cruel Intentions serves as an incredibly polished follow-up to last year’s Lost Cause mixtape, building on the same moody aesthetic that the Toronto native has established in much of his previous work. Tory’s ability to alternate seamlessly between rapping and singing has almost become second nature at this point, so it should be no surprise that he’s basically got the formula down to a science on Cruel Intentions.
Stream the full project below, and simply enter your email address at the following link to snag a FREE copy for yourself.
As we are now over halfway through the year, some of us music writers already start formulating our albums of the year list. Yes I know, it’s a bit early to be thinking about year end lists already, but such is the game inside the online publication world. One such album which is guaranteed to crop up near the top of countless such lists is Animal Collective founding member and acclaimed solo artist Noah Lennox, a.k.a. Panda Bear‘s excellent catalog addition, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. The LP takes on countless sonic mediums, never quite resting its laurels on any one sound; simultaneously functioning as a composition ripe for the remix picking. Needless to say, when we were tipped to a new remix EP, PBVSGR Remixes, to accompany the solid release, our pavlovian response manifested itself in the form of salivation. The third remix single to be released from the package after Andy Stott warped “Boys Latin” and Danny L. Harle took on “Come to Your Senses”, comes from Grammy Award winning Hip-Hop production legend Pete Rock, and it’s checked every box on our remix judgement-meter. An alternate but tasteful play on the original? Check. Gleaming production? Check. Keeping intact the original’s essence? Check. Pete Rock’s nailed his revision, and we couldn’t wait to share it.
It’s Friday Ninjas, let’s start to get into that weekend spirit with Pete Rock’s “Crosswords” remix above. Check out the complete track listing for Panda Bear’s PBVSGR Remixes EP below.
PBVSGR Remixes EP
1. Crosswords (Pete Rock remix)
2. Come To Your Senses (Danny L Harle remix)
3. Come To Your Senses (DJ Marfox remix)
4. Boys Latin (Andy Stott remix)
5. Mr. Noah (Container remix)
As he gears up for the long awaited sequel to his classic debut album The Documentary, The Game attempts to take things 0 to “100” real quick on this brand new cut featuring Drake. All jokes aside, this soulful Cardo and Johnny Juliano produced joint actually has a chance to be a hit single for the West Coast emcee, whose star hasn’t really shined as bright as it once did when he first hit the scene ten years ago back in 2005. Let’s just hope he’s able to rekindle some of that magic on the album’s remaining tracks as well, because it will definitely take some work on his part to craft a worthy follow-up in The Documentary 2. There’s no set release date yet, but The Game definitely has us intrigued about what he has in store for the upcoming project.
Released earlier this year, TOTEM‘s “Countdown” is easily one of my personal favorites from his debut EP pride, an absolutely amazing project that flew under far too many people’s radars during a packed 2015. Nevertheless, the Atlanta native has given us a chance at redemption with this new remix of the standout track, featuring fellow hometown hero Rome Fortune. The pensive number has an irresistible charm about it that ensures you have no choice but to sing along by the second or third listen through–and trust us, there’s no way you’ll stop after just one play. With that being said, stream the track above and make sure to grab yourself a copy of the EP on iTunes if you haven’t already.
It’s safe to say that we’re full-on Little People fanboys and girls over here at TMN. Our first listen through Mickey Mouse Operation all those years ago lead us down a path filled with glee-filled, full-album sessions, stopping only when someone painfully interrupted that start-to-finish experience.
If you’re not familiar with this inventive artist, we’re going to do our damnedest to try and get you acquainted over the next month, starting with today.
People are often surprised when they find out Laurent Clerc, aka Little People, grew up in the Swiss Alps. With a style stemming from an early adoration of hip hop, it’s not easy to fathom a vast selection being available in that part of the world. No matter how it happened though, it did, and it laid the foundation for the glorious instrumental electronic music we’ve come to know and love from him.
Now focused on organic instrumentation, Clerc’s music has come to be an ingenious combination of warm synths, intricate melodies, string arrangements, and well-articulated samples.
We don’t want to lead you too far in today though. We’re planning on saving some of our insight for our upcoming interview with him. Until then, start by watching one of our favorite videos of all time, followed by a deep dive into his SoundCloud.