It’s always a dope feeling to see an artist you’ve been following for a while gain momentum and truly hit their stride. What proves even more rewarding, though, is those moments when an artist effectively paints that story from their perspective. Rome Fortune‘s “Love,” the second single off his upcoming Fool’s Gold debut, does just that while embodying the ultra-personal and experimental style that has brought him to this point.
Backed by airy production from oft-collaborator Cubby, Fortune serves up a detailed account of his struggles and triumphs over the last few years. Delving into the realities of making ends meet, being around for his kids and succeeding as a musician, “Love” provides an honest glimpse behind the curtains of an emerging talent. Around the 2:20 mark, Fortune’s vocals erupt into a celebratory auto-tuned croon. For some emcees that risk might not have panned out, but Rome’s comfort out of the norm makes for an endearing and emphatic conclusion. Peep this uplifting tune above–Jerome Raheem Fortune drops on February 26th and is available for pre-order here.
Columbine Homicide (Prod. D33J & Shlohmo)
LA-based beat collective WEDIDIT, hands down, has some of the most talented DJs and producers around right now. One of their most successful members in terms of mainstream gigs, Shlohmo, has risen to the top of the electronic game through his displays of sheer talent with what seems like anything he touches. From his beautiful EP “Bad Vibes” to his works with Jeremih, Shlohmo has a knack for producing that is unparalleled, and bringing in fellow collective member Djavan Santos, better known as D33J (who has his own impressive repertoire of quality electronic), resulted in this new hip-hop gem by Kane Grocerys, “Columbine Homicide.”
Belonging to the independent, DC-based label Goth Money Records, Kane Grocerys lays a commentary on the nature of street violence—imposed by peers and reinforced by authorities. Grocerys demonstrates himself as a critically wise and skilled rapper in this work, and that combination with the talent-ridden production of WEDIDIT makes for another leap in the direction of conscious electronic meeting conscious hip hop. This release has us wondering what else those WDI boys have up their sleeves… they’re always up to all good.
When TMN Co-Founder Clayton Warwick first came up with the idea for Cadence & Cause, we all rallied behind him in support. The fusion of music and charity has always been a big part of the industry, from “We Are the World” to artists donating portions of their ticket sales to their charity of choice. But, we had yet to see someone bring the two together in a way that carries the passion and dedication we know Clayton is capable of.
If you’re not familiar with this platform just yet, you’ll want to start digging in sooner rather than later. The site offers a selection of exclusive music, merch, memorabilia, and experiences from artists you know and love. Each time you enter a sweepstake or pick up a new shirt from the site, you’re benefitting one of the many charities they’ve curated.
We’re not an official partner, nor are we monetarily invested, but we are, in a way, related. It’s easy to look at The Music Ninja and Cadence & Cause as cousins, both in the ever-growing family tree that is the music industry. With that in mind, we wanted to showcase some of the incredible work they’re doing. So, for the next thirty days, you’ll be given an inside glimpse at some exclusive content from both the musicians that support this initiative and the charities that are supported.
thrills- Same Ol' (prod. Lone Kawan)
You’ll be hard pressed to find any hip hop reviews in my five-year tenure with The Music Ninja. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I don’t get down to some fresh beats and inventive rhymes – it’s just that I tend to gravitate towards other genres when I write. I spend my listening hours scanning the web for indie rock, folk, and a bevy of house tunes, which ultimately leaves me revisiting the classics when I’m craving hip-hop. That all got switched up today.
Enter thrills, who hails from Inglewood, California. After experiencing tremendous success with his smooth-as-silk re-work of Flume’s “Sleepless,” this burgeoning young talent has since released a handful of original pieces, including the days old “Same Ol.” And, “Same Ol” has caught my attention, leaving me brazenly grinning and nodding my head in approval.
What is it about this tune that has me replaying it over and over again? It could be the chilled-out, windows-down beat, produced by Lone Kawan. It could be the assertive, yet not overly-aggressive style thrills maintains in his flow. It could be because it beckons on the style from some of the storied artists I grew up listening to. Whatever it is, consider me, and the rest of TMN, the newest thrills supporters.
4 Real (Featuring Ty Dolla $ign & iLoveMakonnen)
Destructo just keeps taking the scene by storm. Seriously, this dude throws some of the sickest parties with anything HARD touches, and rosters that are always super on point. His lineups always do a great job of meshing a number of different genres, and that’s exactly what he’s done in his latest track release, “4 Real.”
When the song first started we weren’t sure what to expect—it didn’t show any signs of being an electronic track per se, but it’s 2016 y’all. Ty Dolla $ign blesses us with his dreamy vocals and iLoveMakonnen provides the hype, and a few seconds later Destructo starts to tease us with his melodic tones, which lets us know that this will most definitely be an electronic track. This all builds into what might be one of the more unexpected drops we’ve heard in a while—a tech house wonderland filled with a sped up take on the quintessential hip hop sample (aka G House 2.0). The end product is an impressive and well-done fusion of two entirely different genres, something that we’ve seen Destructo do before and hope he continues to do as long as he’s making music.
Down For Whatever ft. Pell
Imad Royal and Pell are both at a turning point in their respective careers. “Down For Whatever” marks the second single of Imad Royal’s on the Nice Life label, and Pell is following up his widely praised album, LIMBO. There’s no shying away from the straightforward message on this tune, and these two are steadfast in their ways amidst an airtight assembly of pop, R&B, and hip-hop influence.
A song like this certainly marks a deviation from the usual sound of Imad Royal, even from his previous effort, but it’s a seamless transition for this multi-faceted artist. Having Pell come along to bring the track home with his rapid-fire delivery is just the icing on the cake. Imad Royal’s fairly recent name change also came with a shift in style, and it’s immediately evident that he refuses to take any shortcuts to showcase exactly what he strives for and cares about in his music. 2016 may have just begun, but, however bold of a claim this may seem, you’re already hearing an early contender for a top release of the year. There’s an undeniable catchiness and magnetic attitude throughout “Down For Whatever,” and it’s a sound that’s here to stay. Give it up for this dynamic duo and be sure to show them support in every way you can!
MAKE IT HOT FT. GDP, FAME SCHOOL STAR CITY, TIGGA CALORE, AND KEVIN HUSSEIN
MopTop‘s hip-hop side project, Night Lurkers, is dishing out their new single through a Music Ninja premiere. We’re happy to present to you “Make It Hott” this Friday evening, as it is the perfect track to get the weekend started with. Although this is under their hip-hop project, with features from artists GDP, Fame School Star City, Tigga Calore and Kevin Hussein, this single sports a rather dancy, electronic instrumental. A synth heavy breakbeat background is where these emcees spit their heat. With a more minimal composition, MopTop were able to focus in for some well-produced percussion that is both thick and crisp. It’s a smashing crossover record that continues the fusion between dance and rap in epic fashion. As we see music transition in the future, you’re to be sure to hear more jams like this, however, “Make It Hott” sets the bar high. Make sure to download this hit for free before you check out some other new tunes on the website!