[TMN Exclusive Interview] The Underachievers: On the Road to Enlightenment

Evermore_ The Art of Duality
The Underachievers
Chasing Faith

In today’s fast-paced society, emcees have the power to play the role of modern-day philosophers, imparting beliefs and morals to followers through their own life experiences. While that connection proves little more than an afterthought in most cases, Brooklyn hip-hop duo The Underachievers approach their music with a distinct awareness for the message behind it–one that reflects their soul-searching and marked spirituality. Hitting the scene in 2013 with their debut mixtape, Indigoism, AK and Issa Gold impressed hip-hop heads with their quick-hitting lyricism all the while coating their rhymes in every facet of psychedelia, both lyrically and sonically.

Since that first project, The Underachievers have only gotten more ambitious displaying an ability to convey their musings equally effectively over head-banging and laid-back soundscapes. Their latest album, Evermore: The Art of Duality, sees them bringing both sides together for a culmination of the sounds explored in their catalogue thus far. As its name suggests, the project explores themes of dualism and inner-turmoil featuring some of The Underachievers’ most philosophically poignant lyricism yet. Aside from being split into two distinct parts, a chilled-out, thoughtful A-side and a more intense, mischievous B-side, feelings of contrast are deeply embedded within each song allowing the duo to explore duality on a multitude of levels.

We had a chance to catch up with Issa Gold about putting together a hip-hop concept album, the philosophy behind their music and the duo’s broader aspirations. Check the interview below and grab a copy of Evermore: The Art of Duality here.

TMN: How did you first get into rapping, and did you guys get into it together, or separately?

Issa: Well, AK started rapping at the age of 12 or 13, so he’d been in it for like 11 years and I started rapping around late 2011. He was the influence for me becoming a rapper. Originally, he was rapping and I was studying the Internet and figuring out ways you can blow up instantaneously using it. So I went to AK and I was like “Yo, I’ll be your manager, because I have this whole vision for how you can become famous.” At the same time, I was working on a clothing line to push this whole Indigo message that I had. After “managing” him for a week, I was in the studio with him just sitting there one day and I was like, “I’ll write a rap”–it was almost a joke at the time. It’s a song that ended up on Indigoism. It’s funny because that’s the reason that song has two verses from AK because I wasn’t even supposed to be on it. So, people started to motivate me like, “You should just rap. You should keep doing it.”

The next song we made was “The Mahdi” which is probably one of our biggest songs. AK was working with a producer at the time too, and the producer who made that beat was really big on us making more music together. So, I pretty much took my Indigo dream and the whole plan I had for attacking the Internet into it. AK was “AK The Underachiever” at the time and he was like yeah you can fucking join The Underachievers, and he took me under his wing. We pretty much blended the two movements of his being a musician and me having my own vision–and we were already on the same wavelength in terms of the message in the music. That’s how it really started–it was experiment-that-worked type shit.

TMN: How did you and AK first meet? 

Issa: With AK, it’s kind of funny how we met.

When I was younger, psychedelics weren’t as cool, especially in the inner city. Being black in the hood, doing psychedelics was pretty much the equivalent of doing heroine. Back then, me and my friend Juice (of Flatbush Zombies) were super outcasts in a sense because we did psychedelics and people didn’t understand.
So, one day I meet this kid named Jacob, random kid, we’re buying weed from the same drug dealer. We started talking, it turns out this kid does psychedelics. That’s the problem when you find someone who does psychedelics it’s like, “Oh, we’re family.” So he takes me to AK’s crib the next day, and AK is some rapper dude from the hood. Juice, Jacob and I are talking about psychedelics and AK just walks in the room and he’s like, “Yo I wanna try ’em.” We look at him like, “What the fuck, no way does this dude from the hood want to try psychedelics” and our friendship started from there.  Continue reading

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[Giveaway] Mad Decent Block Party – Chicago 9/26

MDBP_CHI

Chicagoans! Mad Decent Block Party is coming to town this Saturday and we’re giving you a chance to snag a free pair of tickets before the weekend! With a lineup that includes Major Lazer, Grandtheft, Martin Solveig, Klingande, Party Favor, Thomas Jack, Towkio and UZ, you will not want to miss out. Here’s how to enter. All you need to do is submit your email address below along with your first and last name. It’s as simple as that. Entrants must be 18 and over to enter. Winners will be notified by email with instructions on how to obtain their tickets. Please remember to bring a valid photo ID with you to the event in order to redeem your prize.

If you would like to find out more info about Mad Decent Block Party or purchase tickets yourself, make sure to head over to the official event page and follow React Presents on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud to keep up with all the latest news and announcements.

Mad Decent Block Party in Chicago

Grandtheft & Sleepy Tom
Hold On
Klingande Feat. Broken Back
RIVA (Restart the game) Original Mix
Major Lazer
Lost feat. MØ (Frank Ocean cover)
Martin Solveig & GTA
Intoxicated
Party Favor
Booty Loose (feat. Fly Boi Keno)
Thomas Jack
Rivers
Towkio
Heaven Only Knows (Ft. Chance The Rapper, Lido & Eryn Allen Kane)
Gia
Only A Girl (UZ Remix)
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[NEW] Drake & Future – What A Time To Be Alive

WATTBA

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past week, chances are you’ve already heard about the fact that Drake and Future have decided to join forces for a brand new mixtape titled What a Time To Be Alive. Though speculation around the existence of the joint effort ran rampant earlier in the week, Aubrey confirmed the project’s release date, album art and name through Instagram yesterday. After premiering the entire 11 track compilation during Drizzy’s OVO Sound Radio show earlier today, the duo has finally unleashed the full project on iTunes. Executive produced by Metro BoominWhat a Time To Be Alive  also includes additional contributions from the likes of Southside, Boi-1da and of course Noah “40” Shebib. Follow the link below to stream the album through Apple Music and check out the tracklist after the jump.

STREAM/PURCHASE: Drake & Future – What a Time To Be Alive

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[Mixtape] Danny Seth – Perception

Perception_Front_Cover

If the name Danny Seth holds no meaning to you, now’s the time to get familiar. A British invasion on the hip-hop front has seemed imminent for a few years now, but there’s always seemed to be a cultural barrier preventing any UK artists from truly being able to break through. With up-and-comers like Seth and Little Simz knocking on the door–and Skepta finally reaching a new audience stateside thanks to a co-sign from Drake–2015 seems like the year they finally cross over. This brand new project by Danny Seth hopes to be the first step in altering your Perception of UK rap.

Perception is an album three years in the making from a young emcee who hopes to share his unique narrative of moving from London to L.A. in pursuit of musical success. It’s rare to see an artist dedicate such a long period of time into crafting their debut effort, but that kind of dedication and patience has certainly paid off. Danny does a stellar job of merging American and British styles throughout the 17 track effort. His rhymes are often witty and playful as he fearlessly tackles brash, aggressive and haunting instrumentals throughout much of the project while also showing a softer touch on toned-down records like “Danny Darling” and “On This Trip”. The refinement on Perception is clear from start to end, and the album establishes the UK native as a true force to be reckoned with. Take a listen for yourself below and it’ll be clear to you that Danny has all the tools necessary to be an extremely successful figure in the rap game.

DOWNLOAD: Danny Seth – Perception

 

Danny Seth
Monumental (Prod. Zach Nahome)
Danny Seth
How I Dream (Prod. Zach Nahome)
Danny Seth
I Arise Because (Prod. Ducko Mcfli & Jgramm)
Danny Seth
T.I.O.T.E. Feat. Collard (Prod. Zach Nahome)
Danny Seth
Never Forget Feat. Jimmy Johnson (Prod. Zach Nahome)
Danny Seth
Our City Feat. Louis Mattrs (Prod. MD$ & Zach Nahome)
Danny Seth
I I (Prod. Zach Nahome)
Danny Seth
Stay Feat. Su Bviley & Jace Of Retrosushi (Prod. MD$ & Zach Nahome)
Danny Seth
With Me (Prod. MD$ & Fwdslxsh)
Danny Seth
On This Trip Feat. Cassow & PJ (Prod. Zach Nahome & MD$)
Danny Seth
Past / Forever Feat. David Stewart (Prod. Zach Nahome Vs. MD$ Vs. Sevn Thomas)
’Danny Seth – > (Prod. MD$)’
Danny Seth
Danny Darling (Prod. Zach Nahome)
Danny Seth
Be (Prod. Zach Nahome)
Danny Seth
Safe (Prod. Zach Nahome)
Danny Seth
Remember (Prod. Zach Nahome)
Danny Seth
Homecoming (Prod. Zach Nahome)
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[Video] Tory Lanez – B.L.O.W.

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Tory Lanez
B.L.O.W.

In case you hadn’t already caught on yet, this is your last chance to hop on the Tory Lanez bandwagon before he gets ready to “B.L.O.W.” As part of his Fargo Fridays series, Tory dropped some visuals for a brand new number that promises to be yet another hit for the tireless emcee. Produced by frequent running mate Play Picasso and Sergio R, the trap infused banger follows previously well received singles “Initiation” and “Say It“, the latter of which recently hit #1 on the Billboard Emerging Artists chart.  The single is already available for purchase on iTunes, so make sure to grab yourself a copy to hold you over until Tory’s proper major label debut drops via Benny Blanco‘s Mad Love imprint on Interscope Records next year.

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TomorrowWorld TMN Playlist #1 – Bixel Boys [EXCLUSIVE]

bixel

With TomorrowWorld slowly creeping up on the collective dance community, we reached out to a few of our favorite performing artists to commission a playlist for our listeners, their fans, and all of the festival attendees who are counting down the days till September 25th.

To kick this series off, we roped in Bixel Boys to pull together a selection of tasty tunes. Everyone dance fan out there should have this LA-based DJ/Producer/fashion duo on their radar at this point. With a slew of top notch remixes, impressive originals, and the seemingly everywhere #FREELIFE brand, it’s hard to go more than a week without being reminded of this multi-faceted, extremely talented duo.

Before you press play on this artfully crafted “classics and throwbacks” playlist from the Bixel Boys, please do these two things:
1. Put their set time in your lineup schedule (Mythical Frames stage on Saturday, September 26th from 7:15PM-8:45PM).
2. Pick up tickets for the Gathering, which is a Thursday night party for those camping at TomorrowWorld. While it doesn’t feature the Bixel Boys, we’re pretty damn sure you’ll want to pre-game here before the full festival gets kicked into gear.

For those of you not heading out to TomorrowWorld, but still wanting to catch these two live, hit up their show with Ookay and Astronomar, tonight, at Webster Hall.

Kid Sister
Pro Nails (Dirty)
Cool Kids
Champions (Gone Fishing)
DJ Mehdi
Signatune (T. Bangalter Edit)
Boys Noize
Down
BUSY P
RAINBOW MAN 2.0
Carte Blanche
Gare Du Nord
Switch ft Andrea Martin
I Still Love You
Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden
Bonkers
SebastiAn
Embody
Crazy Love (Todd Edwards Underground Remix)
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[House] JAHKOY – Hold Your Hand

JAHKOY
JAHKOY
Hold Your Hand

Toronto’s JAHKOY brought another bipolar sound track to the table with the original “Hold Your Hand.” There’s so much going on in this song, it’s amazing. It’s like house, hip-hop, pop and indie-dance all had a baby together; this is what came of it. A beautiful, but upbeat production sets the stage for the vocal work that first comes as a more singer/songwriter style, then moves to a rap verse at the end. Fans of eclectic records just found what they were looking for. The great thing about “Hold Your Hand” is that it is balanced with its influences, not ranging too far out for picky genre-heads to not like it. Look out for JAHKOY to put out more great work in the future.

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