Looking for a new artist to shake up your world? Enter Ryden. This dynamic Los Angeles creator is not here to mess around in the slightest. You could take that from her skills, of which there are many, or you can take it from her earnest single “Dear God” featuring Chase Allen.
Although Ryden can flex as an emcee/vocalist, she lets Chase take the reigns on the spoken front, leading us into a thoughtful, expressive performance that is going to have you replaying the track over and over just to catch every little syllable. Each is packed with a punch that is augmented by iconic speeches from the likes of Jesse Williams, Malcom X and Robert Kennedy. Musically, Ryden sets the stage with a dark, ominous mood that feels as though it is engulfing you. “Dear God” was meant to take a stand, and it certainly gets its message across. It’s one incredible piece of art that you can luckily download for free. Do it, and share it.
Fresh on the scene and coming off of a successful album debut earlier this month, Los Angeles lyricist Phero Hill has been turning heads with his smooth sound. Gaining some buzz on the strength of Ronin, he shows off an impressive range that touts a wide variety of flows. While justifying his place among up-and-coming contemporaries and talented vocalists like Matthew Chaim and Ben Beal, Phero Hill allows listeners to join along for the journey as he crafts a signature sound.
As the intro track to Ronin, “Who Is It” laces a fast-spitting cadence around a trumpeting, catchy beat pattern. Ronin showcases charismatic sounds, relatable themes, and an all-inclusive aspect, meaning listeners will have no trouble finding something that is their own speed. Fans can follow Phero Hill and stream the project in full on Soundcloud here.
As music enthusiasts first and foremost, one question in particular always makes the cut when we at The Music Ninja interview artists: “Which musicians are you into lately?”
In creating his widely-praised dark comedy Atlanta, Donald Glover eagerly gives us the answers by injecting tunes of his choosing throughout the first season. Case in point, the soundtrack to Atlanta is so well-regarded that multiple articles have been written praising its eclectic nature and quality, and a highly circulated Spotify playlist updates each week with new songs from the show. For one artist in particular, making the cut on Atlanta may bring about an infusion of mainstream recognition to propel his career even further.
Grand Rapids repping rapper Waldo, one of the most talented and underrated lyricists in the genre, has been releasing notable projects for years. Since making waves as early as 2013 with “Kobe’s Room” – to a pair of major declarations of his arrival with EP releases Tuebor and Until Then – we have kept close tabs on his journey. Partnered with fellow Michigan natives and longtime friends SAVON and Sango, Waldo released his latest hit this past week, titled “Closer”.
With a hauntingly bass-heavy rhythm throughout, the lyrics and instrumentals form a symbiotic bond, painting the gritty picture depicted in his up-tempo cadence. Beyond the prodigal beat-making talents of Sango and Savon, and beyond the vocal characterization of Waldo, the biggest draw to his sound lies in its pure authenticity.
Fans in California will have a few chances to see him live this month: he’ll be in San Diego at the Soda Bar with Jimmy Javier on October 25th and in Oakland at The New Parish with Sango on October 27th. Listeners can join the AGO movement by following along with the Soundcloud pages of both the collective and Waldo for all releases.
At TMN, we get a bit selective about the music we share on Sundays. Considering it is a day of relaxation for many of us, it is also a day for preparation. In the simplest of words, we probably use 3/4ths of the day to unwind before we reluctantly bring ourselves to confront that Monday is only a few hours away. As a result, we like to choose music that takes on both the characteristics of soothing and motivating. This evening, we’re bringing you a tune that falls flawlessly into this description.
Hailing from the windy city of Chicago, CLEW makes his debut on TMN with his single, “Tarzan,” which features fellow producer, Prov. As the lead single off his forthcoming project, an EP titled “Get a Clue,” “Tarzan” carries the sound that establishes CLEW’s identity.
Influenced by hip hop and electronic components, “Tarzan” is shaped by an infectious percussion line of tribal drums, smooth guitar riffs, and catchy vocal chops of CLEW’s rich vocals. The breakout single offers both vitality and ease, making it the perfect track to end your Sunday night to.
In case you weren’t able to make it out to Randall’s Island for this year’s Electric Zoo, TMN’s got you covered. We were lucky to catch some pretty amazing performances from artists like Getter, Lil Dicky, Louis The Child, Valentino Khan, and many more.
The minute we stepped onto the premise, we were bedazzled by the stages. The Cobra Stage in particular had us in a state of awe, with a design almost unimaginable. Of course, our attention was quickly steered away by the lineup we didn’t want to miss. Getting our day’s fill of bass and hip hop from the Buygore stage from acts like GTA, Borgore, and Juicy J, we then made way to the Riverside stage to catch a vivacious set from Andrew Bayer. We closed out the eventful night at the main stage for a spectacular set from The Chainsmokers, where we enjoyed an array of music from some alternative classics to their charting originals.
As this year’s festival was jam-packed with an assortment of fantastic performances, we thought we’d put together a playlist to highlight a few of our favorites!
If you aren’t familiar with the name SonReal, then you’re in for quite the treat. The Canadian hip-hop all star has been steadily making a name for himself with strong tracks, and stimulating music videos that entertain to a high degree. SonReal is about true artistry in a time when rap/hip-hop seems to be at one of its lowest points in history, talent wise. SonReal so much more than just a hip-hop artist, but he has no problem putting it on his back and bringing it into a renaissance. Most recently, the streets and the internet have been blessed with his EP, The Name.
Because SonReal is both a musical and visual artist, we’re sharing this EP through his videos, rather than the normal route we use in the dojo. If we simply shared the music, we’d be doing a disservice to his full artistic vision. But, let’s move on to the goods. The Name starts off with SonReal’s highly successful single “Can I Get A Witness” that expresses the artist’s dilemma of moving into a new sonic direction. The video portrays a trial of sorts, with SonReal being accused of the heinous crime of developing as a creator. “Can I Get A Witness” has an acoustically driven instrumental that SonReal plays over with his unique charm and flavor-filled lyrics.
Of the five tracks on the EP, two of them got music videos; the first and the last. Now, we dive into the other three. “No Warm Up” is a playful tune that shares the same acoustic edge that the “Can I Get A Witness” has. The thing that sticks out the most about SonReal can be easily heard through “No Warm Up,” and that is his ability to make music fun again. When you listen to an album like the Beastie Boys’ License To Ill, it’s almost as though you can sense the enjoyment and emotions that went into its creation. The same goes for this EP, as well as many of SonReal’s other tracks, including “No Warm Up.” His genuine nature can be heard also in his ballad “All I Got.” Here, he strays from his emcee ways and flexes his singing voice that he isn’t afraid to use. After the love, comes the loss in “Hot Air Balloon,” a vivacious single whose fun attitude juxtaposes the not-so-fun loss of love.
Lastly, we reach “Soho.” Here SonReal brings the style more align with contemporary hip-hop, but in bringing his own stylistic tendencies, he keeps things extremely fresh. “Soho” is nothing short of an anthem, with its grand chorus, gritty beat and SonReal’s ice cold performance. It’s hard to believe, but in fact a white skater from Vancouver made a record sound this gangsta. Leave it SonReal to blow your mind.
The Name was released on August 12th through Black Box Recordings. Purchasing this project is more than worth your while. Chances are you’ll be bumping these tracks through the year into 2017. Don’t forget to keep up to date with SonReal by following him on social media, or bookmarking his official website.
We are smack in the middle of festival season, and the anticipation continues to build as we keep looking back at those insane lineups and the final phase announcements. We can only imagine how incredible festivals like Sun City Music Fest, Electric Zoo, The Meadows, and Something Wicked and way too many more to name are going to be. With those incredible lineups comes brand new releases from the attending artists, teasing us with music that we know is going to blow us away when we see them perform live. So, this week we curated a playlist to exposé some of those fresh releases to get that festival adrenaline kicking.