If we told you right now that a big record was here, then we’d only be telling half the truth. The full truth is that a big record has come, as well as an even bigger video. The song? “Feelin U.” The artists? KickRaux and Ras Kwame. Those two didn’t do it alone though, as they enlisted features from Ayo Jay, Demarco, Doctor and Tyga for this hit.
With an ensemble like you have behind “Feelin U” you know you are getting a special tune. The moombahton/dancehall single comes at a time when a lot of top tier musicians/producers are leaning towards this style. Those tracks are good, but when you get a record from those who do it best, the others are put to shame. KickRaux and company have been killing it for a long while, and after coming together, the result is something extraordinary. It doesn’t stop at the song, as the video is equally as cool. Because this is a love song, we get to see the search for a companion in an interesting way. Let’s just say, if you are a fan of Pokemon – more specifically Pokemon Go – then you are going to really enjoy this one.
Iowa City’s newfound treasure Attom is back again with another magical single. After the release of his track “Better” we meet his creation “Afterglow” that has been released by MNF Music, a subsidiary of Ultra. With that backing, big things are coming from Attom.
In all honesty, big things are already here for this producer, whose work speaks volumes despite his newer fanbase that is rapidly growing. The single “Afterglow” is sure to bring in a whole horde of new followers, as its pop undertones and crossover sound will attract a variety of listeners. The light-hearted, downtempo feel makes this one a perfect track to transition from Summer to Fall with. Ciele‘s vocal performance on this one is simply beautiful. Her tone matches the humble nature of the instrumental, but even without a boastful mood, the power of each contributor’s work is tremendous. “Afterglow” may have just been released, but we feel its popularity will continue to shine for a long time to come. Stream it today, and grab a copy through the digital store of your preference.
International fame and critical acclaim have attached themselves to everything Ta-Ku has released for an unprecedented amount of time. With a stacked resume of late containing the release of Songs to Break Up To in late 2013, the foundation of Create & Explore, releases under the moniker HWLS, collaborative efforts with HW&W and Street Dreams Magazine, while also having a hand in the success of Australia-based Weston’s Barbershop, the Perth trendsetter has been hard at work creating a multimedia empire off of his many talents. Your favorite Music Ninja writers has covered multiple Ta-ku releases over the years: Frogs, I Miss You, Down For You, Long Time No See, Love Again, No Reason, and Help Me Lose My Mind. His June 2015 release – appropriately titled Songs To Make Up To – exceeded all expectations in its depth and composition. As impressive as his catalog has been up to this point however, the recently released EP may overshadow them all in complexity – thanks to the lyrical infusion.
Median, stylized as (m)edian, is a concept album in the form of an EP; it’s short, succinct and tell a formative story of the dual protagonists Ta-ku and Wafia. Starting in 2015 and after much collaboration, the duo, Regan Matthews and Wafia Al-Rikabi, released their breakout take on Estelle’s “American Boy” with their aptly titled “American Girl, along with a collaboration with Charles Murdoch on “Frongs”. Shortly after, they debuted their joint live act during Ta-ku’s MoMA PS1 show. This spawned the duo’s (m)edian EP sessions in early 2016 that also included Wafia’s trusted collaborators Thomston and Ben Abraham. After solidifying a bond around their experiences with their fathers, they poured those feelings into (m)edian, which resulted in a raw confessional that unearthed a bedrock of complicated emotions.
Lyrically, the album focuses on several themes: strength in the face of adversity, maintaining a balance emotionally, and the space between familial love and forgiveness. As one of our first glimpses at Ta-ku the vocalist, the dynamic range of his singing is a welcome addition to the repertoire. While listeners are processing the limitless talents of Ta-Ku, Wafia comes into the fold, seductively harmonizing her lines intermittently throughout Median. On the introductory track, “Treading Water” a sparingly light sequence of piano keys sets the scene, before a dynamic lyric-infused ballad takes hold and finishes painting this masterpiece. Tracks two and four act as instrumental bridges between one, three, and five – accentuating the storytelling vibe of the album. Taku and Wafia sat down with TMN to discuss their experiences putting the album together, as well as inspirations behind the project, in great detail: Continue reading →
Summer is about to be dwindling away. That doesn’t mean the party won’t stop though. No matter what time of year it is, when it’s the weekend, it’s time to party. You can relax too, but that’s not why we deliver the Friday Party Playlist each week. Unless you’re one of those individuals who can listen to party tracks while kicking back, then we’ve got you covered along with the party people. This week’s playlist includes some ninja favorites including Venessa Michaels, Bad Royale, and Luca Lush; all of whom deliver dope record after dope record without an end in sight. Other producers whose works you will come across are Forgotten Funk, Goldplate, Atom Pushers, 8Er$ and Getter. Check out all twelve tracks and don’t forget, all our FPP tunes are available as free downloads. More importantly, whether you stream or download: #danceirresponsibly.
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.
The British poet Alfred Tennyson famously once wrote “Tis better to have loved and lost, Than never to have loved at all.” Many of us have gone through the difficult time of having lost an important relationship in our lives, whether it be with a friend, significant other or even family member. Protohype‘s single with Malcom Anthony, “Lights On” shares the sentiments of being in such a situation, but now the song has a music video to go along with it.
Within the video we see what happens when a person loses something they once loved, in particular, a significant other. From the moment it’s over, through the phase of reliving those cherished moments to the hard times of waiting for them to come back, this video covers it all. It even dives into both perspectives, to paint a real picture that will hit right at home for may viewers. Not only is it a great video, but the song is just as powerful. “Lights On” is a part of Puppy Crew, which can currently be purchased through digital stores. Lastly, Protohype and Firepower Records are currently holding a creative contest for fans to show what they leave the light on for. Submit your video via Instagram by using the hashtag #ProtohypeLightsOn.