It’s hard to believe we’re already a month into this process as we present to you the fourth volume of The Hip-Hop Dojo. We’re really excited to bring you possibly our most unique lineup to date. We start things off with three talented femcees whose names should be familiar to loyal listeners out there, B Mac The Queen, Rapsody, and Nitty Scott MC. Last time we heard from B Mac, she was doing her thing alongside names like Rick Ross, Raekwon and Redman for HS87’s “Cypher.” Now she’s out to prove that she can hold a song down on her own, with her harrowing new single, “Always Knew.” Meanwhile, Jamla representative, Rapsody, hopes to make an “Everlasting” impression over some smooth Khrysis production. Nitty Scott wraps things up for the trio, demonstrating her flair for the “Language Arts,” over some whistling flutes (shout out to Kendrick).
We step into some old school territory with our next few tracks. Chicago’s Jarred A.G. proves he can rap circles around everyone else on “VerbalCursive,” just one standout from his recent Luxury Tax EP. Next, we move on to underground veterans, Massinfluence, who bring us the self-titled single, “Massinfluential.” Produced by Circa 94, the track actually feels like it was pulled straight out of that era, save for a few tweaks that give it a more modern flair. On “Live From Kissena Blvd,” Action “Bam Bam” Bronson lays down some lick bars over some blaring, boom bap grooves, courtesy of Statik Selektah.
Our next group features a few stories that really tug at your heartstrings. Two of the most powerful tracks deal with the theme of death. Emilio Rojas reflects on the untimely passing of his dear friend and hip-hop visionary, Chris Lighty. The most impactful song of them all, comes in the form of Mike Stud‘s “Past Gone” which deals with his relationship with a fan on the brink of suicide. It’s a truly touching story that reveals how Mike was able to help save her life, and recover from her insecurities. You’ll have to watch the video to get the full effect. Lorenzo Asher‘s “The Color of Ignorance” discusses the challenges of maintaining an interracial relationship, especially when coming from two very different cultures. It definitely does a much better job of approaching race relations than that LL Cool J and Brad Paisley track that dropped earlier this week. Rounding things out, we have “Long Day” from Phil The Thrill. Utilizing an appropriate sample of Maroon 5‘s “Sad,” Phil sheds light on some of the stresses involved with being an independent rapper.
The last batch of tracks doesn’t really have a recurring theme, but they feature a talented group of young emcees flaunting their skills. “24K” features rap duo Square Off, sons of rap legend Doug E. Fresh, spitting some dope bars alongside A$AP Rocky over a chopped up sample of MGMT‘s “Electric Feel.” Neako’s “Hot Boys 3000” will have you nodding your head from start to finish, with the pauses in the beat really emphasizing each and every lyric. Finally, the most unique track comes in the form of Smokey Robotic‘s rim shattering “Gandhi.” We’re not sure the legendary leader would ever approve of the track, but we’d love to see his reaction to this bizarre dedication.
We hope you guys enjoyed our fourth edition of The Hip-Hop Dojo as much as we did. As always, send all submissions/suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Switch Lanes feat. Mike Posner’
Rain (feat. Euro League)’