Welcome back to the Hip-Hop Dojo, everyone. By now we assume you all know the protocol, but in case you need a refresher, the Hip-Hop Dojo is a monthly feature split it up into three distinct components: the artist spotlight, our monthly playlist and our mixtape roundup. May was a busy month for hip-hop, there’s no denying that. Our latest edition of the Hip-Hop Dojo is a little lighter on the playlist side, but it’s definitely not lacking in quality tracks. Meanwhile, our mixtape section is loaded, with about 20 different projects we believe you absolutely need to check out.

The selection process for our monthly spotlight is never easy, and there’s often an internal struggle as we narrow down the list of names we’d like to approach about the opportunity. When we found out that Mayo had re-emerged onto the scene recently though, we couldn’t think of a better choice to be our Spotlight Artist for the month of May. The LA via Chicago transplant recently ended an eight month hiatus with the release of his latest song, “My Girl”, the first in a revolutionary series of singles that will comprise his Summer Story. You may or may not have heard of Mayo, and one look at his SoundCloud will let you know that the man likes to keep his releases tight and his lips even tighter. We had a chance to sit down and chat with Mayo and he opened up to us about everything from long distance relationships to dropping out of college and his breast cancer awareness campaign. After hearing from the man himself, we promise you’ll never forget the name.

Read on to find out what Mayo had to say, and afterwards click over to the next page to listen to this month’s playlist. On our final page you’ll find reviews of all of our favorite projects to drop during the month of May.



’Mayo – My Girl (The Letter) (Prod. Gravez)’
’Mayo – Rock With You (Prod. by Milo Mills)
Free Download’
’ZHU – Faded (Lido Remix feat. Mayo)’

TMN: Thanks for sitting down to talk with us. Let’s start with some of your background info. I assume Mayo is a shortened version of your full name, Mayowa, but is that something you grew up with, or did you come up with that on your own?

Mayo: Well, basically when I was in fourth grade everyone would say my name wrong. So at that point I was like I’m just going to call myself Mayo, take off the “wa” and it just kind of stuck since then. When I started making music, it just felt right; I really couldn’t see myself going with any another name. I just was Mayo. A lot of people always ask me, ‘Oh Mayo, is that like your rap name?’ I’m like nah, that’s my real name. It just feels right, you know?

TMN: So you were born in Nigeria, but raised a Chicago boy. Recently though, you made a move out West to LA Can you tell us what motivated that move, and maybe touch on the differences you’ve noticed between the cultures of each place and how they’ve had an influence on the music you make?

Mayo: First of all, what motivated the move is that I had taken a trip with a couple of my homies out to LA last summer. There were some people out there that I wanted to link with and work with it and I was just like might as well go out there and check it out. I had never been out to the West before at all. So, we went out there for a week, chilled with some people out there, went to a couple shows, linked with some people I know, got into the studio with a couple of people and it was just like, wow like this just feels right. There’s so much opportunity here. We were out here for a week and we met so many people, we ran into so many people, and it was a huge difference from Chicago. Not saying that Chicago is worse than LA, it was just that the opportunities seemed so much bigger, just so much different than the opportunities back home, so it was a sacrifice to move that we definitely had to make.

The culture’s a lot different out here. Everyone’s just—again, I’m not trying to say Chicago is bad, LA is better—but with the people out here, it’s a whole different mindset. I just feel like more people are really down to work and open to more ideas. There really is not a close-minded aspect out here. If you’re out in the LA area you’re out here because you’re doing something, you’re not out here because you’re just dicking around, so I feel that’s a huge difference. I’ve run into a bunch of people out here and I’m like wow, these people are successful, and it just kind of motivates you to want to aspire to have the same thing. So that’s definitely a big difference out here. There’s so much opportunity out here and it’s really up to you to make the most of it.

TMN: Definitely, that all makes sense. Like you said, everybody in LA is trying to create something of their own, so spinning off of that, do you think that’s helped you with your own creative process when it comes to your music?

Mayo: Oh yeah, I’ve grown a lot just coming out here. As for any artist, traveling, seeing different aspects of life, seeing different cultures, that inspires you in your creative process, it inspires you in your writing process, it inspires you in everything, the whole aspect of creating music. For me, being able to see a different culture, a different way of life, it’s definitely helped me form a different mindset when it comes to writing my music and creating it in the studio. Also, working with different types of producers and different types of sounds, it’s super dope to be able to have that drawn in to the whole creative process.

TMN: Multi-talented artists who can both rap and sing is a trend that’s becoming increasingly common these days, but both seem to come pretty effortlessly for you. Can you talk to us a bit about when you first realized you had a talent for both, and which skill came more naturally to you?

Mayo: Well, to be honest with you, when I first started making music, I never really would call myself a singer. I was definitely a rapper first, but growing up, my mom would always play 90’s music, early 2000’s music like Boyz II Men, Sade was always played in the crib, 112, Luther Vandross all that stuff. So like I grew up on R&B music, even though it was never my first thing, but I always heard it in the house. When I started making music I was definitely more of a writer in terms of rapping, but I feel like I definitely grew into R&B more recently in the last couple of months. I honestly think my R&B writing skills have gotten so much better, and I love being able to balance both sides in my music. A lot of people will do it way too much. I don’t like singing way too much, I don’t like rapping way too much; I like having a good balance.

I love R&B music and I love being able to write to R&B music. It’s dope because R&B holds so much emotion; it’s got sad stories, it has love stories and I feel like a lot of people are able to relate to that. With my latest single, “My Girl,” I feel like those are the songs people can relate to. I’ve had my encounters with love and breakups and shit, so it’s becoming easier to write to, and I’ve found myself learning that it’s ok to be myself and it’s ok to open up and be vulnerable and use that aspect of R&B in my music. It’s not a bad thing to be vulnerable because everyone goes through the same shit; some people just don’t want to say it.

TMN: Yeah, like you just said, we’ve noticed that you don’t try to force the issue. It just seems to flow more naturally within your music.

Mayo: Yeah, exactly. Just to touch on that point, I never go into a song thinking I’m going to sing the whole thing. It’s just like if it feels good, it feels good. If it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t feel good. But, I definitely would say more recently the R&B singing tip is becoming more natural for me. The melodies are coming a lot smoother and easier for me than when I started making music.


TMN: What would you say is the moment you decided that music was something you wanted to pursue full time?

Mayo: Man, when I was in high school—I started making music when I was like 16-17. I don’t know, it was always something that I wanted to do but I never really had a strong foundation or a strong team. I just kind of did it because I liked making music and I thought it was dope to make music, but I never had a firm direction, I never had a firm place that I wanted to take things. But a lot of things have happened in the last year since last summer, things that people will see that I haven’t even announced yet or even talked about yet. I want people to see for themselves. I definitely would say the last year and a half has scoped my whole vision about where I want to take this thing. I feel like it’s my time and I feel like people need to hear what I’m making. I’ve always been serious with it, but the last year and a half I’ve been like ok, it’s go time. It’s time to make it happen.

When I dropped out of college, that was also a big thing because I got an opportunity to go on tour, and that was really eye opening too because it was like wow, this is really here for the taking.

TMN: Was that the reason why you dropped out, because you had an opportunity to go on tour?

Mayo: No, that wasn’t the reason why I dropped out, but I got the opportunity right after so it was kind of like a blessing a disguise. I dropped out because I wasn’t really feeling it; I wasn’t in the right mindset with it, but then after that happened I had that opportunity to go on tour and things really started picking up.

TMN: Tell us a bit about the conception of your upcoming project, Summer Story. Was it something that you set out to create or was it more of a coincidence that you ended up writing so many songs revolving around this relationship of yours?

Mayo: It’s pretty funny because it happened all coincidentally honestly. I had made some of these songs last summer, I had made some of these songs in the last few months. It was crazy because when I sat down with my managers we were just going through our catalogue of songs we had and we just played 6 or 7 songs in a certain order and it all turned out to be a story about love, heartbreak and moving to LA. It was crazy how it happened. It was all coincidental because I had made all these songs at different time periods. It’s not like I went into the studio and was like ‘Hey, I’m going to make a song about this, make a song about that.’ They were all made over a certain period of time. But, in the order we put them in, and in the way we structured it, it turned out to all make sense. It was weird, honestly; I didn’t see it until they pointed it out to me. But yeah, it was dope the way it turned out, and I’m really excited to share that story with everyone because I know that people have gone through the same things I’ve gone through and they can relate to it. I’m definitely excited to just share the story.

TMN: We were actually wondering why you decided to touch on long distance relationships. Obviously, you have a personal connection to it, but is that something you think is becoming increasingly relatable these days?

Mayo: Well, love is obviously something everyone has gone through. Relationships are something everyone has gone through. I’ve definitely found it more common, especially with people going to college, people studying abroad, people traveling; a lot of these couples, they’re not able to spend time with their significant other while they’re trying to do something with their lives too. Long distance relationships are becoming a more common thing that everyone goes through. I don’t feel like a lot of people have touched on it, so this is something I definitely want to touch on, and something that definitely means a lot to me. Not sappy, but you know just real shit. Tell people experiences that have happened. Because again, I feel like people have gone through the same shit I’ve gone through and they can relate.

I’m really just all about being me and telling my story and making relatable shit that people can fuck with, you know? That’s what I’m about. I’m not about putting up an image, I’m not about telling lies in my music, I’m all about real shit. I feel like these stories are going to resonate with people.

TMN: Definitely. That’s not something a lot of people tend to open up about within rap, so it’s definitely a unique story to be telling. Tying in with that, you also have a column with Fuse to go along with the series. What do you plan on doing with that? Is it basically just an expansion on the story you’re telling?

Mayo: Basically, the column that I’m doing with Fuse is going to be an extension of the story I’m telling. They’re giving me a platform to talk about my story as well as get insight from fans and listen to their story and give them a chance to talk about it too. It’s basically like an advice column and we’re trying to make it really interactive for people to get involved with. Again, this is not something a lot of people have done so we’re really trying to push the boundaries and do something different and get the word out there. We’re really just trying to make this more about the fans and the listeners than about me. We’re really trying to make it interactive and have them able to see that I’m human, everyone’s human and everyone goes through the same shit, be able to have them interact and even give insight on what they think.

TMN: It’s a dope concept for sure. Your recent single, “My Girl” is the first record from your Summer Story. Can you touch on the significance of that track and how it sets the tone for the rest of the releases?

Mayo: Yeah, definitely. “My Girl” is a song that I really hold dear to me. I feel like it’s a perfect starter. It gives you a little bit about me, it gives you a little bit about what’s happened, it gives you a little bit about the struggles of being in a long distance relationship while trying to chase a dream. I really feel like it gave people a piece of me that they may have not known. That is something that I’m really trying to do with the Summer Story, is open up. I feel like it didn’t give too much, it wasn’t too little, it was just perfect. Just a little starter for people to listen to, and for people to understand a little bit about Mayo, for people to understand that rappers go through the same shit. We’re going to dive a little deeper and we’re going to talk a little bit more about everything. It seems like a lot of people are resonating with it so I’m happy with that. I’m just happy people are listening. That’s all that matters to me.

TMN: We’re definitely excited to see what else you have in store with the series. Going back to how you construct your music, could you walk us through your beat selection process? You’ve paired with some pretty remarkable producers so far. How do you go about deciding who to work with, and is there a certain sound you look for at all?

Mayo: I’m really about sonically pushing shit. Yeah, I’m a “rapper” but I’m really not about making “rap” music. I’m really about pushing the boundaries and fusing a bunch of styles together. “My Girl” is honestly just a little taste of what people are going to get this summer and even this fall with my upcoming LP.

I’ve been working with Milo Mills a lot. Me and him have heavy loads of tracks that are going to come out in the near future. He lives in Austria and he’s a very talented producer. He’s been featured on Diplo & Friends and he’s got a good base out in Europe. He’s also a songwriter and producer, so me and him have been working very closely.

TMN: Yeah, because you two made “Rock With You”, right? That was your first song together?

Mayo: Yeah, we had “Rock With You” but we’ve been working for a year now. No one’s heard any of the stuff. We’ve been literally working for twelve months straight on a bunch of new tracks that haven’t even come out yet that I honestly think is some of the best shit that I’ve made to date. And we just have a very tight combination. I’m really excited for people to hear the shit that we have because he’s a very talented producer as well as an artist—a lot of people don’t know he’s also an artist, but he keeps that super low-key.

As far as picking beats and stuff though with other producers it’s just all about not making shit that’s already out there. I’m not trying to re-do something someone else has done. I want to push culture forward sonically. I want to push it forward with the content that I’m talking about in my music; I don’t want to be talking about the same stuff everyone else is talking about. For me, it’s all about being progressive in the way I go about creating my music from a writing stance and also production, because production is very huge for me. I’m really picky with beats. When I find producers that I really fuck with and really impress me and are pushing the sound forward, I’m really all about working with them. I’ve been working with a lot of European producers and beat producers from out of the country for future collabs too that haven’t come out yet, so I’m also excited to get those out there. I definitely feel like another influence in that is the fact that since I’ve been working with Milo so much and he’s not from the States, so his European sound has influenced me in an indirect way, which is even better. We’re not making stuff that sounds like it’s from the States and he’s not making stuff that sounds like it’s from Europe. It’s a good combination and a good balance. It’s a dope marriage.

TMN: You kind of just touched upon trying to differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd, and even though you’re in LA now, we wanted to hear what your opinions were on the state of Chicago hip-hop, given that it’s a thriving market right now.

Mayo: I feel like Chicago has a bunch of dope artists coming out right now. Obviously, the big heavy hitters are Chance and Vic. I don’t even know if you would consider them up-and-coming anymore. I do stay in touch and I do listen to Chicago artists when I come across them. I’m actually pretty cool with Kembe X, I’ve chilled with him a couple of time. I’ve heard some of his new stuff, he’s dope. I’m not really close with Alex Wiley like that, but I’ve run into him a couple of times in the studio. Another artist I really mess with, that I’ve worked with, his name is Appleby. I’ve actually got some stuff with him—just a couple drafts that we’ve been working on, nothing finalized yet. That’s someone you could definitely see a track with in the future.

There’s also another singer outside of Chicago, her name is Sydney Jay. I actually have two songs with her and she does a lot of background vocals for me. Definitely a good person to check out for music. I’m always staying in touch with her, and she’s actually going to be out in LA in a couple of days, so it’s going to be good to see her and connect with her. She’s very dope, someone everyone should definitely watch out for.

TMN: Talk to us about your own ascent in the last few years. You’ve gained a pretty large following on the back of a handful of releases. Have there been any moments where you’ve felt a little overwhelmed or in awe over the positive reception your music has received?

Mayo: Man, to be honest with you—and I don’t mean to sound negative or ungrateful—but for me it’s more like I’m never really satisfied. Yeah, the numbers are there and the numbers are growing, but I’m really big into moving onto the next thing, making the next thing better. People are listening to “My Girl” and I’m already thinking about the next release. I’m already thinking about how we can make a bigger impression on people than we did last time. I’m the type of person who’s really onto the next thing.

TMN: You don’t really stop and pause or anything like that.

Mayo: Exactly, because I feel like there’s no time for complacency, no time to be happy because I have so much more to grow with, I have so much to do. I’m never really satisfied. I’m kind of a perfectionist and I’m really about getting to the next step, getting to the next level. I’m always glad that the numbers are growing; I look at it obviously, I see it, but it’s not something I’m always thinking about it. I’m always thinking about making the next best song because at the end of the day, the numbers are cool but if you don’t have good music none of that matters and you can fall off as quickly as you got on.
For me, it’s dope to see that and I’m super grateful people are listening from all over, but for me it’s like on to the next thing, how to make the next release better and make even better music for people to enjoy.

TMN: That definitely sounds more like an athlete’s mentality.

Mayo: I was an athlete so maybe that’s why. I actually played basketball, football and lacrosse in high school. I was very competitive growing up. My brother actually plays Division 1 basketball so I’d always ball with him. Maybe that adds to the reason why I’m super competitive. I have a competitive nature because I played sports my whole life. I was an athlete before I was a rapper.

TMN: You’re only 20 years old, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that by listening to your music. Where does that maturity come from?

Mayo: That maturity comes from a lot of places, one of them being my mom. I grew up in a single parent home. I’ve said it a little before in the past, but my dad wasn’t really around as much, so I kind of had to play the dad role for my brothers. I had to be the really serious one all the time. Sometimes they didn’t like that because I wasn’t the goofy, ‘oh let’s go do something stupid’ brother. I was more on them, kind of like the dad in the family.

TMN: You had to play the bad guy sometimes.

Mayo: Exactly, but someone had to do it and I’m not upset that was (the case). It is what it is and I feel like it definitely made me the person I am today. I definitely give a lot of that to my mom. My mom is one of my biggest inspirations. She’s one of the hardest working people I know and also the toughest woman I know. She’s battled to hell and back for me and my brothers. Growing up the way we did and seeing a lot of that firsthand just made me have to step up and mature young. I’m 20 but I’m an old 20. It is what it is and I’m glad that I matured a lot quicker than a lot of people my age.

TMN: You had a campaign last year dedicated towards spreading awareness for breast cancer. Can you tell us a bit more about that, and why that’s a cause that’s so meaningful to you?

Mayo: Man, so basically I did this “Spread The Awareness” campaign for breast cancer. A lot of that had to with the fact that first of all I’ve had friends whose moms have been affected by it. My mom hasn’t been affected by breast cancer and I’ve never personally experienced it firsthand in my family, but I’ve seen it and I know it’s a big thing. For me, it was definitely like instead of focusing on myself and promoting my brand, why not do something different for a bigger cause and a bigger range of people? I decided to come up with that campaign and we did it the last two weeks of October. I actually got the opportunity to speak to my old high school and I talked to the kids there about it. It was dope just to get everyone’s support on it. We had people who got T-shirts from all over, so it was cool. It was for a great cause, The National Breast Cancer Foundation, and we gave proceeds to them. It was all for a good cause, and it was something bigger than me. We definitely wanted to show that music is very important, but at the end of the day the reason why we really do this is for the people. I definitely want people to know it’s ok to do something bigger than yourselves and it’s ok to want more for not just you, but for other people too. Not to sound cliché, I definitely want to be able inspire people to do something that’s bigger than themselves.


TMN: We’re not sure if you’ve had a chance to do much touring, but we hear you’ve got a gig lined up in the near future in Cincinnati where you’ll be opening for Ja Rule. That must be exciting for you. Do you plan to do any more touring this summer?

Mayo: The Ja Rule show, I’m super excited for that for many reasons, first of all being the fact that it’s Ja Rule. I grew up listening to him and Ashanti. It’s crazy that I’m sharing the stage with someone I grew up listening to. It’s cool and it’s definitely a reminder that I’ve come a long way and to keep pushing. They’re saying it’s going to be a crazy turnout. I’m excited to share a stage with Ja Rule but at the same time I’m excited for people to hear my new music. I’m going to be performing all new music at that show. I’m also going to be performing with a live band.

TMN: Oh, nice. Have you performed with a live band before?

Mayo: No, this is my first time. It’s crazy because my band members, the guitar player and drummer have both been in rock bands. Like I said, I’m really big into merging sounds so it’s going to be dope to have a hip-hop/alternative/rock type concert for the people. I’m honestly excited to see the response to my new music. I want to see how people react. I took like eight months off from releasing music.

TMN: Yeah, we kind of noticed that short hiatus you had.

Mayo: Yeah, I know I’m going off on a tangent, but I’ll talk about this a little bit. It’s super cool to see after eight months people are still interested. That eight months I wasn’t just scratching my ass, I was working. It’s going to be cool to see how people perceive the new music I’ve been working on for like the last year.

After the Ja Rule show, as far as (touring) I don’t have anything I can announce yet but I’m pretty sure you will see me doing more shows this summer, if not definitely this fall when the LP drops, whenever it drops I don’t have a date for it yet.

TMN: Do you have a name for that project?

Mayo: The project is going to be called Spectrum. That will be released in the fall. Again there’s no certain date yet. I can’t tell you how many tracks, I can’t tell you all the producers on it yet because that’s still in the works. I’m definitely excited for the future.

TMN: Definitely, we look forward to it. Who would you say some of your biggest influences are? If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

Mayo: It’s super weird, because I’m more of a dude that’s really into collaborating with producers. I love working with artists, but a dope producer I would love to work with would be the likes of Kaytranada. Cashmere Cat is super dope. Even just on an ATL trip I definitely fuck with Metro Boomin. And then as far as artists, I don’t know. I really can’t say there’s an artist that I’m aching to work with. I’m more of a come as it goes type person. I’m not really searching—

TMN: You’re not trying to work with anyone specifically.

Mayo: Even the same way with the producers, Kaytranada, Cashmere Cat, those are dope producers, but at the end of the day I’m just going to put out my music and then what happens, happens. I’m not really begging—not in a cocky way—if it’s gonna come it’s gonna come. I’m going to put it out for people and we’ll see who wants to collaborate. I’m definitely more about finding the right people to work with and those who push boundaries.

TMN: As far as influences go though, is there anyone that inspires you at all?

Mayo: Oh, definitely. Kanye is definitely a big influence on me, not in the sense of me dropping out, but more in the sense of how he just doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about what the trend is now, he’s more about pushing it forward and he doesn’t care what people think, he’s going to do it his way. I feel like more of his mentality in his music in that way is so dope to me.

Man, I still bump all his old shit. I honestly bump his old shit more than his new shit. I definitely would say, again not dissing Kanye now, but those first three albums that’s what really influenced me. I’m really stuck in that phase of listening to the music sonically, because everything he did in those three albums from the live instrumentation to what he was talking about to the people he was working with, everything was so next level. Last night I was just bumping his song with Keyshia Cole, “Impossible”, and I totally forgot about that track. I was listening to it and I was like oh my gosh I forgot how dope this song was! So definitely that early 2000’s Kanye was a big inspiration for me.

TMN: What’s one quality you think you share with a ninja?

Mayo: I’m really big into subtlety. I guess you can say that’s the same thing with stealth. Ninjas have to have stealth mode, they have to move quietly whether they’re trying to take out a target or get something. I definitely think I share that quality of stealth and share that quality of subtlety, because I like to move quietly. I don’t talk a lot on social media, I don’t brag a lot. I’m more of a ‘you’ll see it when it happens’ type person. I’m more of an actions than talking type person. I don’t like talking about stuff.

TMN: You like to let the music do the talking for you.

Mayo. Exactly, and I feel like a lot of people don’t do that nowadays. It’s all about who has the best aesthetic. Everyone’s more focused on the wrong things instead of the music. The music is what matters at the end of the day. Obviously the way that the industry is setup, they want to be able to sell you, they want you to have this sort of image, but at the end of the day the music is what matters. I’m all about letting the music speak for itself. I’m definitely on stealth mode as a ninja. You’ll see the actions but you won’t hear about it unless it’s from somebody else. I’m not going to be here bragging about anything.


Mayo’s Shuriken Six

Each month we ask our spotlight artists to tell us which artists or songs they can’t get out of their heads at the moment. This is known as their “Shuriken Six.”

’Sydney Jay – SamePage (Prod. BNJMN)’
’IBOK : Kali’
’Post Malone – Too Young (Prod. FKi, The MeKanics, And Justin Mosely)’
’Future – March Madness (Prod by Tarantino)’
’Phantogram – Fall In Love’
’Appleby… – BITTER BOY Feat. Anthony White (prod. Illyland)’

We’d like to thank Mayo for graciously agreeing to be our Hip-Hop Dojo spotlight artist for the month of May. Continue on to the next page to check out our May 2015 playlist!



You already know the drill. The Hip-Hop Dojo playlist is your spot to find all the best tracks from the last month. Press play, and make sure to follow us on SoundCloud so you can take the playlist with you on the go. If you’d like to be included in next month’s playlist, direct your submissions to either Baseer or Ash and please mention “Hip-Hop Dojo” in the subject.

’kevin abstract – silicon valley (prod. by romil)’
’The O’My’s – Peace of Mind Ft. Mick Jenkins & Jayln (Prod. The O’My’s & Carter Lang)’
’STS x RJD2 – Good Guys Anthem’
’Brown – HeyHeyHey! (Prod. By D. Holt)’
’Kings Dead – Extroversion’
’Camp Lo – Sunglasses’
’Wes Period – Champagne Champion’
’Bardo – Longboard (prod. Bardo & James Treichler)’
’duzzo dave – SWAY (feat. mickey factz) (prod. sam gouthro)’
’DreanFlights – My World (Produced by DreanFlights)’
’Gregory Lake – Saturday Blues (demo)’
Low Life’s’
’Rich Jones – W.o.W (Feat Supa Bwe)’
’The O’My’s & Encyclopedia Brown – THE BLUNT (Prod. The O’My’s + C. Lang)’
’Phil Swish – The Veil (Feat. Paris Ambrea)’
’Ric Wilson – Fake Roses & Real Lust (feat. Malcolm London) (Prod. Cam/Da P)’
’Tive – Ashes’
’m a v o – Anmly ( Prod. Goombah )’
’Tru Sound – Eribus (Prod. Jamael Dean)’
’Russ – Lapped (Prod. Russ)’
’Michael Sneed – AND (Prod. by Michael Sneed)’
’Olu – Nostalgia (Produced by Mndsgn)’
’Two Time – Blue Haze feat. Mani Coolin, Hardaway Smith & FreeAckrite (prod. David Bait)’
’Hefna Gwap – WHAT U NEED (prod. BlueDot)’
’Two Fresh – Gettin Throwed Ft. Towkio & Joey Purp’
’Tyler Thomas – Mandatory (Prod. The Stereotypes)’
’20syl – Copycat feat Fashawn’
’Michael Christmas – Home ft. Royal’
’Micah Freeman – Lightning’
’ShowYouSuck – LOVE PMA (rough) PRODUCED BY @HydroxJaxx’
’Jarvis Hodges – Ball Out (Prod. by Medasin)’
’brandUn DeShay – Sunrise in Yokohama feat. Stro (Astronomical Kid) & Cam Meekins (Prod. brandUn DeShay)’
’dopeSMOOTHIES – Stacker II (Prod. Canis Major)’
’Wasiu – Picture Imperfect (prod. by A$AP P On The Boards)’
’Terrence Spectacle – Night Owl (Prod by Larce Blake & Medasin)’
’Christian Deshun. – Freestyle Sessions With Aaliyah. Feat. Da Deputy.’
’Jetson – Baked (prod. top$)’
’OthaSoul – The Sickness’
’Bishop Nehru – Bishy In Japan 16 (Knowing Nothing) (Prod. by BudaMunk)’
’Nyck Caution – World In Your Pocket ft. Joey Bada$$ (Prod. by Chuck Strangers)’
’Case Arnold – As The World Turns (feat. Ace Cosgrove) (Prod. by Shepard)’
’Dessy Hinds – Homecoming (Prod. by Statik Selektah)’
’Skyzoo – Luxury (feat. Westside Gunn)’
’Remy Banks – the function. (feat. World’s Fair & D.R.A.M)’
’Your Old Droog X Statik Selektah – Unlimited Metrocard’
’Statik Selektah – Go Time (feat. Action Bronson) (produced by Statik Selektah)’
’KEMBE X – Hereditary (2 Bitches) Ft. Danny Brown’
’DJ Premier x BMB Spacekid ft. Anderson .Paak – Til Its Done’
’Steve Cantrell – Willie Mays (Prod. By Tone Jonez)’
’Kweku Collins – Your Song (prod by Odd Couple)’
’Allan Kingdom – Mandela’
’Duckwrth X The Kickdrums – Naruto’
’Lil Bibby – Better Dayz f Lil Herb’
’Al Fatir – Stranger (Feat. Jaye Michelle)(Prod. Aviles)’
’The Nameless Vagrant – Tossing Swords ft. Yoh The Shaolin (prod. ONEHALFHUMAN)’
’Havana Seoul – Nagasaki Nuke Remix (Feat. Joey Green & Jay IDK)’
’Loaf Tembo – Zen (feat. Tre’ Amani)’
’Manga Saint Hilare – The Screaming Continues Prod @Ozziebeats’
’Lucki Eck$ – LOWLIFE (PROD. LUCKI X) (X)’
’Ars Nova – FLUID’
’Money Makin’ Nique – My Side FT Jace of Two9 Produced by HitBoy’
’Jerz – Mirror Mirror (Freestyle)’
’Bones – FrenchTerryCloth’
’Feroz – 35xBeyoncé’
’Don Von – Touch Down (prod. by Kendox)’
’VNCHY – Down With Me (Prod. Prezident Jeff)’
’Hardaway Smith – Chad~ Paint Wet’
’Tre Capital – Perfect Timing (Prod. Syksense x OZ x Frank Dukes)’
’Max Wonders – Swim 44 (Prod. Tommy L’aviatore & Sowle)’
’cat soup – it’s just a few (+ bones)’
’Ran$ah – Thinkin Produced By Plu2o Nash’
’BANKX – Low’
’ScottyATL – Hella Straight Ft 1st (Prod by FKI)’
’Bloque – Purple’
’Gravez – Rapture feat. JAHKOY’
’Waldo – Search (prod. Mozaic)’
’Yung Fusion x Rascal – Blackout
’Chaz French – 100 ft. Eddie Vanz (prod. by YOG$)’
’Danny Seth – Never Forget Feat. Jimmy Johnson (Prod. Zach Nahome)’
’Rocks – Andromalius Freestyle (Prod. By Rocks FOE)’
’Vince Staples – Señorita (Produced by Christian Rich)’
’Cousin Stizz – No Bells (Prod. By DumDrumz)’
’ILOVEMAKONNEN – Super Chef (Prod. GOLD)’
’Earlly Mac ft. Trinidad James – Be ok (prod by: IcePic & Ru)’
’Leather Corduroys – HAVE U EVA ft. Vic Mensa(prod. Ikaz Boi and Myth Syzer)’
’Mvrvxl X Mic Vic – The Drill’
’Tory Lanez
Ric Flair Feat. Rory Trustory (Prod. By Lavish x Play Picasso x Tory Lanez)’
’LVX feat. Yung Fusion – Bounce’
’King Rosè – Everything’s Lit’
’Bk Bambino – Do What I Want (Prod. By Shaan Mehta)’
’Lionsolgod – Hustle Grind ft Kasey Jones ( prod. by: Benky )’
’TroyBoi – Do You ft. Armani White (Remix)’



This is a selection of our favorite mixtapes from the previous month. These can be overlooked gems or highly anticipated projects that surpassed the hype. Either way, they’re all worth checking out.



Artist: Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment

Sounds like: An assembly of artists united wtih the common goal of making probably one of the most forward-thinking, and highly anticipated, hip-hop projects of all time.


’Just Wait – Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment’




Artist: Lucki Eck$

Sounds like: The same introspective, confessional and Xan’d out Lucki we’re used to but with continued growth and lyricism. At times, Lucki fully exits his haze and delivers crisper, quicker-hitting rhymes than we’re used to further expanding on a niche all his own.


’Lucki Eck$ – Still Steal ft. Ransah (PROD. PLU2O NASH)’


AGE 101_Drop 4

Age 101: Drop 4

Artist: Little Simz

Sounds like:Little Simz is on an absolute mission to be herself and do exactly what she wants with her music and life. An incredible aura of determination surrounds this project.


’LIttle Simz – Guess Who (Ft. Tilla, Josh Arcé & Chuck20) (Prod. Sigurd)’



Nehruvia: The Nehruvian EP

Artist: Bishop Nehru

Sounds like: Yet another young emcee coming out of Brooklyn with bars far beyond his years. Nehru’s worked with DOOM and Disclosure already but this project really showcases his abilities on his own.


’Bishop Nehru – MellowWithMe’


2001 odyssey

2001 Odyssey

Artist: Broderick Batts

Sounds like: Forward-thinking, dynamic production, backing vocals that alternate between melodious flows and hard-hitting bars. A great representation of trends in production and hip-hop in general.


’Broderick Batts – Diggin’ To China (Prod. Chloe Martini)’



The Red EP

Artist: Micah Freeman

Sounds like: A versatile emcee rapping over 4×4 dance beats second only to maybe Goldlink in that cutting-edge combo.


’Micah Freeman – The Red Ft Father’



Tax Free

Artist: OG Maco

Sounds like: As all over the place as any rapper you’ll find, OG Maco creates a hazy brand of trap with some help from producer Pablo Dylan on his latest project.


’OG Maco – VANITY’




Artist: Remy Banks

Sounds like: Gritty, yet distinctly groovy, east coast raps with beats ranging from old school hip-hop to funk to jazz.


’Remy Banks – higher. (feat. Erick Arc Elliot)’




Artist: Bones

Sounds like: Lo-fi, minimalistic and sometimes psychedelic productions paired with strange, sleepy lyricism–as is status quo for Bones.


’Bones – DeadPixel’


Penny Raps

Penny Raps

Artist: Ric Wilson

Sounds like: Top notch, forward-thinking production combined with an overwhelmingly positive spirit–perfect for summer time.


’Ric Wilson – Think Of Me (feat. Mutiny) (Prod. Tom Misch)’


WOVE: Trials & Triumphs (EP)

Artist: Phil Swish

Sounds like: Uniquely soulful bars and singing with interesting song composition and chilled-out production.


’Phil Swish – Longevity’


Crucifixion Slug Christ

The Crucifixion of Rapper Extraordinaire, Slug Christ

Artist: Slug † Christ

Sounds like: A perfect representation of the ridiculously strange world of Atlanta’s Awful Records, mixing heavy-hitting, 808-laden beats with absurd, introspective raps.


’Slug † Christ – They Ask Me (prod. KCSB)’


Novelty Gone

Novelty Gone

Artist: Phorensicz

Sounds likeHeavy, honest and personal rhymes from a Kentucky emcee presented in a digestible way.


’Phorensicz – Nostalgic Summer ft. Aarren Reeves & Matty Ritch prod. by MKSB’




Artist: Latrell James

Sounds like: Latrell James continues to impress with his ability to navigate a variety of beats while maintaining a cohesive aesthetic.


’Latrell James – W.I.L.L’


Top Drawer

Top Drawer

Artist: Andre Damar

Sounds like: Distinctly smooth, west coast influences colliding with heavy percussion and a powerful, versatile voice.


’Andre Damar – Past Tense  (Prod By Tunesmith)’


816 AM

8:16 AM

Artist: Jay-Rel

Sounds like: Wavy beats and a laid-back, yet agile, delivery from a talent repping Kansas City–definitely putting his city on the map.


’Jay Rel – Right Now (8:16 Am)’


Pigeons & Waffles

Pigeons & Waffles EP

Artist: Rich Jones

Sounds like: Soulful soundscapes crafted by producer Montana Macks accompanied by bars from Rich Jones to match that makes for easy, summer listening that stands up well against his Windy City compatriots.


’Rich Jones – Sound Check’




Artist: Vonny Del Fresco

Sounds like: Yet another introspective and forward-thinking project to emerge from a burgeoning Milwaukee hip-hop scene.


’Vonny Del Fresco – Paradise (prod. CassKidd)’
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