I was just chilling going about my day when I was recently informed by Amanda Mester of Ambrosia For Heads that Albert Johnson aka Prodigy has passed away at the age of 42. According to multiple sources Prodigy was hospitalized a couple days ago after a show in Vegas. Causes of his death are still unknown. Prodigy is easily one of the best to ever touch a mic. Rest In Peace Prodigy. Check out a couple joints below.
Amińe, XXXTentacion, Kamaiyah, and Ugly God are some of the hit ringers for the 2017 XXL Freshmen Class As stated by their official Twitter, the wait is over!
The 2017 XXL Freshmen Class consists of the following: Kamaiyah, from the Bay Area (and another woman rapper to add to the legacy of the freshmen Class); A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie of the Bronx; Philadelphia’s PnB Rock; Tokyo representer Madeintyo; Atlanta’s own Playboi Carti; Aminé from Portland; Kap G, another rapper from ATL; Ventura, California’s s Kyle; Ugly God from Houston, TX and finally XXXTentacion.
Come back to Dead End Hip Hop as we give you more in-depth coverage on this stunning cast.
New York emcee Kamron Bahani splashed onto the scene a couple months ago with his debut single “Depersonalization”. With that his potential and high ceiling were recognized, last week the emcee released his debut tape “DSM VI”. On it he covers multiple angles and facets of mental illness. I had a chance to sit down with Bahani and talk about the motivation behind the tape, how he got into hip-hop and what’s coming next in the form of his debut LP.
Dead End Hip Hop: Who is Kamron Bahani for those who don’t know?
Kamron Bahani: An individual who tries to encompass creativity and inspiration. I’m a 23-year old who’s been doing the rap thing for about 10 years now, and all I do is read. Somewhat of a nerd in the field oh philosophy & psychology.
DEHH: How did you get involved with hip-hop?
KB: Damn, I can never forget; I was living in Alabama & my neighborhood was prevalent in cook outs. It was ’97 and someone was playing SouthernPlayalisticCadillacMuzik. Right then & there it felt like an innate interest. I was 4 years old, but then I went to listen to a whole plethora of rap, understand the dynamics and paradigms, after that, it became pure passion.
DEHH: Now “DSM VI” is your first tape/project and you picked a pretty heavy subject matter to get your point across why that for your first project?
KB: Yeah, the subject matter is heavy, but the relevance of this project is to somewhat help listeners understand how serious mental disorders are. I try to do it in the most enticing way possible so the thematic approach can dig into their subconscious while they consciously appreciate the music. A little Freudian.
DEHH: How did the idea of “DSM VI” come about?
KB: I was diagnosed with OCD a few years back, and after that, I became intrigued. In “Depersonalization” in the beginning, where the voices are slowed down, I say, “seven inhabitants who are apprehensive to apprehend these average men/ one in every couple thousand men, or one in every ten men.” To me, that’s the whole thematic background of the EP, mental disorders can happen to anyone.
DEHH: Every track seems to have a different energy, a different personality as the listener goes on this six track journey. What was the idea behind giving these disorders personality?
KB: It was kind of relevant to the belief that everyone has a little bit of a mental disorder in them. For example, if a girl won’t text you back, you obsessively think about what she’s doing, anxiety is prevalent in every day situations. I made that feeling relatable to listeners.
DEHH: When people are done listening to “DSM VI” what do you want them to walk away with?
KB: I want them to feel however they feel, amalgams of emotion shape the human mind. Of course, I think that there’s a lot to admire on that tape. The most important facet of exposure to me is having someone know my name.
DEHH: Your flow and cadence I feel is unique and you’re tackling a lot of different tempos and styles here, what influenced that varied style in this tape?
KB: Outkast, Showbiz & AG, Big L, a lot of old school artists who paved the way for a generation; my true inspiration really came from being able to appreciate hip-hop for what it is. It’s expressionism in its purest form.
DEHH: Now “DSM VI” is only the beginning, what’s coming up next for Kamron Bahani?
KB: My LP “By The River” will be out on September 6th. I can’t wait for that.
DEHH: Can you give us a little bit of insight to “By The River?”
KB: Pretty much, it’s a chronicle of my life in accordance to my experiences which shaped my beliefs. Living in Alabama & the transition to New York is crucial in this project.
DEHH: Anything else before we get out of here?
KB: I want to thank everyone who supports me, one day I’m gonna make it; I don’t stop because OCD is my mental disorder. I don’t stop obsessing until I get it, and even then, it will never be good enough. You’ll see a lot more of me.
Mikeyy Austin is a leader at 20 years old, the Lansing, Michigan artist just released his debut album “L I F T E D” while tackling being a college student, while giving back to the community. I had a chance to sit down with him and talk about the process of making the album, being a leader in the community and more. “L I F T E D” holds such a positive sound in comparison to the rest of the hip-hop gambit right now and I encourage you all to give it a listen. Make sure you stick around til the end of the interview as Austin will be premiering his brand new video for come home.
Dead End Hip Hop: Who is Mikeyy Austin for those who don’t know yet?
Mikeyy Austin: MikeyyAustin is a 20 year old hip-hop and soul artist, musician, bandleader, and community builder from Lansing, Mi. Most of all, my identity can be found in the desire to leave an imprint in the lives of listeners and in the communities that I serve.
DEHH: One of the first things I noticed about you and definitely moreso once I put the whole package together, you’re a young buck, with a large vision.
MA: I would agree that I’m young with a big vision. Not having a lot makes you use your imagination and makes you dream.
One saying that has stuck with me over the years is “If the size of the vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, than it’s really insulting to you.”
That drives me to want to do more, be more, and reach more.
DEHH: And this mentality extends past the music too right?
MA: This vision goes far past Music. Music is something that I’ve been doing for a very long time. Although I’m young, I’ve been performing for the past 15 years. And while still in high school, I began to notice the influence and the voice I had because I did Music. So my goal has been to use Music as a way to express myself while connecting with others to uplift and encourage. At the same time, using that platform to give back. I don’t think you need to be rich to give back. I think it’s all about using the current platform you have to do so. Whether that’s being a college student, artist, or working a 9-5. I’m currently all three-in-one, so the way I use my musical platform to give back is a little different than how I use my platform as a student or an employee.
I understand that if my end goal is to uplift people, Music is a great way to do that, but it’s far from the only way.
DEHH: Let’s jump into the music, what sparked and motivated “L I F T E D”?
MA: The idea of L I F T E D has been on the tip of my tongue for about 9 months now. When I first decided to make any debut album and when I was in the writing process, I told myself I wanted to uplift listeners, whether they’re in a bad mood, or are already in a good mood. I wanted this project to make any listener level up.
So the albums initial name was “Oral tradition”, as I would attempt to tell a story life as a black child that grows into an adult.
I later decided to make it more personal, and to share my story in each song. And I performed a verse off of the last song, “Coming Home” ft Yellokake, at an open mic. And the audience responded afterwards telling me how uplifting of a message it was. That’s when I knew I would keep the title the same as the mission of the project.
DEHH: You’ve got a lot on your plate tell me a bit about the process of making this album while balancing all your other responsibilities?
MA: The process of creating the album went really smoothly while factoring in everything else I do. In fact, I’d say it complimented it at times. For me, I would go from school, to work, to the studio, where I recorded the whole album with YoungHeat. Between school, work, and just living in the small city of Lansing, I got to see a lot of things that sparked ideas, reminded me of my childhood, and that raised questions. Being able to journal those things throughout the day and turn those thoughts, ideas, and memories into 16’s drives the passion throughout the album. And once I began to get comfortable with the idea of the title being “L I F T E D”, I found myself on a lot of airplanes, traveling from Michigan to Virginia. I remember rehearsing verses the whole plane ride, and envisioning my lyrics could make people feel this ‘LIFTED’.
A lot of the responsibilities that I’ve faced in the past year really put me in a position to think and create based off of those thoughts.
DEHH: Everything from the sound to the lyricism on here is positive and upbeat, and challenging a lot of what is being thrown in our face right now talk a bit about that.
MA: Before anything else, Music is just fun for me. So being able to have upbeat music, live instrumentation, singers and other rappers create, it was such a fun challenge. And while working with YoungHeat on this album, we both had our own styles that meshed well together. But we were both okay with trying new things and challenging each other. So it started with the sound as the foundation. Heat would have ideas on some of the beats and I would add stuff from there. Other songs, I brought in my band and we created songs from scratch. Once that base was created, I would write the lyrics. I knew I wanted the theme to be uplifting, but there are so many different uplifting positions you can take while rapping. So I had to make sure the lyricism fit with the tone of the beat. And lastly, every song has some sort of feature. I knew I wanted to let other artist be apart of this project, so I kept different people in mind while writing and through the production process, to give them room to excel on the tracks.
Most of all, I wanted this album to be able to be played from beginning to end at like a family BBQ or a Block Party. I wanted it to be real, authentic, upbeat, and community oriented.
DEHH: What’s your favorite song on “L I F T E D”?
MA: it’s hard to give one so I’ll give three for different reasons.
Number 1. Coming Home ft Yellokake.
That’s the most vulnerable and open I’ve ever been on a song. I talked about my childhood, watching myself grow up but the people I came up with remain the same, deaths of loved ones, and social injustices we see nationally, and even something as close as the Flint, Mi, water crisis –
“We ain’t forgotten
Those names that’s hashtagged,
We mourn our losses.
We turn our faucets
While we drink water with caution.”
Being that open on a song kind of gives it a special place in your heart.
Number 2. The Griot ft. Phourthelove, James Gardin & Ozay Moore.
First, these are some of my favorite artist ever. Having them all on one track was crazy. This one has gotten the biggest response thus far, and the process of making it was fun. I remember sending the song to Phourthelove so he could do vocals on the hook with James. He forgot to send the vocals for the hook back and instead recorded a “freestyle”. He hit me up while he was in the studio listening to it saying, “bro I love this. I’m gonna record a freestyle now”. He sent it to me the same night and it was one of my favorite verses on the album. Between his verse and Ozay Moores verse, I felt it represented the title “The Griot” well.
(Griot is a west African word for storyteller). I wanted this song to be full of storytellers speaking from their own perspective.
Number 3. So High ft Taylor Taylor &a Stoop Lee
If you’ve listened to the album, you would have heard the voice memo before this track. That memo comes from a night where I invited about 12 rappers, singers, musicians and producers to the studio for a jam session. No real agenda, just to hang and create. I was playing the guitar in the voice memo, ‘Young-O’ came up with the melody, added with vocals from myself, stoop LEE, taylor taylor, James Gardin, and MilesYoung, I went home and turned the melody into a song. Being that free to create was a first for me. And doing it with friends made it my favorite song to make.
DEHH: Now you do a lot of work in the community as well, tell me a bit about Reo Town Sessions?
MA: Reo Town Sessions is a arts organization/ campaign I started in December of 2016. The goal was to highlight a local artist once a month, giving them a chance to present their art while interacting with the Lansing community. This is not specific to musical arts. We’ve highlighted dancers, photographers, poets, and more. While doing this, I was also able to put on concerts like “The Black Arts Matter Celebration”, where all proceeds went towards our ‘Arts Matter’ campaign, where we raised $4,000 in art scholarships for senior students continuing their education in the arts.
So we created a cycle of supporting local artist and giving them a platform to perform while giving towards the education of the next generation of artistic leaders.
My new video depicts us surprising students with scholarships earlier this month.
DEHH: What’s next for Mikeyy Austin? Will we see you on tour this year, will we eventually get a follow-up to “L I F T E D”?
MA: I am continuing to do live performances. Live shows is my favorite part of being an artist. I am to travel and perform more this summer, bringing an uplifting message to a city near you. I’m able to perform with my band, so my shows are pretty electric and memorable.
I am working on new Music as we speak, as well as new content and new messages. A follow up is over the horizon, but I can’t give it a date quite yet.
Mainly, I plan on doing everything at a higher level in the near future. Music, performances, community work, etc. I’m all about improving and growth. L I F T E D is an amazing body of work, no bias. I want the world to hear it and love it the way I do. But I also know that it’s all up from here.
DEHH: I heard you brought a video for me, tell me about it.
MA: On May 22, 2017, the Reo Town Sessions crew and I went to all of the Lansing School District High schools (Eastern, Sexton, and Everett). We surprised students with art scholarships and a few other gifts such as a free senior photoshoot.
This meant a lot to me because I graduated from Eastern High School just 3 years ago.
Along with that, my favorite song on the album is “Coming Home”. That’s because community means so much to me, and I love the place I call home. That’s why I decided to dedicate that song to Lansing. Mi. So it only made sense to put the song I dedicated for the city with actions for the city.
I hope that this video encourages, inspires and uplifts. I hope the images and the lyrics translates to viewers and listeners. And ultimately, I hope it inspires someone to be the change in their community.
What’s In the News
- Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” is a meme. http://bit.ly/2qXHaP5
- Action Bronson pissed at label over album. http://bit.ly/2ql8Rxx
- Gucci Mane dropping Drop Top Wop this Friday, May 26th. http://bit.ly/2qXqtkS
- Heavy D was born. Listen to our favorite songs on our Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/deadendhiphop/playlist/6IgsYiCr4ae4YJoZrXc10x
- Beastie Boyz released ill Communication on May 24, 1994.
- Jeru the Damaja released The Sun Rises in the East on May 24, 1994.
- Compton’s Most Wanted dropped It’s A Compton Thang on May 24, 1990.
Song of the Day
Shabazz Palaces – Since C.A.Y.A.
Conway & DJ Green Lantern – Reject on Steriods
In case you’ve been under a rock…anime has been a very prevalent part of hip-hop culture, especially in the past few years. No other anime has been more popular amongst most hip-hop artists than Dragon Ball Z. Now, Dragon Ball Z may not be your favorite anime, but no one can deny how seamlessly it has integrated itself into some of our favorite rappers punchlines. For example, Lupe Fiasco said “I push Ki like Dragon Ball Z, know what I’m sayin’?”, Joey Bada$$ said “Got Dragon Balls (draggin’ balls) like my name was Vegeta”, and Robb Bank$ said “I’m Babidi, you Majin Vegeta I’ll put some M’s on ya head”. My point is, anime and hip-hop will always mix.
Anyway, I happened to scroll down my Twitter timeline, minding my business and then BAM…
Enter 15 year old artist @TheWrightAr. This is the coolest art I’ve seen in a while. This Dragon Ball Z inspired piece of art includes a lot of my favorites, such as Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Future, DJ Khaled (!!!!!), 2 Chainz and Thugger. This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while! Y’all go show the young man some love with a retweet and a favorite. Ask him nicely and he’ll let you use it as a header too. Go through the picture and see if you can spot your favorite rappers.
What’s In the News
- Kanye West to executive produce Kacy Hill’s new album: http://buff.ly/2qS69n8
- Drake and Tory Lanez squash beef. http://buff.ly/2qS32vs
- Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, refused to tell Senators whether Trump asked him to push back against the Russian investigation of the 2016 presidential election. The news was first reported on the Washington Post. – http://buff.ly/2qRWY65
- ISIS takes credit for Ariana Grande concert attack in Manchester, England. http://buff.ly/2qS37iK
- Iggy Azalea coming back? New album Digital Distortion announced. http://buff.ly/2qS4oWQ
- Donald Trumps proposed budget cuts Medicaid even though Trump promised not to cut it. Here’s the Washington Post breakdown of his budget proposal: http://buff.ly/2rPZQha
- Zach Snyder steps away from Justice League to deal with family matters. http://buff.ly/2qS5cuQ
- Vanity Fair released four covers featuring the cast of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. http://buff.ly/2qgPk0V
- It sold 1.76 million it’s first week.
- It was the fastest-selling rap album right since Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle which dropped in 1993.
- The Marshall Mathers LP won a Grammy for Best Rap Album and was nominated for Album of the Year in 2001.
- The album was subject to controversy behind it’s violent lyrics towards women and homophobic content.
- Facts, B – http://buff.ly/2qRWZaf
- What Makes a Rapper Great? – http://buff.ly/2qMqWrP
- Young Thug is Glam Rock – http://buff.ly/2qMuTwJ
Troy Ave dropping a new mixtape:
Motivational Message / Announcement 2 my Fans cause y’all the only 1s i Care bout: Never worry bout Anything u can’t control, politics, haters, people etc. all that’s gon do is let u down! Jus trust that ya boi is 100% independent! I own and Run #BSBRecords & I control my music! Not only the Quality but the Quantity that I put out. And can’t nobody fuk wit ya boi when it come 2 dropping the most hot shit the most consistently. (6 projects in 11 months) I know all yall, my fans / supporters aka #ThaRealOnes are riding wit me harder than ever! and while ya boi may not have all the notoriety & fame yet trust me we leveling up slowly but surely! some wanna make me “infamous” but that’s the devils work, we doing GODs work! remember all the people that wasn’t fukin wit my music? Not because they heard it and didn’t like it but jus because they let someone with a negative hidden agenda influence they opinion, or how bout the people who didn’t know about me until Y’all put them on? Now they coming back to u like Yo I can’t front ya boi Troy Ave is Dope! That’s Cause Consistency is the Key to success! I said all that to say GOD kept me here 4 a reason and I feel like 1 of my purposes is to Lead by example & show yall wit my actions that thru hard work dedication & faith u can accomplish anything u want in Life!! So 4 Ya’ll I’m dropping This 🚨Spread Tha Word🚨 Friday 5/26/17 (Mixtape) #TroyAveStyle4Free 💯 Luv Yall P.S if somebody got 5x more money than you, jus work 5xs more than them eventually you’ll catch up! Artwork By @vacapri Photo By @southbronxshooter (What beats y’all Wanna hear me Rap On?)
2Chainz reveals the new release date for ‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music’
6 / 16 A post shared by 2 Chainz Aka Tity Boi (@hairweavekiller) on
Trailer for Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s The Defiant Ones dropped:
Bryson Tiller’s tracklist to ‘True to Self’ album:
tracklist ✔️#TruetoSelf A post shared by @brysontiller on
What’s the Word?
Song of the Day
Future – Mask Off (ft. Kendrick Lamar)
Kur – 180
Dumbfounded – Foreigner
Jimi Tents – I Can’t Go Home
Stixx – The 100th and Central EP
Career Crooks (Zilla Rocca x Small Professor) – Good Luck With That
Dope Knife – FUCK
Lord Sakima is back. Coming from his Dark Summer EP to give us another five track project called the “Blood Moon EP.” It’s a dark, mellow, intimate spin through many subjects through the eyes of Sakima.
Immediately from the get-go, the tone and vibe across the songs are all tightly knit and never stray’s too far away from the overall sound of the project. Totes provides relaxing and steady production as Sakima raps and shows his bravado rhyming off. He doesn’t let up over the two minutes and thirty, he’s letting you into his world and all that it entails. From the way his squad and himself move to the get their job done and make something of themselves with music and relationships. Ain’t Enough finds Sakima increasing the tempo and aggressiveness in his rapping complimented with the hook “It ain’t enough”. The production from meltycanon keep a ominous aura around the track as Sakima raps not being satisfied with where he’s at and what he has so he’s continuously pushing to reach levels of fame and comfort where he can finally relax.
Know What I Mean has the honor of being the single for the album and it fits right into the themes and feel of the album. It’s dark, grounds Sakima with his clear wordplay and personal tales in his rapping. The production from Marcus Dominic allows him to get everything off his chest in a clear way that let’s you hear the beat and not get overwhelmed with Sakima as he doesn’t let up. It covers some range with him providing us some hype moments as the song continues, Sakima stunting with some verses, and maintaining his voice throughout the track.
French Avenues is the slowest and most polarizing song out of the five tracks and the only track to have features. It’s a song that has submerged like vocals, Danger Incorporated and GwaiMak bring different touches that compliment the overall package. Sakima is calm and cooler, more R&B focused than previous songs given the slow sounding and calm flow of the song. It’s a interlude of sorts of a somewhat audible clip that’s not recognizable before Sakima returns to finish with quick verses. The song could’ve been chopped down in length because by the time he comes back it begins to overstay the welcome with the long wait of soaking in the production and seeing if you’re waiting for the next song or something more.
The final song, Car Dealerships features Sakima’s spin on Calvin Harris song Slide through a sample and it’s performed by GwaiMak from the previous song. He adds to the flow and the type of energy you can add to a summertime track. It’s slower, more melodic, and fits into his range and what’s come before. At some points the sample and Gwai blend together but not enough to deter the song from how it sounds.
Lord Sakima gives us a short burst of energy with his Blood Moon EP, it’s a look into his views and personal life across songs that strike the “short and sweet” nerve all the while never losing his way or his sound. Blood Moon EP is a project that has room for improvement but Lord Sakima maintains his path for a successful project.
Mixed/Mastered by @thatmanapollo
What’s In The News
- G.O.O.D. Friday 2? Mass Appeal thinks so. https://massappeal.com/kanye-west-good-friday-pusha-t-wyoming/
- Nas’s album is almost done per his brother Jungle via Instagram.
- Treach defends Tupac’s legacy. http://ambrosiaforheads.com/2017/05/treach-tupac-beef-wack-100/
- OG Maco is charging for Soundcloud reposts. http://djbooth.net/news/entry/2017-05-22-og-maco-soundcloud-reposts
- Add2 talks about the Power of Music in TedTalk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_txvu0PDUqs
- FBI Investigating Ja Rule. http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2017/05/22/fbi-ja-rule-fyre-festival-scam/
- Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: Bad Boy Documentary trailer released:
Erick B and Rakim’s “Let The Rhythm Hit Em” turns 27. Here are some fun facts:
- Large Professor became the producer on the album after his protege Paul C was murdered in 1989.
- Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em received a 5-mic review from the Source.
- The title track was the second single and peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs.
What’s the Word?
- Are Leaks Good? http://www.thefader.com/2017/05/19/are-music-leaks-good-or-bad-for-fans-discussion
- Confessions of an MP3 Blogger http://www.thefader.com/2017/05/22/mp3-blogs-oral-history-illroots-cocaine-blunts-transparent-visitation-rites
Song of the Day
Montana of 300 – Don’t Doubt the God
Renz Young – More Than Enough
Deniro Farrar – Guilty Until Proven Innocent
What’s In The News
A Tribe Called Quest cancelled a few of their upcoming European dates du to Q-Tip’s shoulder injury. Ice Cube will replace ATCQ. http://buff.ly/2q4IY4V
The Notorious B.I.G.’s Brooklyn Mural will be destroyed. The Biggie mural was painted on the side of an apartment building in Bed-Stuy on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Quincy Street. Samuel Berkowitz, the owner, plans on removing the mural to create windows for the apartments and increase rent. http://buff.ly/2qzJWtu
FCC Votes to roll back Net Neutrality. In spite of dozens of protesters, in a 2-1 vote, the FCC’s Republicans voted to loosen the regulations on the industry. Net Neutrality basically fights to keep equal treatment among internet providers to help avoid “fast lanes.” This is something we should pay attention to as we all could end up paying more money for internet access. http://buff.ly/2qzXg11
Jack White to release children’s book titled “We’re Going to Be Friends.” The story is inspired by The White Strips song of the same name and will tell the sotry of Suzy Lee journey at school. Elinor Blake is providing the illustrations. http://buff.ly/2qzOUGs
Logic tells the backstory of how he got J. Cole on his third studio album ‘Everybody.’ http://buff.ly/2q1pKh9
- It opened the week as the No.1 album on Billboard 200. It sold 251,000 copies it’s first week and is now quadruple Platinum.
- Jay Z boycotted the Grammy’s after It’s Dark and Hell is Hot was not nominated for Best Rap Album.
- Beezy doesn’t like DMX.
- DMX inspired Kendrick Lamar to become a rapper.