The Lessondary FINALLY released their album “Ahead of Schedule” on HipNOTT records and today we get more visuals from the record. Per Don Will’s Twitter, I stumbled across the new video for their song “Fool Proof Plan”. This time Von Pea, Rob Cave, Che Grand and DonWill step up to the plate over this AEON beat. If you like, you can stream and buy “Ahead of Schedule” HERE.
Humble Beast artist Propaganda released his LP “Crimson Cord” a couple years ago and now we’re getting visuals for my favorite track “How Did We Get Here”. Filmed while on tour this joint features Andy Mineo on the hook and a stellar verse from J Givens. Peep it above and you can download Propaganda’s album “Crimson Cord” for free HERE.
Ill Poetic has been busy, starting his own label Definition Music, producing all of Red Pill’s upcoming sophomore album “Instinctive Drowning” and to top it all off a new EP entitled “The Silhouette Project“. To bring in this EP he’s provided visuals for “Silhouette”. And these aren’t your usual visuals, there’s a story being told in this from the beginning. Make sure you stick around til the end of the video though because the live jam session will have you fiending for the rest of Ill Po’s EP.
A couple weeks ago I gave you the first single from MP Ancient and Grungy Boguez LP “No Expiration Date”. Today I have the second single titled “Powder Keg” from the duo except this time MP brings along a couple members from his Scribbling Idiot crew in Cas Metah, JustMe and Theory Hazit. All of them rip the track from the beat, to the lyrics from this four man cypher. Check it below and be on the lookout for “No Expiration Date” coming soon.
Nolan the Ninja, just released his debut album “he[art]” earlier this month, to go with that we have more visuals. Today I have “abyss” from the Detroit native and this time he taps Red Pill in what I consider to be the best hair collab I’ve seen in a minute. Both go in with sharp lyricism complimenting each other over a beat by 5ynot. Peep above and if you like make sure you go out and buy Nolan the Ninja’s “he[art]”.
JAHSHOOTA of nasa8 just released his beat tape “Latch2Wax” and to go with that tape we have visuals for the track “Damn Gurl”. This joint features Fonlon (also of nasa8) under the moniker Chrome Face. Jah, brings soulful sounds while, Fonlon’s verse is the opposite and has more of a darker tone to it. Either way, I’ve had this video on repeat and you should too. Peep the video above and if you like you can stream, Jahshoota’s “Latch2Wax” below and download it for free.
Red Pill bursted on the scene with the Ugly Heroes debut a couple years back and since signing to Mello Music Group his grind hasn’t stopped. After putting out his solo debut “Look What This World Did To Us” he’s back with a new solo LP entitled “Instinctive Drowning”. Dedicated to his mother and his great grandmother, Red Pill continues his honest narrative of what he’s experienced up to this point. Before this post turns into a review, today I have the first single “F*ck Your Ambition” which features P.O.S from Doomtree. Production on this record is done by Ohio native Ill Poetic who brings another dimension to Pill’s story with live instrumentation and an array of diverse sounds. “Instinctive Drowning” drops August 26th on Mello Music Group.
Ilajide is from Detroit supergroup Clear Soul Forces and in preparation for his debut album “Heet Tape” he’s giving us five weeks of “Heet”. Today I have Week One, which comes with the single “Who I Be” and two instrumentals both produced by Ilajide himself. You can stream all three tracks from Week One below and if you like what you hear, the joint is free to download. Keep it locked here for updates on Ilajide’s Heet Tape and Clear Soul Forces.
Mutual Intentions is a conglomerate based out of Osla, Norway. Consisting of a number of artists including Ivan Ave, Fredfades, Yogisoul and more. The group is getting set to release their second compilation album “#2” and today I have the first single starring Ivan Ave called “Machines”. Ivan taps mndsgn to bring yet another jazzy track and as always the Norway native comes correct with sharp lyricism and wisdom. The two connected earlier in the year with their LP “Helping Hands” and “Machines” fits perfectly as an extension.Peep the joint below and be ready Mutual Intentions “#2” coming soon.
Hip-Hop has garnered a reputation over the years for being about the money, about the recognition, the women, hypermasculinity etc. However that can’t be all there is to it right, there has to be another side to this. Enter Ugly Heroes. Red Pill, Verbal Kent and Apollo Brown have returned to bless us with another installment of real music for your Monday-Friday work week (Saturday and Sunday if like me you have to work weekends). Since their original self-titled LP from 2013, the group released a self-titled EP and did an international tour, Red Pill dropped two EPs and his debut solo record “Look What This World Did To Us”, Verbal Kent dropped 3 LPs collaborating with the likes of Torae, 9th Wonder, Illmind and more. Lastly to round the group out Apollo Brown dropped two solo LPs and dropped a project with the legendary Ras Kass. After all those achievements things are still Ugly for this trio. Let’s dive into their sophomore effort “Everything in Between”.
“Everything in Between” I felt was a fitting name for this record because Verbal Kent and Red Pill connect some of the dots from their last record while also speaking on what’s happened during these last three years. What caught me off guard from the jump was that the intro track “Today Right Now” had more of a lighter tone than how their debut started (peep “Desperate” if you’re not hip). Apollo Brown brings a more lighthearted beat to kick this off and Pill and Kent speak on the idea of living life now while you’re alive. We never know when we’ll be forced to leave this life.
Immediately after “Today Right Now” we’re back to what we love about Ugly Heroes, they’re going through some of the same things we are. With songs like “Peace of Mind” we get Kent and Pill reminiscing over those they’ve lost and opening the door to their lives up to this point. Red Pill and Verbal Kent have shown time and time again that they can pull you into their world and show the struggle in life that we can all relate to. Other tracks like “Daisies” “Roles” call upon us to not only reflect on the issues that are posed in our society, but also call upon us to play a part in the change that we want to see.
We can’t talk about Ugly Heroes without talking about Apollo Brown’s production on this record. I’ve seen a lot of complaints as of late that Apollo’s been doing the exact same thing for years. I can see where this argument could be made because we still get the vinyl crackle, we still get the drums taken out for a split second after 8 bars of a verse. But if you’re to compare Apollo’s work from The Left, to “Clouds”, from “Make Do” to “Dice Game” you have to take into account that there are very different vibes on each project. For Ugly Heroes it’s not about bangers (though tracks like “Choir Practice” and “Force Fed” are exceptions), Apollo will get you in your feelings one minute and then ready to throw up a middle finger to the world the next. Apollo Brown provides the proper soundscape for Red Pill and Verbal Kent to express the stresses and struggles of life.
My favorite part of Ugly Heroes is where Red Pill and Verbal Kent dive deep and paint a vivid picture of their current struggle and how their past still affects them. “Unforgiven” lays it all out there for the listener. The latter has my favorite Verbal Kent verse I’ve heard, he speaks on people who have done wrong by him (an attempted murder, a guilt trip and a robbery). However he comes to realization that none of those events had anything to do with the other and the biggest step is releasing the grudge and choosing to forgiveness.
Ugly Heroes is here to relate to the listener, they deal with the same struggles that we do. They may be hip-hop artists, they may have travelled the world, but at the end of the day they’re working just like us. They see the issues our society has and speaks out against them. At 14 tracks “Everything In Between” showcases a group continuing to grow. The progress and growth of Red Pill and Verbal Kent on the mic is evident and Apollo Brown still makes upper echelon beats for you to break your neck to. “Everything In Between” is currently my favorite album of 2016, if you want slappin’ boom bap beats with a diversity of lyrical content to get you through your work week. Ugly Heroes is the group for you.