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Thursday, May 28, 2015

[New Interviews] Cory Kendrix || GoDJ Knowledge

Cory Kendrix




As a singer-songwriter, producer and emcee, what is your mindset lately when it comes to making music? What are some of your recent influences?

Lately when I go into creative mode, I've been taking a lot of influence from the people I surround myself with in the studio and the vibe that's set while we're working. I have a tendency to not listen to much new stuff (outside of the crew shit) while working on a project so I can stay as original to our sound as possible but I'm always bumpin the oldies in the car (OutKast, Little Brother, J-Dilla, Do or Die, etc). I've been on some weird indie shit lately, jammin Anna's vinyl collection in the mornings with my son so that's opened my mind to different soundscapes for sure! Shoutout to Modest Mouse and Radiohead for gettin my day started off right, haha.

Who were some of the first people in the game who showed you love when you started rapping? 

MAAAAAYNE! So many people to name and so many stories to tell, haha! First and foremost, my brothers Kydd and Tank really showed me the ropes to the rap shit in like 8th or 9th grade but probably even more importantly was their little brother Slim (Randy); he was my right hand man when I first started out! Me, Slim, Dijon and Staci Russell use to sit in my walk-in closet at like age 14 and record all day on Acid Pro over industry beats on a shitty ass computer mic with a sock wrapped around it, haha... that's where I really first got my feet wet. We were going by Southern Boy ENT back then way before it switched to LNS and my old rap name was Yung Dru, haha. Then Staci introduced me to Y2JJ around the same time back when it was still Phillies Beats (before Pick Ya Poison) and I would basically just sit in his studio all day and stand over his shoulder and watch this fool make beat after beat and that got me started on the production side of things. He's always been a Super Producer so that really helped me figure out how to manipulate sounds and try different shit. Soon after that Kydd, Scott Pace, Wayne Stax and myself started working at an old local studio ATX Productions (Shoutout Chris and Tommy) over by The Landing Strip and T-Flo's old studio, they would always let us record for free because we brought them so many paid clients just from word of mouth so it was all love. They really helped me figure out the more professional side of the recording process. It wouldn't be right if I didn't shoutout Mike C and the whole MA$H movement, that's where I really got the performance side of things down. We use to rock on allllllllll the shows and that's really where I started to find my sound and started playing around with the singing and songwriting aspect. Then after that we started the LNS movement and the rest is history!




You've lived in a lot of places before moving to Denver. How do the Oregon and Texas hip-hop scenes compare to Denver's? 

So the Oregon Hip-hop scene is dope, it's definitely more on some backpack rap type shit as opposed to Texas where it's more or less Screw, trap & street shit hahaha. But there are a lot of dope artists and producers out there in Oregon. I actually have a super dope boom-bap project coming out soon with an incredible producer out of Portland named 5th Sequence so look out for that soon, as well as another EP I'm currently working on with accredited producer Stewart Villain (who is also nice with the raps too which we plan on showing people with the project we got) coming out in the distant future. Shoutout to Cool Nuts, Epp, Myke Bogan, Tope, Ill Mac, and everybody at We Out Here Mag for always showing love! Also, shoutout to little bro Max and everybody else that stayed buying beats from me during my travels and Q for always keeping a roof over my head and food in my stomach while I was out there, haha. So far, Denver has been waaaay different then Texas and Oregon. On one side of things, the backpack rap is super strong out here which is cool and then there's an EDM scene that's crazy out here but I think me personally being a well rounded musician (being that I rap, produce, sing, write, and engineer) has really helped me progress quickly out here that along with the fact that my Texas influence and West Coast sound stands out among the crowd out here. Most recently, I've been working on a lot of super dope content with my new-found bros Catch Lungs and Hustle Man so definitely stay tuned for that stuff it's fire! Also I was nominated for Solo Hip Hop Artist of the Year by the Denver Westword so you can vote for me on their website!

You can follow Cory at twitter.com/CoryKendrix and instagram.com/CoryKendrix.

GoDJ Knowledge




A lot of people remember you DJing for J.Kapone back in the day before he got locked up. You also did a lot of gigs with Wes Sanders as The Dynamic Duo. How'd you meet them?

Man, J.Kapone was that artist that was really out here doing it. It wasn't a question about it, he had the street fame before the rap fame. It's that 50 cent thing when someone has some skills and the background to perpetuate it, it goes hand in hand so the city embraces it.

We had tons of mutual friends and had met him multiple times. I'll be honest, he dissed me twice before he started fucking with me. Me and my homeboy Power Paul were at Rosewood Park and J.Kapone heard he should fuck with me but was like "Nah I fuck with DJ Big Baby" who was part of the Screw Shop. At the time, I was just starting and was like "Fuck everybody." If you were a well-known DJ, I was coming for your spot. Kapone was like "I'ma holla at you when you get poppin. When you poppin, I'ma holla at you." I had done shows with COD and KPaul and Pimpin were getting their grind on, What A Hustle was poppin. Back at the Karma Lounge I remember we'd get it so crunk they had to shut it down. I remember one time Kapone saw me and was like "You really out here." The first project I did with him was "All In My Deck" with Tosin and we just kept it moving from there.

Black Mike was needing a DJ and Wes Sanders was going to borrow my equipment. I had been trying to work with Wes Sanders since he was working with What It Dew.   I went over to his crib and just kinda fucked around on the tables and cliqued up. We both clicked with personality wise. He was doing a lot of shows with Devin and other concerts so we were going to each other's shows and we been gettin money ever since. He been layin back with the birth of his kid but we got more gigs comin up.

What's one of the crazier gigs that you played?

It was an MTV party. It had the cast from the Hills, the dude from Rob and Big. I was nervous cause they said they don't want no hiphop.  I was already on serato so it wasn't no thing. I downloaded some dance stuff, I had a good collection of songs that everybody loves. I just made it groovy. But once everybody started coming in, I had it going into some dance shit. Fuckin Britney Spears and shit, DJ Kurupt gave me a bunch of dope timeless records too. Once everybody started getting drunk, you had stars coming upto the DJ Booth asking for hiphop. They all wanted to hear "Pop Bottles," I played that song seven times that night. I ended up playing nothing but rap for the last hour, closed it with a singalong of Sublime's "Santarita" the club owner told me it was rocking and they had a good night. I got invited to do another MTV party too, it was dope. I walked out feeling like I was the champ, on cloud nine. Protege got me the gig and was like "I don't know what you did, but you killed it..." Another dope show was Crissette Michelle at MJ's.




What you describe your DJ style as? Who some of your influences as a DJ?

B-sides and ghetto shit. Those were the records I had, Slick Rick, KRS, Rakim, jump into some NWA, 8Ball and MJG, Fat Pat, Lil Keke. I wear so many hats, when I bring out to quinceneras, I'll play some cumbia or some Brooks and Dunn "Neon Moon" or some shit. Some AC/DC. But that's just how a real DJ is. I don't care if you got knobs or some tables or even some reel-to-reels, I'ma have to do my job. I came up under real cats that were like "Nah, you not a real DJ." I came up as a student of the game. Talkin bout Grandmaster Flash, Kid Capri, Doo Wop, Tony Touch, DJ S&S, that old school New York shit. Jazzy Jeff, DJ Cash Money, take it back to DJ Brucie B on Paid In Full. Down here, it wasn't down like that.

You can follow Knowledge at twitter.com/GoDJKnowledge and instagram.com/GoDJKnowledge.

Monday, May 25, 2015

LNS Crew nominated in the Austin Hip Hop Awards

Well, it's that time of year folks. The Austin Hip Hop Awards are here and LNS Crew is definitely representing this year. A lot of homies on the nominations as well, but you know we gotta rep for the Lz! Kydd Jones and Sertified's video for "Where I Live" was nominated for "Video Of The Year."

 

Kydd was also nominated for Male Artist of the Year as well as Producer of the Year. Cory Kendrix was also nominated for Producer of the Year. LNS was nominated for Group of the Year, so vote now!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

[Day After Writeup] Blue The Misfit At RED 7



Dallas and Austin hip hop linked up under one roof downtown last night in the Red River District. A lot of attention has been brought to the Triple D's hip hop scene with recent acts like Post Malone & A.Dd+ among others bringing a national spotlight to the North Texas hip-hop scene. Two of its most buzzing emcees in Blue The Misfit and -topic made the trip down south to the Texas capitol to represent for the City of Hate at Red 7. There were a lot of up and coming Austin artists taking the stage as well, not to mention a psychedelic rock concert going on in the backyard.

With Transmission Events & Red Bull Sound Select promoting the show plus free tacos with chips and salsa in the building courtesy of Platypus Promotions and Keep Austin Live Productions, it was already jumping by the time GoDJ Knowledge took a break from spinning to introduce Soulfresca. Their energetic performance set the tone for the night, with Capn Kirk taking the stage next. Accompanied by Rudi Devino of SubKulture Patriots and $. of The LOEGz, Kirk showed why he's been on a lot of local's radar as an ATX hip-hop act to keep your eye out for. Sertified went on after him and represented the Die Slo camp as one of the Austin underground's most unique acts. He warmed the stage up for Kydd Jones of the LNS Crew, who brought his brother Tank out to rock with him. Kydd and Tank have been killing mics in Austin for years and listeners got to experience Kydd playing a lot of new songs off his upcoming album GR33D.

By the time -topic took the stage, it was clear that a high bar had been sent and -topic delivered an impassioned performance with fellow Team From Nowhere member KoolQuise. The two showed why their reputation as Deep Ellum backpack rappers is well deserved as they presented their brand of indie hip-hop to residents of the Bat City. Blue The Misfit closed out the show with his high energy and electronic tinged production, donning a mask and even bringing out Austinite Dre Prince for a guest performance. All in all, DFW and ATX showed that there is a lot of talent in the hip-hop scene in Texas outside of Houston and don't be surprised if you see some of these artists pop up on some very big stages in the future.

Friday, May 22, 2015

[New Interviews] Tank Washington || Blue The Misfit

Tank Washington



Most recently, you've worked with emcees like Killa Kyleon, Dee-1 & GLC but a lot of people don't know that you and your brother Kydd were signed to 33rd St Records which was part of Tower Records back in the day. What was that like?

Man, I was young and it was a lot of fun but also definitely a learning experience. Big shoutout to Checkmate and Above All for putting us in a position like that at the age of seventeen.

As someone who grew up in the projects of South and East Austin, what are some of the craziest things you saw as a kid growing up? What are some of the differences between old Austin and new Austin to you?

One of the craziest things I seen? Some family stuff I won't mention, but I guess also seeing the drug game up close and just witnessing how things have changed. Now everybody's recording everything and you got Instagram and YouTube and all that. There's way more dry snitching and senseless bragging nowadays haha.



Many consider you the most street or hardcore style rapper in LNS Crew. Why do you think that is?

Cause I don't give a fuck about art. I just rap and say what I feel. I don't care about being the best... Not to take away from my brothers but I listen to a lot of stuff that they don't. I feel like musically I can do it all, but a lot of my friends are still in the streets and that's where I came up so I talk about that so people like me and them can understand it.

A lot of people hadn't heard a whole project from you until 2013's "6 Shots EP." You've been heavily featured on both the LNS Crew mixtapes, what have you got cooking up next?

Right now I'm knocking out this mixtape with DJ Knowledge that I wanna drop soon. I also got another EP that I'm working on too, that's in the rough stages. You know us, we stay cookin nigga!

You can follow Tank at twitter.com/Pacboitank and instagram.com/Pacboitank.

Blue The Misfit



You've worked with a lot of emcees in your career: obviously Top Dawg Entertainment and Snow Tha Product come to mind. Who are some of the rappers in Texas that you're digging and think have the potential to be as big as those artists?

Tough call... I've noticed the movements that Maxo Kream & The Sauce Twins have been creating in Houston which is impressive, A.Dd+ (Dallas) has all the tools at their disposal, they just need a well rounded album to drop. Crit Life (Fort Worth) has a crazy social media presence that has started generating some buzz already, and finally Sam Lao (Dallas) is a wild card with her wide range of abilities and image.

As a producer, DJ, and emcee, you're always out on the Dallas scene. Out of all the rappers that also produced AND can DJ or DJed frequently, who is your favorite?

I can only think of 2 other people that's done all 3 and that's Q-tip and Jermaine Dupri. However, I saw Just Blaze DJ at SXSW and he murdered it. Erykah Badu's sets have been legit too.




You've really hit the ground running to promote your new album, doing FunFunFun Fest, Red Bull Sound Select gigs left and right, and you're on the upcoming ScoreMore JMBLYA festival too. Yet one might say that outside of Dallas, you've been undermentioned. Do you feel that there is a tendency for the mainstream media to overlook Dallas rap artists in favor of Houston artists when mentioning Texas?

Possibly. Houston does have a more glorified past and they also get to benefit from their OGs from time to time which is a luxury that we Dallas artists don't have. I think the media is still trying to figure out what the hell is going on here. We have a eclectic bunch of talent; the main acts here all have different styles and sounds that are worth checking out but can seem overwhelming from the outside looking in. I think they just expect one act to blow up before they give the rest of us any notice, which is unfortunate.

You've been extremely active in your solo career but people who have been following you for a while remember you from Brain Gang and Sore Losers. Given your music and style have changed so much since your early days, where do you see yourself going with your musical career having already accomplished so much?

I just want to keep evolving. My aim isn't to become somebody super rich and famous. I just want to keep pushing my form of art to its limits. I want to make records that are ahead of their time, make shit that MY fans will enjoy, and whatever path that takes me down is what I'm looking forward to.

You can follow Blue at twitter.com/bluethemisfit and instagram.com/bluethemisfit.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

[New Interviews] -topic || Sertified

-topic



What were some of your first performances in Austin like? How does it compare with Dallas or Denton?

My first performances in Austin were simple - a PA system, a flash drive, and a couple of mics - but I could always feel the energy and appreciation out there. I loved it from the start. Dallas and Denton have a few similarities, but I gotta say Austin has THAT vibe.

As a producer as well as rapper, who are some of your biggest influences as far as musicians in general?

MISSY ELLIOTT. MISSY ELLIOTT (yes, she gets the first two slots). Timbaland. Outkast (3000, wha up!), J*Davey, K-oS, a bunch of rock and jazz and stuff with no words by people I don't quite remember, and a bunch of other soundtracks from video games.




You've been really active outside of Dallas, do you believe that it's possible nowadays to have success based only in Texas or do you think going out of town and building your name/brand while claiming Texas (or Dallas, specifically) is the more viable option?

With the internet and a car, ANYTHING is possible. Ha! In my opinion, home will be home - get out and see the world.

What do you envision the next step in your evolution as an artist to be?

I'm gonna squad up with a couple people I've looked up to, learn, study and play my ass off, and teach myself new things. There's a lot more to it, but I won't talk yer head off.

You can follow -topic at twitter.com/sosotopic and instagram.com/sosotopic.


Sertified




Everybody in Austin knows you represent the South Side. What are some of your favorite places that represent South Austin to you?

Places like the S.1st/Oltorf area are what comes to mind when I think about this side of the city. I bought my first CD's at a place that is still up there named "Turntables" that my mom had taken me to as a kid. Another place for me is the "weird" strip of South Congress that is still very active aswell. These areas have really developed in these few past years. It's a bittersweet thing seeing the people come and go but growth definitely is necessary. These place give off the vibe of what South Austin embodies in my opinion.

You really started getting attention outside Austin with your last album, FilthyFckingHumans. How did that album came about?

Being active on these socials. I caught the attention of a producer that goes by the name of Heartbeatz, I started to follow him through Twitter and after diving into his Soundclick page I found a beat I liked and me & the homies recorded to it that night. The following day he hit me up out the blue and said he dug what I had going on & wanted to shoot me a beat. I then replied back with what we had already recorded to from the night before & from there the relationship blossomed into 15+ songs and counting. He's an extremely dope producer that has a funky-rich mix between West Coast & Southern styles of beats and they come all the way from Germany!



As far as Mexican rappers, probably the most famous rappers are Cypress Hill out of California and then it's kind of a steep drop off. It seems like nowadays there are a lot of Spanish-speaking hip hop artists, musically do you feel a need to represent that side of your culture?

I'll be honest: I wish I could contribute more to that "lane of music" that intertwines Spanish/English lyrics but being that I can't speak the language, it has me somewhat stuck in the middle of that barrier because I was raised in a Mexican-American home but was brought up in a mainstream hip-hop culture of the early 90's so I wasn't responsive to anything other than that. I definitely have always embraced my culture now that I've grown to learn more about it as an adult. To answer your question though, I do feel the need to rep but not by me trying to be someone I'm not; I'll do it by paying homage to the people, places and things that I can take something from morally.

What are the next projects that you're working on? You're notorious about staying in the studio.

MAAAAN, I'm about to drop an album with LNS Producer H+ titled: Chips 'n Salsa, The Side Order sometime in June. Me & JayWeezy of The LOEGZ are working on something SERIOUS (still looking for producers!!!)..... all while wrapping up the project I started with Heartbeatz & Dj Burn One annnnnnnd DIE SLO is about 50% done with the group project..... just keeping myself busy yo that's the most important thing.

You can follow Sertified at twitter.com/sertified and instagram.com/sertified.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

[New Interviews] Chamothy The Great || Soulfresca || Capn Kirk

Chamothy The Great



A lot of people recognize you from your association with Die Slo but might not know you're also a dope solo artist. What do you think are the positives and negative aspects of being in a group when trying to also show the world that you can musically stand by yourself?

The positive is that I have a whole squad who supports whatever I do and helps in whatever way possible. We've built this brand name up over the years and it helps give anything I do an extra push. Otherwise people are still like "What the fuck is a Chamothy?" On the negative side, I have to do a little more to stand out. Otherwise I'm just "that cat from Die Slo," when in reality I made the beat, had something to do with the hook, recorded the song, mixed it etc. But that's what being part of a group is about, you gotta be able to put that ego aside. It takes a lot of parts to make this big machine work and keep it running so if one person isn't doing their part, we all feel it. My solo work is where I get to flex and let my ego out and have things exactly how I want when I want, on some my way or the highway type shit.

You've seen a lot of Austin rappers come up over the years. When did you first meet the guys in Die Slo? What are some of your first memories of seeing other hiphop acts that came out of Austin as well?

I met the homies in the squad through my homie Big K. He was cool with J-dub and J-dub had a Group with Mex and Sertified. After havin a few sessions with them we just clicked and JD was like "You should meet my homie Stat" who was a part of a group called THC. After makin a few tracks together everything else just started falling into place. Some of my greatest memories come from thuggin with the squad at Ruta Maya's. This is where I first saw acts who had already been doing things like COD, The Kriminals, Lil Sicc, etc. These were some of the first events where I saw artist performing a show and not just rapping in one spot.



When did you first get into making beats and rapping? What was the equipment you were using? What do you use now?

I've been making music forever since waaay back when I was in band playing the fuckin baritone because the drum section was full. The fuckin baritone bruh ... I had always liked writing songs and rappin and shit but I just never openly did it. When I got to high school Chamillionaire and Paul Wall was boomin at the time! That opened me up to the whole underground Htown sound and even Dallas had DSR and what not. We'd be in the locker room or at the back of the bus on the way to games just jammin instrumentals and trying to freestyle on some 99 "I done came down" type shit. I had joined choir around this time, then I got kicked out of athletics because I was always failing something. Since I wasn't on sports any more, I figured out I was good at choir. REALLY Good. My teacher convinced me to sign up for some music theory classes. I learned how to write sheet music before I ever had a computer. Then my Junior year, Moms got me a computer and shortly after a homie put me on FL. Thats what I used all the way up to last year when my computer went out. Now I'm on Logic and have no complaints.

Any new songs or projects you're trying to promote? What are you cooking up to drop next?

Definitely, I'm always working on something. Right now I have 2 singles out, MT4T's and E.D.M. (Early Dis Mornin), both of which are going to be on my "Dead Petals EP" coming out in a few weeks. It was originally intended as a free project I was doing to drive sales on "The Late Bloomer" since niggas are still sleepin on that but it took on a life of its own. I consider it the perfect mix of riding music and the whole 808/Trap/TurnUp sound goin around. Bottom line "Dead Petals" is shit people wanna hear. "The Late Bloomer" is shit people need to hear.

You can follow Chamothy The Great at twitter.com/iamchamothy and instagram.com/iamchamothy.


Soulfresca



So how did the group Soulfresca form?

Mayo: We went to middle school together, parted ways. Linked up several years down the road.

Steelo Foreign: Real recognize real. Max Lo layed the foundation, Mayo and I built the house. Bada boom bada bing.

Mayo: It's rare to find this type of chemistry so we took it and ran with it. Destiny. Lucy helped a little as well. We met Trey in middle school too. I created a group with Trey before Steelo and I created Soulfresca, called Capitol Outcast. We were serious but had no idea what we were doing. But we stuck with it.

Steelo Foreign: Then next thing you know we were workin on the "Upper Room" EP. We were just creating music for the city, 4 sessions at Launchpad and next thing you know we had an EP. It was just good to hit the ground runnin with your friends and just pretty much winging it. Whatever felt right at the time, we did it. Like Mayo, he's one of those people that I work with almost every day.

How would you describe your sound?

Mayo & Steelo: Good vibes. Good intentions. Good quality. Psychedelic freedom and Rick Rubin.

 
Your last EP was all produced by Max Lo. How did you link up with him?

Mayo: Max Lo is my uncle. He helped me out with a lot of confusion and was always there to put a smile on my face and a beer in my hand. I'm a writer, so having dope beats given to me by a seasoned producer like Max was a blessing. But he moved to Long Beach, and now Steelo produces Soulfresca's beats.

Steelo foreign: Yeah, Max is the unc for sure! I used to live with him for a bit before I started to produce and I'd wake up to him chopping a sample, dude would have like 5 beats done before breakfast. He definitely inspired me to start producing, and now that's what I do with the majority of my time. We may have some surprises real soon with some Maxlo production, y'all Just gotta stay tuned in.

Who have you been jamming recently? What's some of your favorite Texas music?

Steelo foreign: Personally I jam R&B as much as possible. Definitely my biggest influence production wise. It doesn't get much better then 90's R&B, and my appreciation for Texas music is still in the 90's, like Z-Ro, Paul Wall & Chamillionaire, DJ Screw, and maybe somebody like Devin the Dude, can be found being played around the house on a Monday or Tuesday, that's just how you get your mind right for the rest of the week. As for an artist that's modern day, JCole is a good one, he's one of those guys that I look to for his production more then his rapping. Just a solid musician to learn from.

Mayo: Recently? A lot of Queen, Sublime, Bob Marley, Daft Punk, Ghostland, Ritchie Havens, Gorillaz... I've been listening to hip hop since I was a toddler so it's been nice to venture off and listen to genres that spark new thoughts and emotions. The only Texas music on my iPod right now is all local Atx hip hop. There's great folks out here making solid music that deserves to be heard by the masses and I couldn't be more proud! It's happening!


You can follow SoulFresca at twitter.com/steeloforeign and twitter.com/cmayomusic.


Capn Kirk



Today people know you as one of the vocalists for some of Austin's buzzing new acts like Sip Sip and Subkulture Patriots. How did you get your start in music and how did you become involved with these groups?
First off, I just wanna thank all my friends, family and fans because without their support, none of this would have been possible. Growing up, my father was a professional musician. He played with groups like Timbuk 3 and the Killer Bees. And my mom always sang in the church choir so music has been a big part of my life. I never had the patience to take the time it takes to master an instrument but I like talking shit so I started rapping. And I guess you could say music runs in my blood. SKP (SubKulture Patriots) came around from a like minded approach to hip hop shared by myself, RuDi DeVino, HBZ and the Brain. We were fortunate enough to do some cool things I think in large part because we aren't the stereotypical Texas crew. And the throwback sound of Ruler Why was refreshing or nostalgic I think to some heads ears. Since forming in 2010 we have added DJ Aspekt and Austin vet DOS. So I'm really excited about what the future holds for us. Sip Sip was started by my brother AJ and some of his high school friends. So I basically just forced my way into the group using the big brother card about a year ago. I think they appreciate me now though hahaha. But really they started it originally with the intention of being a hip hop backing band. And at one point in time we flirted with the idea of SipKulture Patriots but it was just too many people. I managed to stick around and have been blessed and inspired to be able to work with some of Austin's finest musicians. It's really incredible. You can check Sip Sip out at Lamberts on May 30th. #shamelesspromotion

Your mixtape with fellow Austinite Click Clack effectively marks your solo debut.  How would you describe that EP as far as stylewise and how it came together?

I'm so confused by the term "Mix Tape" haha but that's another discussion. But on the FMBO e'klektik project the first thing you notice is the beats are futuristic. I was there when they were being created and so I just channeled the energy they gave me. To me they said "grab a chick, roll up, pour up, turn the music up and ride," so that's what I tried to convey with the lyrics. I called it e'klektik because the style of my delivery is derived from several styles if you will. I did what people in the city and around the country know me for on tracks like "Grind" and "mAKe" as well as what people who hang out with me know me for like "BBO," "Dead Brain" and "Stupid Fly". As far as the concept, I just thought it would be funny to make like a mixed breed wave. Its kind of a joke because I think everyone is a "mixed breed". But some people take that shit so seriously. Me and Click Clack are both mutts so it made sense to outsiders I guess. If you haven't checked it out yet. Get fucked up and go to www.fmbomusic.com!




A lot of locals in the city know you rep 78723. What are your thoughts on the recent changes in the area and the overall gentrification of East Austin as the town grows in stature and value? 

I love the 23. Three fourths of my immediate family members still live there including myself. It was a great place to grow up in Austin because of the cultural diversity. There were black, Latino and white families who all called each other neighbors. Change is hard; on one hand, you want to see your property increase in value and your neighborhood to create revenue. But it is tough when the reality of that means some people aren't going to be able to afford their homes and are forced to leave a place they lived for 20 plus years. When it starts to lose its diversity due to the relocation of its original inhabitants then it loses some of what made it such a notoriously great place to live. When some out of towner builds a million dollar house next door to yours and the hipsters start pouring out the wood works like fucking white walkers, sometimes you wanna swerve on a biker. But all in all, like everything there is an upside and a downside. I will say though, not fearing a plane is gonna land on your home is nice.

Who were some of your favorite artists coming up? Who were some of the emcees who influenced your style?

Coming up I listened to ALOT of different types of music. I loved Bob Marley, DJ Screw (SUC), Nirvana, OutKast, Biggie Smalls, Eminem, Pac, Rage Against the Machine, Beethoven, The Wu Tang Clan, Bach, Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre. I think I was most heavily influenced by Zach De La Rocha, Ghost Face Killah, Biggie, DJ Screw and SUC.

You can follow Capn Kirk at twitter.com/23_CapnKirk and instagram.com/therealcapnkirk.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

[New Music] Cory Kendrix || Kydd Jones || Deezie Brown || Country Cousins || Eric Dingus



We got some new music for your ears this Tuesday! The big homie Kydd Jones had a few singles drop the last couple of weeks...

First off we got our fam Deezie Brown in the mix with his new single, "Hardcore 99" that Kydd produced. Deezie's been on some real different ish lately as he grows as an artist, make sure to check out him and his boy Proz do their thing in Central Texas!


Next up, a new single that Kydd produced and featured on for Country Cousins. They've worked with cats like Freddie Gibbs and Trae Tha Truth so you know they're deep in the game and this song, "Takin Risks" is no different as it shows the less glamorous side of street life.


In other news, Austinite Eric Dingus made news by releasing his second annual Houston Appreciation Week mixtape through OVO... Young dude that's putting Austin on the map! Shout out S.Dot and Dowrong of the LOEGz for making an appearance on the tape, they gotta be happy about that.


Last but definitely not least, LNS Crew member Cory Kendrix from Denver, Colorado drops his new single, "Codeine Sippa" with fellow Colorado reppers Catch Lungs and Hustle Man; That boy Cory got his name up in The Source and all that; Check out the new joint from Cory and make sure to vote for him as best Solo Hip Hop act in Denver!


You can follow the members of LNS Crew at twitter.com/kyddjones, twitter.com/corykendrix & twitter.com/pacboitank

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

[Music Review] November 2014 - May 2015 || Austin Rap/HipHop Album Review


Bakari The Oracle - The Magic 8 Ball


I've never heard of Bakari The Oracle before, but this tape features smooth boom bap type stylings as Bakari comes out with his first solo mixtape. He's got a lyrical style and I don't know who did all the beats, but I dig the chill old school vibe. The first five tracks are all pretty dope. Up and coming Austinite rapper Jae Jax is featured on "Fully Loaded" and fellow 512 Oracle Double L is featured on a couple of tracks as well. "The Good Ol Days" with Mic D has a West Coast type feel with the track right after it, "So Good" with You F. O sounding like an old school riding joint. Dela Duze of 512 Oracles and Phraynkh P close it out, showing that this crew is on the rise.
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Capn Kirk X Click Clack - FMBO


This album starts out on a high note with the "Prefix" with Kirk and Clack sounding like an Austin version of Bronson and Fraud with more screwed vocals to remind you where they're from. The pitched down vocals feature prominently in "Dead Brain" with Kirk taking a more aggressive flow over another dope beat from Click Clack. "Zip Lox" and "Wolves" feature the first appearances for LOEGz members $. and Dowrong. "BBO" features Duck LaRusso and is basically Kirk's motto in life. "Hustle Wars" features the League again and is followed by "Mermaids," which is probably the most honest track on the album. Of course, Kirk and Clack gotta keep it street with fellow SipKulture representer HBZ on "FTH" and "Enterprise" with Dowrong, which sees Kirk and Clack bringin back an energetic old school sound. "Mulattos" closes out the project and sees Click jumping on the track too as they talk about their feelings on being a "mixed-breed" and growing up as a lighter skinned person of African-American descent. They want to be clear though, just because they're mixed breed doesn't make this a mixtape. Word is they're working on a new tape, so we'll see if they can continue to grow.
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 Chamothy The Great - The Late Bloomer

Chamothy has been a dope artist that's been underrecognized by the mainstream media which I don't understand because if you actually listen to him, you'll realize he's a beast. His tape "The Late Bloomer" starts off mellow with the title track with some jazzy guitar and trumpet samples. The track "Time" is also dope and lets you know his mindstate as a Southerner tryin to stack his ends and live life to the fullest. One thing about Chamothy is he's got a real dope delivery with a good understanding of melody. The tape takes an R&B tint with tracks featuring Jake Lloyd and Jonathas before going heavy and street with the FBFG-featuring "Bobby Mack" which is a dope track. Cham lets some of his inner emotions on Sinner's Glory before going real dark on "Holy Water." Denver's Cory Kendrix contributes a crazy verse on the track, usually he's on some party stuff but when he wants to be he can say some wild shit. The project ends on a jazzy note with "On The Way" with fellow Die Slo member 2Tone.
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Clova - UniverSoul Language

If you know Austin hiphop up and comer Clova, you'll know he's all about his green and about putting on for the city of Austin. His new project with Jon Keys and Mike Reed starts off banging with "South Side G'z" where Clova introduces you to the part of town he came up from. The chill production complements Clova's laid-back flow and the vibe continues on "Lost In The Game" and "Live-n-Learn." "What Would I Do" features Austin R&B singer Staci Russell and marks a more emotional side to the tape. "Money Right" follows in that vein and Down features more R&B stylings, this time from Tone1y. The album then turns more street, with fellow Die Slo members Chachi and Sertified contributing verses but Clova makes it clear that he can stand by himself an emcee with the last few tracks which he grabs the mic for some solo tracks. Overall I dig this project, Clova is coming into his own as a rapper and I really like when the tape is on that laidback West Coast barbecue type vibe cause I feel like you can really ride to that sort of style with him.
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Dank Sinatra - Kush Lord Loud God


Dank Sinatra's new EP starts out with a heavy dose of distorted drugged out trap on "Aura," then follows up with the chilled out "LNK" with an assist from Austin's Sertified. "Bu$hido," "Trouble" and "Nu-congregation" give you an insight into Dank's life, trying to dodge trouble while trying to chill and smoke weed. This is definitely wavy stuff. "Hawaii 2 Japan" sees Dank pulling off a decent Future type vibe, although the adlibs sound more like a late 90s NYHC band. The menacing "Goo$eBump$" with Ransom Watson closes off the official tape tape, but there are some bonus tracks including "Backpack Fulla Drugs" with Kydd Jones. That track definitely goes, Kydd snaps on that joint with like three different styles and the beat is on some riding down the highway on the sunset type ish.
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Dat Boy Supa - Supacabra


Dallas transplant Dat Boy Supa lives in Austin now, where he's been gaining buzz for his live performances and hi quality indie hip hop. The tape starts out with a dope interlude before going into the Curtis Mayfield sampling "My Ish." Texas rapper G-Jet, who opened for J.Cole at SXSW this year, joins Supa on the banger "Higher" which is followed by "Boss Nigga" which samples the movie by the same name. Tone Jonez contributes a hook to "Love Unconditional," which sees Supa playing a smooth lover on the track. The soulful vibes continue on "Dreams" before Supa starts letting out some heavier thoughts on "When Dreams Die" and "Let Me In." The album ends on a real smooth tip with "Blue Sky" where Migg Porter sings a hook and "That's Life" which has a mad chill beat. Frat House members Casino and Chef Greezy team with Supa to close out the tape on "Let's Get Away." Overall this is a chill tape and a good intro to Supa's style.
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Dingus X Dowrong - Dowrong EP


The youngest member of the LOEGz teams up with OVO producer Eric Dingus for their first EP. The tape starts off with the Memphis underground influenced "9mm" and introduces you to Dowrong's quick aggressive multisyllabic flow. The beginning of this EP hits you hard from the jump, with "9mm" followed by the menacing "Worry Bout Me" and epic sounding "Shooters," two big singles off the EP. Dingus's trapped out drums and ear for ambient melody allows Dowrong to spit rapid fire rhymes and Dowrong lets you know this is a family affair by bringing out Austin's $.dot on "Rosa Parks" and San Antonio's Worldwide on "G Shit." Both emcees have toured with Dowrong and if that wasn't enough, the intro has presumably Doodie's father and the outro to the tape features Esperanza, who I'm pretty sure is his mom. Dowrong and Dingus let you know with this tape that they plan to be a problem for the Texas hiphop scene.
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DOS - Royal EP


D.O.S. delivers a throwback hardcore rap album produced by LA's Ike aka 2020 (who recently dropped an album with Haris of the LNS Crew). The intro "Master Chef" takes you back to the 90s as D.O.S. hits you with some straight rugged lyricism; his style reminds me of like Guilty Simpson crossed with Boot Camp Clik. "All I Want" takes it more on some Southern type drum patterns but DOS doesn't let up. "Where Do I Go" features Sonia Moore singing at the end, and Austin's GoDJ JB provides a hype intro to the club joint "Hard" as DOS takes a page out of the Dipset book as he swags but still with that East Coast type flow. Tiko Brown also provides vocals for a couple tracks on the album as it ends on a more mellow hip-hop note, with "I Hustle" sounding like some 9th Wonder type production as DOS slows down to remember why he works so hard. The album ends with the "Rudeboy" manifesto, which reminds me of some Wu Tang ish. With D.O.S, you know what you're gonna get: raw rhymes and he doesn't disappoint on this album.
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Dr. Bobby Banner, MPC - Musicology


This tape starts off with a banger! "Precision Poetry" featuring The Mic Fiends is an old school boom bap affair, and this tape is unapologetic for it's sound and immediately goes into a jazzy flip with "The Chase" and "Hold Me Down" with Black DaVinci, Muggzy Flowz and Stormshadow, the three of which are all over the tape. This dude doesn't call himself Doctor of the MPC for no reason, he's a beast with the sound. "David Ruffin" features Austin relative newcomers Scuare and No1Important and is followed by "Swerve," which is a dope track featuring Muggzy Flowz. Rudi Devino of the SubKulture Patriots joins in for the posse cut "Runner$" which is followed by "Infinite Bliss" with Emcee Eats. All the beats for this tape are super dope on that throwback golden era hiphop sound. "Rx for Stress" doesn't have a rapper credited but there's one on there, I wonder if it's him haha. "Scenery" with Tree G & Black Davinci close out this project, which is definitely a slept-on heater and represents a side of music from Austin that definitely needs more shine. Big ups to Bobby Banner MPC for killing the beats on here.
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Grind Life Films 


Grind Life mastermind ET aka Ernie Redeye aka ET Tattoo put together this mixtape with Tha Real Chino highlighting tracks he did videos for over the years. This really shows the talent of the underground Austin scene. Pacboi Tank's "Cheers" opens the tape, with a somber Tank talking about why he's always stressed out these days. Ndeo The Blindsider's "What's To Come" keeps the underground hiphop vibe going, he always brings the Cypress Hill hype flow. Karma Jonze's "Get Money Flow" brings back the heyday of when females were really coming with that aggressive lyrical steez, this sounds like some golden era shit for sure. San Antonio's Worldwide follows with the Murk Russell-produced "Ending Cycle," he sounds like a more UGK influenced Curren$y over the boom bap beat. Ernie continues to show you that he's well-connected outside the River City, as Chino follows with the New Orleans track he did a video for, "Rubenstein Bros" with the Geto Boys sample but featuring Louisiana emcees Nesby Phips, HollyGrove Mike and Curren$y. But it quickly goes back to Austin with the LOEGz single "Parental Discretion," "The Shining" by Nextgang's Youngin and Marcus J's "Ms Cleo." The whole LNS Crew makes an appearance with the posse cut "Leaders Life Forever" cause you know ET been down with the Lz! Krypol Haze and Mista Mane follow with street lyricism on "Hell Nah" and San Antonio's KP Tha Profit contribute some more streetwise lyrics over the Lonnie Liston Smith-sampling "Play Yo Position." Team Next's "NWO" represents for Austin, as do Eric Dingus and Slick Talk of Southbound/LOEGz on the Southside anthem "That Lower." Math Klass's Nez Tha Villian brings some dark Austin rap on "Mental Lapse 2" and King Danja does the same for San Antonio with "Live Life Sin." The tape is closed by Kydd Jones's classic "The Masons" featuring Dallas duo A.Dd+. If you need a primer to some of the biggest underground acts in the South, this is a good place to start.
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Hyder - Dreamcatcher EP


Fraternity Gang affiliate Hyder comes thru with his new EP to reintroduce himself to Austin with production on the tape handled by Nathan Rhoads and Let That Boy Cook. "Sacrifice" starts the tape with Hyder talking about what he has to go thru being an up and coming lyricist. "Let's Ride" shows Hyder in a Rittz-esque mode, spitting rapid fire streetwise lyricism looking critically at others. "Roll Up" is more of a party track and is followed by "Give Me Dat" which has him more in his feelings. "Thirty Two" and "Fuck Em" are more aggressive as are "Fuck With This" which features fellow Fraternity members contributing dope verses. Hyder shows potential on this... if he refines his sound, look for this El Paso transplant to put on for Texas in the future.
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Keith Corona - Live from 78745


Young Mexican Keith Corona from South Austin has been making noise for a while in Austin and his new album shows why Austin is to be taken seriously in all cultures and genres as a music city. Da Bosnian contributes most of the production, as do BlockRunna, Cutta and AC. "Slowly But Surely" shows you the mindstate of a young Latino in Texas, and "I Do It" does the same as Lil J of the LOEGz and Lil Tone of Poverty Island join in. "Loosing Grip" has an emotional Keith reminiscing about difficult times in his past. "The Recipe" with Krypol Haze is a banger on some street shit, and "Story of A Have Not" has a similar sound but has Keith show off his fast flow talking about his rise in the A-town. Female emcee Daniela Rodriguez contributes a Spanish-influenced verse on the dope track "$ Won't Buy It All" which is another personal favorite of mine off the project. I really dig the Spanish rap as that really shows off Keith's fast flow and he's obviously proud to represent his culture so I think it's something he should do more of. Keith closes it up with "In The City," which features Austin hiphop veterans Blaxsmith, Phranchyze and Shorti C and "Rolling Stone" shows an introspective Corona looking at his position in life. This album is a good insight into the life of an Austinite of foreign descent trying to come up in the city and if Keith keeps working on his craft people outside the city will definitely start taking notice. 
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Kilmatik - Zero Weirdos EP


The lead single for this EP features Kool Keith who goes by Robbie Analog. Kilmatik raps about trying to be different around a bunch of other people who also try to be different, which I think is basically complaining about hipsters. Robbie Analog definitely talks about some weird shit which is pretty much par for the course. I think he did a track with A.Dd+ this year, too. Ruler Why did the beat for the single as well as "Super Something" and also contributes a verse for "City Stompers" along with upstate New York transplant Norman Ba$e. Tone of the Cosmos, DA the INM and Emcee Eats are featured on the EP as well. Producer Markie Tee has some dope beats on this project as well, I was impressed by his beats on here. Ruler always keeps it consistent with his production, there's a reason why he's so highly regarded in Central Texas hip-hop. Rapid Ric contributes a remix as well.
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King ART - Infinite Reign


King Art and Ruler Why team up on this album, and it starts out with a deep sample from Alan Watts over an instrumental sample from Isao Tomita, followed by "Dreams" which shows Art staying true to his underground hiphop roots. This tape is an unapologetic heady hip-hop release, as "Language Is" and "Faces" definitely shows lyrical content you won't see from many other rappers in Austin. "Immortal" features San Antonio hip-hop legend Mad-One who's been killing mics for decades. "Fuego," "Daedalus" and "Refined" with OT23's Lord Higg's are energetic tracks, while "Coolin Out" with D.O.S. is anything but lackadaisical. "Dear Son" closes out the track on an emotional note, with Art penning a poem to his son to find in the future. You definitely see the love that Art has for hiphop, and although this release runs a bit long at 15 tracks, if he focuses his song-writing and diversifies his flow he will definitely find his groove.
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KB The Boo Bonic - Farrah Flossitt


Austin hip-hop veteran KB The Boo Bonic starts off with her newest release by spitting straight bars on the intro, followed by a few more R&B influenced cuts with "Daddy Baby" (which actually is a dope track) and "Drive, Bye." The title track shows the evolution of KB as an artist, you can really see the influence of recent female artists on her delivery and it definitely helps in my opinion. She tells the story of where she got her style at on "Came Down," where she takes on a more Houston style. KB has definitely grown as an artist, and with dope production like The Moon Guys, Max Lo and more she can definitely put out a classic Southern album if she continues melding her rap influence with catchy songwriting.
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Lil Milez - St Valentine's Day Affair


Lil Milez is an upcoming Austin emcee who's been buzzing in the underground for a while. This EP starts off with the autotuned "Trust Issues" before going into "Lover & Friend" which continues the autotune and also features rising female Austinite emcee Anya. "Sex Me" follows and features a little less autotune but still has some filtered vocals. "Wait For It" features Bluu Suede of The Cleaners on hook duty while Milez employs a less sing-song flow as he talks to the females in his life. Overall this is a departure from Milli's earlier stuff, but for a Valentine's Day tape it works although the songs could be a bit more varied. It'll be interesting to see if he can blend the more melodic singing on this project with the rapid fire battle rhymes we've come to expect from Milez.
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Lil T - Lil to the T


Lil T came out in 2015 with this tape hosted by Rapid Ric to try and stamp his name on the Austin hiphop scene to represent for the Latinos in the Texas capitol. "What's Up" starts out the tape on a street note and is followed by "Plugs" which is produced by Austin veteran and 3-6 Mafia affiliate Da Bosnian. The project then takes a more mellow vibe with "Rather Be Fly" and "On My Own," a dope track with Sonya B. "On The Microphone" sees Lil T on a H-town type of sound and closes the tape out nicely. At a short seven tracks, the mixtape shows the potential for Lil T. If he focuses his talent and has consistently good tracks, he definitely has the ability to make something happen for himself musically.
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LNS Crew (Cory Kendrix, Kydd Jones & Tank Washington) - LNS Crew Vol. 2 


The new mixtape from the LNS Crew starts off with Tank and Cory talking about the stress they've gone through the last few years, before Kydd Jones breaks in with his single off the A3C mixtape, "Who Are You" which also features Cory. Word on the street is Kydd's got a big remix planned for this song so stay tuned. Tank follows with "Murder Season" with S.Dot of COD and The League of Extraordinary Gz, which is definitely the most outright menacing song on the tape (although the song right after, Kydd's "Round Here" gives it a run for good measure). Cory Kendrix's "Theme Song" provides the mixtape's strip club anthem courtesy of a banging beat from Stewart Villain, while Kydd Jones contributes with his new single "Blink Away" featuring Boot Camp Click representer Sean Price of Brooklyn. Cory and Anna Love show you with "Pull Up" that although he lives in Denver now, Cory's still a Texas boy at heart and still wants nothing more than to pull up to the spot in a drop. Tank Washington keeps the Texas vibes going with Killa Kyleon and Worldwide on "Drunk," which is followed by Kydd Jones channeling Kanye West's manic energy on "You Niggas." Cory's drugged out single "Wax On" and Kydd's Houston meets Atlanta vibe on "Been That Nigga" provide a little bit of ignorant party rapping before Tank takes us back to the old school with San Antonio's J. Money and Kyle Lee on "It's Nothin." Kydd's "Nothin On Me" and Cory's "Gettin Thoed Again" bring a blunted interlude before Kydd and Max provide dual serenades on "Let Me Down Easy" (produced by Scott Pace and Kydd Jones, both of whose fingerprints are all over this album musically). Tank and Cory join up for "It's Complicated" over an organ and string beat courtesy of Magna Carda's Dougie Do, followed by Kydd and Tank reminiscing about the situations they've had to overcome on "Fame" which features Houston's Roosh Williams. Dallas representer Slim Gravy of A.Dd+ joins Cory on the Y2JJ-produced Black Roses which talks about loss they've had to deal with. Kydd, Cory and Tank join up for the last few songs, "Leaders Life Forever" off Deezie Brown's debut album and "We Can Smoke" off Cory's mixtape "Ignorance." For the last song, H+ aka Haris Qureshi laces the beat for the posse cut "Pot Luck" that includes Alabama's ST 2 Lettaz and New Orleans emcee Dee-1. Overall, this is a star-studded affair that shows that LNS Crew is here to stay in the Texas hip hop scene.
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Mr. Gray - The Life And Grind


Mr. Gray's new tape "Life And Grind" has a church-ish intro and "I'm Ready" leads into "Honest," where Mr. Gray shows you why music is his therapy. He and Curtbeats do a lot of production on this project. I'm pretty sure "Get Deleted" is a Curtbeats joint. After a brief interlude, "100" shows Gray flexing over the "Picture Me Rollin" instrumental from Pac. "I Remember" shows Gray rapping over a soul sample and is followed by "The Scene" with Curtis King. "Boyz2men" shows Gray's rapping about his past as he tries to grow as a person. Overall Gray has tracks where he can flow and has a good message to share with the public but the album did drag a little. If he continues to hone his musical ability and release a more consistent and concise album, people would really stand up and take notice.
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Phranchyze - The Anime Tape


Famed battle rapper Phranchyze comes through with this April 2015 release. "Vegeta's Song" opens up the tape and shows a just-as-hungry Phranchyze growing disenfranchised (haha, bad pun) with the state of hip-hop and seeing himself as the answer, and is followed by lighter-hearted local single "Hennesy and Horchata" featuring fellow Southside Austinite Keith Corona. "#LEAN" is another dope track, Phran has always been a punchline heavy rapper but on this tape he chooses to let his lyrical ability relax in favor of just general swagging which isn't necessarily a bad thing. "Snotnose" produced by Raisi K is a cocaine track which will always be applicable in Austin, while the NIP-produced "Players" is a Texas referencing rider joint. It's interesting that only Mexican Texas rappers feature on this one (although I'm sure it wasn't like a conscious decision) as Houstonian Chingo Bling comes thru to drop a verse on "Fuck With That." Phran keeps the Latino love going with Haris Qureshi contributing the beat for "Spanish Food;" the hook references the girl rainbow Phife and Jay rapped about in a few songs, but the rap is more introspective (although you know Phran gotta throw some sports references in there) and even features him playing guitar on the beat. "Middle Men" is a concept track that looks at people in life and the circumstances they are trapped in. "Larry Johnson" is a club joint but if you listen to Phranchyze's lyrics on it, he'll make you laugh but will also mention Obama's drone campaigns in the middle of rapping about sports. "Dashboard Dreams," the last track on the album, shows a melancholy Phranchyze over dreamy production from Evan James. I definitely feel this is Phranchyze's strongest effort yet and he shows why he's one of the most consistent lyricists in Texas, but you still get the sense he has the potential to do more; when he puts it all together with a musically banging album with strong songs that still show the clever punchlines and humor that he's made his calling card, that's when I feel he'll get the national attention he's been seeking for so long. 
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 Ransom Watson - Everybody Does It EP

 

This EP starts off heavy with the beat and flow for "LVL UP" hitting you straight in the face. That intro flows into the heavy and grooving "Lost In My Mind In Cali" where Ransom Watson keeps up with his aggressive flow. The trap vibes continue on "Purple Cloud Pt. 2" where Ransom raps about his weed expertise. The whole EP is pretty ignorant on some fun trap shit and my favorite track is probably "Smoke Shop Shawty," it has a dope beat and I dig Ransom's delivery on this one, it's comedic and turnt-up while still maintaining his aggressive style. The EP ends on a cooled out note with the Bonus track, where if it's still Ransom on it, he switches up his delivery on a 3-6 type flow over a wavy trap beat. 
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Ruler Why - Lo Clasico Vol. 1


Hiphop producer Ruler Why is a San Antonio native who has lived in Austin and has quite a few credits under his belt. This album marks an instrumental tape for him, rare as he usually is working with multiple emcees and is constantly dropping projects. With Ruler, you're going to get well-engineered, sample-heavy boombap beats and he doesn't disappoint on this release. My favorite joints on this mixtape are "True Understanding," "Build It Up" and "Crowd Movers" (which totally sounds like it samples some 80s synth shit). If you claim to know underground Central Texas hip-hop but don't know Ruler, better do your homework because he is definitely putting out material on a consistent basis.
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 Team Next - NEXT Life

This mixtape starts out real hood with All Day, straight up sounding like some 2000s type crunk Myspace type ish. The heavy vibe continues with "Whats Yo Lifestyle" and "The Shining," this is real roughly mixed turn up rap. Things kick into overdrive with the T.A. and Youngin banger "No Deal" before heading back to the same style. "Nigga Like Dis" is another standout track where the beat is banging, which is followed by the Whiteside-assisted "I Promise" and the posse cut (which is a heater) "Michael Phelps" followed by a few more trapped out tracks. If Team Next can focus their considerable energy into a cohesive quality project and continue to grow their fanbase and movement, they could be a force.
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Tone Brigante - Tone


Tone Brigante of PIE seeks to put on for the Southeast of Austin from Montopolis with this 2015 release. "1Hunnit" with Cloud Neena starts off the tape, but "Bank" with King Rendon and young KiiKii Star blows up the spot for sure. If you haven't heard of KiiKii, she's one of the best singers in Central Texas so keep your eyes open for her. This is definitely a street tape and Tone lets you know he can't forget where he came from with "What Yall Know About Me" with Mak Man and "I Remember." Tone takes a break from the heaviness to talk about his favorite things in life in "Love Of Money," "Pound Game" and "Hu$tla Love" before going back to the unpleasant things in life with "Only Heaven Knows." "Right Or Wrong" features Unonumes and big Dirty Brigante and is followed by "Fo Life" and "Streets Don't Love" which is a dope track. All in all, Tone definitely lets you know he represents for the streets of ATX in an authentic way. Tone has a dope style so if he works on his craft and develops himself, his next album could really do some damage.
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Tex Garcia - Est 1982


Tex Garcia's 2014 album starts out with "I'm From The Bottom" which has a soul sample with Tex delivering a street sermon about the reality of his situation in Austin. "Blessed" with Gunplay is another dope track that has been slept on followed by street banger "Come From Nothing" with Atlanta's Kap G. "King" features a hook from Masspike Miles and is followed by banger "Get Ya Own" with Freddie Gibbs and Stix 1. You can see that Tex has a great ear for beats and definitely has a vision for this project. "Red Presidents" shows Tex in his native element, while "Ima Be Rich Soon" features Jo Young who delivers a pretty good feature verse. "Momma Ain't Worried" shows Tex flossing now that he's moved up in the world, while "If I Ever Came Back" features Jo Young again. "Whoa" with Big Dirty is another dope heater that's been slept on. "Up" with June Summers is followed by soul-sampling "My Future" where Tex talks about some super real shit. "Live It" is a dope song and "Pie" closes it out where Tex kinda reminds me of Jeezy. Overall, this album is really well put together and shows other street rappers how to put together a Southern hood classic. If Tex and PIE can put together an album as dope and grand as this one and get the right promo behind it, they would really go places because I feel like he's got the best ear for beats out of all of them. As of now, I definitely think this is the best rap album I've ever heard from Montopolis.
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Trae Cane - Trappers In The Attic


I first heard of Trae Cane from his song "27" with Kydd Jones, so I figured I'd check out his new joint "Trappers In The Attic." His drug-influenced style is trapped out on "Listen Up" and "Jugg Life"  which features Steelo Foreign of SoulFresca. "Final Battle" features buzzing California rapper Bones and is definitely on some wavy cloud rap shit. The EP is closed out by "The Flyest" which is some Migos-influenced bouncy fun ignorant rap (my favorite part is when he admits "I can't pronounce what I wear"). Trae Cane has potential, good taste in beats and sees the bigger picture; he just needs to put it together in a consistent musical project and he'll start to see more attention.
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Traffic Lee - The Booker T Project


Traffic Lee's new mixtape starts out with the "Intro" talking about where he's from, the infamous Booker T Washington projects on the East Side. DJ Mist does the honors on this joint as "How Bout That" goes on for a verse or so until another spoken interlude leads into "All I Know" with Mezzy Don on the hook. Lee definitely represents for those raised in the drug game of the Eastside with his street lyrics. "Send Me" is full of shout outs to the folks who make up his hood... crooks, crips, bloods, and shooters. "Against The City" has an Atlanta style hook that kinda reminds me of Migos and is followed by the soulful "Chance" as Lee asks what logical way to get money is there other than to sell drugs when you're in a neighborhood with no other options. The outro of the track features a more trapped out beat and then Traffic shouts out all the homies from Booker T before going into the "Collin.Kermit story" which is a dope drug deal setup storytelling type track. Mist and Traffic give an outro before the mixtape is closed by "How It Feels" where Traffic, 512 Dre and Chris Houston wonder how those born on the Westside or those who live on the "new" Eastside must live. This is definitely a very hood mixtape, but if Traffic Lee works on his music and sticks to his strengths, he could really be putting his hood on the map for the rap world. 
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Tuk Da Gat & S-Dot - Green Room


The yell of "League Shit!" lets you know what's up from the jump. Tuk and $. get to dropping bombs right after Bryson Brown does the formal introduction for them on the Y2JJ-produced "Green Room." You know what you're gonna get with the whiteboys from the COD: aggressive rap bars. After Bryson tells you to move out the way, they immediately drop what needs to be a video, the ScottyATL-assisted "Overtime." This is definitely my favorite joint on the tape, DJ Burn One killed the beat... They could definitely do a HTown remix to this one. "Skydivin" with Max Frost is another banger, he kills the hook. "W" with Gangsta Boo and Burn One is a dope joint as well, this is more of a party track. "Shoulders" features fellow COD member Greezo and shows the Gz reflecting on the sad situations they've been through in the past and the worries being a musician can bring to you. "Raw Pt 2" is an Eric Dingus banger and Lil J comes through as the three C.O.D. members let you know that 04 is still running things in the city of Austin, followed by "Good Smoke" with San Antonio songstress KiiKii Star which is a chilled out joint that you can jam on the highway. "Intoxicated" and "Wait" close out the new LOEGz project. This is a concise and focused album from Tuk and S, although honestly I felt like it could have ended after "Good Smoke" but I guess it would have been shorter (though the screwed up "Space" is interesting). They show their professionalism and experience as rappers on this album, as it's consistent from start to finish.
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Whiteside and Checkmate - White Checks


This new mixtape from Eastside residents Checkmate and Whiteside starts off with the club joint "Like Jordan" where Whiteside introduces you to the city of Austin where people hate on you because you have a little more success than them. This isn't exactly backpacker indie rap and if you haven't realized that by the third song, "Djigalonme" (which definitely needs a ridiculous dance to accompany it) you might be a bit slow. Fellow Above All member Uptown Joe joins in for braggadocio track "I'm The Man," while Shogunz from New York jumps in for a guest appearance on  "Don't Do It." "Ain't Kno" is a dope club track as well, while Whiteside turns to honest portrayal of his life on "God In My Body." Gee Bully features on "4 Spittas" which is more of an old school hip hop posse cut. Overall, this mixtape shows you that Whiteside is a rapper to take seriously, however at 21 tracks it feels a bit long. If Check can get some beats that don't sound like they're from ten years ago and have Whiteside and spitters on his level represent for Austin, look out for what Above All can do.

Friday, May 8, 2015

[New Beats] Scott Pace's Beat Tape || Seasons 1 & 2

Scott Pace is a music producer born and raised in Texas who's worked with artists like Kirko Bangz, LNS Crew and a whole bunch of Texas artists. Described as having a "Weeknd-influenced R&B" style by Austin music blog Ovrld, Scott recently dropped off his newest beat tapes to us. When we asked him what influenced the tapes and the titles for them, he told us that he's a big fan of TV shows. This guy's probably someone to watch for the future!

 Instagram @ScottPace88 | Soundcloud @ScottPaceBeats


Thursday, May 7, 2015

[New Mixtape] H+ EP

Producer Haris Qureshi aka H+ drops off his newest EP as an exclusive debut! We asked him to describe his most recent project and this is what he sent us:

"Basically this project was made from a bunch of old Bollywood records I had bought a few years ago from various local record stores (End of An Ear, Friends of Sound and Waterloo Records) as well as online. I decided to remix some tracks I had produced for the various members of LNS Crew and give the tracks more of a South Asian flair. The interlude and outro are made up of sounds from Bollywood records as well as some chopped up dialogue from various movies that sort of show my state of mind as far as being identified as South Asian / Desi and growing up in that culture during the 90s/00s as a born and raised Texan. Shout out Austin artist Manik Raj Nakra for knocking out the cover for me too."
 

You can follow H+ at twitter.com/trillpaki and instagram.com/trillpaki.

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