No matter what state you go to, there is always one artist that”hasn’t gotten their shine yet.” No matter what year of Hip Hop you research, there are two distinctive brackets that particular artist go in to. The first bracket it the artists that were on the cusp of doing something amazing, and everyone knew it, but was never was able to turn the corner (AZ, G Dep, Rass Kass, Field Mob). The second bracket contains artists that were flat out dope. They were better than 90 percent of the music being heard, but never got their moment in the Sun (Alley Boy, Cuban Link, Twisted Black, Bad Azz, Sick Jacken (of Psycho Realm). An artist who is gradually getting their moment in the Sun, and the chance to turn the corner is Killa Kyleon. If you’ve had an ear to the street for the Texas underground music scene, he’s been around for a minute. He’s not only been around, but has gotten on tracks with artist who have became stars and had the best verse on the song (Wiz Khalifa, Currency, Mike Jones, Paul Wall). He got in the studio with Nessacary (who is a beast in her own right) and put together a very solid project in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Don’t expect a bunch of stunting and getting to the money songs with this team. You get a few songs on that vibe (“Watching Me”, “Riding”), but it’s all business after that. “Since you niggaz bumping, I ain’t heard a better rapper yet. Still the hottest, I ain’t taking off my sweater yet. Besides the man in the mirror, I never met a threat. You a rookie, I’m a vet, verified without a check”, says a aggravated Killa Kyleon on “Intro”. Nessacary keeps up with Killa bar for bar on “Intro” saying “Opitical illusion, hoes ain’t really seeing me. Even with some Lasik, they ain’t really seeing me. Third times the charm bitch, but I don’t need your trilogy.” The duo has a pretty good chemistry throughout the album and showcases it on songs like “Talk is Cheap”, “Drugs”, and the aforementioned “Intro”. The cool thing about this project to me is that it seems as if they came into the studio and said “let’s make some dope shit”, instead of “let’s make some hits”. And, if “let’s make some dope shit” was their mind state, they succeeded.
Twenty sixteen saw Jonathan drop eight singles + music videos, lecture at schools, land numerous acting gigs in movies and television, win a court case against Universal Music, TDE and Interscope Records over the unlawful takedown of his 2015 breakout single “Heaven Help Dem” featuring Kendrick Lamar, and to close the year out, Emile releases his second full length project “Phantom Pain“.
“Phantom Pain” is like an echo of things lost. It’s a big part of what I experienced battling cancer. It’s a loss of faith, innocence and certainty. The whole project is a dark commentary on struggle and what it means to lose something and continue pushing forward; being changed by time itself. A lot of it is inspired by existentialism and phenomenology. So much of life is about making it through adversity, knowing parts of yourself are gone forever and understanding how that changes your very existence.
“Phantom Pain” is where your heroes are exposed as frauds, your abilities are slowly handicapped and the truth is revealed as exhausting and complex. I grapple with survivor’s guilt, inner frustrations, grievances with industry and knowing the world itself has taken a major turn for the worse.” – Jonathan Emile
The project takes a darker turn than Jonathan‘s previous work, and features a melange of vets and up-and-comers, including 17 year old producer Lowgo, 18 year old vocalist Ezra Lewis, guitarist Dylan Lazarus, MC/vocalist Natasha Marie, producers Young Kico, Dandeezy and Cee Goods, and Australian expats/labelmates Cee (on vocals) and Notion (on the beats).
With a quiet charisma that belies a fierce confidence, Siya contorts boom bap to fit her unique personality, creating an exciting take on Brooklyn rap. Running a gamut of styles from the eerie minimalism of “Body” to the warm electronic of “Only You,” SIYAvsSIYA is a debut album worthy of Siya’s myriad talents. Featuring appearances from Sage The Gemini, Lyric Wright, Jake & Papa, Kreesha Turner,and Ashley Rose, the album posits a battle between the two conflicting sides of Siya’s personality. On the first half of the album Siya leans on her brutal, tough “Bed-Stuy Bully” persona, attacking classic-style New York boom-bap beats with endless bars. The album’s second half displays her softer, more sensitive self, as she alternates between singing and rapping over textured, relaxed electronic instrumentals. Released by RnB Money, a label owned by R&B star Tank, and distributed through EMPIRE, SIYAvsSIYA demonstrates her boundless potential and magnetic personality.
Explains Siya, “I wanted to show the versatility I have musically. I wanted to be able to give the fans both sides of me: singing, rapping, doing lyrical music, keeping it street… just giving everyone what they deserve. But also, I wanted to show that I am my only competition. I’m a firm believer in you becoming your worst enemy over time. I think everyday as human beings we wake up with a chip on our shoulders someway somehow, trying to overcome the struggles that we’re going through. I’m definitely continuing to grow and learn day by day. It’s an endless evolution of who I am.”
Riding a minimalist boom-bap beat with a sinister four-note piano motif, Siya calmly dismisses wannabes, weirdos, and haters on “I Know I Know,” a standout track for the album. Premiered today by The FADER, the video for “I Know I Know” finds Siya channeling Nino from New Jack City as she smugly takes over New York streets, rocking an Adidas tracksuit and blockading a gas station with her Jeep. “I Know I Know” follows the release of “Nights B4 You,” a downtempo, confessional highlight from the album, and “My Sons,” a loose single premiered by Mass Appeal. The breakout star of Oxygen‘s T.I.-produced The Sisterhood of Hip-Hop, a reality show starring five female rappers who navigate their way through the male-dominated music industry, Siya is set to elevate her stardom through musical and non-musical means. SIYAvsSIYA is available to purchase on iTunes and stream via Spotify.
Here is a link to soundcloud where you can check out most of her music: https://soundcloud.com/iamsiya-1
Watch “I Know I Know”: https://youtu.be/9WHHQqFIukY
Also check out the FADER premiere: http://www.thefader.com/2016/12/08/siya-i-know-i-know-video-premiere
Black people in America being murdered by the police is not a new thing, but it got to a point for us where we felt a couple of lines in a song or a post on social media was not doing enough for us to properly address this injustice. The tipping point for us came in early July of 2016 when Alton Sterling and Philando Castille were both murdered by the police in different parts of the country within 48 hours of each other. The gruesome murders of both of these innocent men were captured on camera. Not only are these murders being caught on camera now, but the fact that these murderers are not being held accountable for their heinous actions makes an incredibly terrible situation even worse. We had no choice but to say something about this the best way we knew how. Magestik Legend’s next solo album was complete and ready for an October 2016 release, Jamall Bufford’s next solo album was near completion in preparation for a January 2017 release, but these plans came to a halt. Over the last 3 weeks of July we wrote the songs that eventually became African America, these songs had to be made and they had to be made now. This is not a concept album. This album is what came out of us, it essentially made itself.
About The Black Opera
With Magestik Legend being in California and Jamall Bufford being in Michigan, it prolonged the process of completing African America. But the sad part about the United States of America is that several names have already been added to the list of Black people murdered by the police, without any repercussions. We hope that one day the subject matter on African America is outdated and irrelevant, but unfortunately today is not the day, and it doesn’t appear that this day is coming any time soon.
Roy The Savage has a little bit of everything for everyone with his latest project ‘The Giving Tree’. He has summertime hits, serious tracks, poetry, and more. Roy is not one to follow trends either. He makes unique, soulful music. The 13 track LP only features 3 artists who are all very good friends with Roy. ‘The Giving Tree’ will take you on an adventure and tell his story over the next 45 minutes. Make sure to listen and enjoy!
MindsOne & DJ Iron collaboration album “Phaseology” (CD/LP/cassette/digital), entirely produced by DJ Iron, in stores today!
MindsOne connects with Belgium’s DJ Iron on their newest endeavor, “Phaseology”, and aim to examine the bigger picture. Why are we here? Where do we go in the end? Is that an SP1200? Damn right. Is life too complex to condense into 40 minutes? Challenge accepted.
First, don’t look at life as the sum of its events. Think about it as a series of phases. Next, combine MindsOne’s handcrafted lyrical artistry with DJ Iron’s jazz infused boom-bap. Combine, two parts cynicism, one part mysticism, and add water. Then, sprinkle in a guest appearance by the sage John Robinson, throw in a heavy dose of turntablism from DJ Iron and MindsOne’s DJ Noumenon and Slim Deluxe, and the theory is complete.
“Phaseology” is the follow-up to MindsOne’s 2014 critically acclaimed release, “Pillars”, produced by Kev Brown. Journey along as Tronic and KON Sci explore the phases of life and create scenes, both real and imagined, to give listeners a bird’s-eye view. Relive childish fantasies and revisit irrational fears. Go to work and act like an adult. Ponder your existence and reflect on your life. Spoiler: It’s all gonna end. But not today.
We’re born alone, we die alone, etc. Talk to God if it’s too complex.
The wait is finally over…The iLLustrious Music Group releases their LP “It Was Summer”. Executive produced by in house producer Solidified and Bishop. “IT WAS SUMMER” features timeless minutes of the group’s unique brand of high-energy. From Kojazz, MeRCY, see.francis, to Bishop, iLLustrious reaches new levels of emotional depth, musicality, creativity, lyricism and song structure to be considered one of the hottest LP’s to drop this summer. The iLLustrious iLLumni never fail to refreshingly recreate the vintage sound that truly is hip hop with their new release. This is no different.
Future album releases from the ILLustrious FamILLy are “Swamp Thing” by MeRCY and “All We Did Was Us” by see.francis; along with a new hit single coming soon titled “Brujeria” by Bishop.