Rhyme Selektah – Criminus

Projecting a dark atmosphere, the new rap track of Rhyme Selektah manages to actually make you feel the desperation and drive beyond the music.

I admit it, I’m not really a pro in the rap genre. Heck, I’m not even a novice. But as always, we’re at kms are not about analyzing on a genre specific level. We’re all about feeling and the wow-element of music. And the new track “Criminus” from the crew of Rhyme Selektah, Arnold William and Tech Masta Dee has got both feeling and the wow effect, and it’s not just a bit, it’s a truckload.
The music base does sound familiar to other genre-typical tracks, but there’s something special added, something dark. Feels like watching a batman movie. Icing on the cake is the vocals which transmit a signature element with this nothing-to-lose-attitude. This guy either is the best actor in the scene, or he is living the music style exactly the way he raps, therefore having full credibility all along.
Mixing work of the track is great, the vocals are not fighting with the synth lines, and the beat has enough room to ‘smack’ your speakers (or your headphones, which are mandatory if you want to do yourself a favor, folks). What also caught my attention while going through the online resources of Rhyme Selektah is the video that comes along with the track. Filmed in various dark locations, the video even takes that desperate atmosphere to a higher level. While watching, you don’t know if you better prepare to fight or better run for your life. The pictures support the overall theme of the music perfectly.

Rhyme Selektah released a mixtape called “The Bottom: Take Off” a month ago. This is a showcase of what those guys are capable of. Always delivering, they are bringing a portion of “watch out!” straight to your mind. Even if you’re not into that genre, I recommend giving those tracks a listen. You’ll be surprised how they manage to make you nod your head before you even realize it.

Victor Perry – Nostalgia

Chances are that you haven’t heard from Victor Perry until now. Chances are you will hear a lot more from him from now on. Damn, this guy can sing.

Usually I’m not the kind of girl that likes downtempo emotional r&b/pop tracks. Those who know me will probably say I’m sort of a party girl who likes her music loud, fast and danceable. But tonight I stopped by on the soundcloud account of Victor Perry, giving one of his latest tracks “Nostalgia” a listen. Do you know that feeling when time seems to slow down? This track created that feeling. Imagine that lights-out stage, with only a spotlight on a piano and its player. There you have him, the guy from a small town named Thomasville, Georgia, who manages to set free waves of emotion with just his voice, a piano and minimal strings backing tracks. Boy, he’s got an awesome voice! They say the world’s a stage and each must play a part – I guess Perry already found out what his part is. With his vocal range and the ability to transmit feelings with his singing (which isn’t the easiest thing to do for men in my opinion), he’s capable of letting your mind focus on just what he’s doing. And although the lyrics of “Nostalgia” are deep and meaningful, he’s got the gift of reaching you without even the lyrics. Heck, he could even sing a whole scientific research about the mating habits of unicellular organisms – as long as he’s singing, everything feels warm and bright. Giving the other tracks of his EP “4 A.M. Nostalgia” (already released in June by Phillias Records) a listen, this statement is final. Filled with warm atmospheres, doubled vocal tracks, fresh ideas and just the emotion that everything somehow will be okay, his music is working like a remedy for a stressed mind.

Being only 22 years old, Perry’s musical journey just started, but this is a rocket start with releases over all the major online distributors like Spotify, iTunes, GooglePlay and Soundcloud. This comes as no surprise with a talent like him. Check out what he’s about on his accounts, and let him convince you in about 5 seconds that he’s gonna make it big out there.

Nadia – Spoiled Latina

“Life is short, you should spoil yourself.” Today we get spoiled with one of the newer tracks of talented and beautiful singer/songwriter Nadia.

First thing that came up when I heard this song was “man, I bet she can be sooo nice and sooo mean at the same time!” What’s the most impressive factor with “Spoiled Latina” in my opinion is the way in which Nadia shows herself to the world out there. This song reflects several parts of her personality, be it that sassy part, that emotive part or that “hey, don’t you dare messing with me” part, all is packed into one track here. And all is done with only certain expressions of her voice.
The new track of Houston native Nadia Ramirez-Meyers has a huge load of drive. The balanced mixture of latin samples alongside those almost dubstep-like elements and the vocal tracks is working out great, it takes skills (and some courage) to mix and master such a project. But the studio work has been done rock solid, there aren’t any flaws in the mix. Maybe it could’ve been a bit “fatter” on the low eq band, but then again, that’s what ALL producers do nowadays, so nevermind. I like it when tracks have that recognizable factor. (you know, that “hey, sounds like xxxxx did that track!” feel.)

I’m guessing that Nadia isn’t spoiled at all. She works hard for where she’s heading to, and her singing/rap skills and looks are a perfect business card for this young artist to make a name for herself out there. Which she already did. Teaming up with Steve O Valdez was a great move, with his help Nadia got her EP “Ride or Die” produced this year. You’ll find practically all of what is the essence of Nadia on this EP. I’d love to see her performing live somewhere. I guess she can get everybody moving with a sound like this.

RiP – Bleeding Pain From My Words

Ever got hit by raw emotion through a song so intense it made you freeze in silence, just listening and taking in what you hear for several minutes? No? Well…prepare for that.

This one got me goosebumps. Why? Simple. It’s not because the used technique is something never heard before. It’s not because of the best finalized mix I ever heard or the greatest instruments or hooks ever used. It’s because the track itself delivers the message with a huge load of passion and emotion. You don’t get that very often nowadays, but Antonio James Acosta Sr. aka RiP did what many artists forgot how to do: he transmits his feelings right through his performance. And he does so in a unique fashion – by not playing a role. You just can hear that this is no gimmick of his, this is a part of him.
After a slow and melodic intro with a distorted female voice in the background you are introduced to the main melody right away. I’m no expert in what belongs into a unique and great rap track, but as I stated before, kms is not about the technique but the effect on the listener. As soon as RiP picks up his first line there’s emotion sitting on it. It just great to listen to him, because he delivers genuinely. Browsing through some of his other tracks (he’s got quite a lot on his soundcloud account worth checking out) my first impression was cemented: he’s not talking about being real – he IS real.

In my opinion the texan based artist Acosta is an outstanding artist when it comes to being honest and take that honesty out there. With quite minimalistic beats and melodies he even manages not to distract the ear away from the lyrics too much. In his soundcloud stash you’ll find pretty much everything, be it for sitting in the yard thinking about life or crusin’ down the blocks around midnight. With this skills at his hands, he makes everything seem so easy to do, although it’s hard work, blood, sweat and tears, so to speak. RiP belongs out there, because he doesn’t WANT TO be mainstage material – he already is.

Jeremy – Killer Chick

You’ll learn something tonight. About women. About money. About feelings. About the ability to deliver a message in a way that counts. All of this comes from Jeremy “Jerretje” Deekman, a dutch rapper who knows what he’s doing.

This one’s really loaded with emotions. It’s not often you hear something that makes you feel what the artist was feeling when writing or performing the song. This fresh tune from a so far unreleased mixtape from Jeremy just recharged my faith in the fact that there actually ARE artists out there who can connect with your mind instantly.
“Killer Chick” is backed with a simple but catchy melody and a genre-typical beat. I like that slightly overdriven chorus parts of the drums, giving the drums that little extra smack to stick to your head.
Lyric-wise and regarding timing, I like how the song’s split into several passages. I said it before somewhere on the blog, I’m not really seeing into the genre of rap, hip-hop or R’n’B, so I cannot tell you anything about technique or structure of genre-typical songs. As a regular reader you know the kms musicblog is more about what feeling a song creates – and this track takes you right into Jeremy’s world for a couple of minutes. As said before, this one’s delivering with passion. The rapping is shooting straight, and even the melodic chorus parts are brought with that mixture of feeling combined with pressure, giving a hint what else there is in Jeremy’s arsenal of vocal weaponry.

With ability, style and with skill, all of Jeremy’s tracks out there are carrying one message: this one’s a pro. Rapping in english as well as dutch, he shows that he’s very comfortable with the concept of rhythm, timing and packing vocals where they belong.
Jeremy grants you with a load of tracks on his soundcloud account. I really recommend checking out his other works, songs like “F#cked up” or “Oké” (although I don’t understand a word of his dutch lyrics, but that doesn’t really matter) make me wanna drive around somewhere during the night, cranking up that car stereo. To sum things up, I really see this artist as a top ticket seller soon.

Blazy Mo – No Time

Unusual, but fresh. Unexpected and innovative. Melodic but staccato rap. This track’s got a whole bunch of attributes. Glad I found it.

This track made me turn up the volume when I heard it first, which always is a good sign. What caught my attention was the clear edited vocals paired with the bass line and the rhythm. Every now and then there’s even some beatboxing mixed in, which is a nice treat, but doesn’t really elevate the track itself. I think what really does the trick selling the track is the voice of Blazy Mo. Hell, even if he recorded himself reading from a book, it would sound good – he’s got the kind of voice that sounds best when clear and crisp with no effects (maybe some reverb, but nothing else). Within the track several transistions are made, be it a complete instrumental break or time-shifted vocal. The canadian rapper also is quick in firing vocals on all cylinders so to speak. Timing switches are made very fluent. He obviously knows what he’s doing.
Okay, I gotta state the most negative aspect now: this track isn’t mixed properly. It has a lot of potential left if only it was mixed up a notch. The music is held back too much in my opinion, lacking the necessary pressure to support Blazy Mo’s voice to the max. The bass sounds flat compared to the snare sound. This is the mixer in me talking, I just know that the track could sound better in no time with the proper tools.

Besides that, you have a great rap track at your fingertips here. The style of Blazy Mo is unusual, but most effective. I’m curious what’s next. He offers the complete self-produced mixtape called “Enter the Blaze” on his Soundcloud account, I recommend checking out the tracks available there.

SAAY – Lowkey

This track really is something for the soul. Not one of the quick tracks playing in the car stereo. Feels like someone handed you a warm, soft blanket on a cold night. In other words: my definition of R&B.

Since today was a very stressful day, I was searching for that nice, chillin’ tune to relax to. Hearing the first auto-tuned notes of SAAY’s track immediately made me turn up the volume.
Using a deep space bass, the song produces a lot of room for the vocals. From there on it’s an intelligent mix of percussion, layered synth and one of the softest male vocals I heard in a long time. Especially in the chorus the singer managed to build up what I like to call an “eye-closer”. He sung in all the vocal tracks to mix them togehter perfectly to create that …smoothness (in lack of a better word to describe it right now).
Seems that Saay Harris from New York is around the scene for a long time now…and hell, he’s here to stay! For “Lowkey” he teamed up with a producer called Rusty Harris who also did several other tracks with Saay and also with other artists like Danny Matos or Chica. Harris obviously knows what he is doing when it comes to mixing and mastering. Nothing disturbing happens in the track, everything is mixed well-balanced.
Just beacuse it’s my policy when doing a review, and also because I don’t want this to sound like Saay paid me to write this review, I have to at least mention one negative thing per track. So, this would be the slight overuse of percussion. On some points in the song the percussion draws too much attention from the voice in my opinion.

My advice for today is that you really give this track a listen. You’re in for a treat!

Djazel – Cut Throats

I’ve not heard many female hip hop/rap artist worth a listen in a long time. Listening to Djazel made me rethink their position in the genre.

Clicking through one of those facebook groups where usually tens of thousands of producers submit stuff, but no one actually cares (well, almost no one – I DO! hehe.), I stumbled upon singer/songwriter Djazel’s new collection “The checklist” which caught my attention. Usually I’m not too much into rap nor hip hop, but listening to one of these tracks named “Cut Throats” made me stop clicking and listening.
The song itself is going relatively slow compared to other songs in that genre, also Djazel sings quite slow and clean (to be honest, I expected a song called “Cut Throats” to bombard me with dirty, fast and distorted lyrics, but I was pleasantly surprised) which gives the singer room for doing what she does best – delievering a message.

The instrumental part does blend well with the vocals. I noticed that the mix shows several effects with left/right/stereo outputs (like for example vocal backups that are time-shifted through both channels) which is a nice gimmick but in my opionion does distract the ear away from Djazels beautiful voice. Djazel really shows what she’s able to do in the chorus where she recorded several vocal tracks (I could listen to the singing part of the chorus for hours, no joke.), making the song lift off by the time the first chorus hits.

The beautiful Djazel Santos just arrived the scene in 2015, as her website (https://djazel.com/) states. I guess future will hold many exciting stuff for her. Plus, as long as she’s producing new songs, we’ll be in for a treat as well! I highly recommend to give her track a listen. Also check out her other work on the soundcloud account, it’s worth your time!