One of the latest signees to the heralded Stones Throw
Records label, Vex Ruffin channels the spirit of dance
music from the 1980’s, just as it met headlong with
rap music. The record is accentuated even further with
the inclusion of hip-hop cultural icon Fab 5 Freddy. Head
over to Stones Throw and cop it.
Undiscovered or under appreciated, either way these are vocalists, artists, & musicians
worth getting to know.
One of the latest signees to the heralded Stones Throw
With Cuba on everyone’s minds these days, it is worth
nothing how the island nation once excoriated by many
has become a recent wellspring for artistry. In another
example, photographer Omar Robles takes some stunning
pictures of ballerinas dancing within the streets of Havana.
Each image is striking in its juxtaposition, and very layered.
Check out more of Robles’ work at his Instagram page.
Yes, it takes an exorbitant amount of skill and
precision to make masterpieces out of wood. It
is something that Gabriel Schama has achieved
in a striking way. Based in Oakland, California,
Schama has created some highly intricate pieces
with a laser cutter that give you a serious 3D effect
when you look at them. Check out more of his
work at his website.
be on while you’re headed somewhere else. For Brandon
Stoehr, this has become the underpinning to his flourishing
career. Hailing from Washington State, Stoehr initially had
his mind set on being an elite basketball player even as he
was steadily creating beats while at home, something he
had been doing since he was 12 years old. He reached a
crossroads of sorts after deciding to not play in a tourney
while in high school. The end result came in a song he wrote
and produced which gave him the push to continue with
making music. Since then he’s been consistently grinding
as an MC and producer.
As Far As It Goes is the next evolution of the sound that
Stoehr represents - rap music that’s high energy and clear
from bassline to lyrics. This is the first full length project
he’s put out, and from the first track you gain a good
perspective on the heights he’s trying to reach. Brandon’s
flow is earnest, and doesn’t stretch out to be similar like
others in the scene right now. The production here by
guest beatmakers such as Jacob Lethal and Don P show
a willingness to put a smoother edge to those high energy beats that
are all the rage these days while sprinkling in some influences
from veterans on the scene like JakeUno and araabMUZIK.
Stoehr is driven, evidenced by the smooth and solid staccato
about putting in work towards your dreams on “Noon To Six.”
“Alive” shows off Stoehr’s tightness in terms of delivering
heavy verses with a note of hope. And “Don’t Stop” delivers
more of the same, including this: “I rap so I can inspire/it’s why
my rap name is my real name”. With As Far As It Goes, Brandon
Stoehr is set on a road to show not only the lengths of his
dedication to providing good rap music but the possibility of just
how high he’ll reach. Check out his website for access to the
Because this isn’t only a fresh tune, it’s a needed one.
She’s been putting it down for a minute, representing
both Nigeria and the Hackney district of London, England
as a sharp singer and songwriter. Find out more about
her at her website: http://www.meakoom.com/
A hangover can provide illumination, and not just the
persistent thought that maybe one shouldn’t party to
excess. Sometimes it can lead to a bit of growth. That’s
one underlying force that drives J’Moris, who relays that
idea on his EP, Moris Better: The Hangover. J’Moris isn’t
a fresh face in the rap game - he’s been dropping lyrics
since his first single at the age of seventeen, “Play On”.
Hailing from outside of the Dallas/Fort Worth area in
Hillsboro, Texas, J’Moris has crafted a unique style that
draws from the rich Southern rap culture that gave birth
to such MC’s as Chamillionaire, Kevin Gates and others
while also taking some influence from East Coast hip-hop.
That, plus a firm independent spirit propelled him to go
his own way while still a co-founder of Tru Misfitz, a collective
formed while he was at Lamar University.
Moris Better: The Hangover is a neat little EP, six tracks
in length. The album in its entirety allows him to show off
a laid-back style of rapping that has its moments of bold
emphasis. Steady and entertaining, J’Moris delivers lyrics
with a quick wit, shown to the full extent on “Mad At Me”.
He even gets a bit risque with a song dedicated to threesomes,
entitled “Lesbian”. The production on the album pays homage
to the inflections of trap music that currently dominates the
scene, but it serves to be a good springboard for the rapper
to rhyme casually and with confidence that you’ll be bumping
this in your ride as the temperature increases and waiting for
more to come. Moris Better:The Hangover is available now
through his website and all major outlets.
Check out this absolutely stunning sculpture by artist
Jordi Diez. Standing at 6 feet tall, it’s made entirely out
of steel and dedicated to his wife. Find out more about the
process and see more works by Diez at his website.
Collaborations in music, like many other things, can be
hit or miss. The result often lies in how the artists on a
project connect from start to finish. One has to have that
in mind the moment they hit “play” on Live From The
Pentagon, a release from 3Bubble and J. Gray. The two
MC’s hail from Houston, Texas and managed to connect
despite two different paths. In the case of 3Bubble, he
had built up a solid reputation in the industry dating back
to his first solo release 6 years ago. J. Gray had started
out having a love of rap fulfilled after engaging in a battle
while at the High School for Performing and Visual Artists.
He ran into 3Bubble after returning to Houston from living
in Brooklyn and Atlanta at a talent show and from there
they found they could really craft great music together.
Live From The Pentagon carries forth a message that both
rappers strive to live by - have fun and live to the fullest
with a purpose. The album starts out defining how that
message will be delivered, with snappy rhymes and an
interchange that exemplifies how well these two MC’s
flow together. “Euros” starts out easy, but charges up in
an instant as 3Bubble begins his verse. J. Gray provides
a flow that is uptempo but doesn’t lose focus. In the case
of 3Bubble, you have someone who drops lyrics with the
casual affectation of a veteran. The production is nicely layered
and shows off a strong variety of influences from funk to
EDM. Another standout track to digest is “This One” that
bounces like a Cadillac out on parade in the 5th Ward. The
pair also take time to be wholly introspective, evidenced by
“Studio” which details the consistent grind they underwent
to get to where they are now.”Turn It Down” is an impassioned
plea to those struggling to get past their difficulties and rise above.
Live From The Pentagon covers all the bases you would want
a solid duo like 3Bubble and J. Gray to touch on. Look out for
the album’s release on May 30th.
Here’s an ode to the Montreal Canadiens’ star defenseman
and highly influential philanthropist, P.K. Subban from Wasiu,
who reps the city well with his lyrics. Production courtesy of
Noah Barer & Cavewerk. Also, make sure to check out Wasiu’s
enlightening interview with THE FADER about the ode to the
city and Subban and his own perspective about being Black in
Montreal. MTLIENS 2 drops this summer.