This past Sunday, WIFIGAWD followed up his last single ‘4 Phones’ with the second volume of BORN FROM HATE. The project features production from StoopidXool, Yung Brando, Trip Dixon, Curtis Heron and a few more talented others. The producer credits are, for lack of better term, insane. The album is “rare,” making it strictly available for streaming on BandCamp. The reception from fans has been positive, but there is plenty of confusion about the price.
The late Nipsey Hussle priced his 2013 mixtape Crenshaw for $100 and received the same bewildered response from fans. Crenshaw ended up selling out the day of release and even caught the attention of Jay Z, who purchased ten copies. You can do the math. When asked the reasoning behind the price, Nipsey explained that he wanted cultivate a level of engagement, connection and respect from the fans by ensuring that his product was of quality.
His inspiration behind the pricing came from a restaurant that sold a $100 phillycheese steak. The same response followed. Confusion. Public slander. But shortly after, something shifted and the restaurant became a status symbol, bringing in the likes of Oprah and other notable public figures. If the value is there, the support will come. WIFI proves that the value is there by carefully cultivating a solid team of producers with his hair-raising vocals and signature flow.
“Don’t Choke” is packed with head-turning bass arrangements that begin within the first second of this track that clocks in at one minute and fifty-six seconds. Subtle keys and heavy kicks guide the track as Marzo raps with a dauntless tone and drone-like vocals, “Marzo don’t ever do that. I don’t worry future…past…” The fluttering keys keep your ears engrossed as filters and playful velocity tricks are utilized. With 10+ tracks over the span of a year, we can see Marzo coming into his own with a signature sound that stands apart. We can’t wait to see what he has in store future projects.
Khayos Kel has produced a collection of slick and artful tracks over the past four months with sincere intentions of “bringing punk back.”
Khayos conjures his interpretation of punk on “Retropunk,” “Empyreus Love,” and “Moon Night.” His stand out moments though, are with his tracks “Vampyre Heart,” “Trap 18,” and “Red Beam.” Khayos has a skittish and energetic flow on “Red Beam” that bleeds into the other two tracks, illustrating his ever-changing adaptability. His vocals are different from one track to the next, applying auto-tune on some and heavy distortion on others to fit the context of the song. The adaptability is refreshing, even haunting. His most impressive track, “Empyreus Love” plays on his soft vocals while exploring themes of loneliness over celestial pads and gnarled, heavy guitars.
“In the darkness no you’re not alone.
Self-destructive… ’bout to blow.
Take the chains off me.
Can’t be controlled.
Are you by yourself?
Do you really know?
You took the wrong way down the lonely road.”
The vision is clear. Kel is not only wishing to bring punk back, he’s wishing to completely transform it. On “LOTUS,” Kel is smooth with his “young nigga shit” confidence. On “Moon Night,” Khayos ponders his contradicting actions, wishing to stay away from an unknown lover. “Walking through a storm all day. Walking all alone in the rain.”
Khayos Kel is best summed up as the beginning stages of something special. Khayos has shown range in terms of sound and lyricism, inching closer and closer to distinct signature sound. With the release date of his upcoming EP Heartlust Shadowsdrawing near, we can all finally expect to hear what he was aiming for this past year. In the meantime, peep the interview with Khayos below to hold you over:
How did you go about picking your name?
From the concept of trouble in paradise , I made chaos in paradise. Everyone goes through some type of chaos or crucible in their lives, and it can break you or make you stronger. I took chaos and made khayos, I manipultated the word into my own brand.
How has punk music influenced your “punk star” image?
I’ve always been fascinated by the whole punk scene. I started listening to and researching punk about 2 years ago. Ever since I immersed myself into the aesthetic punk has been influencing my style and music ever since. I really like punk in the 70s 80s and also post punk. A feel like a lot of amazing sub genres came from punk rock.
How has the move from Texas to California impacted your music career?
The move from Austin to Cali has been a real life changer. Ever since I’ve been here I’ve grown personally and musically wise. Out here I get a lot of support from brands, other artists and producers. I feel like I have a lot more resources out here to be successful then I did in texas and I’m grateful for that .
What is one of your favorite tracks that you have made so far?
One of my favorite songs is Vampyre Heart, I’m so psyched to shoot the video for it , I have the clear vision for how I want it to turn out. My other favorite is a song that’s on my upcoming EP Heartlust Shadows.
What were your music goals before COVID and how did you adapt with it to continue creating?
Before COVID I was taking a break from music, because a lot was going on, but I did stay inspired during that time. I honestly didn’t really have any plans music wise. But I can say after COVID started, is when I got back into music full force , creating nearly everyday wether it be music or different forms of art. I started creating more and more sounds , experimenting with different flows and, genres . One of my producers that I met this year from UK , we created a whole new sound for my next project. He’s the one who produced vampyre heart
After the run with his 4/4 series, Jaron Randolph carried the momentum by dropping his luscious, melodic track “Gossip.” Randolph’s style has always been mellow, but “Gossip” is leaning especially on the lighter side with the instrumentation and Jaron’s more in your face use of singing. Jaron’s flow has always had a sort of sing-rap cadence, but it has become more apparent with “Gossip.” Little did we know, this style would evolve into his two new tracks “Rosepetalwraps” and “Patience.”
[Dramatic Music Plays] is a two-track project; or a “2-Pack” as Jaron calls it. “Rosepetalwraps” and “Patience” are both guitar-led tracks with little to no percussion and a keen focus on Jaron’s vocals with subtle effects. We’re used to the ominous Jaron with the knocking drums and muffled bass. Although we’re used to that, it’s refreshing to know that Jaron is willing to experiment and keep pushing his envelope.
Check out the two-pack below and be sure to be on the lookout for his next track which is coming sooner than you think.
Austin-based producer Mogonye displays range with his take on Aaliyah’s “Rock The Boat.”
“Just fuckin’ around with some acapella, so I thought I’d drop one. It’s just a vibe.” – Mogonye
It’s more than a vibe. Mogonye’s use of dreamy vocal effects and leisurely, paced out keys transforms the R&B track, enhancing on the soulful, longing aspect. The sharp, singular mallet and nature ambiance makes this track a dreamy, mellow listen, which is what Mogonye’s usual efforts are known for. As we’ve stated in previous covers, it’s the signature. Peep the track below:
RAM just won’t quit. With the “lockdown” going on, it makes sense that his response is to simply bunker down and get straight to work. Week after week, Ram has hit us with back-to-back banging tracks. The first being “Jump” which was followed up with “ALil Bit,” “ok,” and most recently “How I Get Down.”
We’ve heard the song “Jump” once before. RAM performed it live a few months back at Empire Control Room for the Dirtbaglife Showcase during Free Week 2020. Just like the title, the song prompts you to get up and well, jump with the action-based lyrics and heavy bass. It was a memorable performance and its nice to know we can finally stream it on a loop from here on out.
Heavy bass seems to be the signature of RAM as it is one of the key elements on his tracks “ALil Bit” and “Jump.” The other two releases “ok” and “How I Get Down” take a subtle approach with light pads, a skillful use of autotune, and straight-forward lyrics. We’re digging the range over here. Be sure t check out the tracks below, so you’re not left behind with his next release.
Nicholas Whipps is back at it again with project “NEW.”
Nicholas Whipps, NEW
Following last months single ’95’, the steadfast artist Nicholas Whipps is back at it again with four tracks on his latest project New. The simple title is an abbreviation for Nicholas Eli Whipps – a reintroduction to listeners old and new.
Nicholas Eli Whipps is a methodical Hip-Hop artist based out of Austin, TX. The underdog has been hustling non-stop and continuing to release music despite the massive roadblock that is COVID-19. His most recent release ’95’ landed a spot on the Rap Fiesta playlist after gaining the most votes for their live stream contest. That means he’s a fan favorite and there is something serious about this guy. Nicholas has been maintaining a serious level of drive, by taking his artistry to the digital plane with consistent live sessions featuring his bass skills, exposing fans to different sides of his music. Expanding and experimenting seem to be his main goal with this mini-project.
“I was a little self-conscious about dropping them [the project]. I feel like it’s different than what people are used to hearing from me, but I do want to be that kind of artist. I have a lot of different inspirations.” – Nicholas Whipps
The project reveals a bold style with more focus on melodic-rapping and interesting soundscapes with distorted guitars as heard on ‘TTTDS (The Things They Don’t See)’. The tracks are all less than two minutes, which ramps up the replayability due to the strong chorus’s associated with its standout percussion. Looks like this guy has cracked the code
For the past six weeks we’ve found ourselves diving a little deeper into SoundCloud than usual. With these kinds of deep dives, the entire terrain of Soundcloud inevitably ends up looking the same. Every artist, every track; hell, even the cover artwork ends up blurring together. Sooner or later, though, we ultimately end up stumbling upon something special. In this case, that special something was a track titled, “Crazy.” “Crazy” is featured on the striking project Blurry Visions by Sias that was released on Soundcloud less than a month ago. No wonder it sounds so fresh.
Blurry Visions is eight tracks deep, featuring production from Carlos, Foreignboi, Aplus, Nicasso Beats, and even Sias himself. The project opens with Sias crooning over cloudy 808s, periodic lasers and whistling keys on the track “Time.” Sias makes plenty of use of the popular sing-rap style, but on “No Luv,” he makes the transition into full-bown singing. We see more of Sias’ singing efforts on his tracks “Doing Me” and “Toxic” – the stand-out moments on the project.
Sias proves himself as a triple threat with his beat selection, sweet vocals, and his ability to conjure up songs that leave a lasting impact on the listener.
Jay Greene’s track “Ginsu” has been building a solid buzz in the Hip-Hop community. There’s no speculating as to why. On the track, Jay delivers an authentic rhyme scheme and flow with precision as sharp as a ginsu knife. The beat itself opens with western wind instruments building upon the anticipation of what’s to come, leading into a steady beat of looping claps and bumping bass and bar after bar from Greene.
“We need the B-Boys to grab their cardboard – get to wind milling and pop locking.”
A few weeks back, Austin artist QMaine OTCG DM’d us with a link to an Instagram post. The post was a snippet of a song titled “Double Up” by another artist named PRINCEPLUM. Impressed, we played the snippet a few times in a row before responding back with two words: “Austin based?”
Qmaine simply replied, “Yep.”
That was all we needed to know before we dived headfirst into PRINCEPLUM’s Soundcloud page. On our initial search, the profile was stacked with twenty or more genre-blending, jaw dropping tracks. Today, when you dig into at PRINCE’s catalog, you are only greeted with about eight (still genre-bending, still jaw dropping) tracks. Usually, we would complain about the scarcity, but we’re dealing with a sort of Frank Ocean-type scenario where literally every single track is amazing, so we’re willing to let the lack of tracks slide. Plus, we have feeling this guy is about to drop a full-length project soon.
Each track has a entirely different producer. This is pretty interesting because he manages to maintains his signature sound with his robotic, breathy voice and rapid beat chops. The thing is though, we’re not quite sure if the producers are real or if he’s actually producing his won work. We’re seeing consistency with a producer named Lord Karo and Lil True, but when you see no producer credited on some tracks and then out nowhere see something like, “Prod. Chicken” you start to wonder. Either way this guys production is a breath of fresh air.
There’s a collab with Bbygoyard on “Nosferatu Hybrid” which absolutely bangs, but the deeper you dig, you can see that PRINCEPLUM can hold his own as a solo artist with tracks like “Nothin Gain” and “Childish.” On top of holding his own, PRINCE can effortlessly shifts to dance tracks like “SEX” then go full-on pop with a hint of Hip-Hop with his track “Alive.” We’re excited to here more and have to admittedly say that we are pretty fans over here.