EP Review: The Lovers’ Tape – Shantéh x Joshua. James

What meant to be a standalone track to be release on Valentines Day, singer/songwriter SHANTÉH and producer JOSHUA. JAMES’ new EP, ‘The Lovers’ Tape’ was quickly turn into a four-track project that was written, recorded, mixed and mastered in four days (yes, four days!)

Bringing all angles of a love story to the table – from building trust, to an untimely separation, then from re-exploring the idea of a relationship to finally solidifying a true bond and commitment – ‘The Lovers’ Tape’ possesses a fresh take on 90s Slow Jam – thanks to the warming glow of the background vocals (which takes on a Jodeci-ish vibe in third track, ‘Luvin’ You’), the sombre feel from the piano (featured in ‘Foundations’) and the vibrant guitar plucks, giving off a Afro tone (in concluding track, ‘Meant To Be’). Each aforementioned component are all brought together by an uplifting meaty bass.

There’s no doubt about it that this mini set is definitely for those who love them some good old 90s Sow Jam. I, for one, am really impressed by their quick turnaround on a project of such high calibre – and still have it ready in time for Valentine’s Day. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the South Londoners will join up for another collaboration. Check out ‘The Lovers’ Tape below…

Must Listen: Foundation

EP Review: 034 – Oloye Coldman

Although it’s only five tracks long, OLOYE COLDMAN‘s latest EP, ‘034’ features 16 (yes,16!) artists contributing to a spectrum of sound where western urban influences meets the gleeful presence of the Motherland (more specifically, Nigeria).

Here in this set, you’ll experience the real vibrancy on a modern take of Igbo music, working with the sweet runs of piano keys and trumpet, giving a real bluesy jazz feel (listen to ‘Why E Be’), straight up chilled hip-hop/R&B trap effort (in ‘What’) to old school-hip-hop-inspired sound with vocals giving a rich motherland feel (listen to concluding track, ‘Gone’).

In this bio, Oloye described his EP as ‘the first of its kind in Nigeria’ – he’s not wrong – as this mini set is bursting with massive sounds which will leave lasting impression. Have a listen to the EP below…

Must Listens: What, Gone

Album Review: Rawest 2 – Fly Von

Unlike his pervious set, ‘Fly Von Mix Vo.1’ FLY VON‘s latest album, ‘Rawest 2’  features mellowed out backdrops, melodic chants all brought together by the intermittent presence of the b-line – in fact it’s a complete opposite of the name of the album…

However, I might have spoken too soon as further along the album, the melodic chants becomes more sporadic, the semi-tranquil bassline becomes more infectiously HARD and Fly Von’s trance-like flow turns all RAW. Ninth effort, ‘Fast Life’, totally interrupts the album’s tranquility with its bold energy and Fly’s fiery flow which gives such an unbelieve head rush.

All in all, I did expect a little more punch from ‘Rawest 2’ – that ‘I don’t give a f**k energy presented in his previous releases – however what this album has showed me is that this Virginia rapper can do it as smooth as they come and it can be still soul-satisfying. Check out ‘Rawest 2’ below and songs recommendations.

Must Listens: Pina Loca Smoke, Stay Patient, Tokyo Tees, No Limit

Album Review: P.I.M.P (Poetry Is My Pleasure) – Lyrique

Newcomer LYRIQUE first came under my radar with 2020 neon trap joint, ‘Smoke Break’ – and he has firmly reminded there ever since. So when he released his debut full-length album, ‘PIMP’ late last year, I was very intrigued to give it a trial.

I expected the 12-track set to predominantly feature the mellowed-out vibes as featured in ‘Smoke Break’ – but ‘P.I.M.P’ offers a whole lot more as it encompasses array of sounds – from hazy vintage boom bap-inspired cuts, smooth afterhours samples (perhaps spanning from the late 80s/early 90s) to even swing hip-hop-esque tones (have a listen to ‘Casino Royal’) and uptempo 80’s-style/Pharrell Williams-esque soulful funk (Pimpin Wasn’t Easy) –  most of which were accompanied with soul-satisfying thumps of the bassline.

Arriving in Canada in 2014 from his native in the Philippines to work as a live-in nanny, Lyrique’s melodically chilled rhymes are a glimpse into his personal struggles as a temporary migrant worker. Now a permanent resident, Lyrique is now armed with uncompromised confidence and self-worth (have a listen to concluding track, ‘Dressing Room’).

So welcome to the world of Lyrique, a very creditable artist who’s patently striving to fulfil his ambitions as a musician. Check out P.I.M.P below:

Must Listens: Hunger, Drive Slow, Pimpin Wasn’t Easy, Hope Dealer

Album Review: Son On A Sunday – Son Of Tony

New York’s underground hip-hop heavyweight, SON OF TONY rallied up his troops, fellow underground hip-hop heavyweights, Micky Factz, Skyzoo, Tish Hyman and Ren Thomas for his highly-anticipated debut album, ‘Son On A Sunday’, released on Friday (8th January).

‘Son On A Sunday’ seamlessly transitioned from modern laid-back hip-hop/boombap, (that’s so toe-curling,) to old style rap with samples of old-school soul. The album also features dauntingly airy soundscapes with a rhythmic drumming providing a hard-hitting bass, where each rapper’s flow adding a raw gangstra vibe (listen to ‘No Mercy’ and ‘Zoo’).

So if you’re the type that’s well into underground hip-hop, then you know that ‘Son Of Tony’ and the mentioned featured artists are on top of their game –  and you should know that this album should NOT be overlooked…check it out below…

Must Listens: Energy, Comicon, Snd, Fore Thought