EP Review: Art 2 – Ugly Savaje

A few weeks back, a young rap contender by the name of UGLY SAVAJE hit my mailbox with his latest EP, ‘Art 2’, requesting some feedback on the set…and naturally, I was honoured give my opinion…

The mini project started off on a strong footing, with ‘Set it Off’ and ‘That One Love Song’. This young emcee knows how to slam down an electrifying flow against the chilled out, seriously head rolling bass.

Going further along the EP, the flame created from the start, begins to extinguish. It’s a crying shame as the quality of the beats come heavily distorted which, unfortunately, drowns out the upriser’s delivery. It’ll be great if UGLY SAVAJE mix it up with arrangements that’s fun and uplifting, perhaps fusing hip-hop with R&B or pop music.

Personally, ‘Art 2’ doesn’t fully showcase UGLY SAVAJE’s potential to become a talented wordsmith.

Have a listen for yourself.

EP Review: Sumn Slight – Trilla T

With hip-hop partner in crime, Skye The King, TRILLA T presents his latest project, entitled ‘Sumn Slight’.

If you listen to these guys’ work on NEW LEASE MUSIC, you know they have a tight partnership. With this five-track set, they’ve taken their partnership to another level with their smooth and improved flow cruising over solid-than-ever beats. In my opinion, the duo are becoming a real force to be reckon with…check them out!

Must Listens: Wait, Day Dreamers, Champagne Room.

EP Review: Boxed In – Oloff

‘Boxed In’ is the second EP release of the year from Bristol’s groundbreaking spitter OLOFF. In just three tracks, the latest project addresses a mixture of emotions – from depression and wishful longing to a great sense of optimism towards the future.

To represent the feeling of uncertainty, ‘Boxed In’ alternate between subdue and downtempo  soundscapes to an lifting folk/western-esque arrangements, with the dominant presence of OLOFF‘s  awkwardly-smooth delivery.

If you unfamiliar with this guy, well be prepared to listen to the most unconventional combinations; a recipe that’s rapidly making of the most intriguing alternative hip-hop artist of today.

It goes without saying that ‘Boxed In’ is an acquired taste…take your ears to new heights and press play.

Album Review: Wond3rland – Dizzy Rambunctious

Unlike his previous project, ‘Arcadia’, which loosely takes inspiration from the theme tunes from classic arcade games, DIZZY RAMBUNCTIOUS switches it up and takes a complete detour with his latest mixtape, ‘Wond3rland’.

This time round, the New Jersey producer has adopted a real sublime soulful/rare groove-ish vibe to his usual trademark – that hip-hop/boom bap woofer of a bassline.

Now if you’re a follower of this guy, then you know he only deals with instrumentals – and you’ll also know he always hits you right between the eyes with a surprise – he recruited a few guest vocalists/spitters for this mammoth collection, which was most welcomed ( just have a listen the 6th track, ‘Zion’ featuring Phi & Shrls.)

I gotta give it to him; DIZZY RAMBUNCTIOUS has really stepped up his game – go and have a trial.

Must Listens: Wond3rland, Cosmic Gramma, Zion, Get on Down.

Mixtape Review: Kid Akeem’s Playground – Kid Akeem

At the age of 24, Adam Falkner – otherwise known as KID AKEEM – received the biggest news of his life; he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. While the news can be devastating and can send anyone into a spiralling hole, it didn’t stop the hip-hop upriser from persevering and laying all his cards on the table through his ten track mixtape, ‘Kid Akeem’s Playground.’

The upbeat New Jack Swing(ish) style beats and the boisterously dense bassline take turns to shed light on various events in his young life: from the carefree moments of chasing girls (featured in ‘Hello, Say Hi’) to the turbulent emotions after the MS diagnosis (featured in ‘My Letter To The Sky’) and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and becoming a stronger person (featured in ‘Adam’).

With his flow just grooving into different level of tempos from each track, KID AKEEM is very worthy of a place in the underground rap scene and this mixtape deserves a place in any hip-hop head’s collection.

‘Kid Akeem’s Playground’ should be a reminder that no matter how bad things get, you can turn it around – take a look at this guy’s life and sample his mixtape.

Must listens: I Would’t Trade It/Intro, My Letter To The Sky, Good Times, Adam, USA Diamonds.

Album Review: Eight Days A Week – King Blitz

After a loooong spell away from the scene, KING BLITZ came back bolder with track, ‘That’s Real’, featured on NEW LEASE MUSIC back in January. Now the Indiana wordsmith is keeping the momentum at full speed with his ten-track album, ‘Eight Days A  Week’, released late last month.

A downtempo and menacing bass dominates and runs riot in the latest project, where this young emcee slams down his flow at varying speed. Somehow this smooth operator always comes out on top as his spats seamlessly weave throughout in every single track – well I guess that’s why he’s called KING BLITZ!

There’s some real gems in this set for those who are into alternative hip-hop; go and check it!

Must Listens: 99, New Wave, No Surprise, Yuu, Does It Matter 

Album Review: Reason Or Rhyme – Midnight Mystery Club

Just on the preview alone (which I discovered at the start of the year), David Newell and Michael Gray – aka MIDNIGHT MYSTERY CLUB – really cause a stir and kept fans and tastemakers on the edge of their seats with the release of their (obviously) highly anticipated album, entitled ‘Reason or Rhyme’, released last Friday.

A summer-hazy electronic/dance drive dominates the ten-track set, with elements of downtempo funk creeping in just before the second half of the album, before making its occasional presence well and truly known, for an even more pleasurable listen.

‘Reason or Rhyme’ was certainly worth the wait and – seriously – I cannot fault these guy’s production – it’s five stars from me!

Must Listens: Richest Man In The World, Orange County, Reason or Rhyme, Alright (Album Remix).

EP Review: Slow Burn – Wolf Kash

It’s pretty hard to conceive that last Christmas, 24-year-old producer Jordan Saward and his 14-year-old brother Harry – otherwise known as WOLF KASH –  came up with compositions that are so complex, forming their debut EP, ‘Slow Burn’, released late last month.

The four-track set is on par with Model’s ’86 EP, ‘When You Realise…’, as it possesses (at times) insanely juxtaposed electronic rhythmic overtones, carried by a mammoth downtempo drive, giving each production that alternative dance/soulful-ish vibe. Quite ingenious really; it’ll be great to see the duo’s next move.

Take a step into the unexpected and sample ‘Slow Burn’ EP.

Must Listens: Slow Burn, Why Bother.

EP Review: Blaise Pascal

Just from the strength of the first soulful effort’ I Can’t Wait’ – featured on NEW LEASE MUSIC last month – BLAISE PASCAL‘s self-titled debut EP seems like a real contender.

In the five-track set, the London-based singer/songwriter adds ambient elements of hip-hop/boom bap and reggae to smooth futuristic (ish) soul (which I suspect is his trademark) – take it from me, this newcomer is no one-trick pony.

Overall, this EP serves as a great introduction into his endless talents and it would be very intriguing to see what he does with his future releases. Worth a trial; have a listen.

Must Listens: Dead Man’s Shoes, Without You, Know Love.

EP Review: This Is For You – Quincy

If you’re a regular visitor of NEW LEASE MUSIC, then you’ll know that QUINCY is all about churning out slow jam R&B numbers… the type that puts some serious heat under the collar and steam up spectacles within seconds…and his latest EP, ‘This Is For You’ makes no exception.

Released last month, the six-track set brings back that rich, old-school R&B, when the upcoming crooner takes on and remakes his father, AL B Sure’s 80s hit ‘Night and Day’. Elements of raunchy guitar plucks makes a surprising appearance, in tracks including, ‘Waterfall’ and ‘Late Night Flex’, ensuring the temperature is kept way above 100.

‘This Is For You’ will be greatly received by die-hard nostalgics of late 80s/90s soulful R&B…it’ll be a shame to miss out – better check it out!

Must Listens: I Can Tell You, Late Night Flex, Me Time