The sensational battle between rap Gods Royce Da 5’9 and Lupe Fiasco is just the most recent piece to the everlasting debate of who should be crowned the best emcee. Enter MICKEY FACTZ. After being called out by name in round one, and antagonized by both Royce and Joe Budden on Instagram Live, the XXL Freshman alumnus unleashes his fiery response ‘WRAiTH’. Released on SoundCloud on Monday 26th July, the AWSME J-produced track finds Factz cleverly weaving in and out of styles for exactly 5 minutes and 59 seconds to proverbially “check boxes”.
‘WRAiTH’ arrives ahead of the forthcoming release of ‘The Narrative’, Mickey’s collaborative EP with fellow XXL Freshamn alumnus Blu and Grammy-nominated producer Nottz (of 9th Wonder’s Soul Council).
AC3‘s second solo single ‘Essence’, sees the Irish rapper taps fellow rap artist JAY.P to work their magic on a summer-charged, Afroswing beat by JBJ.
AC3 displays his vocal capabilities with flowing melodies while singing about a broken relationship. Upon completion of recording, he felt something was missing and approached JAY.P about laying down a verse. JAY.P spices things up with his straight to the point rap verse.
Expect a string of pumping music and striking videos from this promising upriser…but for now, check out the video for ‘Essence’ below…
Ever since OLOFF graced this blog with his album, ‘Life’s Got You Riveted’, which was placed at #6 on New Lease Music’s Top Ten Albums of 2016 list, I’ve been so mesmerised how this Bristolian artist experiments with different genres without fear. So I’m absolutely pleased to have a chat with him about his album ‘Don’t Come In Here’. So sit back and have a read as this convo this an absolute belter. Enjoy!
NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?
O: You’re welcome. 2021 has been kind of crazy, I’ve released 2 albums and gone through a breakup. I have a 3rd album and a book on the way. I’m keeping extremely busy, time is passing by quite slowly.
NLM You released your album, ‘Don’t Come In Here’ back in March. What is the public perception on the project so far?
O: I haven’t done enough to promote it so I don’t know. I’ve temporarily given up on promoting music because I don’t have the time or the money for it, so right now I’m focusing on building up a catalogue and not paying any attention to the numbers at all. Then when I have some leverage I will have loads of songs already released.
NLM: How would you describe the album’s sound to potential fans?
O: Electronic experimental hip-hop. Drugs.
NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?
O: I had a bad acid trip a couple of years ago and this album was kind of the culmination of my efforts to get over the things I saw on that trip. It was also about being stuck in a room during lockdown, the ups and downs of my relationship, and at times also the fun/humour of living such a life and experimenting with weird substances. In the end the theme is about trust I suppose, not really being able to ever fully trust people but having to do so for your own sanity.
NLM: What is/are your favourite single(s) from the album and why?
O: Parsons and Be Yourself. I think Parsons is the best sounding song I’ve made and I think Be Yourself is the most meaningful.
NLM: What message would you like the listeners to take away from your album?
O: Do whatever you can to be happy, stay true to yourself, be wary, get outside as much as you can.
NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the album, who would it be and why?
O: Good question. I think Kevin Gates would be interesting, because it would be such a different sound for him, but some of the themes are kind of similar (love, trust issues, substance abuse etc.) Maybe a verse on I Don’t Wanna Know.
NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?
O: Yeah, shortly after this I released Oak Tree which I think is a masterpiece. I also have a project called Sameways coming out in the next few months. And a self-help book, which I think is going to be really good and will help a lot of people with their depression. I’m also regularly releasing singles and videos on my YouTube channel.O
NLM: How can potential fans find you?
O: @oloffmusic on Instagram, Oloff on spotify or YouTube.com/OloffMusic
NLM: Finally, any special shout outs to those involved in the production of ‘Don’t Come Back Here’?
O: Just me. So, hang in there Oloff! You big bald c**t.
Introducing up and coming UK artist ITHINKTHATSRIO with his debut single ‘AFRO’! The melodic rap track comes six months after the London native burst onto the scene late last year with his ‘Prayer’ freestyle that caught the scene’s attention. ‘Afro’ sees IThinkThatsRio waxing lyrical about having the freedom to do what you want, whether that is with your hair or with your career.
Speaking about the inspiration behind ‘Afro’ and how the song came together, IThinkThatsRio says, “creating ‘Afro’ was such a vibe. I was in the studio with TheLifeOfKG when this Grossgod beat came on, and the first thing that came out of my head was ‘take out my braids, just roll with an afro’, and the rest came together from there. As well as the track just being a vibe, I believe the message behind it, which is that we should be free to make our own choices, without fear of ridicule or judgement from other people – in my case, it’s how I wear my hair sometimes”.
Originally from Chadwell Heath in East London, IThinkThatsRio has always had a passion for music, but he has been on course to become a professional footballer for a good few years, but after turning 20 last year and realising that music had the power to help him express his feelings, and how that made him feel, he began taking music seriously, and quickly charted a new course from a footballer to a musician.
Check out the accompanied music video below, collaboration between IThinkThatsAfro and burgeoning London-based visual director and photographer EazyVisuals (Ebenezer, B Young, Ryan De La Cruz, Michael Ward).
Emerging with an air of mystery J-ONYX has a presence that can’t be ignored. Commanding attention with her deep tone and dynamic flows, her first release ‘Can’t F With’ captures her innate and undeniable talent as an artist. Her latest release has already landed support by DJ Target on BBC 1Xtra, DJ Shortee Blitz on his KISS FM and KISS Fresh show and Charlie Sloth will be adding the track as his Hood Heat of the week and he will also support on his Apple Music playlist. Choosing to keep her identity concealed for the time being, J-Onyx wants to let her music do the talking, as often young female artists can be over sexualized in the music industry. Catapulting through the ranks she joins the ‘Champions League’ as she ‘eliminates all of the tournaments’ and earns a rightful place as a one to watch in the UK rap scene.
The serendipitous calling to become a rapper can be pinpointed back to November 2019 where she was teasingly dared by her friends to rap an off-the-top-of-the-head freestyle and upload it onto her Instagram. Gaining an overwhelming reaction, the freestyle uncovered her natural gift with rhymes and flows and allowed her to nurture the talent into a dream career. To date she has released 3 freestyles on Instagram and her second freestyle for ‘Murda Murda’ received some strong support and was picked up by DJ Shortee Blitz and DJ MK on the KISS FM Hop Hop show.
Her exposure to music was planted long before the freestyle and the London based British rapper, singer and songwriter grew up immersed in a musical household. Building the fabric of her musical DNA her mother and elder siblings introduced her to an assorted collection of music, which ranged from Reggae, Dancehall and Hip Hop to UK Garage, Afrobeats, Rock and Indie. Her musical roots grew beyond her immediate family as her uncle was also a member of reggae band UB40.
Going against the conventional route, J-Onyx followed her own path, although she had the encouragement of her family she dropped out of school at a young age and found herself in challenging situations. What became evident was that the music was a constant and the turning point was getting into Brit School and attending drama school. Since her studies her path has led her to explore performing arts as well as pursuing a career in the property business. She has now found herself gravitating towards music as solo artist and ‘Can’t F With’ is a great introduction to her sound.