December 9, 2014

Unkempt Visits Chiraq (Remix)

November 20, 2014

November 13, 2014

Rock-Rap Dynasty: Rise of the Wolves by @VoicesOfTerror

The Voices of Terror didn't break the internet with their debut "Rock-Rap Dynasty: Rise of the Wolves" nonetheless their enthusiasm is duly noted. It’s apparent they believe in their movement but belief in one’s own mission is simply not enough when stepping into the realm of rap, rock and alternative Hiphop realistically, considering the bar set by artists like Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park and even Kid Rock.

To his credit, Mike Walker (producer) is obviously talented but more than rock sounding production is needed to qualify a project as 'rock'. If the tracks composed were reinterpreted by an awesome band then perhaps Zero (emcee) would have the backing he needs to really command respect on the mic. It might push him a bit, help craft his delivery. His raps sound recited. Passionate but no finesse. The remedy, one hundred hours on stage projecting over unbearably loud live music and an even louder aggressive audience.

In order for these young voices to make a considerable mark, training wheels must come off. No tandem jumps, only fearless stage dive after stage dive. Growth is a necessity. Sometimes with experience, the writing gets better. Depth of the music happens when artists create and learn from their respective journeys and apply it in real time.

The Voices of Terror have a way go in order live up to the name they've chosen for themselves. To say they have potential would be unforgivably cliche. Still, dreaming big never hurt anyone. With that stated, please excuse the following cliche. Only ‘time will tell’ if these pups truly rise to become the intimidating wolves they aspire to be while fulfilling their destiny. The construction of a rock-rap dynasty.

November 12, 2014

Chuckie Campbell (@ChuckieC2) "All I Meant" featuring Cole Jonique



I shouldn't have to say this but, Hiphop is more than burners, bling and bitches or Boom Bap. Have some people tell it, you're either a purists or you're a sell out. That's hardly a train of though that supports the evolution of art and culture. Let’s call this piece a short film that sits off center in a gray playing field; the teams involved of course are black and white.

The vid for Chucki Campbell’s "All I Meant" featuring Cole Jonique is ambitious in it’s presentation. It feels like an upgraded twist on old school music videos from movie soundtracks that blend in footage of the main characters with shots of the performing artist and of course interpretive dance scenes. This is obviously conceptual. The track sonically is atypical for rap vocals and as far as content goes, well there aren’t many songs about relationships and one’s responsibility within them, considering everyone actually has them. It doesn’t fit the description of what ‘real’ Hiphop is or what dying terrestrial radio would deem ‘hot’. To say the least it shouts a genuine attempt at honesty within the music and visual creativity never mind it's par with the look of most of today’s high quality, big budget music video offerings. Whether or not it actually 'works' is for you to decide? (Truth be told I’m mostly affected by the vocals of Cole Jonique and dance movements of Precious Lanee.)

How do you feel about All I Meant? Join the conversation. Drop a comment. Tell us what you really think.

You can even tweet us your thoughts! @freehiphopnow

September 29, 2014

Rebel Queen by @WillieGreen1


Willie Green drops a new project in the middle of the friggin night.  That's how you do it!

Brooklyn-based producer Willie Green drops the latest in a long line of instrumental projects. In the same vein as 2009’s “...Of Heroes and Villains,” “Rebel Queen” tells a story through beats and samples; this time a rebel leader’s struggle against a tyrant. “Rebel Queen” is the first in a series of instrumental projects leading up to his upcoming full length “Doc Savage” due in 2015.

Download here: http://williegreen.bandcamp.com/album/rebel-queen

June 10, 2014

Ol' DIrty Basquiat (@oldirtybasquiat) is Back only for a limited time.

Ol’ Dirty Basquiat is back. It’s been a year now and finally the new design is rolled out as part of the #AGTH (Aught Gallery Trap Haus) #BLACKGODS series. Other shirts include “LeVar Burton Is My Hero” and an untitled Neil deGrasse Tyson design. Future designs will salute Octavia Butler as well as Frida Kahlo.

http://eklektic.storenvy.com/collections/263940-all-products/products/7584434-ol-dirty-basquiat-blackgods-agth-limitededition-t-shirt

April 22, 2014

Maroon Mentality feat. Malcolm X & John Henrik Clarke



#LISTEN #SHARE & SUPPORT this! >>> http://bit.ly/MaroonMen

"Maroon Mentality" is a piece that is meant to inspire a new mode of consciousness that acknowledges the past, engages the present, and prepares for the future. The slavery-era Maroons escaped the grips of their captors to establish their own communities in a foreign land. The Maroon Mentality is a modern-day adaption that enables people to establish a mental and spiritual space that is separate and free from the psychological trappings of neo-colonialism. The effects of post traumatic slavery disorder are prevalent throughout the world, so there no longer exists any physical escape from it. But we can adopt and nurture a mindset that allows us to author our own life story amidst the madness.
 
The inspiration for the song comes from Mercury's day to day experiences working as an educator in the inner cities of New York and Baltimore. Too often he has seen students and families in emotional despair, with little hope for a better tomorrow. A Maroon Mentality would give people an understanding of their situation, which would in turn nurture the wisdom to allow them to find a way out of the depravity.  While Mercury's work allows him to interact directly with these families, he recognizes the power of music to also influence lives. There was a time in recent history when people were aware and making conscious efforts to better themselves. In a very short period of time, we have lost that drive, and the moral emptiness of today's music does little to inspire.
 
The overall mood and tone of the song is deliberately aggressive while inviting at the same time. From the opening warrior drums and Malcolm X excerpt, the listener is forced to pay attention. The beat is kept as minimal as possible to allow the words room to be appreciated. Lyrically, Mercury paints the landscape that illustrates the need for a Maroon Mentality. We are a people with a rich history ("Go back further and you won't see dirt...Civilizations, full of dark faces"), fully capable of having an even richer future. The song is not a call to war in the traditional sense, but rather a call for people to change their situation through their own eforts. As John Henrik Clarke eloquently states in the final excerpt, God has given us all the equipment we need to do for ourselves.

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