Category Archives: Album Reviews

[Artist Spotlight]: Ollie Rodgers Brings You the Sounds of ‘Tropical Weather’

Surf’s up! Here’s the perfect soundtrack to your long summer days.

Looking for the serenading tunes of blissful guitar riffs and weening echoes of greener grass on the other side? Than here is your latest addition to your playlists. Meet Oliver Rodgers, also called Ollie Rodgers, who was a film & tv major and advertising minor at Boston University’s College of Communications. The 22 year-old has lived in various cities including Hong Kong, London, Boston, and Los Angeles, making his influences stem from various corners of the world. As a passionate individual for all forms of creative content, such as music, fashion, and media, he decided to take on the music world and found his talents in guitar and production.

His compositions come into this wonderful package of sound which he calls Tropical Weather. This 6-track EP summons emotions of nostalgia and grandiose desires to escape on a Great Escape of sorts. Personal favorites from the project would include “Big Wave Bay”, “Better Places”, and “Take It Easy (Interlude)”. Incorporating elements of Weezer, Franz Ferdinand, and Jack Johnson, Rodgers sweeps you away with sick vibes of rough vocals followed by falsettos and raw acoustics.

The reverbs of the strings pluck away to jazzy forms of melodies and transform into dynamic yet simple tones of harmonies. We sway to the ebb and flow of his songs as they take us through a ride of an “Endless Summer” saga of rhythms.

Still an up & comer, he has the potential to merge his throwback tunes into another generation and era of music as he continues to make more music and grow his number of listeners. Essentially, his music is the ultimate chill of noise, it’s something we all want.

Now, Rodgers is not only an artist in the singular sense of music however, he is also a creative in videography and an avid skateboarder and traveler. You can see the videos he has produced below:

As a multi-faceted artist, he intends to grow his musical audience so he can spend more time on his love of music!

To hear more from Ollie Rodgers, check him out on Social Media:

Instagram

Spotify

YouTube

SoundCloud

K. Flay Releases Sultry New Album ‘Everywhere is Somewhere’

Dreamers, get ready for a trip

K. Flay, neé Kristine Meredith Flaherty, is an American pop-rock princess. Her eclectic and mysterious sound is what got her here in the first place, a position she most certainly deserved. She is a talented young woman with a force to rally the riots.

She now releases her highly anticipated studio production Everywhere is Somewhere, a riveting compilation of tunes and melodies.

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This album will have people singing “I want more” along with this innovative artist who utilizes as many aspects of noise that she can to build a solidified and harmonized world.

She blends worlds of various genres such as hip-hop, pop, and alternative/indie rock and this only demonstrates the power she holds over her own sound. Via melodic murmurs, this Illinois-born rockstar incorporates a sultry sadness in the music she produces.

This album is not one to miss, with amazing singles such as “High Enough”, “Black Wave”, “Blood in the Cut” and  “Dreamers,” you absolutely cannot go wrong with this Lana Del Ray, Blackbear, Bjork, Lykke Li sounding artist.

K. Flay is such an interesting character and a fresh sound, no doubt about that. She was originally a Stanford University of California student, who once picked up the mic to mock pop-hip ballads and their demeaning messages of misogyny, and only came to find that people really enjoyed her version of bold revolutionary songs. Thus began her successful journey down this path as a serious career.

She moved to San Francisco and jumped in the studio and was constructing what would be her first hits. Back in 2004, K. Flay dropped Suburban Rap Queen (her first big debut), followed by Mashed Potatoes, and then Life as a Dog which was the project that made the Billboard Top 200 Albums!

This Interscope Records signee has already toured both the US and Europe, and we’re excited to see what other incredible experiences this woman of force will venture on as she produces more!

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Listen here now:

Be sure to follow her now on both Instagram and Facebook!

[Artist Spotlight]: Rodga Takes You For a Ride with the ‘Backseat Mix’

Ride with me

You’re about to be in for an incredible musical experience as you live in the dimensions of Rodga and his eclectic beats.

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This man knows the power of sounds as he melts together the heated tracks against the cold noises of production to create his music. He recently released his new mixtape the Backseat Mix, and the only way to best describe this project is “fire.”

This 56 minute progression of sound waves will revive you and reiterate incantations to bring out your soul and recreate new emotions with each melody. The young DJ from Toronto, Canada, a hot spot of talented artists, incorporates remixes and originals to build such a cool piece for listeners to hear.

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Let Rodga take you to a whole new level through the music. Let the vibes wash over you as it resonates with you physically and emotionally. Let the music make you sway.

Rodga constructs a home from the echoes and reverbs of house, trap, and electronic music. This guy is so talented and it shows through his work and passion or the music.

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“Nothing too serious on a technical standpoint but the songs in this mix are very dear to me” says the curator of sound. Rodga, the 21-year old, just before this release, also dropped a studio EP earlier in December titled “Unmask”, fully mixed and mastered to perfection. Listen to it now below:

I look forward to seeing where this artist will go as he continues to expand his musical creations and grow his fan base!

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Follow Rodga on Social Media:

Instagram

Facebook

SoundCloud

[Exclusive]: Neem Officially Drops Mixtape TODAY

 

The Official Mic Drop

Remember that hip hopper that was mentioned last week? The White Kid who stole the show at a college rap cypher? Ya, he’s back, and today he’s dropped his EP I Left Los Angeles to Find My Soul, and guess what? It’s dope!

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With aggressive rap flows, spitting fire, Neem brings back an old school hip hop grind with a low-key modern twist.  The beats are crisp and dramatic as they are overlaid over an orchestral, synthesized melody.

Listening to each track, you are invited to take a whiff of this artist’s concoction which blends elements and methods of sound creation from notable, music all stars like Logic and J. Cole. This youngster is trying to make moves, and he’s doing that with tracks like “Family” and “Sway In The Morning”, which are two of my favorites off of the project. Neem has a lot to say, and he uses this EP as an outlet to say it all through a charismatic rhythm and relaxing words.

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But with this EP that’s not all! Neem is just getting started now, as he wants to wishes to continue climbing that corporate hip hop ladder. So what’s next? He has a collab tape on the way, working with a producer from Maryland titled Commons 6. The tape is expected to drop sometime this summer and will feature some sneak-peaks into future projects to come. He adds an interesting element to the chill vibes of hip hop, the revolution of the ramblers.

As I had mentioned in the previous article on this up and comer, his music represents where the new age of rap is going! He doesn’t just rap, he story tells with the right force and spirit within the solemn sounds of his fabrications.

Like what you heard? Be sure to follow Neem on this hip hop journey via Social Media:

SoundCloud

Facebook

Instagram: @famousattractiveneem

Twitter: @kneemund. 

[Exclusive]: Interview with Epic Records Rapper Nick Grant at AWOL Listening Party

Baby don’t fight it, you just gotta go with it // Ain’t nothin’ for sale, I just put my soul in it …

Nick Grant spits his rhymes with confidence and charisma as we hear the reverbs echo in our ears.

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Last night, at one of Boston’s hippest urban streetwear retail stores, AWOL, one of L.A.’s rising stars held an album listening party for the city of Boston in promotion of his recent project Return of the Cool, which dropped just a few days ago on January 13th. Now Grant steps out of the studio and into the worlds of his fans as he comes to meet students from the area in this shop to explain in depth the meaning of each track off the compilation.

While at AWOL, we all looked at the merchandise, chatted, and waited for the rapper to arrive. When Grant did, he walked into the store with a smile on his face and zeal, ready to give his crowd an experience to never forget. I had a chance to interview the man himself before we got down to business and you can read our interview below. We all finally sat down and were each handed headphones with green lights to wear as we were going to be engaging in a silent listening party. The room would remain silent as we all listened to music on our own terms. The Epic Records / Culture Republic signee would then explain the meaning behind each song’s production and creation before sharing it with us and what the track itself personally meant to him. While listening, I noticed how the compositions were seamless and the rhymes were bold. He carried such a strong flow and energy in each track that it was almost impossible to sit still. If  you looked around, every person was moving in their own way, vibing to the melodies and infectious harmonies this rapper was picking up and placing down. Smiles cracked when people heard a line or a riff that struck them in the right way and emotions filled the silent store as the music blasted in each of our own ears. That night, we had a chance to hear an amazing and well-constructed album.

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It goes without saying, the music was contagious. Everyone seemed to find that one song that really meant something to them, that one song that really made them feel that they were a part of the great return of the cool. The potential for this artist is outrageous, and Grant clearly found his niche and achieved success in this competitive industry of hip hop and rap.

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A post shared by Neelu Media (@neelumedia) on

To hear the album now, listen to it here below:

AND Here is our interview:

[Neelu Mohaghegh (Me, NM)]: Hey! So, please introduce yourself!

[Nick Grant, NG]: My name is Nick Grant. I’m a rapper from South Carolina, I make hip hop music, with my grandparents raising me, my mother’s mother, my father’s father , so my life was kind of balanced on like how to treat a woman and stuff you should do as a man like pull your pants up, firm handshakes, look people in the eyes when you speak to them. So, it’s a pretty normal life, I just have something people say is to be an extraordinary talent.

[NM]: Awesome, so what’s been the inspiration behind this album that you just dropped?

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[NG]: It started as a mixtape, for so long I was yearning for people to listen to my music and appreciate my music, and when I got a chance for them to do so, I wanted to put out another body of work, but the people on my team felt like it was too soon, too early. And for me, it was always me wanting to put out music. So, it started out as a mixtape, and the inspiration from that came, I wanted people to feel the same thing I felt like growing up as a kid, and that is what I feel hip hop should be present day based on all the great people I’ve been listening to, whether it was: Jay Z, NAS, Tupac, Biggie, all those guys. Pulling from different people, to help build this body of work.

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[NM]: So, what does hip hop mean to you?

[NG]: Hip hop is my life. It’s a form of expression. Hip hop helped a lot of people out of bad situations, I feel like if it wasn’t for hip hop, there would be a lot worse things goin’ on in the world, know what I’m sayin’? Hip hop saved a lot of lives. At one point people were break dancing instead of fighting, like battling break dancing instead of fighting; that’s like the coolest thing in the world. This is something I live and breathe and study everyday. I also feel like it’s a way to connect different types of people throughout the world, conversation wise like “why did you say this” and “why did you choose to say that” or “what is this about”. It’s also a way of understanding people. You know if you don’t understand somebody or some type person in hip hop, you can listen to their music and figure out who they really are. Like you might they say “what did you say that?”, you might see an interview and think why did they say that, and then you say “Oh, I see that now, I see why you said that because I heard this album”. You’ll be able to pin point their emotions because that’s the sort of hip hop music they are making.

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[NM]: So, where do you see hip hop going?

[NG]: I don’t think hip hop should sound one way. I think it’s a lot that is going on with it, but I think it should be more people saying something and pay attention more to the people that they see, because a lot is good, but when one thing oversaturates the other thing, that’s when it becomes redundant, and how it is right now, is just more trendy than really saying anything and having content. There’s been more substance abuse than substance, and that’s just how it is. But I think it’s getting better, it’s turning, it’s turning. Like more artists like myself are coming everyday. I remember a time when nobody wanted to hear me, but now I wake up and I get “this is the greatest album in the world” and there all those times [for us artist] you’re beating on the door to have people let you in, and now it’s turning. It’s in a good space right now, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, this new generation: Big Sean, Wale, Big K.R.I.T., all these people. I also really like all these guys like 21 Savage, Young Thug, I like all of these guys because I wake up feeling like a different person, so I might wake up amped, and some days I might not be feelin’ it and I want to listen to something that is going to make me think and motivate me, and hip hop has that.

[NM]: What’s your soul song or your spirit song?

[NG]: I listen to a lot of old music like Al Green’s “Something Beautiful”, and I’d say my soul song is Stevie Wonder’s “That Girl”. That’s one of my favorite songs.

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[NM]: What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

[NG]: Oh man, I’m a comedian. I might say the wrong thing and it’s the funniest thing in the world, but it might offend somebody, so I keep it to myself and stay reserved and relaxed. I don’t really show that side of me a lot to the audience, but when I’m with these guys all we do is laugh and hurt each others’ feelings, haha!

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[NM]: Give your fans advice aspiring to go on this same musical career path as you?

[NG]: One big advice, don’t stop and don’t conform to trendy things, stand out, come from the heart, be consistent with that. I always tell people, for me, it wasn’t just having talent, I had to really match my talent with hard work. People admire hard work, it doesn’t matter what you do, people who show hard work will be admired. People with talent always feel like, aw I don’t have to practice think that they don’t have to work because it will always be there, but people with hardwork & talent are unstoppable.

[NM]: So, what are you #OnTheVerge of…

[NG]: Making one of the most classic albums that you’ll probably ever hear from in this generation.

[NM]: Last question and it’s a fun one, if you had to pick one item in this store, what would it be?

[NG]:  I was looking at those Jordan IX’s. 😉 

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Well you heard him here. A very talented and intriguing person making big moves with his music. We all listened carefully to each song and truly felt the meaning behind the lyrics and the music that this rapper was trying to convey. He concluded the night playing for us an exclusive track that has not been released yet and has a very special guest feature  😉 , and also played for us a track he performed live on the Stephen Colbert show.

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Check out this artist now on his socials and keep up to date for when this star continues to put out more creative content in promotion for this wicked new studio production:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Website

[Exclusive]: Look Out For Hip Hop Artist Neem Soon To Drop Mixtape ‘I Left Los Angeles To Find My Soul’

 

Introducing the White Kid who took over the cypher, a man who’s music makes you sway.

If you’re an old school hip hop enthusiast and enjoy the sweet, grungy vibes of 90’s hip hop, then look no further. His name is Neem, and he hails from the San Fernando Valley; however, he ironically lives far off on the east coast which he tends to portray the lifestyles through the words and the sounds of his music. You can see this youngling kill it in a rap cypher at UMD in the video above.

His flow is smooth yet dynamic, with subtle melodies rippling in the background and the beat stroking your every thought, you can’t help but leave behind the past and just sway onward.

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In his upcoming EP,  I Left Los Angeles to Find My Soul, Neem’s voice is whiny with a serious grind. In this man’s riff and bar lullabies, Neem puts words from tongue to cheek, bites down on each phrase, and takes you on a hip hop trip.

Intertwined with radio-twisted echoes, this neo-rapper’s music becomes more complex like smoke puffs infiltrating the air around you and engulfing you in sweet sweet beats that bounce across these strange rhythmic, conversational melodies. This is where the new age of rap is going, and Neem seems to be a strong force in this genre’s revolution.

He doesn’t just rap, he story tells, and like any good narrator, he keeps intrigued and curious to know how the story goes and ends. With the laid back Cali vibes and the east coast R&B methods, Neem prepares us for an avant-garde fabrication of his own. So stay tuned for his upcoming tape I Left Los Angeles to Find My Soul.

But while you wait, we can satiate you with  his SoundCloud below to hear more of his work:

[Update]: 4 Everyone’s Eyez, J. Cole Drops New Project + Theory

J. Cole drops his latest project 4 Your Eyez Only, and it’s something entirely novel, fresh, and introspective.

When you first hear the instrumentals of the first track, you are welcomed to the wondrous Cole world. Vocals, bells, and sounds surrounding encompass you as you blast the tunes and tones of the music. The American Hip hop recording artist and rapper extremely transformed from his past self and found a new vocal aura to capture via this studio album.

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He raises the volume as he incorporates percussion and spoken word/monologues interspersed throughout the entirety of the compilation, a trend, as of late, amongst hip hop and R&B artists.

This North Carolina-born singer similarly includes the assistance and production talents of other Roc Nation & Dreamville music industry moguls such as: Elite and Ron Gilmore for production, Ari Lennox as a vocalist on “Change,” Vinylz, Boi-1da (“Deja Vu”), Cardiak (“Immortal”), and BLVK and Childish Major (“4 Your Eyez Only”). What is fascinating is the fact that he did not include any features on this project (something that rappers do left and right constantly and consistently). This really made Cole distinguish himself from the sea of superstars, and he should be commended for that.

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He’s a big deal, and not many recognize that. He’s an artist with a lot of talent and a lot to give, but is also one of the most underrated musicians out there. He’s had successful albums since first his studio album Cole World: The Sideline Story (2011), then to Born Sinner (2013), to Forest Hills Drive (2014), to now 4 Your Eyez Only (2016). This is not including his multiple mixtapes including: The Come Up (2007), The Warm Up (2009), Friday Night Lights (2010), and Revenge of the Dreamers (with Dreamville) (2014).

What makes this familiar approach of rap album creation stand out amongst the others (e.g. Life of Pablo– Kanye West, Blonde– Frank Ocean, Coloring Book– Chance The Rapper, etc.) is that it is more low key, less operatic, less aggressive, and more evenly toned. It sounds like our Dreamville Cole, yet with a more mellow, retro vibe.

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Nonetheless, I say bravo to this pioneer of his own hip hop domain as he treks into more musical experimentation.

In addition, this new project received a ton of satisfied responses and excited reactions, and to only make this more exotic and enticing, a fan came up with a theory relating to the storyline embedded within the core of Cole’s album. The fan believed that the album was truly a story about Cole’s own friend who fell in love, reached out to his daughter, and was killed by the street violence of his hometown. Here is the post below:

Interesting…thoughts?

Give this new production a listen now and support our man J. Cole:

[Exclusive]: Remember Jacob Latimore: A ‘Connection’ Between His Music & Acting

Jacob Latimore is going to be making a collateral ruckus that will keep you remembering his name in the months to come.

Latimore is a Milwaukee-born, R&B artist with a lot of heart and a lot of drive. This up-and-comer is rising to the challenge as he not only takes on the music domains with a new album, but also tackles the acting scene, landing a part in the forthcoming film Collateral Beauty, participating along side some of the largest superstars in the game, such as: Will Smith, Keira Knightley, Michael Pena, and Edward Norton! Also, the film will be directed by Oscar-winner David Frankel.

When I asked him what it is like to big amongst some of the big-leagues, he responded, “this is an amazing cast, literally the dream team of Hollywood! I’m just so happy that I was welcomed by all of these seasoned actors. I learned the value of hard work on this set.”

And if it wasn’t enough that this R&B crooner has the talent, the looks, the parts, and the moves, he’s already been recognized by notable publications such as Complex for his track “The Real” ft. Ishdarr, and Billboard for his track “Mutual”.

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Since 2010, he  had been in some of the biggest box-office hits, including Ride Along starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, The Maze Runner, and Black Nativity with such notable actors as Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Tyrese Gibson, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Nas. He has also worked with the Oscar-winning, director and screenwriter tycoons Kathryn Bigelow (of Zero Dark Thirty) and Mark Boal (of The Hurt Locker).

At only the fresh, young age of 20, Latimore is asking for more as he tries to connect the dots of his artistic prowess with the various engagements he has become a part of. He is set to release his debut album Connection this winter, December 9th! And guess what? You get an exclusive, inside look into the sound that you are about to witness here, right now.

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Introducing the bed-rocking, soul turning project of Latimore as he demonstrates his own suave sound with power, energy and character. His music can be compared to the music that makes you move against your will.

It has you moving and feeling the seductive emotions of R&B that defines the genre overall. From “Less” to “Mutual” to “Remember Me” and more, we are constantly being hit by the lyrical jabs this wavy artist picks up and puts down for us craving listeners.

Each song dreamily waterfalls into the other as the music keeps you engaged and you keep wanting more fresh tunes from this innovative songster.

The R&B Crooner brings the fire as he not only serenades you with his silky, Chris Brown-esque vocals, but also charms you with his sexy, sleek, Usher-like dance moves.  What’s great about Latimore is that he’s confident and has got a fun, loving air to him that makes you jam right alongside the individual. Moving to the swing of the beat and the groove of the rhythm,  Latimore recreates a pop-sound we all love to hear over and over again.

You can watch the music video of his hit single “Remember Me” in the visual below!

Featuring production work from the likes of Chris Henderson (Jamie Foxx), Mel & Mus (Chris Brown/Justin Bieber/Rihanna/Nicki Minaj), Big Fruit (Lil Wayne/Yo Gotti/K Camp/Plies), SK (Trey Songz) and Ayo The Producer (Chris Brown/Rick Ross/Bryson Tiller), Connection is going to be a heart-throb, a mood-setter, and a dance-floor serial killer. Already, his two popular releases off of the new project have hit over 7 million streams together! (So, obviously this only means it’s got to get better).

“When I was younger, I was inspired by my dad and my uncles, they sing every day! So it’s in the family. However, there isn’t a blueprint to get involved in this industry. You build relationships, perfect your craft, and get in where you fit”, explains the multi-faceted character.

I asked what set him apart from the other artists out there and truly made him stand out against the rest, to which he replied, “what makes me stand out is that I’m able to fill two different lanes at once and be successful at them both. Balancing out music and film is difficult, but I like those problems.”

He continued to delineate the process of constructing this new compilation, Connection, “the process of creating an album takes time, and it can’t be rushed. I’ve lived with all of the songs for months before releasing them. Sometimes you think you’re done with the project and then you’ll go back and try to outdo yourself. It’s fun and stressful all at the same time.”

You can now pre-order his album on iTunes HERE.

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Looking forward to hearing more about this artist? So are we! Be sure to watch this icon take on the mic and the silver-screen and follow him on his journey via Instagram, Facebook, and Vevo.