Alexander Dreamer - Against Being Alone
(LIVE PERFORMANCE/MUSIC REVIEW)
Members of his crew called him their “Young Kanye West” on stage last night, and they couldn’t be more right. There’s a recognizable realness in Dreamer’s music that resonates with a crowd almost instantly. He took a quiet room and brought it to life, even pulling passers by in from the sidewalk. Dreamer also made the beat for this track and a few others he performed, and his productions were always on par with his lyrics and his presence on the stage. Alexander Dreamer is one of the names to know in the coming year.
ALBUM REVIEW #1
“The First Story” Rone’s anticipated debut seemed a fit topic for the first full album review, a full album/song by song breakdown.
Against The Wall ft. Dice Raw:
A nice piano intro leads into a typically confident first verse from Rone. The chorus vocal seems a bit awkward, both tonally and in its location in the mix as it seems to stand out too far when compared with the verses. The feature second verse fits nicely with the sound and theme and the song end with the repeated chorus and beat.
Giving My Love:
The song begins slowly and Rone sings the hook. This song has a more homey, old school feel than some of Rone’s other work, though the second verse seems more akin to his norm. This is most certainly a welcome step away from his norm, not to say his other work is lacking, merely that this is a nice new dimension. This is definitely a song for the hip hop heads out here, common market and the like.
I Woke Up:
A southern feel from the beat, Rone follows suit with his content. This seems a bit of a story-telling step for rone. The chorus has a very nice vocal backing and will likely stick in the ears of listeners, but in a less annoying sense than, say, Call Me Maybe. Overall the song is a well placed follow up to Giving My Love, and a nice track in and of itself.
Little White Lies:
The instrumental opening seems an homage to movie previews like Sucker Punch and Grindhouse, and Rone’s even paced, though lightly distorted vocals remain true to form. Mid verse the song begins to take on a wider personality and the distortion disappears from the vocals. All in all the song establishes somewhat of a nicer, though obviously less forced and generall more pleasant, black eyed peas vibe. Definitely one of the surprises of the album thus far.
Falling ft. Ricky Radio:
Fans of the Gorillaz will gush over the instrumental and beginning hook of the song, it sets a nice, even atmosphere. Rone’s vocals do not take the same course on the instrumental, but they present an equally interesting tone to the building feel of the song and they have an obvious effect on the mood in which the following hook is perceived. The second verse picks up this mood beautifully and the songs finishes with the now familiar hook.
Roadrunner ft. Ricky Radio:
The hook that leads off the song is beautiful and oddly happy. Rone proceeds to explain himself and his demeanor. The reasons behind his decisions. The entire song has sort of an odd, happy feeling of acknowledging one’s own tendencies and putting up with the opinions of others. It’s a welcome message today.
Come Home To Me:
This song has sort of a 90’s radio feel to it. The grainy sing-song hook leads perfectly into cocky quick vocals. These raps give way to Rone’s southern-esque singing voice in the pre-chorus and the song repeats this progression for the remainder of its length. Definitely another summer facebook share.
With a feel much akin to Rone’s previous youtube freestyles, this is a welcome return to normalcy. He brings some nice verses over a short loop beat. This song doesn’t seem like it will be much of a repeat player, but it’s worth the usual twice over.
Bringing a few familiar lines from some old freestyles, this track seems a bit of a lesson in spell-rhyming. The lines have a nice, though admittedly novel feel.
Here’s a side of Rone not usually seen. Decent paced fast raps over a very simple, yet melodic beat. The song has its pace changes, but never seems to lose that meaningful feel. The hook seems a bit lacking, but not enough to detract from the overall quality of the song. This is another facebook share for sure.
A nice repetitive track with a good rap feel to it, Thinkin provides a decent example of the bulk of Rone’s music for new listeners.
200 Miles To Philadelphia:
With a warm acoustic intro and a well sung hook, the final track of the album seems quite well placed. Rone goes into story mode once again, telling of his beginnings and his hopes for the future. This song is a feel good ending to a very well planned album and it leaves listeners in anticipation of Rone’s potential.
Sikai - I Can’t Stop
If you forced Andre 3000, Jay-z, and Kanye West to breed, they would be pretty happy on Sikai’s birthday. He has that street feel, ready for radio, with the underlying realness that fans of “watch the throne” seemed so drawn to. Sikai is starting to generate a buzz, he has worked with Clams Casino and French Montana (XXL Freshman 2012), and he’s definitely carving out his niche in the rap game. It’s only a matter of time before the industry takes notice.
Elro - Warmup Session
Yes, he does look like chris griffon. If chris could spit hard, fast, ignorant lines. He’s somewhere between Hopsin, Eminem, and Earl Sweatshirt, but he’s definitely nothing you’ve heard before. AND he’s welsh! If you’re a fan of innovative, quick, disgusting lyricism, Elro is here to quench your thirst!
Lunar C - Warmup Session
Another UK fire starter, Lunar C goes hard over every beat he can get on. There’s an old school underground sort of feel to his voice, but his rhymes are far from dated. Fans of Eminem and Royce will love his flows and content, while fans of older Hip Hop will enjoy his beat selection and the general feel of his music. Lunar C is certainly one to watch in the coming year.
George Watsky - Stupidass
Yes, it’s the fast rapping pale kid. Everyone saw Watsky go viral, but not many knew he was an HBO slam poet and aspiring rapper beforehand. Watsky’s music IS undoubtedly a bit more nerdy than the usual radio material, and it is entirely devoid of gun bars, but he has so much more to offer. George Watsky brings an interesting combination of nerdy aggression, witty punchlines, and an unusually large vocabulary where rap (and really most genres) is concerned. His tracks range from old school reminiscings about his adolescence in California, to newer flow heavy songs. Watsky has something for almost every rap fan, be they casual or deeply learned in hip hop culture, but sorry no gun bars or drug references here.
Astronautalis - I don’t always dream about rappers…I promise
A voice for the rock faithful in search of some connection to the Hip Hop world, Astronautalis’ dry voice and melodic singing is a welcome sound. Imagery seems his strong suit, his music creates the scene, and the listener is taken for a ride. It is so rare in today’s music that an artist can create such an atmosphere, but with his evident passion and well-written lines Astronautalis is able to bond the listener to the song. He has pushed for this full time since the moment he graduated college and does not seem to be anywhere near his stopping point.
Denzil Porter - Intuition
Another underground artist best suited for radio, Denzil Porter brings Lupe Fiasco style schemes and storytelling, with an almost Kanye-esque cocky sense of humor. The featured track “Intuition” is of the storytelling variety, and Porter weaves an interesting tale of love and betrayal with an awe inspiring twist. Denzil Porter will definitely suit the iPod of any and all fans of comedic lyricism.
Fly Union - Feels Good
Fly U seems to be the modern take on older ‘feel good’ hip hop. The group is a perfect fit for the radio, and fans of Big Sean (who they have also released a track with) and most of G.O.O.D Music’s roster will love the genuine feeling behind their lyrics and flow style. Fly U is gaining a following and they seem to have hit their stride as of late.
Common Market - Refresh
Another artist that doesn’t necessarily qualify as “up and coming” anymore, Common Market is still more than worth posting about. Feel good music is making a comeback and this is just about the pinnacle. “Refresh” is a personal favorite of mine, and with the summer heat and mexican beer, there just doesn’t seem to be a better choice of music. Common Market has build a decent following in the U.S. and they are certainly far from peaking.