LocalBlac – ‘Five9’

LocalBlac aka Travon D. Bryant is a rapper and hip hop artist from Los Angeles, who’s latest single ‘Five9’ brings all the smooth, soulful and funky vibes that you need in your life.

LocalBlac has deft ear for rhythm, and knowing how to harness its power and allowing space for it to enhance the potency of his lyrical prowess – patently obvious from but a few seconds of his new jam. It swaggers slowly along a seductive groove as lyrics are delivered unhurried, unworried and in his own time backed by bombastic beats, funky riffs and blasts of brass and soulful vocals. A bonanza of head-nodding, rump-shaking and swaggering grooves, ‘Five9’ gets inside your head and refuses to leave; but hey, you’ll be all the better for it.

Get introduced to LocalBlac and ‘Five9’ below now.

Introducing: The Black O.C.

The Black O.C. are a hip hop trio born and raised in So Cal who live “in the black” but have their eyes wide open to the world as they smash stereotypes.

The trio have recently released a new record Legacy, Vol. 1.5; a wonderful introduction to The Black O.C. and their hip hop alchemy. This wizardry is demonstrated with abundance on tracks  ‘Legacy’ & ‘Wake Up’. ‘Legacy’ is mellow but certainly not placid. It is seductively melodic while marked by an undercurrent of threat and subversion woozy synth flutter and bass wobble over a softly swaggering groove while sharp lyrics are delivered with the sort of authority that makes you listen up. ‘Wake Up’ meanwhile, takes the aforementioned attributes and ups the ante; it is darker, heavier and harder. The deep bassline and shuffling dusty beats provide the meat for this swaggering, groove heavy jam as powerful interlaced wordplay wizardry zips along above. Two focused, no nonsense cuts of pinpoint lyrical sharpness and seductive grooves – a match made in heaven.

Listen to ‘Legacy’ & ‘Wake Up’ below – and Legacy, Vol. 1.5 is here for your aural pleasure.

Clockwork – ‘Evergreen Weather’

Clockwork is an emerging hip hop artist from Britain’s south coast; heavily influenced by 90’s US hip hop & U.K. grime scene, his sound is a blend of slick and intricate lyricism and melodic maneuvers.

This predication for 90s hip hop and melodic sensibility is front and centre on his newest single ‘Evergreen Weather’. A third single of 2020, it saunters along a seductive melodic groove basking in a laidback and sunkissed allure. It sees a mellow flow and trickling rhymes paired above warm twinkly chimes and pillowy soft beats amid a feelgood summertime vibe. ‘Evergreen Weather’ is an absolute joy as we’re treated this mellow meander down memory lane as Clockwork’s storytelling skills ooze with heartwarming and warm nostalgia, and all wrapped in warm, sunny and lush vibes – beautiful stuff.

Listen to ‘Evergreen Weather’ below:


El Levtchenko – ‘Sunday Social’

El Levtchenko are a Brazilian / Portuguese pairing who’s sonic compositions borrow from a world of influences; there’s Cuban guitar music, a touch of hip hop, some Middle Eastern and African influences, funk and soul, and a whole lot of beautiful psychedelia.

In just under three minutes their latest offering  ‘Sunday Social’ encapsulates everything that is utterly wonderful about about El Levtchenko and their sound. ‘Sunday Social’ is a colourful confection of sunny and alluring Latin flavoured psych. It slinks and swaggers along a super seductive groove and soft, brushed hip hop style beats as basslines bubble and guitars twang, pick and riff amid the sunkissed shimmer. ‘Sunday Social’ whisks you away to a vibrant and colourful world of sun, sea and peaceful vibes. It is a masterclass in psychedelia fusion, and one that will no doubt leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Listen to ‘Sunday Social’ below:

Jthurston – ‘Black Sheep’

Jthurston or Jared Thurston is a hip hop artist and rapper from Oakland, CA.

Jthurston has made a name for himself locally as part of the NFK Music Collective (NewFound Kingdom) and in his own right with a recognizable style that switches from all around lyrical rapping to a more harmonizing flavour – a hallmark stamped all over soulful and timeless new single ‘Black Sheep’. It is lush and a super seductive groover that flows majestically along a bubbling bassline head-nodding, shuffling percussion with subtle and melodic instrumental touches. ‘Black Sheep’ oozes all the smooth, soulful and timeless vibes while Jthurston gently reveals his greatest attribute; his voice and melodic delivery.

Such a wonderful & easy on the ear tune – listen to ‘Black Sheep’ below:


Clear Soul Forces – ‘Nine Five’

Detroit hip hop collective, Clear Soul Forces released their fifth and unfortunately final album Forceswithyou on March 13.

Formed in 2009, the hip-hop quartet made their name with a classic combo of head-nodding, shuffling percussion with subtle and melodic instrumental touches – a hallmark stamped all over their final hurrah as they continue to charm us with their swansong ‘Nine Five’. It is melodic, playful and bouncy as hell as as each rapper takes their turn to unleash their own style and cadence, attacking the beat with slick wordplay crammed tight with colourful pop-culture references. The silky wordplay is matched in the hypnotic stakes by seductive, flawless beatwork, colourful bright and glitchy synth sounds, and  bubbling electro -groove, ‘Nine Five’ is an absolute joy, and finding a balance between contemporary creativity and nostalgia.

Tune into ‘Nine Five’ below and if you like what your hear, check out Forceswithyou here.

Gang Starr – ‘Bad Name’

Back in September, we got the first new track from Gang Starr in 16 years, ‘Family And Loyalty’. A few weeks ago, this was followed a whole new Gang Starr album called One Of The Best Yet. DJ Premier started working on the record in September 2017, and comes almost a decade after Guru’s death in 2010.

While the circumstances of the album’s creation remain a point of contention, it is a little strange but very good to hear the duo back together again – a rather unexpected surprise. The album, while not to the level of say Daily Operation and Hard to Earn (two of my all time favourite records), is a nice tribute to, and reminder of, how great Gang Starr were. IMO there is never a bad time to share anything Gang Starr related, with that in mind, we have latest single ‘Bad Name’. Backed by Premier’s trademark production and iconic scratch choruses, without missing a beat, Guru bemoans the lack or real hip hop talents, as he spits: “Word to God, if Big and ‘Pac were still here/ Some of these weirdos wouldn’t act so cavalier”.

It is undeniably great to hear the two artists together again, check out ‘Bad Name’ below:

Gang Starr – ‘Family and Loyalty’ ft. J.Cole

Gang Starr, the legendary hip hop duo consisting of the late Guru and DJ Premier, have returned with a first new single in 16 years, and first music since Guru’s passing in 2010.

The track, ‘Family and Loyalty’, features posthumous vocals from Guru and verses from J. Cole. Dripping with golden-era nostalgia; a mellow old-school hip-hop beat and of course rhymes from the late Guru and slick, pristine production as you would expect from Premier.

To say this came as a surprise is an understatement – it came seemingly out of nowhere – and it is a little strange but of the good variety, it just not something that was ever expected. Gang Starr will always be of huge importance to me, not only are Daily Operation and Hard to Earn two of my all time favourite records but Gang Starr introduced me to hip hop as a whole.

If that wasn’t enough, rumours are swirling about an entire LP but hey, that’s for another day – for now, check out ‘Family and Loyalty’ and video below:

JAK – ‘Imagination’

JAK is a collective ensemble of creativity driven by a motley crew of music lovers from somewhere amid the great expanse of the US.

As for a backstory, well, that’s it. While JAK might be tight lipped on info, there is plenty to be said about their debut single ‘Imagination’. For one, it is a blistering bout of seductive, swaggering and wholly irresistible hip hop. It struts its wares built on a low-toned synthesiser hook and bed of buzzy, bass-heavy electro as droning and whooshing synths fizz around the slick, rapid-fire lyrical delivery, that zips along with mechanised rhythm and precision, perfectly complimenting the beatwork (which is very Afrika Bambaataa, Kraftwerk inspired). ‘Imagination’ is a hell of an introduction.

Listen to ‘Imagination’ below:

Trap – ‘I Want Moor’

Trap is a rapper / emcee from Long Beach, CA whose music explores a whole array of topics and themes, social commentary and cultural criticism but backed and complemented by sublime and seductive grooves and beats.

On his new single, ‘I Want Moor’, the latest lifted from recently released record, Young Basquiat 3: Lost Vibes, Trap brings out the revolutionary raps. There is a weight to his vocals, speaking with authority, an authority that makes you pay attention, his vision is delivered clearly and concisely, without ever sounding preachy or pretentious. His measured and melodic delivery adds lyrical depth and musical allure, it doesn’t miss a beat and the production, supplied by Chicago’s Jerrod Hinton, is of supreme quality. The beat is rooted in the blues, partially due to sampling Nina Simone but also because of its pace and general vibe. It is a heavyweight tune, and one that’s been on constant rotation the past month.

Check ‘I Want Moor’ below and you can listen to Young Basquiat 3: Lost Vibes here.