You know those days where everything is just wrong?
I'm talking about the ones that begin with you jolting awake an hour late, full of panic and sleep deprivation. From there the cosmos just keep f**king with you because it's pre-destined to be one of those days.
Next, you come to an unfortunate realization: You don't have sh*t to wear because you've been procrastinating haaard on the laundry tip. By the time you put together an outfit that won't end with you getting clowned by randoms on the street there's zero time to feed yourself. At this point it hardly matters because your fridge is empty as a post-apocalyptic-themed porn set after a CDC visit.
So now you've got no choice but to be like, "f**k food, work is life, I can survive without sustenance." Yet not-so-deep in your heart you're disgustingly hangry and ready to throw elbows if anyone tries to cut in front of you on the train. Right when it seems things are the sh*ttiest of the sh*tty -- i.e. an old person you can't sass does cut you on the train line -- you remember you have headphones, an iPhone and a fairly lengthy playlist of both the ratchet and non-ratchet variety.
That's when you start feeling transcendental AF, on your Bob Marley, "one good thing about music is that when it hits you feel no pain," wavelength. So you stick your headphones in, smile at the octogenarian who just pulled old person privilege, and take comfort in some aggressively lewd lyrics.
Long story short: Life happens and sometimes music is the tourniquet you need to keep from bleeding internalized f**kery out into the world. Since we're tweeted, DM'd, and Soundcloud messaged new songs on a daily basis we're sharing a few of the artists who crossed our path this month.
You know, just in case you're having on of those days...
Atlanta-based rapper Kelechi seems like he's had a pretty sweet go of it for a newcomer, but it took quite a bit of uncertainty and a lot of hard work. After spending years in college bouncing from major to major, he eventually made the difficult choice to pursue music full-time.
It proved to be a worthy decision when he was announced as the winner of Green Label Sound's "Open Call" competition and took away a hefty $50,000 to put towards a full-length follow up to his successful Loose Change EP. An artist deeply rooted in lyricism, Kelechi manages to translate a childhood love of poetry and wordplay into a distinctive flow that resonates with vastly different demographics.
Kel's myriad of personal experience also informs his music, specifically his identity as a first generation child of Nigerian descent. Powerful songs like "Immigrant Son" directly address issues of identity and what the cross-cultural experience means to the children of immigrants.
"The music I enjoy makes you feel like you're dying," 22-year-old producer Kamixlo told Fader digital earlier this year. If death were an overheated house party where trap rappers, reggaeton artists and juggalos converge over shots of Everclear, then it would be a fairly accurate descriptor of Kamixlo's kind-of-club-music-but-not-really sound. It's a hard-edged, near-diabolical mashup of seemingly divergent references anchored in reggaeton; he calls it "Bala Club," which also happens to be the name of the collective he and his brother Uli K both rep.
The Chilean-British producer steadily built a name in the London underground scene through his involvement with the Endless, a party that's garnered a reputation for incubating some of the city's best up-and-coming talent. Despite his notoriety, Kamixlo's first EP, Demonico, debuted just last year.
The release came on the heels of the success of "Paleta," a frenetic, twerk-inducing track featuring samples from a Wisin y Yandel-featured Daddy Yankee song. Using the sample as a jumping-off point, the blue-haired riddim destroyer layered on the soul-reverberating bass for an end product that deserves a hearty, yasssss.
London-based chanteuse Laura Jae has a rare talent for infusing soulful, electro-noir tinged vocals with a tangible, almost painful sense of yearning. Her latest offering, "Underwater" follows 2015's Single Hearts EP which received widespread praise from The Guardian, i-D and a string of other publications.
Jae, who has been on her own since the age of 16, draws on painful moments from her youth to inform what she describes as a "cinematic approach" to music. Characterized by atmospheric production, emotive lyrics, breathy, near-falsetto vocals, and black-and-white visuals, Jae's music is what you reach for when you want something that feels more real and grounded than Lemonade (zero shade to Beyonce, let me live Beygency).
There's no perfectly tear-stained faces or eroticized violence complete with ah-mazing yellow dress and vengeful baseball bat to be found. This is ugly-cry type sh*t , in a good way. For her part, Jae says "Underwater" was inspired by feeling overwhelmed with multiple changes in life.
I was having problems communicating in a relationship I was in at the time and felt I was sinking into nothingness with no emotional support. This song represents a search for freedom.
When your Soundcloud bio reads "Africa's MC Hammer" you've got to give the people some kind of prospective dance craze otherwise you're just lying. For Mr. Eazi it was the 2013 single "Pipi Dance," which, while a sight more complicated than the "Milly Rock" or "Schmoney Dance," spawned quite a few homegrown YouTube videos in its own right.
Born in Nigeria and currently based in Ghana, Eazi's hiplife and afrobeat sound has been marinating since those bygone days before Drizzy caught the wave. His energetic output also helped him secure collaborations with some of the scene's leading producers and talents in the same year his first single dropped.
Currently, his Efya-featured single "Skin Tight" is number 30 on the iTunes World chart while "Dance For Me," a collaborative effort with British-Ghanaian artist Eugy, is number 28. Now that summer is here, Eazi's rhythmic offerings are a definite vibe for outdoor parties. So in the words of the artist, "dab, shoki shoki, alkayida" -- do whatever you gotta do, just move ya bumper or whatever.
FKi 1st is one-half of the Atlanta-based musical team FKi, who have been active since 2009. He's also a quietly influential name who is responsible for discovering Post Malone and producing his breakout hit "White Iverson," as well as 2 Chainz's "Watch Out" and more.
1st got his start at Collipark Music where he produced songs like "Bring It Back" for ATL dynamos Travis Porter. He eventually made connections with heavyweights like Diplo whom he actually introduced to Iggy Azalea in the early days of her career. Last Friday, 1st took an interesting first step (sorry for the pun it was too easy), and released the EP First Time For Everything through Mad Decent.
As the title suggests, this marks his first time stepping out of the lane of producer and adding his own voice to the mix. He's not going it alone though, the EP has features from friends like Post Malone, Danny Seth and the late Bankroll Fresh.
You know how random struggle rappers on Twitter are always like, "2020 my year dawg"? That would not be Joey Purp, who is among other things, co-founder of the SaveMoney rap collective which gave us Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. He's also one-half of the duo Leather Corduroys alongside SaveMoney alum Kami de Chukwu, and lastly, he's somebody's daddy (literally, not in the pervy way).
Purp has been buzzing on and off since 2012 when he dropped The Purple Tape, an instrumental laden project laced with disarmingly thoughtful observations on both his city and the world at large. And even though the SaveMoney crew is concentrating on solo aspirations they still frequently collaborate as evidenced by Chance's appearance on Purp's newest track, "Girls @".
The Neptunes-esque single features plenty of the standard rapper braggadocio as Purp ponders where the "girls with the credit cards and the tits out" could possibly be. It should also be noted Chance managed to fit an Outkast reference and Ta-Nehisi Coates in the same sentence.
Hailing from Evanston, Illinois, Kweku Collins signed his first record deal with Chicago label Closed Sessions while still in high school. Shortly after signing he dropped the EP Say It Here, While It's Still Safe. Collins later decided to bypass the traditional college route to focus full-time on music; the end result is his debut album, Nat Love, which released last month.
Though Collins was raised a mere stones throw from Chicago, a city whose influences bred the likes of Common, Kanye West, Vic Mensa, Chance the Rapper and more, the "Chicago" stamp is less present in Collins. That's not a bad thing, either. While he doesn't necessarily identify with some of the musical genres associated with the city, he's carved a niche that is pretty much all his own. He exists somewhere between something neo-soul-esque and contemporary hip-hop, sometimes undercut with touches of folk and R&B. Basically Collins makes music pleasurable.
You might recognize Jeremy Boateng as that guy who modeled in this campaign or walked in that runway show. You may also know him for his part in the London style collective Justanorm; they've been repping for the normal fashion-but-not-really-fashion dudes at different men's weeks around the globe.
Recently, Boateng decided to take a break from the catwalk and pick up a microphone -- these days, he's rapping under the moniker Ezza. According to Boateng, part of his desire to start making music was to "tear down stereotypes about models." His first track, "The Kick Off" reveals a confident novice delivering lengthy bars over trap-laced instrumentals. This month Boateng also released the video for "The Kick Off" which features fellow Justanorm members Aaron Unknown, Dylan Williams and Harry Uzoka.
When Drake remixed a version of "Sweeterman" in 2015 for OVO Sound radio he also shouted out the song's OG creator, Ramriddlz, a young Egyptian-Canadian artist out of Mississauga, Ontario. At that time, many who weren't plugged into the Canadian music scene were like,"What's a Ramriddlz doe?"
The more enterprising folks hit up Soundcloud and discovered a raunchy, weed-celebrating cache of R&B flavored with dancehall and cloudy trap sounds. It's working for Ram because in a little over a year after the Drake's plug he managed to go from aspiring graphic designer to an artist with increasing visibility,
His latest project, a self-released nine song offering titled Venis, features female-genetalia- reminiscent cover art and enough cringe-y bedroom vernacular to suspect none of the heavy-handed lines have ever been directed at real women. It's oddly part of Ram's charm though -- he's like an R&B Urkel with a mile-wide pervy streak, but somehow it fits his persona.
Singer/songwriter and producer Juan Calderon strikes the right chord between achingly sweet and a touch melancholy. His newest project, a five-track listen titled Jara, perhaps illustrates this auditory balancing act the best. It's an easy, whimsical kind of compilation that you might reach for on a lazy weekend when you're eating breakfast in bed while the sun streams through your window.
Though Calderon is currently based in the Netherlands he was born in Chile. The EP was inspired by his country of birth; it takes its name from '70s folk singer Victor Jara. The project's folky guitar is yet another homage to Jara, and paired with soulful beats and Calderon's own wispy vocals it definitely oozes its way into your happy place.
Check out our previous installment of Buzzworthy.