There are some of us dedicated to rummaging the inner regions of the web in search of that good alternative urban music and serving it directly to music lovers. This initiative is what we call "The Slice" at EARMILK. Every fortnight we share with you 10 or more ear-grabbing songs from genres ranging from hip-hop, grime, soul, afrobeat/pop and dancehall. So let us do the digging while you sit back and relax to some brilliantly crafted music from around the globe.
Yugen Blakrok - "Picture Box"
Yugen Blakrok's vivid visual for her song "Picture Box" starts off this week's episode on an epic note. The South African emcee is currently preparing to release her new album Animal Mysterium and has been feeding us with her out the box brand of sci-fi hip-hop. She once again goes for the cinematic look as she did on her previous single "Carbon Form" and deliver a song chock full of thought-provoking messages and visual motifs that show how far ahead she is when it comes to rap. Simply put "Picture Box" is about self-illumination and the way humans mimic/ get influenced by what they see on TV ( literally the picture box in this context). It's deeper than what you may think as Blakrok points out "...These characters influence our thoughts and live on this timeline but where do they go when we change the channel or switch off completely? Food for thought, do the dishes.
Preorder Animal Mysterium here.
Wiley, Stefflon Don, Wiley, Idris Elba - "Boasty"
This collab is wild! The track puts Hackney titans Wiley, Stefflon Don, dancehall legend Sean Paul and multi-talented thespian/DJ/Producer Idris Elba over a groovy carnival-tinged banger. Aptly titled "Boasty", the quartet deliver bravado bars in their own unique manner. Steff deploys her distinctive raw and unbridled flow and Sean Paul's effortless melodies are intertwined with Idris' commanding lyrical swagger while the Godfather of grime Wiley cements his reputation and brings the whole track masterfully together.
Recca Worldwide - "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"
Recca Worldwide's new song "Wanna Have Fun" takes a swipe at love, romance and all the drama that comes along with it. Sampling the classic Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" hit from the 80s, Worldwide takes a look at his own experiences when it comes to dating women but the main message he has is for guys to really have tough skin in the game of romance. The Toronto act is gearing up for back-to-back releases in 2019 with "Wanna Have Fun" being the first of many from his vault. Get it on Soundcloud.
Tabby Wakes -"Tabby Night"
NYC-based hip-hop artist Tabby Wakes' single "Tabby Night" gets the visual treatment and showcases the Fool's Gold artist's fun-filled and vibrant style. The blend of genres plays a huge part in the video as the artist doesn't stick to the traditional hip-hop format or rather doesn't conform to anything at all. Wakes is sure growing into her own space and the visual sets the stage for the young artist. Who knows what trick she is going to pull out of her bag next?
CARLA - "Forces (freestyle)"
Rising emcee CARLA is going for gold on her single "Forces (freestyle)". Over a distorted synth-driven instrumental, she flexes her lyrical muscles as a response to naysayers and doubting Moustapha's. Off her newest The Barbie EP, this latest track is pure bravado from top to bottom and pretty much just her unapologetically spitting bars over a booming beat (by Young Disrespecto). The 21-year-old South East Georgia raised rapper has four projects under her belt and is preparing for more music in 2019. We are definitely ready for more of CARLA.
Blanco Suave - "Redlite"
Michigan based lo-fi neo-soul/hip-hop duo Blanco Suave treat us to some good old fashioned head-nodding jam in the form of their new single "Redlite". The duo flip the meaning of a booty call on its head and turn it into a romantics dream. Need I say more? just hit the play button and get with the groove. "Redlite" is the second track off their self-titled debut album. The duo is made up of Musicians Luke Arquette (beats), and Gretchen McKenzie (vocals). Get the song on Spotify.
Cantrell - "Good Life 07' "
"Good Life '07" is an old school hip-hop story record off of Cantrell's Stardust 2 Angels. The Albany, Georgia takes us into his childhood growing up without a father figure and all the drama he got into as a young troubled kid looking for meaning in life. The song is part of his newest EP which encapsulates both the physical and emotional journey from a small southern town to the City of Angels. The physical journey, which Cantrell took from Georgia to Los Angeles to record the EP, is a universal symbol of the risks we all must take to concur fear in the pursuit of larger aspirations.
In 2019 Cantrell will drop a bunch of new music, a new project and embarking on a 25+ date #Starting5Tour ending at SXSW.
Smif-N-Wessun - "Testify"
Smif-N-Wessun takes us back to the good old days of the yard stomping Boot Camp Clik with the release of their new video "Testify". The legendary duo is currently dropping a new project The All in February and it was only right to serve us something delicious till then. "Testify" was produced by Khrysis (Of The Soul Council) and affords Tek & Steele the perfect solemn backdrop to reflect on their accomplishments and failures throughout their two-decade-plus long career. The minimalistic video was directed by Colton Chapman and James Niche and puts things in perspective as they focus on the duo doing their thing like the OGs that they are.
The new album was produced entirely by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council.
Yury - "Books"
The ever working emcee Yury delivers an off-kilter trap infused hip-hop on his new song simply titled "Books". The Brooklyn-based act has been doing his thing on an indie level for a while now and while trap plays a major part of his sound, he tends to stray slightly from the expected. The self-produced song has a dark cinematic feel to it and also showcases Yury's laid back, devil-may-care performance. Hit the play button and get familiar if you already haven't
Zell - "Major League"
Emerging rapper and producer Zell delivers an aspiration jam that everyone can relate to. "Major League" has a smooth soulful texture and hard-hitting trap drums but most importantly Zell's performance is solid from start to finish. Zell doesn't mince words and lets us know he is highly inspired to reach the apex of his career regardless of the challenges life might throw at him.
The Legion - "1980 Something"
The trio of Molecules, DiceMan, and Chucky Smash join forces as The Legion with the determination to carry on the torch of the gritty hip-hop music of the streets. Their new visual release entitled "1980 Something" captures the vibe of New York City (and the country at large) in the '80s with shots of The Legion posted up in the BX blended with news footage from the aforementioned era. As the trio pass the mic back and forth throughout the track, you see shots of Reagan, drug busts, live performances, wild outfits, and so much more that encapsulated that time period.
"1980 Something" is off their upcoming project Three The Bronx Way, The 11 track LP which includes guest features from Dres (of Black Sheep), Sadat X, Beneficence and more, is due out Feb 01 through Legion Records.
If you dug what you hear, you can revisit our previous episodes of "The Slice" here.