[LISTEN] Check Out Jeans Shepherd's Smooth New Track "Burden"


If you've never heard of Connecticut rapper Jeans Shepherd, now is a good time to get familiar. His latest track, "Burden," is a prime example of his sharp lyricism and potent sound over jazzy production. Loud brass and smooth drums create the perfect backdrop for Jeans to paint his life's picture.

For those of you who aren't into smooth, the second verse offers a taste of double-time bars whose change in sound mirrors the same changes Jeans Shepherd speaks about experiencing on this track. Although this appears to be a single that we might not find on any upcoming releases, one thing's for sure: Rap needs more people like Jeans Shepherd.

Follow Jeans Shepherd on Twitter and SoundCloud

Lil Shipe Blesses Fans with 4 New Tracks for "Cole Drank" Mixtape


There are a few cities that put out nothing but fire when it comes to hip-hop—Atlanta, Richmond, Houston—but it's hard to argue that any city does it better than New Orleans.

Everybody knows about the top of the crop in the Big Easy, whether it's Lil Wayne and Cash Money, Curren$y and the whole Jet Life Crew, 3D Na'Tee ... the list goes on and on. But the lesser-known artists in New Orleans might be making the best music of all, and chances are you haven't even heard some of the names before.

Lil Shipe is one great underground rapper from New Orleans who has been creating a strong body of work and showing improvement for years. From earlier projects like Talking Logic and Building Wit Tha Homies to his 2018 singles and projects, Shipe's progression is always evident and the music is always quality.

His latest mixtape, Cole Drank, is a four-track offering that gives listeners a quick taste of the sound Lil Shipe has spent years cultivating. The cover pays homage to both the culture of drank in Houston and one of Lil Shipe's previous tapes, Green Cup Boy$. While Shipe handled zero production on this tape, producer Ferris Blusa laid the perfect soundscape for the N.O. emcee.

Part of what makes New Orleans such a great city for music is its unique style. "It's a title dedicated to my city," Shipe says of Cole Drank. "Other places call [it] soda, pop, or a soft drink. Down here we call it 'cole drank.'" This unique New Orleans flavor is present throughout Cole Drank, whether it's the car talk, the weed bars, or the distinctly "cool" feel of Shipe's voice and flow.

If you asked me my least favorite thing about this tape, it would be the length. In Lil Shipe's words, though, "Cole Drank is an appetizer for [what] I got popping." So here's my advice for anyone who can't get enough of that New Orleans flavor: Follow Lil Shipe on SoundCloud, roll one up, pour up some cole drank and wait for the next release.

Check out Cole Drank on SoundCloud, DatPiff, AudioMack or Spinrilla

Follow Lil Shipe on Twitter and Instagram

TAU's "Paid Dues" Blends Smooth Beats, Solid Bars, and Much-Needed Motivation


It's not a stretch to call today's rap stale. Aside from guys like K. Dot and J Cole, the mainstream is flooded with rappers who lack substance and originality. So when I hear a new artist with substance and a unique sound, I'm all ears.

Talent Among Us (TAU) is an up-and-coming Hip-Hop duo from Denver comprised of Champ and Hammer with a sound that combines elements of mainstream, underground, and alternative Hip-Hop. Unlike many duos, TAU doesn't have an in-house producer—instead, production is handled by a handful of talented outsiders.

TAU's latest project, Paid Dues, is a smooth nine-track offering that gives listeners a glimpse into the minds of two talented young rappers who are determined to win in life. The best part is, it doesn't sound anything like the projects that have dropped in the last year. The intro track "Make a Way" (Prod. CMPLX) features Champ divulging the duo's manifesto over a clean, airy beat.

Production on Paid Dues is mostly handled by Dope boi and False Ego, with help from YRS808, NoPlugg Macroni, Mark NiEls, and Bravestarr. This diverse crew of producers gives the project a varied sound—some beats are laid-back, some are more aggressive, and some, like "Get Rich," would be right at home on a Curren$y or Smoke DZA tape.

Like each Talent Among Us project before it, Paid Dues is a clear exhibition of Champ and Hammer's progression. The talented duo continues to showcase their ability to branch out musically without sacrificing substance. In a social media-driven era where people—rappers especially—are championed for playing palatable characters, Talent Among Us has chosen to go against the grain and be themselves, and that's what Hip-Hop is all about.

Favorite tracks: Get Rich (Prod. False Ego), Time (Prod. YRS808 & NoPlugg Macroni), Change (Prod. Bravestarr)

You can listen to Paid Dues on Audiomack and Spotify today!

Jae Bryant Reflects on 2017 in New Single "Dippin'"


True Southern flavor is hard to find in Hip-Hop today, but Charleston, South Carolina native Jae Bryant is keeping it alive in a major way.

His September project BLOO won over a sizable crowd, receiving coverage on HipHopDX for the Wondagurl-produced "DEEP." Though Jae is still young and has some room for improvement, BLOO was a strong offering laced with hard bars, great production, and thoughtful content—and, more importantly, a sign of things to come.

Today marks the release of Jae Bryant's latest single, "Dippin'," a nearly four-minute reflection on Jae's year and the path he's taken in life.  He addresses his financial troubles and depression, and speaks on how he overcame it all. Of course, there are still some great bars on deck to keep the wordplay fiends satisfied: "These bars so ludicrous, make you hoes Get Back."

All of this comes over smooth, hypnotizing production by London producer K Le Maestro, who creates the perfect backdrop for Jae Bryant's decidedly Southern flavor. This track is perfect if you need motivation to get up off your ass and get to work.

Jae ends the track on a positive note by letting us know exactly who this track is for: "the young kids just like me."

Click here to purchase "Dippin'" or listen on Apple Music.

For more great music, check out Jae Bryant's BLOO on Apple Music.
Support the producer! Check out K Le Maestro's beats on SoundCloud.

Cambatta Digs Deep on New Single "Crown of Thorns"

If you haven't heard of Cambatta, stop reading this and look him up—now.

I first heard of Batta through his affiliation with Nino Bless and Third Floor. At the time, he had just dropped his 2013 project Smoke & Mirrors: The Porch. It only took once listen to get me hooked.

Nearly half a decade later, Cam somehow continues to get even better. His latest single "Crown of Thorns" is a 4-minute barrage of bars over punchy production. If you're not a fan of the overly esoteric, God-level Cambatta, don't worry—there are still plenty of punchlines to enjoy: 

"I'ma roll a quarter, get to fuckin' on your only daughter / If the hoe tell, I'ma go Rwanda"

Batta also mentions having "the imagination of a seven-and-a-half-year-old." From some of the bars I've heard, that sounds about right to me.

Follow Cambatta on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Listen to/buy Cambatta's last project, Smoke & Mirrors: DMT here.


Quincey White's "The 7" Is a Master Class in Bars and Storytelling


Armed with a fresh moniker and the lyrical prowess we’ve come to expect, Quincey White (formerly known as DUBB) dropped off his latest project The 7 last week. This is the first project we’ve seen from the Los Angeles rapper since his 2015 mixtape Perfect Timing.

Quincey achieves a rare combination in today’s game. He packs each song with intricate, well-crafted bars and important messages, yet still manages to make music that sounds good. Every. Single. Time.

Thankfully, Quincey didn’t miss a beat with this one. Although this EP is just seven songs and 27 minutes long, it leaves a lasting impression and has tons of replay value. The only listed guest you’ll find on The 7 is Jake&Papa, one of the most sonically pleasing R&B duos and frequent collaborators of Mr. White.

If you’re only gonna check out one song—which really isn’t the move with this tape—it has to be “Hope,” a compelling storytelling track where Q explores the story of a young girl named Hope who grew up in a toxic, drug-infested environment with dreams of escaping it. As she gets older, though, she’s forced to make tough decisions with serious consequences, leading her to a life she thought she’d left behind long ago.

This one definitely gets my stamp of approval.

Buy The 7 or listen on Apple Music here.

Listen to The 7 on Spotify here.