Noah-O and DJ Mentos Team Up for "64W"


I’m a little late with this one, but it’s never a bad time to share a solid track from one of Virginia’s finest. The first time I heard Noah-O was his effortlessly energetic appearance on Radio B’s “92 Magic” (which was also produced by DJ Mentos). Since then, we’ve seen countless pieces of evidence that Noah-O is poised to make a name for himself in the hip-hop history books.

For his latest project, Noah-O teamed up with DJ Mentos to form Analog Suspects. The project, titled Transmission 001, is a 20-song offering with limited features, which means you get plenty of Noah-O’s clever bars and meaningful insights over DJ Mentos beats that are expertly crafted to fit each song. You can purchase the album on Bandcamp now.

One of the things I enjoy most about the hip-hop coming out of Virgina today is the creativity. When I heard a Noah-O track that sounded like a bit of a departure from what I knew him for—a laid-back, introspective and candid look at life—I was all ears. "64W” is masterfully crafted from start to finish; it’s a smooth, yet raw track that serves a clear purpose.

It’s always refreshing to hear cohesion between producers and rappers, and DJ Mentos and Noah-O have chemistry that’s hard to find on Transmission 001. I hope to hear a lot more from this duo in the future and will be reviewing the full album soon.

Make sure you follow Noah-O and DJ Mentos on Twitter and purchase Transmission 001 by Analog Suspects on Bandcamp!

RVA Rap Elite: The Essential Roadmap to Richmond Hip-Hop


From New York and LA to Houston and Atlanta, a lot of cities are known for pumping out quality hip-hop. But quiet as kept, the modest Virginia city of Richmond might be doing it better than everyone else at this point.

Not familiar with RVA hip-hop? No worries. With RVA Rap Elite, Richmond native Radio B has found a creative, entertaining and somewhat nostalgic way of getting everybody hip to the scene. The show is centered around RVA Rap Elite, a monthly cypher that pits elite VA spitters against each other on the stage to determine a winner. Each winner gets a custom hoodie, a free studio session engineered and mixed by Michael Millions and free entry to the cypher for the remainder of the year.

With episodes posted on YouTube every month, RVA Rap Elite is reminiscent of the street DVDs so many fans used to fiend for. In addition to covering the RVA Rap Elite cypher, each episode also includes music videos, freestyles, interviews, behind the scenes footage and more. From rare Nickelus F bars to new videos from the likes of Tr3demark and Fly Anakin, each episode is a crash course on the past and present of RVA hip-hop.

The city of Richmond and Virginia as a whole don’t get enough credit for their contributions to hip-hop. From fluent spitters like The Clipse, Nickelus F and Skillz to top-notch producers like Pharrell, Nottz and Timbaland, Virginia is a hotbed for great hip-hop. It’s only right that a quality production like RVA Rap Elite is taking the time to shed light on one of the musically talented cities in the world.

Make sure you subscribe to RVA Rap Elite on YouTube and watch the latest episode below:

Lil Shipe Blesses Fans with "In Da Cut EP" for 4/20

In the spirit of 4/20, New Orleans rapper Lil Shipe blesses us with some motivational music to smoke to with his  In Da Cut EP .

In the spirit of 4/20, New Orleans rapper Lil Shipe blesses us with some motivational music to smoke to with his In Da Cut EP.

I’m posting this a little later than I would have liked, but I had to give this tape time to marinate before I let the people know what I think. Why? Because of all the up-and-coming artists I’ve been following, Lil Shipe consistently shows the most growth and progression. From experimenting with different musical sounds from project to project to stepping his bars and flow up, the N.O. rapper seems destined to blow.

Too often today, rappers don’t know the meaning of simplicity when it comes to creating a project. To me, having fewer songs without filler is always better than having to skip through a 25-track album. With Lil Shipe, you never have to worry about throwaway joints—every project is carefully crafted so you don’t have to worry about skipping tracks or certain tracks ruining the cohesion. To me, this ability to craft complete albums that are enjoyable from start to finish is something that’s gonna take Shipe a long way in the game.

Another thing I love about Lil Shipe’s music is the fact that he handles so much of his own production. Not only that, he has a unique production style and an ear for beats that really allow him to make great music. On In Da Cut, it sounds like Shipe produced (a minimum of) 5 out of 6 tracks, a testament to the work he puts in to make sure every project sounds exactly like he wants it to.

I’m really excited to see a Lil Shipe project on Apple Music because I know a lot of upcoming artists struggle with that due to sample clearance. I’d love to hear a full-length album up next, especially if he enlists the likes of Lucky Tarantino and DRUONTHABEAT. This wave of N.O. rappers and producers—Lil Shipe especially—are poised to make a splash in the next few years, so make sure you keep an eye out for them.

Click here to listen to In Da Cut on Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal or Amazon Music—and purchase it on iTunes to support the artist!

To hear more from Lil Shipe, follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

YBN Cordae Drops a Pair of Visuals for "Have Mercy"

Recently, YBN Cordae released a pair of excellently crafted videos for “Have Mercy..” Scroll down to check them both out now!

Recently, YBN Cordae released a pair of excellently crafted videos for “Have Mercy..” Scroll down to check them both out now!

The first time I heard YBN Cordae was his response to J. Cole’s “1985.” While I don’t agree with every sentiment he shared in that song, I knew right away that this would be far from the last we heard of the Cordae.

A year later, we’ve heard a handful of really solid tracks and seen immense creativity from the young rapper. His latest release, “Have Mercy,” was good enough when it was only in audio form. The track was produced by Kid Culture and Flippa, who I hope to hear from a lot more in the future. But with the release of two videos—titled “Have Mercy (Path A)” and “Have Mercy (Path B),” the ingenuity has been taken to another level.

For Path A, Cordae teamed up with Lyrical Lemonade’s Cole Bennett for a wild ass video featuring Cordae with a giant mouth, tons of bright colors and a lot of of cockroaches. The best part is, the cockroaches were real and YBN Cordae gave us some behind-the-scenes footage of that portion of the video shoot that was both disgusting and hilarious.

Path B took a darker turn and, in my opinion, fit the themes and overall vibe of the song a little better. The video is shot at night and is devoid of the bright colors found in Path A—other than one brief appearance on a TV screen. The video has a fittingly dark and strange end, with a woman holding up a crucifix to ward off a glowing-yellow-eyed YBN Cordae.

Radio B Pays Homage to Nipsey Hussle with "Rare Form"

During a tough time for the hip-hop community, RVA rapper Radio B steps back in the booth to pay homage to the late rapper and mogul Nipsey Hussle with “Rare Form.”

During a tough time for the hip-hop community, RVA rapper Radio B steps back in the booth to pay homage to the late rapper and mogul Nipsey Hussle with “Rare Form.”

The last two weeks have been a difficult time for hip-hop. People die every day, but rarely is a death felt on as wide a level as the death of Nipsey Hussle. For those of us who studied Nip’s music and hung onto his every word, there’s only one way to mourn: by continuing The Marathon. That’s exactly what Richmond’s own Radio B did with “Rare Form,” his first release since the passing of the Crenshaw rapper.

Radio B seems to have wise words for every situation and this is no exception. “Rare Form” is more than a musical tribute to a rapper whose music many of us loved—it’s an accurate depiction of what Nipsey stood for and the change he wanted to effect. A smooth, airy beat by producer Skinnyy Hendrixx provides the perfect canvas for Radio B to vent on everything from the cowardice of Nip’s killer to the pandering of politicians.

As somebody who’s followed Nipsey’s music and business moves devoutly for years, I’d like to think this is the imprint he would have wanted to leave. In the days following his death, we’ve seen an outpouring of love from the hip-hop community and otherwise, the coming together of LA gangs for the Unity Walk and a nation of people inspired to carry on the legacy of one of the greatest minds of our time.

Nipsey Hussle started The Marathon a long time ago, so it’s only right we grab the baton and follow in his footsteps. Let Nip’s legacy be the light that guides you on the path to a life of love, prosperity and health—never stop The Marathon.

If you like “Rare Form,” make sure you follow Radio B on Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud.

Skinnyy Hendrix produced “Rare Form” — follow him on Twitter @SkinnyyHendrixx

“Rare Form” was mixed and mastered by Michael Millions (@MichaelMillions)

"Therapy" - Mickey Factz ft. Baegod (Prod. 100 Bulletz)


With an untitled projects currently in the works, Mickey Factz gives us a taste of what he’s been working on with “Therapy.”

It’s always a pleasure to hear from Bronx native Mickey Factz, but “Therapy” is a special case. In a dark time for hip-hop, it’s important that we all take the time to reflect on our roles in the current state of things. Mickey Factz does an excellent job of capturing the current climate of the game in “Therapy” while demonstrating why he’s among the last of a dying breed.

Mickey mentions being humble in the first verse of “Therapy” and there’s no better proof of that than who he enlisted to help him with this track. The hook is handled by Baegod who does an excellent job of setting the mood for the track. As someone who’s often disappointed with seemingly misplaced R&B hooks on otherwise dope hip-hop tracks, I felt Baegod did an excellent job of bringing her unique sound to the track and enhancing it. Production was handled by up-and-coming producer 100 Bulletz and the beat is absolutely insane. When you combine a top-notch beat, great vocals and stellar rhymes, the outcome is always going to be great—and that’s certainly the case with “Therapy.”

You can listen to “Therapy” now on iTunes, Spotify and other streaming services.

Support the artist! If you like the song, make sure you purchase “Therapy” and follow Mickey Factz, Baegod and 100 Bulletz on Twitter and Instagram.

A Quick Conversation with Jaee Bryant


Of all the up and coming rappers I've heard in the past few years, Jaee Bryant is one of my favorites. The South Carolina spitter is a jack of all trades, including making beats, writing dope punchlines, lacing tracks with a smooth, buttery flow, and storytelling.

Since his upcoming album "Evil Lurks" is dropping August 31st, Jaee and I took a moment to chop it up about Evil Lurks, his first rap, his thoughts on the game today, and his overall ambitions for his music. This is the result.

(Jaee recently released a new track called "Reasonable Doubt" which you can listen to on Spotify.)

How would you describe yourself and your music to new listeners?

I describe myself as a creator that loves to create brother. My music is more “lo-fi jazz” with hip hop mixed in because the production is organic but the lyrics are beyond this world.

Where did the title "Evil Lurks" come from?

Evil Lurks comes from just the negativity around you and your surroundings. Just putting everything in the past and trying to create a brighter future for yourself.

Now that you're a few projects in, what does Evil Lurks offer that your other albums don't?

It's more personal but everyone can feed from it. This project is really different because my lyricism and production is A1 to the point I’m ready to release different types of music because I was exploring with sounds on this project. 

Who did you work with on this album?

I work with Knowledge (Knx), I worked with a producer named Mantaa (my alter ego), and Who on The Track. I had a track with 9th Wonder but it wasn’t cleared. Sounds Surplus on the live instruments.

Do you have a favorite track or moment from creating Evil Lurks?

My favorite is "$20" because it reflects on me only having $20 to my name for a long period until payday, but it’s so many things to do with $20 if you put your mind into it. My favorite moments making this album is just experimenting with different sounds. I started this project December 2017 and finished it in July 2018, so I have over 25 tracks. I just decided to put 7 on Evil Lurks because the rest of the songs will be on my debut project coming out February 2019.

When did you start rapping and what do you want to accomplish through music?

I started rapping since 2005, so I was around 8 years old just listening to southern rappers like T.I., Young Jeezy , Ludacris and other artists like Kanye West, Jay Z and Lupe Fiasco.

Do you remember the first song you recorded?

It’s a song called “Rap on My Mind” in 2011 (lol) it’s still on my personal Facebook page.

Favorite project(s) of the year (rap or otherwise)?

J Cole - KOD

Pusha T - Daytona

Happysad - Kidder

Who would you like to collaborate with most?

Keem The Cipher, Kaytranada, Big KRIT, Mndsgn and B Cool Aid. 

What can we expect from Jaee Bryant for the rest of 2018 and 2019?

I will be doing my Radio show with WAXX FM out of Brooklyn NY called “Never Say Ruin Radio,” and it’s going to be full of instrumentals from talented producers and musicians all over. My debut project is coming February. It will be longer than 15 minutes too (lol), I think the songs I got together is 1 hour.

Shout out to Jaee Bryant for taking the time to do this interview! Check out Evil Lurks August 31st and look for his debut project in February 2019.

If you or a rapper you know wants to do an interview with Really Rap, email!

Follow Jaee Bryant on Twitter here
Check out Jaee's music on Spotify here

The Palmer Squares & ProbCause Drop off New Track "Smoke & Fuck"


If you want The Palmer Squares sound, you can only get it straight from the source. Unfortunately, that's not something you can say for a lot of hip-hop acts.

Last week, The Palmer Squares teamed up with prominent Chicago artist ProbCause for "Smoke & Fuck," the first track off their upcoming Junkyard Samurai project. The song is pretty much what you'd expect given the collaboration and the title, but we like that. This track feels like opening your favorite bag of chips: simple, yet satisfying every time.

"Smoke & Fuck" is a smooth, almost jazzy offering with lots of great rhyming spread throughout. It's not the most complex track, but it doesn't try to be, either.

The artwork for "Smoke & Fuck" was handled by the talented ProbCause. You can check out his animation work at his website and his sketches at @SketchesOfProb on Twitter.

Stream "Smoke & Fuck" on Spotify
Follow @PalmerSquares and @ProbCause on Twitter

The Many Smooth Styles of Trev Rich's "Clarity" Album


It's been about a year since we've heard a full-length project from Denver spitter Trev Rich, but one listen through Clarity makes it exceedingly clear that he hasn't lost a step. In fact, Clarity may be Trev's best work to date.

Clarity finds Trev Rich traversing the many obstacles of being a motivated creative in a world that isn't made for dream chasers—especially when you live in Denver. If you've spent years chasing a dream without reaching your destination or taken a few lumps on your way to the top, you'll feel this album.

With fall on the way—a season of change and new beginnings—Clarity is a perfect fit for this time of year. Not only do you get some of the signature style-switching that makes Trev Rich such a versatile artist, but also a barrage of powerful, often poignant bars that really play into the theme of the album. Of everything we've heard from the Denver native, Clarity has the most passion and personality, and that's something Trev's growing fan base seems to crave.

Summer isn't completely over, though, so Clarity offers a steady supply of dope beats and catchy hooks to complement its deeper, more reflective tone.

If you only skim through Clarity, make sure you check out "Can't Let Em," "Motivated" and "Roley Talk." These three tracks embody what the album is about and go above and beyond the others in terms of wordplay and content.

You can buy Clarity on iTunes and Amazon, or you can stream it through Spotify or Pandora.

Follow Trev Rich on Twitter and Instagram.

[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.