Tag Archives: Rap

MHCSB links with Wane for an exclusive interview and drop off a new visual for “Top Shelf”

Hailing from Long Island, NY and New Jersey, MHCSB is a blend of several different styles. These guys always bring a high amount of energy, great production, and bridge the gap between hyphy rap and actually spitting bars. From the self proclaimed Suburban Superstar Ab Flexinn (Long Island, NY) to the talented producer/rapper Spaceman Labonte (NJ), Money Micc (Long Island, NY), Brown Boi Pachino (NJ), and others, MHCSB has all the tools necessary to level up.

We had an opportunity to link with them during SXSW 2018, as the group made their first trip to Texas and attended the annual week long festival showcasing some of the best up and coming acts from around the country. MHCSB certainly stayed busy that week, hopping on Wane’s World SXSW and opening up for G.O.O.D Music’s Valee, as well as 3 other shows. For new artists SXSW can be intimidating. Streets full of dirty mixtapes stepped on by thousands, the smell of old beer and the previous nights escapades lingering in the air. MHCSB did it right, hitting numerous stages with the heavy energy that is lacking by most new acts. You can hear more about their Texas experience, 4 Loko diet, and what inspires their work below.

Building off the success of their 2017 single “Blue” the group drops off a new @NimbusNine directed visual for their new single “Top Shelf”. The Pvt Joker and Manzo produced beat offers the perfect assist for MHCSB to float on. With the groups ability to blend styles while keeping their verses original, pairing it with tripped out visual creates an enjoyable experience for listeners.

With production placements, solo projects, and more group projects, MHCSB is one of those names to keep an eye on. We’ll keep watching over here at Popped Cherry and keeping you updated on the latest releases. Let us know what you think!

Rap can be exhausting sometimes…

Rap can be so exhausting sometimes. The constant need for eyes and validation. A timeline so busy that you must be fully engaged in order to keep up with the constant conversation. A culture that shifts daily at lightening speed. Timeline’s that are filled with comparisons and hate, reactions and opinions. I’m tired. I’m worn out. June 18th 2018 slightly after 3PM, was unbearable. It would last late into the night.

Yesterday XXXTentacion was gunned down in his car, not far from where he grew up. In many ways X represents rap’s tumultuous history. One that is hard to escape from, especially when it is repeated over and over again. Abuse, rape, violence, and murder. A sickening cycle glorified by some, demonized by others. It seems from the outside that X’s life was a direct result of his childhood. His mom kept him at arms length, he didn’t know his father, in and out of juvenile facilities for years. He experienced things a majority of his fan base never could imagine. A persona that was so strong and powerful, suburban white kids couldn’t help but be attracted to it. His brand was dangerous, loud, unrelenting. I was so repulsed by the allegations of his ex-girlfriend I couldn’t be a fan. But I couldn’t help being captivated by his rise to prominence.  His music wasn’t afraid of anything, so why should he? He literally came from nothing, from the bottom. His music was sad, painful, angry, beautiful, and incredibly tarnished.

What makes rap important is how many different stories can come from it. Much of what is commercialized is beautifully packaged, consumer addicted, high fashion rap. A facade of the imagery we glorify on our timelines and our Instagram stories. Very rarely do we get an artist so painfully transparent as X which is why his death is so sad. The 20 year old was definitely wise beyond his years, and yet still had so much growing up to do.  Many around him talked about how that transition was taking place recently. He was more at peace then ever.

I felt the need to write this, a tweet just didn’t seem like it could do this justice. I’m not even sure where I’m going with it. I think we need to do a better job at how we handle cases like X. I genuinely feel that musicians are a special breed. More vulnerable than most, depression and anger has given us a look inside some of the worlds most iconic and influential artists. It’s safe to say that X is one of those influential cases, right or wrong.

The accusations of abuse, assault, and rape should never be forgotten, because the victim most definitely will not forget them. There is something to be learned from every person’s story. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to learn from X’s yet. Maybe time will tell. Until then I’m exhausted. Because this feeling that I have is stronger than anything the music has given me lately. And that is sad.

AJ Bray – Enigma (Project)

Anybody who’s seen AJ Bray knows. He’s full of life whenever he performs, commanding the audience and coming with an energy and presence that rivals that of some of the biggest artists. He separates himself, not defined by his hometown or his influences, but by his music alone. His latest project, aptly named Enigma, encompasses all of that energy to produce his most clear cut and impactful project yet.

Start to finish AJ Bray comes at you with a whole new clarity, and has set himself up to reach a new level. The opener The ReUp really sets the tone for what you’re gonna experience on the rest of the project,  from a better mix, harder beats, and endless flows. Each track to track transition is smooth, with every song fitting together but standing on its own to be an interesting listen.

Song quality and structure are good, poignant and super catchy. AJs calling card is his quirky and effective lyrics, flexed in a way that really makes them stick with you. She Hates My Hoes should be all over nightclubs(wassup Club Rio), FrFr tells these boys the needa stop cappin out here, and Play Around is probably a personal for me on the project. As he continues through his career, AJ has yet to disappoint. We’re watching first hand someone who’s dedicated to his shit and refuses to ease up. True to his projects name, AJ Bray is a real life enigma.

 

Big Ace – Gabby Douglas ft. Mel of TOTX (Music Video)

Dallas rapper Big Ace is making major moves. With help from Mel of TheOutfitTx, he dropped off the visual for his new track Gabby Douglas, and it’s definitely not something to sleep on. The Icedoutjit production is smooth and lowkey, while Ace approaches it with huge swag and charisma and Mel comes in as a perfect compliment. Watch below and look out for more from Big Ace soon.

 

Lona – Let U Tell It & Have U

Houston artist Lona has really prided himself on his versatility. Whether he’s rapping about his own self reflection, growth and flaws, or singing songs of love, passion, and pain, he’s constantly shown himself as a mixed bag of emotion and mindset. As he prepares for the release of his next album 346, he dropped 2 songs that truly encapsulate his duality. Let U Tell It is a transparent look into the mindset of a young nigga on the come up, letting the naysayers speak with he forges his own lane, while Have U has Lona reflected on the pain of failed relationships. Listen to both below, and be on the lookout for 346 this July.

Austin’s hard hitting Grizz continues to drop heat with “Savage”

Grizz turns the heat up just in time for a Texas summer with the hard hitting single “Savage” produced by BosssBeatz. The Atlanta producer continues to provide absolute fire for a growing number of Texas artists as his Killstreak collaboration projects with fellow Next Gang member Teeta opened up the doors to a lot of new opportunities. I hope it doesn’t stop, based on what Grizz did on “Savage”, we could see a lot of successful collab projects in the future.

Grizz has been one of the most consistent artists out of central Texas over the last year, dropping countless hot singles and projects certified for the street. If you haven’t gotten familiar, we think this is a strong introduction. Stream “Savage” below and let us know what you think.

xxxtentacion – ? (Review)

Love him or hate him, X’s status and one of the game’s most versatile artists to date shouldn’t be debated. In the short span of his career, he’s played with post hardcore, trap, boombap, and alternative indie all at once, encapsulating the emotions of depression with his last offering 17 in multiple styles. His new project “?” (Question, question mark, unknown, idfk) is more stylistic variation, but with a more lighthearted energy. While 17 expressed every ounce of sadness and made you truly feel it, “?” takes a more varied approached, covering a range of topics and styles that are widely different yet somehow still work together.

From the jump X wants to make it apparent that you shouldn’t go into the album expecting one thing, using the opening track Introductions to tell the listener to open their mind to the alternative style. No two tracks are the same or would even make sense in context if this was an album from anyone else, but that’s kind of what makes it interesting. Like, who else would you expect songs like Infinity (888), a classic New York sounding boombap track featuring Joey Badass, and I don’t even speak spanish LOL, a latin pop hit, from at the same time? What I like about X is that he doesn’t seem afraid to explore different territories that other artists labelled under a specific genre like rap maybe wouldn’t, and does it authentically, having it feel more natural than awkward. Floor 555 is probably the closest he’s gotten to his original aggressive lo-fi low-quality sound since he blew up, while Pain = BESTFRIEND is an angry post hardcore track reminiscent of bands like Touché Amore, and Schizophrenia sounds a lot like Let The Bodies Hit The Floor.

The songwriting itself is haphazard throughout the album, but for the most part it’s all pretty good. Moonlight is sonically pleasing and catchy to listen to, but lacks in the substance department lyrically, and while $$$ is my favorite song on the project, it’s most because Matt OX’s hook is SO. DAMN. GOOD. X’s verse is ok, there’s nothing that really catches you like the hook does. (I really hope we get new Matt OX music soon, gahdamn that boy ate). Infinity shows off and unlikely combination that works very well together. Both Joey and X have great chemistry and super strong verses, Joey pulling out the heavy punchlines while X shows off multiple flows and insane syllable work, and this makes me think that the collab project they teased a couple weeks ago would be a lot better than I originally gave it credit for. My least favorite song on the album is probably smash, just because I didn’t really find it interesting to listen to, and I’m not a huge fan of PnB Rock cuz I consider him like a Dollar Tree version of Fetty Wap. I personally feel like the Indie stuff is where x shines, songs like Love Yourself interlude and Changes really hitting you where it hurts in terms of invoking emotion. He’s very good at writing and orchestrating songs that make you feel something, which is part of why 17 was so good, you could really feel what he was trying to convey. X has proven himself to be diverse in that he writing coincides with how he wants the song to feel. He can write a pop hit, a lyrical track, or some heavy shit whenever he really wants to.

In summary, the project is cool. There’s something for a very wide range of people to enjoy, which is different than what a lot of other people are doing right now. It’s a very diverse project that has sounds that maybe some who just knows his hip hop work may not be used to, but if you are open, or are versed in multiple genres like me, you’ll have a strong appreciation for what X is trying to do with it. He’s really pushing his versatility as appeal. Why only push one sound when you enjoy and are influenced by so much more? Listen to it below if you haven’t already.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/2Ti79nwTsont5ZHfdxIzAm

Backyard Boyz – Distance

After a haitus, the Backyard Noise gang is back in full effect with their new single Distance. Each member delivers a verse that presents their own style and character, while fitting together with seamless transitions. Spacey production from AKA provides an eerie knock that pushes the squad to another level. Be on the lookout for more from the crew coming very very soon.

FRITSGOD – Red Limousine

LA rapper Fritsgod just dropped the very cinematic visuals for his track “Red Limousine”. The dark, almost evil sounding track is complemented with a video just as captivating, playing with smoking, color, and dark imagery as Frits raps about “dancing with the devil in a limousine.” The Eem produced track itself is very astral and ambient, with airy synthesizers complementing Frits’ autotuned voice and smooth vocal style. This is super dope, definitely give it a look below.

WHOISBAMA – RUN IT UP

Texas rapper WhoisBama dropped of some visuals for his track Run It Up. Directed by Leke Laflair (one of the best out rn), this is one of the cleanest videos I’ve seen in the underground, for one of the catchiest tracks I’ve heard in a minute. Bama is super commanding on the song, projecting his presence all over with a lot of energy and confidence. Watch the video below, check out Bama’s music here, and see more work from Leke here.