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.
San Marcos is home to some of the hottest artists in Texas right now. One of the brightest up and comers is the Maryland born Jay$ee, a star track athlete turned artist buzzing around the area lately. He displayed his best at SXSW where he opened up for Chicago’s Valee and performed at 2 sold out clubs, Jay$ee has lately become a fixture as the headliner to numerous events around the state. Coming off the success of their collaboration “Whole Thang”, which ran up 11k views, Jay$ee reunites with GLV Deelow and GLV Purp for another banger. “Stepped In the Room” produced by Chris Winston is a high energy club record where each verse is as good as the last. GLV has some major star power, Deelow and Purp both bring their charisma and energy to any track they’re on. The Jon Bronson directed visual shows off the trio at their best, and provides the framework for their energy. Take a look below, and keep a look out for more of the young kids slowly taking over the scene.
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.
Making major waves in the central Texas area for a minute now, the ascension of the PNTHN boys has been very interesting to watch. They came in with their own swag, super high energy at shows, and a greater attention to detail in their music than a lot of niggas out, plus they’re always making the right moves to keep all eyes on them. They just dropped Potluck, an 6 song EP that shows they just keep getting better with time. Every member brings something unique with their verses, and their in house producers, Por Vida & Romby, are some of the best in the area. Each track holds serious weight, with Chrome and Vigilantes being some major standouts. Listen to Potluck below.
The chemistry of artist and producer is arguably the most important thing in rap right now. Like, everybody wants to work with Metro, but not everybody can even fit with what he brings to the table (cough, Nav & Big Sean, cough). More than ever we just hear artists rapping over beats sent to them, sounding good to the ear but lacking true depth, and it’s honestly become rare to hear something that sounds truly organic. Sometimes though, if you look hard enough, you might find collaborations that fit like a glove.
Members of the Backyard Noize collective, Lona and A.K.A. are no strangers to working to together, yet this project is the first time everything has felt so tight knit. A.K.A.s vibrant, bouncy production style is in full force, matching Lona’s voice and delivery very well, whether he’s holding a melody or delivering a verse. He has a talent for remaining distinct with his sound while keeping each beat unique in their own right, with their own life and style. A.K.A. steals the show with his feature on LUV 4 U as well, his R&B pseudonym Alvynne showing serious melodic ability. Lona’s versatility is one of his best qualities. Being able to transition between rapping and singing with ease is a highlight, his singing standing out on Precious Tyme, and 1998 Freestyle showing he can rap with the best of them over a classic feeling bounce.
Neither of these guys ever disappoint. Serving as an appetizer until Lona’s 346 album drops, Moment’s Notice is the blend of artist and producer connection that the game needs more of. Listen below.
For the past few years, JMAC the Dragon has been a soldier on his grind. He’s consistently shown a strong pen game and a serious hunger for success, and he enforces that even more with his latest, The Wait. He’s delivering every line with a newfound energy, fully owning his sound, flow, and style, and the A.K.A. production is powerful, the grimy melody and heavy bass making each bar feel harder than the last. Peep the wait below and be on the lookout for what else JMAC has in store.
New Braunfels rapper Lil Ooh really just turned up the heat. His lastest offering LOOKATDEES has gained a lot of steam since he dropped it, so its only right that he pairs it with his cleanest video yet. Ooh is one of the most hardworking artists in central Texas, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets some serious shine. Check the David Jiang shot visuals below.
Houston’s Lona is on a wave to the next level. His grind and commitment to his art paired with his levelheadedness translates very smoothly into his music. Stay Sleep is his latest single from his upcoming album 346, telling all those who aren’t rocking with him to keep that same energy when he’s at the top. The A.K.A. production is dark and aggressive, perfectly matching Lona’s energy as his spits about his come up and the ups and downs that come with putting your all into this shit. People might think the game is all about the limelight, but Lona shows us not everything that glitters is gold. Listen to Stay Sleep below.
Khawaja has been putting in a lot of work recently. From dropping collab projects and singles, a solo project, and a handful of loosies, he’s had a busy year, and with this new track, he might just have a hit on his hands. His latest offering Sabr, arabic for patience, pays homage to his cultural roots, and shows us what it’s like to hungry, trying to make it in the game at any means necessary, and you can really feel that hunger come thru when you listen. He’s tired of being patient, he’s kicking the door down and forcing his way into the game. Khawaja has a seriously high production quality in his tracks, so you know the tape he’s got in the chamber is about to be major. Give Sabr a listen below.
San Marcos via New Braunfels rapper Lil Ooh came through with some heat, dropping his latest track lookatdees. The S.Diesel beat allows Ooh to bring forth the raw energy he’s known for as he takes a look at all the lames around him under a microscopes. He’s really been impressing with his recent output, so let’s hope he blesses the streets with a project soon. Listen to lookatdees below.