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The #AWKWORDapproved Top Rapper Prospects of 2016

top prospects 2016 awkword nikkisiixx

I did this last year, and earlier this week I took a shit on rap journalists by critiquing my own picks. Now, here’s to hoping I — and these artists — fare better in 2016! Send your hate to @AWKWORDrap or info@AWKWORDrap.com. – AWK

koncept-j57Koncept & J57
New York City’s answer for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. With better bars, and bigger balls. These two made my favorite album of 2015 not called Black Liberation Theology.

silent-knightSilent Knight
Busy is his best friend — and it ain’t hard to tell, as he racks up the appearances. Here’s to hoping Silent Knight’s buzz finally catches up to his work ethic, and talent. I had a hard time picking my favorites from him in 2015.

aaron-cohenAaron Cohen
Clearly I’m a fan, since I recruited the fellow bearded Jew for last year’s NYC remix of my hit World View single “Go!”. The XXL Break alum has the hipster niche on lock, with steady love streaming in from the MISHKA, Noisey, Mass Appeal and Complex collectives. But it’s his confidence, his consistency, and his KIDS-era aesthetic that may propel him (and his ICK crew) to new heights in 2016.

russRUSS
Speaking of consistency… From the art he creates for each single he drops to the quality of HIS production on each of his songs to the catchy hooks and undeniably witty lyricism, Russ is one of those artists who seems destined for stardom, if he’s interested. This guy epitomizes prolific. He raps — a lot — about the magazines and the labels, and not giving a fuck. But let’s see what happens. Every record he uploads to Audiomack gets immediate love and stays trending until he unleashes his next one.

hdbeendopeHD Been Dope
This guy’s still a bit of a sleeper. He’s young, unsigned, and another so-called backpacker emcee out of Brooklyn. But he’s caught the attention of The DJ Booth, offering up a freestyle for two of their video series, one solo and one alongside Maffew Ragazino, Kirk Knight, Emilio Rojas and Black Dave; and, dude’s done a million shows already. Not to mention, his contribution to DJ J Hart’s Passport EP was one of my top-three favorites on that top-three album of 2015. I expect great things from this kid, even if he’s not a Bada$$.

afroA-F-R-O
This young man loves and lives Hip Hop. He’s that cat who always had headphones on, kept to himself, and worshiped real emcees. He stayed up late, scribbling in his notebook, hoping to one day present his skills to someone like the great R.A. The Rugged Man. And then, he did. His rap name, a la GURU, stands for All Flows Reach Out. And if you’ve heard one of his freestyles, you know he can rap. Can’t say I love his RECORDS, yet. And he doesn’t exactly have the curb appeal to blow like Timberlake. But with more polishing (perhaps even than RA can provide), A-F-R-O can make a major dent on the indie Hip Hop scene, even as early as 2016.

conway-westsidegunnHus Kingpin, Smoovth, Rozewood and Marvelous Mag; and Conway and Westside Gunn
Sure, it may seem a little odd (if you haven’t been following my monthly playlists for Gonzombies.com) that I, ‘Mr. Protest Music’ himself, would be a proponent of this new wave of street music, but the massive amount of output from this group of affiliated ‘New New Yorkers’ (no Troy Ave) is as Hip Hop as any of the political anthems Jasiri X and I create. The streets birthed Hip Hop, and nobody does the gritty with more gusto. The beat selection, the searing wit, the wordplay, and the wiseguy mannerisms keep me head nodding and feeling untouchable. That’s what rap music can do for you. And nobody right now does it better than these guys. Mark my words: 2016 is the year The Winners and Griselda Records go global. Shoutout my mans, Big Ghost.


dookoomDOOKOOM
You may not have heard of them, but OkayAfrica and Noisey have. David Banner has. I have. And after a May 2015 tour, Europe has. They scared the shit out of the South African establishment with one music video, and it was lovely. Get next, and maybe you’ll catch me working with them before it’s too late to say you were still one of the first.

garycoldmanGary Coldman
I think the first person I saw publicly mention the importance of album art was Nathan Slavik aka Refined Hype of DJ Booth (and I listened). In the case of a new artist, or an artist of whom you haven’t heard, it is definitely true. I caught wind of Gary while curating one of my Gonzombies playlists and, after doing a little research and discovering the consistency in his presentation to the public, decided more time should be lent to giving his music a sincere and thorough listen — and that, up-and-coming artists, is how you end up on a year-end list like this. Off the strength of his ‘catchiest song of the month‘ alone, the cold man may not have made the top 10, but his other two equally icy singles were enough to seal it.

appleby2Appleby
Still rooting for a Coronation, but in 2016 I think Applesgotit.

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The AWKWORD: Top 10 Rappers of 2015? A Look Back

the awkward approved top 10 2015 rappers in 2015 look back

Last year @Awkwordrap picked 10 “emerging” artists that he considered “top prospects” for 2015. In some cases, he picked wisely; in others, not so much. This year, before sharing his next top-10 list for 2016. He’s going to do something that ‘Hip Hop journalists’ never do: critique themselves.

YONAS
yonasI knew he wouldn’t skyrocket to super-stardom — dude had simply been too dope for too long already. But I think I took an L with this one because I heard about Yonas less last year than in years past. His 2015 Going Places EP on iTunes has a near-perfect rating, with a lot of reviews, and his lead single “Live It Up” is at nearly a million plays on Soundcloud and Youtube combined, so I know my mans has emerged. But I’m just not sure if it happened in 2015 or if he’d already reached his — albeit, pretty damn high — plateau.

AG DA CORONER
agdacoronerOff by a year, that’s it. Sip the Nectar drops any minute.

HOMEBOY SANDMAN
homeboysandmanI’m taking this one. Homeboy Sandman went from buzzing NYC underground star to being everywhere in 2015. He made a critically acclaimed album with Aesop Rock that just got the remix treatment from Mike Shinoda, was featured by The Guardian, headlined tours in the U.S. and Europe, and smashed a number of major festivals with his high-energy performances.

CHRIS WEBBY
chriswebbyChris is like Yonas, but on a bigger scale. He already signed a deal with E1 Music in 2013, his debut studio album dropped in 2014 — which is what piqued my attention — and he already had his niche. In fact, he might have lost some of his fanbase, having to share ear time with the likes of Mike Stud and Hoodie Allen, not to mention Lil Dicky. If you ask me, there’s no comparison among Chris and the other aforementioned, but I have to be in a special place for this kind of rap anyway.

Alex Wiley
AlexWileyIt’s Chicago. The New New York. Tough competition. Alex is still doing his thing, and I think his star continued to rise in 2015. But others may have surpassed him. Joey Purp, Saba Pivot, Noname Gypsy, Mick Jenkins and Vic Mensa may all have a steeper curve right now. Plus there’s my favorite, my comrade Malcolm London. But, then again, Wiley’s like 22 and already getting written up in Billboard. So maybe dude’s just beginning. This one’s a toss-up.

Latasha Alcindor
latashaalcindorL.A. was definitely a solid choice. A featured emcee on my upcoming global collab “IAm” (also featuring Modenine of Nigeria, Holstar of Zambia, Wakazi of Tanzania, and DJ J Hart of France, among others), I’m a big fan of what this powerful woman is doing with her words and her voice. And I’m not alone, as she caught the attention of Noisey and other major tastemakers in 2015.

Appleby
applebyNot. Yet. Still betting on this guy, even if I don’t like his new stuff as much as what I heard in 2014. Appleby still hides his face. He still has Amir Abbassy behind him. He still gets free promo from Pigeons and Planes. And this year he got a feature in the print and digital version of Maxim. I don’t see a collab with Da Coroner coming, but I could see this cat cooking up with Raury or getting remixed by Harry Fraud.

Adrian Lau
adrianlauSpeaking of Harry Fraud… It was definitely more of an up than a down year for SRFSCHL member Adrian Lau. He might have been somewhat lost in the shadows, with team leader Harry Fraud increasing his production output for the likes of French, Diddy and Wiz, plus new SCHL member Downtown Dion; but, Lau did land himself a production role on Kanye West affiliate Allan Kingdom’s Northern Lights LP, and he kept busy on his own, dropping an album and a mixtape, and performing regularly in and around the Hip Hop capital of NYC.

Dave East
daveeastWhile he just missed the XXL 2015 Freshmen cover, as a member of Nas’s Mass Appeal roster, Dave catapulted himself in the last year. His hard-hitting DJ Drama-hosted Hate Me Now tape features Nas, Pusha T, Jadakiss and Styles P, and has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. I discovered Dave freestyling on Sirius XM in 2014, and I was immediately impressed. But if I could, I’d remind him: quality over quantity – some of these EASTMIXes for the Interwebs should probably stay on his laptop, even if the fanboys make them trend on Audiomack. Songs like “Numb” illustrate what Nas sees in the young man representing a different side of Harlem, New York. And I’ll just put those on repeat.

Mr.King
mrkingOops. Can I get a take back?

#AWKWORDapproved Top 10 Hip Hop Artists to Watch For in 2016 list will drop soon via NikkiSiixx.com, so stay tuned. Send hate to @AWKWORDrap or info@AWKWORDrap.com.

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Top 25 Viewed Posts in 2015

top 25 2015 nikkisiixx

2015 has been one hell of a year and the most viewed post are here for your viewing pleasure! We have from music videos, artist advice articles, album reviews, even one of my unboxing videos makes it mark on the Top 25 Viewed Posts in 2015:

25. The AWKWORD – Approved Female Rappers List

24. Interview: JamalG

23. Interview: Aviant Redz

22. Beat Tape: IAMNOBODI – Elevated (Soulection) – Instrumental EP

21. Album Review: Shottie – The Blackest Rose

20. Artist Advice: How To Approach A Producer With Or Without A Budget

19. Music Video: Ziggy Lovah – Undercover featuring D-Locz

18. Download: MyVerse – State of the Art Album

17. NikkiSiixx Do’s and Dont’s: How To Promote Your Music Through Social Media Outlets

16. HOT TOPIC: HOW MEEK MILL COULD’VE ETHER-ED DRAKE

15. POLL: Who Sampled It Better? Kingdom Hearts Utada Hikaru – Sanctuary

14. Artist Advice: Avoid Being Just Another Soundcloud Rapper

13. NikkiSiixx Do’s and Dont’s: Submissions 101

12. Music Video: wiLLThaColdest – Find Out

11. Videogames: Pokémon Go App Overshooting It’s Capabilities?

10. Download: Kal-L – To Paris With Love

09. LOOTCRATE: NikkiSiixx Unboxes December’s (2014) Theme Anniversary

08. Music Video: Yuh Boy 85 – IDGAF

07. Exclusive Leak: Does Tink Take A Jab At Nicki Minaj?

06. Music Video: Jay Guira x Da Heist x Young Breed – ISSUES

05. Music Video: White Blake – Double Cups

04. Download: Eric Biddines – Planetcoffeebean 2

03. The NEW Music Scene: 10 New Jersey Rappers That Are Likely To Blow Up

02. Music Video: SEYI – Wanna Be

01. The AWKWORD – Approved Top 10 Hip Hop Artists to Watch in 2015

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List: Memorable Hip-Hop Video Games

hip-hop

video-gamesWe have recently written about the Alesso music and video game cross-over. This articles continues on a similar theme, but looking at Hip-Hop in particular. The combination of videogames and hip-hop seems like a match made in heaven. Both love and benefit from colourful characters, compelling storylines and fantasy lives. However, too many artists have sought to benefit from videogames rather than looking to contribute to something great; they made games that failed to attract people away from online gaming and New Casinos Online 2016 on a Friday night; games that had people turning on the radio instead of the games console.
However, some releases have shown that with the right motives, and plenty of skill and imagination, hip-hop can work with videogame developers to create classics. Below we will take a look at some of those partnerships that are more favourably remembered.

def jam vendettaDef Jam Vendetta for the PlayStation Two and Nintendo GameCube-From 2003 This wrestling game combines hip-hop and professional wrestling, two arenas that have often been compared. The game sees fights between the likes of DMX, Method Man, Joe Biden and Redman. It received much positive feedback, particularly on gameplay and the simple controls. People were not very happy about the absence of cage matches and special matches though. This game was such a success that it ended up having two sequels.

50_Cent_Bulletproof50 Cent-Bullet-Proof the PlayStation in 2005 This is a classic revenge game where you play the title character, 50 Cent, as he attempts to lay vengeance on the baddies who attempted to murder him. Watch the trailer on YouTube here. There are some pretty notable cameos from hip-hop artists including Eminem, Dr Dre and G unit. Much of the gameplay is around the New York underground and inner-city area. This game was popular enough to lead to a sequel, in 2009, 50 Cent-Blood in the Sand.

dj-heroDJ hero for the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 – From 2009 This game is straight out of the Guitar Hero genre and allows you to practice DJ on the turntable controller that accompanies the video game. There are loads of avatars, and you will recognise Daft Punk, Grandmaster Flash, Zee-Trip and DJ Jazzy Jeff. This game received almost unanimously positive reviews and has been a financial and artistic success for the collaborators. It has led to 2 sequels, which also received widespread acclaim in the gaming world.

These three games prove unequivocally that the marriage of hip-hop and videogames can be a rip-roaring success. The failures in this genre demonstrate that success does not happen by chance, and that the association of an hip-hop superstar does not guarantee any level of success, no matter resounding success. It takes great gameplay, great music and a great storyline or theme to make a videogame a success. If you love Hip-Hop then check out our Hip-Hop Culture page.

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Survey: Lines That You Can’t Stand

linesyoucantstand

I asked via my twitter account NikkiSixx an open question that I really wanted to hear my viewers opinion.



Has there been a time when you listen to a song, but you expected more from it? Say a line was just too simple to come up with or they shouldn’t have used it at all. If you’re an artist or songwriter you should check out what the audience is saying. You don’t want to land on lines that make you urk. Lines I can’t stand our I’ll take your girl. Its like no you’re not and why would any guy want to hear you think you can take his girlfriend. Below are a couple of tweets from my followers and LINES THAT YOU CAN’T STAND.


Feel free to comment and let us know which lines you can’t stand, we’ll might add it to this post if it’s not mentioned above. Don’t forget to mention NikkiSiixx to be able to view the tweet.

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PreciseEarz.com Presents #SOUNDSONACLOUD – NikkiSiixx Edition Powered by @5StarVintage

Sounds On A Cloud Cover Art 2 Finale

PreciseEarz.com has reached out to NikkiSiixx.com to combine forces on his #SoundsOnACloud Series. We’ll be presenting the best we found on Soundcloud via both sites. Soundcloud is one of the biggest platforms for independent artist to stream their music. Also, the coolest way to find people you’ve never heard before too. @Mighty_Million presented me with these three artist tracks to review and I gave him three for him to review on his site. I’ll also be discussing a piece from 5StarVintage at the end of what I thought about his choices for this week’s #SoundsOnACloud


tommy swisher@TommySwisherTM with ROCKSTARS! This track is on a whole other level. Just love the production by @MoneyMontage + @RichFrvr they’re all about to fuck shit up. I just love that slow trance like sound Tommy Swisher is able to portray in ROCKSTARS. Tommy Swisher expresses that just be you regardless if they like it or not. Being able to stay true to yourself you can really be you in what you want to do. I would recommend this track for any up and coming artist to get that inspiration.


jobee@JoBee slows it down with DISTRACTIONS. This track is filled with so much soul and love. JoBee has an amazing voice over this very sexy mid-tempo production. JoBee expresses how he would love to wife up his girlfriend but unfortunately his dealing with temptations that might hurt the real relationship. DISTRACTIONS is definitely a track for the ladies. Turn the lights down low and light some candles and bring out the incense.


g4shiG4SHI brings a EDM Trance Track that really hits a lounge feel with NEVER LONELY. Even though I feel like this track isn’t really hip-hop but I just feel good listening to this song. I can see this track getting played in a club on Miami Beach. Especially in the late/early hours. NEVER LONELY was produced by @itssuccessmusic. I can see this track making a cameo in A Night At The Roxbury. While we dance the night away with Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan.

Sounds On A Cloud Cover Banner

This concludes my part of #SoundsOnACloud and don’t forget to see what Mighty_Million has to say about the artist I chose. PRECISEEARZ.COM

POWERED BY @5STARVINTAGE
IMG_19745 Star Vintage is a company that caters to the masses of men and woman, both young and old, who wish to embrace the clothing styles of the 1980s and 1990s. They have only one of these Vintage Colorado Avalanche Grey Sweater. So get it before someone else does. I really like the concept of their online store, presenting you some really dope clothes inspired by 80’s and 90’s.

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Lists: 10 Sultry R&B and Soul Slow Jams

satin_sheets

Allow us to take you on a brief time-traveling journey for some of the most sensuous soul jams to ever pump out of the speakers. Those in the know are already well aware of the importance of the right music for making love and these are some of the jams that you should be making sure are in your Spotify playlist next time you’re with someone special. Over half of those who enjoy music while making love agree that the rights sounds make a big difference in setting the mood and the scene for a sensual evening, according to this infographic on the relationship between sex and music. The same study found that 40 percent of those same people found the right music even more arousing than their partner’s touch. Here are ten great tracks that definitely have the right touch.

01. The Isley Brothers – Between the Sheets

The grandaddy of all smooth slow jams. “Between the Sheets” has been sampled so many times it’s probably playing in someone’s bedroom right now. Notably Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa” sampled the track, and so did Da Brat’s “Funkdafied,” “Nika” by Lil Vicious, Keith Murray’s “Most Beautifullest Thing the World,” Gwen Stefani’s “Luxurious,” and like a hundred other songs. “Between the Sheets” is the truth and you can’t beat the Isley Brothers when it comes to baby-making music.

02. Ready for the World – Love You Down

You can already hear it in your head can’t you? That hook echoing in your brain crooning “let me love you down.” Not only is the beat smoother than silk but Melvin Riley’s vocals practically melt your clothes off. Then, that guitar solo comes in and just blows your mind and now we’re going to take a second and cool off before moving to number three.

03. Sade – No Ordinary Love

Anyone that claims they’re into romantic mood music that isn’t down with Sade doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The opening of this song immediately lets you know what the deal with slow, smoky keys giving way to Sade’s demure vocal line that gets undercut with an epic ’90s guitar riff that makes every time feel like the love scene at the end of an action movie. Game recognizes game with Twin Shadow covering the song on Jimmy Fallon with video of the performance here.

04. Mariah Carey – Always Be My Baby

Mariah may have fallen a bit from her pedestal today, but no one can ever deny the power of Ms. Carey in the ’90s and this was one of her best. Uplifting chords with Mariah’s voice at its best “Always Be My Baby” is a sweet, romantic, and heartbreaking ode to lost love and those who refuse to let go. It works on so many different levels and Carey’s voice is so powerful the song transcends the trappings of time and has become one of the immortal love ballads of our age.

05. Usher – Nice and Slow

They call him U-S-H-E-R R-A-Y-M-O-N-D and “Nice and Slow” is still one of the best songs in the R&B legend’s long repertoire. One of the sexiest singles from 1998’s My Way, the record made Usher a household name and cemented his position as one of the gatekeepers of pop and R&B long before his momentary lapse in judgment led to the signing of Justin Bieber. When it’s seven o’clock on the dot and you’re in the drop top cruising the streets, there’s only one song that will lead you where you want to go.

06. D’Angelo – Untitled (How Does It Feel?)

Truthfully you could easily put just about any D’Angelo song or record on and you’d be ready to roll. Even New York Magazine has applied science to what makes the man’s music so sexy. Soulful guitars combine with a slow-and-steady rhythm section while D’Angelo’s syrupy vocals coat the track like honey for one of the hottest songs that ever hit the charts. But we know all you really remember is the iconic video that also perfectly wraps up everything the song is about into one shot.

07. Frank Ocean – Thinkin’ Bout You

This song, yo. Frank Ocean, the only redeeming figure of the OFWGKTA family (except for Earl, we love you, Earl), he was always just too good to be hanging with a bunch of foul-mouthed chuckleheads spending their time swearing and skating. But 2012’s “Thinkin’ Bout You” from his Channel Orange LP put the soulful singer on a completely different level than his compatriots. Frank was too busy making beautifully crafted love songs with irresistible hooks that made him the perfect R&B star for a new generation.

08. Miguel – Adorn

2012 was a terrific year for slow jams and Miguel’s “Adorn” was one of the best. The dated synthesizers and chords felt more like Lionel Richie than Trey Songz and Miguel ended up falling backwards into a new classic. Miguel is still at the whole bedroom music game with “Coffee,” but he’ll be hard pressed to ever top this one.

09. Ciara – Body Party feat. Future

The ex-Mrs. Future recently dropped her latest record, Jackie, to positive feedback, but it was 2013’s “Body Party” that rebuilt Ciara’s brand and made her a staple of the sexy stereo. Unstoppable producer-du-jour Mike Will Made It flipped the sample from the classic romantic ’90s club jam “My Boo” by the Ghost Town DJs and turned it into a slowed down sexual tour de force bringing that inescapable hook back to life for another summer of love. She may not be with Future anymore but she seems to be doing well after trading up for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, according to the Washington Post.

10. Jeremih – Planes feat. J. Cole

Jeremih has matured a lot since his “Birthday Sex” days and is currently controlling the airwave since 2015 with this outstanding ode to the mile-high club. By all accounts, airplane sex is decidedly not as fun or practical as birthday sex. You have to deal with cramped spaces, passengers, air marshals, turbulence, and a bunch of other hassles. The act is more fun in theory than in practice. But we suppose if you’re Jeremih and have a private G6 then you could probably make it work and J. Cole has a nice verse and name-drops Akinyele. Complex reports that the track was to originally feature a verse from Chance the Rapper but ultimately went with the North Carolina-bred J. Cole.

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The AWKWORD – Approved Top 10 Hip Hop Artists to Watch in 2015

top102015

top102015

As someone who lives Hip Hop wholeheartedly, nearly to his own detriment, one of the things I look at when December hits each year is the roster of new and/or emerging artists who I believe will or at least should break a new boundary in the coming 12 months. As much as the traditionalists beef with the hipsters, and the thugs disagree with the raptivists, we all want Hip Hop culture (and rap music) to persevere. It represents us. For 2015, I shared my top prospects with nikkisiixx.com. While reading the list, please understand that, for one artist, “emerging” may mean hitting the mainstream, while for another, it may mean finally achieving name recognition. For one reason or another, as explained below, the following are my picks for the Top 10 AWKWORD-Approved Hip Hop Artists to Watch in 2015. Needless to say, this list is not exhaustive; feel free to share your choices in the Comments Section. Send hate to @AWKWORDrap on twitter or email me at info@AWKWORDrap.com.


YONAS: Has this brilliant, transgressive Pop Hip Hop Artist ever made a song not workable as a single? Yonas, for me, has been one of those very few emcees whose name sparked an automatic download for years. And curiosity as to why he’s not ‘bigger’ than he is persists. Whether Yonas is remixing a chart-topping alternative record, opening up about the loss of his father to cancer, or ripping a beat to shreds, I know I can expect something I can relate to, something that is humanizing, something emotional and strong, well thought out and voraciously told. Always beautiful, tragic or otherwise. And Sean Divine, his producer, for sure, has been a part of that. Yonas is better than your favorite rapper’s new signee, sorry.

“Radio Flow” (Audio) –

“Fall Back” (Video) –

“I Could” (Video) –


AG DA CORONER: This guy handles dead bodies for a living. He also raps better than your favorite rapper. And he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve met in the rap game. Confused? Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking about one of the three heads of the horseman, Bronson x Meyhem x Coroner: AG himself. Truth be told, before any of these artists really broke (inter)nationally, and we only knew of each other through friends, I just listened and enjoyed and always found myself as impressed by the least famous of the three as I was by the other two. What I hear from this untouchable trio would not be the same without the depth and gruffness of AG’s voice. And with the breakout success of Bronsolino and the strong following behind Mr. Laurenovitch, it’s only a matter of time before the Coroner cleans up. Watch out for #SipTheNectar and EVERYTHING that follows.

“Terror Death Camp” by Action Bronson, feat. Meyhem Lauren, Maffew Ragazino & AG Da Coroner [prod. by Statik Selektah] (Dallas Penn Video) –

“Michael Landon” by Eddie B, feat. AG Da Coroner & Meyhem Lauren [prod. by Harry Fraud] (Audio) –

“Ray Lewis” by Meyhem Lauren, feat. Action Bronson & AG da Coroner [prod. by J-Zone] (Live Video) –


HOMEBOY SANDMAN: Sometimes a little too weird for traditionalists, I say fuck it. Boy Sand owns his voice, his flow and his niche. And he’s perfected it. For those that don’t get it, I think that is the problem unto itself: they simply don’t get it. When I first met him, I was impressed by his humility, and the man’s comfort in his own skin. I saw him rock, and he did exactly that: he rocked. And then I heard his polished material, and I initially struggled computing how the NYC underground Hip Hop scenester could translate. Then I gave up and gave in, like his brilliant backing label Stones Throw, and I embraced the weirdness, and the magnetism, wordplay and wittiness.

“America, The Beautiful” [prod. by Jonwayne] (Audio) –

“The Heaviest Cross 2.0” by YC the Cynic, feat. Homeboy Sandman [prod. by Frank Drake] (Audio) –

“Fat Belly” [prod. by Paul White] (Video) –


CHRIS WEBBY: Last year, I had no idea who Chris Webby was, and I don’t become a fan of other white rappers that often. So when my wife’s dance student told me her favorite rapper was a white kid from Connecticut, like me, I didn’t really pay much attention. But then I saw one of his singles, “Dopamine”, featured Talib Kweli, Grafh, B-Real and Trae The Truth — and I decided to give it/him a listen. He held his own, so I listened to more of the album on a day less busy than usual… and then I played it more and more — so much, in fact, that said wife put a temporary embargo on Webby’s latest, Chemically Imbalanced. This album might be my favorite of 2014, and I’m still not comfortable admitting it. But when I go through an LP and barely delete any of the songs off my iTunes, that’s a good sign. Not to mention that the white girls love him, and they’re the ones who determine the success of today’s artist anyway.

“Dopamine” by Chris Webby, feat. Talib Kweli, Grafh, B-Real & Trae The Truth (Audio) –

“Roll A Doobie (R.A.D.)” by Chris Webby (Video) –

“Fuck Off” by Chris Webby (Video) –


ALEX WILEY: My first encounter with Alex Wiley was when I read a tweet of his that read racially insensitive and I called him out on it, only to find out from his reply that he was a person of color too… AWKWORD start. Alex is also probably the only artist on this list that could be considered part of the new wave of Hip Hop (not going to elaborate; if you don’t know, you don’t know). I am eclectic, in my own music and even more in the music I listen to, but sometimes enough is enough. I don’t feel that way about Chicago’s Alex Wiley, though, as his substance and stylizations blend effortlessly with his almost laissez faire attitude, a la Action Bronson. It’s Fear and Loathing in America, and my man’s psychodelic trips and traumatic memories lay the soundscape. If anyone on this list is going to really blow 15 years in, it might be this cat from the Windy City.

“Vibration” by Alex Wiley [prod. by Hippie Sabotage] (Video) –

“Splash Game (Self Doubt)” by Alex Wiley (Video) –

“Ideas (Adderall)” by Alex Wiley (Video) –


L.ATASHA A.LCINDOR (L.A): NikkiSiixx regulars know how I feel about L.A. She was named #9 on my Top 20 AWKWORD-Approved Female Rappers List earlier in 2014. And for those who don’t remember/know, I first created that list to provide my young daughters with alternatives to Iggy Azalea, Nicki Minaj, etc. And L.A.’s stock is only rising. Later this week, my review of her latest single “Go Off (A Prelude to (R)evolution),” will premiere via NikkiSiixx — and I think my comments there can pretty much sum up my feelings on her work: “With a vicious tongue and unapologetic stance, Brooklyn’s own L.atasha A.lcindor (L.A.) unleashes…” Amongst all the queens included on the aforementioned list, L.A. has the most attributes essential to taking it to the next level, now. She is not only a beautiful, strong black woman, she is an emcee (NOT a “female” emcee) with a unique flow and powerful lyrics. As long as she continues on this path, picking the right beats to match her aesthetic, she’ll continue to move forward.

“Go Off (A Prelude to (R)evolution)” by L.A. (Audio) –

“I’m Alive” by L.A. [prod. by Hippie Sabotage] (Video) –

“L.A. State of Mind” by L.A. (Video) –


APPLEBY: I don’t even want to tell you about this cat, cause, like, Appleby still feels like my own dirty little secret. I first heard of him through his manager Amir Abbassy (@BlameTheLabel), and when I saw the lengths to which Amir was going for a nearly unheard-of (outside of Pigeons And Planes?) act, I knew there had to be substance, and ingenuity, there, and man was I (really, Amir) right. Appleby sings REALLY well, and, he raps, REALLY well. I can’t even choose my favorite joint on dude’s soundcloud. Just STFU and peep game. And answer this: How do you like THESE apples!???

“Find” by Appleby (Audio) –

“Rounded Edge” by Appleby (Audio) –

“My Latest B.I.D.” by Appleby (Audio) –


ADRIAN LAU: “And my old friend Fraud got the world saying wavy, Hannnn…” That’s not a quote from Mr. Lau’s latest record, but my own. I must admit my allegiance to SRFSCHL and La Musica De Harry Fraud. But I could have gone a number of ways here, and I selected Adrian. Had time permitted, he would have appeared on my forthcoming NYC RMX of hit World View single “Go!”, not only because Harry and I go way back, or because I was blessed with two Fraud productions on World View, but because THIS kid can spit and command a mic or dominate a camera lens. And he represents a VERY underrepresented population in Hip Hop: Asians. Asian Americans have ALWAYS been MAJOR players in one of the elements of our great culture: breakdancing; and rap music (just another element, no?) is now prevalent throughout Japan, China, Korea, India and elsewhere to the east of us. But, chill, I didn’t ask Adrian if he’s a representative of China Town or of China, and I’d be an ass if I assumed. I like seeing diversity in Hip Hop, but I chose my mans because his raps are fresh and his imagery is vivid.

“Stopwatch” by Adrian Lau, feat. Charlie Bars & Riff Raff [prod. by Harry Fraud] (Audio) –

“Blue Dreams” by Adrian Lau [prod. by Harry Fraud] (Video) –

“Intro” by Adrian Lau [prod. by Harry Fraud] (Audio) –


DAVE EAST: I don’t usually listen to radio, indie or otherwise, but I was hype when I heard Dave East with Statik Selektah on Showoff Radio. Real emcees know: Some rappers claim to freestyle and spit writtens, some spit writtens and acknowledge just that, and a lot of motherfuckers claim off-the-cuff creativity while spitting shit they’ve written and long-since memorized. I’m a writer more than an emcee, so I prefer to write over freestyle; but when I’m asked to spit off the top, I do just that. And this guy Dave East, signed by Nas, freestyled for real, and he did it well. Dude is pure New York, from and of Harlem, but influenced by and representing all of us. Stupid hard, THIS is the music that most excites me when it comes to New York: young, hungry and aggressive, reminiscent of our godfathers, embracing of the new era, and unedited, unafraid and personal. Dave East is not just another rapping “Dave” — he’s one of my favorite artists on MY iTunes playlist.

“Let It Go” by Dave East (Video) –

“Make It Out” by Dave East, feat. Emilio Rojas & Jazzy Amra [prod. by Buda Da Future & Grandz Muzik] (Audio) –

“Make A Dolla” by Dave East [prod. by Scram Jones] (Audio) – CLICK HERE


MR. KING AKA HUGO KING: So, I was listening to the forthcoming producer album from Kingston, NY’s Shakiah Asquith, and the three songs that stood out the most all featured this one emcee who SJ called ‘Mr. King’. I had never heard of him, and so I asked to meet him, and SJ obliged — but Mr. King, although friendly, did not seem interested in expanding his reach beyond his hood, at least not right away. I’m not sure if King (who has at least one album on DatPiff) reps the Bronx or Kingston, but when I met dude upstate, I was impressed. My mans needs coaching, but he can spit with the best of them, point blank period. And he’s virtually unknown. My recommendation to the vultures would be start to swooping in now… but let him make more shit like this:

“Say My Soul” by Mr. King (Audio) –

“Big Dreams” by Mr. King (Audio) –

“Make It Out” by Mr. King [prod. by Shakiah Asquith] (Audio) –

Thanks to Awkword for getting this list together of some of the Hip Hop Artists for us to keep a look out for in 2015. They’re hard work ethnics, making moves, and getting more recognition. Can’t wait to see what’s in store with new music from this batch of talented artists.

Don’t forget to follow Awkword on all his social media outlets. AWKWORD: Rap Singer. Activist. Sociologist. Gonzo Journalist. NYC x Upstate NY x Worldwide

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Top 25 Music Posts of 2014 via NikkiSiixx.com

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top 25 20142014 has been a crazy year for NikkiSiixx.com and we couldn’t be happier bringing you the dopiest of the dope from the Underground Hip-Hop Scene. NikkiSiixx ventured off with her NikkiJoMazing Series, then Her Lootcrate Unboxing Videos, & her Catch Up With The Artist Series from NETWERK. I decided to create a list of the post viewed most that were featured this year 2014. Starting the count down at NUMBER 25 with…

[25] MIXTAPE: BLKSUNCHILD – Hii On The Lows via @DrewTheLoon
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[24] MUSIC VIDEO: E.GRIZZLY – MOORE via @DrewTheLoon

[23] #SMAKTASKTIKREVIEW: FRANC GRAMS – MISTAKES via @PedroSmaktastik
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[22] DOWNLOAD: MIR FONTANE – HE SO CRAZY MIXTAPE via @NikkiSiixx
he so crazy

[21] #MIDWESTBEST: CRYSTAL LA’JUENE “LIKE THIS” via @MIDWEST_MELLY

Crystal Lajuene-Like This (Official Music Video) from Nosaki on Vimeo.

[20] #MIDWESTBEST: “USED TO BE BOBBY & DARRICK” – via @MIDWEST_MELLY
Used To Be Bobby and Darrick

[19] MUSIC VIDEO: KATO DOX – LAND OF THE FEES, HOME OF THE SLAVES via @CraccCobain

[18] NEW MUSIC: KEMBE X – HYDROCODONE (POKER FACE) via @IamJQuest
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[17] INTERVIEW: B2DADOT via @NikkiSiixx
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[16] MIXTAPE REVIEW: NOAH – PROGRESSIVE MINDSTATE via @NikkiSiixx
Noah

[15] INSTRUMENTAL EP: CHRISTINE – BETTY “MOE” TREZZA via @NikkiSiixx
betty moe christinΞ

[14] DOWNLOAD: ART MORERA – AROUND MIDNIGHT via @NikkiSiixx
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[13] NEW MUSIC: JR – 94′ BIGGIE via @NikkiSiixx
jr 94 biggie

[12] #SMAKTASTIKREVIEW – JAYOMEGA READY SET GO 3 – via @PedroSmaktastik
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[11] #SMAKTASTIKREVIEW – NOEARTH – LAWST ft JOE MAS $ THESIS via @PedroSmaktastik
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[10] #SMAKTASTIKREVIEW – MOTORCITY KAM – JULY ’91 EP via @PedroSmaktastik
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[09] #MIDWESTBEST: A-HI – SKYWALKERS via @MidWestMelly

[08] NEW MUSIC: TYLER KEYS – IS IT WORTH IT? via @NikkiSiixx
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[07] MUSIC VIDEO: THE LOST SOULS – AIN’T WORRIED BOUT NUN via @IAMJQUEST

[06] MIXTAPE REVIEW: XALI – THE AMERICAN HOUSE SLAVE via @NikkiSiixx
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[05] #SMAKTASTIKREVIEW: SKOTT SUMM3R2 – #EVILRYU via @PedroSmaktastik

[04] MUSIC VIDEO: KEEZ x DANNY TOWERS – SELENA via @DrewTheLoon

[03] MUSIC VIDEO: ERIC BIDDINES – RAILROADS/UNFINISHED via @NikkiSiixx

[02] INTERVIEW/REVIEW: THE VERBAL SURGEON – DAY BY DAY EP via @DrewTheLoon
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AND HERE COMES THE NUMBER ONE MOST VIEWED MUSIC POST ON NIKKISIIXX.COM GOES TO…

[01] DOWNLOAD: EBANGA – ONCE UPON A TIME EP via @NikkiSiixx
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Thank you everyone who have supported us throughout the years and we can’t wait for the new year! Supporting Locals, Underground Hip-Hop, Video games, Movies, TV & MORE!

NikkiSiixx: Top 6 Apps for Music Artists

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856c0e00f9d2d6c8f455a3eac65ee3a6This comes to every aspect of your career and where you want to take it. But first things first… make sure your music is ready to go. Mixed & Mastered as always. Then when it comes to creating a digital campaign to promote either your single, mixtape, or even your album. It’s gotta look top notch! I found a few key apps on my iPhone, and there’s a chance a few of things are actually available on Android. I put together a list of my TOP 6 Apps for Artist to make a great first impression via social media.

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 8.57.41 PM[1] INSTASIZE : Easiest way to post your entire photo onto any social media outlet. You take the perfect photo on the night when you’re performing in front of a live crowd. Once you get to uploading it to Instagram, you notice half the image is cropped off. You can’t cut off the crowd or yourself to fit them all in. Here comes INSTASIZE to save your day. You simply upload your photo, and it instantly aligns it into the perfect size to fit on Instagram. But better yet you can change the background into any color or a dope design they have listed. And you can even add texts. You can make a collage, add filters and layers to give it an amazing effect. This is a great way to include everyone in the photo, with a nice background, and text like “A Night To Remember”. What a great memory to share with you’re fans. Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.17.07 PM

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 8.57.56 PM[2] INSTAQUOTE :  Create captivating text images for your campaign announcing release dates, tour dates, or even a dope song lyric from your current single. They have so many backgrounds, fonts, font colors, and different ways to style the message. I personally love this app, because I’m able to make motivational quotes look stunning, countdowns to events, or any inquires I want my followers to be aware of. Great way to spread the message amongst you’re followers.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.00.44 PM[3] PICPLAYPOST : This has to be the ultimate app for presenting multiple clips together. From images to actual video you can have even music play all at the same time. This is definitely worth the purchase. I’ve been able to present posts, recaps, and anything else you’d like to share. I would recommend this for an artist to use their cover art, video clip of a music video or live performance recap, and a professional photo. I wouldn’t recommend to have audio with a video has its own audio. Best thing about this app you can adjust how long you want the visual to play for and adjust the audio from an added song or for the video’s. If you notice on my Instagram [ @NikkiSiixx ] I have a bunch of these. Get some ideas and create your own unique way to present yourself to the world.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.08.11 PM[4] Ringtone MAKER : Nothings more dope then giving you’re fans free stuff. I think this a great marketing method. Create your own free custom ringtone of your single that you’re pushing. Create an image with INSTAQUOTE stating you must follow my instagram and twitter account and share this image on your Instagram account, gets a free ringtone. Think about it; You just got free promotion with that repost for the free ringtone. Once you have them retweet or repost the image you will need an email address to send them the ringtone. Guess what you just earned a fan and someone who can be added to your email newsletter for future updates.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 11.20.01 PM[5] REPOST : This is a great way to repost an image instead of screen shooting, then crop, then upload, and re-write a caption or try to remember everything its supposed to say. This eliminates that unnecessary stressful process of reposting. REPOST presents a super easy way to share images or videos from Instagram and still giving credit to the original owner of the image. Great way to repost images from fans. Say: when you meet a fan, they take a photo with you, and this way they are able to prove they were able to meet you and able to keep that memory of you. What a better way to please the fan by reposting it on your Instagram account. I feel this will make them a bigger fan since you acknowledge them enough to share that experience on your own social media account.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.02.09 PM[6] SOUNDCLOUD : This can make it easier to share your music to your social media sites and able to communicate with people who like/love your music. I know so many music lovers who use sound cloud as a source in discovering new music from new artists. Key thing to do with is TAG everything that’s relevant to the track you’re posting. Anyone who searches that keyword will be lead to you. So choose you’re words wisely. Also, this can be a new way you can come across producers, rappers, singers, and of course music lovers.

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I find these apps to be very helpful when it comes for upcoming artists to present themselves through social media properly. This easy to use apps ranging from being absolutely free to costing the most 2.99. If $2.99 is too much to ask for to invest in yourself, than you must be in the wrong industry. When you’re an upcoming artist you have to put your blood, sweat, and tears into you’re work. Investing in yourself will bring you growth. To buying your own studio equipment or pay hourly to rent out a studio space to record your music. Don’t forget to check out these apps via iTunes and Google Play. Hope these apps help you in gaining a better online presence.

As the great Earl Ptrick McNease tweeted:

The NEW Music Scene: 10 New Jersey Rappers That Are Likely To Blow Up

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red-and-black-imageOver the last decade we have seen various underground artists rise to stardom and put their city on the radar. Think about it. Most states or major cities have a rapper that’s on the rise. Kendrick Lamar, and YG have been holding it down for Compton while Chance the Rapper, Dreezy, Chief Keef and Lil Herb have us talking about Chicago. The south has always been hot, but isn’t as big as the days when we had ’07 Lil Wayne spitting over DJ Khaled’s “We Taking Over” record or even ’04 Ludacris yelling “Get Back, Get Back!” Regardless, we are still bumping Migos, Rich Homie Quan, Kirko Bangz, and Young Thug like no tomorrow.

New York has always been known for breaking the next big thing. Bobby Shmurda and Troy Ave are two recent artists to blow up that come to mind. Often, when I try to share local music with hip-hop fans, I eventually bring up the artist’s location. At which point I begin to say, “New…” and typically people cut me off and say “York.” Then I awkwardly say “Jersey.” New Jersey is one of the most slept on places when it comes to music, and New Jersey rappers know this. A majority of NJ talent think this: “If you are from South Jersey, you go and get your buzz in Philly. If you are from North Jersey, then you go and grind in NYC.” Despite the barriers that NJ rappers face to get exposure, there are quite a few that are really making a name for themselves. Below are 10 rappers from New Jersey that are likely to blow up. These guys are creating their own lane, building their fan base, and of course, repping NJ wherever they go.

Apollo the Great

Apollo the Great – Camden, New Jersey

Derek

Derek – Long Branch, New Jersey

NJ Rebels

NJ Rebels -Rahway, New Jersey

Mir Fontane

Mir Fontane – Camden, New Jersey

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H’z (Da$h & Retchy P) – Hackensack, New Jersey

YoAstrum

YoAstrum – Winslow, New Jersey

Sule

Sule – Englewood, New Jersey

Topaz Jones

Topaz Jones – Montclair, New Jersey

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Guy Harrison – Voorhees, New Jersey

DEF-Bananas

DEF- Bananas – Cherry Hill, New Jersey