Live from the state of New Jersey, Rapper Tox comes through with his latest mixtape “Reach For The Stars 2” and it’s good. For 11 tracks Tox holds it down on the mic on his own with very little features. On this project, he talks about his dreams to play in the NFL and how he was led to the music industry instead. The mixtape is mostly full of smooth tracks and melodic hooks. Make sure you follow Tox on Twitter.
Making his return back on NikkiSiixx.com, Tommy Swisher brings us his latest project My Box of Unsent Love Letters EP. With the EP release he also dropped the visuals to his separate single THE DEMAND! Tommy Swisher is a force to be recon with, from dropping projects, visuals, and dope music. Tommy Swisher is an artist to look out for from Atlanta, Georgia. My Box of Unsent Love Letters EP is a ten track voyage through passed emotions Tommy Swisher had experienced from previous lovers. The EP features guest appearances from Rome Fortune, Rikki Blu and ThouxbanFauni, as well as production credits from the likes of FKi, Deko, OG Parker, Cultie, E.Wonder and RXLVND. The project is hosted by DJ Genesis and IAmGambinoATL. Here’s a look to his music video THE DEMAND:
[BALTIMORE CITY, MD] After Jamal G’s debut on NikkiSiixx when we played his track If You Need That, and when I had an exclusive interview with him. Currently, Jamal G has released his album To Whom It May Concern 2: Final Draft. The album is a fourteen track in-depth story of Jamal.
[SCATTEREDBRAINED] Jamal G really opens up on the first track on the album. One thing that really stands out to me is his flow, and the genuine soul expressing himself the best way he can. Through his music! Jamal G even touches topics like working hard in achieving his goals, passed relationships, and he even talks about watching his own mother Oding. This is a really dope track! Get to know Jamal G.
[THESE WINGS] In a previous interview with Jamal G, I asked him what inspired this track and he said “These Wings was just something inspired by the space I was in at the time. I didn’t have a real direction for the album but I knew I wanted to make a statement for my community. I sent it to Husky and he wrote the hook and it was just on from there“. This song has to be one of my favorites from the project. From the production, and Jamal’s flow, it leaves you wanting more. Good thing this is just the second song of the album, here we go!
[ARIEL’S LIFE IN HELL] Jamal G is one hell of a story teller, this track is focused on meeting someone and wanting to get to know them more. Its pretty dope because Jamal G included a female vocal to give Ariel more life on this track. The chemistry between the two is hard not to deny it. And it’s a crazy twist to the story, you just got to hear it for yourself.
[LET IT BE ME] When investing in your time in someone who you feel everything could go right, but yet when you hear the other person’s true emotions can truly be heartbreaking. Jamal G expresses how he feels about someone who left him when he was completely unaware. Love can be blind at times, but hopefully going through with that, Jamal G can open his eyes and find true love.
[QUESTIONS 4 PAC] Have you ever felt compelled to ask questions or advice from people who are no longer here? This time Jamal G looks for more answers by asking Tupac some questions. Hopefully he’ll gain more knowledge on the experience. This track reminded me when Kendrick Lamar had an edited conversation with Tupac on his “To Pimp The Butterfly“. Who wouldn’t want to be able to ask questions to a legendary rapper who inspired so much with his music. Find out what Jamal G discovered with his talk.
[CELEBRATION] After everything Jamal G has gone through, its time to celebrate! Celebrate because we’re alive and we can always better ourselves. To Whom It May Concern 2: Final Draft was a way for Jamal G to get a lot of issues off his chest. I feel this track can be relevant to anyone who appreciates life and wants to keep living in a positive way.
Jamal G always felt he was never going to conform to the norm. Looking up to his siblings and loved ones as aspects to his outlook on society. Jamal cultivated a perspective that’s widely shared through his community. In 2010, Jamal released his first offering under his neighborhood alias, Blizz, entitled “To Whom It May Concern.” The project provided opportunities to open up for artist such as Marsha Ambrosius, Rick Ross, and a host of other artist.
Jamal G has a very mature tone over the entire project To Whom It May Concern 2: Final Draft. It’s been described as “Mood music for the long drive home.” Jamal recently finished touring around the world sharing the news about his new album, “I’ve never attempted to make music for self exemplification or popularity. Music is the most unselfish thing that I can offer to my people as a glimmer of some sort of hope. There’s pain, triumph, and faith all wrapped up in this new project, I just my generation take the time to live with it, so it can properly effect our lives.“.
“TWIMC2 is a picture of hope. It describes the mind of an emotionally suppressed man from the Y and millennial generation trying to figure it all out. This can potentially be one of the best independent releases this year. The message I want to get across is that, hope is better than defeat, pain doesn’t just expose you’re vulnerability but you’re humanity, and everything will ultimately work out for those who have Faith”. – JAMAL G
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[MIAMI, FLORIDA] After the success of his debut album Around Midnight, Art Morera has something ready for the listeners for the new year. And it’s the Afterglow EP, the nine track project solely produced by long time collaborator Nixon. Go on the journey with Art Morera, while he sets to motivate and inspire you to and make your own adventure. Check out the dope coverart of Art’s dog Morty who has his head out the window. This represents the joy you find whether you’re going through obstacles that happen to come your way. The Afterglow EP features Royce Rizzy from Privateclub and Miami Artist Ramon Revere. I’ll be reviewing Afterglow with a more in-depth in an upcoming EP Review, stay tuned and don’t forget to download!
[LOS ANGELES] Making his debut on NikkiSiixx.com, the upcoming Arizona native emcee/singer Chad Michael has released his EP Rain. The six track collection of songs portray a compelling story-line from a man pursing his dreams. During 2014-2015, Chad Michael went to college and moved to Southern California to make a career in music.
Going through the experiences he endured and lesson’s learned, Chad Michael wanted to express this on the Rain EP. All produced by Oregon Producer Emotion Beats. They were able to work together and really give the feel of rain fall, because of the records up and downs. Throughout the 25 minute journey, how can you not relate to Chad Michael. My favorite tracks of the Rain Ep are Evolution, Different, Weekend Love, and Rain. Here’s what I thought about my favorite tracks:
EVOLUTION is a track that shows off Chad Michael’s verbal capabilities! By showing us how fast and creative his lyricism can be. Considering this is the first track off the EP and the first song I hear from Chad Michael, this is definitely a great introduction. He lets the listener know the bullshit he’s been through and what he’s doing to prevail in his music career. Dope flow!
DIFFERENT is a track where Chad Michael expresses his time growing up in Arizona and making the big move to California. Retouching his roots Chad realizes things change and things will become different. Visual Directors Danny Gauthier and Chad M. Arechiga bring Chad Michael’s music video to his first single DIFFERENT.
WEEKEND LOVE here’s a track where Chad Michael becomes a hopeless romantic. When needing love you just have to take it slow or do what just feels right. But due to his career and the long distance, the commitment just doesn’t feel right. With what the entertainment industry is trying to show the artist, that the most important thing is getting money and fucking bitches. Messes with the mind, but not the heart.
RAIN I find this track to be very poetic with a heavy introspective perspective. With the simple production, it really makes you concentrate with what Chad Michael’s had to say. The twenty-four year old artist who has potential in making his mark in the hip-hop scene. RAIN also shows Chad’s melodic and soulful side to his music.
Chad uses ‘Rain’ as an opportunity to continue to explore and refine his burgeoning mixture of sounds. Whether crooning softly to an old flame or attempting to navigate the difficulty of societal pressures, the young artist’s intelligence, raw ability, and passion shine
With the beginning of the year underway, Chad Michael is expected to have collaborations with established artists and some new music videos as well! Be on the lookout for more content and take a listen to the Rain Ep.
[ATLANTA, GEORGIA] For an artist it might be difficult to obtain your own beats to bring your words to life. So you gotta take matters into your own hands. For Sage BLOke, better known as SgBlk has embrace the production side to music and has created a beat tape entitled huez. The six track beat tape is definitely a piece of art. The vibes of the project presents itself, like the sounds are painting a vivid picture with various colors.
According to SgBLk “This project takes on the concept that music infects emotions, but in fact it can provide a gateway to images that normally can’t be seen in everyday life. Colors and music go hand and hand; they both express moods and give a sense of individuality“. He also added a sampled voice that makes his way through the tape and it really fits in, he says some pretty enlightening stuff. As vivid hue sounds it can keep your attention through it’s 11 minute 45 second journey of SgBLk perception of huez through sound.
Speed on the Beat is an average guy with a gift for putting his soul in to music. This time around Speed on the Beat was dealing with the massive loss of his mother and this year would have been her 66th birthday. On November 11th, (In celebration of his mothers birthday) Speed on the Beat released his first solo album Unhinged (The Case Study of Speed on the Beat). The overall emotion gave Speed the drive to create 12 new songs that provided different style to different feelings. This is the perfect introduction to who Speed on the Beat really is. The project is kinda like his case study. Hear the project and get his story. Unhinged is a mixture of aggressive lyrics to Weeknd influenced vocals. Speed on the Beat’s group Team DAR makes an appearance on the album. My favorite tracks of Unhinged The Case Study of Speed On The Beat are The Waiting (Intro), Heartless, Flower Bed (Goodbye, Mother), No Hook, Remember The Name, and Promised Land.
[MIAMI, FLORIDA] After a year of hiatus, Meyday Hansen makes his return to NikkiSiixx.com with his The Tilted Frame EP. Mayday Hansen decided to get his life together and make something from his experiences he endured. The overall sound is loud, very distorted, aggressive, and grungy. I can definitely hear this being played at a Halloween Party, for sure. The Tilted Frame EP is not your regular hip-hop project. Different sounds and vibes opens up your mind, and you might even find some gems. Thought Tune Out was a dope track and Commercials Breaks Can Be Fun Too from how dramatic Meyday Hansen’s story-telling is. Also, check out the cover art for the project, it’s Meyday Hansen riding a muthafukin’ rabbit that kinda reminds me of a Pikachu!
[MIAMI, FL] Kame House EP was created by producer/engineer/songwriter/artist itzedBoi. Maintaining years in working with Miami Artists, he’s been able to expand across the country with London Artists as well. itzedBoi completed the EP by producing, writing, and mixing the tracks all by himself. Kame House is a fun and filled with high energy that is something you have to bump to. Topics discussed on the project are from nerd humor, hip-hop and pop culture, video games, and even some anime. As you can tell by the cover art, itzedBoi remains true to his gamer side, by adding himself as an 8bit character design. Based off of all these topics, I feel there’s a track for everybody. My favorite songs off the Eight track EP are: INTRO, RIDE ALONG, DRAGON KING, LORD LISTEN, and HI. What’s your favorite tracks off the Kame House EP. Stay in the loop for upcoming releases via his social media accounts. [LINKS] TWITTER || INSTAGRAM ||
[MIAMI, FLORIDA] LEMIEUX is a super producer, ever since gaining his powers at nine years old. He had the capabilities of creating music at such at a young age. Ranging from different genres such as jazz, aggressive hardcore/metal bands, hip-hop, and marching band ensembles. On his recent project, he collaborated with Oyabun. The 5 track EP is produced entirely by LEMIEUX. You can tell the diversity in his productions while Oyabun brings it to life with his lyrics. My favorite tracks were I HAVE A DREAM, SLAVE SHIP, and MANSA MUSA. Throughout the years producing, he’s worked for all kinds of artists such as Jesse Boykins III, Father and KeithCharles SPACEBAR from Awful Records, the whole PayUp Game collective, and much more.
[Fort Worth, Texas] Hot on the heels of his single, Proud (reviewed here), Lyric Le’Velle has released the excellent BLACK-EP. Le’Velle worked with multiple producers on this EP in order to provide a varied soundscape for your enjoyment. He explores many different types of sounds in order to flex his lyrical muscles and succeeds in almost all of his attempts.
The first track on the EP, Tainted Intro, acts as a mission statement for the songs that are to follow. He lets you know what’s up with lyrically precise bravado as he raps “Now we in this moth******er, ten toes deep/kickin’ game, speakin’ slang mainly kinfolk speak”. He asserts himself as having both his feet firmly planted in the rap game and as willing to reach out to those willing to understand his language.
Speaking of which, he definitely takes the language of lyrics and makes it all his own. He’s a gifted story teller whose words don’t just explain his world, but actually bring you right into it. Tell Me takes us on a journey through Texas, Hunger has you riding along with Lyric Le’Velle in a world where it’s tough to make ends meet, and he has his greatest story telling moment on the emotionally charged Trissa.
Trissa is a standout track. If hip hop was an exam, then Lyric Le’Velle would pass the story telling section with an A+ because of this song. In the interest of not spoiling it for first time listeners there won’t be any more details in this review, so definitely bump that joint and run it back a couple of times. Trissa comes from a very real place and after hearing Le’Velle spit the lyrics, you can’t help but feel like you’re getting to know him or at least you’re getting to know his mind.
Sonically, there are a couple risks taken on this EP and some work better than others. US sees the Fort Worth rhyme slinger trying to jazz up the EP over a beat with a saxophone that can be a little bit jarring and doesn’t fully gel with the rest of the project. On the other hand we have the excellent Session #2 which, while it also seems like a departure from the overall sound spectrum of the EP, is a perfect marriage of interesting production and introspective lyrics.
The album has nearly no stumbles, takes risks in the right places, has excellent beats and, most of all, it has a consistent level of high quality lyricism throughout. The BLACK-EP doesn’t pretend to be turn up music. It also doesn’t try to beat you over the head with the lyrics by jamming too many words into a small place. This album’s success is in its personality. Lyric Le’Velle shows us that Lyricism isn’t about how many syllables you can jam into a bar, but it’s about if you can make a complete stranger feel you.
[WEST COAST] Ashley Bank$ is a force to be reckoned with. Femcee and Lyricist inspired by old school influencers such as Ice Cube, DJ Quick, and The Dogg Pound. Ashley Bank$ releases her debut mixtape The Queen Is King. Growing up in LA during its Gang Era gave Ashley Bank$ a tough persona that is respected from jump. A Bachelor’s Degree graduate mixed with her street creditability. She’s currently working on becoming the first female rapper to represent the West Coast on a national level. Ashley’s diverse background and life experiences make a true representation of the Hip-Hop scene. Does Ashley Bank$ have what it takes to take the throne? The Queen Is King mixtape is filled with club bangers, raw underground, new age, and old school sounds without missing a beat. Playful lyrics and heavy metaphors when the occasion calls for it. The title represents what Ashley Bank$ is trying to bring to the music industry,” The Queen is King“. Women in general aren’t given enough credit for what they achieve so she’s trying to make it known that women are the backbone for a lot of success and her goal for females as people, and especially hip-hop artist to be seen as equals or being the best. My favorite tracks off the project our Leave Me Lonely, Don’t Do Me, Get It How I Get It, Wavy, Bang Out, and Pole Dreams. For more updates with Ashley Bank$ follow her via her social media networks.
[MIAMI, FLORIDA] Growing up in different neighborhoods from North Miami Beach, to Overtown, to Perrine, and even down to Homestead. Lamont was living and dealing with the struggles of living in the inner city. Even witnessing his parents battle drug addiction which gave him the strength to vow to never sell those drugs under any kind of circumstance. This is where Lamont truly began developing himself as a person. Currently, Lamont has released his Respect My Grind project that consists of five tracks. I gotta say that Respect My Grind was very well put together. Project credits from recorded by Lifer Entertainment, Mixed by D.Shim Productions, and Executive Produced by Lamont himself. Respect My Grind has a powerful vivid honesty that goes well with his empathetic lyrics. Lamont starts with Disclaimer, bringing that hardcore side of himself with the grittiness of his flow. Then Lamont brings with his next track MASHED POTATOES. Feel with R&B vibes and a catchy hook. A track to get your girl in the mood. The following track is entitled ANOTHER YEAR, which is dedicated to all the people you know who are no longer here. Its like we need to celebrate cause we’re here for another year. Another dope track with those R&B vibes. Then Lamont takes us to church with his track LORD KNOWS. Lamont goes in on this one, he describes a woman asking why they took her baby, he was killed from violence on the street. RESPECT MY GRIND is more of a fun, soulful track where Lamont gives you his back story and let’s you know the only way to work is going the hardest. My favorite tracks are Disclaimer, Mashed Potatoes, and Another Year. But my all time favorite track has to be MASHED POTATOES, because how catchy it is and his flow is sick on this one. Your left impressed with his capability to flow on these different sounding tracks. Lamont did a mixture of sampled and boom-bap beats. Respect The Grind is worth the listen since Lamont is standing up in his artistry and expressing himself the best way he knows how, and that’s through his music. Be on the look out for more releases from Lamont by following his social media links.
[PATERSON, NJ] SaFE has started his solo musical endeavor, after being featured in M.O.B.Star five full-length projects. Download his debut project DEAD DUCK available in both standard and deluxe editions. Fifteen Tracks, DEAD DUCK‘s production was brought to you by Arkutec, Bravestarr, CJ Beatz, Superstar O and others to bring that 90’s organic hip-hop to the project. DEAD DUCK title comes from the American idiom. SaFE thinks that real hip-hop has been declared unsuccessful and useless. Each track expresses his strong feelings towards the culture. DEAD DUCK also a symbol in his brand, Duckhunters. The Duckhunter philosophy charges the participant to reclaim control over their adversities— both internal and external— and overcome them to realize their dreams. SaFE wears a duck mask to assume the role of Davey Duckhunter, as a tribute to all of the dead ducks— abandoned dreams, fruitless projects and failed goals.
[MIAMI, FLORIDA] Hip-Hop Artist Brenton recently released his official mixtape release for “The One Who Knocks“. The fifteen track mixtape is inspired by Oddisee, 9th Wonder, The Alchemist and others, as well as original production from J57, PCP Beatz and Elite Producers. And how about Breaking Bad? Right at the beginning in The One Who Knocks Intro you hear Walter White telling his wife Skylar that he’s danger and throughout the mixtape you hear snippets from the show. For this track: KNOCK IT OFF featuring Kris Kasanova on the track and amazing production by J57 from Brown Bag Allstars. Really diggin’ this slow 90’s style to KNOCK IT OFF. Boom-bap heads out there can vibe out to this. Brenton takes the first verse as Kris Kasanova closes it off with the second. Some of my favorite tracks we’re: I’M COOL (Inspired By 9th Wonder), FEELIN IT (Inspired By Jay-Z), LET THE BEAT DROP featuring Phil The Thrill (Inspired By Xaphoon Jones), and THE L-O-V-E Song (Inspired By Oddisee). This Brooklyn Native shows his roots by choosing tracks inspired by artist from that state. Don’t forget to download THE ONE WHO KNOCKS by Brenton and follow him on social media.
Cooley’s first single off of his first solo project “47” CRAZY. Cooley is a member of DMV’s Fly Rebel Society. This 2Pac inspired track features soundbites from his infamous character, Bishop in from movie “Juice”. You catch 2pac right in the beginning to set it of right. Cooley definitely stands out and remains on his own lane in this one. His flow, switch-ups, and overall quality, is mad dope. The beat alone definitely puts you in a trance. Don’t forget to press play and don’t forget to download “47”.
This 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
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:
There is no excuse not to be heard today as an artist. You have the power at your fingertips.
— Praverb (@PtheWyse) September 10, 2014
Havana Seoul is a 21-year-old artist that hails from the West Coast, but considers the DMV her home having spent most of her life in the DC Metropolitan area. Havana Seoul’s name is derived from, and in homage to her heritage. Her mother, of Korean and Black descent, was born in the capital city of South Korea, Seoul. Her father’s family escaped Fidel Castro when he came to power, and from there she pulls inspiration from Cuba’s capital Havana. Lastly, Seoul when you remove the “e” shows respect to her Black roots. With this new project, Vigilante, Havana puts on her metaphorical cape in hopes to be a savior to her friends, family, but perhaps most importantly, to herself. Havana tells us Vigilante was supposed to be a series of remixes, and that she has been coping with finding out her grandmother has stage 4 cancer. Also noting that the EP is “not well polished,” Havana is more focused on sharing music that reflects how she feels at the moment.
The opening track, “The Explanation” appropriately begins with an audio clip of Phoenix Jones, leader of the now disbanded costumed-activist group in Seattle, Washington – known as The Rain City Superhero Movement. This new 4-song EP almost feels like a continuation of her most recent mixtape, This Is Not A Cigar Club, because Havana is starting to develop her own sound as an artist. In her own eclectic way, Havana consciously addresses issues in the world, talks her shit using various flows (and at times languages), all while reminding us she is a college student. Give Vigilante a download and enjoy the sounds of Havana Seoul.