Archive | January, 2014

On The Rise: 86 Joon – “6PM”

29 Jan

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I’m from the East Coast, and prior to today, I never heard of a place called “Pomona, CA”. Apparently, there’s some Hip-Hop talent over there. 86 Joon is a young rapper/skateboarder from Pomona, CA. Don’t get it twisted…this guy is not just a skateboarder that decided to grab a mic. This young MC is the real deal…he’s got bars AND a tight flow. Once the bass dropped on this record (Shoutout to the producer, GS The Genius) I was a fan. Look out for 86 Joon’s upcoming album, 86.

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On The Rise: Mayo – “Memories” (feat. Sydney Jay)

26 Jan

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Being the busy college student I am, it’s a challenge listening to all the submissions SickerThanYourAvg.com receives on a daily basis. Today, however, I got the chance to sit down and take a listen. In the process, I discovered a 19-year-old MC from Chicago by the name of Mayo. The track is called “Memories”. Everything on this track is dope, from Sydney Jay’s vocals, to the smooth production (Shout out to Mr. Carmack), to Mayo’s flow. It seems Chicago has nothing better to do than crank out talented young artists. Download the track below, and follow Mayo on Twitter @ItsYaBoiMayo.

New Music: Taylor Bennett – “Ballin”

22 Jan


Musical talent might just run in the Bennett family. If you’re not already aware of it–Chance the Rapper aka Chancellor Bennett has a little brother named Taylor, who also happens to rap. At this point, he may or may not be tired of being referred to as “Chance the Rapper’s little brother”…but that’s beside the point of this post. Getting back on track, Taylor Bennett celebrated his eighteenth birthday by releasing a song called “Ballin”, produced by Saint The GoodBoy. “Ballin” serves as the second single for Mainstream, Taylor’s upcoming sophomore mixtape. Taylor Bennett holds a confident posture on the track, with quickfire bars and a catchy, sing-songy chorus. Overall the song is a good listen; fight the urge to compare him to his brother and enjoy it for what it is.

Video: Pharrell – “Happy” (Howard University)

22 Jan

If you happen to be feeling a little down you might want to check this out.

Students at the illustrious HBCU, Howard University joined in on Skateboard P’s feel-good movement and created a video for Pharrell’s song “Happy”. Featuring students, school faculty, and D.C. natives–the video showcases various people dancing joyfully. I would like to add that in light of current affairs its always nice to see black people portrayed in a genuinely warm and vibrant way. Check out the video below and join in on the good vibes.

Music Video: Joey Purp & Kami De Chukwu – “Still Alive”

22 Jan

Rappers Joey Purp and Kami De Chukwu just dropped a music video for their track “Still Alive”. Directed by Verluxe, the video features the rappers looking quite turnt up–having fun alongside their Save Money family. It’ll be interesting to see what this talented bunch delivers in 2014. Check it out below.

SickerThanYourAvg Presents: Fight The Hype Vol. 1 (The Mixtape)

21 Jan

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Last night, we gave you all our list of the best mixtapes you didn’t hear in 2013. In case you missed it, we added a special treat at the end of the post. For any of you who did miss it, we present to you…Fight The Hype, a mixtape featuring some of the nicest cuts from last night’s list. You need to download this mixtape because A.) It’s incredibly dope, and B.) It’s FREE. I know it’s the internet age and all, but free music should never be passed up. Download it here:

Fight The Hype: The 25 Best Records You Didn’t Hear in 2013

20 Jan

main list (Pictured above, clockwise: Kelela, Skyzoo, Lorrine Chia, ForteBowie, Lucki Eck$, and Adrian Marcel)

25 Dope Records From 2013 That You Probably Missed Out On:

We can all agree that 2013 was a beautiful year for music. Whether it was our favorite mainstream artist(s) surprising us with albums that we didn’t even know we were waiting for–or some of our indie favorites delivering amazing mixtapes and maybe even a breakout record or two, we saw it all. Unfortunately, with the overwhelmingly high traffic of (free) music in the Internet Age, and in the midst of breakout records like Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap and Action Bronson’s much talked-about Blue Chips 2, it’s easy for tons of other great artists to get lost in the mix. However, have no fear – The good folks at Sicker Than Your Avg are here to shed some light on some of the dopest records that you may have missed in 2013. This includes records that you may have vaguely heard about, but ended up never really getting around to listening to. For whatever reasons, these records managed to cruise under the radar. Some of you may already be well-acquainted with all of these records, and in that case, congratulations *cue confetti*! Now for the rest of you, continue reading to check out the list (we have DOWNLOAD LINKS), and prepare to e x p a n d your playlists.

*List is in no particular order.*

 

1. Skyzoo & Antman Wonder – Ode to Reasonable Doubt reasonable Brooklyn heavyweight Skyzoo pays homage to the album Jay-Z considers his very greatest. Just like Elzhi did with his Illmatic tribute, Elmatic, Skyzoo does more than just re-make a classic – he completely re-invents and reinterprets it. Oh…and the production here is f l a w l e s s. This is a must have for any Hip-Hop fan. No excuse.

 

2. Lorine Chia – Naked Truths artworks-000059729636-i0elyf-t500x500 Coming in like a sharp gust of fresh air from “The City of Wind” Lorine Chia’s debut free album, Naked Truths is a gem. Chia is a young artist with a strong sense of style that leaves her standing out from the pack. Her music seamlessly flows from being soulful and jazzy to dancehall influenced with hiphop being thrown in  the mix–keeping listeners on their toes. Two standout tracks are Lorine’s hard-hitting, chest bumping “Bout It” and her excellent cover of Nina Simone’s iconic “Strange Fruit”. Look at our girl Toyosi’s video review of the album below.

 

3. Vince Staples – Stolen Youth artworks-000051037088-ezl8bj-t500x500 Rising MC, Vince Staples, links up with Larry Fisherman (Mac Miller’s producer-alter-ego) for his latest effort, Stolen Youth. Hailing from Long Beach, California, Staples carries the elusive skill of delivering dope lines without seeming to ever really try. Mr. Fisherman gets an “A” for his production, and Mr. Staples gets an “A” for his vivid, meaningful, struggle-filled rhymes.

 

4. Elbee Thrie (of Phony PPl) – 53,000 artworks-000051031107-fc3esr-t500x500

Surely, many of you have heard of the Hip-Hop collective, Phony PPL. However, the name “Elbee Thrie” likely does not ring a bell. His solo effort, 53000, will definitely do something to change that. This is one of the most catchy, fun-filled Hip-Hop you will hear in a while. His relatable topics and his infectious, outside-the-box production, will have you grinning from ear to ear and nodding your head at the same time.

 

5. Tinashe – Black Water artworks-000063704664-y43jqr-t500x500

Some people are just blessed. Not only is Tinashe quite attractive…she also has a beautiful voice, and has been blessed with beautiful production to match. The very first track, “Black Water” will have you completely hooked on this mixtape. Whether or not R&B is your favorite genre, you will find it very difficult to ignore the pure beauty of this EP.

 

6. Fortebowie – Vice Haus: Deluxe   artworks-000057286563-2gvxd8-t500x500 Atlanta upstart and triple-threat (producer/singer/rapper) ForteBowie is another one to keep your eyes on in 2014. Coming from Atlanta, an area where there seems to be a never-ending cycle of new, short-lived styles and movements may make it hard for a new artist to stand out in an impactful way; but with Vice Haus: Deluxe young Forte let’s you know he’s here to do just that. Don’t get it twisted though, ForteBowie is an unapologetic ATLien. Garnering Peaches’ (from Outkast’s Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik) stamp of approval, Vice Haus: Deluxe weaves in sounds of Atlanta–new and old. A standout track on Vice Haus: Deluxe is “Gang Affiliated”, a thuggish love song of sorts featuring Chicago’s reigning queen of Drill music, Katie Got Bands. Ultimately, Vice Haus: Deluxe makes for a delightful, simmering musical gumbo of various sounds.

 

7. Adrian Marcel – 7 Days of Weak artworks-000043454353-g5ewaj-t500x500 The good folks here at SickerThanYourAvg  love Raphael Saadiq, so naturally, we expect a lot from his prodigy. Adrian Marcel does not disappoint. This tape is extremely dope – R&B with a little edge to it. The production is beautiful too.

 

8. Cocaine 80s – Flower of Life At this point, wonderful music is basically expected from music’s most-known, unknown mysterious collective–Cocaine 80s. Cocaine 80s most recent release–Flower Of Life falls right into step with fans’ high expectations. Simply put, the Flower of Life EP is composed of: beautiful songwriting, beautiful production, and James Fauntleroy’s beautiful voice. What more could you ask for?

 

9. Obie Iyoha – The Low Key artworks-000039712663-yqb02f-t500x500 We came across this young, Nigerian-American, Ann-Arbor MC about a year ago and have been impressed ever since. His debut, The Low Key is one of the most relatable mixtapes 2013 has to offer. In addition to his relatable subject matter, his smooth flow and beat selection make The Low Key a highly enjoyable listen.

 

10. Tiny Hearts – Stay EP a4125726078_10

Even in today’s internet age, in which “different” is the in-thing, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an EP as unique as this one. This Detroit collective blends genres, breaks rules, steps out of the box, etc. The production on this EP can best be described as “dream-like”. If you’re looking for something new to vibe to, this is perfect.

 

11. MdotForMayor – Models Suck artworks-000061266152-be0b9t-t500x500 LA based video director and producer, Mdotformayor curates a free compilation album called Models Suck. Entirely produced by Mdotformayor himself, Models Suck serves as one big West Coast underground affair featuring everyone from Mibbs and Like of Pac Div to Thurz. Despite of an occasional misstep or two, Models Suck makes for a nice, breezy listen.

 

12. Kitty Cash – Love The Free artworks-000065060426-rctdh0-t500x500

Brooklyn based DJ, Kitty Cash collects some of the dopest underground “alternative R&B” singers for her Love The Free mixtape. Peppered with her signature coy meows, you’ll be delighted to hear a great mix of music–featuring everyone from Phony PPL to Vic Mensa, The GTW and Kelela. Listen to Love The Free and you might just discover a new favorite artist while enjoying the good vibes.

 

13. MoRuf – Shades Of Moo a3893189861_10 We don’t do favorites…but this was probably our favorite mixtape of 2013. This Nigerian-American MC from New Jersey has blessed us with a jewel. This is pure Soul-Hop at it’s finest. His lyrics and flow are meaningful and smooth, respectively. The beats…beautiful. This is a free gem.

 

14. Lucki Eck$ – Alternative Trap lucki-eck-alternative-trap-mixtape At 17-years-old, Chicago-bred MC is the youngest on our list. Despite of his young age, Lucki displays a certain type of ease on the mic that’s far from novice in nature. With Lucki’s debut mixtape Alternative Trap, listeners can hear the young MC carefully putting a stamp on his own sound within the burgeoning Chicago music scene. As indicated by the mixtape’s title look to Alternative Trap for mellow songs focused on cold, hard hustle contrasted with carefully selected spacey beats–along with clever wordplay. Alternative Trap cements Lucki as another rising Chicago act to keep your eyes on in 2014.

 

15. Add-2 x Khrysis – Between Heaven & Hell If any member Jamla Records (9th Wonder’s soul-filled record label) is putting out a record, nothing less than greatness is expected. Between Heaven and Hell is pure, classic Hip-Hop. The type that, unfortunately, doesn’t tend to get attention from your local radio station. Add-2 is a brilliant MC…one of the best on this list. Very few producers today deliver beats that knock as hard as Khrysis’ beats.

 

16. Jesse Boykins III – P.O.P (Purpose Or People) Romantic Movement front man Jesse Boykins’ latest release P.O.P. (Purpose Or People) displays the singer mainly delivering stirring covers of various songs, spanning over different genres–while also sprinkling in some remixes and new original music. With Boykins’ sensual vocals, he manages to inject a yearning type of soulfulness into his music that is equally moody as it is calming. P.O.P. has the same effect as a tall glass of cold water on a hot summers day creating for music that is an experience.

 

17. KR – I$0lyf3 2KR_I0lyf3_2-front-large At 18-years-old, this young L.A. MC has skills beyond his years. His beat selection is wonderful, and his flow and lyricism are sharp. Don’t sleep on this young man.

 

18. Nickelus F. & Ohbliv – Yellow Gold 2artworks-000058660472-rhlhrh-t500x500 Many know Nickelus F. from his past work with Drake. Hip-Hop fans should pay more attention to his solo work – his flow is amazing. His wit meshes perfectly with Ohbliv’s grimy/soulful boom-bap production.

 

19. The Foreign Exchange – Love In Flying Colorsforeign-exchange-love-in-flying-colors-lp-lead

The Foreign Exchange is not afraid to sounds old-school. What makes it great is that, despite their retro feel, their music is fresh and can be thoroughly enjoyed by our generation (especially if you have ever been referred to as an “Old Soul”). This is soulful, jazzy, danceable, and relaxing all at the same time.

Buy the album on iTunes HERE.

 

20. After The Smoke – Microwaves after smoke

With a group name like “After The Smoke” and a mixtape title like Microwaves, one generally doesn’t know what to expect when approaching this project. Well, with Microwaves the Florida-based duo (made up of producer Speek and songwriter/lyricist Whuzi) deliver stream of conscious type rhymes and airy vocals, over laid-back, funk tinged tracks that morph into woozy techno influenced beats. All of this makes for one refreshingly unusual mixtape.

 

21. Tree – Sunday School 2: When Church Lets Out 1368606560-treesundayschoolii

Hip-Hop talent abounds in Chicago. Tree is one MC from the Windy City that you may not have heard of…yet. His gravelly, impassioned delivery, along with his unique production style (which he refers to as “SoulTrap”) make this mixtape one of the more unique releases of 2013. Watch out.

 

22. Rikki Blu – XXXII XXXIII-Cover-Front

Hailing from Dallas, Texas (and residing in Tennessee) Rikki Blu may be one of the nicest young up-and-coming rappers hailing from south of the Mason-Dixon line. Rikki makes a stake for that claim with XXXIII, his latest release–produced entirely by 20-year-old Memphis, Tennessee producer Cody Jordan. Along with coming off as extremely genuine, Rikki is a passionate rapper delivering lines with such conviction that you can’t help but feel whatever he says. On XXXIII Rikki Blu gives listeners honest introspective glimpses on his life’s struggles, over Cody’s diverse beats. A standout track is the raucous “Jordan” featuring friend and recent TDE signee, Isaiah Rashad along with Michael Da Vinci. The bass booming track was described by a fan as sounding like, “a real n*gga convention” and it sounds like just that; with each rapper talking their sh*t.

 

23. Prodigy & Alchemist – Albert Einstein prodigy-alechemist-albert-einstein This Queensbridge veteran just never dies. Prodigy links up with the unofficial third member of Mobb Deep to show us, yet again, why he’s one of the greats. Alchemist, of course, never fails us in the production department. If you’re a Hip-Hop head, you’ll enjoy this. Buy the album on iTunes HERE.

 

24. Kelela – Cut 4 Me

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In an era of music comprised of singers with breathy, barely there vocals Kelela Mizanekristos is a welcomed change. Kelela’s debut mixtape, Cut 4 Me takes you on a fantasy adventure. Backed by the sound of throbbing drums and energetic 80s pop and dance influenced production–Kelea’s enchanting voice holds a fiery passion that seems to be on the decline. Kelela doesn’t quite fit into the box of any particular genre and we like it that way.

 

25. Kool John – Peace, Love, Shmoplife artworks-000040733313-m44qro-t500x500 Almost exactly a year ago, HBK crew member and Richmond, California native Kool John released his debut official mixtape, Peace, Love & Shmoplife. Kool John’s simple rhymes are effective through the assistance of bouncing production from frequent collaborators like: Iamsu, P-Lo and Kuya Beats–making for catchy, care-free, party music. Lighten up and have fun rocking to this one.

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

Mack Wilds – New York: A Love Story
Jordxn Bryant – Quietlife
Flume – The Mixtape
GQ – Death Threats and Love Notes
 
-Written by: Christine Ahamefule & Chisom Uzosike
If you liked the music on this list, you’re going to love what we have for you next. SickerThanYourAvg presents to you…Fight The Hype, a mixtape showcasing some of the illest cuts from some of the dopest tapes of 2013. Check it out and download it below:
 

Video: MoRuf – “Buckle Up”

16 Jan

 

Rapper, Moruf teams up with the very stylish guys at Street Etiquette to deliver a short film for his song “Buckle Up”. Produced by Andrew Cha, “Buckle Up” is a jazzy track from MoRuf’s newest (sickerthanyouravg approved) record Shades of Moo, that serves as an almost interlude–predominantly sampling the young adult classic, Love & Basketball. The video is tastefully made and carries some very New York sensibilities. As expected, MoRuf looks very dapper and is sometimes backed by a band that includes: Melo-X and Jesse Boykins. Watch the quietly striking visuals below.

New Music: Eric Roberson – “Anymore”

16 Jan

New Jersey singer-songwriter, Eric Roberson releases “Anymore”–an extremely smooth soulful R&B record about…you guessed it, relationships. The song serves as the first single for Roberson’s upcoming album, B-Sides, Features, & Heartbreaks. In “Anymore” Eric ponders woefully over a dying relationship and even breaks into something akin to spoken word. “Anymore” sounds like exactly what many have been saying that R&B is currently missing. Listen below.

Music Video: Phil Ade – “OG Bobby Johnson” (Royal Fam Remix)

16 Jan

Maryland’s own, Phil Ade lets loose a quick-fire flow  and delivers a dope remix of Que’s club hit, “OG Bobby Johnson”. The music video is shot in the street and has Phil shouting out his area. Check it out below.

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