Rocky Badd – Too Badd For You

Band :
Title : Too Badd For You
Release Date : December 16, 2022

I just came across Rocky Badd playing through some music on Soundcloud and I had to share out this “Where I Stand” slapper. Fucking with her nasty ass on “BADD” too. She’s from Detroit, and I can hear some flows similar to Big Sean on this project. Not taking anything away from her style and grace, though. Rocky BADD.

Berens & Greuel – “Unthawed” LP Review

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Release Date : November 23, 2020
Label :

UPDATE (12-2-22): I apologize for the previous review posted on this album. I’m happy for Charlie Berens and his success. This is a fun project from a talented Milwaukee multihyphenate artist. He has put on for Wisconsin touring the country and has high honors as a journalist, comedian, and musician. Look his work up on youtube too. He has over 1.5 million subscribers.

1. Ope Nope
2. Supper Club Shuffle
3. Naming Your Town
4. Wintertime in Wisconsin
5. Sandbar
6. Uff Da
7. Goin’ Up Nort’
8. LaFluer
9. Old Wisconsin Jubilee

Clifton Beef – “Chapter III: God”

I recorded Chapter 3 after another change in mindset that took place around the fall of 2018. Most of this project is stream of consciousness freestyling. Often times I’m speaking in multiple languages at once, and others, I’m just vocalizing. In the prime of mumble retard fraud music, I thought I’d test to see if Americans were interested in intelligent skill (they’re not). In total, the album has over 500 songs on it. I actually found out that Soundcloud caps the album size at 500, but that was around the point when I learned about all I could from the experience, and had said enough of what I needed to. This was a journey of self-discovery but I also want to show my vocal ability. I don’t believe there is anyone in entertainment that has the vocal range (octave and inflection), rhythm or vocabulary that I do, with the amount of unique urban and rural, multicultural real life stories that I have. If they are anywhere close, they are not working manual labor, service labor, internship, part time and temp jobs – alongside their craft – to make less than 40k a year. I’m talking ancient history to present topics on this one. If you have the stomach for something different, try me out. There is no particular order, I’m just goin.

Bobby Raps – “MARK”

Band :
Title : MARK
Release Date : July 7, 2017
Label :

St. Paul’s Bobby Raps delivers an important MARK project, telling of his story, and mine. The North has changed music forever. They hate that. They don’t wanna hear that, or art inspired by reality. Bobby has Hip Hop, Rock and R&B flows in here. Cold energy.

Watch the “Purgatory” video too. My favorite song off the album. He had a friend OD, like they framed me to go back in my teens. Also see his Wicked City collaborative tape from 2015.

Clifton Beef – “Chapter II: The Move Out West” EP

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Title : Chapter II: The Move Out West
Release Date : July 3, 2017
Label :

As everyone with any intelligence, work ethic and spine should know, The Move Out West was a silly one. I ripped that “City” full of retards apart – single handedly. I also wrote this book called Why Wisconsin Voted For Donald Trump: The Coastie Privilege. This is some of the music I recorded in the process.

Clifton Beef – “Chapter II: The Producer” EP

Band : , ,
Title : Chapter II: The Producer
Release Date : July 2, 2017
Label :

I’ve been humming, whistling, singing and beatboxing for a long time. I started making beats in Fruity Loops around age 15 or so. Then I got into Garageband, and eventually, Logic Pro. My influences come from all types of music. Whatever hits me, and I connect to on a personal level, I might sample – or use as inspiration to make a record in the same key or with a similar feel. I’m a self-taught musician and do everything by ear. Sing for me baby and I’ll make music for you. You know how I produce those sounds. Chapter II.

Clifton Beef – “Chapter II: The Fall Out” EP

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Title : Chapter II: The Fall Out
Release Date : July 2, 2017
Label :

On the other side of The Fall In, comes The Fall Out. Getting involved with someone knew is easy. It’s exciting and fun. Recognizing when a relationship has run it’s course, though, is one of the hardest parts of perpetually giving your love to others – without expectation. Even if you might think you can remain friends after what you had, thinking, maybe, you were strong and knew too much of where you were going to give your all to another person, there might’ve be people, parties and money that stood in the way of you two. For me, it’s been lifelong. Almost everyone I’ve ever met before 2017 wanted my love to die and lie as deep in the ocean as possible – drowned, lost and forgotten forever. Double Major.

Drake – “More Life”

Drake drops the More Life album, speaking directly to my life. His uncle looks like a darker skinned Donald Grefe – who filled the role as “uncle”, and eventually “dad”, for me, for a while. The Toronto, Ontario Northern artist has been a part of the journey since I started recording music. I don’t know how long he’s known I’m God, and that the industry has sucked and siphoned whatever they possibly could off me for their profit, but he knows something. My favorite project so far from Drake. Views played a role too, or “Once Dance” did at least.

Steelix – “Vibrant” EP

Band :
Title : Aurora
Release Date : July 10, 2016

Steelix of Detroit, Michigan with the funky sounds. Psychadelic, groovy stuff here. From last year, and still pumping.

Renz Young – “It Was Nice Knowing You”

Band :
Title : It Was Nice Knowing You
Release Date : October 12, 2016
Label : , , , , , ,

Renz Young dropped the It Was Nice Knowing You project on October 12, 2016. Unfortunately, this was another one of those I missed, when I was moving and outlining for my book. These bangers are forever, though. Production and engineering is on point, mixed well, and hard hitting.

Renz sticks to the classic ’90s style rap – the work hard-get money-hate on everyone else-I’m the greatest type records – on this project. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin rapper says It Was Nice Knowing You to everyone else. The verses are full of energy, in his marked flow. He sounds like Cyhi da Prynce at times, and can piece together complete projects like the GOOD Music artist. Our favorite is “Negus”. Also see the “Pastures” video, and his 2975 EP from 2015.

“Used to clock that 9-5 day and night
But now you catching me swerving through the red light
I used to wonder how to get my head right
Then all I found out, all it take is to get your head right”

And “Black Roses”.

Helios H. – “Religion & Hennessy”

Band : , ,
Title : Religion & Hennessy
Release Date : February 28, 2017
Label :

Helios H. or Helios Hussein dropped Religion & Hennessy shortly after I dropped The Coastie Privilege. He and other Northern artists have inspired and reminded me of who I am and where I’m from. This is a telling project of Detroit culture and I connected with it out the gate. Helios is a skilled writer, emcee and producer.

Amerikas Addiction – “Prelude To” EP

Band : ,
Title : The Prelude To
Release Date : February 28, 2017

Amerikas Addiction is one of America’s best Hip Hop duos, if not the best? For a “Prelude”, this is nuts. Just play it through. This upcoming project will be worth the hype. The DWYD team out of Cream City, Wisconsin, goes from slime to butter – track to track – field to the bedroom. Life shit. Lessons.

The first joint “Anything” with Rob Hicks is top position for a reason. This unit is saying a lot. Listen.

Amerikas Addiction:

“Bitch I’m in the city
My niggas with me
And we got the blicky
If you feeling itchy
Don’t care about status
Just gimme the cabbage
My niggas is savage
Y’all niggas so average”

Rob Hicks:

“It’s real in the field, better lace up your cleats
They not saying anything, talk is so cheap
They not saying anything, talk is so cheap
I said that shit twice, so you get what I mean
I just got a pole with a scope and a beam
You fuck with my kids, and I click at yo bean
The money don’t make you
The good it don’t make you
I promise that I won’t do anything they do
The low for my plug, if I owe you I pay you
Them boys in the hood just might load up and spray”

The “Goin” record also has much juice. The slowed down R&B “YOU” joint is smooth too.

“Been shitting on niggas since Middle School
My niggas don’t do no subliminals”

Amerikas Addiction has a gang of producers on here. Beat selection is critical now a days. They’re selective.

LAMB$ – “Thanks4Nothing” EP

Band : , ,
Title : Thanks4Nothing
Release Date : February 27, 2017

Insomniac Lamb$ is putting on for his block in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has some of that Future-Mumble Rap sound, only he’s a lil Jazzier. Some say he sounds like Young Dolph. A Trap mix of North and South flavors, the young artist is all about the guns, drugs and bitches. Lamb$ also delivers some motivational messages – alongside – throughout the tape.

On “They Told Me”, the rapper says:

“Counting this shit, I mean, a lot load
Talked to my PO today, she tryna get me locked for?
Hit LA for a lil week, I might just pop up
Got alota brothers who gon shoot for me
Don’t know about you, that’s a different story”

“I just wanna do the shit they said I wouldn’t
I just wanna do the shit they said I couldn’t…
They told me I a never be shit
They told me I a never hit that lick
They told me I a never have some money
They told me I a never be nothing”

Also see the Fukk Karma II joint.

Devon Alexander – “Empty Promises”

Band : , , ,
Title : Devon Alexander
Release Date : February 22, 2017

Devon Alexander is blowing up outta Fon Du Lac, Wisconsin. He’s building his own sound. There are no Empty Promises there. The artist sings and raps, and the beats are a mix of club, trap and rock on the album. Looking forward to hearing more of these type of love songs. His message is uplifting.

Big Sean – “I Decided”

Band :
Title : I Decided
Release Date : February 3, 2017

Big Sean reminds us why he’s the King of the West Side on his fourth studio album I Decided (February 3, 2017). It’s back-to-back stacked albums with this guy. Sean is dope. Listen to the Detroit Player preach the gospel of the Midwest.

And the trippy video for “Bounce Back”. Classic Sean.

“Moves” :

Rue The Poet – “Creative Space & Other Stuff”

Band : , , , ,
Title : Creative Space & Other Stuff
Release Date : January 1, 2017

This man has bars. Spark up n play this shit. I just did. Or not… either way this is some upper echelon Hip Hop music. There are no limitations as to where this emcee takes it. Rue The Poet raps straight through these tracks on his debut album, rhyming like crazy over the new wave Milwaukee Boom Bap sound.

This is Cream City music – Smooth, Jazzy, Smart, Tough, Soulful Music. Rue The Poet goes hand n hand with Mike Regal and Abby Jeane on the project. The artist impresses with Creative & Other Stuff. He’s got the skits and acapella in there too, and I, at least, always appreciate those. Rue is also going after Coasties (“Seinfelds”). This is quality rap.

On “Mista Nice To Meet Ya” :

“Maybe you can feel how I feel, you Seinfelds
Juggling a life of brief excitement and rhyme skill
Now that time’s still…
I’m serving burgers, let these fries chill
I’m ill”

Mike Regal and Sofa King on the beats. Mammyth with the mix.

Mouse Sucks – “Justatethebootyandifeelgreat” EP

Band :
Title : Justatethebootyandifeelgreat
Release Date : March 18, 2016

Mouse Sucks is a nasty muhfucka. Grimy raps on the Grime beats. The rapper-producer outta Toronto, Ontario dropped his debut Lacey’s Forehead back in 2013. He does his own production and videography too. The Northern Artist has a chill approach to the Industrial sound. Chill.

“Party in the basement, lemme me crash
Aw this ain’t a dub, she giving dubs, she tryna dance…”

Check out the “Bae af” video too.

Big Sean – “I Decided”

Big Sean, like Drake, put out an album this year – speaking even more directly about my story and struggles, and tying his life to ours. One of his best. Probably my favorite, for obvious reasons.

El-Shareef – “Matching Verts”

Band : ,
Title : Matching Verts
Release Date : January 16, 2017
Label :

The hardhitting Brew City emcee returns with another strong project. El-Shareef is a beast with the pen and on the mic. Derelle Rideout is a fiend on the beats. Bar for bar, this is one of the coldest emcees in the North. Milwaukee stand up! This is Matching Verts.

I’m vibing to this “Matching Verts” joint.

“I’m just tryna get the matching verts
Get my momma a new crib, out the dirt
We’ve been down so long, it be cursed
Ooooo we making matching verts, that’s a first”

And the “Benjamin Talks” video.

Hakeem Paragon – “Paragon’s Ladder”

Band : ,
Title : Paragon's Ladder
Release Date : January 7, 2017

Hakeem Paragon is one of the most talented artists outta Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s a storyteller, and you can feel his passion every step of the way – the fire. Big fan of this project (January 7, 2017). Also, this mixing style is becoming a staple of Milwaukee Hip Hop. Bunch of haunting bangers coming outta The Mil now a days. Hakeem killed this shit, though. This is all him. Enjoy Paragon’s Ladder.

Prod. Water.lo.

Anthony Lamarr – “T.R.Y. (Trials Raise You)”

Swiss State Native Anthony Lamarr goes in more of a Hip Hop direction on the T.R.Y. project, giving us more strong messages from the Artist and Leader. The experienced stage performer and studio sensation will be making the move to Seattle, Washington soon. This will be his last project out of Madison for a while now. Bless up.

He says in a note:

“This album is dedicated to the people that know me most intimately…my family. I want to thank them for their love, patience, understanding, prayers and spiritual support.

Meraki – “Baeraki” EP

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Title : Baeraki
Release Date : December 28, 2016

Meraki has a beautiful debut EP here with Baeraki. The Milwaukee raised artist is much more than music, though. She’s a woman among boys. You’ll hear it in the music and hear it from her mouth. She preaches a lot of outspoken truth on this thing we call the Internet, in contrast to many of her peers who tend to get caught up in social traps.

Meraki is brilliant in da stu. She definitely has her own thing going, but also mixes some of that Soulection sound with some of the trap sounds of The Mil. This Baeraki joint is butter. Keep a close eye on this artist. She’s one that we should all be listening to.


Meraki Baeraki Tracklist Basement Made

Ra’Shaun – “Kolors” EP

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Title : Kolors
Release Date : September 16, 2016

Ra’Shaun has been hitting the studio heavy.  He covered Odie’s remix of the “Too Late” instrumental record – by Minnesota producer BLANDA – last year. This singer called his rendition “What’s Up”. Ra’Shaun has also done a ton of features since then, including one with Trebino and Trapo called “95”. The hustle is strong with Shaun.

He goes over The Kount’s “Hey” instrumental record on “Colombiana”, giving it a new flavor. The “Dial” record is exceptional, but of course, what would Kolors be without “Deja Vu”. The whole project has a finely tuned direction toward Wisconsin R&B masterpiece, reminding us that Ra’Shaun Bro is here to stay. He put a couple other projects to the side as well. Shaun stays dropping these bright singalong records. There’ll be more soon.

The artist says in a note:

“Everything I’m doing is to give Madison, Wisconsin something to be proud of. Shout out to the other artists from the city that are making moves. I’m going to represent our hometown the best way possible no matter how far my career takes me.”

Ra'Shaun Kolors EP tracklist cover art basement made

Lean Beatz – “#FreeCheapskate”

Band : ,
Title : #FreeCheapskate
Release Date : September 4, 2016

Lean Beatz delivers a set of grimy records on the #FreeCheapskate dedication tape. The rapper-producer keeps creating. The scene in Milwaukee is taking off and this artist offers a chill alternative sound to the mix.

“I got two bitches with me and they both fine
Tryna head back to me crib, said it’s go time”

Deonte Neely – “THE SYN EP 2”

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Title : THE SYN EP 2
Release Date : July 4, 2016

Deonte “Weekend” Neely drops THE SYN EP 2 to follow up a couple quality projects from last year – THE SYN EP and The Downside of Falling Up. He does most of his own production and creates a new wave stoner music with the ambiance. Something between styles that will have you bobbing your head and vibing out.

The young talent dropped the video for “Double Triple”, and has another one on the way. He raps, does the beats and visuals. That’s the total package for the modern day independent artist. Coming from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it’s Deonte Neely.

theMIND – “Summer Camp”

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Title : Summer Camp
Release Date : June 29, 2016

TheMIND adds an otherworldly sound to the Chicago scene. His complex production style lifts his poetic singing style to another dimension. His lyrics are on point, and his singing voice even reminds me of Frank Ocean at times, but his beats are what bring his sound together. He did study at Colombia.

I love the artist’s creativity and experimentation on Summer Camp. From his complex lyrics to the carefully placed vocal samples, unorthodox drum patterns, addicting clicks and beeps, impossibly jazzy synths and environmentally friendly sound effects, theMIND is a genius for this project. Those are some critical features too. Get you some education from the young king.

Peep the visual game too. Here’s “Pale Rose” :

And “Mercury Rising” :

Vincent VanGREAT – “UnGREATful”

Vincent VanGREAT is one of my favorite artists outta The 4. He’s been consistently dope for years now and this project really speaks to his incredible artistry as a Hip Hop musician. Take a listen for yourself. Breakdown coming soon… Bless up.


vincent vangreat ungreatful mixtape tracklist cover art basement made

Mike Regal – “Premoniitions”

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Title : Premoniitions
Release Date : June 20, 2016

Three eyes – eyes open. The standout producer delivers his heavily anticipated Premoniitions album. We’ve been hearing a lot about this project… At first listen, I can hear the emcee’s experimentation in his flow. He has several smooth collaborations as well.

Mike Regal is influenced by the East Coast Boom Bap production style, but often goes outside the box, and certainly doesn’t lack in lyrical content on the project. The prevailing message: stay focused on your business, hard for your affiliates and help no one else. We placed the artist on DX and kicked off his “Eyes Open Series” last year.

On the title track:

“When it come to the flows, I’ma specialist
I don’t need a pirate to treasure this
You can tell I’m the future when present
My gift is a gift to the present
Been a while since I rolled up the regular
I switch up my style on the regular
You boys be moving too regular
She loving my wave, it ain’t regular”

Mike Regal Premoniitions album cover art tracklist Basement Made

Arcani – “Reflections”

Band : ,
Title : Reflections
Release Date : June 17, 2016
Label :

Arcani keeps it cool as usual on the Reflections tape. Every track is masterfully crafted with the lyricism of a poet. The traveling Madison, Wisconsin raised, Texas-living emcee mixes up the Jazz and Soul of the North with the Rock and Trap of the South on this project, and you’ll need to play it back a few times to catch the full effect.

I think that’s a Blink 182 sample on “I Ain’t Really Living”. The “Drowning In Texas” joint is fire. Sounds like raw emotion. This is just a “side project” before Noah’s Ark, though. ATM.

“I don’t wanna see the sunshine
Darker days, then we fade away
I only think about it sometimes
Ain’t too much that I can take”

First Class – “Peace To The Gods”

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Title : Peace To The Gods
Release Date : June 16, 2016
Label :

First Class is thinking outside the box in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Although there are a lot of positive things happening with Hip Hop in the city now, The Mil is still afflicted with many serious issues. In the midst of the chaos, Skyy Phreshh has gathered a tight-knit team around his blood relatives to go full “Anarchy” on those keeping his team and the scene back. First Class uses poverty and inner city challenges to fuel their Wisco cold wordplay, catchy hooks, sinister beats and melodies. They’re working deep into “Late AM” to further their family’s future. First Class gets our blessing for their debut Peace To The Gods tape.

We chopped it up with Skyy Phreshh recently – founder of the collective and lead performer. “It’s not what people think,” he says. “It’s really a mixture of hype, trap type of sounds, with lyrical.” First Class wants to lace bangers, but they don’t want to do it like the trend-hopping rappers do. They’re looking to tell their serious story and make it exciting to listen to. “People are so into two categories – ‘I’ma be either lyrical or I’ma be a gangster rapper,'” says the leader.

Family is motivation for this band of brothers. Skyy and the other lead performer Scottie Phresh, along with their manager Juice – are all blood bros. Dionte Gray and PTTG executive producer New Kid Beats are cousins. “It was just growing up, you’d just watch your mom go through so much for these kids, and you just see so much happening around you, that you can’t do nothing about it, at that age, without selling drugs, without being a basketball player,” says Skyy. “I tried the school route. I can’t get back into school now because I owe money. I keep trying to get back into school, I keep trying these little jobs, and… I can’t feel accomplished.”

First Class dropped a couple clean visuals and a promo video this past winter. Many have taken notice, including The Illixer and Shepherd Express. They’re all working for it, and Skyy is leading by example. “I went to school for 2 years for business and marketing at Central State in Ohio,” says Skyy. The founding father is working on a clothing line called Forever Fresh and a movie script called 50 Nights. “We’ve got about 5 projects in the works,” he says. “It’s like a 3-headed dragon, we just know.”

For more, see the PREMIERE.

Tracklist :

First Class Skyy Phreshh Scottie Phresh Juice VIncent VanGREAT New Kid Beats Basement Made cover art

Clifton Beef – “Chapter II: The Bars” EP

Band : , , , , ,
Title : Chapter II: The Bars
Release Date : June 11, 2016
Label :

I dedicate Chapter II: The Bars to the weekend – to the many wild nights getting weird in Mad City. As youth, we aspired to go downtown to party with the big kids and see college girl titties. Can we do it drunk? That’s really the only question we ask ourselves when deciding recreational activities.

Since Wisconsin gets drunker and has more liquor stores than anywhere else in the United States, and has the 3rd most bars per capita (behind North Dakota and Montana) – I think it’s fair to say the Cheeseheads party the hardest.

There’s always sumn going on at The Bars and I’m a king of the night scene. I get it lit whether I’m out, on stage or behind the bar. I’m in a strange position now that I’m 15 months sober, but nothing can take away my time in Madison, Milwaukee, and wherever else in Wisco we decided to get bopped. In times of need, the bars have been there for work and recreation. I don’t have a problem with alcohol, it has a problem with me. Drink Wisconsinbly. This is my 4th EP of 2016.

“Ay, who dat der?
Wait, I know her, she look like Kardash
But why is she creeping behind my back now?
To get with dude from my old frat?”

Premiere. Released June 11, 2016.

FromUpThaStreet – “FromUpThaStreet” EP

Band :
Title : FromUpThaStreet
Release Date : June 6, 2016
Label :

Rising Madison, Wisconsin producer FromUpThaStreet drops a trio of brief tracks with the FromUpThaStreet EP. He names them after times in the 9:00 hour, and the first and third joints definitely have that Jazzy morning sound. Two of the tracks are only a minute long but the artist has been pushing out projects. That’s that Midwest work ethic. See “Ain’t Safe” and “Old Thompson & Marb Reds”. ATM.

Cleo Fox – “Tomorrow Is Today” EP

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Title : Tomorrow Is Today
Release Date : June 1, 2016

Some think he’s from Chicago, others think he’s a New York emcee with the new digital sound, but this cunning Cleo Fox is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has a cool vibe and brings out his message over smooth samples and 90s vibes on Tomorrow Is Today. Government name Cleo Fox III began writing and deejaying at a young age. He knows how to put a project together. Cleo is also a well-known area engineer and manages Nefelibeta. That’s good business. “I’m not a turnt rapper,” Cleo Fox told Basement Made last week. He’s got a different approach. “I’m lyrical and I’m smooth, I’m a fox,” he says.

Cleo crafted Tomorrow Is Today for himself. “I made a project that was the music I like,” he says. He wants to relate too, though. He has an marketable uptempo style and talks plenty about his life in Milwaukee, utilizes this climbing flow that many emcees out there are doing now, and drops some colorful sketches in between the music. Cleo Fox has an easy-going style and keeps it moving. He hits to a few trap beats at the start, then it’s “Like I’m Jigga”, onto a few jazzier tracks and ending on “GOLDEN”. Cleo Fox gives us a taste of what he’s capable of on his debut EP. He’s dropped before but not as a complete project as this. Straight steez on this shid.

The artist has been working on finding his place in music for a while. “When I was young, when I came up and got into the music, I wanted to be a DJ,” says the multi. “I always used to go to poetry camps and just write, just chill, and that taught me a lot but I wanted to be a DJ so bad because I thought turn tables were so cool.” At the end of the day, the DJ decided to go the lyrical route. “I got into battle rapping too a little bit,” he says. “That’s what got me more punchlines.” Cleo goes at the music in a whole new way.

Jay-Z and Fabolous are two of Cleo’s biggest influences. He has the Jay-Z business mindset and 90s-influenced fashion of Fab. Cleo manages Nefelibeta (Ty$o Supreme x Drúdini), so he has plenty more work with them on the way, as well as some with Bankx and Danny Lanes. “You’re only as good as your engineer,” says Fox, who later shows love to his inner-city competition too, saying “Mammyth made me confident to go public.”

Cleo did “Big Talk”, “Ever Since”, “Home Team” and “Page Three” off Wave Chapelle’s W project, and just did one with Nimbus Cool. Really, the engineer has been making his rounds about the city. “If I haven’t got to record them yet, they’re coming in the next couple weeks,” he says. “That’s just how it’s been.” The young mogul is slinging music and Fox Hats too. That’s strap backs, no snapbacks.

Cleo Fox III - Fox Hat Basement Made Cleo Fox III white fox hat merch Basement Made
The local Hip Hop scene is taking off in Milwaukee. “We need to make our have our own SXSW, and then have people fly down to us,” the manager says. I brought up Summerfest. “They don’t really fuck with Hip Hop like that,” Cleo says. He recognizes “The World’s Largest Music Festival” for bringing Kendrick Lamarr, Nelly, Ludacris, T-Pain and other big names in the past but wants to see more local culture on stage. I agree. There are far too few Wisconsin natives on stage at Summerfest. Let’s get the Fox up there. He can do it all.

“People always say tomorrow isn’t promised… I say Tomorrow Is Today”

– Cleo Fox

L-R – “The Giver”

Band : , , , ,
Title : The Giver
Release Date : May 27, 2016
Label :

L-R steps off the cold Milwaukee streets for a minute to lace up The Giver for his fans. The creative emcee innovates through this gift album, cutting it up with flows and heartfelt stories that go perfectly with the funky, upbeat, Houston-influenced beats from Mike Regal. L-R is a conscious emcee but he’s a composer as well. He has a vivid imagination on his debut project The Giver.

Wisco artists are known for having out-of-the-box approaches to Hip Hop. “I really just want you to say what you think,” L-R recently told Basement Made. I think independent artists like LyricsnRhythm are giving their listeners more time to absorb their music after each drop, before putting out another single or the full project. This is in contrast to the Southern mass production strategy, kicked off by Lil Wayne and the mixtape rappers in the 00’s era. Taking that time gives The Giver more hype than if L-R had dropped the tape without any marketing beforehand.

The Midwest has always created a lot, but we’re also deep thinkers. Artists are getting educated on key industry strategies and employing them outside the labels. If you haven’t heard of LyricsnRhythm through his collabs with Mike Regal, Ar Wesley and Cool Tay, now’s your chance to hear a boom bap wordsmith with a smooth nuance. “This is my gift from me to my supporters and to introduce myself to the game,” says L-R. Mammyth mixed it. Bless.

On “Better Days” :

“Growing up in the city, we knew only God could keep us
Imaginations took us away, so violence wouldn’t reach us
OGs were still players, nobody on them bleachers
And we actually sat and listened and valued lessons they’d teach us”

Nate The Tek – “L•te Anth•logy”

Band :
Title : Nate The Tek
Release Date : May 21, 2016

A collection of Jazzy beats from from the young Madison, Wisconsin producer (May 21, 2016). Nate The Tek drops the throwback tape in the midst of a few other instrumental albums, and continues to prove that he’s a contender in a city currently saturated with talent. He also did the “Bxtches” collab with YD at the end of last year. Easy listening.

Zarin Michael – “FUCK YOU” EP

Band : , ,
Title : FUCK YOU
Release Date : May 21, 2016

Zarin Michael is a savage on these grimed out tribal beats. FUCK YOU (May 21, 2016). His complex sound is the future. He reminds me of Wave Chapelle or Big Sean at times. The Kansas City, Missouri native has a similar Midwest bounce and energy in his flow, but he’s also a vicious conscious lyricist, and there are few who could do this. The emcee spoke with Basement Made earlier today.

“I called it the Fuck You EP because I feel like I don’t get the respect I deserve as an artist. So that could be directed towards anyone, if you don’t listen to this and consider me the best at what I’m doing, then fuck you legitimately.”

In-house producer Alexander Preston and Toronto’s Bijan Amir handle the beats. “Off The Boat” x “God” x “Blackface” are nuts. The intense mix of old and new, samples and original production on FUCK YOU will get you hyped.

“Honestly, these are songs that didn’t just make the album. And it’s crazy because I don’t consider them throwaways, I still think of them as classic songs. They are so good but everyday I improve and just want better and more out of myself.”

As EDM becomes more incorporated into the cold and serious Midwest scene, we’ll get more of this grime on the opposite end of the spectrum as the uplifting Chance The Rappers and Kanye Wests – who use the poppier synths and brighter Jazz sounds. Zarin Michael is innovating and he has plenty to say. Sinner Of Attention – the album – coming soon.

“The young prince, got my hand on this game, like it’s apple and thumbprints
Penitentiary changing the niggas you run with, they making you say their names, if you doing some dumb shit
I only love one bitch, but that change so fast, niggas need they ass whipped, like I’m Django dad
Flip scripts, big bricks, Cocaine don’t last, I probably break a nigga arm and re-arrange your dab”

Chaos NewMoney – “New Money Volume 5: Ratchet and Blues”

Chaos NewMoney returns with a more jazzy style. I dig it. He’s relentless on the mic, and that’s why we get 41 tracks too. Get your copy today (May 19, 2016). See his last project The Come Up too. Chaos is always working, and this is only a snapshot into his new direction.

Chaos NewMoney Vol 5 Ratchet & Blues tracklist cover art Basement MadeMusic Videos:

Alternate art:

Chaos NewMoney - Ratchet & Blues cover art Basement Made

Reggie Bonds – “From The Norf$ide w/ Love” Cover Art, Tracklist

Reggie Bonds prepares to drop a 3 part From The Norf$ide w/ Love album. There’s an “Introduction” x “Body” x “Conclusion”. Looks like he’s been cooking with Mike Regal. Chicago artist Supa Bwe is set to appear on a Bruus-made collab.

Reggie Bonds - From the Norf$ide w Love tracklist cover art Basement Made


Band : ,
Release Date : May 17, 2016
Label :

EMAAD is known for going over intense, string-heavy trap beats with an upbeat, sing-songy Cream City Motion flow.

“We the last hope
When I was on my last, they weren’t there for
Last time, I remember I was broke as hell
Last time, I remember I ain’t have it
Now they always asking”

Chance The Rapper – “Coloring Book”

Chance The Rapper is currently the most talented Hip Hop artist outta Chicago, Illinois (May 12, 2016). His flow and ideas are progressive, but not without his own personality. Old heads will hate this album. The artist doesn’t conform to archaic rap stereotypes. Chance keeps it street with a book smart perspective. That’s Midwest style.

For the last couple weeks, we’ve been waiting on edge to hear more about his Chance 3 project… I love it! This is just a sample of what’s to come for the poet, emcee, dancer, educator and leader too. The Coloring Book album is the creation of a young god with genius level brainpower. Plenty of soul and collaboration on this to follow his SURF, Acid Rap and 10 Day albums.

GOOD to see Chance and Kanye working together, regardless of how ya feel about the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star. Both have been critical in bringing the EDM to the jazzy and funky Chicago Hip Hop, which has since spread out to Wisconsin, Missouri and many other parts of the re-surging Midwest music scene.

Chance The Rapper pushes the boundaries of race, class, gender, religion and music. Hip Hop and humanitarianism can be one and the same. This is much bigger than Southside Chi.

From “All We Got” :

“I get my word from the sermon
I do not talk to the serpent
That’s the holistic discernment
Daddy said I’m so determined”

Wave Chapelle – “W”

Band : , , , , , , ,
Title : W
Release Date : April 29, 2016
Label :

Wave Chapelle goes for the W on his latest tape. This is that hype for the city (April 29, 2016). The high octane artist speaks to his grind, his brief stint on Yo Gotti‘s label and his return to Milwaukee on the project. He brings the energy and captures the Drizzy flow for The 4 – through the lens of basketball – which is known for being highly competitive in Wisconsin.

Wave keeps the production in his circle and brings in his boy IshDARR on the “Let’s Win” record. His Good People clique is growing strong. Power in numbers. Wave was one of the first to break out of the city and state. Check out his major placement in the “Wisconsin Soul” feature on HipHopDX. Also, see his “Varsity” and “Boss Up” features.

On “Home Team”, he says :

“If you want it, gotta chase it
We done made it out the basement
Now I’m going to the bases
I send my momma on vacation
I want it bad and I want it fast
But I’ve been working on my patience
Don’t come around with no bad vibes
Cause I ain’t really with the fake shit”

Drake – “Views”

The fourth studio album from Toronto, Canada OVO founding artist Drake (April 28, 2016). He’s been a big part of the scene up there for many years now. This is his testament for “The 6”.

This is a smooth collection. Drake’s voice cuts through the mix, and he has the lungs to keep the track going. He’s known for biting flows and sounds, which Meek Mill and others called him out for not that long ago. We know he doesn’t write at least some of his music, and as a Hip Hop artist and supporter, I feel that harms those that always speak for themselves.

Drake’s music is always on point, though, and he did this one nearly alone. His production is the finest in his synthy Trap with R&B tendencies. Drake has finessed his style of Hip Hop into pop radio, so now, producers line up to make the next “Drake type beat”. Just look on Youtube, they’re all over.

This tape also has a lot of Jamaican Dancehall on it, and I think it can be good to incorporate music, old or new, to make new good music. Kanye West has played a big role in incorporating different cultures into his heavily sampled style. Drake has been working with a lot of folks and repping the fuck outta OVO and his city in the process. He’ll be known for bringing it in.

Drake had a lot of music, so he dropped it. Now, he’ll move forward onto the next project. That’s how it should be. I think it’s time we all look at the music for what it is and then the artist as another entity. Views is a full album of quality rap from Drizzy, inspired at least partially by the changing of seasons in Toronto.

Creep C – “Black Thoughts”

Band : , , , , ,
Title : Black Thoughts
Release Date : April 20, 2016
Label :

Creep C lights up a full mixtape for April 20, 2016. A solid project from the AB4L lyricist.

On “Direct Deposit” :

“You see, some say I’m metaphorically gifted
But I could make you smile using a simile, like you was flawless as a butterfly
But where do these names come from in life because butter doesn’t fly from state to state
Where right now, I’m just in my state of mind”

Creep C - Black Thoughts tracklist cover art

40oz Dai – “40OuncesOfLean”

Band : , , , ,
Title : 40OuncesOfLean
Release Date : April 19, 2016
Label :

40oz Dai releases his 40OuncesOfLean project (April 19, 2016). The auto-tune rapper-singer recruits Water.lo, Keyz, Lean Beatz and Goliath to assist him on the Promethazine-friendly beats. His hooks kinda go and the mixing is clean. 40oz will hit harder after he works on his songwriting and uses less Fetty Wap and Young Thug adlibs. The artist has a song on here called “Basement” though, so that’s coo.

His CCM team was also recently placed on DX in the “Wisconsin Soul” feature.

“We was moving, we was booming out the basement
She butt naked, shaking all up in the basement
Got the work, I bagged it up, up in the basement
We was working, we was trapping out the basement”

40ozdai - 40 ounces of lean tracklist cover art

Clifton Beef – “Chapter II: The Depression” EP

Band : , , ,
Title : Chapter II: The Depression
Release Date : April 16, 2016
Label :

I was diagnosed with both bipolar disorder and alcoholism at a young age (April 16, 2016). Many know this, many don’t. Even though I have not one but two apparently extremely debilitating disorders, it’s easy for the average person to look at me and see a tall, fit and strikingly handsome exterior, listen to my deeply erotic voice and hear how eloquently I can finesse the English (and Spanish) language, and feel the irresistible charisma that I’ve captured the whole nation with. I have to laugh at it, because that’s been the only way to survive.

Most white people assume that I grew up like them. Society also rewards me for covering up the truth. I’ve opened up about my past to reporters, yet they never mention my life outside college, and when they do it’s usually with something that they made up. Look at my bio, listen to my music, then go look up the press on me. Mainstream America does not want someone like me to be a reality, and they will do anything to keep it that way. I’ve been slandered by virtually every publication in the country for no reason. But forget name calling, I’ve been thrown into so many fights in my life, I don’t glance when I’m punched in the face or cry when I snap a bone. I’m the toughest one out here.

“Old Thompson & Marb Reds”

Obviously, these things have made life incredibly difficult. On top of being mental, I grew up with little money and opportunity. Ya don’t hear me complain about this a lot – as rappers tend to do – because I know my parents work incredibly hard and I can’t discredit them for their effort, or for the progress that they’ve made. We’ve conquered huge obstacles as a family and I could never take away from the overwhelmingly positive impression that they’ve left on me over the course. The Grefe’s have had their problems, but keeping the fam close is what got us here today.

These issues have lead to a few run ins with the law, which is (I assume) the reason why the white collar Hip Hop people are also scared of me. They’re afraid, the same as the press and government. I was put through countless therapy, counseling and rehab programs by the court system. They would tell me that there was something wrong with me, I would convince them that there wasn’t, and then they would graduate me. Do we see the irony here?

The real problem with me is that I’m too intelligent, creative and motivated to be compartmentalized into one of modern society’s simple-minded classifications. This is hard for folks to understand and that’s ok. I do feel like the world is against me sometimes… but no matter how painful my past may be, and regardless of the jacked up shit flying through my head as I’m writing this sentence, I’m still alive and levels beyond anyone in my generation. One day I hope to escape this hole. For now, this is Clifton Beef. This is The Depression.

Check back for more music off the Chapter II: Double Major album. RIP the guys.

Nimbus Cool – “L.i.F.e. (LIFTED.instruction.FOR.earthlings)”

Band : , , , , , , , ,
Title : L.i.F.e. (LIFTED.instruction.FOR.earthlings)
Release Date : March 31, 2016

Nimbus Cool talks L.i.F.e. on his 9th project (March 31, 2016). The innovative artist hits these tripped out beats with a slurred but complex flow.

The emcee describes his sound as “groovy,” and tags the project with “Space Jazz” on da cloud. He’s got features from YL64, Ka$h.Diver, Bap, Psychic Abi, Tito The Scumbag and Magnolia. The production comes from Deonte “Weekend” Neely, Savryne and Tito The Scumbag.

That “All Night” record is my jam.

DeJ Loaf – “All Jokes Aside”

DeJ Loaf, now a staple in Detroit Hip Hop, just announced the All Joke Aside tape via her Instagram. Today (April 6, 2016), she delivers. This is that Midwest work ethic. She just gave us a full #AndSeeThatsTheThing last summer. This one is pretty much all her too. The emcee is back on her rap shit, but she doesn’t shy away from her poppy sound either.

A good listen for fans of the young queen… and DAMN she looks good on that cover. Silkk The Shocker (Master P’s brother) is the only featured guest on the 11-track project. She did recruit a gang of producers though, including Izze The Producer, DDS, KLVN, iRocksays, Sonny Digital and Kharri.

Dej Loaf - All Jokes aside tracklist cover art

Big Sean & Jhene Aiko – “Twenty88”

Band : , , , , , ,
Title : Twenty88
Release Date : April 1, 2016
Label : ,

They just announced it a few days ago, now it’s here. Big Sean and young Jhene Aiko are amazing for this Twenty88 album. In a world where monogamous relationships and hard work are pushed to the bottom of a record label’s agenda, Sean and Jhene push for a different way. Bless up, this is Detroit, Michigan to Los Angeles, California. Sean’s got another album coming later this year too boi.

1. “Deja Vu”
2. “Selfish”
3. “On The Way”
4. “Push It”
5. “2 Minute Warning” ft. K-Ci & JoJo, and Detail
6. “Talk Show”
7. “Memories Faded”
8. “London Bridge”

Faded K – “Finding M7self”

Band :
Title : Finding M7self
Release Date : March 30, 2016

Faded K comes through with a cool instrumental Finding M7self tape to calm your nerves (March 30, 2016). Also known as Keenan Pulz, this producer is one of the cleanest outta Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s worked with Rahn Harper and WebsterX. Soul-pleasing melodies and relaxed drums make for an easy listen.

Ar Wesley – “The Self Portrait: Part 1”

Band : , , , , ,
Title : The Self Portrait: Part 1
Release Date : March 30, 2016

Ar Wesley dropped an impressive project today titled The Self Portrait: Part 1 (March 30, 2016). He’s meticulous over the jazzy boom bap production from Mike Regal and Ekstoluke (who also did cover art). This is the first installment in a 3-part series, according to the premiere. Ar is calling this one “Reality”, which will be followed by “Love” and “Hope”.

I’m really a fan of the piano and bass guitar this “Midwest Coast Love” record, as well as the equally as smooth Time Is Millmatic EP.

“It’s murder in the street, that’s how it go, yea
I hear niggas creeping on the low, yea
I can feel your pain, I know you ain’t got it
I was sleeping in a shelter, don’t you damn think I forgot it, hold up”

– Ar Wesley

Premiered by DJ Booth.

Royce Da 5’9″ – “Tabernacle: Trust The Shooter EP”

Royce Da 5’9″ is still kicking it with the best of em on the Tabernacle: Trust The Shooter EP (March 29, 2016). The Slaughterhouse emcee has a more East Coast flow, compared to other Detroit emcees, but I can still hear some similarities to Eminem. Madison, Wisconsin native DJ Pain 1 did the title track and “Universe [Interlude]”. Look out for Royce’s studio album Layers on April 15, 2016. Also, shout out a fellow alchy for fighting through his drug addiction, I know the struggle.

“The needle leaning past the finish line like Lance Armstrong
I’m inside her, smelling like ya baby mama vagina, bonfire island and…
I’m not a killer I’m just spitting with a sickness called homicidilities
Flatscreen surrounds me and my dub c dub, in my whip, so she can read her Twitter mentions in 3 dimensions”


1. Black History
2. Savages
3. Dead Presidents Heads
4. Might Right Interlude
5. Which Is Cool
6. The Banjo
7. Wait
8. Rap On Steroids
9. Universe Interlude
10. Tabernackle
11. Trust The Shooter
12. (Bonus) Digest

Chella H – “No Filter”

Chella H is killing it on these new tracks. Her flow is next level on No Filter (March 22, 2016). She doesn’t hold back, and has a slew of features and producers on there too. Chella H last dropped The Realest Bitch In It, and there were a couple more tapes before that if you’d like to hear more from the young Chicago artist.

Chella H - No Filter cover art tracklist

J.Helm – “Best Intentions”

Band : , ,
Title : Best Intentions
Release Date : March 11, 2016

Jack Helmuth dropped his debut EP The Silent Project last year. Today, he brings the follow up – Best Intentions (March 11, 2016). J.Helm looks to show his independence with this project. I respect his grind, as I too released my second project at age 16.

Hip Hop is a great outlet for folks of all ages, shapes, colors and sizes. J.Helm offers a unique perspective on the 608 too. “Lived on the Eastside (multiple spots) until I was 7, then I moved to the Northside, until moving to Middleton at age 11,” J.Helm said in an interview with Basement Made.

His lyrics are decent and he puts out a positive message. Best Intentions – that’s wussup. Jack’s flow is robotic and forced, though. That auto-tune sounds straight outta Garageband. He’s clipping alot too. Some of the production is coo. “Everything you’ll hear is organic,” he says. The emcee recruited RED for the feature and Ted Park on the mix. “Everyday” and “It Ain’t Nothin'” are my favorites off this one.

Pizzle – “Grand De$ign”

Pizzle has unleashed the heavily anticipated Grand De$ign album, according to plan (April 11, 2016). At first listen, this is his best work to date. Presented by Cultured Sect Music.

Check out his recent feature on HipHopDX too.

Pizzle - grand design tracklist cover art

Damir Balo – “The Kill Vol. 1”

Band :
Title : The Kill Vol. 1
Release Date : February 26, 2016
Label :

Damir Balo is working. After dropping a fluid Stream of Consciousness on Basement Made, the Milwaukee artist has come forth with another project. Balo the producer creates a wavy sound on “CRAZY”. The auto-tune is a no go, though. If his vocals were cleaner, the song would be even better. He motivates on “Traffic,” offering some insight into his grind between a Tupac interview sample. First he talks about his Valley girls, then he goes at Jay-Z imitators and people that call him Drake. The emcee lets loose on “Youthful (Dreams)” as well.

“I coulda been shot in the dome
When niggas tried to run in my home
And everybody checking my tones
Feel like Attack of the Clones
Could everybody leave me alone, I’m anti
But I’m all about the green cause I’m Jedi
On the way to Houston, Texas on a red eye
I’m energized, I put my all in my enterprise”

Lewis Is Dead – “VIOLENCE”

Band :
Release Date : February 29, 2016

Industrial, barren, spooky, cold – Lewis Is Dead. The tribal drums and overly auto-tuned singing on VIOLENCE reminds me of Kanye, but this artist takes it one step further with his delivery and introspective lyricism (February 29, 2016). “Balaclava” is by far the best song on here. I like the whole jam, though. Lewis produced most of it and I like where he’s going with the experimental style. This grimy production and dark lyricism is a thing of The North. Lewis comes from Willingboro, New Jersey. Watch out for this cat, he’ll be in your favorite artsy fartsy magazine soon.

“I had to change my muthafucking name to how I feel
Maybe there’s a future in a nigga getting killed”

Why Khaliq – “Under The Perspective Tree”

Band : ,
Title : Under The Perspective Tree
Release Date : January 20, 2016

Why Khaliq hits with another gorgeous project (January 20, 2016). The emcee pushes important conversations on Under The Perspective Tree, something Twin Cities artists are known for doing. Lelan Foley crafted the gorgeous set of beats.

Also see Why Khaliq’s last project The OtherSide The Six5 – he featured Lucien Parker a couple times on the tape.

Lamb$ – “Fukk Karma II”

Band : , , ,
Title : Fukk Karma II
Release Date : February 8, 2016

Insomniac Lamb$ is moving work around the Midwest. He has no time for Karma, as he explains on this hard hitting set of Drill records. Cincinnati, Ohio – that’s the headquarters. His partner StakzDaProducer did most of the beats on Fukk Karma II.

“It’s a good day in the neighborhood, ay
Got the 30 and the 40, wish a nigga would”

Nefelibata – “Nefelibata” EP

Band : , , , , , , ,
Title : Nefelibata
Release Date : February 26, 2016

It won’t take long for me to learn how say this one. For now, I can just type Nefelibata (Februrary 26, 2016). Drúdini – a self-described magician, recording artist and college athlete – pairs up with emcee Tyson Spears to form the cloud-walking duo. We premiered “Lo$t/Alone” on Basement Made, which was super lit. The final product is even better. Dru and T$ are providing a new wavy kind of R&B from Cream City. The flows are quick but the vibe is slow. Young Cleo Fox III mixed it.

On “XTC” :

“Can ya tell me what ya like
See the angel in your skin
Got the devil in your eyes
All these drugs you recommend”

Clifton Beef – “Chapter II: The Fall In” EP

Band : , , , ,
Title : Chapter II: The Fall In
Release Date : February 22, 2016
Label :

Each record on this EP is about a specific woman, and each woman represents a certain type of love. I showed ya The Hustle, now I’m goin deep. I call it The Fall In. Everyone knows that uncontrollable feeling of falling into another person’s life. Love gets a bad wrap and I too am guilty of pushing it to the side, to get out the more unpleasant parts of my life. Also, women didn’t look at me until I got accepted into college, which kinda had me jaded for a while. This is my first project for the lovely ladies – the real ones.

I recorded “Sushi & Eggs” and “Nightswim” with J|D, who I met in Hollywood. We got on the same wave at our house, talking about Fiji, God, the local tail and such. Quickly, we laid out the rest out the two records, using the concurrent distractions as motivation. Leona Harper and I met a couple times back in Madison but this is our first record together. We love talking weed, sex and profound shit. Michael Cooper and Scattered Brains handled the mixing on The Fall In.

Check out the videos for “Good Brain” and “Nightswim” below. For da full story, read the play by play. Released on February 22, 2016.

$killz – “Da Game Needs Me”

Band : , , , , ,
Title : Da Game Needs Me
Release Date : February 9, 2016

$killz also goes by DOLLASIGNkillz, which speaks to the eclectic artist more than anything. He’s all about punchlines, smacking the fans with a line they won’t forget. Da Game Needs Me is track after track of Trap wordplay. The elements are all there. These are bangers. The Amerikas Addiction affiliate has a big team too. $killz aka Trap-Jezuz linked with P BEEZY to drop the artist’s debut project on The Mil (February 9, 2016). TRiLL GATE$ assisted on a couple songs too. He pushed and got his lead single “#FLEEK” onto local radio.

The lyricist has been doing plenty videos, which has payed off in blessed ways. The emcee also recently had a cameo on Empire, which is filmed nearby in Chicago. Philly Fly Boy did the cover for DGNM and is plotting the “Blue Hunnidz” video at an Atlanta location. With work like this, it won’t be long til he gets noticed on a larger scale for his music. This #DWYD Milwaukee team is on the come up quick and $killz is about to be put on front n center.

1. “F.W.M.T.L.W.”

2. “Pull Up (HOL UP)” ft. Wave Chapelle

3. “Blue Hunnidz” ft. Amerikas Addiction

4. “Level Up”

5. “YEA HO!” ft. Pizzle

6. “LiT” ft. Ray Rizzy & Baby Drew

7. “Wut I’m On” ft. K.E.

8. “#FLEEK” ft. Amerikas Addiction

YL64 – “the dark side has cookies”

Band : , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Title : the dark side has cookies
Release Date : February 17, 2016

YL64 debuted his first full length. The emcee is a fan of Star Wars and sweet desserts – not your typical rapper shit. YL64 needs to practice his flow more but I like his alternative direction. The roster on [the dark side has cookies] is pretty dope too, and includes Dee Phr3sh, Mike Regal and Tito The Scumbag. The Mil can’t be stopped.

3rd Dimension – “Just Lust” EP

Band : , , , , , ,
Title : Just Lust
Release Date : February 14, 2016

Forget love, 3rd Dimension believes in Just Lust. Check out Mad City’s coldest group, as they deliver line after line on their latest lady-centric EP. This is “Stain” music – vivid story lines over cocoa-smooth instrumentals. This is romance for Hip Hop fans. And while they dropped the EP on Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2016), 3rd is really looking for this kinda love year round.

A few of these guys live at their stu in downtown Madison. I visited in December and distinctly remember seeing a couple females there. These weren’t the typical bustdowns that Madison rappers usually stay with, either. These were upper echelon females. In other words, I can vouch for this player shit. While 3rd’s music won’t get you laid directly, it does provide the ambiance that a young king needs to make that move. Things Have Changed.

Reeks on “Keys”:

“You was right every night, need Gladys
And you can be my black Kate Upton
Always when it come to leaving, I can’t leave her alone
I’ma dreamer, you’re like Nina Simone
Evidently, all I see are the signs
Love is blind and I can’t see where I’m going”

Sunny Woodz – “Sunny Side Up”

Chicago Emcee, DJ and Engineer Sunny Woodz drops the Sunny Side Up joint with a stacked tracklist, showing what true Hip Hop collaboration really looks like (February 15, 2016). This is fire for your sessions. Bless. See the “Roots” visual too.

Taylor J – “Before The Wake Up” EP

Band : , , , ,
Title : Before The Wake Up
Release Date : February 10, 2016

Taylor J debuted Before The Wake Up according to plan (February 10, 2016). The St. Paul, Minnesota emcee tells an interesting story on the latest EP. The 1991 tape was poppier, this is all serious. Taylor J has an ear for composing full records of a wide range. More than anything though, the artist’s visual game is A1. Play through the “Proud” and “Side Effects” videos. Ain’t many in the country putting out quality productions as consistently.

On “Yea Yea,” he says:

“A quarter million on the table a change a nigga views
10K on machine guns a change a nigga shoes
The bag still in traffic, a nigga ain’t got shit to do
I might well bet some money on sumn, see if I can lose”

Damir Balo – “Stream of Consciousness”

Band :
Title : Stream of Consciousness
Release Date : February 8, 2016
Label :

Damir Balo can’t stop his Stream of Consciousness (February 8, 2016). We could all learn from artists like him. Many talk about how natural their flow is… Where is the music? This talented rapper-producer keeps it moving but also has the mind for concept records. See his last two projects – Chasing Forever 5 and Bread N Water 2. He doesn’t have the studio sound but he does he need it?

This is Hip Hop – off top and self-produced. Damir Balo can lace the quick freestyles, and he had a deep catalogue before he deleted his archive. Stream of Consciousness is more calculated. He recently spoke in detail about the project and his direction with Basement Made. The artist’s favorite record on the tape is “Goodnight,” a Kanye-influenced record. He says the whole tape acts as a “Kanye troll,” or a parody of the Chicago-raised mogul.

This is why we connected. Whether it’s on the street, underground or conscious level, Damir Balo is Basement Made. I see the artistry but I also need to see work. This emcee is pushing. “Just to show how much I love music,” he says. “I don’t really think about politics”. He’ll release music if he wants to, without thinking too much about the current trends. Oh, and he recorded this entire project in one night.

The Atlanta-born rapper-producer has been in The Mil for a minute but he’s still looking to get more involved with the local scene – particularly with shows. The eclectic artists of Cream City are finally coming together and Balo will be amongst the popular kids soon. Stay woke. His team WeRTheLost (Damir Balo, Bili Ro$e, Jon Briggz) will make sure of that.

Production credits: “Me me me me me,” the artist says.

Trapo – “SHE EP”

Band : , , , ,
Title : SHE EP
Release Date : March 26, 2016
Label :

The Madison-raised artist does this one for the ladies (March 26, 2016). Trapo tells stories of his women, alcohol and trap ways on the 9-track EP.

Derrick Thomas handles production. Smooth vibes and organic drums. Like his debut, Trapo keeps it tight on features. The soulful young man recruits Meraki, theMind and Max Wonders for the project.

Trapo blends his rapping and singing tastefully throughout the expertly-arranged project. He did it on “Never Run”, “She Moved On” and “Prototype.” Never too much of either style, and always matching the mood of the music.

After “Act II,” the project takes a turn to a few different sounds. “Cruise Control” record is Interstate music, “Chicago” is for the club. Want sumn jiggy, try “Special Therapy”. My favorite record on here is “Marry”. Straight butter.

Go play Trapo’s breakout tape The Black Beverly Hills EP after this.

Premiered on HotNewHipHop.


Trapo - SHE EP tracklist cover art


1. Never Run
2. She Moved On 2
3. Prototype ft. Max Wonders
4. Act II
5. Cruise Control
6. Special Therapy ft. theMIND
7. Marry ft. Meraki
8. The Function
9. Chicago

Alternate art:Trapo - SHE EP cover art 2Trapo - SHE EP cover art

Eryn Allen Kane – “Aviary: Act II” EP

Band :
Title : Aviary: Act II
Release Date : February 1, 2016

The gorgeous Eryn with the silky butter voice returns with the sequel to Aviary. She, like myself, went with the number 1 on Act 1, like my Chapter 1, and the roman numeral II for Act II with the second, like my Chapter II. They love number games. We love talent and authenticity. I enjoy this EP. She got me thinking about my past. I enjoy looking at her photos too. Detroit player.

Big Daddy Earl – “Purpose of Man”

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Title : Purpose of Man
Release Date : October 23, 2015
Label :

Big Daddy Earl is a central leader for AFGM. I spoke to the emcee regarding the beginnings of AFGM. We also spoke about his recent album. The Madison, Wisconsin spits a few punchlines, explains what motivates him, but doesn’t shy away from his problems. “Whether it’s working, taking care of your parents, your kids, going to college, getting yourself right,” Earl delivers knowledge for everyone.

Earl has the best in local production on The Purpose of Man – Scattered Brains, THP, Victory and Quaibozz all blessed the album. The Mad City artist also heads Montsta Click, with artists Jay Jupiter, Castro, Derek John and THP. He has a passion for turning up as well. Big Daddy Earl was headed to open mic at Marty’s Comedy Club after leaving my spot in Hollywood.

No stream. Go cop.

Big Daddy Earl - Purpose of Man tracklist cover art

Damir Balo – “Bread N Water 2”

Band :
Title : Bread N Water 2
Release Date : January 18, 2016
Label :

Damir Balo is one of the hardest working emcees in the state. He’s a skilled emcee and producer too, which is what makes his projects so special. He can knock out a project like this in no time but he still puts some effort into developing the concept on each record. The mixing is rough but he’ll figure that out. He kinda sounds like Kdot a little bit.

From “Questions”:

“I can feel the hate, I can feel your energy
Mixing with my synergy
I can feel the devil in me and the rumbling
Screaming “fuck the peeps, fuck the police
I get brand new haters every week
I got fans that’s really geeked
Off of every song, every leak
Every post, every Tweet”

Tito The Scumbag – “Laced With The Scum EP (Vol. 1)”

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Title : Laced With The Scum EP (Vol. 1)
Release Date : January 28, 2016

Tito The Scumbag dropped sumn scummy tonight (January 28, 2016). The grimy Brew City rapper keeps an experimental nature on Laced With The Scum and it works for him. I like where Tito’s music is heading. His beats are all over the place on Vol. 1 but he finds a way to match up his flow on each of Weekend’s beats. Dee Phr3sh pops in for a feature too. This is just the first EP of seven he’s dropping this year. Here’s Sleep Walker: The EP from last year. Keep up, Tito is set up for a big year. Hippy Trap.

“Bitch I’m tryna feed my muthafuckin family”

Mixed by Mammyth.

Cinco – “Dancing With My Demons” EP

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Title : Dancing With My Demons
Release Date : January 24, 2016

Cinco pressed his Dancing With My Demons EP yesterday (January 25, 2016). The Jon Bellion-enthusiast has a poppier sound than the rest of the Milwaukee scene, although the “Gotham” joint kinda goes. Check back soon for my thoughts on the self-proclaimed “recording artist, producer, and all-around entertainer.”

Premiered by UpcomingHipHop.

ICE – “Melancholy” EP

Band :
Label :

This Mad City artist reps ATM but also takes pride in his Italian ancestry (January 25, 2016). Ian Christopher Evans – also known as producer XYZ or rapper ICE Borealis – split his time between the homeland and Madison growing up. The nomadic artist developed an alternative perspective on bumpy road to the present but he’s always had music in his life. ICE Borealis is Wisco cold on his debut EP. This is music of Melancholy.

“If it wasn’t for Hip-Hop I wouldve been just another lost soul.”

ICE wasn’t born into Hip Hop, he was born into music. “Music has always been a part of my life, even before Hip Hop came in the picture,” he told me in an exclusive interview. “My father is a musician and was a part of many bands when he was younger. My uncle taught me the basics of playing the piano when I was 6.”

However, after the multi-instrumentalist in XYZ moved to The States, he caught the rap flow for good. “When I moved to Madison, I learned English listening to Nas, Eminem, Big Pun, Big L, AZ, Jay Z, Canibus, etc.” he explained. “I have been making beats, writing songs and recording myself since I was 12.” Originally, he thought that 90’s Boom Bap was the only way to go. Then he flipped the switch and caught some flavor from Reggae, Soul, Funk and Electronic too. You’ll hear it all on his latest.

“Looking back at all my work there is one element that hasn’t faded away through out these years – Melancholy.”

The ATM team is critical. ATM (Addicted To Music) is composed of intricate lyricist and cinematographer Arcani, innovative producer and director FromUpThaStreet, and producer-emcee ICE Borealis. I’ve linked with all three and they all speak about music in a special way. Even though they’re going through the stuggle, they always put out an inspiring message.

ATM is gloomy but intelligent, and definitely intriguing. “I would say my main goal is to bring people together, make them think about what’s really important in life and what’s not,” he told me. “I’d like to provoke people to reflect and question things or ideas that are thrown at us everyday by society, religions, corporations and governments.” Powerful words from a young mogul. His raps are calculated and intelligent but also dark.

“Most of the community isn’t familiar with Hip Hop or even recognize it.”

Mad City is like no other city in America. The Badger culture is strong but the people are struggling. Folks are honest, tough and committed to work, but also creative and progressive. Madison cats will enlighten you, then turn you the fuck up. Madison is too big to be a college town though, and too small to be Milwaukee, Minneapolis or Chicago. This attracts transplants from out of state suburbs – who bring in daddy’s money.

Madison has a flagship college but Wisconsin is a working class state. We need financial support from elsewhere to keep up with the neighbors, which unfortunately, often leaves our culture split and misunderstood. Incoming students and young professionals would rather see Pop or EDM artists instead of Hip Hop. Local rappers need that out-of-state financial support to survive. Hip Hop is thus compartmentalized and seen as a racial or class battle to many, instead of being a widely accepted form of music.

“I think there are more artists and there is more love from people now because they are starting to believe in us”

The Wisconsin music scene is currently divided but has always been brilliant. The older generations of Wisconsin were masters of Classical and Polka. Then we moved into Jazz and Blues. Waukesha’s Les Paul essentially invented Rock & Roll. Since, we’ve fostered huge Hard Rock, Folk and Country scenes. Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins used to record in Madison. Eau Claire’s Bon Iver created the modern Folk sound. We are festival country.

Madison, Wisconsin has already claimed its place. The Hip Hop scene has been picking up speed for several years and it’s about to pop soon. Artists like ICE will eventually be recognized for projects similar to this Meloncholy EP. His reflective nature and hunger for knowledge speak to the cold but deranged scene in Mad City.

Baby Shel – “Baby Shel’s World”

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Title : Baby Shel's World
Release Date : January 25, 2016
Label : ,

Baby Shel hails from Red Lake, Minnesota. The talented Native emcee snaps on Baby Shel’s World. The title track is a BANGER. Shel reminds me of Tech N9ne at times. Also see the Soulo project.

“Headband on me like I’m Rondo
I got like 10 bands on me, get it pronto
I put in work, work every single time
Pay me what I’m worth, worth man this Earth is mine”

Ike – “I Know Everything”

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Title : I Know Everything
Release Date : January 15, 2016
Label :

Ike is bold. According to his latest mixtape title, he knows everything. I don’t know if he knows everything but I can say the artist has two things for sure – the grind and the plugs in the local scene. The Madison, Wisconsin emcee has the full court press locked in and his Cash Cartel team is ready. Ike grabbed Smoke, Brizzle, Cash Moody and Malik on this one. He just remixed “White Iverson”.

Ike - I Know Everything tracklist cover art

Scattered Brains – “The Instrumentals Vol 2”

Band :
Title : The Instrumentals Vol 2
Release Date : January 21, 2016
Label :

AFGM in-house producer Scattered Brains unleashed The Instrumentals Vol 2 today and it’s gorgeous (January 21, 2016). The Wisconsin artist mainly produces for the clique, although he’s selling off this entire collection. One of the most original and dynamic producers in The Midwest, Scattered Brains aka Vaughn Freitag goes from the utmost Grime to the lightest of Jazz on the latest. He’s the best in the city and has had a big hand in shaping the local sound with Chaos NewMoney. The composer is low key but never lacking in new merch. With a few more placements, this producer-engineer will be everywhere.

Look out for some Clifton Beef x Scattered Brains madness in the near future… Go cop some for you too.

Clifton Beef – “Chapter II: The Hustle” EP

Band : , ,
Title : Chapter II: The Hustle
Release Date : January 15, 2016
Label :

I was trained to grind. My parents put me in basketball and football at a young age, so I’ve always been about The Hustle. Then I took to the streets, working in whatever way I could to one up the next kid. After I turned 16, I landed my first job as a stock boy in the backroom of Target. From there, I finessed my way into white collar jobs by way of the grind and calculated power moves.

For those that don’t know, there is no entertainment industry or money in Wisconsin. Since moving to California, I’ve realized how hard we need to grind in The Midwest to reach any level of success. Allow me to share my journey with you. This 4-track project is the first of many themed EP’s to come off of the full Chapter II: Double Major album. Go play the videos for “Oh Lord” and “Off Papers”.

Compete. Hustle. No Excuses.

Released on January 15, 2016.

Lil Bibby – “FC3: The Epilogue” Release Date, Cover Art

Band :
Title : FC3: The Epilogue
Release Date : February 5, 2016

Bibby is set to unleash his debut album FC3: The Epilogue on February 5, 2016. Lil Bibby took off with the rest of the Chicago Drill scene in 2012 and many have been patiently waiting for is debut. Yesterday (January 13), the rapper dropped his newest video for a tough “Can’t Trust A Soul” anthem. Here’s the Free Crack 3 mixtape too.

He has the story but does he have the music?

Ra’Shaun – “Orange Wall EP” Cover Art

Band :

Ra’Shaun has a new melody for Madison, Wisconsin. The artist with the catchy runs announced that he’ll be releasing a shorter Orange Wall EP before the ParkST project – which the emcee tells me will now be a full mixtape. Ra’Shaun typically raps and sings about the many women in his life, although he is known to hit the streets as well. He’s known to freestyle, so I expect a lot of new material this year from the Midwest lyricist.

Ra’$haun runs through this recent “See You Callin” like he did to the previous “Almost Here”.

Hakeem Paragon – “SLEEP GOOD?”

Band :
Release Date : January 9, 2016

Hakeem Paragon of Milwaukee, Wisconsin debuted a chill instrumental album today (January 9, 2015). “Sleep Good” and “If The Fire Fades” have me in the zone right now. Night night.

Kanye West – “The Life of Pablo”

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Title : The Life Of Pablo
Release Date : February 14, 2016
Label :

Kanye West is loco for The Life of Pablo. He started with So Help Me God, then he moved onto the correct title SWISH, but was later sidetracked into WAVES. This sparked a historically petty Twitter arguement with Wiz Khalifa. Wiz said that “the wave” belonged to Max B, and it turns out Kanye agreed to a certain extent. Taylor Gang and Amber Rose stepped in on the drama. See the images below for the old cover art, tracklist and Khalifa bashing.

The music is good, although Ye is suspiciously vulturistic again on this album. He recruited Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Rihanna, Frank Ocean, Kirk Franklin, Chris Brown, Young Thug, Kid Cudi, Chance The Rapper, Sia, Post Malone, Ty Dolla $ign, Vic Mensa and Future-imitator Desiigner for features.

1. “Ultralight Beam” ft. Chance the Rapper & Kirk Franklin
2. “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” ft. Kid Cudi
3. “Pt. 2” ft. Desiigner
4. “Famous” ft. Rihanna
5. “Feedback”
6. “Low Lights”
7. “Highlights” ft. Young Thug
8. “Freestyle 4” ft. Desiigner
9. “I Love Kanye”
10. “Waves” ft. Chris Brown
11. “FML” ft. The Weeknd
12. “Real Friends” ft. Ty Dolla $ign
13. “Wolves” ft. Frank Ocean & Caroline Shaw
14. “Silver Surfer Intermission”
15. “30 Hours”
16. “No More Parties in LA” ft. Kendrick Lamar
17. “Facts” (Charlie Heat Version)
18. “Fade” ft. Post Malone & Ty Dolla $ign

Jr Weise – “Mixed Boy Chronicles Volume Two”

Band :

Jr Weise is straightforward with the flow at times, at others he’s more commercial. Either way he goes, the Wisconsin-raised rapper and singer has elevated to a new level. The Wisconsin rapper cleaned up the flow from One and swept through the set of instrumentals on Mixed Boy Chronicles Volume Two.

Government name Jacob Weisenburger finds a hard time fitting in, being a mixed gay man with bleach blonde hair. For that, he speaks to the harsh reality of the world from a different perspective. Jr is also from Wisco, which is a bitter-sweet blessing in that there is less opportunity but more love. The rapper stands for the people, equality and progress and takes time to get bopped like back home too.

The skinny tattooed artist has conquered a lot to find a spot in Hollywood and I see him going much further with some direction. We went to the same school but we never connected until I moved out to LA in April of last year. After getting into the studio a couple times, we connected on “Old Thompson & Marb Reds”. I saw how quick Jr Weise is with the pen and how he can hop on virtually any beat with ease.

The versatile emcee can switch up the flow – he’s talented – he just needs a producer to bring together a completed sound for the next tape. Whether it’s Chronicles Three or off in a new direction, Jr Weise just needs the right collaboration.

From “My Niggas” :

“This for my niggas paying bills instead of popping tags
The ones that live that struggle gotta hustle every day
You early for your check, but late to the bank
Your legs are getting cut cause that bill ain’t getting paid”

Allan Kingdom – “Northern Lights”

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Title : Northern Lights
Release Date : January 6, 2016

Allan Kingdom created his own sound for Northern Lights. He brought Hip Hop and Folk together with a nerdy flow and a folksy way of singing, fitting the two seemingly contrasting styles together more beautifully than one would ever expect. Yesterday (January 6, 2016), the emcee went Minnesota weird with his latest album.

The artist was born and raised in a cold, serious environment Up Nort – many miles from the rest of the cities in The Midwest. The St. Paul, Minnesota artist had no choice but to find a new angle, even coming from the more unknown side of the Twin Cities. Minneapolis has had Rhymesayers since the mid-90s but the other half wasn’t popping until Thestand4rd dropped in 2014.

In 2014, Kingdom became part of one of the most talented teams in the country. With Spooky Black, Bobby Raps and Psymun on the team, the group together goes in a more R&B direction than Northern Lights, but they work together on everything. The lows will be the most ominous on one joint and then switch up to the utmost funkiness on faster tracks. The Stand4rd is creative with the drums, beeps and boops. They always grab a bright sample to bring the Soul in the mix out too. The group is on a new wave Hip Hop / Folk fusion.

Allan Kingdom is more into rap. He has a hard Midwest flow with somber undertones – like he’ll be out committing sins to repent them in church the following Sunday. Get turnt to “The Ride” and “Monkey See”. Fade into “Fables” and “Hypocrite” with an open mind. Then play “Northern Lights”, “Disconnect” and “I Feel Ya” a few times back.

The Minnesota artist has his own thing popping and this album shows that. He has a huge range on the project. His flow is smart and his singing is on a new wave. The production is always on sumn weird. Coming from a cold city in The North, Kingdom will bring people together with his brilliant music, regardless of where they’re from.

Allan Kingdom - Northern Lights tracklist cover art

Sincere Life – “King Poetic Vol. I”

Today (January 6, 2016), Sincere Life unpacked his novel of King Poetic Vol. I. The rapper spent some time with this one. The meticulous artist runs through The Volume with precision, leaving little room for the competition.

The emcee is gifted lyrically. He paints a memorable picture with many words on every verse of King Poetic Vol I. He was cold on the Write Of Passage EP too. This is nothing new. His beat selection and mixing is all over, which makes the project dynamic but also hard to follow at times. Overall, Sincere Life kills on this. The artist hits a lot of flows and proves that he just needs a consistent producer to put together polished albums.

The rapper is one of the first serious Chicago rappers that I heard in concert in Madison, Wisconsin. For a long time, Chicago emcees wouldn’t come up for shows. Twista performed many times, but other than him there weren’t many. Sincere Life has been in the area for a while now. He along with F. Stokes were a couple of the first to offer a more smooth vibe from the Chicago perspective. It’s been 2 years since his last but the emcee is back with a new energy.

Sincere Life on “Lo Lyfe Illuminati”:

“Some imitating their grin, that shit ain’t worth mentioning
I’m Sincere Life and anything else is a synonym
My flow so tight, still not as tight as their denim is
And I’m dope no vice, somehow my efforts are sedative”


MoBo The Great – “Fuck The Public”

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Title : Fuck The Public
Release Date : June 5, 2015

MoBo The Great is one of my favorite rising rappers out of Chicago. The young artist is grown for her young age, putting together a full project with only one feature. MoBo puts out a loud message to society on Fuck The Public (June 16, 2015). Premiered via Complex, the artist is ready to pop.

MoBo starts the 11-track project with a pair of cool records produced by The Gift. At the end of the first, she drops an audio clip from Jay-Z. See, the rapper originally came up off of an opening performance for Jigga. “You just told your whole entire life story, huh?” says the legendary businessman in the sample. “I love you.” As the tracks fades out, I’m hopeful going into the second.

MoBo needs to practice her double time flow. The second track throws me off because MoBo’s off beat on her verses. This is a theme throughout. Her bars are on point but she needs to find her space, or maybe stay on the slower joints like “Heaven”.

I wasn’t sold until I talked to her. See, I respect MoBo as an artist. She has grown ass bars but her flow had me off. After chopping it up about the project, I saw that the “Pimparachi” was dope in a different way (August 5, 2015).

“Passive hating keep me plowing through this massive city
Half the niggas that was with me never seen a giant”

MoBo The Great got Martin $ky, Katie Got Bandz, OGWebbie and BJ The Chicago Kid on here – all whom I’ve covered before. Keep your eyes open for CSick and Von Vuai. The production on “The Keez” and “Great” is beautiful. The artist knows how to put together a Hip Hop record.

The rapper told me she wants to be seen for her artistry, rather than her looks. MoBo or Monique Burrell is a female rapper, and if ya look at most of the other successful female Hip Hop acts, they are usually naked or damn near when performing. Instead of exposing her body for attention, this rapper relies less on Instagram and more on talent in her craft.

And I can see men clicking away from this page as they read this. Even in 2016, this concept is still ahead of its time – working women. Covering up makes it harder for the female artist in a Hip Hop industry run by men, but someone has to be the first. MoBo’s rapping ain’t at the top yet but she is a part of a recent crowd of talented female Midwest emcees – Def Loaf, Tink, Katie Got Bandz and Sasha Go Hard. She fits more into that group of emcees than the Pop oriented market in other parts of the country.

I fuck with smart women – expecially smart black women – and I know if MoBo cleans up her flow a little more, her raps will take her as far as she wants to go. She’s a cut above the rest in an alternative way and has the mind and the drive to be one of the best.

On “The Keez”, the emcee flows:

“That mean I gotta go shine
I’m about my money like the Sean’s
And my mom just bought a new salon
One day I’ma have my own garage”

J.J. Jabber – “[Insert Title Here]” EP

Band : ,
Title : [Insert Title Here]
Release Date : January 1, 2016
Label :

J.J. Jabber is a threat. The Milwaukeeland producer-emcee mixes Hip Hop with Rock to create an unmatched twisted Metal sound on his debut EP. While the Grime style has been in The Midwest for a minute, Jabber comes at the records in an even more widely appealing sense on [Insert Title Here]. Tech 9 nem birthed the Midwest Grime but there have been few standouts to follow up until now.

We kicked off the #JabberSeason promo with a deadly “[Girl Next Door]” record that sounded like a walk to the electric chair. The follow up hit just as hard. Jabber smacked the “[White Collar]” beat with a K Dot flow. “Come up round n get lit”, he repeated in that high and tight intonation that we’ve all come to appreciate. Then of course we premiered “[Patterns]” right here on da Basement Made site. The emcee is good at mixing other styles with his own. “I learned all I know from my headphones”, he raps.

No features necessary. This is one of the best produced albums I’ve ever heard outta The 4. Mammyth mixed it. I want to hear the artist rap more about himself, though. There are a lot of general ideas going on here, not enough on his personal experiences.

This EP is for anyone who has been stuck on the seesaw their entire life. Teetering on the edge of sanity, blinded by perfectionism and self-doubt. While those aspects of my life have been overwhelmingly prominent, I combat my downfall through a confident approach, shown specifically through my art”.

Premiered by Earmilk, who came out with “There is not a lot that I can say about J.J. at the moment, honestly”. And these people call themselves journalists…

Ar Wesley – “Time Is Millmatic” EP

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Title : Time Is Millmatic
Release Date : December 30, 2015
Label :

Ar Wesley took the gloves off. He’s been going with a “Midwest Coastin” style for a while. These stories are for the kids, though. The Rebel Nxtion artist, who was a part of the “Youth Rule Benefit Concert” in November, speaks a truth that we can all learn from on the Time Is Millmatic EP.

The rapper-singer hits a few different flows on “Here iGO”. He works seamlessly with Mike Regal too, coming with a spit-in-ya-face energy at first, and then switching it up to a Bone Thugs type bridge over the mechanical instrumental. Von bodied his verse too.

Ar Wesley slows it down on the haunting Hakeem Paragon-production, saying “What you thought, that I wouldn’t have nothing to say, cause I don’t PMS on Twitter like a bitch every day?” Damnnnnn

The emcee features Reggie Bonds on the final record – a “Knock The Hustle” remix they’re calling “No Happy Endings”. Both emcees have been cooking up quality music but this record really ties together their purpose – to improve the lives of those in their community. A middle finger to anyone that doesn’t support that.


“Drowning in shame, watching tears get lost in the rain
Seeing dad beating my mother, filled my heart with this rage
It’s deep, with this pen, I draw back and shoot the world with this anger
Niggas keep saying, ‘bro you gotta just take it’
What would you do?
When momma is piss poor but still laughing
Or your niece is sex educated but failed Spanish”


“I gave you dope for the pain, now I present the cure
Plus 30 keys more, if ya down with that
A role model wouldn’t even come around with that
And I got the nerve to try to serve it out to the youth
Right now it’s only a point, I’ll take you down to the root
Every boss take a loss, I’ll show ya how to recoup
The only difference is I’m cooking all my crack in the booth”

Mike Regal – “I N T U I T I O N S”

Band : , ,
Title : I N T U I T I O N S
Release Date : December 25, 2015

Someone king the man!! Mike Regal is focused and now branching out to different sides of Hip Hop – INTUITIONS. The producer-emcee has had that Jazz and Jack Flow coursing through his veins for a minute – and that’s definitely his bread n butter – but after hearing the Fort Minor-esque “Traveler”, Jon Bellion-influenced “Gotham”, and now this uptempo I N T U I T I O N S tape he dropped yesterday (December 25), I’m convinced the multi can finesse his way into the industry.

1. “Rumor Has It”

Wobbly and ominous, like one just hit the lick and is now crossing the lake to the safe house. At 1:36, you pull up at the dock, walk inside and unload the bag on the counter. When the beat comes back in at 1:56, you celebrate with bottles and voluptuous women.

2. “Sail Boat”

Regal comes in with the “Ironside” sample at :08 – the one that Southside so much loves and enjoys. As the intro talks about the art of sampling, it should be clear that the artist looks to mix the old and the new. “Alota times you can just hear like a ‘hey’, or sum like that, and want to use it, you know?” Simple, yet that idea is one element of Hip Hop that builds a timeless community.

3. “HighWay”

Interstate music. I’m on cruise control in my own lane, so stay in yours type shit.

4. “F E E L”

The sample at the top says: “If I’m not diggin it, it ain’t shit”. Then the beat drops into some real jiggy shit. This uptempo record surprised me but I could definitely see people Summertime cooling or Salsa dancing to it.

5. “s o u l”

If I had to pick a favorite, this is it. This joint reminds me of a DJ Pain 1 cut, only more soulful and less grimy. Just beautiful. I picture the artist on signing day, with his ride-or-die right beside him. She stayed with him, through the thick and the thin, and now they both know it was all worth it.

Thank you for the Christmas present Mike Regal. And by the way, when I say multi, I’m just shortening multi-talented to invent a name for artists working on more than one craft. That deserves attention. I fucking hate it when writers try n box me into one thing – to low key slight me or for whatever the reason – so I made up a word to show love to other skilled artisans in the same boat.

Hakeem Paragon on the art.

Tall – “All Kingz”

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Title : No Good Good Guy
Release Date : December 23, 2015

Tall Paul of the Southside of Minneapolis, Minnesota goes full Midwest King on the No Good Good Guy album. This is lyrical gold. The Native emcee has some creative flows too. Chopper.

“But I ain’t buying my recluse
I study the books and then pick em apart
Now why… by coppas with choppers and stick em apart
They knock us and lock us and dig us apart, and grave us and blame us victims at start
But it’s up to me to study for me, to rebuttal these… to give we a spark
The rhythm and heart is the beat of the drum, when it’s unified, then…
Unified once… make them twiddle their thumbs without picking up guns”

Defcee – “Damn Near Grown”

Defcee impresses on his second full-length solo project (December 14, 2015). At first listen, Damn Near Grown is one of the most complete albums I’ve heard this year. For more on the Chicago-based First Wave alumnus, read my last post on his “Pleasantville II” cut.

F. Stokes – “A Princess Named Leroy” EP

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Title : A Princess Named Leroy
Release Date : February 11, 2015

F. Stokes was one of the first emcees from Madison, Wisconsin that I really respected on an artistic level. His style is different and he goes at each track like a poet, not thinking about the hook and bridge as much as the overall feel of the record. Stokes puts on a real communal type of show too, which is something that’s becoming more and more rare among rap acts. The “My Simple” artist keeps it friendly but doesn’t shy away from his rough upbringing. He wants what’s best for everyone, especially the kids. Man Mantis on the beats.

Lean Beatz – “Apparently 2” EP

Band : ,
Title : Apparently 2
Release Date : December 14, 2015

How Lean Beatz cleaned up his flow in just a couple months is beyond me. The beats have been cold but the other side of the artist really came out swinging on the newest (December 14, 2015). Them first three records are my favorite. The “Outro” is beast too. Lean is good as incorporating haunting sounds into the Trap mix. This is late December music. Pizzle mixed it.

“It’s Lean bitch!”

Lean Beatz - "Apparently 2" EP tracklist cover art

Clifton Beef – “Chapter II: Double Major”

Each part of the Chapter II concept album fits into the story like a novel. Each line, each verse composes a narrative from my life. There are many different pieces to this puzzle. Rappers would call these projects EP’s. The first EP – called The Hustle – dropped on January 15, 2016. The next came a month later, called The Fall In. Following the tape for the ladies, Beef released The Depression in April and The Bars in June. After finishing up some crazy shit in California, I released my debut book Why Wisconsin Voted For Donald Trump: The Coastie Privilege, dipped from Mexico, and arrived back in Wisco to drop the full Double Major album, while homeless, and writing my second book – The Life of Cliff G: Dog. Then, I dropped the rest of the EP’s in the first week of July 2017 – The Fall Out, The Producer, The Move Out West, The Home State and The Remixes – completing Double Major on July 5.

I’m not gonna tell ya what Double Major means exactly, because it’s in the music. This is my life… The central message is that I recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a double major, while handling a labyrinthine set of personal circumstances at the same time.

I started out in the arts writing poetry, so finessing a little flow is no problem. I can outrap most major label artists no problem. Understand that this is not about rap, though. I create music first n foremost so that I don’t go completely fucking mental. Secondly, I do it for the squad. Even in the Midwest, Wisconsinites are outcast as drug abusing hicks. So this is for home too, this is for everyone that gets cast aside. On God, I will bring the industry to Wisconsin. This is my autobiography though and I can’t really speak for anyone but myself at the end up the day. I can only keep it Basement Made.

The Hustle

The Fall In

The Depression

The Bars

The Fall Out

The Move Out West

The Producer

The Home State

The Remixes

Tre Creamer – “2AM” Release Date, Cover Art

Band :
Title : 2AM
Release Date : January 15, 2016
Label :

Tre Creamer is about the big picture. The rapper-singer came up in Mad City, rapped and hooped for a minute, but now he’s committed to the club sound. We heard it on the “Off My Mind” premiere and again this “Nothin On You” record.

I asked Tre Creamer – formerly Tre Money – about the title. He said, 2AM is when I was up stressing or making a run or just in the studio or working”. Tre will be going in “from love to the streets to family issues” on the upcoming release. He has the hometown support of Jerome Romey (Get Rich Records) now too, which is a good plug for the indie talent.

Tre Creamer originally planned to drop 2AM on January 15, 2016.

Martin $ky – “3milli” EP (Instrumental)

Band :
Title : 3milli (Instrumental)
Release Date : November 27, 2015

Martin $ky uncovered the 3milli EP today (November 27, 2015) as a gift to his fans for helping him reach the 3,000,000 play benchmark on SoundCloud. The new wave Chicago rapper-producer keeps it noticeably more happy-sounding on this project than his previous grimy Everywhere But Here EP. This beat tape is different but I fuck with it, especially “Palm Tree Emoji” and “A GOOD TRIP”.

Dad – “Father Figure” EP

Band : , ,
Title : Father Figure
Release Date : December 6, 2015
Label :

UPDATE: Dad contacted me on da book because this piece “doesn’t represent [him] correctly” (June 20, 2016). The emcee deleted his old profile, so there’s no trace of his previous comments, but now assures the following:

The part about me proclaiming to be a role model to urban youth… I don’t think I ever worded it like that at all and it’s pretty cringey… I think I said something along the lines but definitely was worded differently… Definitely never called myself a role model dude… And you said self proclaimed as if I said that… I said something about giving advice to my younger friends not about being a role model to inner city kids or whatever, so it’s just about how you worded it I guess… I don’t want kids to follow in my footsteps I want them to learn from my mistakes like a true dad ya feel me, no role model here.”

This Milwaukee, Wisconsin based emcee loves that H Town sound. He hits with a leaned out flow and Mammyth mixes his records in the Chopped n Screwed fashion. Dad has the right voice for it too. His laid-back vibes are a saucy change of pace for Cream City.

When we spoke at the end November, Dad said “I was just meant to be dad man it chose me I didn’t choose it”. The emcee proclaims himself a role model for the urban youth of Milwaukee, although judging off all the people calling him Dad, it’s hard to tell who chose who.

The Brew City living, Houston-influenced emcee dropped Father Figure EP according to plan on December 6. The rapper has a couple more projects on the way…

“Everyone needs a father figure”

Dad - Father Figure EP Cover ArtPremiered by Daily Chiefers.

Alex Wiley – “Village Party 2: Heaven’s Gate”

Band : , , , , ,
Title : Village Party 2: Heaven's Gate
Release Date : November 20, 2015
Label :

Alex Wiley has a new sound. The Chicago-born and bred em emcee cooks up a scintillating mix of Hip Hop, Jazz, EDM and Rock into the pot on Village Party 2: Heaven’s Gate. His production is sumn like Kid Cudi, only more tribal.

Alex cuts through the drugged out beats with ease. The rapper has this pitchy chopper flow that simply can’t be stopped. “Yung San Diego” has been on it for a minute but I do think he’s going a little more downtempo with it. Alex was more city before, whereas now he’s really embracing the hippy vibes in California.

I look forward to seeing where The Village 777 artist goes with the cross-genre experimentation next. For now, I’m lighting an L to this.

Damir Balo – “Chasing Forever 5”

Band : , ,
Title : Chasing Forever 5
Release Date : August 24, 2015
Label :

Keep your eyes on Damir Balo, The talented Milwaukee, Wisconsin Jack Rap emcee hits to his own beats and moves in his own way on Chasing Forever 5 (August 24, 2015).

It’s no secret that Midwest emcees flow better than anywhere else. From Twista to Bone Thugs, Tech N9ne to Eminem, we hold the crown. Jack Rap is just one of many flows that started in the area. Genesis Renji says it started in The Mil, while Balo is unsure. Actually, Balo and Earlly Mac sound alike at times, especially how Balo goes in on “IsWhat It Is”. With Detroit and Milwaukee sharing influence, I’d like to see the 414 chop with the 313.

The “talkative flow,” as he explained, is everywhere in the land. You can hear his straightforward style in his lyrics too, as the rapper-singer flips from thoughtful love songs to hyped up dance records throughout CF5. Instead of fabricating a persona, this artist vies to keep it genuine, and relies on his artistry instead of the material.

Damir Balo mixes the style from his hometown with the OVO brand. Ya might confuse one of his beats for 40’s. “I produced everything on the project,” he says. The artist goes with the Northern, ethereal Trap-R&B sound. Those creeping beats can be hard as hell to rap on too but Damir Balo can be smooth with the words. The emcee gives it his all, showing heart and range on “318 A.M Interlude” and “A Real Love Song(HER)”.

“I’m really just tryna to get more out in the scene,” he says. The Brew City talent dropped this Chasing Forever 5 project to showcase his in-house production but he ain’t stopping anytime soon. He revamped the mixtape series with the 5th installment and plans to unleash Chasing Forever 4 on his birthday – December 18, 2015. Damir Balo also claims he has an upcoming collaboration with Dana Coppafeel called “Rap Lords”.

The “I Need Yu” cut would get radio play if it sounded cleaner. His flow are too cold to have the mix clipping like that. I hate to say that but as we live in an indie rapper’s market in 2015, and we’re expected to do more than possible. That being said, Damir Balo hails from a place of struggle and he’s doing everything he can to stand outta the fray.

“We need more Hennessy, excuse my old tendencies
I don’t know what got into me
I don’t know why you was into me, I was lost”

Chaos NewMoney – “The Come Up” LP

Band : , , , , , , , , , ,
Title : The Come Up
Release Date : November 19, 2015
Label :

Chaos dropped The Come Up outta nowhere of course. The Mad City artist just released E2 back in September and he’s already back with another project (November 19, 2015). There will be no full mixtape stream because this is exclusive. The “Fatality” video is coming soon also. #GONE


Chaos NewMoney - The Come Up LP tracklist

Chaos NewMoney – “#E2 Ebola Part 2”

Band : , , , , , ,
Title : #E2 Ebola Part 2
Release Date : September 16, 2015
Label :

Chaos NewMoney embodies the wild side of Mad City. He’s loud, unpredictable and won’t hold back for none. The Madison, Wisconsin native dropped the second part of his Ebola series on September 16, 2015, showcasing his insane freestyle ability and auto tuned hooks.

Here, the emcee speaks out on the Tony Robinson murder with “Motivation”:

While the auto tune can overshadow the lyrics at times, Chaos is in the pocket – always. Whatever he ends up recording will sound good when it’s done. We talked about how he got to that level last year. “Honestly man, I think it’s the comfortability in my flow,” he said. “You can hear the growth in a lot of new artists, you can tell they was reading off paper”.

Also, the artist vibes with his engineer Scattered Brains on a different level. For the past few years, the two have been comfortable enough to drop a mixtape damn near every season.

Ebola Part 2 is a mix of hype and romance. The high energy emcee levels it up on this project too, adding more melody and structure to his unscripted style. This is only a collection of bangers, though. I can only imagine what he has planned for the debut album. AFGM or eat glass.


Chaos NewMoney ft. Swisher Sweez - #E2 Ebola Part 2 tracklist cover art


Band : , , , , ,
Release Date : November 10, 2015

YE Ali can sound like Kanye West, Bryson Tiller and Drake, but most importantly – himself. The rapper-singer split time between Chicago, Illinois and Hammond, Indiana growing up, giving him perspective. He also went to IU down in Bloomington for college. Listen to the talent tell his transplant stories on “PRIVATE SUITE 1,” as he just now moved to LA and he’s still feeling it out (November 10, 2015).

The well-rounded artist has seen the land of opportunity on the West Coast, though, and won’t be going to back to public housing if he can help it. Traphouse Jodeci coming soon. Watch the video for “Tingz” after the tape too.

“Everytime we fall out, I hope you still know it’s all love
And everytime we fall off, I just hope we remain friends”

Genesis Renji – “A Shot of Gen III” EP

Band : , , , , , , , ,
Title : A Shot Of Gen 3
Release Date : November 17, 2015
Label :

Genesis Renji is only 23 but already speaks like a veteran of Hip Hop. When I asked him about A Shot Of Gen 3, the Maryland-born, Milwaukee-based emcee said, “It’s just my 10,000 bars” (November 17, 2015). This is a dope EP by any standard, but that mindset – knowing ya gotta work for it – speaks to the quality coming outta the 414.

I had the chance to chop it up with Gen yesterday about the EP. The fluid emcee looks to “always be as versatile as possible,” and that shows through on this collection of bangers. Gen cites Lil Wayne, Eminem and Lupe Fiasco as major influences, and not for none, I think he can flip records with the best of em in 2015. The Young Casanova goes from a super lit “The Roof” all the way down to a smooth “Cassette Love” with Oshi. “Time Burton’s Wedding” stands out because of that dirty “Cry Me A River” sample, but then the rapper kills two bangers in a row until closing with an ambient “Rubbish” joint.

Gen’s execution is on point, which makes him seem more relatable than the average. I asked him what people like about Milwaukee rap and he said – “The authenticity”. Before it was “Jack Rap,” he explains. “That’s middle of Burleigh.” But now Detroit has claimed that flow for themselves, The Mil is on a new wave. According to Gen, all the scene needed was “the right light”. And although the rapper pays homage to The Chi – calling it “Mecca” – he assures Milwaukee has next year.

A Shot Of Gen 3 is the final installment in the series. Genesis Renji is already looking forward to a complete concept album next year. Also, look out for the “Tatted Up” video, coming soon to a video platform near you.

Genesis Renji - A Shot of Gen 3 EP tracklist back cover art

Eryn Allen Kane – “Aviary: Act 1” EP

Band :
Title : Aviary: Act 1
Release Date : November 16, 2015

Eryn Allen Kane, of the Eastside of Detroit, helped me out a lot with this beautiful project of sad songs. Though she might feel trapped in a birdcage, I’ve literally been trapped in firewalls, shocked and tortured inside walls that no one else could possibly understand. I love this EP, though. The North is in a renaissance. Who knows what they’re thinking… Let the birds sing. Eryn might be one of, if not my favorite, female singer right now.

Jean Deaux – “OUTER BODY” EP

Band : , , , ,
Title : Outer Body
Release Date : November 12, 2015
Label :

Jean Deaux is incredible on the OUTER BODY EP (November 12, 2015). Her voice is tantric, her mind woke as ever on the light 3-track project. But despite the Chicago-native seeing huge successes to this point, she still looks at her moves as splashes in the ocean. Jean Deaux on you heaux.

“I’m going in a spiral like… So I feel like I’m like here. And like… as time goes on I’ma get to this point but… You know? That’s how I see that shit in my head. So I’m like… I’m making these little waves right now but I gotta make every single wave count.”

Trebino – “#BinoBusiness”

Band : , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Title : #BinoBusiness
Release Date : September 17, 2015
Label :

Trebino has a nonstop flow. The Mad City Drill artist just dropped #BinoBusiness on September 17 but he’s keeping it mobile. Bino recently laced a tough visual treatment for the “Trappin n Rappin” standout (October 4, 2015) and has plenty more in the chamber. Today, I caught up with the emcee that can’t stop.

Bino linked up with Niko Money through his older brother. “That’s big bro,” he says. The artist wasn’t satisfied with the first video he did for this record so he re-shot it with the Camera God. The two are already looking forward to their next visual – “Familar”. According to Bino, “Trappin n Rappin” was more of a freestyle type video, whereas “Familar” will have more of a storyline.

Trebino reps 608 Music with Ra’Shaun, producer Xyz and engineer-rapper A.G. He’s also a hardworking student at Madison College. The book and street smart artist is axing beats to pieces, and he won’t be stopping anytime soon.

“I’ve been jugging off trapping and rapping
I don’t know what the fuck happened
I was off xani and she was off addy
She gave me brain and couldn’t stop like an addict
These niggas talking like they want the action
You come in our way, we can make this happen
I can’t be lacking, my bro got the ratchets
So I’m gonna relax with these hoes on my mattress”

Dana Coppafeel & Speak Easy – “#Raplords”

This might just be the soundtrack to your next kickback (November 10, 2015). The Cream City Uni-Fi Records collective winds back time on #RapLords, hitting their new school Milwaukee flows on the old school boom bap beats. The exception is “Ugly” – a muhfucking smacker. Dana Coppafeel and Speak Easy are a mean tag team.

“Uni-Fi Records
My team chasing paper, call us gang green
Standing ova, they should thank me
HNIC’s how they rank me”

Cardo – “Ocean Theory”

Band :
Title : Ocean's Theory
Release Date : November 10, 2015

Cardo dropped the smoothest of tapes yesterday (November 10, 2015). His Ocean Theory beat tape is so clean it’s got me wanting to go in right now on the Taylor Gang heat.

Anthony Lamarr – “Act Two: The Way of the World”

Band : , , , , , ,
Title : Act Two: The Way of the World
Release Date : October 11, 2012
Label :

The Madison R&B singer is a talented performer and offers a refreshingly spiritual voice to Hip Hop. Anthony Lamarr dropped Act Two: The Way of the World on October 11, 2012. Later, he would release the visuals for “Elevation” and “Fear”.

Make sure to watch his 2015 video for “I Can’t Breathe” too.

Von Alexander – “V O N”

Band : , , , , , ,
Title : V O N
Release Date : November 19, 2015

Von Alexander dropped V O N today (November 19), and it’s every bit as grimy as we wanted. Von used to go by Vonny Del Fresco but this artist has always had a way of bringing the sun down into the basement. Coming from the North Side of Milwaukee, life has been a real struggle for this young black male. This brilliant lyricist is finally getting some shine for his well polished records, though.

An emcee, a writer, a voice and a leader, Von wants people to look past physical appearances to see the more authentic parts of people. The artist has a bigger idea in mind than just rap. He lives in madness but knows that there is a better way.

The Cream City rapper is influenced by A Tribe Called Quest, N.E.R.D, Nas, Future, Toro y Moi and Bon Iver. Don’t expect the average, expect Von Alexander. He knows his sound too. “Dylan Graham was someone that hit me up. And I hit up DMND on my own,” he says. For “the most unplanned project [he’s] ever done,” this sounds pretty damn good. Especially since he just dropped another massive “Memoirs” album just a few months back.

Here’s a visual from last year:

His and my favorite record on V O N is “N O R T H”:

“I can’t even wear Jordans, these shoes are the reason that niggas are killing
It’s fucked up when your hero ain’t really your hero, you look at him different
Cause niggas die just wear your name, niggas die just to play your game
Niggas die just to get that fame, jumpman, jumpman, jumpman
My whole life, I’ve been on to something
My whole life, man they made assumptions”

Premiered by Mass Appeal.

Ra’Shaun – “ParkST EP” Release Date, Tracklist

Band : , , ,
Title : ParkST EP

Ra’Shaun rescheduled the release of the ParkST EP for “later on this year” (2016). After announcing the Orange Wall EP, he decided that this one will be a full mixtape. So far, the South Side Madison, Wisconsin artist is set to feature Trebino, Trapo and OG Esco on the project.

The auto-tuned rapper-singer debuted the visual for his buzzing “Deja Vu” single on October 30, 2015. Also see his “Drug of Choice” Basement Made PREMIERE with RED and Trapo.

Michael Medall – “Soul Purpose”

Band : , , , ,
Title : Soul Purpose
Release Date : April 21, 2014

The Madison, Wisconsin raised emcee is living for a higher meaning. At least he is when he ain’t getting T’d up. Medall can jump from emotional ode to club music on Soul Purpose, like many other Midwest artists have learned to do in the past. What makes him different is the overall message of peace and unity.

The rapper has toured around the Midwest, dropped several projects and created a couple clothing lines. Now, he lives in sunny Los Angeles. What will he do next?

Boathouse – “GIRL” EP

Band :
Title : GIRL
Release Date : October 28, 2015
Label :

Boathouse has become a household name in Chicagoland for his ability to adapt to many different sounds. Yesterday (October 29, 2015), the producer dropped a dedication EP to females called GIRL.

By default, the Closed Sessions artist goes with an electronic sound over organic Hip Hop drums. At times he’ll pull in samples or trap drums, but for the most part Boathouse sticks to his bright and poppy new age waves. Play GIRL and watch her clothes fall off, enthusiastically.

3rd Dimension – “Things Have Changed”

Band : , , , , , , , , ,
Title : Things Have Changed
Release Date : November 12, 2015

3rd Dimension is one of the most dynamic Hip Hop groups in America. They hail from Madison, Wisconsin, a place not typically associated with Hip Hop, so they have to be cold. Today, the tight-knit collective dropped their heavily hyped Things Have Changed on the world, along with a music video for “Chosen”. (November 12, 2015). You’re about to get your mind rocked if you’ve never heard of 3rd.

3rd Dimension officially formed in 2010. However, Reeks, Spaz and Probz had known each other for a minute before that. The three founding members came up in elementary school together in Mad City, rapping with several others around the neighborhood. The three emcees recruited Half Breed in 2010, which rounded out their team of vocalists. Then in 2012, 3rd picked up in house producer Burn$ampsoN to complete their sound. Burn had been producing in college, and when he came back for the summer, he heard the music and needed to be a part of 3rd Dimension’s sound. Since the acquisition of Burn, the group has been putting in full time work on the mic, while grinding to make ends meet at other gigs.

3rd Dimension has opened up for heavyweights Chance The Rapper, Alex Wiley, Kembe X, Saba & Pivot Gang, G-Scott, & YelaWolf. The group has also secured collaborations with quintessential new wave Chicago artists Mick Jenkins and Supa Bwe (Hurt Everybody). The rap collective dropped their University Ave project November 22, 2012 and Merch on January 3, 2014.

This group is a breath of fresh air amongst today’s other Hip Hop acts. The Midwest emcees give listeners a collection of multiple perspectives and they’re committed to the group dynamic – all moves have to be voted upon before carried out. Each member has a different style and skill set. They don’t make an effort to stand out, when 3rd comes together on an idea, it’s all natural. 3rd looks to create authentic, relatable Hip Hop of all types. The versatile squad is out to make music that can match any mood.

Look down for the Things Have Changed release date, cover art, tracklist, mixtape download and stream.

3rd Dimension - Things Have Changed tracklist cover art

Premiered by Mishka.

Lean Beatz – “Apparently”

Band : ,
Title : Apparently
Release Date : October 5, 2015

Milwaukee’s Lean Beatz went in on the beats. The rapper has a low key flow but it could still use some work. With that, he’s set the foundation with the trap sounds on Apparently (October 5, 2015) and it’s only up from there.

“Lean drinking, kush smoking, blunts rolling, cups pouring”

Look out for Lean Beatz. The mixtape cover art, tracklist, download and stream for Apparently are as follows:

Lean Beatz - Apparently mixtape tracklist

Prof – “Liability”

Band : , , , , , , , ,
Title : Liability
Release Date : October 16, 2015
Label : ,

Prof has his own way, that’s for sure. The Minneapolis, Minnesota multi is a force of nature, a Liability (October 16, 2015). I remember seeing him perform for the first time in the Spring of 2013. Prof put on a wild ass show for a Sunday, man. He was telling us how he went down to Great Dane, got bopped, and felt some titties or sumn.

Every record on the album is something different. Prof goes above and beyond rap, from Blues to Club in 2.2 on the newest drop. The Rhymesayers emcee is smart and uses plenty Jazz on “Liability” but he doesn’t quite fit the conscious mold with his other, more cooled out labelmates. He sings like a bird but then snaps with the savageness of a Midwest emcee.

“I’m definitely the fuck-up of Rhymesayers,” Prof said in an interview with HipHopDX, “the wild card.”

The polarized character has had a hard time catching national waves but with features from Tech N9ne, Petey Pablo and Waka Flocka Flame on here, many sleepers shall be woke soon.




“Bar Breaker”


“Ape Shit”


HipHopDX premiered.

Monte Booker – “Soulection White Label: 016”

Band : , ,
Title : Soulection White Label: 016
Release Date : October 23, 2015
Label :

Monte Booker and crew are here! The three Southside Chicago artists are all young, megatalented, and dropping. The zero fatigue collective finished up Ravyn Lenae’s Moon Shoes in August, Smino’s S!CK S!CK S!CK in early October, and now we get White Label from the producer.

The 20-year-old producer is making some of the coldest beats in America. He combines elements of Hip Hop, Jazz and Electronic music to craft bright and memorable instrumentals.

“While creating this White Label I was definitely influenced by lots of jazz – primarily because of how innovative it is, electronic sounds and Flying Lotus,” Booker said in a recent interview. “In fact, Flying Lotus should just be a genre at this point lol.”

Stay locked for more on Monte Booker.

Lucki Eck$ – “FREEWAVE” EP

Band :
Release Date : October 18, 2015

Announced and unsheathed on October 18, 2015 at midnight CT… Lucki Eck$ talks guns, thots and xans on the disgusting FREEWAVE EP. This is drugged out thug music at its ugliest, with bars of a different kind.

The grimy Chicago emcee takes it takes it a knotch up with his alternative style. Lucki is a Drill artist with an affinity for the Chopped and Screwed sound, which pours out on the leaned out FREEWAVE in a different way. The FREEWAVE EP presents a union of the two regional sounds – a collection of dirty, bass and sample-heavy freestyles.

Lucki Eck$ has a heavy slur and talks a lot of street shit – like rappers from Houston, New Orleans or Memphis – but he moves different. The Drill rapper maintains a low key presence in comparison. Watch this video of him going in on the Three 6 Mafia-sampled “Freewave 1.”

He seems faded and cool overall. Lucki Eck$ doesn’t shoot a lot in public either, and that’s how most people are in Chicago. In general, Midwest folk don’t dance or flash in public much. Lucki will say some shit on the Three 6 Mafia-sample:

“Bitches be on dirt, like some headstones, won’t give her one
Bitch I’m wired up like that cable guy, ‘Get er done’
Styrofoam stacking got the coffee sippers sick of us
Wresting prices blood, in my mouth I look like Viscera”

And he’ll just be rocking around a room or sumn. Or at most, he’ll be holding a pistol and a double cup. The songs are nasty and wild but Eck$ won’t be going fufu for none.

Listen to the lyrics, though. Rappers like Chief Keef, Lil Durk and Lil Bibby speak on the streets but they don’t have bars like that. Lucki Eck$ has a way of finessing gangland speak in with other parts of his life through his monotonous, care-free voice. The lyricist even takes time to look at himself on a couple tracks. On the cold and introspective, pulsating “backhome” beat, Lucki goes:

“I can’t go back home
Bitches over with, I gotta block her from my momma phone
Told all of my business, she know of my father to the board
Rolling off a hit, all that xanax made that last summer cold
Forgot who made me me, forgot my mom, my whole summer gone
Back to school, she ready, get from far from me as possible
Bitch I’ll go on tour, I’ll be your city – that’s impossible
Math star, black thoughts and feelings, mental obstacles
Been through this like five times, I still don’t know what I’ma do
And now I’m still stuck on my last high
Don’t think I got the courage to do that again
Fuck the rules, look who raised me, I now how to sin”

Lucki Eck$ - Freewaves 3 and 4

The rapper has a more serious tone on the following track too. Both tracks have titles, which makes it seem more personal. His flow is laid all the way back on “newer me,” talking lost love over the beautiful cloud beat:

“Now I’m a newer me
Finesse the nigga, he on joe line talm bout sueing me
New phone, who this? Another newer me
This bitch talm bout call my phone, ‘What you gon do for me?’
And you know I had to send her like a newer me
Geeking bitch, I’m in her face, she still pursuing me
Three phones – one, no I don’t give out that number
I can’t talk now, I’m too busy, this my trap number
I think I missed my flight, being the newer me
Another mood mood swing just when she think she used to me
Then I switch up with that newer me
Then I hit her with a newer me”

Eck$ can go that way if he wants, he just chooses not to dive all the way in. His Drill flow can get repetitive for that reason, but these are also freestyles. He’s wavy as long as these bars and beats are hitting, I just hope the next mixtape is filled with more concept records. If Lucki Eck$ can create songs with more direction, whether they sound like “backhome” or “Freewave 7,” I think he’ll be around for a while.

The mixtape stream and download are as follows:

Watch the latest visual for “Freewave 7,” and recent “FREEWAVES 3 & 4”

small cow 3

BlaccOut Garrison – “Hungry Soulful” EP

As lyrical and serious as J. Cole but from a colder climate, Blaccout Garrison is the present and future of Minnesota conscious Hip Hop. It took 4 years but Hungry Soulful is one for the ages (September 29, 2015). The lyricist is newer than his counterpart in Atmosphere but also different.

Blaccout Garrison - Hungry Soulful EP back

Premiered by OK-Tho.

Sean Smart – “Sean Smart: The Mixtape”

A young but highly intelligent and driven emcee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Sean Smart is looking to reintroduce himself to the world after his days with Higher Education (November 25, 2015). He put a lot of work into the indie label but out on his own he has complete control over his sound.

Sean Smart “fell in love with the culture” at a young age, he tells me. The rapper grew up on Queen and Bob Marley but his friends were into Hip Hop. His Milwaukee public schooling wound up teaching him much more than the three Rs. Sean picked up on Hip Hop from his classmates and remembers grabbing Jay-Z’s Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life on cassette in 3rd grade.

Now, the more Logic side of the rapper is coming out as he works on a more widely appealing sound for his self-titled mixtape. Sean’s days of rapping over experimental Boom Bap have come to a close. It’s time for the dictionary to get read.

Sean looks to make a good impression with his debut solo project. “No real message or underlying story, just raw tracks that make people bob their heads and get a feel for my abilities”, he says. “This is just the warm up for what is about to come”.

Premiered by GMAD.

Sean Smart mixtape tracklist

Trapo – “The Black Beverly Hills” EP

Band : , , ,
Title : The Black Beverly Hills
Release Date : November 11, 2015

Madison, Wisconsin raised Trapo dropped his highly anticipated debut tape today (November 11, 2015). According to the artist’s SC, TBBH is “A Short Project About Black Prosperity.”

Trapo has a way of his own. He was raised in a town with many problems yet he’s found a way to rise above and create a sound that only he can maintain. The trap-blues singer has had some issues with alcohol too. I know how that goes… The new wave soul singer has a pain in his voice when he talks the trap talk. He’ll go from verbal assault to deep wailing in a way that makes him seem more sincere than most modern rappers.

Premiered by Pigeons & Planes, the TBBH album was originally set to feature both Allan Kingdom and Max Wonders. The emcee changed up the tracklist last minute, though. He’s mainly using leased beats on TBBH, which makes sense. Trapo needs certain elements in his music – a sound that most producers ain’t on yet. The young’n has a great ear for particular production and I’m sure many producers are cooking up for him at this very moment.

The Mad City rapper recently did some features too, including “Out Here” with 3rd Dimension, “Drug of Choice” with RED & Ra’Shaun, and “Faster” with Max Wonders.


Roy Wood$ – “EXIS”

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Title : EXIS
Release Date : July 31, 2015
Label :

Roy Wood$ from The 6 with either give you the feels or annoy you. The Toronto raised singer dropped the EXIS project on July 25, 2015 under OVO Sound and the repetitive Drake feature “Drama” and cool downtempo “Get You Good” took off. Surprisingly, he shot a video for “Jealousy” first.

King Louie – “6 God Tony”

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Title : 6 God Tony
Release Date : October 6, 2015
Label : ,

King Louie pulled a Drake a couple days ago and dropped this surprise 6 God Tony mixtape at 6:00pm on October 6, 2015. The 6-track tape is dope but I’m almost more hyped for OVO’s newest recruit to get his Drizzy plug in the near future.

The gang-affiliated rapper’s alliance with Drake goes further than this week’s surprise drop. At the end of last year, the Chicago Drill emcee inked his neck with the OVO owl insignia and raised some concerns from the community. Unless King L is playing the goofy, he must be signed to the Toronto singer’s imprint. What does that mean, though? That means the otherwise niche gangland rapper can morph into a openly accepted and widely distributed voice, just through his association with Aubrey.

I’ve been following King L since Drilluminati, which is now up to the 3rd installment. The homie DJ Pain 1 laced the beat for “My Hoes They Do Drugs” and I knew the rapper was going places. He reminds me of what’d be a black Al Capone – calculated yet wild as fuck. Listen to the newest from the suspect rapper and we’ll see what all this 6 shit is about soon enough.

Supa Bwe – “The Dead Occasion”

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Title : The Dead Occasion
Release Date : October 4, 2015

Chicago’s most talented and hardest working Hip Hop group – Hurt Everybody – dropped yet another project today (October 4, 2015). Radio Head and Kanye West influenced Supa Bwe claims this one as a solo project but frequent collaborators Carl, Mulatto Beats and Samii Beatz all appear on the experimental project.

Supa Bwe is one of the most talented musicians out right now – rapping, singing and producing. Sometimes I feel like Supa Bwe is a robot, trapped inside a wild child. For more on Supa’s new project, peep the video for “KID BUU (WHO?).”

At the end of the first track, “Pixar,” the emcee introduces the tape:

“How rude of me… This is Supa – your author, champion of light and companion for the remainder of this heavy, genuine project. I hope by it’s conclusion, you walk away with a solid idea of what this is, this lifestyle, this journey, this conquest, this mission, whatever you want to all it, you know, this joyous, splending project – me.”

AJ Suede – “Automatic Wavecap”

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Title : Automatic Wavecap
Release Date : September 21, 2015

AJ Suede is a small town astronaut in this rap shit, taking the ship wherever his mind ventures off to. Automatic Wavecap is the rapper’s 8th drop of 2015 (September 21, 2015). I fuck with the music, AJ Suede.

Many would say in this situation, “Oh, Suede’s music must be trash because he drops so much.” Honestly, while some of it sounds rushed, I wouldn’t even be hearing AJ Suede’s name now unless he’d done this type of shit. That means something to me. Plus, most people spouting negativity like that are insecure about their own work ethic.

Of course, this emcee says a lot but often not in the most eloquent way. This is good because we catch plenty of the raw, unfiltered emotion from his circumstance. AJ Suede is not a trap rapper, he’s just extra observational and introspective, like his mind never stops moving.

Do you want to get to know this rapper better than his mother? Like that one Matthew Mcconaughey movie, every moment of AJ’s life is on these tapes. That can be a strategy, to concentrate on completing projects rather than tweaking the same set over an extended period. To keep it in the moment.

The downside of pushing tapes out is that AJ talks at listeners a lot of the time. I feel like he’s either freestyling or didn’t memorize the verses he wrote. His lines would hit better if he went over em more. Especially since he can flow, it’s really just the tone in his voice.

To have access to this amount of production is amazing. That by itself has me stuck. Many times, there are too many rappers and not enough mic’s. Not for AJ Suede though, he produces and works with a huge team of engineers. The sound is unpolished obviously, but anyone that tells you to studio record is not from the struggle.

It looks like Suede has all of the pieces in place. He reminds me of a young Wiz Khalifa, and he’ll get his for sure.

For more AJ Suede projects, check his Soundcloud. There’s probably another one of these up by now.

Smino – “S!CK S!CK S!CK” EP

Smino is one to look out for. He dropped the S!CK S!CK S!CK EP today, and I’m on this all weekend. The young rapper-singer out of St. Louis, Missouri has the energy to take a record in any direction he wants. Like Ishdarr, each track from Smino goes in a different direction, from the end of the emotional spectrum to the other. Here are 3 quick ones for ya.

Smino has been recording with Monte Booker at Classick Studios, where Chance The Rapper did Acid Rap.

Chuck Inglish – “Everybody’s Big Brother”

Chuck Inglish laced up his second studio album today (October 2, 2015). The Detroit rapper-producer-stylist acts as older bro on Everybody’s Big Brother, offering spots to many up-and-coming unknowns.

Chuck did a visual for “2003,” although it didn’t wind up making the final project. He unveiled his video for “Sweat Shorts” with Asher Roth and Helios Hussain on March 24, 2016.

Chuck Inglish - Everybody's Older Brother 2

Rocky Diamonds – “The Diamond Life 5”

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Title : The Diamond Life 5
Release Date : October 1, 2015
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The Twin Cities’ finest in drug-induced conscious music (October 1, 2015). Rocky has been grinding outta his mind for years now and finally inked a deal with Epic last year. The rapper’s serious tales, recounted in his slurred voice, sound like they’ve been damaging, but with his passion for early 2000’s lifestyle beats, the artist is able to keep things light.

It’s been wild to see the development of Minnesota Hip Hop over the course of my lifespan. Madison is only 4 hours away from The Cities, so we heard the bigger names coming out of there. For a while, it was really only Rhymesayers – Brother Ali and Atmosphere. Now, emcees Prof, Allan Kingdom and Rocky Diamonds, and new wave R&B artists Corbin and Bobby Raps have made a name for themselves outside of that conglomerate.

Rocky Diamonds is a trap rapper but takes the time to reflect. He’s working harder than the competition and I think he’ll hit nationally soon enough.

Watch the video for “Very Special.”

Ravyn Lenae – “Moon Shoes” EP

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Title : Moon Shoes
Release Date : August 25, 2015
Label :

Ravyn Lenae dropped this delicious bag of groceries on August 25, 2015. I had to be kind and help her pick it up. Her voice is the embodiment of positive energy and Chicago-brand granola. The production is extra smooth too, Monte Booker wraps it around her light voice perfectly.

Lenae is only 16 and I’m excited to see what she does from here. Peep the “Greetings” video.

Ravyn Lenae - Moon Shoes EP back

Psalm One – “P.O.L.Y.”

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Title : P.O.L.Y.
Release Date : September 24, 2015

Chicago’s Psalm One dropped her 3rd studio album last week (September 24, 2015). Psalm One LOVES You. Her voice is spirit medicine for the dark world, even in the title. Also, her group Rapper Chicks is the best thing that’s happened to female Hip Hop since it’s inception. The team consists of “ill-esha, Psalm One, Fluffy Angel, Davanport ++many more” according to da book.

SABA – “SpareChange!” EP (Instrumental)

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Title : SpareChange!
Release Date : September 25, 2015

Chicago’s Pivot Gang leader SABA dropped a groovy instrumental tape a couple days back (September 25, 2015). Shit is slappin, kid. As an emcee, SABA is able to create these experimental sounds with ease, combining seemingly dis-coordinate rhythms together, whereas other producers tend to stay in one flow.

These sounds are dirty… but SABA’s been murking flows this past year. After that ComfortZone tape popped up, all I’ve wanted is more words from Pivot‘s de-facto leader.

Gerald Walker – “Target”

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Title : Target
Release Date : September 22, 2015
Label : ,

Gerald Walker dropped a lengthy project a few days ago, one with uncharacteristically short song titles (September 22). Don’t think that he’s saying any less though. Don’t ever think that.

Gerald Walker has dropped a gang of tapes along the way, a collection of melodic and emotional records, and it’s almost like he’s said too much to be so humble. He stays cool on Target – the fresh album is honest in a different way – a conceptually pure way that makes it easy to play for general audiences. Smart move, I think. The Chicago born, Milwaukee raised emcee is now living in New York, where one looks to make hit records. Maybe it was a good idea for him to shorten his thoughts and make his music more presentable for commercial purposes. Everything else is the same old Gerald Walker – poetic, conversational flows over pensive, soulful, uplifting Midwest instrumentals.

The double-disk, 23-track debut album Target is beautiful. It’s some real-life Aesop’s Fabels shit. Play it, play it again, and then pay the man.

Here’s the video for “No Heart Feelings.”

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Bryson Tiller – “TRAPSOUL”

Bryson Tiller put Louisville, Kentucky on the map today with this album (September 25, 2015). Read the full story on how the landlocked singer-emcee went from “Don’t” to Drake and Dr. Dre – in 1 year.

Grab the release date, cover art, tracklist, mixtape download & stream:

1. Intro (Difference)
2. Let Em’ Know
3. Exchange
4. For However Long
5. Don’t
6. Open Interlude
7. Ten Nine Fourteen
8. The Sequence
9. Rambo
10. 502 Come Up
11. Sorry Not Sorry
12. Been That Way
13. Overtime
14. Right My Wrongs

Josh.K – “Your Girls Favorite”

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Title : Your Girl's Favorite
Release Date : October 6, 2015
Label :

Josh.K dropped the Your Girl’s Favorite mixtape today (October 6, 2015). The Chicago native is also pushing his newest “Mood” video. Read further for the album stream, download, cover art and tracklist.

1. MVB
5. ALL FOR YOU (feat Karma)
8. YEEZY TAUGHT HER (feat King Louie)
10. PICK YOU UP (feat Jargon)
12. EX BITCH (Feat Johnny May Cash & Shorty K)

Bobby Raps & SinGrinch – “Wicked City”

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Title : Wicked City
Release Date : September 22, 2015

Bobby Raps and SinGrinch dropped this Wicked City mixtape as an ode to the 1987 anime film of the same name. Actually, it’s more of a soundtrack to the movie, since they edited it together and everything. The Minnesota weird artists call the sound “80s-pop/trap” in the film description, and despite Bobby Raps snatching my producer tag on “Imposter,” I fuck with the style.

Wicked City is an eclectic, weird and emotional ride, it’s like navigating Rainbow Road on Mario Kart 64 or some along those lines. Go on that journey or remain in your chair.

Dusty McFly – “Sincerely Fleez”

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Title : Sincerely Fleez
Release Date : September 21, 2015

The D needed a few more emcees to compliment Big Sean’s style, and Dusty McFly fits right in that space. “We call it boss music in Detroit,” he said in a recent interview. Well, whatever ya want to call it – Big Sean or Boss – Dusty’s street consciousness and taste for high end fashion makes him much like the Back From The Future character he’s named after. The Motor City rapper dropped Sincerely Fleez today with confidence (September 22).

Dusty dropped a video for “One Night Only” with the tape, following the visuals for “Fleezy Baby” and “Hoe.”  said “Fuck The Hook” with his Detroit companions Earlly Mac and Chuck Inglish.

Kweku Collins, Boathouse, Odd Couple – “Spicy Caliente” EP

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Title : Spicy Caliente
Release Date : September 21, 2015
Label :

The North Shore, Illinois singer forges his new sound on Spicy Caliente (September 21) – with help from Closed Sessions producers Boathouse and Odd Couple.

Kweku Collins translates to Chicago’s Kid Cudi on this new project and he’s backed by two of the city’s best. The highly heralded engineers out of the city get his vibes cleaned up tastefully. Cudder never had that level of production to back him in Cleveland. Hold up, though. This EP will get plenty attention for the production too. I hear drill, Kanye West, folk from up Nort, and English pop.

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OG Esco – “The Pink Room”

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Title : The Pink Room
Release Date : September 6, 2015

Og Esco dropped his long awaited The Pink Room tape recently (September 6, 2015), despite being incarcerated. The rapper-Camera God and de-facto leader of 1947 Sdot Gang has been on a vicious indie grind for many years now and his newest shows that better than ever.

All the years of production have taught Og Esco how to create records. His ear for concept records is inspiring. Slide him a murky beat and he’ll turn it to gas in a day or two. Esco is also one of the most lyrical drill emcees in the land, and for that, The Pink Room is the coldest drill mixtape outta Madison this year.

I’ve personally watched Esco (aka Rio Escobar or Ogee Esco) bounce from his hometown Madison, Wisconsin to Chicago, Pittsburgh and Atlanta several times. Whether it’s to rap, film, edit, tattoo or network, Rio is always on the move. He’s a a hungry, creative genius and I’m on his side for that alone. The fact that Esco still preaches for his team and looks to give back to his mother and family shows that the young emcee has a deeper purpose too.

Unfortunately, Rio’s Madtown grind often lands him in a jam, and time spent on the inside is no good for anyone. The frequent name changes, rebranding and unfinished projects don’t help either. That being said, add a little discipline and direction to the madness, and I know Og Esco can navigate 1947 to the top of the scene.

Watch Rio’s self-produced video for “Everything” . Now that’s what ya call “unsigned hype.” The entrepreneurial artist has bars too. On “Scared Money,” he says:

“I’m outta my mind
But still on her coochie, me nookie we making a movie
We shitting on niggas like taking a dookie
You fakers wanna do me, I shave with my uzi
I bang for my oozie, go on dates with my uzi
She my bae, she my booskie
Turnt your bae to my groupie
Gave her face to big nookie
Caught a case and then blew me
Niggas was snitching, there had to be someone who knew me”

Mic Kellogg – “Breakfast” LP

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Title : Breakfast LP
Release Date : September 13, 2015

Milwaukee by way of Madison, Wisconsin artist Mic Kellogg writes, sings, raps, produces and directs for the sunnier side of the Great Lakes. Mic reminds me of Chance The Rapper in that way. Even though he’s going through it like any other independent area talent, he ultimately allows the brighter side to shine through on Breakfast (September 13).

This is a beautifully crafted, fully original project. Diners all over the country should have this pancakes and OJ smorgasbord of melodic sounds on repeat. Breakfast is wake up music, on Mic.

“Now, Nana’s dying wish was me and hoping that I’d stay and pray
We didn’t believe it but we had to do it either way
That’s too many shades of grey
Now I look at heaven’s gates”

Pigeons and Planes premiered.

Sir Michael Rocks – “Populair”

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Title : Populair
Release Date : September 11, 2015
Label :

Sir Michael Rocks debuted a very stream-of-conscious, snare heavy Populair today (September 10). The sound won’t surprise those that know Mikey’s history of musical exploits. It might surprise the newcomers though – for its apparent uncoordinated style. The Matteson, Illinois emcee linked up with Michigan’s Chuck Inglish back in ’07 and has been dropping variations of this laid back, designer-heavy, globetrotter flow since. Populair doesn’t surprise me, but it doesn’t impress me either.

Personally, I rock with Banco over his newest, as I feel like it was a more complete project. I can still hear the rapper shining through on Populair but his voice is often overshadowed by the hectic nature of the beats. It’s a style, I get it. He wants more drums, less melody. He can do what he wants but his lines would hit harder if the snares, and drums in general, were tailored more.

On the tail end album we hear Sir Michael Rocks get atypically sincere. The normally self-confident emcee says, “Back in September I wanted to kill myself, I was homeless in LA, money running low.” Like I said on “Outer Space,” it’s hard to make it out of that area without some sort of deep-seeded insecurity. It sounds like Mikey has been going through some personal shit, and for that, I’m glad he chose to put this out there instead of doing something crazy. Plus Banco is a college kid now, explaining, “arts school – I’m tying new things,” on “Quality Time Lapse.” I’m not really feeling this project but I have high hopes for the ex-Cool Kid.

Stream the project in its entirety on Soundcloud.

Complex premiered.

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Hurt Everybody – “24EP”

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Title : 24EP
Release Date : September 6, 2015

Hurt Everybody always follows through, even when they only have 24 hours to do it (September 6). Mishka orchestrated the whole thing, and planning something like this doesn’t always work out, but the Chicago group somehow managed to perfectly capture the essence of an all-nighter on 24EP. Check out the making-of documentary. Supa Bwe is “The nights own king.”

Qari Carl ripped that “Wigwam” joint though:

“She was waiting for the switch off
Brought her sis with her, had to criss cross
They need blue cars cause the crip walk
Leave your crib before I keep the rickshaw”

Read Mishka‘s story on how it happened.

Stalley – “The Laughing Introvert”

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Title : The Laughing Introvert
Release Date : August 20, 2015
Label :

Stalley came through surprisingly well with his latest mixtape (August 20). The Ohio spitter is talented. What I mean is – he didn’t succumb to the all-powerful MMG sound on The Laughing Introvert, he maintained his own style. Rick Ross and MMG seem to swallow up artists and then spit them back out with a generic, trendy Southern trap sound instead of allowing them to maintain the sound that got them there.

Stalley maintains those blue collar lifestyle bars and the dynamic, steet-smart Jazz beats on his most recent tape. His style reminds me of the nearby Pittsburgh family – Mac Miller, Chevy Woods, 58’s, Jasari X and the once was Wiz Khalifa.

Check out the “Glass Garage” video too.

Mick Jenkins – “Wave[s]”

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Title : Wave[s]
Release Date : August 21, 2015
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Mick Jenkins is an innovator. He’s one of the leaders of the new conscious but won’t hesitate to shake things up. Wave[s] is the mantra for woke citizens, forward thinking but based on the past. Listen, learn and proceed with your life choices.

Also, take time to experience Mick’s “Get Up Get Down” video and previous tape, The Water[s].

The Weeknd – “House of Balloons”

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Title : House of Balloons
Release Date : March 21, 2011

The tape that started it all, “House of Balloons” is both The Weeknd’s first release and responsible for much of Toronto’s recent buzz. The talented falsetto singer laid it all out over these Doc McKinney instrumentals. He already had the Trey Songz  voice, all he needed was some ambient trap beats and reverb to tie off the whole package. “House of Balloons” is gold all around. Pop a pill and enjoy the album that jumped off the OVO sound.

He had me at “High For This” but “Loft Music” is forever pressed into the walls of my old apartment.

Clifton Beef – “The GRIME TAPE”

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Title : The GRIME TAPE
Release Date : April 8, 2013
Label :

After releasing the final records for the Chapter 1: The Sun & Moon mixtape last September, I started working on The Grime Tape. At first, it was intended to be my second solo mixtape, but since all of the tracks are original productions, I made the decision to sell the project as an album.

Chapter 1 was intended to be a biographical portrayal of my life outside of Zooniversity, regardless of where the production came from.

The Grime Tape is my creation, my sound – unmatched.

Alternate Art:

Clifton Beef THE GRIME TAPE alternate cover art basement madeclifton beef the grime tape cover art basement madeReleased April 8, 2013.

Klassik – “SEASONS LP”

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Release Date : July 15, 2015
Label :

The Klassik camp uncovered the AUTUMN EP on June 13, completing the mixtape portion of the SEASONS series. “The EPs kinda got a taste of the different directions that I was branching off into,” he says. “You were like able to see those for what they were, grouped with other songs that maybe have a similar feel, or just the fact that we put those together automatically, you see it in a certain context.” At least one song per SEASONS EP would be included amongst the twelve on the SEASONS LP. In addition to the alternative release format, Klassik took up a new style of writing for his newest project. “I should not say never, but ninety eight percent of the time, I don’t write anything,” he says. He took to a “stream-of-consciousness” style a couple years ago and has been doing it since. “The music sets the tone so much more than anything that I could just say in blank space,” Klassik explains.

Klassik just recently dropped the full-length, self-produced SEASONS LP on July 16. The project is unique in many ways and the title too takes on a different meaning than one might expect. “I don’t wanna get lost in whatever the cliche rhetoric is right now, he stated.” The tapes don’t align with the calendar seasons either, as Abston is not directly speaking to the diverse weather conditions of the Northern Midwest. “This has nothing to do with actual temperature,” he says, it [represents] an artist’s cycle.” Klassik wants to show the flow of human emotion, through the scope of music.

“There’s a title track on SEASONS that, and it’s a ballad, it’s no rap, it’s very short, there’s strings, there’s a Mister Rodgers reference… [Laughs] And on that, I think it ended up perfectly encapsulating the whole idea of the album. It’s written in the perspective of – a lot of my records – almost like as if there’s this invisible woman. There’s this third party that no one ever sees but it’s always usually directed at some woman, somehow. I don’t know if that’s just my writing process but every song I tell her that, ‘Never once did I believe that you’d stay, oh no, because just as quickly as the seasons change, you’ll go.’ And that was just kind of like, people come and go and they change as quickly as the seasons do.”

Read Klassik’s full feature.

Superior Webbs – “The Last Dollar”

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Title : The Last Dollar
Release Date : March 13, 2013

The Madison, Wisconsin rap duo Superior Webbs dropped The Last Dollar on March 8, 2013. Since, the two have been keeping it pretty light. They did a lot of visuals for this project, though. Check em out.

Find the full write up on Badger Herald.