1. Why Not Duce ft. Tate Kobang – The DMVSource:whynotduce
Why Not Duce is a 26 year old performer hailing from the small Commonwealth town of Waverly. The substantial buzz the burgining entertainer generated locally caught the ear of Grammy-nominated recording artist Pusha T, who soon after signed him to his Heir Wave Music Group imprint.
Stream the DC, Maryland, and Virginia solidarity enforcing single “The DMV” after the jump on your DSP of choice via HWMG/Sparta Distribution!
2. Lo Village – FallinSource:lovillage
3. Iman Nunez – What’s Next?Source:onlyoneiman
After a cross-country tour to start off 2023, Iman Nunez asks himself, What’s Next? Prior to the two-track project and his tour, he released his prior EP Rosedale, which gained notoriety from various platforms in the tri-state area. The two-song pack “What’s Next?” contains the songs “Growing Pains” featuring Dizzy Banko and “Coast.”
“Growing Pains” focuses on maturing and breaking free from environments that held him down. He opens the song with the lines, “I love your soul but I cannot have you around me. I’m working to be better than I am, and you’re just stuck on who I was so I can’t have you drown me. No disrespect, but we ain’t kids no more and now I got more people I’m providing for…”. Iman raps about his awareness of people watching him succeed on “Coast.” His blunt honesty about his journey toward superstardom is supplemented by his confident flow. Iman states his values as being his family and the bag; anything else that isn’t that is irrelevant to him.
4. NOT3S & BZ – SHYSource:not3s
On the back of recent collaborations with afrobeats legend Wizkid, and Latin music icon J Balvin, award-winning Nigerian producer, and songwriter KILLERTUNES has linked up with UK rap trailblazer NOT3S, and fast-rising South London artist BZ for a massive new single titled ‘SHY’. Serving as the first single from his forthcoming sophomore album KillaXtra 2, ‘Shy’ is a perfect fusion of UK rap and afropop music that reveals the new musical universe that Killertunes is exploring this year.
Recorded at the renowned Platoon7 studios in London, ‘Shy’ fuses Killertunes’ moody instrumentation driven by lush guitar and horn arrangements, with BZ’s braggadocious lyrical delivery, and Not3s’ trademark melodic rap sensibilities. Together, they deliver a smooth UK rap and afroswing fusion track that is laced with excellent jazz elements, and held together by Killertunes’ soft infectious hook that lets listeners lose all their inhibitions to this glorious track perfect for late summer nights.
Celebrated as one of the most creative soundsmiths coming out of Africa, the award-winning Killertunes boasts an incredible and award-winning discography as a producer and songwriter, with credits that include working with global music icons such as Wizkid, J Balvin, Mr. Eazi, and Tiwa Savage, as well as afrobeats rising stars like Joeboy, Mayorkun, and Ladipoe, to mention a few. As he enters his new musical era and taps into his international sounds, ‘Shy’ offers an amazing early indication of what fans and critics can expect from Killertunes going forward.
5. Amaarae – Co-StarSource:amaarae
Today one of music’s most essential and truly groundbreaking artists, Ghanaian-American polymath, Amaarae, announces the release of her highly anticipated album, Fountain Baby, slated for June 9th via Interscope. In celebration, she shares her ravishing new track “Co-Star” alongside a tantalizing music video that harkens back to the 90’s supermodel era. Directed by Lauren Dunn, the visual brings to life the illustrious and deeply captivating universe of Amaarae’s creation through a fierce “Co-Star” competition where zodiac signs, swag and skill reign supreme, toppling traditional beauty standards that are still placed on women today. Competitors include some of the baddest women in the game such as The Clermont Twins, model Biba Williams, Nigerian rapper Deto Black, 1XBlue designer Lois Saunders, photographer and model Moyosore Briggs, and more – full credits below. The track is a continuation of Amaarae’s revered art that exists at the intersection of female empowerment, subversion of gender norms, and a thrilling exploration of female sexuality and artistic self expression – all while centering her West African heritage within a global lens.
Alongside the previously released “Reckless & Sweet,” Fountain Baby will undoubtedly solidify Amaarae’s rightful position as one of the premiere artists in the global pop arena. The project will see her towering talent and vision expand beyond genre and regional confines, for a truly brilliant and palpable body of work that will establish her as an essential architect in the future of music.
Additionally, the release follows Amaarae’s recent explosive performance at the colossal launch of the Mugler x H&M collaboration in New York City on April 19th as the face of the campaign. The collection will be available to purchase on May 11th online and in stores.
6. Rockness Monsta & Ron Browz – Ether RocksSource:rocknessbcc
After a 30 year-long career, cementing his legacy in the ‘90s through the early aughts as a part of the legendary Boot Camp Clik and one half of rap duo Heltah Skeltah, Rock (also known as the Rockness Monsta) released his sophomore solo album Ether Rocks on October 21st via American B-Boy Records/Fat Beats. Produced entirely by Ron Browz (Nas’s “Ether,” Jim Jones’s “Pop Champagne”), the 12-track album features Method Man, Steele of Smif-N-Wessun, Ruste Juxx, among others. Today, Fat Beats shares the official music video for the album standout “Got It Movin”, directed by The Last American B-Boy.
From ruminations on legacy (“The Answer”, “Pay Me”) to gun rights (“Flamboyant”), Ether Rocks offers a modest expansion of what fans have grown to understand about the veteran Brooklyn emcee, both the man and the rapper. The album is now available on all DSPs, CD and vinyl.
7. Reggie Becton – SadBoy Vol. 1Source:reggiebecton
Easily one of the best R&B projects of the year, and unlike anything he’s previously worked on, Becton’s new EP is a perfect blend of classic R&B through a modern lens. A sonic exploration of the good, the bad, and the ugly offering “The R&B music of Gotham City.” Inspired by iconic cinematic works like Kill Bill and The Dark Knight trilogy, SadBoy’s sonic identity is a deftly woven tapestry of textured sounds and thoughtful, introspective lyrics. It’s a world built upon raw, unbridled passion.
8. Coco Jones – Double PackSource:cocojones
Coco Jones, the triple-threat multi-hyphenate actress, singer/songwriter and R&B’s new “It Girl,” today reveals the new music video for “Double Back,” from her critically acclaimed High Standardz/Def Jam Recordings EP WHAT I DIDN’T TELL YOU. The video made its broadcast premiere today on MTV Live, MTVU and across MTV’s network of channels, as well as on the Viacom Times Square billboard.
“Double Back” arrives on the heels of “ICU,” the smoldering R&B ballad that is steadily climbing the Billboard Hot 100 song chart and scorching the Top 10 airplay chart at Urban Mainstream radio.
The music video for “Double Back,” which features Pure Leaf Iced Tea, reinforces the longstanding partnership between Coco and the tea brand. Most recently, they teamed up to launch “As Seen on Pure Leaf” – an in-faux-mercial promoting the power of a subtly sweet “no” inspired by Pure Leaf Lower Sugar Iced Tea. “As Seen on Pure Leaf” turns the overly sweet, overly polished theme of a classic infomercial on its head with Coco’s new method of delivering a subtly sweet “no” when faced with pressure to be too sweet. The “As Seen on Pure Leaf” in-faux-mercial can be viewed here, as well as on Coco’s TikTok channel, @CocoJones (over 2 million followers), and on the Peacock streaming service.
“I’m so glad to be able to include Pure Leaf in my new music video for ‘Double Back,’” says Coco. “They’ve been such huge supporters of my career and enjoy any opportunity we get to collaborate together!”
Since breaking on to the entertainment scene as a young Disney star, Coco has gone on to star in movies, and joined the cast (as ‘Hilary Banks’) in Peacock’s Bel-Air, the Fresh Prince reboot that premiered in February 2022. Coco’s rocket ship to stardom delivered a Top 10 Urban Radio hit (“ICU”) with multiple Billboard chart entries. At NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in March, Coco won the audience with her stunning performance of “ICU.” View it HERE.
In March, coinciding with Women’s History Month, Coco was honored as BET Amplified Artist of the Month, BET Music’s stamp of approval for the next big thing in music, proudly amplifying powerful and talented up-and-coming female artists.
January marked the release of the WHAT I DIDN’T TELL YOU DELUXE EP, in which the original EP’s seven songs – including single + video releases “ICU” and “Caliber” – were joined by four new tracks. Among them was “Simple,” Coco’s duet collaboration with Babyface from his critically acclaimed Girls’ Night Out album.
Coco first introduced her debut EP at the BET Soul Train Awards ’22 in November, with a show-stopping live performance of “ICU,” which The Hollywood Reporter named one of the Top 10 Best Songs of 2022. “ICU” and “Caliber” have garnered tens of millions of plays across all platforms and launched Coco toward her nomination as ‘Best New Artist’ at the BET Soul Train Awards ’22 and win as ‘Outstanding New Artist’ at the 54th NAACP Image Awards.
9. Vern ft. 3ohBlack – PhoneSource:vernondavis85
Rolling Stone recognized rap authority and DMV native, 3ohBlack accompanies former Washington Commanders Tight end turned entertainer Vernon “Vern” Davis in the Tone P directed visual for “Phone.” Following the reveal of his role as Randoku alongside Morgan Freeman in the new film The Ritual Killer and previously released Go-go / Trap blending single “Bounce Like Dis,” the HD clip for the KidJake co-produced cut centers around insecurities developed when a significant other receives an influx of attention from the opposite sex as a result of celebrity. [Image Source: YouTube] In an exclusive press statement press given to Medium Creative Agency, the burgeoning actor and recording artist reveals: “My former relationship inspired me to write this song. It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are unique, but I knew that a good majority of my peers would be able to relate to this record. Trust is a fundamental pillar in any relationship and going through someone’s phone without their consent is a violation of that trust.”
10. Conway The Machine – Won’t He Do ItSource:whoisconway
The road to Conway The Machine’s major label Shady/Interscope Records debut, God Don’t Make Mistakes, was undeniably impactful and incredibly redemptive. Universally hailed by critics and fans alike, the album was also his commercial breakthrough, as God Don’t Make Mistakes rose to the top of DSP charts and was also his highest-charting Billboard project to date. While God Don’t Make Mistakes was Conway’s de-facto origin story, it also serves as the bridge to the next phase of his already decorated career; which begins with his new album Won’t He Do It. Won’t He Do It features appearances from Westside Gunn, Benny The Butcher, Fabolous, Juicy J, Dave East, Ransom, Sauce Walka, and Conway’s Drumwork Music Group signees Jae SKeese and 7xvethegenius and production from Daringer, Justice League, Khrysis, and Juicy J among others. Conway will also be embarking on the Won’t He Do It Spring Tour featuring Sauce Walka and Jae Skeese, which will touch down in 18 cities starting on May 26 in Chicago. You can visit Conway’s digital HQ for all corresponding tour dates. Conway The Machine’s new album, Won’t He Do It, is now available via Drumwork Music Group/EMPIRE.
11. Armani White – Road To CasablancoSource:armaniblanco
A year-long journey of explosive viral moments and big-stage co-signs and collabs culminates today as gold-certified, charismatic West Philly rapper Armani White delivers on his promise as the breakout new artist of 2022, unveiling his bold first body of work with the highly anticipated debut EP Road to CASABLANCO. out now via Def Jam Recordings.
To celebrate the arrival of the EP, Armani released a captivating lyric/performance video for the EP’s emotional centerpiece “PROUD OF ME.”[feat. Fridayy]. The intimate clip finds him in a dark room surrounded by boxes with the names of his various song titles as he raps to the camera. Over wavy production, he makes confessions, “I lived long enough to trap and see the other side of that,” before a chantable chorus. Blurring genre lines, it once again highlights his knack for a knockout hook.
He paved the way for the project with the flashy “SILVER TOOTH.” [feat. Ferg]. REVOLT applauded, “The catchy cut is perfect for White’s rhymes about his talents, women, and much more,” and Variance raved, “This is shaping up to be a huge year for White, and this addictive new track only further cements his status.” HotNewHipHop declared, “Def Jam’s Armani White already won us over with ‘GOATED.’ Earlier this year, but now the lyricist has more heat.” It’s just one brick on Road to CASABLANCO. though.
The EP notably includes the standout “GOATED.” [feat. Denzel Curry]. It has already piled up 19 million Spotify streams, 3 million YouTube views on the music video, and exploded on TikTok with over one million creates and north of a billion views.
Armani delivered a show-stopping performance of “GOATED.”on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Right out of the gate, Complex proclaimed, “Armani White and Denzel Curry bring out the best in each other in the new track ‘GOATED.’,” and UPROXX christened him “one of rap music’s most promising new acts.” Consequence asserted, “On the track, White displays the same infectious energy that made ‘BILLIE EILISH.’ so popular.” HotNewHipHop raved, “Armani White has another bop on his hands with his latest single, ‘GOATED.’.”
Earlier this year, Armani’s breakthrough “BILLIE EILISH.” picked up gold certification from the RIAA in the US, clocked over half-a-billion streams, and generated 36 million-plus YouTube views.
After turning up alongside N.O.R.E. for a much talked-about performance at the BET Hip Hop Awards 2022, Armani performed a medley of “THANKSGIVING” and “BILLIE EILISH.,” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! BET recently proclaimed Armani its “BET Amplified Artist”of January 2023. MTV soon followed suit, naming Armani its coveted Global PUSH artist for February.
Armani closed out a massive 2022 with a showstopping performance on ABC’s Dick Clark’s NEW YEAR’S ROCKIN’ EVE, delivering energetic live renditions of “GOATED.”and his gold-selling breakout “BILLIE EILISH.”He also performed a medley of the tracks at the MTV EMAs.
His runaway smash “BILLIE EILISH.” – a playful, energetic homage to the pop singer’s stylish videos, set to a clever sample of NORE and the Neptunes’ classic “Nothin’” – exploded as a phenomenon. In addition to recognition as a “YouTube Trending Artist on the Rise,” the track went truly viral socially, inspiring billions of TikTok views, and earning a big co-sign from Tom Brady, who posted the track on his Instagram.
12. JasonMartin – FrequencySource:problem354
New name, who dis… In life, your name is your brand. It’s the connective tissue that gives you and those around you a sense of who you are, and your place in the world. As an artist, the overarching goal is to cultivate a trusted name and brand that symbolizes cultural value and significance to the masses. Over the last decade, the artist FKA as Problem has achieved that and then some. The multi-hyphenate has reached great heights as an artist, producer, film director, business owner (Dubbs Coffee Shop in Hollywood), entrepreneur (his Coffee & Kush Brand), and as a fledging actor (you can catch him in the White Men Can’t Jump Reboot on 5-19-23).
But as the old adage goes “there is nothing permanent except change,” and change can be healthy. As we grow it spurs new thoughts, new ideas, and new directions. When you reach that ideological crossroads as a branded artist, you are faced with two choices; stay the course or reinvention. Some take the road less traveled, and pave their own path; exit Problem, welcome JasonMartin.
“It was time. Your name is everything when it comes to this business. Calling myself Problem at this stage of my life just felt irresponsible and counterproductive; especially when my whole existence has been built off creating solutions for others” JasonMartin affirms. “I also felt that continuing my career using the name my parents gave me was bigger for the extension of my family tree. Thank you 2 Chainz for giving me that extra push to do it.”
To coincide with the name change, JasonMartin is also announcing his new album, I Owe Myself, which will be released on 5-12-23 and he has now released the album’s first single and video for “Frequency”; which also features Rei The Imperial.
“The hook for this song is exactly the message I want to send in regard to this album rollout and my overall rebrand. “Chill out, we on a whole different frequency over here” Jason comments. “New name, new spirit, new production, new company, new message, new music. My family Rei The Imperial out of New Orleans came in and really set the tone when he laid the hook down. Add that to the production provided by The Melodiks, this one could be special.”
JasonMartin’s new album I Owe Myself will be released on May 12.
13. Flex Kartel ft. Sauce Walka & Peso Peso – ForbesSource:flexkartel
Maryland native Flex Kartel Taps Texas rappers Sauce Walka and Peso Peso for an energetic track titled “Forbes.” To go along with the new release comes a trippy new music video shot by Spike Dee Films. The trio share not only smooth bars but vibes in a time setting song that establishes not only all three emcees song making prowess but overall musical talents. In particular, Flex Kartel dazzles with a snazzy lyrical flow that sets the tens for what will be an eventual 2023 for him. From collaborations with Wale and Sada Baby to Revolt TV sharing his critically acclaimed On The Radar Freestyle which he channels Notorious B.I.G., Flex Kartel is a one of one music artist from the DMV to keep eyes on.
14. Albee Al – I’m From MarionSource:albeeal201
Albee Al was dubbed the Jersey City Gladiator throughout his career, but specifically his home will always be Marion Projects. I’m From Marion is his declaration that anything is possible. The fourteen-track album covers his maturation from his humble beginnings in the projects to becoming one of EMPIRE’s many superstars.
His prior release Follow The Leader, set the tempo for Al’s 2023. In the single, he talked “boss talk” rapping about holding down a chick that was with him when he was down bad, being around beasts, and becoming the wolf to lead the pack.
“Top Opp” featuring Lil Tjay emphasizes never forgetting where you come from and keeping your head up in rough times. Albee opens his verse by revealing his pain due to his brother’s death. His pain can be felt as he raps about betrayal, keeping his mom fine during times of turmoil, and making everything he can happen from nothing. The visual, directed by Twizz Shot It, has Albee and TJay in the studio vibing and working on some music. Lil TJay raps about how he’s not wasting time on petty beef because he has million-dollar meetings to attend. He shares how he had a narrow road toward his goals and is not afraid to be in the superstar type of position he is in his career.
The features in the album include Leaf Ward, Lil Tjay, and Shani Boni. Earlier in the year, Albee Al and Leaf Ward were featured on “Risk Takers” by Millyz.
15. Jastin Martin – Right My WrongsSource:jastinmartin
Jastin Martin, the minimalist trap-soul singer-songwriter and producer from Houston, Texas, whose acoustic video performance of “Right My Wrongs” has exploded with over 2 million YouTube views in just three weeks, announces the release of the audio track today at all DSPs via Def Jam Recordings.
Jastin is currently putting the finishing touches on MISS ME YET?, her vibrant, rich upcoming debut album, a collection of all-new songs showing off her vulnerability and versatility. Release details will be announced in the weeks ahead.
Born and raised in Houston, Jastin’s family exposed her to a wide range of interests: Bob Marley and Brooks & Dunn (via her grandfather); Lenny Kravitz and Evanescence (via her mom); and zydeco (via her Louisiana grandmother). By 16, she was making her first studio recordings. At age 20, attending the HBCU Grambling State in Louisiana, Jastin first picked up the guitar and eventually taught herself how to produce.
She began diligently posting original songs online in 2016, building a loyal organic following with her hushed, guitar-lined confessions. Her soft-spoken sultriness and hard-hitting candidness on early breakout tracks “Again” and “Reassurance” struck a chord with new fans. “Again,” for example, was a soulful take-down directed at a lying love interest that she wrote in a mere 30 minutes in her car.
“My writing is so detailed that I wouldn’t have to tell anyone a song is about them – they would know it,” Jastin says. That sincerity is all over her Instagram and TikTok posts, where she deconstructs her songs and offers valuable life advice, too. Whether she’s writing lyrics in her bedroom, at the local park, or figuring out a melody to a guitar loop from her rooftop complex, the process remains intimate, pure and organic.
“I’ll even cry sometimes when I’m just writing and playing my guitar at the park. It’s a feeling of emotion like no other,” she admits. That rawness translates into moody, silky neo-soul that’s as cathartic for her as it is comforting to listeners. “If I’m gonna give something of myself,” Jastin says, “I might as well give all of it.”
16. Toosii ft. Khalid – Favorite Song (Remix)Source:toosii
On the heels of making his late night television debut on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Toosii announces the June 2 release of his debut album, NAUJOUR, via with South Coast Music Group/Capitol Records. Today, as the album pre-order / pre-save launched, he shared a stunning new version of “Favorite Song” with multi-Platinum global superstar Khalid. The voices of the two artists blend beautifully and Khalid adds a poignant verse, pledging his steadfast support to someone aching for love and peace.
Toosii said, “I’m excited to have Khalid join me on this track. He has such a dope and unique voice and I think it really takes an already amazing song to the next level. I’ve been wanting to collab with him on the right track for a while and I think we picked the perfect one. Hope y’all enjoy!”
The RIAA Gold-certified “Favorite Song” is Toosii’s first single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, where it currently ranks at No. 13*. In an early round-up of contenders for “Song of the Summer 2023,” Billboardobserved, “Toosii has a bonafide solo hit on his hands… the woozy R&B hook of ‘Favorite Song’ is definitely worthy of a breakthrough moment.”
The track hit No. 1 on the Billboard Rap Streaming Songs chart, entered the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs tally and is currently in the top 10 at rhythm radio. Combined global streams of the song have surpassed 112 million while the audio has been featured in over three million global TikTok creations, earning more than 28 million combined views.
17. Bobby Fishscale – I MightSource:bobbyfishscale
Roc Nation hip-hop artist Bobby Fishscale follows up last week’s drop to release his newest single, “I Might.”
The track weaves Bobby’s slow and smooth bars over a captivating sequence of snare beats and foreign strings. In the track, Bobby flexes his ability to do almost anything he aspires as a result of his culminated success and describes the luxuries he’s able to experience after breaking through the rap game.
“It’s all about a hustler’s mentality,” Bobby Fishscale said. “This song is about the life you get to live coming out the other side of grinding hard and staying focused.”
This single follows last week’s drop of “Really Eat” where the rapper chronicles his come up story, utilizing today’s release to bring his journey full circle.
The pair of single releases marks Bobby’s preparation for an exciting summer of new music, building off of the success of his debut album, The Evolution featuring lead track “Huncho Fishscale” ft. Quavo. The Florida rapper has made his mark with an impressive list of notable collaborators such as Juicy J, Zaytoven, DJ Paul, Ink, Mozzy, and labelmate Kalan.FrFr – promising more exciting collaborations later this year.
The Florida native has catapulted himself to the forefront of Florida’s burgeoning wave of rappers by capturing the attention of hip hop heavyweights like Lil Uzi Vert, Kodak Black, Rod Wave, and 2Chainz who co-sign Bobby for his “Flunkies Flow” freestyle. Bobby is a BMI R&B and Hip Hop Social Star Award winner joining respected names like Mac Miller, Machine Gun Kelly, Zendaya, Joey Bada$$, and NLE Choppa.
18. MyCrazyRo – Stuffin These BluesSource:mycrazyro_
Breakout Long Beach, CA rapper, MyCrazyRo, releases his new track “Stuffin These Blues,” accompanied by a dynamic, story-telling visual. “Stuffin These Blues” uses his West Coast sound and an upbeat guitar loop to deliver a melodic summer vibe.
“Stuffin These Blues” continues his momentum after releasing his first single under 300, “Stars In The Roof”. Following his success with his 2018 viral hit “Switched Up”, now with nearly 4 million Youtube views, Ro went on to release a string of singles taking him into this past year. He closed out 2022 by opening for Kalan FrFr on his Right Place Right Time Tour and recently performed at SXSW Success x Southwest show and the Show Me Your Style Showcase this year.
MyCrazyRo’s applies pressure yet again with, “Stuffin These Blues,” as he gears up to attack the rest of 2023.
19. Philly Goats – X EMSource:philly_goats
After setting social media on fire with tens of millions of views, rapidly rising Philadelphia “hipdance” trio—D Sturdy, PG, and PGS Spence—serve up a red hot new single and music video today entitled “X EM” via Def Jam Recordings.
The track’s frenetic energy and kinetic percussion entwine seamlessly with the group’s bulletproof bars. Together, they lock into an instantly irresistible hook. The accompanying visual only matches this explosive energy with moments of show-stopping choreography and fast-paced narrative!
It just paves the way for more from the three-piece very soon.
Over the past year, Philly Goats have captivated audiences with a sharp and showstopping style. They’ve quietly emerged as the face of the “hip dance”movement in Philadelphia. The guys have incited one viral moment after another, building up to “X EM.” Just the snippet inspired over 251K “creates” on TikTok and nearly 100 million views. Additionally. they rolled through OnTheRadar for a stunning performance of “X EM.”
Now, they finally unveil “X EM.”
20. Shawn Smith – Up If You Need MeSource:shawnsmithstory
Music and art have always played a vital role in the life of Shawn Smith. A product of Southwest Philadelphia, the birthplace of The Roots, Jill Scott, Teddy Pendergrass, Eve, Musiq Soulchild, Jazmine Sullivan and the city where John Coltrane established his sound, the innovative and prolific rapper has carved out his own niche merging all things cool, audibly and aesthetically.
With an ability to spit insatiable freestyles while crafting intricate stories Shawn Smith believes his new single “Up If You Need Me” is an important record about allegiance. “Up If You Need Me is an audio illustration about putting family first and making it out hero-battling circumstances,” says Shawn. Recorded in his hometown the second single off his forthcoming EP was produced by Jay the Great whose credits also include 2 Chainz, Symba and Yella Beezy.
On “Up If You Need Me” Shawn shares his thoughts on topics ranging from Bill Cosby to Artificial Intelligence while bringing listeners back to the song’s hook expressing his devotion to his comrades “It’s up if you need me, we suffer completely, we want to stunt on the TV, we hustle get greedy, cause nothing was easy.” The Philly MC recently returned to NYC’s iconic hip hop platform Major Stage to perform his latest track for an exclusive in-studio performance. Major Stage comes on the heels of Shawn’s freestyle for On the Radar and internet buzz surrounding last month’s release of “Chain Gang” featuring legendary mixtape DJ Don Cannon. The first single found the young virtuoso on the streets of his hometown paying homage to state property and posing existential questions. In the music video, Shawn was seen decked out in a Marcus Garvey inspired Pan-African flag poised underneath Artist Miguel Horn’s latest alleyway sculptural project ContraFuerte. Both “Chain Gang” and “Up If You Need Me” will be featured on Shawn Smith’s forthcoming EP aptly entitled Hope Dealer.
In a recent candid interview for The Knockturnal Shawn opened up about how Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work ethic influences how he approaches his craft musically, how his big brother ran the streets of Brooklyn with Foxy Brown in the late 90’s and why he considers Jay-Z a role model. Fans have speculated for years about Shawn Smith’s connection with mogul Shawn Carter after seeing the two dapping it up at Roc Nation’s annual star-studded Grammy brunches. Whatever it is it seems clear that the two extraordinary lyricists are both fans of each other.
Long before his lyrical gift attracted the attention of some of the industry’s most recognized and respected figures (Black Thought, Meek Mill, Jay-Z), Smith honed his craft as a brotherly love hip-hop hopeful opening up for rap elites like Rick Ross, Jeezy, DMX, Juelz Santana, and Ice Cube. His debut album Sink or Swim: A Shawn Smith Story was released in Fall 2018 to acclaim from outlets like The Source and Revolt TV. From memorable appearances on Sway in the Morning to his 2018 BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher freestyle Smith is a modern day renaissance man, crafting narratives ranging from urban struggles and politics, to art and fashion, showing how diverse he is as a young black man.
21. Reuben Vincent – Humble BeastSource:reubenvincent
The official audio to “Humble Beast” is now available on all streaming platforms. Also, Reuben was announced as the first artist to join the Tidal Rising program since its relaunch.