[RH Interview] Skyzoo: Sociology Raps
Skyzoo talks about his new album, In Celebration of Us, His Love For Sociology, and more.Read More
Last spring I had an idea. After seeing the immense success closed sessions had for artists and listeners alike, I knew we needed to try and create something from scratch relating to the saturation of young talent the game has seen in this 1 year alone. I was a junior at BU and was just getting to know Scott from itstheBino, who was a senior at the time. We politic’d in his room and ran through some music we we’re listening to at the time. From that point on it just clicked. We both new what we wanted in this mixtape: a concoction of the illest/freshest young cats in the game with similar visions. OTTN – On To The Next was the theme, relating to the idea of fuck “swag” or whatever the mass media and popular opinion believe that is.
Today we’ve reached that goal with 16 particular emcees, all representing the OTTN lifestyle accordingly. Read on for the full #OTTN tracklist and artist profiles featuring. Jon Connor, Charmingly Ghetto, Chuuwee, Tris J x Sir Michael Rocks, Show You Suck, DTMD and more.
Charmingly Ghetto: “Dope”
For those of you unfamiliar with Boston based emcee Charmingly Ghetto, he is one of the most introspective artists rhyming. As a relative newcomer to the game, he is steadily evolving and working to hone his lyrical ability further. “Dope” is a perfect example of his push, combining some of his smoothest flows yet with his always on point conscious lyricism. One of the best tracks on the tape, CG’s “Dope” showcases an artist that is working hard to further his craft and has taken the #OTTN theme to heart.
Jon Connor: “One of those Nights”
With co-signs from artists like Nas and Busta Rhymes, it’s no coincidence that Jon Connor has been named Hip Hop’s Mayor of Flint, Michigan. The emcee has dropped two mixtapes in the past 4 months (Season 2 and The Blue Album) and there’s no signs of slowing down. For OTTN, Connor gives us this Rude-produced track about a night out on the town. The jazzy production is complimented by Connor’s rapid and precise delivery about his future takeover. Connor has proven that work ethic and pure heart gets noticed. He truly exemplifies what it means to be On To The Next.
Chuuwee: “Amalgam Back”
For listeners who have not had the opportunity to listen to Chuuwee yet, you are in for a treat. His diction, accent, and traits, announce his status as a rising musician from northern California. Yet, if you sit down and meticulously listen to Chuuwee, don’t be surprised if his cadence, timing and pure bar structure remind you of a young Nas. With an emphatic delivery, and potential out the ass, the teenage emcee is still honing his craft until the fat lady sings and bogus swag rappers are deaded by the “neo-boom bap youngin.” “Amalgam Back” pays homage to the the online music pioneer Amalgam Digital. “My intention was to make this track for Amalgam because they’ve done so much for me, and you for your tape, but that was more of a reference to the Max B. song “Tattoo’s on her Ass.” Free Max B. #OTTN
Tris J x Sir Michael Rocks: “G.E.D.”
Tris J burst onto the local scene in late 2011 with the release of Trisworld. It was evident early on that Tris and his Toothpickclique counterparts would be creating heater after heater in 2012, emitting immense personality on each song. “G.E.D. (Gettin’ Every Dollar) is something we believe in heavily and with Tris’ smooth entry on the track & Sir Michael’s handle on the hook and last verse, it was a no brainer for the project. #OTTN
Topaz Jones: “Lamborghini Dreams”
This past year has been a landmark one for Topaz Jones. The Tastemaker NJ emcee graduated from high school, released his sophomore LP Hello My Name Is and started at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute. Jones and the whole Tastemaker’s crew are looking to leave their mark on the game and as you. After a long night in the studio, Topaz sent over “Lamborghini Dreams”. Produced by fellow Tastemaker and Ruby Hornet mainstay Thelonious Martin, the vibes are cohesive and fitting for #OTTN. After a listen it is easy to tell that Topaz has his eyes set on big things and he has the skills to reach them.
ShowYouSuck: “House of Yes”
ShowYouSuck really used 2011 as a major year for growth & development as an MC, and all his work definitely showed on his latest offering One Man Pizza Party 2, which dropped in December. His consistent work with producer Mike Jaxx reached its climax on “House of Yes”, as the two have been working tightly together for a while, bouncing ideas and concepts off each other – definitely bettering each other’s craft. When I asked Show to be a part of OTTN he knew he had to bring something unique and went to the studio with a goal. He left with one of the hottest tracks on #OTTN, and for your own good, make sure your woofers are turned all the way up for this one.
Jason Davis: “Captain AmeriKKKA”
Jason Davis, the Robot Army collective’s general, helped pave his own lane in the Chicago scene with an “irregular” sound drawing from many influences in Psychedelic Rock, to 90’s grunge, to the Lupe’s and Mic Terror’s of our time period. In September 2011, Robot Army released Summer Shots, which may flown over the heads of many – but not for #OTTN. The title tells it all. If you haven’t heard Jason Davis’ music before, his lyrics are filled with politcally concious rhettoric commenting on the massive citizens united movements occuring across the globe, as well as the evident African-American plight that still lurks in our own nation. Davis and fellow Robot Army member and producer, B4Laser$, crafted this tune especially for those seeing further, those expecting more than the standard, those moving #OTTN.
Nemo Achida: “Aw Lawd”
Kentucky isn’t the first place you think of when you think of Hip Hop. But don’t tell that to rapper Nemo Achida. After dropping his LP, Nemotional, the Kentucky native caught the attention of rap critics and fans alike. If Nemotional is any indication, Achida is destined to have a big 2012, starting with this #OTTN track that features crooner Darnell Levine.
Jon James: “I’m On”
Jon James hit my radar in the beginning fall months of 2011, and I immediately noticed something different about his cadence, as well as something that other rising emcees didn’t have: originality. James,born in Dayton, Ohio, has lived throughout the midwest and that grassroots mindset has only positively influenced his grind. For #OTTN, “I’m On” signifies the peak of career, when money is only a measly commodity. Grind on. Treated.
J-Coop x Abib Jahleel: “I Like That”
Perhaps the most unknown names on the entire project are Atlanta’s J-Coop & Abib Jaheel. Repping the Thumbs Up crew in the ATL, these two really just have “it.” Coop’s Pimp Tight Playa, which dropped February 1st here on RH, shows his immense talent, proving his ability as a complex wordsmith. Yet honing a vocally calm flow with wordplay relateable to a young Lupe Fiasco. Bib’s more straight up flow is reminiscent of the golden ages in Hip Hop, which is not surprising for the slightly more mature MC with roots in Brooklyn. #RubyGem #OTTN
Julian Malone: “That One Girl”
Julian Malone is one of Chicagos quickest rising stars and his pure work ethic is a reason for that. Julian came on my radar in June 2011 with his The Mind & Moods of Ju project and the potential was evident after the second track faded. Jump forward 10 months, a couple projects later, and Julian Malone has released a truly epic mixtape Enemy: The Time & Loves of Julian Malone. His progress is so very evident, as the 20 year old rapper, producer, engineer, continues to improve. “That One Girl” is not your typical Julian Malone song, and after reading the title you (like me) may have thought the young emcee is trying to conform to radio norms for the betterment of his career, yet we couldn’t be more wrong. Taking a extremely familiar situation of getting with a female, Malone shies away from any sappiness. This record samples The Internet (OFWGKTA) and creates an uber-confident song on relationships with women, coming out like a true Hip Hop song – rather than a cross over attempt to get wealthy. #OTTN
Sheriff PJ of Phony Ppl: “It’s Okay”
Phony Ppl have taken over the blogosphere recently with their debut album, Phonyland. While each member of the 9 man collective have their own individual talents, it’s Sheriff PJ who brings, as he said himself, the “realness.” With an upcoming solo project looming, PJ enlists Phony Ppl family member Bagir-Ba to handle the production.
Kardi: “Weight Watchers”
Kardi first broke onto the scene with his second mixtape, The Valedictorian. The title is quite a statement to make for only being 18 years old. But it turns out Kardi has earned the title, churning out tracks that prove to be wise beyond their years. Hence his contribution to #OTTN. Weight Watchers continues the trend.
Asaad: “Top Floor”
2011 proved to be a huge year for the young artist from Philly. The whole year saw hype build until he dropped his first LP, Dirty Middle Class at the end of the year. Since then he has gone on to drop numerous other tracks and projects with even more slated for the near future. For his contribution to #OTTN, Asaad sent us “Top Floor”, a memoir of his time spent with an older woman. Produced by Nascent & QB, the product is certified grade A luxury rap. The disclaimer for “Top Floor” reads “Best played when accompanied by a presidential view.”
DTMD: “Lets Go!” featuring Oddisee
The golden age of Hip Hop is far removed from today’s sound, but DTMD have a knack for channeling it’s soulful boom-bap into their high quality sound. With some help from their mentor Oddisee, Dunc and Toine have successfully brought the vintage feel into the realm of today. For On To The Next the three artists crafted “Lets Go!”, a homage to their mentality of getting after it and makin’ dollar (DTMD stands for Dunc and Toine Makin Dollaz). Smooth through and through, DTMD successfully created a throwback track that screams #OTTN. Is that an oxymoron? Quite possibly a very dope one.