Tag: FIrst Look


[Interview] RH First Look: MaLLy

My favorite thing about Hip Hop music is the rawness.  Before it became cliche and corny to ‘keep it real’,

RH First Look: Nico Segal (Of Kids These Days)

It must be interesting to realize your dreams just short time removed from being old enough to vote.  But so

Tugun Cannon

RH First Look: Tugun Cannon

Hip Hop’s relationship with the American Dream has always been a dynamic one.  The music and the culture both came

RH First Look: Calez


I met Calez for the first time while shooting the video for “Natural High”.  He showed up with the rest of his 2008ighties Crew. I didn’t really know how he got there, and had never heard his music.  During a break in shooting the party scene, he approached me, introduced himself, and asked me about submitting to RubyHornet.  I gave him my email address, and told him to send away.  A few days later he emailed me some music.  After that he texted me. Then he called me.  This routine repeated itself several times in a short span.  At this particular time, I was probably at my busiest and most burned out. I sincerely didn’t get a chance to listen to it, and then the rounds of emails, texts, etc… made it even easier to ignore. But, Calez stayed persistent, even making a song and video for “Middle Finger”, a song centered on his frustrations in getting exposure, and pretty much a direct response to not being featured on RH.  The thing about it though, the song and the video were both really dope.  I posted the video, helped it get on a few other spots, and reached out to Calez about his music and his persistence.

Calez and the rest of his 2008ighties crew are all talented.  They run the gamut of activities, rapping, shooting videos, handling production, and more.  And they’re only getting better and wiser.  With one ear on the past sounds of Hip Hop’s golden era, and the other firmly in the present, the crew pays homage to Hip Hop’s past while working to shape it’s future.  We put Calez under the First Look microscope as an artist to watch.  Get to know him in the interview below.  Also check out his new record, “Rapping Habits” of his forthcoming LP, Kid With Raps.

RH First Look: Vic Mensa

“The only way it’s really affected me personally is by making me feel like I have to get it popping

RH First Look: Das Racist

Das Racist

photo: Jackie Roman

Das Racist can be a tough group to figure out, and as our attempt shows, an equally tough crew to interview.  With songs such as “Combination Pizza Hut Taco Bell” and Rainbow In The Dark”  and the ever always fun, “Chicken and Meat” you may think the duo of Victor and Himanshu are just fun, games, and jokes. And for the most part, you might be right.

We set out to discover more behind the multi-cultural crew that is shaking things up in more ways than one.  For all their randomness and jokes, there’s seems to be a serious side that is hard to get at, but there none the less, tracing back to the duo’s introduction during their college years and shared living quarters in their school’s Students of Color For Social Justice dormitory.  From the name to the music, Das Racist’s main goal appears to be either be a brilliant strategy of remaining hard to catch and figure out… That, or they’re just as clueless as everyone else, and still trying to figure out if they’re at Pizza Hut or Taco Bell.  Get to know them (or at least try) a little better in this new and exclusive RH First Look.

RH First Look: B. Dolan

B. Dolan

B. Dolan just released his second LP, Fallen House Sunken City, and he already has the perfect way to exit the rap game thanks to his labelmate and longtime friend, Sage Francis.

“When I met Sage Francis in 2002, both of us looked distinct from each other.  I was a little bit taller than him.  We were both bald, but I don’t think he had a beard at the time we met,” B. told us a few weeks ago.  “Over the years however, we’ve somehow grown into the same f**king body type.  All that healthy gas station cuisine and living the dream, I guess.  So now people  physically confuse us… And neither of  us are willing to shave our beards, because it’s a horror show under there.  Luckily, Sage Francis is a dude I respect forever, and the association doesn’t cause me to lose any sleep at night.  And the physical similarity may just allow us to work out some imposter-scheme a la Doom.  Might be a good retirement plan.”

The retirement is a long way off, as Dolan is currently on a marathon tour of Eurpoe before criss-crossing the USA with Francis on a spring/summer tour.  Dolan’s new record is a realistic, morbid, and sometimes morbidly funny take on the music industry as well as the well-being of our society.  Dolan’s double-duty as the founder of the consumer’s right advocacy group Knowmore.org adds to the passion of his music while his music offers him a release from his activist endeavors.  The two compliment each other to enhance Dolan’s mic skills as well as his ability to write real life stories.  Such is the case with Fallen House, Sunken City. At first glance the album’s title appears to be directly related to the collapse of the housing market and ensuing recession, but Dolan insists the title was thought of before the s**t hit the fan, as he told us.

“There certainly was a spooky correlation between releasing an album about underwater houses just as that started literally happening to people.  It isn’t the first time that kind of strange coincidence has come along.  I like to think it comes from being sensitive to the world around me and paying attention to signs.  Although, it doesn’t take a psychic at this point to know we’re headed for all kinds of collapse.”

We put B. Dolan under the First Look microscope to find out more about his debut album, knowmore.org, and much much more.  Check out the full interview below.

RH First Look: Aleon Craft

Aleon Craft

Last fall I made a trip out to Atlanta.  While I was in town I asked a few people about artists that were “bubbling” as the tastemakers say… One name was repeated a little bit more than others, and I got a real vision of things when this young man’s music came on at the club… Everybody went nuts.  The person I speak of is Aleon Craft, who retooled the spelling of his name a little bit, the direction of his music, and the mentality of his hustle from the harder way to the smarter way.  Craft says, “I’ve more so just started moving smarter and strategically…. I have grown and matured, mentally and musically.”

That growth was in part manifested by a unique collaboration with Atlanta’s Symphony Orchestra, a musical partnership that was perhaps as unexpected as musical partnerships go.  Craft spoke to us about working with the symphony, his not so out of this world partnership with SMKA, and more in this new RH First Look.

RH First Look: Miguel


Miguel presented some troublesome issues to industry exec and A&R’s.  His bi-racial background (Mexican and Black), singing voice, and subject matter didn’t quite fit the mold of “R&B superstar”, so Miguel was told to stick to writing for other artists, rather than seeking the spotlight for himself.  It was get in how you fit in for Miguel, who didn’t let definitions deter him from his dream of making music.   

“It was hard for them to place, they didn’t know what to do with that,” he told me via phone.  “But fortunately, times have changed and with the advent of the Internet, our spectrum of music and the palette of music that we’re familiar with and able to pull from is a lot broader.  That’s what has changed.  Also as a person I’ve grown more aware of myself and comfortable in my own skin, so that definitely helps.  I’m sure they can feel it more now.”

Miguel’s music has been felt from a growing fanbase, as well as a collective of emerging Hip Hop artists ranging from his high school friend, Blu to NYC’s Emilio Rojas.  We caught up with Miguel to put him under the First Look Microscope.  Here he talks about his entrance to writing as a way to deal with his parents divorce, the buzz term that is genre-defying, and what it means to be level-headed.  Check it out below.

RH First Look: Rockie Fresh


He’s too hipster. He’s just trendy. I just don’t like his music. Say what you will about the kid, and all those previous statements have been, but Rockie Fresh has definitely created a buzz for himself. His point was proven December 15th when he released his debut mixtape, Rockie’s Modern Life, which recorded over 1,000 downloads in just one day. Not too bad for a cat who just started rhyming in 2006.

“All of these new age rappers are changing the direction of the genre and creating something for our generation to call our own,” said Rockie on the new generation of artists to hit the Hip Hop. RH correspondent, Ashydakid, caught up with Rockie Fresh for a full interview, digging into his family background, the new generation he identifies with, and the importance of versatility. Check it put right below and see why another thing people are saying is, “that kid’s got talent.”

RH First Look: Big Homie D.O.E.

 Big Homie D.O.E

I’ve been following Big Homie D.O.E. for a while now. His catchy hooks and lyrics to go along with them made him stand out amongst the pack, and his recent move to our homie Naledge’s Brainiac Society has only served to increase his visiblity, improve his work ethic, and place him in the right situation where opportunity meets preparation. Many people wondered how the somewhat intellectual approach of Naledge would work with the “in your face” personality of The Big Homie D.O.E., but as he said, it’s not as much of a stretch as some may think.  Sticking to his vision to “express the thoughts and feelings of myself, my peers and others through timeless music,” D.O.E. has found synergery with Naledge through similar goals pertaining to the music. With that being his main focus there’s almost no way that Naledge and D.O.E. couldn’t work well together because at the end of the day making timeless music is what Hip-Hop is all about, right?

RH’s Ashydakid caught up with The Big Homie D.O.E. for a candid First Look. Check it out below..

RH First Look: Lush Life

Lush Life

Philadelphia producer/emcee/instrumentalist, Lushlife, is no stranger to originality. His work ranges from 60’s rock, futuristic electronic, soul, boom-bap, and pop.  His projects expand from the successful mash up of West Sounds (Kanye West meets the Beach Boys), to the sample heavy Order of Operations, to his newest pop and instrumentation inspired Cassette City. Although his music has changed from project to project, the thing that has held true is its alternative roots to stay one step ahead and one step to the left of your average Hip Hop listening experience. RubyHornet conversed with Lushlife to untangle his mind on everything from his past work to his current project and all of his inspirations in between.  Check out Lush Life as he goes under the First Look microscope.