Tag: 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.

RH First Look: Donnis


“Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation.” – Elizabeth Drew

Atlanta born Donnis knows all too well the meaning of travel, and contrary to Elizabeth Drew’s quote, his form of conversation is rhyming on a microphone. From Japan to New York, the young troubadour is far from the “basement recording rookie.” His life experiences have not only helped him personally, but also shaped his music, which became obvious in his recent sit-down with RubyHornet. Donnis spoke on everything from his culture shock in the big apple to his upcoming mixtape with a certain streetwear heavyweight, as well as leaving the dull points at the door.  Check it all out as Donnis gets under The First Look microscope.

RH First Look: Cookin’ Soul


Right off of the western coast of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea lies a gorgeous and historical city named, Valencia, which is the third largest city in Spain. Located on the Eastern tip of Spain, Valencia is known for the tourists who flock to the city’s primarily gothic styled cathedrals from the 13th to the 15th century. But there is a peculiar group that seems to be quaking the streets, squares, and boulevards of Valencia. This phenomenon is the producing and DJ’ing trio known as Cookin’ Soul, and they’ve now taken their producing skills states side by producing for several Rap and Hip Hop artist.

RH’s, Ashydakid, caught up with Cookin’ Soul in advance of their new mixtape, 1:00 am and Rising presented by Nah Right.  Big Size, Milton, and Zock chat about the musical influences of Spain, the transition from producing in Spain to producing in the United States, getting paid, building a brand and much more. Get the full in depth First Look with the guys called Cookin’ Soul right below.

RH First Look: CurT@!n$


Following in the vast footsteps of Brooklyn, New York’s Hip Hop greats, CurT@!n$, is also attempting to leave his footprints embedded in the game. At an early age he was surrounded by a conglomerate of skilled and polished Hip Hop artists, having interned for Roc a Fella Records his senior year in high school. This type of opportunity doesn’t approach itself everyday, so skills were definitely acquired while being encompassed by the Roc.  CurT@!n$ transformed those skills into his own mic aspirations, and after a start and pause in NYC, he relocated to L.A. where he has since signed on Tyrese’s record label and is growing a name and a brand through his music and videos that tackle issues such as race and prostitution. 

RubyHornet caught up with CurT@!n$ to put him on the hot seat for our First Look Column.  Here CurT@!n$ speaks about the Hip Hop internet avenue and a rapper’s standard of lyrical content.Read the full interview below.

RH First Look: Emilio Rojas

Emilio Rojas
So time has said that our economy is to take a turn and our hip hop will follow. The broker our NYC pockets seem to get, the hungrier the emcees seem to get as well. Having personally known  this guy right when he came down from his home in Rochester, it’s nice to see that MTV has made room for him and the rest of the blog world as well. After recently attaining hood status on his Recession Proof mixtape, I just had to sit down and show the Chi city what Emilio was all about.

RH First Look: Hey Champ

Hey Champ

I learned a few things about Lupe Fiasco’s venture into Electro Rock, otherwise known as Hey Champ! over the last week.  They hail from Rockford, IL, they eat a lot of Sultan’s Market, and they’re damn good at photo shoot ideas.  You can also learn about the Chicago-based trio currently burning up Chicago’s underground in this new edition of RH First Look…Check it out below.

RH FIrst Look: Shawn Chrystopher

Shawn Chrystopher

Ever since I’ve been on this earth my parents have drilled into my head the importance of education. You know how it is when you’re younger and you take what they say for granted but as you grow into your own you begin to really notice how important attaining an education is. Many people believe that this concept has been abandoned in the Hip Hop community. It seems that critiques tend to draw conclusions on the entire community. Many believe that at a time in Hip Hop it wasn’t “cool” to be an intellect or “cool” to have something positive going for yourself. Personally I disagree with that. Hip Hop has always been about bettering yourself as a person, whether that being mentally or socially.

With the “New Age” of Hip Hop hitting the scene, we are starting to notice a growing trend of college educated artists, artists like Wale, Asher Roth, and Shawn Chrystopher. Graduating from a California high school at the age of 16, Shawn Chrystopher then attended the University of Southern California. The kid also plays 5 different instruments, brings paintings to the studio, and says he doesn’t really listen to Hip Hop at all besides Kanye and Jeezy. “Other than that I listen to Coldplay, Radiohead, Nina Simone, John Mayer, Jackson 5,  Queens of the Stoneage, Brazilian Girls, and The Killers, “says Chrystopher.

Read what these influences have lead Shawn Chrystopher to cultivate in his own music and more in an in-depth First Look below.

RH First Look: J The S

J The S

Hip Hop comes out of the Bean in hard forms like Slaine and Krumbsnatcha….and honestly, after performing up there myself, I remember getting some really hard street banging CDs that represented a city I never knew supported rap as much as their baseball team. It’s quite refreshing to know there are other marketable artists out there that still represent a hometown without embodying the accent that the famous bodybuilder Mike Matarazzo had (yeah I have been following bodybuilding since like 8 because my bro was one). I met J The S in NYC and by being cool he has had much bloglicity, as well as stage time at good venues like the Middle East and acclaimed NYC Knitting Factory before it retired.
Also being named after a great WWF wrestler, I think he can take it to another level with a boa constrictor on his neck..OK..I’ll stop here.