Gowhere Hip Hop

Artist Spotlight Archives

Artist Spotlight: The Weeknd

The Weeknd House of Balloons
The Weeknd 'House of Balloons' [MIXTAPE] 
Features 9 Tracks!
I'm going to start off by saying 'House of Balloons' is what I've been personally bumpin' in my rotation since it was released March 20th. It's like the renaissance of R&B, it's really that good. The Weeknd transcends conventional R&B pushing the genre further by coagulating hip hop and indie rock elements into it. I get a feeling of freedom from 'House of Balloons', as it breaks formulaic boundaries throughout. There's a spontaneity of true expression in the music, which can be described as an organic and synchronized dance between all of the elements. The atmospheric flow of vocals mixed with scenic production creates an overwhelming wave that the listener is forced to ride to the shore. It's so smooth, I love driving around Chicago and playing this out the speakers. Support and follow The Weeknd - 'House Of Balloons' deserves an award! 
MTV News Synopsis: The Weeknd

The Weeknd "House Of Balloons/Glass Table Girls" (Audio)

City Hall Minutes: Jim Jonsin Productions

Thumbnail image for j-jonsin.jpeg

('City Hall Minutes' will be City Hall's countdown series of songs, albums, etc. in a certain artist or producer's discography. At least, that's what the idea is now. It may change. For now, it's a countdown. This is the first entry in that series.)

In my "Road to Recovery" piece on Eminem, I mentioned a certain "criminally underrated" producer by the name of Jim Jonsin. After reading the final draft, that line clicked a bit more. He really is criminally underrated. Can that be changed? Hell, I'm a writer with minimal pull, might as well do my part to properly rate Jonsin, a guy who has quickly become one of my favorite producers.
Jonsin's influence has popped up in so many places -- this season on American Idol, signing B.o.B as the first act on his Rebel Rock label, etc. -- and has collected many accolades -- a Grammy, multiple No. 1 hits -- that you probably haven't even realized. By definition, he's underrated. Let's change that.

From an XXL Magazine interview in April of 2009:

XXL: Why do you think your music is bigger than your name?

Jonsin: I don't know. It's funny, I was just...the past few artists I worked with, even with Lloyd. I was with Lloyd a couple of weeks ago and one of his buddies and they asked me to tell them what songs I've done. When I named the songs they flipped out, like 'Wow, you did that? You did that?' And so I made a CD the other day off my lady's computer. I said, 'Let me just put something together just to reflect back on the records I've done.' And I'm talking about what I call my new run being this new stuff and then the old run and then the very old run when I was Jealous J back when I had bass music out [in the early '90s]. But now, I'd say from like 2003 until now, there was some really good songs on there. So to myself it's pretty impressive, but yeah I've moved on from that, from winning awards from stuff I did yesterday... I think my name is a lot smaller than the music I've done, and I just hired a publicist for the first time in my career really. I had a publicist in the past, I wasn't really interested in being this famous guy. I just wanted to make the music, but now I think having the notoriety, people know who I am and just inspiring other people, is important to my legacy and to everybody in my family."
Honorable Mention:
Beyoncé "Sweet Dreams" (2010)

Beyoncé has done much better, as has Jonsin. But the producer's ability to cross over genres and styles, proven with this song, warrants its inclusion. He's tremendously versatile. Gotta appreciate that in a producer.
J. Cole "Pass Me By" f/ B.o.B (2010)

A tight piano loop compliments Jonsin-drums (heavy and rock-esque), with a little love from B.o.B on the hook. J. Cole, in my relatively limited experience with his music, seems to thrive on heavy beats like this. He's extremely comfortable and tackles some pretty taboo stuff on this track, further fueling his hype machine. This record is complete: interesting lyrics, great beat, catchy hook. Very interested to see if this makes J. Cole's debut album; here's to hoping it does.

Soulja Boy "Kiss Me Thru The Phone" (2008)

Up front, let me just say that I don't like Soulja. I think he sucks. I think he helped start -- and has since been (shockingly) limited to -- "ringtone rap." His hand in the creation of that term/genre means I'll always hate him. (And on "Crank Dat:" If you have a brain, you shouldn't enjoy that song more than a five out of ten. If it wasn't for that dance to go along with it, the song would be even worse. Gag.)
As for "Kiss Me Through the Phone," I give the majority of credit to Jonsin and smooth-yet-generic-voiced Sammie for making me legitimately like a track that's credited to Soulja. Who cares if it sounds veryyyyyy similar to No. 5 on this list? It's catchy. It's stupidly relatable. It contains great depth, especially in the verses. (That last one was a joke.) But I don't want to talk about Soulja any longer, might get too frustrated. Let's move on.

Nelly "Just A Dream" (2010)

It's crazy what has happened to Nelly. The guy created great, and I mean great hip-pop in the early part of the decade -- "Country Grammar" and "Ride Wit Me" to name only two -- yet severely fell off a cliff (not unlike the infamous O'Doyles) musically since. I would venture to say that he hadn't made a legit, good song in five years (I'm counting "Grillz"). Until this one dropped.

Sure, it was inescapable on the radio (a pattern you'll see with Jonsin productions) for a month or so, but don't let that deter you from appreciating its quality. A cool guitar lick opens and sets the tone for Nelly to absolutely kill the melody, a common thread in Jonsin productions. Maybe there are better songs in Jonsin's discography, but there mere fact that this song resurrected Nelly from a musical graveyard in STL kicked it up a few notches in my book. When Nelly is good, he's very good at creating well-rounded hip-pop. Give Jonsin a Deron Williams-esque assist on this one and enjoy.


Find out the rest of the countdown, including which #1 hit is #1, after the jump!

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Boom Goes The Globe 'Elevate Me' video trailer

A lot has happened since Boom Goes the Globe was last featured on GWHH.
This electronic-rock powerhouse has been gaining momentum in the Chicago and national club circuit, and has just released a video trailer for their upcoming single, "Elevate Me [The Astronauts Report It Feels Good]."  This track will mark the first release from their forthcoming EP, Space Junk [Release TBA]. This trailer embodies what we've come to expect from this mysterious group: an otherworldly, dance-fueled onslaught. BGTG certainly continues to raise eyebrows, including ours.
Be sure to check out their face-melting mixtapes and mark your calendars for their upcoming shows (we dare you not to dance):
- The Other Place Night Club Greenville, NC April 30th, 2011
- Manifest Chicago, IL The NextUp Stage in the Nexus Lot (4:10PM - 4:30PM) Balbo & Wabash May 13th, 2011
- PMR Presents: Feed Your Monster Nashville 12th and Porter Nashville, TN May 20th, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Just Jay

Just Jay just dropped the second single "Going All In" from his mixtape entitled "Livin on Borrowed Beats". This video was produced by Tall Black Guy and filmed by Cam Be.

The first video dropped by Just Jay from his solo project was a track produced by The Roots called "World Full of Sadness" produced by 10Films. Check it out below.
Just Jay "World Full Of Sadness"

Download 2pak 'Stress' featuring LP

2pak 'Stress' f/ LP

2pak "Stress" f/ LP
Producer: pak.one - FULL, CDQ, Track off upcoming mixtape, Fountain of Youth MG Fav.™ *GWHH PREMIERE*
Get ready for Fountain of Youth to drop later this month, but until then we got another exclusive from the project to hold ya over! This time 2pak recruit LP to get on their concept record called "Stress" -- rhyming about anxiety over pak.one production. I can definitely feel the despair that the record emulates, which matches the cover in my opinion. When people are stressed out, they usually try to infect others consciously or unconsciously by spreading their troubles into other people's minds and energy fields. 

The law of attraction states that whatever we put our attention on, the universe provides. We are co-creating our reality by holding our attention on how we feel, and therefore are influencing others by our very Presence. If your friend is stressed out, they can easily transform you to feel the same by their very presence. However you as a person have the power to hold your attention on higher/lighter vibrations of love/peace, and not be affected by your friends' stress. In fact, by holding your attention on peace you can transmute their stress into peace by your conscious Presence! Lower vibrations align with higher vibrations -- not the other way around. (This is physics) Remember you can effect any situation by simply holding your attention on your intention. Believe in your inner power, and be happy.

So without further adieu check out the above record, and transform your stress!

Artist Spotlight: Kay

What up you guys its Kidd Russell. Its been a while since I posted but I'm back with another new brand new artist you'll be hearing a lot from in the future.  Her name is Kay and she's signed to Interscope records. I had the pleasure to hang out with her and her team a few weeks ago while they shot her first official music video directed by David Turvey of garagelightfilms.net.  This 22 year old lady oozes with talent. The video above is for her song "My Name Is Kay" and its a hip hop/pop song to please the masses and get her name out there.  Like herself in person, the song & video is fun, real and a good-time. The video was shot in Chicago, features lots of local actors and debuted this weekend on PerezHilton.com. For a free download of this song visit her facebook page facebook.com/kaymusick.

To get a more intimate view of her RAW talent peep the acapella videos from the studio below.  I think Kay has way more music cred then the other more well known artist I'm sure people will lump her in with at first such as Ke$ha, Katy Perry, & Gwen Stefani. But if you watch the videos below & the more you listen to her music you see she's more on the talent level of Missy Elliot & Lauren Hill. Personally I can't wait to hear more music like what she's doing in the video below, "In The Studio with Sex-Ed". I believe that's what the games missing either way and I'm excited to see what comes next!!!!

Also after the jump, is a behind the scenes video of my homeless DJ  (@blazewright) & I (@kiddrussell) hanging out on the set of her music video shoot.  This is episode 1 of Kidd Russell presents 'Everydays Pulaski Day!'. The video debuts a new song we recorded with Cisco Adler (of Shwayze) called "Are We Having Fun Yet" and gives you a closer look into the retardedness of  hanging out with me & my homeless DJ. For more info visit facebook.com/kiddrussellmusic
Flobots "MiseryCompany" f/ Kay
Kay In The Studio w/ Sex-ed
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Artist Spotlight: Young Guss

Young Guss "Already There" f/ Mike D.
Producer: Mike D. - FULL, CDQ, Track off upcoming mixtape, Different

I'm back in here with some new hidden talent! Repin' Long Island NY, 18 year old artist Young Guss had me vibing out as soon as I pushed play. I know the hip hop heads will dig this as much as myself. The above track is off his upcoming mixtape, Different. These days, the music industry is flooded with millions of artists with the same goal in mind, but there's something in particular with his vibe, voice, and flow that I know can break him through with much determination.

After a few spins of "Already There", I set out to find more material from Young Guss. Below are two songs off his previous mixtape, Picasso Paintings, which you can download in full here.

Young Guss "Titanic Love"
Producer: Mike D. - FULL, CDQ, Track off mixtape, Picasso Paintings 
Young Guss "Summer Raine"
Producer: Mike D. - FULL, CDQ, Track off mixtape, Picasso Paintings

[All artists in the NY area seeking promo be sure to hit up GowhereNY]

Rob Roy 'Carmencita' music video

Rob Roy "Carmencita"
Producer: Gods Paparazzi and Rob Roy - FULL, CDQ, Track off album, King Warrior Magician Lover 
Something about this guy just screams original doesn't it? Let me tell you my favorite part about Rob Roy. Not only does he have the most unique flow I've ever heard, but he puts up all his own music up for FREE download! I don't know if you can tell from the video above, but this guys got a vision. This video won the weekly Freshman 5 contest on MTVu a couple months ago and he's still on rotation. I first heard of Rob Roy back when MySpace was still "the cool thing" and it's great to watch an artist progressing and becoming successful in mainstream music. Fans at MTV not only accepted him, they embraced him with open arms.

I tip my hat to Rob Roy for creating his own sound in the music industry and sticking to it. His album King Magician Warrior Lover is probably the most diverse sounding hip hop album I've ever heard. So don't forget to download his mixtapes before his label makes him take them down. Enjoi.

Artist Spotlight: Big Soj

Producer: Big Soj - FULL, CDQ, Track off upcoming mixtape, D.A.M.N. 
So we're back at you, bringing you more new music from a talented artist... Today, I present to you: Big Soj. Big Soj may have flown under your radar but I promise you he won't be under the radar for too long cause there aren't many as talented as this man. In today's music scene you have to bring a lot to the table to get noticed so Big Soj decided to cover all bases. A beast on the mic delivering true lyrics and hard punches with smooth flows. A music producer banging out some of the hardest beats out you'll get to hear. And if that isn't enough he has a smooth enough pen game to write a song or two for other artist whether it's an R&B track or even something out of the hip hop realm that can compete line for line with some of Bruno Mars' best work. 

Below are some choice tracks from Big Soj starting with "The Problem" where he puts his own spin on the classic "Grammy Family" track. "Sometimes (Like This)" showcases his production skills, and one of my personal favorite Big Soj tracks, "Say Something" where he puts his lyrical ability to work on this instant-classic Kanye West beat. Follow through on the links below to catch the rest of Big Soj's mixtape entitled 'So Uh...Yea Vol. 1'  and be sure to check out Big Soj's page to download his latest work and new mixtape coming to you soon 'D.A.M.N. (Dawg Ass Mixtape N***A)'.
FULL, CDQ, Track off the mixtape, So Uh...Yea Vol. 1
Producer: Big Soj - FULL, CDQ, Track off the mixtape, So Uh...Yea Vol. 1

Producer: Kanye West - FULL, CDQ, Track off the mixtape, So Uh...Yea Vol. 1

Artist Spotlight: Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean 'nostalgia, ULTRA.' [MIXTAPE]
Features 14 Tracks!
As many are now aware, Odd Future is the talk of hip hop right now as their meteoric rise since their performance with The Roots on Jimmy Fallon has been fascinating to follow. One member of that group who has been earning a ton of attention is singer/songwriter, Frank Ocean.

He recently dropped his free LP, nostalgia, ULTRA. to rave reviews from critics and peers alike. Once I finally found some time to really sit down and vibe with it, it was easy to see why. nostalgia, ULTRA. has since been in rotation as personal favorites like "Dust", "Swim Good", "Novacane", and even a twist of one of my favorite Mr. Hudson tracks "There Will Be Tears" forms a unique blend between soulful and contemporary R&B. From beginning to end, it is an easy project to vibe with and relate to because of the infectious sounds and real concepts, bolstered by Ocean's on point vocals as well. That's basically the full package and after digesting this a little bit, I couldn't let nostalgia, ULTRA. get away without a feature here on Gowhere. If you don't yet have it, I urge ya to download it above.

Below (and after the jump), peep some of the aforementioned attention that Ocean and Odd Future have been receiving lately. For starters, that is Mrs. Carter and Ocean in the studio and after the jump: Odd Future is pictured workin' with The Neptunes and nostalgia, ULTRA. gets a glowing review from the NY Times. 

Frank Ocean in the studio with Beyoncé

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Wax 'Scrublife' [MIXTAPE]

Wax 'Scrublife' [MIXTAPE]
Hosted by: DJ Skee - 17 tracks produced by Jim Jonsin, EOM, Wax, & MORE!
What up neighbors, it's Kidd Russell back with another post on Wax.  Last night at 2am I received an email with his mixtape Scrublife attached.  Most nights I would just pass out, wake up the next day and listen but I was excited to hear some new Wax so I turned on the XBox, grabbed a Miller High Life and started listening. Needless to say I wasn't disappointed at all! Before listening to the tape, I suggest you watch Wax 's weekly video blog below to hear Wax explain the concept behind Scrublife and of course meet Dale Firebird who co-hosts the tape.  Scrublife is geared towards the new Wax fan while still having enough new records on it to please the old fans.  My favorite song on the mixtape is "Not So Bad At All" - a chill acoustic sing song.  Another one of my favorites was "Shoo Ba Doop" featuring Dumbfounded - it just has a 90's good-times vibe to it!  "Two Wheels", which was co-produced by Jim Jonsin, was definitely not what I expected but was a cool, laid-back track that made me want to put the top down and hit the beach. There is plenty of heat on Scrublife and just like any good Wax project he bounces between hip hop, acoustic jams, insane freestyles that would get a standing ovation from Eminem, sing song hooks &  great entertainment!   I should say while I enjoy the laid back tracks from Wax there is plenty of aggressive tracks on the tape for the hardcore hip hop heads.  Scrublife is a must have for the spring & summer in the CHI!
Wax Weekly #11: Scrublife Explained
Wax "Dispensary Girl"
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Julius Myth: Gowhere NY Showcase

As part of a community of conscious music supporters, we tend to have those occasions where we stumble upon artist that we can for sure say has the talent to be something great. Well for me, Julius Myth is my most recent discovery. Now, considering we previously featured him on the site, it just wouldn't make sense if the Gowhere NY team didn't do whatever we could to link up with him and get to know what he's all about. Fortunately enough for us, he resides here in N.Y. We got the opportunity to meet up with him and follow along to catch a performance he was doing at the Voodoo Lounge in Manhattan. But not before getting footage of a freestyle he kicked and SMASHED for us at his clothing boutique and skate shop 'Belief'. As if that wasn't cool enough; underground battle rap legend Soul Khan was the host of the Brown Bag All Star show where we watched Julius perform. After doing his thing and giving an impressive show at the voodoo lounge, we decided to get an interview with him for those of you who don't yet know about Julius Myth, or his alter inner rapper Willie Werfmor. The answers he had for our questions were to say the least, thoroughly interesting. Julius also filled us in on a show he will be headlining in Chicago this month at the Lincoln Center. It will definitely be something to look in to. I hope to hear more from Julius in the very near future and expect to see his fan base hit great heights in only a matter of time.

Down below, I've included a video of Julius Myth getting on the beat from Jay-Z's  "Dear Summer". Not many rappers can pull off getting on a classic production like this, but Julius does not disappoint. Also, a very entertaining video from rapper Soul Khan, mentioned above. It reminds me of an exciting nightmare I once had, as crazy as that may sound.

For any artists in the New York area interested in being featured by us, shoot us an e-mail at gowhereny@gowherehiphop.com!!
Julius Myth "Dear Sunrise"
Soul Khan "Fahrenheit" f/ Akie Bermiss

Shad 'We, Myself, & I' leads new spotlight

Shad "We, Myself, & I"
Producer: Me&John - FULL, CDQ, Track off album, TSOL 
Shad is a guy I came across a couple weeks ago and soon realized that he has the potential to be a hip hop legend. A big statement I know, but I really believe he is hip hop at it's best. Something about this Canadian native just reminds me of Talib Kweli. Normally I'm not a big fan of such graphics and effects used in music videos, but I have to make an exception for this one. The video corresponds perfectly with the feel of the song. A sick rock beat, clever lyrics, and a non-stop flow always make for a good song in my opinion. I especially like how he relates every verse to the title of the song: "We, Myself, & I". The great videos don't stop there though, it seems he's made it his mission to have great videos for his songs. So down below is another one of Shad's videos for his song "Rose Garden" that I couldn't NOT post up. Moving in reverse throughout a song isn't necessarily a "new" idea in music videos, but they flip it in the middle and play it all back at normal speed. And all in one take!

The first video down below is the song "Rose Garden" by Shad that I mentioned above. Like I said, definitely one to press play on. Next is an artist by the name of Childish Gambino that was previously featured last week by Sgt. Tibs. I had to post it up again in case you missed it the first time because it definitely deserves a listen. He's got some really sick lines and I'm pretty much in love with these one-take videos lately. The last video is a Bar 9 remix to the song "Kickstarts" by British rapper Example. They shot a video for the remix and if it doesn't get you pumped then I don't know what does. Enjoi! 
Shad "Rose Garden"
Childish Gambino "Freaks and Geeks"

Example "Kickstarts (Bar 9 RMX)"

Artist Spotlight: Wax

What's up Gowhere family, it's Kidd Russell here once again. Not sure if the team has posted anything by Wax in the past so let me start off by re-introducing you to the super talented artist Wax, a.k.a. Big Wax. (TIBS EDIT: We have! Peep the super old-school swag here, hah!)

Wax is the epitome of the creme rising to crop in the music business. His career has been organically grown by uploading amazing content, great songs, comedy, songwriting and being an overall insanely entertaining artist on YouTube. Wax recently signed a deal with Def Jam and is releasing a FREE mixtape called Scrublife on March 15th. If you haven't heard of Wax before, I suggest you watch the video for "Don't Need" above as well as the clips below, or visit his website waxdotcom.com.

There is not much Wax can't do, he can strum a guitar and sing you a Jack Johnson type song with better lyrics and more wit. He can freestyle with the likes of Eminem. He can put together an amazing album. He puts out his own content without the help of the label. All in all, I believe he is the future of what artists need to be in this business. They need to be well rounded-self starters and not lazy rappers that have good financing or connections. Big Wax represents what's right about the music industry so check him out!

Also, all you new and unsigned artists, send us your material to:
And to me personally for review at:
Wax "New Crack"
Wax "Fail"

Dee-1 'I Hope They Hear Me Vol. 2' [MIXTAPE]

Dee-1 'I Hope They Hear Me Vol. 2' [MIXTAPE]
Presented by: DJ Booth & O.M.A.R. Entertainment (Tracklist after the jump!)
I debuted Dee-1 last week here on Gowhere and now the up and coming emcee has joined forces with DJBooth.net and O.M.A.R. Entertainment to bring fans his latest street release, I Hope You Hear Me Vol. 2. The New Orleans artist gives you 18 brand new tracks today, including his viral single "Jay, 50 & Weezy" as well as acclaimed leaks "Riding By Myself" and "It's My Turn". 

Joining Dee throughout I Hope They Hear Me Vol. 2 is Murs, Mannie Fresh and the legendary Mac. Beats come courtesy of Rockaway Prod., Steve-O, Oscar Wild, DJ RJD2, Mannie Fresh, 5th Child, Phurnace, DJ Eagle Eye, Cuzin Mike, and Flight School. Check out the mixtape above and the "It's My Turn" video below.
Dee-1 "Its My Turn"
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Grieves & Budo 'Cloud Man' leads new spotlight post

Grieves & Budo "Cloud Man"
Producer: Grieves & Budo - FULL, CDQ, Track off album, 88 Keys & Counting 
One thing about me is that I am a sucker for stop-motion. So naturally I had to post this video by rapper-producer duo Grieves & Budo. I hinted at them and posted a radio performance they did in my last blog and I decided they were definitely worth the full feature. Listening to this song I'm reminded of a mix between Atmosphere and KiD CuDi. I don't know maybe it's just me. Well in this song Grieves happens to be sing-rapping (I think that's a fair description) but he's got plenty of other songs where he's just going in. Trust me when I say that you don't want to sleep on this guy. The album has a variety of songs which is something I can definitely appreciate. From singing, to rapping, to just plain old instrumentals, the album has songs for any kind of mood you might happen to be in. Be on the lookout for them because Grieves & Budo are already making big moves. They are booked for every single date on this years Warped Tour and that's quite an accomplishment for any upcoming artist. You can download their entire album which is called 88 Keys & Counting on iTunes! Also, check out the Warped tour schedule to find out when they're coming to a town near you!

Down below are a couple more artists I found that I think are worth a listen or two. First up to bat is a fresh new Brooklyn hip-hop duo dubbed Riot !n Paris. For their breakout video they decided to do something a little different. Not only did they shoot the entire thing on an ipod nano, they also made their video the first ever interactive music video! It's a really fun song and concept video so be sure to click play on this one. The second video is an inside look at best new artist Esperanza Spalding. Definitely worth checking it out, especially if you're into jazz and the slapping the bass. And while We're on this whole jazz thing, here's another jazzy kind of guy from London by the name of Plan B. This song had me hooked right from the finger snapping. And the courthouse theme in the video goes perfect with his entire concept album which you can get on iTunes here!
Riot !n Paris "Attack of the 5 Ft. Hipster"
Esperanza Spalding: Chamber Music Society
Plan B "She Said"

Tyler The Creator 'Yonkers' leads new music post

My name is Kidd Russell of North Ave Productions, and I run my own social media marketing & new media production team. I'm excited to be guest blogging for Gowhere Hip Hop as a tastemaker & debuting a Weekly Marketing 'DIY HIGH' (do it yourself - how it gets heard) segment where I'll give you guys tips and tricks on how to get your music to the world on indie budgets, so please shoot me your questions at kiddrussmusic@gmail.com

Tyler, the Creator, the ringleader of hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, has a follow-up to last year's Bastard LP, Goblin, out in April. Now, there's a clip for the first single from that record, "Yonkers" (which will hit iTunes as a single this Tuesday), and it's a no-bullshit clip that features cockroaches, a bloody nose, and a fairly violent ending. The clip is self produced, directed and performed by Tyler.  This kid may turn out to be one of the most important new personalities of 2011. Just like when Kurt Kobain & Nirvana arrived & helped end the hair band metal movement; Tyler & his crew could be the start to a new wave  in hip hop that goes against the Hip-Pop movement of the last few years. Either way you look at it he created an amazing piece of  art to be just 19.

Below we start off with northwest rapper Macklemore and his brilliant video for his song "The Town." Macklemore is one of the more under rated rappers of the last few years but his buzz has been crazy recently.  He will be playing at Shubas March 26th make sure you catch the show. Next, you may remember the name Shwayze from their smash singles Buzzin & Corona & lime in 2008-2009. The Malibu rapper is back feat. Cisco Adler with their first single "Lie together all night" off their new free EP THE W'S (Weed & Women) which can be download for free at here. Shwayze created a cool niche with their laid back, Malibu influenced, acoustic heavy beach hip hop.
Macklemore "The Town"
Shwayze "Lie Together All Night"

Artist Spotlight: ZAK!

ZAK! 'Stuck To The Sidewalk' [MIXTAPE]
Presented by: Reason Clothing & DJ Fresh Direct (Listen/DL Above!)

ZAK!, a.k.a. ZAK! Downtown (but not Zack Attack, ha!), is an artist who hails from our new second home in NYC, and is deserving of a spotlight here on GWHH as an artist to watch out for this year. He is perhaps best known for the featured video above: "Give Me The World". It is a unique rap record that combines an old-school sound with a youthful and appealing style from ZAK! on the rhymes. I appreciate the dope visuals as well, which feature ZAK!'s homie, and none other than our own Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah. Visuals aside though, the song itself is an instant iPod add as "Give Me The World" would make for some pretty fly walking music. Speaking of walking, "Give Me The World" is off the mixtape released last year called, Stuck To The Sidewalk, which you can listen to above if you like what you're hearing in the video. I suggest you give it a spin because there are a variety of sounds and topics that ZAK! experiments with, mostly successfully, throughout the tape. And as always, stay tuned to these pages to hear some of ZAK!'s 2011 moves and music, which no doubt is soon to come. Enjoy!

Spoken Word Spotlight: K-Love

I was surfing the Creative Control vimeo channel and look what I found? A new spoken word video  from Chicago poet K-Love. Well, it's still kinda new. Anywho... I've seen K-Love perform a few times and had the opportunity to build with her. I always liked her steeze. Her piece is a powerful appeal for an end to the senseless violence in the city. Real heavy stuff. Rest in peace Derrion Albert. On a sidenote, according to the Chicago Tribune, another suspect in that case has been charged also. Last but not least, big ups to Dame Dash and his whole camp. To say im really digging their eye for creative artistry and the movement in general is an understatement. Groove!

Chris Shields 'Fast Lane' music video premiere

Hundred Grand Entertainment artist Chris Shields premieres the "Fast Lane" music video. The project was directed by Rockwell and "Fast Lane" is a featured track off of Chris Shields's sophomore album, Man On Fire, which is available on iTunes and CDBaby.
Big shouts to my PR homie Angie... Somehow, a packaged Chris Shields album made it to my doorstep lol. Big shouts to the production team also: The Fr3shmen Music Group, Professor Fox, and Logic.

Boom Goes The Globe LIVE @ Double Door

Boom Goes The Globe is an electronic dance-rock experience.
Music born from the outer rim of DJ tradition, BGTG shakes the boundaries of the prototypical, arranging new spheres in dance-wave space. Ryan Loftsgaarden [DJ/Synths/ Aux.] and Dan Hill [Drums/Electronics] of Chicago's bass-rock outfit, Army of Monsters, form the shape of the group--unleashing an unmerciful assault of groove that can keep even the most mild feet moving. From the abstract to the modernistic, the DJ/Live Percussion group draws influences from the likes of Deadmau5, Fedde le Grand, Tiesto and Dr. Luke to create a hammering blend of rock and dance, electrifying on the surface and undeniable at the core.
BGTG's first mixtape, appropriately titled Boom is a Lifestyle, introduces the first of a series of four that will be released in the coming winter months. Boom is a Lifestyle provides the framework of BGTG's sound, which smartly layers modern hooks with electronic cataclysm, retaining pounding movement, and refreshing subtlety from beginning to end. However, the group's essence lies within their live performances, creating an experience unique to that of the traditional DJ circuit.
There are no boundaries, only the universal model of dance.


The Skwod 'My Life' video premiere

Today we've got new visuals from The Skwod off their debut LP, The Path. The song is called "My Life". The production credit goes out to SC. He's an ogre on the beatmaking side. SC has quietly been lacing the likes of many of your favorite Chicago emcees the past few years. Big shouts to him and The Skwod dynamic duo of J-Oneder & KiRon. It is my wish that mogs stop snoozing on my guys this year. Why? Because these cats are nice. End of story.
P.S. Oneder, you wild for that Kenny Powers reference. I fools with Eastbound And Down too.

Download 2pak 'That Good Shit'

2pak "That Good Shit"
Producer: pak.one - FULL, CDQ, Track off upcoming mixtape, Fountain of Youth *MG Fav.™ *GWHH PREMIERE*
Another Fountain of Youth record surfaces from 2pak. This is their smoking song matching the dope cover art, where they go off on a superbly jazzy beat from pak.one. I think Hip Hop heads will really like this one, as the song's aesthetic calms the nerves like a smooth exhale. Make it a point to download it above, and pay attention to the dope sample at the end. (It's from one of my favorite comedies!) Enjoy and hit up 2pak for shows, collabs, and general inquiries here!

Freddie Gibbs: Str8 Slammin' the Midwest


Freddie Gibbs to Tour Midwest in Support of Str8 Killa EP

If you don't know Freddie Gibbs by know, don't hold your breath...because Gibbs AKA Gangsta Gibbs is about to blow. What keeps him from getting lost in the sea of forgettable hip hop:
1. His alias says it all; Gangsta Gibbs is the real deal. Unlike some of his hip hop peers, he raps what he's lived. And it's been a tempestuous one!
2. Gibbs is really good. (Sgt. Tibs even co-signs).
His musical content and perceptive, intelligent lyrics have been compared to Tupac; his flow to everyone from Bone to T.I. After his deal with Interscope fell apart, Gibbs went overdrive in 2009 releasing two lauded mixtapes: The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs and midwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik. 2010 saw the release of Str8 Killa No Filla mixtape and his Str8 Killa EP. This bevy of quality material earned him a place on XXL's Freshman 10 and had Billboard affirming Gibbs had "revive[d] gangster rap."
"This rap shit ain't all fun and games my nigga its a job," reads a Freddie Gibbs' Facebook status. Now I was only a part of the Gibbs "entourage" for 10 hours during his 2-day trip to NYC in late October, but boy did I get to see first-hand that dude ain't lying (I missed Day 1 of his NYC trip where he killed BB Kings alongide Ghostface Killa and GWHH buddy GLC). In that time alone he performed at the Fader Fort for CMJ Music Marathon, Brooklyn Bowl for Pitchfork's #Offline Festival, and shot a video at Dame Dash's DD172 studio. OVERLOAD!!! But let's not forget the countless interviews and impromptu photo shoots between all of this!!!!
I don't know what dude was working on (Well maybe I do. If you listen to Gibbs, you know he loves Mary. For evidence, see: "Personal OG", the track for the DD172 shoot. This song's one of my faves on the EP. It's juicy, fluid and sexy all at the same time. A song the fellas will love to watch the ladies dance to. Gibbs is very convincing on this track. Maybe Prop 19 would've passed if this had been the theme song)...but Gibbs worked NYC for ALL it had to offer. He labors like someone who's terrified of failure. Or maybe of ever HAVING to return permanently to his hometown of Gary, Indiana or the lifestyle about which he raps. (But I guess he told us that already: "I hope this rap shit saves me"). At the same time Gibbs is so INCREDIBLY laid back about it all...Well, that is until he goes on stage and his stripping alter-ego comes out. Catch it yourself as he tours the Midwest this January. For the Chicagoans, catch him January 14th at Metro.
After the jump get the full tour listing and pics of my time in NYC with Gangsta Gibbs.

Gallery sneak peek (14 images):

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Artist Spotlight: The Suppliers

After hitting up the Waka Flocka meet & greet at Akin, I happen to run into a person by the name of D. Kelly. Walked by and the first thing he asked me was if I was a rapper. In a state of complete confusion I ended up exchanging a few words with him and found out he was the manager of a Chicago duo by the name of The Suppliers. The Suppliers consists of Mr. Lock and CarRi Pumps and creatively represent their surroundings by combining the musical characteristics of pop, alternative, hip-hop, and techno. The Suppliers were selected as a  top five finalist for the 107.5 WGCI contest to open up for Ludacris and won that great opportunity earlier this month. GCI also recently selected them to perform for the their fourth annual Car & Bike Show. 

Their first mixtape is entitled SHITM (Simply History In The Making) The First Shipment -hosted by: DJ Ill Will, DJ Rockstar, and Chicago's own DJ Moondawg. The mixtape features collaborations with Hot Dollar, Ben One, Sly Polaroid, Gorilla Zoe, Gucci Mane, Yung L.A., J Jilla, and Skooda Chose. Take a second to watch the video for "Leave Me Alone" above, download the song below, and also check out the video for the song "What We Live For". Song is dope!

FULL, CDQ, Track off the mixtape, Simply History In The Making *Naggy Knows.™
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Artist Spotlight: Paypa

Paypa is a 25-year old emcee with roots from the southside of Chicago that caught our attention with a trio of videos showcasing his versatile skills on the mic. Above is the video for his new single "Never Be Broke" - his most complete song of the three as Paypa delivers some fresh verses amidst a singing, motivational, and addicting hook. The video shows off Paypa's colorful personality, most notably in a couple scenes where he is an office worker and a nerdy teacher. I simply can not get the song out of my head and the video adds some flair to a record that you may think has been done before based on the title alone.

Down below is another video for an original track called "I Believe". This video showcases more of the straight rap side of Paypa as he displays a little bit of an edge while flowing to a hard production that compliments his style quite well. The video itself is another well-done, yet simple concept. It was done in just one take as Paypa leads the cameraman on a journey from outside the streets and straight into the studio just in time for the third verse (talk about timing!). 

Lastly, after the jump, peep Paypa's "Over Freestyle" containing more solid bars that helps his version be just as enjoyable as the original and other quality remixes out already. The video for it contains some crispy visuals of Paypa atop a couple of the rooftops amongst the breathtaking architecture of Chicago - a must-see in itself. 

Overall, the presentation, attention to detail, and well-produced videos are all on point, which helps separate Paypa from the rest of the enormous pack of aspiring artists. In addition, he was just featured on the homepage of AOL Music and already has a few collaborations with the likes of J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Baby Boy (Game, Lloyd), and Pooh Bear (Danity Kane, Dr. Dre) in the books. We envision some bright things ahead in Paypa's future so be sure to check him out and see what you think! Enjoy!

For more on Paypa visit: paypatime.com
Paypa "I Believe"

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