Aloha & welcome back to another new week on OTDHipHop blog!
Today I got a special treat for our #MixtapeMonday segment. My wifey, GIE, joined me for this! We will be reviewing Purple Hearts, a brand new project by rapper/producer - Havein.
Check out our track-by-track review of Purple Hearts below:
Track 1: Reborn
Jehzan: I fucks with the production! I dig the concept as an intro track. The hook is also really catchy - “when you see my soul, tell it come back home. I can’t feel no more, trynna be reborn..”
Gie: Production is cool, catchy hook.
Track 2: She Vibes
Jehzan: I really dig the sound and vibes of this track. Havein uses different effects on his voice that flow smoothly throughout the track. The tempo and style of Havein’s lyrics definitely show a reggae and trap influence.
Gie: This is a fun “young boy” track, something I can listen to while vibing at home or at a social event. So far I really like Havein’s hooks.
Track 3: Imperfections
Jehzan: Another banger for the ladies. I like the African drums used on production, and Havein’s stoney and sorta “drunken” style of singing and rapping.
Gie: I hear a lot of African and reggae influence especially with the drums. It gives the song and project more depth sonically. He’s honestly starting to remind me of a young Lil Wayne. I’m glad Havein is having fun on his beats and it shows in his music.
Track 4: Smash
Jehzan: I’m seeing most of the songs so far have a similar tempo, but regardless I fuck with it. I’d considered “Smash” like an interlude because it’s mostly just Havein singing/rapping repetitive lines. His melodies and instruments mesh well with his different vocal style.
Gie: The tempo of the songs are getting repetitive but I dig the production. He definitely has a unique non-chalant style.
PHOTO BY @ISSATIINA
Track 5: Heist
Jehzan: I’m not too much of a fan of Havein’s lyrics on this track but it still sounds good. Lol. Once again though the production and instrumentation is on point.
Gie: I like how he lets the beat ride out for a while before his vocals start. Production and instrumentation is dope. So far his vocals have been edited heavily, but I like how he shows his voice more clearly on this track.
Track 6: Too Much
Jehzan: “Too Much” follows “Heist” hella smooth! They almost sound like two parts of the same song. I dig Havein’s lyrics the best on this track so far, especially his bars and delivery at the end of the song. He gives it a alternative metal sound, and I’d like to see him perform this live. Lol.
Gie: I like the caribbean and island sounds that he uses on this song. It keeps on point with the style and sound of previous songs on this project.
Track 7: Obsessed
Jehzan: This is another short catchy tune. Not my personal favorite on this project but something I can bop my head to. So far this project has made a lot of references to females, and his lyrics sound like he’s talking to a girl.
Gie: His vocals sound too edited on this track but I like his double-time rapping style, it keeps it fun and engaging as a listener.
Track 8: Moon Cry
Jehzan: I dig this track. It helps transition the tempo and pace of the project as it comes to an end. As I’ve stated before, I like Havein’s fun and almost drunken style of singing and rapping.
Gie: This is probably my personal favorite on this project. Sonically it’s something I can vibe to while chilling at home or before I go to sleep. I like that I can hear his voice and pronunciation on this track.
PHOTO BY @ISSATIINA
Track 9: Imperfections Pt. 2
Jehzan: The concept of a part 2 is dope. Havein uses a similar tempo beat and hook from “Imperfections” on this track.
Gie: I dig this song, another one I can vibe to while I’m chilling or driving.
Track 10: Dedicated
Jehzan: I don’t fuck with the hook on this song, but I dig the message of ambition and work ethic. Lyrically, I like that he gets more intimate and honest about his life and goals.
Gie: The way the hook sounds makes this my least favorite track from this project but the beat is wavy. Like I’ve said about his other tracks, I think Havein sounds best when he doesn’t use much filters or effects on his vocals. His bars and lyrics are on point in his verse on this track.
Aloha! Today we’re in a for a special treat - our friends Kwalified & Sirenz just released their newest album, Plane Ride from Hell! With that said, this week’s #FridayFeature is all about Kwalified! For the past decade, he has built his reputation as a dope freestyler, performer, and overall personality in Hawaii’s hip hop scene. He also visited my after-school Rap class a few months ago, and had a blast freestyling and talking with the kids. Personally, I’ve low key been a fan of Kwalified for some years now, so I’m excited to share his story with yall today. Scroll down for more of his interview, videos, and music.
OTDHipHop: What is your stage/music name? Please share any background on how you came up with it.
Kwalified: My stage name is Kwalified Emcee. I usually just go by Kwalified or Kwalified Emcee. The name I was going with originally was Katalyst. My good homie suggested Kwalified and I really rocked with it. So here we are.
OTDHipHop: How did you get started in music? Was it a gradual hobby that developed, or is it something you always wanted to do?
Kwalified: I wanted to be in the NBA. Haha. I come from a musical family. My dad played trumpet, my mom sang and played piano, my sisters could sing. We grew up going to church. Music was a big part of growing up. I would always try to freestyle and stuff when I was younger. As I got older, I started to take music more seriously, and it grew into love.
OTDHipHop: Why did you choose Hip Hop/Rap as your musical expression?
Kwalified: Hip hop was natural to me. It was just the first thing I thought to do musically. I’ve always been into other genres, and would love to experiment with them eventually, but hip hop is just my most natural form of musical expression.
OTDHipHop: Where are you from? And how does that influence your music and/or experience doing music?
Kwalified: I’m originally from San Diego, California. I consider Hawaii to be home. I guess both California and Hawaii are laid back places and that laid back feeling does find its way into my music from time to time. Beyond that, I’m not sure how else where I’m from affects my sound. I don’t know if I have a “regional” sound. I’m more fueled by how the music makes me feel.
OTDHipHop: Is music something you truly see as a potential career? What are some things you have learned when it comes to music and making it a lucrative business?
Kwalified: I definitely see music as a potential career. I feel like there are so many lanes and potential ways to make income now. You don’t even have to be super famous or break the bank producing your content.
I believe it’s extremely possible. One thing I’ve learned is that you’re gonna have to put in the work. No way around it. You just have to put in the work.
Happy Aloha Friday OTDHipHop fam!
I have the pleasure to introduce y’all to my friend and fellow emcee/artist - Cedric Clinton! A couple weeks ago Cedric asked me to be on his Freestyle Friiiday livestream. Long story short, it was dope checking out his business’ warehouse and sharing each other’s stories in music and business. He is a former surf champion and owner of local screen printing company, Squeeze Play Hawaii. This young man is truly a gem!
See more from our interview below:
OTDHipHop: How’d you get your name?
Cedric: There's a deeper reason for using Clinton which relates to my crew/brand/movement Chi Funk. Chi Funk was inspired by G Funk (which relates to how I was introduced to hip hop) & G Funk evolved from P Funk (Parliament Funkadelic) who's leader is George Clinton.
Chi Funk = Cedric Clinton / P Funk = George Clinton. It just aligned.
OTDHipHop: How’d you get into making music, specifically Hip Hop/Rap?
Cedric: I was introduced to Hip Hop by the song "Forgot About Dre" by Dr. Dre & Eminem. Funny story, my best friend at the time James Ubias & I decided to enter the school talent show with that song. A few years ago I wrote a song about that story called "Westside Story" which is featured on my 1st 3-track EP Westside Stories. After school one day, I went to James' apartment with a blank cassette tape in an effort to catch the song on the radio & record it onto the cassette tape, so that we could practice with it for our school audition. We even called the radio station to request it from the DJ. The song finally came on, we recorded it, then downloaded & printed the lyrics. I remember us both debating over who got to be Eminem because we both wanted to be him super bad. I ended up losing that battle in a Jan Ken Po (Rock-Paper-Scissors) match. So, we memorized the lyrics & the audition day finally came. We got up in front of our class & performed. Mind you, this was in the 5th grade & the lyrics spoke about smoking weed, drinking alcohol, burning down houses & all kinds of profanity LOL. Surprisingly, we didn't end up making the cut for the talent show, however that didn't stop us. James & I ended up going to different middle & high schools, so we kind of lost touch, however we reconnected years later to discover we were both still rapping!
OTDHipHop: Where are you from? What is your background like?
Cedric: I'm born & raised on O'ahu, HI. My ethnic background is French, Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese. Growing up in Hawaii, I experienced so many different cultures which definitely has influenced my music. Not only do I incorporate local slang (pidgin), I also pull inspiration from the east coast, west coast, down south, & some influence from outside the USA. I can also speak French fluently, so I plan to incorporate some French into my raps in the future.
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