Aloha & Happy New Year OTDHipHop fam!! First off, sorry for not posting for a while but let’s not dwell on the negative. LOL! Needless to say, we’re back in full-force for all your underground hip hop content! With that said, today I’ll be reviewing “Exuberance” (Prod. Ghost McGrady) by fellow Hawaii artist & creative mind - Cosmic K (aka Kody D).
Check out my track review below:
First off, the beat is hella trippy. Credits to Ghost McGrady on production! It starts off with smooth bass and a chill tempo, elevates through lots of different instruments and synthesizers working together, and comes back down. Kody’s lyrics seem to be more of a diary entry and expository narrative, and sounds like a poetic rant with social commentary from an honest artist. His pen game is clever AF! In my opinion, Cosmic K reminds me of a Hawaiian local version of Asher Roth, and I mean that with props! Lol. I also dig the stoney and enlightened vibes.
Cosmic K (aka Kody D) is a 22-year old aspiring music artist/emcee and overall creative mind. Having got into hip hop/rap at 12 years old, he has and continues to be on his own cosmic journey of sorts as an artist. His music is honest and flows conscious messaging without being so preachy. Although he has his own voice, I’d say that his tone and vibe is similar to the likes of Logic, Blackbear, and Dizzy Wright. Kody is also a part of 2 different groups - The Visually Gifted and Supernatural. “I believe in divine manifestation and that I was destined to make music and enlighten the youth with the life lessons I’ve learned and through everything I’ve been through. I want my music my to bring hope and courage to anyone who listens to it,” says Kody.
Like what you hear?
Hear more of Cosmic K’s music on his Soundcloud, along with Supernatural’s new mixtape - Activation.
He also just released another collaboration track with Kuro, another Big Island-based artist.
For more from Cosmic K (aka Kody D), follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his Youtube channel.
Aloha & welcome to another edition of Mixtape Mondays on #OTDHipHop blog!
Back with another review of Skyy Royal's music, this time I review his newest project, Love & Lust. This mixtape dropped in 2016, and Skyy wanted my feedback. Here it is below!
1.♀ (Prod. by TAEO)
I’m already bobbin’ my head to this one! Lol. Skyy has a playful, seductive charm to his voice and flow, which has been consistent from his past two mixtapes Californication (2013) and The High Times of Cielo Green (2014). But I can sense his maturity just by hearing this track, I like that his voice sounds bolder and more confident.
2. Beauty At Its Best (Prod. by Howie Wonder)
This song has a jazzy, neo-soul vibe with hip hop styled drums. The beat has lots of instruments playing, which I believe are saxophones, trumpets, and some keys. I would say that this is a love song, but not in a traditional sense. Skyy mentioned that this project was inspired by female beauty - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc. So I’d say that this song introduces the listener to what the rest of the project is going to be about.
3. From The Back (Prod. by King Soul the Great)
This track seems to be sort of like an interlude, more like just a quick story within the full project. The content is sensual and sexual, but I like Skyy’s playful poetic style on here, definitely shows growth in his flow.
4. Holding On (Prod. by Flamingosis)
This beat is a throwback to late 80s, early 90s hip hop. I believe it’s the same beat to “Hold On” (Brand Nubian ft. Starr) or at least closely inspired by that song. Skyy flows right along on this one, I dig it. He also ends the track with saying “Woman is god. Woman is god,” interesting.
5. Is it Love? (Prod. by Jae Larred)
I really dig Skyy’s lyricism on this track. He flows well on classic styled hip hop beats, and his voice adds its own tone to the instrumental. The content speaks on the definition of love, and how young folks often confuse love and lust. Great story and track.
6. Lonely.Roads (Prod. by David Chief)
The beats that Skyy chooses are always hella smooth. Definitely the type of music you can smoke to. Content-wise, I feel like this song has a message of seeking truth and working towards one’s own goals. He mentions things like fabricated news/media, social media, and injustice.
7. Luv Sounds (Prod. by Cyberlust)
Back to the ladies, Skyy spits another track in honor of women. I really dig the 70s/80s disco vibe on this track. Great throwback, groovy and lovely feel.
8. Make.Believe (Prod. by Ocean Jams)
The tempo of the beat is right in Skyy’s forte, but the different sounds is what catches my ear. The sounds remind me of tranquil ocean sounds (hence production by Ocean Jams). The lyrics speak on staying focused and not worrying about all the details that can get us stressed in life.
9. Miami Affection (Prod. by RoyShiftE)
This song is a cool change from the softer, neo-soul sound. This one has more EDM sounding elements and has a faster pace. It’s refreshing to hear Skyy on a faster beat, outside of his usual G-Funk choices of instrumentals. It’s always cool to hear how artists’ flows sound on different beats.
10. No Ones Gonna Love You Like I Do (Prod. by Ocean Jams)
This is the second track on this project produced by Ocean Jams. It has a throwback R&B feel to it especially with saxophone playing, and features Skyy rapping smooth as if he’s talking to a girl he likes.
11. Take Em To The Cleaners (Prod. by Minus One)
I dig Skyy’s storytelling on this track. It’s basically sharing some insight about his life, identity and learning to be positive through trials and tribulations. A vibey type of song you can smoke to and play at a party with friends or with family.
12. The World is Yours (Prod. by S0ulUnreal)
This song is only about a minute long, so I’d consider this an interlude type of track as we enter the last couple songs on this project. I feel like his flow on this moreso like a poetry turned into rap. It doesn’t have a hook or any major structure, but still a dope interlude both the beat and Skyy’s vocals.
13. Wassup Miss (Prod. by Kahawai Loaf)
I don’t really vibe to the beat on this track, but it’s still dope. Told from Skyy’s perspective, he talks about dating and talking to girls. Lyrically he goes pretty deep into concepts of love and lust, which is the title of this project. I like how Skyy is playing around a little bit with singing.
14. You a Freak Tho (Prod. by Damu the Fudgemunk)
This is a goofy fun song that you can play at parties or probably just vibing and cleaning the house. Skyy starts off spitting some rhymes acapella and then the beat drops, and the song starts. I’d say that lyrically there is a sexual connotation, but Skyy’s tone is playful and flirty, versus just misogynistic. “Is you a freak tho?! Let a freak know!” Lol I dig it.
15. Gas in My Trip (Prod. by Kahawai Loaf)
This beat is similar to the types of old school styles that Skyy sticks to, but overall the track is hella easy to listen to. I like his swaggy flow on this one.
16. Love & The Queen (Prod. by Ocean Jams)
This is not only my favorite song from this project, but also my favorite song from Skyy Royal himself. The beat is right in his forte, but has a deeper psychedelic feel, incorporated with different sonic melodies. The lyrics are sensual and flirty, and showcases Skyy’s unique smooth style. He kind of reminds me of a more soulful LL Cool J.
Overall, I'd give this project a 4/5 on my "Rap's Lumpia Scale." I feel that this is a lot more organized than his last two projects, and shows his growth and maturity as an artist. The concept of Love & Lust was cool, and a chill tape to play around friends and family, or to vibe to at home or in the car. Check out more of Skyy Royal's music on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.
“Manifest” is Jae The Lyoness’ newly released track and the first single off of her highly anticipated upcoming album in over 8 and a half years - 40 Days & 40 Nights. Known for bold, revolutionary lyrics, and positively charged radiance, this emcee already has an impressive resume. She was one of the top 3 champions of Team Backpack’s Mission Underground event in the summer of 2015, performed twice at the iconic Apollo Theatre, and joined Cypher Circuit (an up and coming hip hop platform for aspiring artists seeking to take their music grind to the next level). Jae shared that she went on a 40 day fast not too long ago, and that she wrote “Manifest” on the 13th day of that fast. I believe that manifestation is real. We have the power to speak what we want into existence. Words are a powerful thing so my brother Taj and I decided to speak our truths on this track at the same time, have fun and motivate others. Fasting for 40 days really made all the difference,” stated Jae The Lyoness.
Produced by Tone Jonez and engineered by Jay Talbayne, “Manifest” is hype, heartfelt, and an anthem all in one. Anchored by Jae’s captivating hardcore storytelling techniques and smooth swagger, the track takes the listener on an energetic ride, which is only elevated even more so by features from Taj Thomas and Evon Uniique. The chorus has Taj reciting “I gotta get into it, I gotta go harder, I gotta climb higher, I gotta climb higher…” while Jae repeats “Manifest, manifest, manifest…” A mantra to keep grinding and staying true to your dreams and goals. Taj stated, “‘Manifest’ is testament to speaking into existence. If you want something to manifest or thrive you have to order your steps and put your energy into it.” Evon Uniique mentioned, “‘Manifest’ will be a groundbreaking mesh between us three artists. You can't help but to dance and feel it.”
OTDHipHop is an independent music blog and network, curated by Rapper/Blogger Jehzan Exclusive.