YO! Check out this week's #MondazeRotation featuring some new videos and music by up and coming artists in the underground!!!
VHEE RIV and her new track/vide featuring who? MIKE JONES! No joke people, Vhee Riv is a hip hop artist / fashion designer / entrepreneur who is really creating a buzz for herself especially in the west coast. Her recently dropped music video "Hold Up, Watch Out" is another swaggy ass banger from the artist, with the G'd out attitude from the legendary Mike Jones! I've said it once and I'ma say it again, she is on her way stardom reppin' Hawaii and Las Vegas. Her album "Zero Defects" is now available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio AND she just launched her own clothing, which is available for purchase on her official website www.VheeRiv.com!!!
The homie GIO MARTIN is literally killin' it on the east coast right now. No stranger to the hip hop underground, this young man recently launched a deal with Sony Red Distribution and independent record label "Black 17 Media" who will now be distributing his next 2 singles including the recently dropped KILL IT!
And of course, we can't end this playlist without Hawaii's own KOINS reppin Kaneohe 96744! Koins just dropped his highly anticipated solo album Familiar Faces. "These Lines" is just one of many dope tracks from this young but truly experienced and intuitively finessed artist.
Often, when people think of New York City, they think of popular streets and monuments. But there is a deeper culture within NYC's streets, especially as an iconic place in hip hop culture and what it means to hip hop history and rap music. New York is home to unfiltered expression, whether it’s the city’s fast-paced lifestyle or attitude, New Yorkers dare to be bold and different; of which hip hop culture and music has contributed to. With that said, this week’s #FridayFeature artist on #OTDHipHop is New York-based - RaSTATiiic. While he is still at the early stages of his music journey, this young man is serious about accomplishing his goals, and offers an alternative message in his music. In his name alone, there are multiple elements of his identity that make up RaSTATiiic - the hip hop artist, rapper, and creative mind.
A few weeks ago, I was approached on Twitter by RaSTATiiic himself, regarding promotions on this blog. I checked out some of his material and digged his “Hype” remix, and figured I feature him on my platform. My first question was “what kind of name is that, and what does it mean?” Known as “STAT,” for short, RaSTATiiic is only 19 years old and has been recording and performing on his own for about 2 years. Although he was born in Atlanta, GA, he always had close ties to family and friends in Brooklyn, NY. He currently resides in Newburgh, about an hour from NYC’s main metropolitan area. The rapper stated, “I named myself RaSTATiiic because ‘Ra’ is short for (Ra)madan (RAMADAN is my birth name). The STATiiiC part relates to electricity.” STAT went on to mention how he experienced multiple seizure-like attacks about year or so ago, with seemingly no explanation. He stated that the seizures felt like he was getting tazed or electrocuted; but after, he felt more enlightened like he started to have deeper senses and intuition, what he calls “woke.” For that reason, he added 3 “i’s” to his name, and thus RaSTATiiic was born.
#STATiiiCMADNESS Vol. 1 (hosted by @CaptainChardo) is the rapper’s most recently released project. The project’s most popular single is the “Hype” remix, with over 5000 plays on Soundcloud, and even more via other music outlets (Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, etc). If there was a way I could describe his sound, it would be a mix between Kid Cudi’s enlightened flows about the universe and Schoolboy Q’s raw edge and catchy vocals. I think this unique mix is best showcased on my personal favorite off the project -
“Call Us The Plug” (Prod. by Tig). STAT’s major goal is to make a living off of his music but also seeks to delve into fashion, with hopes of developing a global brand. However, this artist understands that he still has a lot to learn. While the equipment and skills continue to develop, STAT remains self-sufficient in taking time with the different elements of a project, including directing and editing his own videos.
STAT currently has a solid local fan base from his town of Newburgh, but does a lot of work in Brooklyn and around the city. His Twitter account has over 2000 followers, and he hopes to increase it even more as he continues making music, videos, and other projects. Being near a major city like NYC, it might seem that opportunities are more easier to come by, because of all the creative energy around the area. But he mentioned some frustration on trying to “come up” in his local scene. “Often times, when there’s slots for local openers for major artists, it’s the same artists week after week,” said STAT. However, anything can happen in time, with the right work ethic and sense of direction, which is what the rapper believes as well. If anything, I think STAT’s biggest asset is his belief in himself. “I'm a leader and one of my goals is to turn a lot of the modern day followers into themselves and become their own person, and make them feel comfortable being themselves so we can make more leaders. But at the same time, it's ok to be a follower as long as you are following the right people,” said STAT.
At the end of the day, STAT believes he has what it takes to make it, and that’s all a true artist’s ultimately needs. He definitely has the creative ability and pays attention to other aspects of his projects, like photography and videography. His rhymes can take the listener on a trip to space with all his different theories and analysis; in time, it’ll be interesting to see how he further develops his artistic and entrepreneurial skills. Straight outta NYC...For more info on RaSTATiiic, visit his official website, follow him on Facebook, or 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.