Welcome back to another week at #OTDHipHop blog, where I bring you hip hop & rap music / culture / lifestyle content ON THE DAILY (OTD). For this week's #MondazeRotation, I've shared my two latest mixtapes and some personal info about them.
ISLAND WAVES & CITY HAZE (2016 EP)
Island Waves & City Haze is my latest music compilation project. I've always wanted to create more conceptual mixtapes because up until this point, I've basically just thrown a bunch of recorded tracks with no real structure on old tapes. I can honestly say this newest EP is the first step that I've taken as far as putting out a fairly high quality product. It's the first EP whose tracks were all fully mixed by a dope sound engineer (shouts out the homie GIM$), as well as featuring professional imagery and cover art. Inspiration for this tape came from countless days of catching the bus to and from work and school, observing my hometown city of Honolulu, HI. We have a mix of island life like the beach and sunshine and a unique night life, but also a lot of growing urban problems like homelessness, high cost of living, etc.
This tape is a representation of my current skill and style when it comes to rap. Island Waves & City Haze and single tracks from the project was featured on AlohaHype.com, HashtagHiphop Blog, Latin Connections HI (show/podcast), and SweetDudette.com. I'm very proud of the traction and small "buzz" that this tape generated. I look forward to continue building off projects like these and performing these songs and more, in the future. Check out the full "commentary" on Island Waves & City Haze, here. Have a listen for yourself and let me know what you think.
WHERE I'M AT (2015 MIXTAPE)
The Where I'm At is the first project that I've actually coined as my first concrete mixtape project. I've been putting out mixtapes since way back in the day, burning CDs for friends and stuff. But this tape I guess you can say actually served a bigger purpose. As some of you know, I participated in the 2015 Team Backpack Mission Underground event in Los Angeles. Long story short, I was super excited about getting invited by TBP to compete in the Live Cypher Draft in front of a real-life audience and judges, and I set up a crowdsourcing campaign to raise funds. In order to give people more incentive to donate, I promised everyone who donated $10 or more, would get a hard copy and digital download of "Where I'm At."
The process was actually very fast, I had some songs in my archives that I never put out and thought it would be good just to showcase some tracks that essentially show where I was at in life at that point. Needless to say, the campaign was a huge success and me and my girlfriend were able to fly out and we had a pretty comfortable trip thanks to all the supporters. This tape, I would say, is slightly deeper and more personal than Island Waves & City Haze. It comes from a place of reflection and essentially coming of age with issues from my childhood, college graduation goals, etc. But this tape also features a smooth R&B track (What It Is) and some hip hop bars (It's Hard). Check it out and I hope y'all like it.
OTDHipHop is an independent music blog and network, curated by Rapper/Blogger Jehzan Exclusive.