Trek Life is one of the unsung heroes of California rap. He came up with Bishop Lamont, Evidence, DJ Babu, Blu and a bevy of other talented DJs, producers, and emcees (before anyone knew who they were). He’s done entire projects with long time friend Oddisee. His music has taken him around the world more than a few times, even having toured with label mates Diamond District throughout Europe. Trek, always soft spoken about his accomplishments, wouldn’t tell you all this himself but he even got in on the ground floor of licensing in Hip-Hop music - being the first mc to do work for a McDonalds’ commercial, placing music in numerous shows on MTV, Showtime, and even Breaking Bad. Last year Trek Life got the invite to preform at Paid Dues - a highlight for any emcee, let alone a California native.
The new single is off of Trek Life’s third official album release, “Hometown Foreigner” produced by Duke Westlake with features from Oddisee, yU, Belvi, FunkLogik, DJ Buddy, Hawdwerk, GMK, Bishop Lamont, Hezekiah, Sean Wyze, and Richard Wright.
FREE EP: 14KT | “A Friendly (Vocal) Game of KT” ft Skyzoo, The Black OpERA & Oddisee.
Ypsilanti’s golden child, 14KT, has flipped some of his instrumental magic into full-fledged songs on the new EP A Friendly (Vocal) Game of KT. The original instrumental project was rife with earth quaking bass lines, precise drums and heavenly synths. Now the vocal version pairs select beats with equally select MC’s to tease a few great instrumentals into a few classic songs.
MMG all-star Oddisee and his soul singin’ comrade Olivier Daysoul lace the murderous drums and guitar sample of “One 4 Black,” turning it into “High Horse.” New York rhyme wizard Skyzoo and the amorphous The Black Opera are also on board to lend their vocal expertise. Though the short project is stacked with indie rap heavyweights, one of the brightest spots on the album is when KT picks up the mic for the all-new “AsWeContinue.” The introspective track finds KT pouring his soul out in rhyme, opening up about a tumultuous 2011 that left our shining star depressed and the faith that led him out of that.
A producer’s natural evolution is to work with vocalist and A Friendly (Vocal) Game of KT is Kendall Tucker’s next step in his progression as a great producer of hip-hop music. Don’t sleep on this heat courtesy of Mello Music Group & ASide Worldwide!
FREE DOWNLOAD: Uptown XO | “The Color Grey” Mixtape
DMV emcee Uptown XO of Diamond District delivers the goods with a FREE mixtape to keep us entertained until the release of the official highly anticipated Mello Music Group album debut, “Colour de Grey” which releases January 2013.
Features production by AB The Pro, Daz-I-Kue and appearances from Gordo Brega, Tranquill, Kid Daytona, Obi Say, Awthentik, and Joy Jones.
Bringing it back, is Diamond District emcee Uptown XO on the newest cut, “Petey Greene, from his soon to be released mixtape “The Color Grey” (10/1). The Washingtonian rapper uses his platform to explore the Chicago School Teachers Strike, the judicial system and institutionalization, and racism in general. Enjoy the new video, look out for the mixtape, and educate yourself for the action.
Uptown XO (of Diamond District) is preparing to drop his latest mixtape The Color Grey October 1st. In anticipation Secret Society & MMG have the new video for the standout track “Good Vibes”. The song sounds exactly like the title: AB The Pro builds the beat around a soothing vibe chord change that XO compliments with unorthodox flow. Mirroring the musical mood, the video’s director Blackie T takes us to a late summer barbecue in full effect: savory chicken and hot dogs grillin’, homies chllin’ and playing cards.
Lyrically, XO makes clear that though skies may be grey at times, good vibes reign supreme. Lines like “The US Government played us like R&B, we were here before the colonies“ point to the underlying conviction that fuels XO’s tenacious but honest street style.
The Color Grey drops October 1st and XO’s official Mello Music Group debut album Colour de Grey lands in January.
Video: Uptown XO (of Diamond District) | “ERRYBODY”
As part of the triumvirate of Diamond District, XO has been pushing intelligent DC street rap to the forefront for the past few years. Before XO reconvenes with Oddisee and yU for their sophomore group effort (March On Washington), XO is gearing up for the release of his new mixtape “The Color Gray” October 1st. To be followed by his new solo project “Colour de Grey”, to be released w/ errybodies hometeam Mello Music Group this January.
The first taste from the pre-album mixtape is “Errybody”, The uptown Washington, DC native named the track phonetically to reflect the area dialect, highlighting the culture of the DMV. Much like the place, XO is a convergence of different styles and influences that created his uniquely sharp talent. Produced by AB the Pro, XO’s longtime collaborator and producer of his upcoming solo album, the menacing and militant track is a perfect example of the intricate and gritty energy that’s been bubbling out of the district.
The video for “Errybody” was shot at SXSW earlier this year, blending the street banger with images from the crew’s trip to Austin. Nipsey Hussle, Peter Rosenberg, Killer Mike, Danny Brown, and Oddisee are some of the cameos that pop up throughout, recognizing and giving XO his props. Capitalizing on the momentum of earlier projects, the mixtape “The Color Gray” (October 1st) and the upcoming album “Colour de Grey” (January) will further ensure the rest of the world is hip to that DC slang when it drops through Mello Music Group.
Substantial’s resume speaks for itself after more than 10 years releasing music individually, as part of various stellar collectives, and touring China, Japan, and everywhere in between. Yesterday, Potholes In My Blog debuted “Check My Resume”, a track off his upcoming third solo LP, Home Is Where The Art Is, which finds the MC “from the County where the Prince is a G” bringing you up to speed on his CV.
Team player or soloist, Substantial is getting his voice heard and spreading his music the globe over. Substantial has a field day with the knocking, driving beat of “Check My Resume,” courtesy of fellow DMV resident Oddisee. With a dexterous tongue and a relentless flow, Substantial recounts his drive through past accomplishments with QN5, Nujabes, Tonedeff and Marcus D. DJ Jav, Substantial’s official turntable technician, blesses the track with timely scratches. Sub’s flow is as determined as his hustle.
Home Is Where The Art Is drops September 4th on Mello Music Group. The album is executive produced by fellow MMG artist Oddisee, adding an extra layer of talent and focus to the project that also features additional production from M-Phazes and Eric Lau among others.
Pre-Order: Substantial - Home Is Where The Art Is CD2xLP
Mixtape from Hezekiah, free download featuring ill tracks and remixes with Bilal, Zap Mama, Cody ChesnuTT, Conya Doss, Dave Ghetto, KRS One, Common, Kanye, Nas and Jay-Z. Turntable duty is handled by Mr. Sonny James, so you know it contains actual mixing!
This came out 7/15 so I’m posting this late, but it doesn’t matter around my way. People are seriously sleeping on Hezekiah
This is the first creation from the upcoming 4 track EP, a song originally titled “One 4 Black”, which rhyming adept Oddisee re-envisioned with a little help on the hook from the mellifluous Olivier Daysoul. The message is as straightforward as the new title “High Horse”.
Released 19 July 2012 Produced by 14KT featuring Oddisee guest vocals by Olivier Daysoul
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You can hear what I hear in my iPod. Listened to all formats: vinyl, 8-track, cassette, cd & mp3.