The Beauty of Independence is an ongoing series in which Ben Carter (of HipHopNumbers) chats with independent artists about the challenges and the triumphs of existing outside of the major label system. These are the stories rarely told … Dive In about The Beauty of Independence with Cal Scruby
Trigger Warning: Imagery of gun violence "On April 21st, 1994, New York Times Magazine featured a 7 month old infant struck by stray gunfire. Rapper, Producer, Engineer, College Graduate… I am that infant. 27 years later... this is … Dive In about Trust Tate, “Real Reasons,” Life, & Purpose
Reconciling the maturity and pain found in isolation, Dragonfruit deliver “Loney” — yet another avant-garde electro-laden instrumental with spinning vocals both sung and spoken.
Straight out the box, nothing is worth more attention than an unblemished pair of all-white sneakers. In this age-old tale of jealousy, “White Sneakers (Better Than Me),” Cece Valor’s uptempo hook puts priorities in perspective as D Prince raps on his toes to keep both the kicks and the relationship unscuffed.
Songstress Louisa Laos condenses the feeling of the seventeen minutes before she has to leave her long-distance lover into three and a half. Her yearning is palpable on “seventeen minutes” Ft. inHarmony.
Haitian American and Jersey-centric artist Baby Phace provides a mantra-like banger with his new single “Invictus,” but his approach is more off-center than you might expect. Produced by Falak, the duality of the instrumental makes a natural landscape for a compelling visual.
A tale of gun-toting affection and doomed romance, Heidi’s “Make A Mess” finds passion in a dangerous, seductive spiral.
Dre Walton’s powerful performance elevates every aspect of “When We Dance,” from the story to the swing to the sensuality itself.
“Mark of Da Beast” is a gritty gangster rap from duo RedRum. A sinister treble, a booming synth and a slew of threatening bars make the single a sharp listen.
Matt Nye is caught between drug-induced highs and the coldness of reality on “love and other drugs.” It’s an easy-going beat for the emcee to lay his stress to rest.
The gentle jazzy “Like a Dog” sees Otis Mensah at his most melodic. The second installment in season two of #OtisMensahExists brings Mensah questioning if changes in his personality are for better or worse. He drowns in the hurt like the howl of a dog.
Bringing their knack for songwriting to a new — more electric — sound, Dragonfruit creates a house hit that makes it easy to forget the world, but “Know Better” really warns of the dangers of losing yourself.
In a swirling symphony of distortion, Donny Block encapsulates the feeling of hopelessness. The irony of “Fin” is that it’s just the beginning.
Kai Straw is back with another intense composition based in synthy keys and harrowing vocals that push an idea of acceptance. “Bleeding Out in the 415” is a dance with travesty, a battle hymnal that keeps you moving.