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.
A bare instrumental is like an abstract landscape waiting to be filled with the listener’s impression. The remix is a snapshot of that imprint. Paul Grant’s “Connection” paints with lo-fi strings and a splash of funk that sends Brittney Carter down a lyrical journey into building confidence from trials put behind.
This March 8 interview with Dende covers the musical short film “In Case You Forgot I’m BLACK.” Dende talks about last summer’s police brutality protests, frustration with the lack of change, the effect of the weight on his person and healthy advice for healing in the communities most affected.
“Dreamer” by Kabwasa is an upbeat ode to chasing dreams and pushing them to evolve even as we approach them. Featuring elegant vocals from Ayoni, the track is both reflective and inspirational.
“ONLY ONE” is a song about growing up, but also not growing up. O2worldwide is a 16 person collective of long-time friends rapping their own coming of age franchise out of Oklahoma.
Winding and psychedelic, “Butterfly” flitters in and out of the physical and existential. PK Delay raps about the disconnect between the chaos of the world and proceeding like everything’s fine. Features from Benji. and My Favorite Color rounds out the track.
As Daisy Vorakhanh sings the hook to “Right One,” she warmly invites emcee and producer Lebbs to rap through the challenging introspection of his soul over jazzy lo-fi production.
Tracy Lamont is bringing balance back to doing what you love because you love it. On “Everybody’s Favorite,” off his new EP, Lamont raps about overcoming doubt and finding joy in every aspect of creating.
Rock Abruham delivers hefty punchlines over a looping soul sample with nonchalant confidence that begets his ambivalence for an industry more concerned with marketing than authenticity. He raps “Teeth” with an effortless quality that brushes off that frustration with sheer talent.
Greatness from small beginnings. On “Sic Parvis Magna,” Dirtsa raps with a heroic sense of purpose as the emcee details her experience moving from Cameroon to France and combating the resulting discrimination.