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.
Mickey Woods Jr is a rolling stone on “rockin’ rollin’.” he takes the highs and lows of life head-on but at a pace that’s comfortable to him. It’s a dynamic rap track with some harmonic bones.
“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.
With her heart in her hand, Haiku embraces “Peace of Mind” as she trust falls back into music and reminds us it’s okay to take a step away when we need to find clarity. Her raps are gentle and comforting with a sing-songy musicality in the revelry.
These laid-back rhymes find as much ease slipping from coast to coast and beyond as Your Old Droog does circumnavigating the globe himself. An effortlessly chill loop, cooked up by Tha God Fahim, underpins the bars with production that rolls out the extravagance of a red carpet entrance with the subtley of slipping through a side door.
An undeniable flute sample and drum kick from Birthday, pocket perfect self-motivating raps by Donnie Durag, and a sauced up-visual from Llama make “Winter in NY” a blustery borough banger. Leave the bubble at the door for Spring, but bring the energy no matter the weather.
On “10 & 2,” NanaBcool uses his vivid rendering of a traffic stop to probe America’s deep racial ills with support from Chicago’s Elton Aura. Their raps move deftly between revolutionary confidence and concern for the lives of family and friends.
“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.
Detroit rapper Nolan and his creative team blend satire, homage, a throwback, and the new wave seamlessly on their new visual and single “CC.”
On “Carry On,” NYC emcee Blu Hyku channels a stirring message of solidarity for Asian American communities facing violence and discrimination.