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Don Q Plots a Years-Long Reign in His “True King” Video

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Known for his bruising tough-talk and his sharp lyrical mind, Bronx rapper Don Q is highly-respected in the Five Boroughs and beyond. Laying all his cards on the table with his new statement of purpose, Don Q announces Double Or Nothing, his next project. Charting his progression from upstart to young OG, Don’s upcoming project is packed with hard-earned wisdom he picked up on the streets and in the music game. Influenced by mob movies and the cinematic rap epics of NYC’s past, the new project finds the Highbridge The Label artist locks into each instrumental, organizing his Bronx tales and assonant internal rhymes into lockstep cadences. Musically, Double Or Nothing mixes a grimy old school NY sound–with ominous pianos, scuzzy snares, and whirring woodwinds–with the occasional dip into the sliding 808s and triplet flows that define the city’s ascendant drill scene. His first new full-length since the release of 2018’s Don Season 2Double Or Nothing arrives on October 22nd via Highbridge The Label/EMPIRE.

Along with the announcement of Double Or Nothing, Don shares the video for True King,” the project’s opening track. The song opens with dramatic sweeps of strings, and without drums, as Don provides the percussion with his triplet cadences and expert sense of rhythm. In his lyrics, Don Q reveals a ruler’s mindset, lapping up his life of luxury even as he processes residual trauma from his past and constantly keeps his head on a swivel in search of the next threat to his reign: “I take my emotions and bottle them in/I never focus on following trends/When I was broke I thought soon as I made me some dollars I swear that my problems would end.” Directed by Starr Mazi, the video finds Don holding court in the outskirts of the Bronx, surrounded by tricked-out ATVs, dirtbikes popping wheelies, and a pack of bulldogs, a breed whose dogged determination provides an ideal analogy for Don Q’s refusal to back down from any challenge.

Born and raised in The Bronx, Don Q grew up idolizing brash NYC rappers like Jadakiss, Cassidy, Fabolous, and Jay-Z. After making waves in the streets with mixtapes that highlighted his lyrical acumen, Don Q signed to Highbridge in 2016. From there, Don and fellow Highbridge rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie experienced a rapid rise through the NYC rap scene, sharing the popular Highbridge: The Takeover mixtape and gaining national recognition with a legendary Funk Flex freestyle. Don made his name as a vital solo artist in the NYC scene with mixtapes like Corner Storiespraised by Stereogum, and raised his profile even further with tapes like 2018’s Don Talk, featuring a guest spot from Pusha T, and the full-length Don Season 2, with features from Lil Durk50 CentMoneybagg Yo, and more.

Over the past couple of years, Don has been keeping busy with even more high-profile collaborations, recruiting Lil Uzi Vert and A Boogie for Flood My Wrist” (over 42 million Spotify streams) and joining forces with Benny The Butcher for the Complex-praised single Legends.” In 2021, Don has continued to feed his loyal fans, sampling a classic NY banger on his single Law & Order” and reminding fans of his off-the-dome brilliance with his version of Drake’s Lemon Pepper Freestyle” and recent appearance on Charlie Sloth’s Fire In The Booth session. Stay tuned for much more from Don Q in the build-up to Double Or Nothing.

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CEO Trayle Takes Things Slow with his “Craxk Flow”

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Even the most indomitable horror villains have their weaknesses, and for a brazen bogeyman CEO Trayle, that Achilles’ heel is love. Taking a breather from his haunting of Atlanta, Trayle shares his new video for “Craxk Flow,” a standout from the acclaimed HH5 mixtape released on Halloween. Bolstered by Trauma Tone’s seductive saxophone production, “Craxk Flow” finds the artist who calls himself “Mr. Back Door” recounting his struggle with romantic consistency. Though he regales his love interests with lavish gifts, he falls short when it’s time to commit, but with good reason: “Remember I had that b**** that stayed on Gresham Road/And I had that other b**** that stayed on Candler Road/And I had that other b**** that’s raised up by the 4/Told that b**** be careful with my heart cause that s*** broke.”

Directed by Never Panic Films, the video for “Craxk Flow” sees Trayle cooped up at the coziest secret lair of any supervillain in recent memory. Whether he’s sitting at the piano with his crimson Celine jacket draped over his shoulders, or kicking up his Dior sneakers on the table of his dimly-lit dining room, it’s clear that the suit-clad saxophone player soundtracking Trayle’s gloom from outside of his window is insufficient company to warm his ice-cold heart.

“Nightmares & Dreams” is the second video from HH5, which received “Best New Music” accolades from Pitchfork, the crowning achievement in a busy year for CEO Trayle. It arrived weeks after Vier, a four-track EP released in July alongside a Q&A with The FADER. The title of the EP translates into the number four in German, a number with mythical and historical significance in Trayle’s life–beyond being the source for his explosive nickname C4. Nine years ago, on July 4th, Trayle suffered seven gunshot wounds as he successfully fought off an attempted home invasion. Trayle survived, but he suffered emotional scars that he still processes every day. The rapper explored his trauma and expressed gratitude for the little things on his recent single “July The Fourth,” the EP’s closing track. Vier followed in the wake of Trayle’s 8-song mixtape The Collection, home to highlights like “Of Course,” the tape’s closing track. Trayle recently made a splash with his From The Block freestyle, where he performed his song “Song Cry,” which racked up over 250k views in less than one week.

CEO Trayle is following in the footsteps of his hero Gucci Mane, crafting street raps that are at once down-and-dirty and refined. The 28-year-old artist’s music found an audience, and earned praise among publications like PitchforkAudiomack, and many more, for his gritty bars and sinister steez. Trayle’s trajectory skyrocketed after he released “Ok Cool,” a viral hit that generated over 60 million streams and earned a remix from Gunna.

With HH5 in the books and much more music to come, CEO Trayle is primed to take over the rap game.

Watch “Craxk Flow” here today!

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SNUPE Bandz, PaperRoute Woo, and Duke Deuce Make a Fearsome Trio

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SNUPE BANDZ and PaperRoute Woo specialize in diamond-tough Memphis music designed to appeal to the rawest steppers in their city. Teaming up with a fellow Memphis rhymer for a fiery new video, SNUPE and Woo share Pop Out,” a new music video. Dominated by a low-note piano bassline and appealingly distorted blasts of synth, the three emcees strut their stuff and display their distinct personalities. Woo takes aim at Instagram hustlers who wilt when they see a real one in the streets, SNUPE chronicles his rise from the block to the big time, and Duke Deuce brings a new energy with his triplet flows and emphatic ad-libs. In the video, the two Paper Route Empire rappers and the Quality Control crunkstar post up in a dimly-lit corner of Memphis, hosting an unforgettable function with beautiful women, fearsome pit bulls, and “Deucifer,” Duke Deuce’s fearsome ventriloquist dummy.

Following up the recent video for “When I’m Bored,” “Pop Out” is a highlight from Boyz N The Hood, the recently released mixtape by SNUPE Bandz and PaperRoute Woo. Showcasing their complimentary styles, with SNUPE as the effortlessly high-flying stunner and Woo as the domineering hard-nosed tactician, Boyz N The Hood is a potent introduction to the duo, who’ve been standouts in the Memphis scene for years. With high-energy features from Arkansas’ own Bankroll Freddie and Duke Deuce, Boyz N The Hood is available everywhere now via Paper Route Empire.

SNUPE BANDZ and PaperRoute Woo have a long history of collaborations, dating back to 2020’s “In My Bag” and continuing through last year’s “Pop Out,” which drew 1.8 million YouTube views. Both SNUPE and Woo joined their mentor Young Dolph on “Nothing To Me,” a standout single from last year’s PAPER ROUTE iLLUMINATi mixtape, generating over 9 million views, and they later took the stage in remembrance of their role model during a tribute set at Rolling Loud California 2021. The two Memphis natives made memorable appearances on Paper Route Empire Presents: Long Live Dolph, the recent PRE compilation tape: SNUPE shined on his solo showcase I Know Why,” and connected with Joddy Badass for the sensual “I Like,” while Woo flashed his mastery of flow in “Fully Equipt.”

Watch “Pop Out” ft. Duke Deuce here!

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Swifty Blue Shares “Tiger Woods” ft Baby Yungin & OTM

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Swifty Blue is back with another brand new single titled “Tiger Woods” featuring Texas own Baby Yungin and the Stinc Team’s newest muscle OTM. This comes a few months after his smash single “Swap For a Swap” featuring Kodak Black and producer Bighead which peaked at #24 on the Apple iTunes charts and coincided with Swifty’s viral “Check In” campaign which received over 1000 check ins on SwiftCheckIn.com from people wanting to visit Los Angeles. With an outpouring of press attention and cultural commentary about Swifty, he is capitalizing on it with more incredible music. 

“Tiger Woods” is an aggressive record which shows Baby Yungin crooning an excellent hook where he proclaims “riding dirty in the backseat, put my faith in God”. Stinc Team Duo OTM displays both Duffy and Pesos with their signature sinister bars in the vein of the late Drakeo The Ruler showing homage to the Stinc Team sergeant. Swifty also shouts out Drakeo during his verse then proceeds to spew the bars “Off the muscle, Grimey Gang, whole squad full of troopers, brought Kodak to the hook now my hood full of snipers”. 

Be advised as Swifty will continue to release new singles every few weeks in the coming months continuing to stake his claim as one of the West Coast’s most consistent acts ever. 

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