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Grammy and Juno Award-winning producer/engineer David Strickland releases his debut solo instrumental album Foundation

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Grammy and Juno Award-winning producer/engineer David Strickland has released his debut solo album Foundation viaMNRK Music, a 20 track instrumental project that seamlessly blends his hip hop-fuelled musical inspirations over the years. Boasting production credits with a who’s who of rap superstars including DrakeEPMDThe ClipseDef SquadMethod ManKardinal OffishallSaukratesMaestro Fresh Wes and many more, Foundation arrives as a follow up to his last critically-acclaimed 2022 release Spirit of Hip Hop: Elements album, and its prior accompanying series, that celebrated, showcased and highlighted a wide range of North American rap icons alongside emerging Indigenous rappers. “This album represents the first time I did something musically that was just strictly by myself. No MCs or singers. Just me alone. Producer and engineer,” explains the Scarborough-born producer/engineer who has quietly worked behind the scenes for decades, producing, mixing and/or engineering records from the likes of Canadian urban music legends including Glenn LewisGhetto ConceptJelleestoneChoclair and k-os. “I was in NYC going through beats in the studio and I was looking at the last two albums I released and the instrumental versions, and it made me think about how guys like DJ Muggs and The Alchemist have been doing instrumental albums for years. I spoke to my A&R and VP about the idea, and then locked myself in the studio and banged out and revamped a couple beats and it just all came together.” 

Strickland pays homage to his neighborhood roots on “Scarboro Forever”, and references his career sustenance on “The Journey”, but what lies at the core of the highly rhythmic, breezy and boom bap-inspired production on Foundation, is that at its core, it reminds listeners of what it takes to make a hit record – the production, which is the foundation. But the album title carries deeper layers of meaning. “Music is the foundation of any song, and I am a part of the foundation of the ‘Toronto Sound’. Any good project needs a solid foundation. And say what you want about me, but I’m a finisher. I always deliver.” Foundation delivers on all fronts, and appeals to music lovers of many stripes, as its contemporary sonic edges are rounded out nicely by its timeless classic old school musical sensibilities. 

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Alex Jean & Darkchild Find A Way With “I Need Faith”

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Sampling Tem’s “Me & U,” Haitian Hip-Hop artist Alex Jean recruits Grammy Award-winning instrumentalist Rodney Jerkins for his latest leak “I Need Faith.” Co-produced by Jack Lawson, the infectious yet inspirational cut finds the Florida native effortlessly rapping the song’s lyrics with his larger than life vocals. The record marks Jean’s addition to Darkchild’s Alienz Alive label and preview of what new found fans can expect going forward.

Born and raised in Orlando with an older sister and their parents, Alex Jean is no stranger to adversity or achievement. Though early on in grade school he was a self described troublemaker, getting into fights and causing mischief, his family eventually moved into a well to do neighborhood where he received a more suitable education. The graduate of Lake Minneola Highschool, credits his father’s musical talents, Michael Jackson, Reggaeton acts like Don Omar and the strong bond with his sibling as the foundation for his forward progression.

Prior to making the decision to be a full time recording artist, Alex thought he was going to be a guitarist but soon realized his voice was ultimately the instrument he’d be using to help influence the world and help people in it find freedom. Last year his “Love Like That” collaboration with Hulvey & Torey D’Shaun reached No. 45 on Billboard’s HCS chart and with new music loaded up he’s poised to make a lasting impact that transcends the status quo.

Stream “I Need Faith” on your DSP of choice below via Alienz Alive and follow Alex Jean on IG | HERE.

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Olumide Releases Hot New Track “New Keys”

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Rick Ross producer Dizzee Beats handles instrumentation for Olumide”s Summer single “New Keys.” What better way to let the streets know you’re officially outside and ready to be seen? Pulling up in head turning transportation. On his timely track “New Keys,” the East Coast emcee takes a break from his more conscious content and catches a vibe played best in the express lane.

Speaking to Medium Creative Agency about his new song, the P.G. County native states: “This that feel good, bass heavy, braggadocious track. Whether you got something to be proud of or just want to stunt, this is that record.”

Olumide grew up in Maryland, where he casually began to make music with his brother as a high school student. His talent blossomed quickly, and soon, it became apparent that he was destined for bigger things. Olumide began performing in front of any audience that would have him, rapidly upgrading to multiple appearances at Baltimore Soundstage. Easily one of the most promising artists to emerge from the DMV, Olumide officially secured his spot sonically with the release of #BeenDope (Mixtape), which currently boasts millions of streams. Solidifying himself on the stage alongside Hip-Hop heavyweights like Curren$y and A Boogie wit da Hoodie as well as in the booth with other local entertainers like WillThaRapper and Ciscero, Olumide is a man on a mission, refining his craft and further developing his impressive lyrical abilities.

Stream “New Keys” on your DSP of choice via PGN Records below.

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Chelsea Pastel Releases New Song “2 Much”

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If sharing the same bill as Rapsody,joining Ebro forApple Music‘s DISCOVERED, catching the attention of HOT 97 as well as iHeartRadio, and being added to TIDAL‘s Hip-Hop: RISING playlist all while consistently releasing quality content wasn’t enough to convince critiques that Cleveland‘s Chelsea Pastel (@chelsea_pastel) is poised to be crowned Rap royalty, her newest release is sure to solidify just that. On “2 Much,” the follow up to “Greener” & “Price Going Up,” the Ohio outlier partners with MajorStage (@MajorStageMusic) to deliver a unique live performance experience that personifies song lyrics “too much talk with no action where I’m from we call it cap.” 

Starting with a powerful intro, “2 Much” explodes into an earthshaking drop, featuring a hook so addictive you’ll be shouting it all day long. Channeling the gritty sound pioneered by acts like Three 6 MafiaA$AP MobFather, and Key!, the song successfully brings nostalgia while putting a fresh twist on the current female rap scene. Recorded in a home studio session amongst friends, the infectious energy of “2 Much” shines through every bar. 

Born and bred in Forest City, Chelsea found her passion for music early on, which led her to enroll in the Cleveland School of Arts. After graduating, Chelsea began to make a name for herself throughout the Midwest and beyond. Her unique sonic style, catchy hooks, and lyrical prowess have earned her the title of Cleveland’s Next Up talent.

Apart from accolades, which include being featured regionally on WKYC and Dirty Glove Bastard as well as national recognition on top-tier entertainment networks like BET, Chelsea is a self-taught instrumentalist who often handles her production, writing, and engineering. Her unique brand of ballads can be best classified as a fusion of Rap and Pop with a touch of Rock accented by old-school flavor.

Stream the Cassius G-produced accompanying audio on your DSP of choice below via MajorStage andstay tuned for the Miguel Ramos-directed live performance visual.

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