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Music To Check Out: NoName’s ‘Room 25’

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The first time I heard of Noname, it was on Chance The Rapper’s 2013 mixtape Acid Rap. Her verse on “Lost” was bereft with subtle imagery and smooth vocals, things that have since then become trademarks of her eclectic style. In the years since, she’s morphed into one of rap’s most interesting personalities. She forgoes falling into any stereotypes, hardly fitting into the categories that we place rappers into. Her rhymes are crisp and intimate, typically refraining from the overt sexuality exhibited by the Cardi Bs and Nicki Minajs of rap’s elite. She’s a little idea, big picture kind of lyricist that’s necessary in the game.

Her latest album, Room 25 is the kind of introspective, small album that acts as the antithesis to the running theme of 2018 rap: grandiose. Room 25 captures the spirit of Chicago’s jazz and blues, throws in neo-soul aspects in the album’s production, and makes use of poetic elements to create one of the year’s strongest projects. On the album, Noname explores the ins and outs of her mind in such startling ways that we’re often more fearful for her sanity than excited to digest her music. It’s a haunting effect that makes the album that much more brilliant.

Since Noname released Telefone in 2016, her life has changed. Prior to this, she was just another rap hopeful, a brilliant poet looking to translate her grand slam experience into music industry success. Telefone showed the world the extent of her brilliance. Room 25  takes the listener on a journey into her mind, finding the mental changes that come with sudden success. There’s a lot of deep, introspective lyrics, just as there are sexually charged lines that drip with venom. Each utterance of “pussy” sends jolts through the spine.

To get the full extent of Room 25, you’ll need to digest the album for yourself. It’s clear fro a few initial listens that Noname’s new body of work is one of the best you’ll find out currently. Listen to Room 25 below.

 

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GRAMMY-NOMINATED ARTIST DEANTE’ HITCHCOCK SHARES “U WERE RIGHT I WAS WRONG”

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Grammy-nominated Atlanta rapper Deante’ Hitchcock shares his first new single of the year, “U Were Right I Was Wrong,” out now via ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records.

The slick new single tells the story of Deante’ and his partner in the throes of an argument, cleverly referencing the classic line of “you were right, I was wrong” throughout the song’s chorus. Driven by its sleek, seductive production and Deante’s penchant for clever lyricism, his latest single is a playful ode to the familiar ebbs and flows of a relationship.

Set to release a slew of new music in 2023, “U Were Right I Was Wrong” follows last year’s release of Deante’s single “Alone” and the Valentine’s Day-themed EP Everyday The 14th. Deante’ closed out 2022 with the release of the two-pack project Callin’ All My Children, which showcased a unique blend of Deante’s southern rap roots and retro production influences, with features from Mississippi rapper and producer Big K.R.I.T. and Compton’s Westside Boogie.

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ASAKE SHARES NEW SONG AND VIDEO “YOGA”

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Nigerian recording artist Asake releases a brand-new song and music video, “Yoga,” produced by Magicsticks. Shot in Dakar, Senegal, the video was directed by Asake’s frequent creative collaborator TG Omori (WizKid, Burna Boy, Fireboy DML). Per Asake, “the song is about minding my business and guarding my peace so no one can disrupt it.” 

The new song arrives on the heels of an explosive year for Asake, with Rolling Stone noting he has “become one of Nigeria’s biggest breakout stars in recent years”. His debut album Mr. Money With The Vibe, released in September via YBNL Nation and EMPIRE, set the record for becoming the highest charting Nigerian debut album of all-time. The New York Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, Pitchfork, The FADER, The FACE, and more included the album atop of their ‘Best of 2022’ lists. The album broke the record for the biggest African album release on Apple Music, hitting #1 in 31 countries within the first 24 hours of its release. Listen here!

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Casket D. & Statik Selektah Share “CALCULATED”

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After releasing HEALER at the tail end of of 2021 and soaking up all it’s success in 2022, Casket D teams up with the legendary Statik Selektah in collaboration to hand us CALCULATED. The 4 track EP sonically blends seamlessly and doesn’t take a bar off lyrically over the span of just under 13 minutes. Intense in your face lyricism, vivid storytelling to rival your favorite  big screen thriller and tons of bravado are laced over Statiks harrowing and soulful production where the delivery fits each pocket perfectly. From the first insert of the producers infamous name tag and seconds later Caskets voice eagerly stating “let’s get right to it” a fuse was lit that ignites an explosion which lasts the duration of the EP. Until the final words of the project “hallelujah as I dash to the finish line” commence and only then, does the dust begin to settle.

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