Dallas rapper Rakim Al-Jabbaar has carved out his own buzzworthy lane in the regional landscape with superior lyrical abilities and the blend of southern lingo with out-of-the-ordinary style. The emerging rhyme slayer looks to build on his momentum and exhibit diversity with the release of his new album, intriguingly titled <em>Big Baby Thanos</em>. He released the project independently at the tail end of March.
The album is inspired by Thanos, the ultimate villain of the Marvel cinematic universe who snapped half of life from existence to bring balance to the universe, the Bun B and Scarface collaborator wants to bring balance back to hip-hop. Rakim’s fifth album is compelling, with 11 versatile tracks, but in that, he still maintains the undeniable lyrical prowess that has made him an artist to watch in 2023. The album is Rakim’s best work yet, as he accompanied by the best in the city.
“I had the support of some of the best producers in the city,” says Rakim Al-Jabbaar. “The best engineer in the city, the best A and R in the city, the best women in the city, the best spirits in the city. Shout out to all the dead homies. You know how we do?”
The album’s standout tracks are “Reasonable Doubt,” “HRT BRK HTL,” and “Elementary Dreams.” When interviewed about the project, Rakim said that it was important for this project to entertain hip-hop fans with appealing storytelling, fiction or non-fiction.
“The main thing I want to place an emphasis on is that as hip-hop artists, we make music for ourselves and for other people,” he said. “So sometimes we telling our story, sometimes we telling somebody else’s story, and it’s not always the truth. We don’t live every single word that we speak on these rhymes, right? And I believe that the children need to know that. So they don’t need to think that they need to emulate everything that they hear, or if they going to be a rapper, that they got to be a nigga that’s sliding and killing niggas and shit just to spit a rhyme. You know what I’m saying? Your job is to be the voice of your community, and you supposed to speak on what you see out there in the streets, but that doesn’t mean that you got to participate in it to have that voice.”
Listen to Rakim Al-Jabbaar’s new album Big Baby Thanos down below.
Twin Hector Drops “Special”
Platinum-selling recording artist Twin Hector releases the intoxicating and alluringly disruptive new music video for his single “Special”. Striking a perfect balance between decadent R&B soundscapes and addictive pop melodies, Twin Hector will push you over the edge with his sensual sonic daydream. Written about a divine union, “Special” is an all-enthralling love song about a deeply passionate connection.
Directed by Ben Tyler / Left Hand Films and Tai’Yon Hector himself, the visual for “Special” was inspired by R&B legend D’Angelo and captures Twin Hector in an intimate, black and bronzed aesthetic.Twin Hector takes his time, drenching you in a seductive wonderland of pulsating beats and heavenly vocals as he muses over his soulmate. “There ain’t nobody I’d choose over you.”
Watch Twin Hector’s video for “Special” for a sweltering, sultry experience that will leave your racing.
MICHAL MICHAL WANTS YOU TO ‘KNOW ME BETTER’ ON FRESH SINGLE FEATURING JAYD
So nice, you can’t help but spin it twice. Michal Michal kept his foot on the gas with his latest love-torn offering, “KNOW ME BETTER,” on Dec. 1. Featuring JayD and production from SK THE PLUG, the new single, which is Michal’s second release this month, is yet another head-turning effort that demands more than a first listen. Layered with woozy 808s, fleeting vocals and unbridled personality, ”KNOW ME BETTER” is packed with a barrage of Michal’s raspy flairs – a distinct hallmark of his sound. Continuing to embody his youthful aura, Michal ultimately has his sights set on searching for “the one” with “KNOW ME BETTER,” as JayD’s mesmerizing hook expertly plays into the sample-clad cut. “After all these years that we’ve been together, I thought you would know me better,” it hypnotically drones, Stringing together strong performances all year, following the success of his previous track “DON’T BLAME THE KIDS” and Summer’s End, which is now his top track on Spotify and Apple Music, it’s better to know of Michal Michal before he takes off.
Check it out here!
Emerging Alt Hip-Hop Star Kembe X Shares New Song “Rolling Stoned”
Isaiah Rashad joins Windy City wordsmith Kembe X for his Hippie Sabotage produced cut “Rolling Stoned.” A thought-provoking masterpiece that cleverly disguises its depth with wordplay and ethereal Alternative Hip-Hop instrumentation, “Rolling Stoned” invites listeners to embark on a journey of hidden meanings and insights. Serving as yet another teaser to the Top Dawg Entertainment affiliate’s forthcoming ‘Sleep Paralysis’ project, it may initially appear as brash rap but the record unfurls into a profound exploration of personal growth, dreams, and self-discovery.
“When we made this song in September 2021 it felt like a reunion and an opportunity to show Hippie Sabotage, I’m not the same person who moved from Chicago to LA and crashed on their couch. It was a chance to demonstrate my newfound confidence in my creative abilities and a willingness to adopt a fresh approach to music. It’s not a reinvention of my artistry, but a shedding of old skin and a dreamy exploration of a new version of myself, deeply connected to my psychedelic discoveries,” shares the Chicago native in a press statement when asked about his “Pole Vaulting” follow-up.
Known for his work with artists such as REASON, Guapdad4000, Jay Rock, and Ab-Soul, Kembe X stands as a beacon of innovation in a musical landscape often mired in conformity. His music, with over 10M+ UGC views on TikTok and 5M+ views on YouTube, has ignited a cultural wave, resonating across platforms. Accumulating a staggering 30M+ Spotify streams, Kembe X’s tracks encapsulate the essence of his artistry.
Beyond mere numbers, Kembe X’s compositions, from the introspective depths of “Voices” and “Cozy Forever” to the bluesy contemplation of “Body Language” and “Anyway,” paint a poignant picture of battling depression, touching hearts and minds. His magnetic stage presence has left an indelible mark, from headlining the Hippie Sabotage Tour in 2016 to sharing the stage in the ScHoolboy Q CrasHtalk Tour in 2019, not to mention legendary performances at Rolling Loud Miami from 2014 to 2017 and Rolling Loud Los Angeles 2017, solidifying his status as a festival favorite.
Stream Kembe X’s “Rolling Stoned” on your DSP of choice via BMR / The Orchard and watch his live performance recap of “Pole Vaulting” at Red Rocks.