Artist Review: Potok Philippe – “Not The Same (feat. Dre Prada)” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Today’s millennial heatwave has been taking the industry by storm since the explosion of the 2010’s, and many independent artists of this era have been paving their way to grab the attention of music listeners from many walks of life, especially those geared more toward the Rap/hip Hop caliber. One artist that has been making some noticeable noise in the game is Toronto-based Rap/Hip Hop pioneer Potok Philippe with his new fresh single “Not The Same”. A song that demonstrates not only Potok‘s musical and lyrical sensibility, but his insatiable swagger as well.

“Not The Same”, accompanied by an official music video which includes feature artist Dre Prada, is a solid banger from start to finish. From distinctive melody choices to clever lyrical punchlines, this club-worthy single comes out swinging with today’s more charming side to sing-songy Hip Hop narratives and really showcases Potok‘s charisma as well as artistic merit. He reels you in with solid hooks that are viscerally satisfying and lyrically hypnotizing. It’s one of those tracks that proves that it’s not what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it. His well placed verses are nostalgically driven, the beat structure is a force to be reckoned with and the signature sound throughout this track’s duration touches on equal parts originality and familiarity; giving his listeners a taste of something that is recognizable to the modern ear, yet holds its own in its own right.

Drawing notable influences from undeniable Hip Hop heavyweights ranging from the 90s including Tupac, Notorious B.I.G. and Nas, to today’s more modern leaders of the game including Drake, Future, 21 Savage, Lil Pump and many others; Potok‘s signature sound offers up a tasteful blend of old school charm and today’s more prominent production value as well as lyrical execution. He’s an artist that is real, self-aware, and really brings his musical energy to the fold of the forefront with an effective formula that draws you in; and this single definitely reflects it. “Not The Same” is a single that not only brings Potok‘s craft out into the playing field, but also has a solidified production value that is top-of-the-line and a gold standard among today’s Hip Hop scene.

With this single already making waves throughout the music community at large, Potok Philippe also proves that he is quickly becoming a crucial, vital voice to the genre entirely; and “Not The Same” is direct evidence of this in every way. You just can’t go wrong with this one.

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Artist Review: BiGG$ – “Marijuana Memories (prod. by Novmber)”

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Get ready for a feel-good track with a fresh new vibe, because on-the-rise Hip Hop pioneer BiGG$ is doing big things for the vital future of Hip Hop. And he continues to push forward in his career with the recent release of his popular single, “Marijuana Memories”.

As a track that draws in both old school and modern sensibilities, this is a song that has insatiable passion, clever punchlines, and a feel-good aura that delves you into what BiGG$ is all about – creating effective and addictive tracks that stay with you far after the first listen. Carrying an ambient beat that is more subtle, well-paced and at-times nostalgic, the flow from BiGG$ dynamically crafted lyricism really shines in the forefront and never waivers from the song’s identity and self awareness. It’s a laid back track that lets us know to enjoy life a little more, and to relax with a good quality doobie.

The production value is notable and impressive; putting a visceral and modern spin on old school flavors that mix together like good weed and fine wine. BiGG$ has an established and direct approach in his vocal delivery, yet still knows when to incorporate that subtlety in all the right places to make “Marijuana Memories” the gem that is really is.

His lyrical structures are intact and never attempt to outdo/overdo itself in any way. The post production offers more magical touches than anything else – keeping a level ground to walk on throughout this track’s duration. We’ve heard many marijuana concepts in many Hip Hop tracks, but this one is a definite standout and could easily get a Snoop Dogg approval. BiGG$ is doing big things, and it’s tracks like “Marijuana Memories” that is helping pave the way for the rising artist. You will not regret putting this song on repeat.

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Artist Review: Ples Jones – “Sounds Of The Mind” LP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky & Bethany Stephenson

Today’s era of Electronic Music and Hip Hop can be very convoluted with all the sub genres that conjure from today’s contemporary run-of-the-mill artists. It’s a big industry with a persistent rise of up-and-comers from platforms like SoundCloud, DatPiff and those alike. While those platforms remain true to form, it’s hard to stand out from this massive crowd. But every now and then you run into one of those rare gems that truly is a standout of their caliber. And a shining example of this gem is Pittsburgh-based Electronic DJ and Producer Ples Jones with his latest LP “Sounds Of The Mind”.

As the title suggests and perhaps putting one of the freshest takes on today’s Electronic Music standard, Jones comes out swinging on every track of this album and brilliantly showcases his versatile craft by setting a nostalgic tone to his signature Chillhop sound. Specializing in R&B and House music, Jones conjures a refreshing vibe to the table that dynamically puts his skillset to the forefront with exceptional precision and authenticity. He’s been honing his craft behind the mixing board for 15 years, touching on his love for Jazz and Soulful R&B additives to a very addictive Hip Hop sound that is reminiscent with yesterday and today’s more elite producers.

“Sounds Of The Mind” really sets the perfect nostalgic tone in consistency and never waivers from the nostalgic flow Jones brings to each track with his clever production techniques and versatile compositions. With tracks like “Alonzo’s Groove”, “Apologia” and “Bleu Light” to kick this record off, you immediately get a grasp on Jones‘ ability to create tracks that touch on several genre elements that blend very tastefully. The beats and rhythm sections that carry each song drives every electronic-infused melody perfectly and really delves into a craft that touches on equal parts originality and familiarity. Carrying over to “Cherish”, this track serves up a classic R&B style that really puts soul into the record. It is refreshing goodness with that perfect beat that reminds us how R&B was meant to be. The standout on this album, however, is feature-artist track “Drop”. A Hip Hop track with EDM touches that features brilliant lyrical hooks and bars from feature artist Phantom. This sweet concoction delivers an array of genre blending, vibrancy, consistency and everything in between to make this song completely unforgettable and a home run on the album.

“EmpPHATic” is a synth-driven tune that continues to drive the R&B element forward and really helps carry weight on this record with its vibrant setting and ambient flavor. “Late Nite Snack” brings us more of that nostalgic feeling this album has demonstrated from the beginning while “Married To The 90s” and “Shine” are more upbeat and animated in their execution. These four tracks in particular really give us a deep dive into the diversity of Ples Jones‘ production value and garners a dynamic quality that is rare among today’s DJs and EDM creators. The next feature-artist standout track “Quien Tiene Boca (feat. Alba Santos)” is a tasty R&B flavor with an amazing Spanish vocal delivery and soulfully crafted melody. The vocal mix on this song in particular is more than notable as it is beautifully performed. This one will get your heart fluttering. “Rise” is another female-featured track with a sound reminiscent to Sia with its own special touch. Featuring female singer Liz Cirelli, this dreamlike sequence brings new heights to the album with a sense of climax and anticipation as the track plays out. It’s brilliantly mixed, perfectly executed and adds more layers to this record while remaining consistent in the overall signature sound.

The bass and beat-driven “Santorini” is edgy and industrial with a darker tone in its delivery and fits like a glove with the predecessors on the record. “Shine (feat. Late Nite Vegas)” is the perfect subsequence that also captivates a darker tone with an upbeat flow and clever production narrative, while closing track “The Realization” brings us a synth-infused light at the end of the tunnel as a perfect album closer. Altogether, creating an innovative and creatively effective album where all the pieces fit no matter how many times you hear it.

The best thing about “Sounds Of The Mind” is the execution of each song with top of the line production value. Every track flows perfectly to the next while keeping consistency afoot with nostalgic vibes and tasteful genre blends. This album is not just recommended, it’s an absolute must-listen in its own right and demonstrates a very versatile skillset that Ples Jones showcases from beginning to end. This album has staying power with an ability to keep you coming back for more. You’ll be more than happy you gave this album a spin, and this record will definitely entice you to look deeper into Ples Jones‘ artist journey.

Connect with Ples Jones:

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Artist Review: NuJ4X – “Wilmas & Bettys” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky & Sydney B

If you’ve been one of our more dedicated readers over the last few years, then you’ll definitely remember elite Nashville DJ/Producer NuJ4X. And one thing this artist does consistently is continually exceed expectations with every release. And he does it again with his most recent hit single “Wilmas & Bettys”.

Paying a direct homage to the classic cartoon The Flintstones, this track grabs you from the very beginning, most notably the hook from the verses – which carries a Maroon 5 vibe, but much smoother and subtle. You will find yourself singing along to it on the very first listen, and easily could be a chart topper in its own right as well as the song that gives NuJ4X his introduction to the commercial market. In short, “Wilmas & Bettys” is catchy at dangerous levels.

This track has all the elements – vibe, catchiness, versatility and talent. But another thing it has most notably is sustainability – a way where the song sticks with you and can be appreciated through multiple listens without ending up stale or boring. It’s the kind of song where you wanna play it for your friends and see their first reaction.

This song borrows many components from today’s more contemporary genres, but has more than enough charm and wit to really stand on its own and carry massive weight. It’s an anthemic single that boldly showcases NuJ4X‘s raw talent and skills behind the mixing board ,as well as his vocal and songwriting structures that is consistent with his prior releases. But there is just something about this track that makes it completely unforgettable, and it’s done in a way without having to resort to pushing the envelope with post production theatrics. It’s good old fashioned solid songwriting – the most effective way an artist truly stands out among the crowd.

We’ve had Beckys, Dolls and Baes. But once you take a listen to this single, you’ll be searching for your Wilmas and Bettys in no time. It’s a clever branding song that is delivered up in a hit single format that puts other female-attributed tracks to the wayside. We dare you to get “Wilmas & Bettys” out of your head after the first listen – you won’t be able to do it. This song will get stuck on you. And you’ll be glad it did.

About the song:

Wilmas & Bettys is a song about surfing and surfer girls. The name “Betty” was a popular term for really attractive girls who surfed in the 1980s and a bit into the 90s as well. Betty is also the name of Betty Rubble from “The Flintstones” and Wilmas & Bettys is a clever double entendre for both of those names. The lyrics are built from actual surfing lingo. “Dawn Patrol”, “Ride A-Frames & Chase the Ghost”, “Barneys”, “Ankle Busters”, “Hodads”, “Bennys” “Get the Skinny” etc. All surfing terms. I wrote this song because I’ve always loved the ocean, always loved the beach, always loved surfing and the island / tropical lifestyle.

Listen to “Wilmas & Bettys”:

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Artist Review: Cody Tyler – “Okayyy” Single

Article by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Cody Tyler is no stranger to our platform, and is an artist that not only continues to make moves by pumping out great tunes, but also continues to build his craft on every release he conjures. Now the YouTube celebrity comes out swinging again with his most recent single, “Okayyy”.

This song, despite the title, is much more than okay. It easily has that iconic vibe that got us into what true R&B and Rap was all about in the first place. It’s a solid song that gives us a modern edge on yesterday’s vibes, and is done with talent that is raw and inspiring.

Cody, who launched his career on YouTube, has amassed an amazing and dedicated fan base. His song “Mine” has garnered over 1 million views and his Purple & Stars brand has helped him create a recognizable and identifiable identity. “Okayyy” is a song that still showcases his authenticity and unwavering vocal talents, and really delves into creative angles with his well structured melody placements and genre blends. His lyrics are beyond what the average artist brings forth in this era; he always has depth to his content and has always considered music as a crucial therapy tool; not just for himself, but his fans as well.

This song’s beat is not convoluted and really embraces melody and progression. It’s something that really sticks in your head and has that staying power where you can come back to the track time and time again. “Okayyy” is a masterful manifestation of equal parts catchiness and vibe; something that is real and visceral both musically and lyrical. Cody Tyler‘s voice is the perfect forefront to a song like this and really shines throughout the track’s duration.

We don’t just recommend Cody Tyler because we love him, we recommend him because we know you will love him. This single is a triumphant additive to his already well-known discography and if you’ve heard his previous releases, we are certain you will agree. This is an artist whose aim is to inspire and be inspired – and that’s what makes him a standout of his caliber.

Connect with Cody Tyler:

• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lightkidzleader

•Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/purplecodytyler

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Artist Review: Ghost 9six – “Luv Ya Babes Xxx” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

For almost all music listeners, music in and of itself can be the perfect medicine. It can be the outlet of our escape and delve us into a realm of understanding within our heart, soul and sanity. For South London-based rapper Ghost 9six, music is the perfect prescriber of that magic medicine.

The rapper, who utilizes music as a therapy tool for PTSD, really puts his all into his multifaceted craft and is demonstrated beautifully on his newest single “Luv Ya Babes Xxx”, a glowingly hypnotic track with a solid beat, versatile structure and an overall visceral feel that really wins you over on the first listen. With verses that really come out swinging in its execution, Ghost immediately stands out with his rhythmic rhyming style that sets the bar much higher in today’s more modern Hip Hop approach.

While there are some older influences you can hear throughout the track, there’s a raw originality that boastingly sustains itself between his straightforward lyrical bars, and subtle buildups and whispers that showcase a whole other side to Ghost‘s vocal presence. He’s definitely a breath of fresh air, and this track really delves into his identity and overall persona behind the mic. This song is equally therapeutic for his fans as it is for him as well; and that’s the beauty of it.

There is also undeniably top-notch production value in this track. The vocal mix has a perfected manifestation of quality and staying power; the type of track you can keep coming back to and hear something fresh every time. It’s a record that won’t get old anytime soon and you’ll definitely be enticed to research more into Ghost 9six‘s catalogue. He definitely has 2019 on lockdown with “Luv Ya Babes Xxx”, and when you take a listen for yourself, you’ll hear exactly why.

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Artist Review: Rocc – “Community Service” EP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Solid beats, a charismatic flow and a record that shines on yesterday and today’s best elements of Hip Hop the genre could offer, rapper/songwriter Rocc serves up a flavorful 7-track EP called Community Service. Comprised of tracks that bring out the best of his overall skills, songwriting structures and lyricism that is very noticeable from the very start.

Things get supercharged and emotionally visceral on his very first track, “Sometimes It’s Hard“. A song that not only has a well-rounded, but also tastefully catchy as well. This is the perfect kind of track to start the engine for any new record, especially if it’s coming from an artist you’re discovering for the first time. And also, just to add note, Rocc knows how to sing his own well-written hooks as well, and they fit each track like a glove.

This record also has many twists, turns, moods and atmospheres as the songs play out. From straight up bangers to components that add subtle undertones, each of the 7 tracks bring out a different side to Rocc‘s style and really grabs your attention. You can tell he goes over his lyrics and hooks with a fine tooth comb, rather than rushing through a recording process just to get his name out quickly in fashion. But if there’s one thing artists should always know, take your time and make the best use of your studio time. Make sure you’re not writing a record with a possible hit or two – write an entire record of hits. Conceptualize the record and make your audience crave for more. And I truly believe that Community Service is extremely effective in this way.

If this is your first time discovering Rocc, then you won’t be disappointed. If you already know Rocc, then you already know you’re in for a treat.

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