[Review] Vic Mensa: Traffic Tour Pt. 1 August 17 @ The Hoxton


Vic Mensa has had a pretty amazing year this far. From securing a spot on major festival lineups such as Made In America, to Kanye’s “U Mad” feature. He is gearing up to release his debut album, Traffic, and last week, his Traffic Tour stopped at The Hoxton. It was a great night  where the 19+ crowd gathered to hear some good vibes. Doors opened at 8:00pm for the sold-out show as fans trickled in while Toronto DJ, Birthday Boy was on the 1’s and 2’s onstage. He spun a great DJ set consisting of a perfect balance of  hip-hop top 40 hits, as well as throwbacks such as “Swag Surfin” and “Turn My Swag On”.

[Audio] GoldLink Feat. Louie Lastic – “Movin’ On”


Coming off his best track to date “Dance On Me” GoldLink continues his streak and is quickly becoming on of the most interesting artists in the genre. Teaming with fellow DMV producer Louie Lastic, GoldLink’s latest upbeat infectious track “Movin’ On” is something too really to note. In such a short time span, he has shown more progress and potential to become more than an underground cult rapper. A little bit before his time GoldLink could very well be the future of Hip Hop.

Building a repertoire that will soon have legendary producer Rick Rubin, his first official studio album is gearing up to reach critical acclaim. Especially if these one off singles are album cuts. Of course, a lot of credit must be given to his frequent collaborator Louie Lastic. Sampling Tupac’s “I Get Around” the instrumental on “Movin’ On”, takes funky twist and turns to then land gracefully on a 90’s R&B inspired chorus.

Not exactly credited for inventing this subgenre of Hip Hop, however GoldLink deserves credit for elevating and giving Beat Culture the exposure it earned. He has now become the face of this modern take on Jazz and boldly paving its path.

[Column] An Ode to Mos Def and Talib Kweli’s “Black Star”

Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star

On August 26th, 1998, Mos Def and Talib Kweli came together as Black Star and released one of the most significant albums in hip-hop’s history.

Six years later, as a seventh-grader hearing the album for the first time on a bootleg CD played through my bedroom DVD player, it changed my life.

Prior to hearing Mos and Kweli, my rap tastes consisted of whatever I heard on the radio or saw on BET or MuchMusic: basically, G-Unit, Ludacris, Nelly, Ja Rule, and Lil Jon. (Here’s a fun activity: look at the Billboard charts from 2001-03 for a reminder of the musical climate.) Suddenly, I was opened to a world of groovy basslines, gritty drums, and quick-witted lyrical mastery. Not only that, but there was substance. I never turned back.

I may have caught on late, but I share a similar story with many emcees and producers in hip-hop today. Ask just about anyone, and they’ll list Black Star amongst their favourites.

“That was the album that changed all of my lyrical content,” says Junia-T.

“When you’re a young artist, and you’re just rapping, following what you hear, you don’t really understand the reality of the environments these people are describing, you know what I mean? Until you hear an album like Black Star, it really made me realize that yeah, I can rap about my regular life and still have something to say.”

“The mid-nineties was when I got into deejaying, and this was kind of at the same time that Rawkus was really big,” Freddie Joachim says. “This was when Mos Def and Kweli, Common, and The Roots were really blowing up. That’s the type of music that I gravitated towards.”

“I heard that in a time when I had already kinda been on Nas, and Common, and Jay – all the staples – but that came at a point where I was kind of searching for something new, because I had played those albums to death,” says Omen.

“It was just so refreshing to hear; it was just unique; Mos had his own style, Talib had his own style, and I was at a time in my life where I was searching for truth, and tryin to figure out the world, and I felt like they had the answers – even if they didn’t, it felt like that.”

Allow us to take a walk down memory lane and revisit the album, track-by-track. Read it all after the jump.

[Audio] K. Forest – “Season Recline” [Prod. dF & K. Forest]


With the successful release of his last track “Reason”, K. Forest is now ready to release his first single “Season Recline” from his upcoming debut project Introversion.

For those unfamiliar with K. Forest, he is a singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer. Born and raised in Brampton, Ontario, K. Forest has always had a passion for music. Being influenced by Tupac, Freddie Gibbs, OVO, Disclosure, SWV, Charlie Wilson, Rochelle Jordan, 80’s production and pop culture, his style is completely original and innovative. This has really been in effect since recently meeting his go to producer dF. The two have now created chemistry and are able to create multiple songs in just one session.

One track that really set the bar high was “Season Recline”. Inspired by 80’s synths and love songs, K. Forest sets the mood with glossy abstract lead synth backed with a reverb effected kick and sharp high hats. His combination of 80’s sounds and modern Hip Hop provide a platform for multiple flows, melodies, and the emotion to express his personal lyrics.

Speaking on the change of seasons that then lead to the change of heart, “Season Recline” relates to all the people who have experienced a winter fling to then being let go when the weather warms up in the summer.

Arriving on Soundcloud Friday August 28th, expect more quality R&B from K Forest’s debut EP Introversion. 

[EP] Ravyn Lenae – Moon Shoes


It’s hard to believe that singer, Ravyn Lenae is only 16 years old. We first stumbled across her with the previous release “Mr. Sun“, where her smooth and airy vocals left us wanting more.  Now Ravyn returns with her debut EP, Moon Shoes. The eight track EP, executive produced by Monte Booker includes only one feature from Appleby.

Upon pressing play, it’s already evident that the project sounds unlike anything released in 2015 so far.  The journey begins with the project’s opening track, “Venezuela Trains”. Floating over Monte Booker’s calming, yet upbeat production, her effortless and soulful vocals leave the listener entranced. Each melodic song features her rich harmonies. The poetic lyrics guide the listener through a picturesque journey dealing with the topics of love and life. Listen to the project down below and let us know what you think!

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