Why Bjorn’s ‘The Outtake’ should be the soundtrack of your new year

Why Bjorn’s The Outtake should be the soundtrack of your new year 

Bjorn The Outtake Pyramid Atlanta PA PyramidAtlantaBjorn infuses his Detroit roots with his Georgia raising in his music and creates a creative and unique sound. We hear this infusion in his debut, full-length project, The Outtake.

Though the project was released last August, the ambition and hard-working theme behind The Outtake is a great way to start your year. 

Start from the very beginning of the project with Bjorn’s introductory track, “The Takeover,” which creates and builds the momentum of a go-getter’s mentality and ambition. 

We continue to hear Bjorn’s ambition and talent throughout the records that follow the introduction, like the Jaye Guy-assisted “Bases Loaded” and Sledgren-produced “We On.”

We hear a softer side of Bjorn as he opens up about love and the ups and downs of relationships in “Another Love Song,” featuring Julian. I love to hear rappers speak on love themes, and Bjorn does it perfectly. He shows authentic feelings while still maintaining the consistent vibe of The Outtake.

The 15-track project concludes with “Game Time!” The record features bars from Young $auce and production from Big Boy Traks. “Game Time!” is the perfect crescendo to the project. Throughout the mixtape, Bjorn builds the momentum for his ambition and goals. With this record, the rapper is saying that now it is time to put those ambitions and goals to the test. It’s game time!

Catch up with Bjorn’s artistry with the project below. 

 

 

[Behind The Seams] Horus Brand Clothing

[Behind The Seams] Horus Brand Clothing

DSC_2289When you think of Egypt, you probably think of gold and Cleopatra. You are correct in thinking of those things, but Horus Brand Clothing has brought an Egyptian flare to modern times. The symbol that represents the brand is the eye of Horus. This symbol represents health, power, and protection; Horus was the god of the sky and ruler of ancient Egypt.

This brand wants to empower the youth of today through the clothes that they wear. When wearing this line of clothing, the customer should feel like keeping their “mind and body healthy” while being “ambitious and influential to those around you.”

Horus Brand Clothing has a great selection of items for both the ladies and the gentlemen. There are hoodies, t-shirts, necklaces, long sleeved shirts, beanies, and even bucket hats available.

DSC_2301The one item that really caught my eye was the “Dwayne Wayne” flip-top shades. If you don’t have an idea what these look like, just think back to any episode of A Different World. Dwayne was always trying to get a good look at Whitley by flipping up his glasses. The glasses are so fun and could start many interesting conversations. These shades are not an item that you will see any person wearing on the streets.

Make sure you visit the website to order your first item of Horus Brand Clothing.

[New Project] Tracy Nicolette – ‘Dark Thrills’

[New Project] Tracy Nicolette – ‘Dark Thrills’

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Tracy Nicolette is serving the world some serious fierceness with her EP, Dark Thrills. Tracy’s voice is so smooth and sincere. Easy to say that she can compete with the best in the game; she is not just another pretty face.

A track that really stands out on Dark Thrills is ‘Love Me When It’s Over.’ This song is truly one for the ladies. The song tells the story of being with a man who didn’t appreciate you when he had you, but realized it once you were out of the door. So many women can tell that story of being with someone who did not appreciate them until it was too late.

In a great contrast to her other songs, Tracy Nicolette gave her listeners something fun and upbeat! In ‘Favorite Lover’ there is a sweet melody, hard beat, guitar solo, and real lyrics! By the end of it, you will find yourself singing along to this amazingly produced song.

Dark Thrills is a real gem. It is not very often that you come across a talented young lady like Tracy Nicolette. This EP is a great one and can be put on repeat time and time again.

Listen to Dark Thrills and try to pick your favorite song.

[The Plug: Interview] Meet Negro Suave

[The Plug] Meet Negro Suave

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With the release of his new freestyle, “Live From The 9 (Full Freestyle),” we take a step outside of the Georgia borders to indulge in the artistry of Kansas City rapper Negro Suave–an indie artist who works diligently to expand his indie voice across the nation. 

Negro Suave says he grew up around music. His older cousins were curators of music, specifically rap, and always had him around during their studio sessions. He says that is what inspired him to being rapping himself. 

You may have heard of Negro Suave from his feature on Atlanta Veezy of NBDMG last year, of whom he says “put him on game” to the music scene in our creative city. 

He credits Houston rappers UGK, Chamillionaire, and Lil Flip as his musical inspirations, which can be heard throughout his portfolio of songs. He also notes Wiz Khalifa and Three 6 Mafia as big influences as well.

In a day of mediocre music and similar sounds, Negro Suave says he exhibits an uniquely different approach to his music through lyrical content and beats. 

“My music isn’t hardcore or just talking about killing somebody,” Suave said. “It’s just something you can smoke, turn up to or just chill.”

Suave has always delivered cool vibes within his records that inspire a creative atmosphere that can be much appreciated. 

The rapper is not just making music to set the vibe for your next smoke session or kickback. Negro Suave wants his listeners really feel his music and the attitude behind the lyrics. 

He says this is important to him, because “Nobody believed in me coming up [and] I had to prove to people I can stand on my own.”

With his new freestyle out, Negro Suave says we can expect more visuals and singles from him and notes that 2015 will be a year for even bigger things. 

Check out his new release, below. 

 

 

[Project Review] DedFre$h – ‘Nibiru Mind’

[New Project] DedFre$h – ‘Nibiru Mind’

DedFre$h - Nirubi Mind (Pyramid Atlanta)

DedFre$h is doing explosive things with his new project, Nibiru Mind! He recently released it on LiveMixtapes, a great outlet for any indie artist on their grind.

The first track “The Nephilimon” this project, produced by StarTime, opens up in a really interesting way. There is an audio clip of a woman speaking on the theory of a great cosmic fall that landed us all in physical bodies. She says for many years human beings have been working towards perfection. According to the speaker, in order to achieve perfection, you must go into hibernation. This concept is amazing. Off the bat, this may seem like some far-fetched idea that does not make much sense, but the more you listen to the intro you begin to break down what the clip is saying.

A listener can understand it as the hibernation being the hard work and dedication that artists put into their projects. In order to produce a high quality and well-received project, an artist must go into hibernation and not be disturbed.

DedFre$h’s album is an apparent example of this idea. Anyone can hear throughout the whole project that he put in the work to churn out an admirable project.

From the beginning of this project all the way to the end, DedFre$h delivers. He brought us in on a good note and carried us out in the same manner. The closing song for this project, also produced by StarTime, entitled “Rites of Kingship,” was very smooth and had a nice flow for you to remember.

Listen to the whole entire album here and you may discover another indie artist that you truly support.

 

[The Plug] Meet OMSN

[The Plug] Meet OMSN

After hearing his freestyle over the RAAK remix of Childish Gambino’s “Free Information,” I instantly became a fan of up and coming independent artist OMSN. His music is peculiar and unique, and stems from his love and admiration of abstract art and sound.

OMSN Interview (Pyramid Atlanta)OMSN (Omasan Amoye) says that growing up in a household where his parents appreciated great and diverse music, allowed him to always be a “fiend on music.”

My mom would always play Anita Baker and Whitney Houston,” the artist said. “My old man also, but he was more diverse and listened to Pink Floyd, BB King, Ray Charles, Kenny G, Nat King Cole and even Metallica.

In addition to his childhood music influences, he names artists like Jay-Z, Nas, Kanye West, Chester of Linkin Park, UGK, and a number of other great names as his influences and inspirations as a young artist. 

These influences of soul, rich lyrics and heavy metal can all be found in the artistry of OMSN. He pairs addicting beats that grasp your ear with his effortless lyrical talent, showcased his song, “Ella Baker (Dear America).” In this record, we hear techno infused with hip hop throughout the production while OMSN lays a propitious flow, creating 3 minutes and 26 seconds of beautiful and promising talent. 

OMSN wants his music to influence individuals “who wake up daily to having big dreams, but little inspiration–like seeing Heaven but residing in Hades.”

He’s currently working on mastering his craft with his upcoming EP,  L. O. S. T. (Lost. Often. (For) Seeking. (The) Truth). 

Indulge in the artistry of OMSN with “Ella Baker (Dear America)” and more below. 

 

[Project Review] ILLClinton – ‘ILLANTA II’

[Project Review] ILLClinton – ‘ILLANTA II’ 

“The wait is over!”

Just as the title of the first track states, the wait is officially over. It has been a little over a year and fans are finally receiving the heat they’ve been waiting for. With minds still reeling off of ILLClinton’s first mixtape ILLANTA I, this project was very well-received by fans on the web.

From the moment the beat drops, you can’t wait to hear the words that will accompany. The intro of this mixtape draws you in with the hot beats and in-your-face lyrics!

The flow by ILLClinton is very refreshing and they command you to listen to the message in their songs. Even though ILLClinton may sound like one person, it is actually a duo composed of Brennan, the emcee, and Blake Belair, the producer. Together they make a very mean combo.

They appeal to all varieties of listeners, even the stoners. They shine light on the very popular culture of smoking for recreational as well as medicinal purposes.

This is something that can definitely allow them to speak to more fans because they are able to connect with hip-hop fans who participate in the same activities. Don’t be fooled, being stoned is not the only subject matter on this amazingly smooth mix tape.

Betrayal and two-faced friends are also the topic of discussion. Males and females alike have to deal with “friends” who are anything but. There are tracks on this mixtape that blatantly address the issue of fakeness and people who say they’re things that they really aren’t.

ILLANTA II has no bounds when it comes to subject matter–no matter how touchy it may be. ILLClinton says what is on their mind with no regard to feelings. That is really what makes this mixtape so strong.

Issues like pastors stealing from their congregation is the topic of the track “Father, Forgive Me/ American Horror Story.” Most rappers will not speak on this problem, because the church is an institute that is holy and should not be mentioned in hip-hop music, according to mainstream America.

In their eye-opening song “Heaven,” Brennan and Blake Belair speak about the true story behind America and the things that are not taught in the textbooks.

There is so much positivity in this mixtape.

In ILLClinton’s track “The People” they speak on all the violence in the world and messed up it all really is. “We gone change the world.” That line is just a glance into the power and ambition behind this whole entire mixtape. The vibe this song gives off is indescribable. “You gotta know that we will rise.” Where else do you see this kind of hope for the world anywhere else in hip hop?

As indie artists, ILLClinton has done an impeccable job covering all aspects of life; fun, faith, hope, dreams, death, life lessons and everything in between. Make sure you check out this new mixtape ILLANTA II as well as the first mixtape ILLANTA I.

You definitely will be enlightened and discover a new mixtape that you can listen to a thousand times and hear something different every single time.

Check out ILLANTA II here. 

Collab in Love: Why We Love Bey/Jay-Z Collaborations

Collab in Love: Why We Love Bey/Jay-Z Collaborations

bey-jayAsk anyone who’s the hottest couple in the game right now and I’m sure they will answer Jay and Bey!

On April 4, 2008, a power couple was born. They have set the standards for every single black hip-hop couple in the industry. These two love birds started dating over 12 years ago. Fresh faced Beyoncé stood by her man’s side for the world to see the talent and passion that was shared between them. It was only natural that these life partners also became music partners as well.

Together they have built a musical empire that is respected by artists and adored by fans. The most recent collaboration between these two is “Drunk in Love” which comes off of Bey’s surprise album, Beyoncé. Not only was it mind-numbingly shocking that she secretly recorded an album, but she also had a hit single with her man!

This song is played in every club, at every party, on every single radio station, and it even opened up the 2014 Grammy Awards! The opening performance with Jay-Z and Beyoncé was absolutely flawless. They both rocked the crowd and tore the house down with their sexy and sultry performance.

But this couple hasn’t just begun making music together, they go way back. The beginning of their powerful collaborations start with a song that we all remember, “’03 Bonnie & Clyde,” coming off of Jay-Z’s album The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse. This song was an outright declaration of their “ride or die” status with each other. It was amazing to see a hardcore rapper like Jay-Z brag on his girl to the whole entire world. This was rarely done in hip-hop but this couple broke the mold. Fans went crazy over this, making it top the charts at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also considered the highest rated song to mention the infamous Bonnie and Clyde. Talk about making history!

A few years down the road and this royal couple hits us with another chart topper. In 2006, Beyoncé released a song off of her B’Day album entitled “Deja Vu” featuring her hubby. This particular collaboration hit number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as well. This song just made you want to get up and dance like a diva. Clubs all over the world fell in love with this song because it made people come alive with a type of confidence that only Queen Bey could provide to her Beyhive. 921414-2006-bet-awards

Over the years there have been many songs released by these two and it keeps getting better with time. Beyoncé and Jay-Z are known for their private relationship but the world feels as if we get a glimpse into their lives through the songs that they make together.

Very rarely do you hear this couple feature artists on the songs that they make together. “Lift Off” was a song on the critically-acclaimed album Watch the Throne, which was a collaborative project between Kanye West and Jay-Z. Featuring Beyoncé on the track was genius! It was a really fun and exciting record that blended well with the styles of all three artists.

To tie it all together, last year in 2013 Jay-Z released his album Magna Carta: Holy Grail which had a song called “Part II (On the Run).” This is said to be a sequel to one of their first songs together, “’03 Bonnie and Clyde.” It is amazing to see how they have stood the test of time and continue to make art together. This clever idea was very subtle but made a huge statement to the hip-hop industry. They are together and they aren’t going anywhere. The Beyhive and RocNation are here to stay!

Writer’s Pick: Favorite Hip Hop Love Songs

Writer’s Pick: Favorite Hip Hop Love Songs

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The season of love is upon us! It is that time of year for mushy love songs, flowers and candy. Valentine’s Day is the one time of the year where anytime you turn on the radio, all you hear is R&B love songs because rhythm and blues is the main genre of music to entice one’s emotions. But for all of the lovers who can not related to all the mushy songs, this countdown is for you. Here are my top favorite Rap Love Songs.

“She Needs Me” – Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar has been making a splash in mainstream rap although he first received his recognition as an indie artist. It is only right to start this countdown with one of my favorite K. Dot love songs, “She Needs Me.” Every man who has ever really been in love with a woman can relate to this song as K. Dot admires every little thing about his girl. Most of all, he admires how no matter how strong she is she still needs her man. 

“Heaven Ain’t Hard To Find” – Tupac

Tupac will always be my favorite rapper of all time. He is ingenious when it comes to his lyrical abilities. He was a poet first and his passion is still felt 18 years later. “Heaven Ain’t Hard To Find” exemplifies his lyrical abilities and passion for his music.
“Simply because you are nervous, let me start off with my conversation. Hoping that my information alleviates the hesitation.”
With him being know as Mr. “I Get Around,” he moves slowly and knocks down his lover’s walls that keep him out. Tupac definitely uses his charm and smooth lyrics to make his way into this woman’s heart and pants.
“My conversations are getting deeper, but first let me ask. Are you afraid of a thug? And have you ever made love with candles and bubbles sipping in your tub? Touch me and let me activate your blood pressure, this thug passion…”

“Walk in the Park” – Panacea

Indie artist Panacea has definitely caught my ears and heart with their song, “Walk in the Park.” Every lover, whether you love R&B or Rap, should love long walks and conversations with their partner. This song embodies every emotions that comes from scintillating conversations on a nice, warm, and sunny day in the park with the one you love.
“We could talk soft and undiscovered. Quite undetected tell the leaves to hush.”
His smooth rhythms and lyrics mesmerize you and gives you a sense of euphoria, like holding hands with your lover or that brief moment when you make eye contact and it seems as the whole world has stopped.
“The eye to eye shows that we can build a nation. Hypnotized…”

“Right Through Me” – Nicki Minaj

It is no doubt that Nicki Minaj is in a class of her own. From her humble beginnings to her rise to fame, she has grown to rise the bar for other female rappers. Her first album, Pink Friday, put her in the game with all male players and she devoured them. Pink Friday’s “Right Through Me” is one of those songs that every female can relate to. We all have had that one person that could see right through all the fake smiles and bull, down to our bare soul. It is almost like your lover shares your soul and can sense when you are imbalanced. They can tell something is wrong by just looking at you.
“You know when I am lying, know when I am crying. It’s like you got it down to a science.”

“Fantasize” – Floetry

Have you ever looked so deep into someone’s eyes you got lost in them? They made you fantasize about every possible thing imagine with that person? Well that is what “Fantasize” embodies and more. The Floetry classic not only showcases their lyrical and vocal talents, but it also brings out many emotions. This song captures your mind and sends it on a visual rollercoaster through a lover’s mind.

“Illest B****” – Wale

Wale has definitely left his mark on the rap industry and the heart of the ladies. His respect for women and their hustle is often reflected through his music with songs like “Lotus Flower Bomb” and “Illest B****.” Though I do not condone using the term “b****” to describe a female, “Illest B****” is one of the realest love songs I have ever heard. Wale wrote this song for the females who are independent, hard working, but yet still fly. He makes references through the song about how most of then don’t even get the recognition they deserve.
“No one notice your plight. No one notice your struggle. No one know what it’s like. How you hold in emotion, 9 months while holding in life.”
“Pray you are rich in confidence now I’m paying you mind.”

“Real and True” – Future featuring Miley Cyrus & Mr. Hudson

I wanted to end this list with a crossover song. Real and True,” Future‘s new song with Miley Cyrus and Mr. Hudson, is a beautiful love song about real and genuine love–that can stand through the end of times. Because let’s be honest, that is what everyone is searching for.
“When the sun dies and the stars fade from view. Our love will remain real and true.”
When I hear this song, I think about relationships like The Obamas or Jayonce, where their love is felt in every photo or song. Beyonce and Jay-­Z have been in the limelight for many years and their love has remained strong through the hands of time. Even though they both have their groupies, their love remains strong even when they are apart.
“Through the distant and cold depths of space, the radio sings our song, it’s a love real and true.”

Concert Review: Janelle Monae is the #1 Electric Lady

Concert Review: Janelle Monae is the #1 Electric Lady 

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As the lights dimmed, the crowd of eager Janelle Monae fans shrieked in excitement, and two men dressed in white lab coats and black bow ties approached the stage to set up.

 Up until that point, the energy in the room had been driven by the opening acts, Rahbi and Roman GianArthur, but when the time had come for Monae to hit the stage the excitement doubled in anticipation.

 To say that Janelle Monae is a great performer is an understatement, but for fear of sounding like a groupie fangirl, I am just going to leave it at that. 

 Tuesday night at the Tabernacle was the last scheduled show of “ The Electric Lady Tour,” and while there was some fear that it may have been cancelled due to previous cancelations of other show dates, Monae did not disappoint.

 The Atlanta show was kind of like a homecoming for Monae because she and her team at The Wondaland Arts Society are based out of Atlanta. So, she said that she was very excited about it.

 To start her set, Monae began with the edgy duet  “Givin’ Em What They Love,” which features Prince. While there was no surprise visit from Prince himself, Monae still sung the song flawlessly by herself. Then, she kept the energy of the show going with a performance of her single “Dance Apocalyptic.”

 From start to finish, Monae did her best to keep the energy upbeat with fast tempo songs,but she she also allotted for some quieter moments in the show. For example, when she sung her song “Victory” it became a very spiritual and emotion moment.

 Also, when she performed “Primetime” two couples got engaged, which was a really sweet moment as well. Monae even stopped the show to congratulate them. After that, she quickly picked the pace of the show back up again when she sung “Tightrope,” and  fans were overjoyed when Big Boi from Outkast came out to join her in the song.

 Aside from the music, the outfit changes were really cool as well. Each outfit was a variation of Black and White. She started in white skinny jeans, Knee high black boots and a white and black pinstripe moto jacket. Then, later on she was in a floor length cape, and by the end of the show she ended up in black skinny jeans, a white button up, a black and white pinstripe cardigan, bowler hat and flats.

 Another thing that was very admirable in the show was how close Monae was willing to get to her fans. At one point she went down into the crowd and jammed with them, and during one of the songs she made heart symbols with her hands and blew kisses out to the audience. She also crowd surfed.

 All in all The Electric Lady concert was something that many will remember and talk about for a long time. Janelle Monae is definitely a real talent!