New Artist Alert


Of all the names they featured on their compilation album Undisputed, Def Jam left off their best new signing: Maxo. Like Ka, Earl Sweatshirt and MIKE, the L.A. rapper’s music is introverted and introspective, low-key and lo-fi. It’s less concerned with winning the fleeting attention of the masses (which is probably why he wouldn’t have sounded at home on Undisputed anyway) and more focused on exorcising his demons — and forging an intimate connection with his audience in the process.

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If you liked the choppy, lo-fi sound of Earl Sweatshirt’s latest album, then you need to get up on MIKE.

Born in New Jersey and raised in London (and now living back in the Tri-State area), the 19-year-old rapper has quietly been carving out his own pocket in the New York underground rap scene alongside sLums and Standing on the Corner. Coincidentally, Earl has been something of mentor to MIKE over the last couple years, and if you listen to any of the dozen or so albums he’s released on Bandcamp, you’ll notice Earl was also listening closely while recording Some Rap Songs.

Forget a rival; MIKE influenced his idol.

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Generation Now is the music label of DJ Drama and Don Cannon, best known as the home of Lil’ Uzi Vert. Following the success of Uzi, Drama and Cannon now introduce the newest signee to Generation Now, Lil’ James. Hailing from Detroit, Lil’ James grew up in the foster care system living in more than 12 homes. Eventually, James would move to Atlanta where music serves as his inspiration, growing up on Lil’ Wayne and the Hot Boyz. After slowly working on his craft with the mentorship of DJ Drama and Don Cannon, Lil’ James drops his debut project 21 Years Later.

Coming in at eleven tracks, 21 Years Later features guest appearances by Jacquees and Kap G. Stream the project below.

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Tyler Thomas BirdsIView

Miss Info: As the days gets shorter and colder and darker here in New York City…the perfect antidote for the seasonal blues is this new EP ‘BirdsIView’ from 23-year old Los Angeles singer/rapper Tyler Thomas. Thomas has been on his independent grind for the past few years, catching the attention of industry insiders with “Whiskey on the Rocks” back in 2012 and his 2013 Higher Learning EP…but now, under the executive-production direction of Grammy-winning squad The Stereotypes, Thomas is primed for the big-time.


This week, Thomas dropped a video for the very PCH-drive-ready “Make Me Go” (above)…But so far, my favorite track has been the grittier “Lincoln Ave.”

Watch Tyler’s “Lincoln Ave” video and download his ‘Birds I View’ EP…
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scarface

If you haven’t heard of Dark, let us put you on through his new video “Scarface” with Young Boston and Manolo Rose. The up and coming rapper debuted the clip through TIDAL’s discovery feature and is poised to make some noise thanks to the hard-hitting cut. The single is taken from the upcoming Pushin Pain Vol. 1 mixtape and in the video, you can see him hit the block with all his people, live from Uptown.

Watch the video below…

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rich-homie

Rich Homie Quan released a new song this week, but there’s another issue lingering over the ATL rapper’s head. From newly released iPhone video, it appears that his issues with Johnny Cinco almost turned into a physical altercation. Coincidentally, his new record calls out fake rappers.

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jimmy-johnson-pray-cover

Drake’s OVO Sound label is ready for takeover in 2014. After officially introducing music lovers to OB O’Brien with “Steve Nash,” it appears the imprint has another new budding artist ready to shine. Posted on OVO’s website, is the song “Pray” by 21-year-old Toronto-native Jimmy Johnson aka Jimmy Prime. The Auto-Tune-laced cut is produced by 18-year-old producer Eric Dingus, who in recent months has remixed songs like “Worst Behaviour” and “November 18th” by Drake.

As was the case with The Weeknd and recently PARTYNEXTDOOR, it appears any music previously released by Jimmy Johnson has been removed online. The songs “Rolling Deep,” “9/11,” and “Loud As F**k” were previously promoted as singles off Jimmy’s upcoming In God We Trust debut project, scheduled to drop in 2014. Until official news comes from Drake himself, who mentioned Jimmy on Instagram recently, listen to “Pray” below.

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raury.jpg

Is Raury about to be music’s next sensation?

That’s a huge proposition to place on any young pair of shoulders, but in an era when an unknown singer from New Zealand can make one of the biggest hits of 2013 almost entirely organically, anything is possible. Especially when his first official release, “God’s Whisper,” is taking the Internet by storm.

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aston matthews aston 316

A$ton Matthews, another name outta California you should be checking for, drops his long-awaited mixtape, A$ton 3:16. The 19-track offering boasts an extensive guest list that includes Action Bronson, Ab-Soul, Flatbush Zombies, A$AP Ferg, Vince Staples and Bodega BAMZ. The production value is top-notch thanks to the likes of The Alchemist, Evidence and Joey Fatts, while A$ton’s rhymes are as chilling as they are authentic. Another impressive project this year from the coast that has already brought us gangsta rap gems like Oxymoron, My Krazy Life and Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2.

Stream and download after the jump…

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bibby

There’s been a lot of changes at SXSW over the last 4 years. Believe me, I’ve been here for each said year, and I’ve watched this awesome indie music festival turn into a corporate free-for-all for product placement. And I blame myself, too, for feeding the machine and attending just about all of the “big events with A-listers.” I couldn’t help it. However, SXSW is not totally useless for new and emerging artists. If you’re willing to look, there’s still tons of buzz-worthy talent to take in.

I had one of these moments last night at Bar 512 for A3C’s showcase. Located in a tight little bar with 2 floors off of 6th Street in Downtown Austin, the spot was crowded with underground rap fans for acts like Denzel Curry, Lil’ Bibby, Gold Lake and many more. I have to say I was really into what Denzel and Bibby did. Both acts brought the same aggressive content that features in their music and were genuinely having a good time. Granted, both artists definitely need major work with their live shows, but the energy was there.

In time, I’m positive they’ll become way more polished and organized on stage. Remember how all-over-the-place A$AP Mob was in the beginning?

Watch video clips below…

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