In case anyone has this column’s aim twisted, consider being featured on SYLR as the official first step to your endless path to getting to the top of the chain and staying there. Notice how we said, “staying there.” Some artists have been putting in work and have seen relatively minimal hype. This platform was created to spotlight those deserving the attention of industry folk, fans, and everyone in between. Be sure to stay up to date on what’s legit by checking out the four projects below. If you feel differently, we welcome you to prove us otherwise.
Attention all rappers: This weekly post is a call to arms-lyrical arms. If you do this thing called rap, these four projects are four
slaps in the face punches to the throat. And no one just takes a punch to the throat without retaliation. Let’s see yours. And for those who were selected already, let’s see where you go from here. The Source is watching…
*No one is perfect. Somehow these four projects missed my ears last week. But at least I can own up to it and present them to you today.
Two mainstays in the independent West Coast game, El Prez (emcee) and Jansport J (producer), teamed up on this project to give you a look through their eyes on the distorted American Dream in the 21st century. J’s soulful production meshes well with Prez’s vintage flows and voice. This one’s for the long haul type of days, when you gotta work overtime at the job you just can’t seem to get away from.
The hype building up to this one has been overwhelming, but not misleading. The young Chicago emcee is the best kind of contradiction simple minded folks should tolerate. Lil Bibby is mixing his no mercy and no nonsense street mentality with the moral fortitude of a family man. He’s principled and if you doubt it, you might get “changed.”
Two-9 are the click not to f*ck wit. Neither are the subgroups within Two-9. Emcees Dave and Johnny (aka Light Skin Mac) make up FatKidsBrotha and they rap well. In the sequel to their last project, the two give you stories about their dreams and dark beginnings. The minimal, ominous production and do or die lyrics remind me of early Three 6 Mafia. Let’s see if we ever get a clue on who this slightly overweight sibling is though…
When you do a project with Ski Beatz, you have something more than just a great opportunity to work with a legend. Not only do you have access to beats that are most likely ahead of their time but you have the chance to spark some lyrics that may be just as forward thinking that will shock some critics. Najee The 1 does just that with straightforward bars about his maturation, his goals of running this rap game, and his barrio.
Trust me, I listen to every submission. To get your project considered for SYLR, please email the following information to SYLR@thesource.com:
Where you’re representing
Link to your project (do not attach any music)
Bryan Hahn (@notupstate)