We've all done it. Went on to YouTube and looking through the millions and millions of instrumentals looking for that perfect one that inspires you. Sometimes that inspiration comes from a song you've already heard and from an artist you that everyone knows, but what happens when it’s the artist everyone knows that’s doing the typing? And what if he’s curios enough to type “J. Cole type of beat”? That’s exactly what J. Cole did with his latest single “Procrastination (Broke)”.
We talkin’ J. Cole? Yes. Jermaine? Yes. Mr. The real is back, the ville is back. Flow bananas, here, peel this back? Yes. J. Cole. he actually typed in “J. Cole type beat”. And the beat inspired him so much that we actually wrote a song to it. And from his message, it seemed to come at a time where he truly felt uninspired. And looking at the views the song is doing well with over 2 million views on YouTube in its first 48 hours. So, let’s take a look at just how good this song is.
The song was created by producer Bvtman. It uses his signature style of building the beat, it gives space for J. Cole to have fun as the electric guitar plays in the background and gives it that old school reminiscent feel. But the real feeling of the track comes when the bass kick hits. It gives the track depth and deeper emotions. You gonna feel these bars. It also gives it that hip-hop feel. That boom bap. That pure hip-hop track where you can hear the artist clearly because their voice is also an instrument that needs to be heard and when they have something to say, it should be the main instrument. The snare drum creates the pace for the track. At times it speeds up as J. Cole’s raps speed us. At times it slows down as J. Cole’s rap also falls in line with the pace the snare creates.
The beat is good but what about J. Cole’s bars? The first verse starts out with J. Cole rapping about being uninspired. He’s being truly transparent. Artists have all been there. Writer’s block. Anyone can a song and just have bars in it, but those songs don’t last, that’s not the J. Cole way. J. Cole makes music that people can feel, but when you’re not inspired that’s when the procrastination comes in, hints the title of the song. The last part of the verse is where he explains that he’s no longer broke, and it leaves him thinking can he still make “struggle” music when he’s no longer struggling as expressed in these 4 bars.
Or maybe the real is I’m so, um
I think this is one of the dopest things that could happen to a producer. He hacked the system. Our maybe the system glitched. But wither way, J. Cole found this unknown YouTube producer (Bvtman), and overnight gained millions of streams and thousands of followers. And he was actually able to inspire J. Cole to write a song at a time when he was uninspired. Also, the song isn’t bad. It’s more conversational than a turn up track. But the curiosity has gained it more than enough listens to be considered a win. The next question of course is. Will he be able to make another hit? Who knows who will be the next to log on to YouTube and type in “type beat”.
Tell us what you think of the song.
Gangsta Grillz, you bastards. If you’re a fan of DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz albums, then you’ve heard this line many of times. DJ Drama has created a classic mixtape series called Gangsta Grillz that some of the biggest artists in the industry have used to either launch their careers (such as Young Jeezy) or helped reinvent themselves (such as the mixtape Weezy aka Lil Wayne). But what about an artist from Oklahoma? Wait. That can’t happen. But one thing the Pandemic has taught me is that Hennything is possible (you read that right). And it did. With one of the most talented artists in Oklahoma Ayilla. And it was on December 16th that the world was introduced to Ayilla and her Gangsta Grillz “Kill Us Both”.
Before we get into the album's juicy details, let’s get into some facts. Because like Bernard M. Baruch once said, “Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts,” Fact 1 is that this is a legit Gangsta Grillz album with Ayilla and DJ Drama. Fact 2, the album has 10 tracks that come out to 22 mins and 4 seconds of playback time, with most tracks averaging a little over 2 mins. The song “Breathe For Me” is the longest track, coming in at 2 mins and 53 seconds, and the shortest track is “Whiskey”, coming in at 1 min and 37 seconds. There are no features on the album, and rightly so, this is Ayilla’s introduction to the world so it’s only right that she’s center stage. So, let’s get into the album “Kill Us Both”.
The album starts out with "Drama Spell". As soon as the track starts that’s when you realize that it’s really real, Ayilla has a Gangsta Grillz with the legendary DJ Drama, and he doesn’t waste any time going into his Drama talk. This excitement for hearing DJ Drama is immediately paused as soon as Ayilla’s powerful voice comes rushing in thru the speakers and at the same time it rocks the listener into a trance. This is Ayilla’s spell.
“I put a spell on you… cause you put a spell o n me too”
Track 2 is the album's title track “Kill Us Both”. And from the start of the track Ayilla's voice shines, you can hear her vocal range as she is able to float from note to note combined with the tracks infectious uptempo beat, it gives it this uplifting and inspirational feel. Even the way she sings the first bar gives you chills. “Head up… can’t keep me down,” But at the same time there as soon as the beat breaks down, comes this dark side to the track, because not too much later she also spits a bar “Save us all before I kill us both,”, that’s a hell of a statement. It definitely seems like the boiling point of a toxic relationship. This feels like the track Chrisean wanted to make but didn’t have the talent to. This could literally be the intro song to the Blueface and Chrisean Rock’s show “Crazy in Love”. But this is "Kill Us Both" and DJ Drama and Ayilla must've both been in some crazy relationships because they both talk about it being selfish for wanting to kill us both. “Maybe I’m selfish”, Ayilla sings. The song then fades into more instrumentation of electric guitar riffs and piano key melodies.
Track 3 “You Lie II”, at first glance seems like it would be a follow-up to “You Lie” which was track 2 on her project “The Witch Tape”. But it's when you take a listen to both you say "Hey!! What's going on here? Because both tracks are essentially one and the same. “I’m tryna be a better me, I met Adam tryna be a better me” Ayilla spits. These are only the first 2 bars and they're exactly the same in both songs. Really the only difference between these two songs is DJ Drama speaking and probably the mixing and mastering, the production for "You Lie II" feels fuller and more explosive. But that's why this is on a Gangsta Grillz. When diving into the lyrics of the song you see how it further perpetuates the toxicity theme of the album. It mentions lust over love, also it mentions going tic-for-tat, and the final ingredient, lying. That’s one hell of a mixture for a drug or some might say, love.
Track 4 "Come Inside" is like this sexy innuendo about the pain Ayilla feels and the only cure lust. You can hear in lines like; "My heart been broken, I’m hurting, can you come inside." This song is filled with lines like this. But also, the song is very short at only 2 minutes and 8 seconds, it feels like more like an interlude than a finished song. This is further supported by the fact that throughout the track there are these fragmented bars that seem like unfinished thoughts. These unfinished thoughts leave so many questions, but maybe that’s the reason for her repeatedly saying Come Inside. She literally wants to finish the conversation instead of running away from it. Either way it’s still a dope song.
When we get to the middle of the album track, we get a different feel with “Ain’t Easy”. This track feels like an old-school west coast vibe with remnants of this 90s R&B sound, hell they even throw in the old-school “dramatics” sound that people come to recognize in a DJ Drama Gangsta Grillz record. Ayilla gets back to having fun with this record. You can hear it in her vocal runs as well as in her ad-libs that make her words scat across the beat like a Jazz singer. I would say this track sounds heavily Jazz influenced even up to the strumming guitar and the way her words elongate and carry from bar to bar like a graceful aerial silk performer transitioning from one silk fabric to the next. You also get a glimpse of her ability to rap, though just 4 bars, you feel again this improv scat and Jazz influence. It ain't easy to not rewind this track back.
The next track is "Disbelief", and you’ll be in disbelief of some of the bars she sings on this track like, ”Pray got in the way. Pray came in first place.” Damn, if that ain’t a disbelief bar. I think the song is about all the crazy shit couples can say to each other and still look at one another like it wasn’t supposed to hurt the other person’s feelings. This is some real toxic shit. The song is like seeing the fine woman in a scary film. You just want to yell at her. Get Out The Fuck Out of there!
“He don’t believe in love but what the fuck is this.”
Track 7 is "Whiskey", it's a nice vibe and the shortest songs on the album. It’s like getting a pint of liquor when you wanted the liter. You can’t afford it, but at the same time you also can’t afford not to. Ayilla's voice is intoxicating, just like being drunk, you get lost in Ayilla’s voice. The chorus is like a repeating thought that you can’t get rid of. You know youd trippin’. But the liquor makes it numbs it all. Even the beat is so hypnotic and goes in and out. But black out on this track. It's something to really appreciate.
When we get to Track 8 "Breathe for me" you realize, damn, it’s almost over. But with that comes a really great track. It’s probably one of the most upbeat tracks of the album. Who taught Ayilla how to get on this track like this? If it was Yeezy, Yeezy taught you well. I like the fact that she raps a little on here. Maybe not a full fledge rap, but just enough to let you know she can do it at any time. This is one of the stand-out tracks on the album in my opinion
Track 9 "Worship the Sky" is one the tracks that also appeared on Ayilla’s project The Witch Tape, but there are some slight nuances in the track's production such as more sounds added, the beat is slightly different, but the lyrics are pretty much spot on with the original except for of course DJ Drama. I agree with this move though. I think it was a standout track from The Witch Tape and was a good marketing move, especially when performing the album. The listers will know the words. I also like the way she takes her time with this track. It seems to represent her realizing she don’t need to take this shit no more. It also has one of my favorite vocal performances when at the end she repeats “Magnify do you mind is, lift me on high, do or die, can we worship the sky tonight?” Even though this is not a new song, it still jams.
The last track on the album is "Stand Still". But I think when you listen to this song, you’re gonna want to do everything but stand still. The track has this Afro-Caribbean sound which is a great move for Ayilla and her career. It shows artistry in her ability to try new sounds and also, it’s one the most popular genres with artist like Wiz Kid and Burna breaking thru to a more mainstream audience. This song is more about getting lost in a person as the listener also gets lost in the track. And again, DJ Drama brings us back to reality, as he shouts a few people out. By the time the track is finished you realize time did stand still.
There you have it Kill Us Both the album by Ayilla and DJ Drama. Now back to the facts. Or as said Sherlock Holmes said, “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” And the fact is that this is a concept album about a toxic relationship and the head space you get into when you’re in one. The from the alum cover to the tracks, there's no doubt this is Ayilla's most revealing albums. If I had to pick the standout tracks on this album my vote would be for “Breathe for me” and “Ain’t Easy”. But the album did leave you wondering. Will Ayilla stay in this toxic relationship? Who knows. Maybe there will be a “Kill Us Both 2”. But until then listen to this dope piece of art from the artist Ayilla and the legendary DJ Drama called "Kill Us Both".
Gangsta Grillz you bastards!
Let us know what you think of the album.
To find out more about Ayilla and her latest music follow her social media below:
Apple Music: Ayilla
I follow a few influencers on Instagram in hopes to be inspired, entertained, or also for useful information. This time it was for useful information. That’s when Gary Vee’s video about ChatGPT came across my timeline. ChatGPT is an AI (Artificial intelligence) bot that you can use natural conversational language to ask it specific questions and do specific tasks. Gary V in his post mentions how AI can do a lot for blogs and writers. So I thought it would be interesting to see what ChatGPT knew about Oklahoma Hip Hop.
The first question I asked ChatGPT was. What do you know about Tulsa hip hop?
Tulsa, Oklahoma is not typically known as a hotbed for hip hop and rap music. However, the city has produced a number of talented rappers who have made their mark on the genre.
First off, if you know Jabee, then you know he’s from Oklahoma City. He even has his own Wikipedia page. So, there’s no real way that ChatGPT should’ve gotten this wrong. Also how did the bot not mention that he’s won an Emmy!!! How could you not mention that? The other mention is G.L.O.S.S. from Warr Acres. If you Oklahoma Geography, then you know that Warr Acres is not in or near Tulsa. It’s close to Oklahoma City which seems to be the place the chat pot pulled its information from. No mention of Playya 1000 or Nitro. No mentions of Gang51E June or even the whole list of artists that were on the F.I.L.A. project (Fire In Little Africa).
But I then began to think. What if my question was too vague? What if I narrowed it down to artists it just mentioned and see how deep it would go? Jabee.
Who is Oklahoma rapper jabee?
Jabee Williams, known simply as Jabee, is a rapper from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He began his career in the local underground hip hop scene, and in 2015 he released his breakthrough album "Black Future" on the label Fresh Chopped Beats.
Still, the information seemed very surface-level and seemed kind of outdated information. Something that a publication from New York would find in a Google search and stick inside of an article just to say they did their research. So next I decided to have a little fun and ask ChatGPT what did they know about who??? Mike Jones.
Who is Mike Jones?
Mike Jones is a rapper from Houston, Texas. He first gained popularity in the mid-2000s with his hit single "Still Tippin'" from his debut album "Who Is Mike Jones?" The album was a success, reaching the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart and earning Jones a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album.
Not too bad. But still outdated information. But it was still fun to see that it had an answer.
Though AI and Chatbots have a long way to go. (Just ask some of the customer service chatbots and see what I mean.) There are some useful things they do provide. Like helping to get over writer’s block or helping to get started with an article. Maybe it could help artists come up with different ways to market their music. Maybe it can help write a rap. Not like ghostwrite, but a few bars. You might wanna prove read those lyrics. You don't want to end up like FN Meeka. But, one useful thing I found was to ask was:
What are some ideas for Oklahoma Hip Hop Blog articles?
Here are a few ideas for Oklahoma hip hop blog articles:
So is AI ready for Tulsa Hip hop? Like Kanye West said, “you don’t have the answers sway.” Well at least not yet. But best believe in the next few years you may not even be able to tell who’s been writing these articles. But we are not there yet. The technology is not there yet. There are some useful things you can use this tool for in the meantime.
Let us know if you intend on using AI in the future or some of the things you've used ChatGPT to do.
Men lie. Women lie. But numbers don’t. Everyone remembers this bar from Jay-Z’s song “Reminder”. And that’s because it’s true. But to lie to someone’s face that’s a whole nuther thing. Again, both men and women lie. But the numbers don’t. And two artists that have the numbers on their side are the SAIKKO Twins, made up of SAIKKOMIKE and SAIKKO 10. Who have dropped their new single “Lie 2 My Face”.
The first notable thing about the track is the acoustic guitar. It kind of catches you off guard and makes you wonder, How can this be a rap song?”. This is giving John Mayer vibes. But as the beat drops you immediately go “Ohhh!!!,” that’s how. The 808 beat brings the track back to more of a rap infused vibe. Then we get into the bars. First up is SAIKKOMIKE. Who comes in with the chorus. It’s a real vibe that sets the tone for the whole track. It talks about staying down for someone, but they still lie to your face. One bar from SAIKOMIKE really sticks out is when he says,” And I was just writing my story, but how me and you ain’t on the same page.”
Part of being a brother is knowing how to share. In this case, it means that SAIKOMIKE and SAIKKO 10 both share the spotlight, in which both are able to shine on the track. SAIKKO 10 comes in on the track like a relay racer who takes the baton and runs around the beat. He pours so much sauce into the track that his voice creates its own beat at times while still being able to ride the track’s beat. It’s dope to see his brother and friends join in on his verse and use the same mannerisms that he uses when he's spittin' his verse. From the very first bar, he catches your attention with a clever metaphor. “All that shit was science fiction. I can even tell a better story. And now that you have my back like Jesse and Woody, a real-life Toy Story.”.
Lie 2 My Face shows how two brothers have each other’s back even when your girl is tripping. The song showcases both artists’ songwriting abilities as they seem to effortlessly weave through the track while making complex structured bars seem easy, so easy that the listener might miss it if they aren’t listening close enough. What’s most important about this track is that it makes you feel. Whether that’s a feeling of happiness a feeling of sadness, or just vibes. But that’s art. It makes you feel either way. So go listen to Lie 2 My Face by SAIKKOMIKE & SAIKKO 10 and let us know what you think about the two twins looking to take over the industry.
I came across this clip on SnapChat where Gillie was on his podcast Million Dollaraz Woth of Game talking about rap. What peaked my interest in this video was that he stated that it’s OK to get help. Not only is it OK to get help but the fact that most artists get help. He even goes on to ask, “Why when it say written by, does it never just say his name?”. Let’s breakdown some of the most iconic hit songs to see if there’s some truth to Gillie’s words.
In any other genre ghost writing is the norm. Look at Beyonce’. She has collaborated with so many songwriters including her husband Jay-Z. One example is Halo which was written by Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic. If Beyonce’ can have help. Why can’t rappers? Look at one of the most iconic artists ever, Elvis Presley. He’s always had ghostwritters who has helped him create some of his biggest records like “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (two black guys who everyone says Elvis stole the songs from). But If Elvis can have help/steal songs. I think you see the pattern here.
DRAKKKEEE!!!!! Everyone remembers the Quinton Miller controversy with Drake and Meek Mill. But in actuality the less talked about part of making a hit track is that often it’s not just one person. There’s usually a writing team. Drake even let it be known that on his new album “Her Loss” (which is a collaboration album with fellow artist 21 Savage) him and 21 Savage both wrote bars for each other. But it doesn’t stop there. GloRilla has one of the hottest runs going on and her new single “Tommorow 2” is an example of that. When you look at the ‘Written By’ section on Genius It features GloRilla, Cardi B, Macaroni Toni (who is the producer) and Pardison Fontaine who is a known ghostwriter for Cardi B. Coincidence. I think not. But again, this is one of the biggest hits of the year.
But ghost writing has to be new right? Back in the day everybody wrote their lyrics. Wrong! Here’s a few surprising songs that had ghost writers. Everybody remembers Will Smith’s hit single “Gettin Jiggy With It”. But did you know that Nas actually was the ghostwritter behind this hit? Yes Nas. When you’re talking pure hip-hop, it doesn’t get more hip-hop than Nas. But like his album said. It was written. Also everybody remembers Still D.R.E. A classic west coast hit that featured Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg together rapping once again. But did you know that this track was written by Jay-Z??? What?? An east coast rapper ghost writing for a west coast rapper. Now that’s one hell of a plot twist. And I can go on and on. It doesn’t matter what generation you're in. A hit is a hit. And most likely that hit took people to help write it.
It’s really only in hip-hop that there is this stigma against getting help when it comes to writing a song. But the question really comes down to. Would you rather have a hit? Or would you rather say, I wrote a song on my own”? Only the artists can answer that question. Because to the millions of fans still streaming the song, it doesn't matter. In the interview Gillie went on further to say that, "Do you have a hit record? Because at the end of the day, That's all that fuckin' matters. Nuthin else matters!"
Do you agree?
Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
Also watch the episode of Millon Dollaz Worth of Game below:
Nas is Like.. I remember hearing Nas. The rapper who took the game by storm with his debut classic album Illmatic. Admittedly I was too young to remember that album. First of all, I was young in 94. I was listening to rap of course, but I live in Tulsa. We bumpin' West Coast rap like Snoop Doggs Doggystyle. But when Nas did come onto my radar was more around the album “It Was Written” with the hit track “If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)" that featured one of the queens, Lauren Hill. It was with this breakout record that Nas really was introduced to a wider audience with this crossover track. The kid from Queensbridge was well on his way to being a legend. But that was 1996 and this is 2022. The crazy thing though is that Nas is still putting out classic tapes. But is Nas still relevant? 21 Savage had something to say that stirred all the internets up during a Twitter space conversation where he said, "he isn’t really relevant anymore.”.
First I couldn’t believe my ears. The Nas slander. Had he not heard the classics he had put out? Had he not heard the King’s Disease series? But then I had to sit with it and really analyze things. Is 21 Savage talking about longevity or popularity? These are 2 totally separate things. First, we must define the word relevant. One of the definitions for relevant are appropriate to the current time, period, or circumstances; of contemporary interest. So with this definition is Nas still relevant? I say yes. Nas’s new album King’s Disease 3 garnered media attention from all the major publications from Pitchfork, to Complex, to Genius, and the list goes on. Then there’s social media where Nas and King’s Disease III was a trending topic on Twitter and also showed up on the Explore pages on Instagram. Is this not relevantcy?
If what 21 Savage really is talking about is popularity, then that I can’t argue with that. Nobody is really playing Nas's songs in the club. But that’s never been Nas. He’s never been a single type of artist. He’s always made cohesive albums that has helped him build a loyal fanbase and longevity. But that’s what’s so great about Nas. His music is something that people go back to and listen. I don’t think too many people are going back to 21 Savage’s old albums and listening. He really doesn’t have classic albums that have that replay value. Which albums last longer than singles and albums usually translate to album sales. People are more likely to buy a nostalgic album, than buy a nostalgic single because you can stream a single on YouTube for free. But with a nostalgic album, you breathe it. You live it. You are emersed into it because it has songs that are relatable and that you can play in every scenario in life. And that’s what NAS DID!
But what about the numbers? Like Jay rapped. Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”. Let’s look at the numbers. The project, which is entirely produced by Hit-Boy, managed to move a total 47,000 units in its first week. Of that number, 28,000 were streaming equivalent units (aka 36.17 million on-demand song streams), 18,000 were pure album sales (boosted by merchandise/album bundles) and 1,000 were track equivalent units. It was also Number 1 on iTunes US Albums chart. If that’s not relevant I don’t know what is.
But at the same time 21 Savage gave everyone the ammunition to set the internet a blaze. Let’s be real. He never disrespected but he did disrespect the fact that artists can be relevant without being in your face every day. And that’s what NAS DID.
So, is Nas still relevant? The numbers speak for themselves. He’s more relevant and he’s still putting out classic albums. Just because it's not in the club doesn't mean it's not charting. 21 Savage should be glad that Nas is still relevant because it can only help him as he goes into the later stages of his career. Nas is showing you the blueprint. And we didn't even talk about his Angel Investing which has helped him make way more money than music has. And that's something 21 Savage can definitely learn from. If you still don't believe me, go listen to the King's Disease III album.
Leave a comment and me know what you think.
She is K.O. This isn’t only a social media handle. It’s also the perfect phrase that describes the artist from Enid Oklahoma who has been nothing short of a knockout. From her style to, to her music, to her street marketing. Since her first record, she’s truly kept the game on the ropes while she has dropped hit after hit. All the while parrying from the snakes and the fake drama that artists use nowadays for clout. And it's with her latest release Sincerely that K.O. is truly showing the world how being genuine is enough to take you to the top of the game. And do it without compromising yourself and most importantly, your art. Let’s check out Sincerely from K.O.!
“The only time that Ima clench is to embrace my gifts”
The album starts with “IDK Noting”. “The only time that Ima clench is to embrace my gifts”. Which clench is also a boxing term for embracing your defender so that they can’t throw any blows. But K.O.'s defence is also her offense. The track uses a sped-up sample from The Spinners 1973 hit “Could It Be I'm Falling In Love”. K.O. shows a lot of Intrapersonal intelligence, she has experienced a lot but is still smart enough to know that she’s still learning, which is a continual process. OR as the Socrates quote goes “The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.” There is a lot in this track, just in the first 2 minutes, so it is surprising that the beat actually switches to somewhat of a whole another song. A song within a song. It’s a lot slower than the first but K.O. still shines and shows just how talented she is as she sings. “I’ve been stressing for a long time.”
As we get into track 2 which is “Black Cinderella” we are instantly thrown into a vibe. It feels like that nighttime driving, swangin. But when K.O. comes in she lets it be known that she's here. She mashes on the gas as she spits bar-after-bar. Toward the end of the track there's no doubt of the Houston inspiration as the backing vocals take on this Screwed up persona. It takes us on a ride to then another beat, and a more elevated state as she sings “None of it matters when I’m this high”. It’s like she has Angels backing her. But don’t think you can’t get that heavenly flow from her either. She got Goddess bars. The track overall is about that feeling or maybe the feeling of being numb. Both beats convey two different drugs, lean and weed, but mixed together the feeling they create is a totally different high.
Jumping in to Track 3. Immediately as the chorus begins for “Like That” the back of your mind goes to Kodak Black’s “Like Dat”, which is one of the songs that helped propel him to stardom. K.O. put her own spin on the track. The heavy 808 kick, breaks up the listener's thoughts clearing a path for K.O. 's bars. She walks on the track. It reminds the game that not only does she have bars but also K.O. ain’t afraid to flex too. The track seems to follow this developing formula of; the first song, skit, then a completely different second song. In this case, the second track still has the noticeable 808 kick, but the track is a slower tempo and smooth feel. It’s almost like she realized she needed to slow it down for a little cause life has been going that crazy. It’s like she reminds you that it’s ok to take your time. We got a whole album. I like how she gives the beat time to breathe at the end and lets it fade out. There's also a video to go along with the song, check out the video to “Like That” below:
Track 4 “BirthRight” is such a braddagious track. It showcases her lyrical ability. From the flow, she uses, to her versatility in the way that she switches up her flow to something completely different. Just listen to cadence in her voice and how she hopscotches from bar-to-bar. She murders the beat like she’s coming to get everything that’s owed to her. By the time you get to the second part, it’s like asking forgiveness because she didn’t ask for permission on the first track. The first part was the funeral, and the second part is the wake.
“ This nigga insane. He want me to be Coretta, When I’m really Gucci Mane.“
If you really want to hear a song that is knocking. Then the beat on track 5, “Too Often” is one you gotta listen to. It’s a track where you can hear K.O stretching her words and having a more animated flow. It makes the lines hit that much harder. One of my favorite lines come from this track, “This nigga insane. He want me to be Coretta, When I’m really Gucci Mane.” I had to hit Pusha T "Yuugh" when I heard that line. The track is definitely a radio hit. The beat, to the bars, to the chorus. This is that one. When the 2nd half of the song plays it settles down as K.O. sings about her insecurities and everything that takes away from her confidence, but that all stops when she switches up and starts rapping. It’s like she reminds herself that she’s the Illest Bitch Alive. “Lost niggas that I loved, that’s alive. I read the eulogies.” Made me hit another Pusha T "Yuugh".
“Special” is the name of track 6 and it’s about talking to that special someone in your life and letting them know how special they are. Because oftentimes we do get caught up in our day-to-day and forget about this. The song just feels good. Plus, it’s backed by some clever bars, “And I been prayin’ throwin’ pennies in the wishin’ well, but if this is not where you wanna be then ima wish you well”. Jay-z voice "Wishin' Well, I wish you well.. Damn. K.O. Did! Then the track switches to a more somber feel of K.O rapping about a relationship that went bad and turned for the worst. Thinking of the times you put them as a priority. But she ain’t gonna cry about it. She lets the guitar do it for her. As ends the track talks about a few things she gonna do to get over them.
"Chillin Wit No Makeup On" is the title to track 7 and is also that one line everyone remembers from Drake’s debut single "Best I Ever Had". And just like the title, the song is about expressing how you feel. I would’ve actually expected this slower track to be on the backside of another track if we're using the formula we’ve been using throughout the project, but it’s actually a nice switch-up. It’s no wonder why this song has been released as a single with the only difference being that the single version is only the first part of the track. So, when listening to the album you notice the skit and the 2nd half of the track when the beat switches to that drunken text type of vibe. And you get some dope lines, one in particular was so dope, she even had repeat it twice. “Love ain’t for sale, but I just might let you rent it.” The song still continues that chill vibe of just quality time and laying up. Take a listen for yourself.
Track 8 “Low/Cabaret” is the only track on the album that gives you an indication in the title that there are 2 parts to this song. The first song on the track "Low" sounds very performance arts dancer-ish. Aka. This sounds like it’s for them scrippas. She chants repeatedly “Keep it from the low from me”, like to say protect my heart by not telling me what you doing out here in the streets. Ignorance is bliss. But also this is that sneaky link anthem. The song sounds like you in one of them Houston strip clubs and all your worries are behind you. It's just you, the dancers, and the liquor that keeps talking to you in a screwed-up tone. I love how she incorporates that Houston this sound into her music. It gives so much character to the track. By the time the first track ends you realize there is no voicemail. So when the second track kicks in the track speeds up as K.O. sings in an autotuned voice that creates this rounding repetitive chorus. You thought we was with the scrippas before. This is the VIP anthem. And just like some people's pockets the song ends shortly making it seem more or less an interlude to the 3rd song. You heard it right 3 songs in one track, and this one is a slower pace, it creates a balancing act as her voice tightrope’s each melody balancing with an accompanying accosted guitar. Her voice sweeps you away. It just leaves you thinking. Damn. What can’t K.O. do?
“Love songs about love”.
Take em to church. That’s your immediate thought when “Love Songs” comes on. The actual song sounds like she’s searching. Never finding love. But still searching. With each bar building on top of the last lost love and painting a picture of the deep heartbreak. It’s a hell of a journey. The second part of the song is K.O. seems to be about running toward the things that aren’t good for you while running away from the things that you know you have to do. You know the hard things. This song again shows her songwriting abilities she goes from singing into rapping so effortlessly. She speaking gospel on these tracks, “I just wanna wake up to like no stress, And like great sex with no latex.”
“I like niggas built like a gods, I like bitches by the twos”
“Slide”. Now this is something you can dance to. It has this bounce to it but is smooth enough that you can get on the dance floor and just feel the beat and get lost in K.O.’s voice. She even gives us a couple of bars. This one, in particular, caught my ear, “I like niggas built like gods, I like bitches by the twos”. The second part of the track plays a familiar r&b sample I can’t put my finger on it, but I found myself humming it. But back to the song. This song is K.O. calling out to God. It’s a really deeply personal song. Almost is if she's asking the question. Does God hear us when we pray? I believe so.
The last track on the album is "Calabasas". When you make it this far in the album you realize the journey you’ve been on. This happens to be the shortest song on the album. I think the title Calabasas suggests this luxurious place in the hills of California where the whole team is shining. But throughout the song I think it’s K.O. realizing that she’s still very much on the way to Calabasas but it might not be the picture she dreamed it would be. Meaning maybe not all the people you thought was gonna be there will be there. But it’s the journey of getting there that’s really what’s worth it. Because even if you fall short you still might end up in Beverly Hills.
So, there you have it. Sincerely. By K.O. The album is a beautiful piece of art. Just looking at some of the facts. It’s an album with 11 tracks, but this is a little deceptive seeing that the album could be a double disk where you could literally take a knife and cut each track in half and literally have a second album. This means that the album could’ve easily been 22 tracks. What’s most surprising about this is that there are no features. It’s K.O. featuring K.O. meaning that she uses her voice in so many ways on this album. From singing, to rapping, to switching up flows, to autotune. You get to see her artistry in this album. We also saw that It's an album that had this recurring formula of 1st part, a then skit, then second part a completely different beat. It just kept the listener always guessing what could happen next, a skit, a song, or the beat riding out. Like I said, this is art. And lastly, you would think that in the world of streaming, an album whose average song lasts over 4 mins could not happen, but then again there’s nothing about K.O. that’s average. So go listen to Sincerly by K.O. and let us know your thoughts.
Make sure to follow K.O. on her social media below:
This past weekend was so dope. The rebranded World Culture Music Festival (now called Dream Land Festival) was filled with everything from a jog, to panel discussions, to live music, to vendors, to a film screening. It was really an amazing sight to see. And all this going on right here in Tulsa. With all that being said I think it’s interesting to see who were the WINNERS and who were the LOSERS of this past weekend's 1st Annual Dream Land Festival.
Tulsa. Tulsa won in the fact that so many amazing people came to Tulsa to spread their knowledge and to be involved in the culture. But what was really win was the people that are movers and shakers in Tulsa getting their recognition and being in the spotlight. That goes for both people in tech as well as the artists in the music industry. There was so much networking going on at the event, it was a beautiful thing to see.
The Artists. I think this past weekend was an opportunity for artists to truly get out and network and take advantage of the weekend. There were literally A&Rs, artist managers, social media managers, etc, etc. There was literally a breakout session to teach artists how to get money called “How To Make Real Money As An Independent Artist” hosted by the co-owners from Build Your Own Dreams. The sad part was that the room was not even half-way full. How don’t you show up to a free.99 event about how to get to the bag? Also when it comes to knowing what time an artist went on not even half the artists had a flier. Not even a post about what time they were performing. How are your fans going to show support if they don’t know what time you’re going on? Also where was the merch??? With this many people here in Tulsa and I only saw a few artists with merch.
Jah The Jedii. There is no bigger winner than her. The artist from Atlanta who has busted onto the scene and made waves with the Ground Waves showcase with rapper Murs where she impressed and got a co-sign from the town GOAT Steph Simon. But wait.. It gets better. She was then given a chance to perform on the main stage on Saturday night. But wait. It gets even betterer! She was then brought on stage by Grammy nominated artist Rapsody who also co-signed her and gave her the mic on her set. The only thing that didn’t go right for Jah The Jedii is that she didn’t have any music out to direct all the fans that approached her after the weekend. But this will change Friday! She’s releasing her first project that will be on all digital streaming platforms! Best believe I’m looking out to see what’s next for Jah The Jedii.
Father. I think he was a wildcard pick. He went on a Friday which in Oklahoma if it’s a workday it’s hard to get us out the house. Also, staying for a concert where the main act doesn’t go on to well after 1am. That’s just not Oklahoma. We in the bed. Which showed during his performance. The crowd had thinned out. But being a true artist Father still rocked that bitch like it was 1,000 people in the crowd. He got to see and meet his true fans and turn up with them. so I can’t say this was. that major a loss. Plus he still got the bag.
K.O. She has to be one of the hardest working artists in Oklahoma. Just look around downtown and you were sure to spot her poster up that had a QR code that let you know everything about K.O. She supported and networked at all the shows. Her performance was crazy. Or should I say performances. The Saturday performance at the main Holberton stage was bananas. She owned that stage. She owned the crowd. She showed why she was so great of an artist. She had fliers telling what time she was going on. She had merch so that you could support. There was literally nothing I can say bad about anything she did this weekend. She won!
Tulsa. The festival brought so much value that it was surprising to see that it wasn’t packed at all the events. This was the time to be apart of the culture and see all it had to offer. I only wish that the highshoolers would’ve came out and seen the black tech crowd. Just to know that it existed in Tulsa. Also to see the artists and producers and the behind the scenes people. There are so many aspiring artists. Instead of moving to Atlanta or California or New York. First find out what resources you have here that you can take advantage of. You’ll be surprised. Especially now with all the money that is coming into Tulsa. This is the time to get educated, to know your land.
The Headliners. LaRussell and Rapsody. Both are amazing artists that got to display their talents to Tulsa. Not only did they show up to Tulsa but they supported Tulsa. They broke bread in Tulsa by supporting local businesses. Rapsody spoke about how she went to Silhouette Sneakers & Art and copped some gear. LaRussell poured into Tulsa on his discussion panel where he talked about navigating the game as an independent artist and how he stays true to himself and doesn’t get caught up in the trends. Both artists gained new fans and probably were exposed to a market that they never thought about. Who knows if Tulsa might become a reoccurring tour stop for them.
The biggest winner was the festival. It keeps growing. It keeps getting bigger. And 1 day Steph Simon will have that Ferris Wheel he's been wanting. It all started with a VISION!
Thanks for reading! Let us know if you have any losers or winners that didn’t make the list!!
Facts! Can be defined as; A thing that is known or proved to be true. So that means there’s no confusion when it comes to what is, and what isn’t. No matter if it comes from the source or it comes from a third-party. The facts are the facts. T3REZZY is out to show the world that everything he says, he stands on. And it’s with the release of his new single “All Facfs Freestyle Pt. 2” that T3REZZY is setting the record straight.
T3REZZY (also known as T3) is an artist from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He’s also invested in his craft and has went all in by dropping music and music videos, though he’s yet to put out a full length project. He’s using this to his advantage by putting out hit singles in order to create a buzz in the streets and gain new followers to his already rapidly growing fanbase. T3REZZY is an artist look out for.
For there to be an All Facts Pt 2. There obviously had to be a part 1 which you can find the video here (Click here to see All Facts)!. The difference between these tracks starts with the production. Part. 1 has more of a West Coast vibe. Also the verse is a little more aggressive and in your face. But on Part 2 has a totally different feel. The track is produced by 2Peece, a highly respected producer from Tulsa who has placements with some of the biggest artists in the game as well as placements with major brands. 2Peece delivers a beat that is similar to the Detroit Drill music that has helped create a new sound. This sound is what T3REZZY excels on.
T3REZZY has flow on the track that is laid back, showing his confidence in himself as an artist but not arrogant. There is still a hunger in each bar that culminates into some really dope quotable lines. “In these Off-White sneaks but the checks Nike” & “I remember missing meals, now we gettin seconds” are just two examples of the numerous quotable lines that are sprinkled throughout the track. There’s no question that T3REZZY is spittin’ All Facts. The song takes you deep into the mind of a hustler. Just steady on the grind. No breaks. That’s why this track not a freestyle in the sense that it’s unwritten flow, it’s more of a continuous stream of thought, that hustlers mentality, and also that’s why T3REZZY says at the beginning of the track, “2Peece I don’t need no hook for this one.” Because this one is for the hustlers. Also on the track is featured artist Kari2Dope. He goes in immediately after T3REZZY finishes his verse like a relay race. Both artists racing on the same team to get to the money. His delivery is upbeat and catchy, making him the anchor to the track just like in a relay. It’s a nice switchup from T3REZZY’s verse. It also showcases his skill and musical ability as you hear his voice ride the melody of the beat. “Two chains on me now, man this is some light shit, you can turn the lights off, and see this lit hit.”
What’s undeniable about this track is that it’s a go. It’s a dope beat. It’s dope bars. It has that right bounce. But most importantly it’s ALL FACTS! This track shows T3REZZY progression as an artist and is just a small taste of what we can expect from him and the new music coming soon. So until that full project drops we’ll be banging All Facts Pt.2. Listen to the track and let us know what you think!
Shyheim. But many may know him as “ShyGuy” or “ShyGuy From The Northside”. He appeared out of nowhere! But when he hits the stage he raps as if he’s been there the whole time. His ability to create cohesive projects with depth and originality have become a breath of fresh air. And the air is no clearer than on the northside. A place that we so happened to be at on Saturday August 20th led by the North Winds. The destination was Hawthorne Park where Shyheim brought everyone into his world or as he calls it “The Northwind Masquerade”. Here's Shyheim explaining the origins of ShyGuy:
”ShyGuy was created from my trama I grew up not really feeling loved. So I created characters in order to cope. I also hid behind anime characters and cartoon characters. And ShyGuy came out of that. Now I’m bringing him to the public, so that I can rid of this trama. Gotta work with everything in order to make something whole.”
The nostalgia of Hawthorne park set the stage for an event that was the epitome of “do it yourself”. Shyheim didn’t wait for a huge stage to get constructed. He didn’t wait for a massive pyrotechnics setup. What he did do was call on his friends and family to help him construct an intimate setting where the spotlight shined bright on Shyheim. He had his stage. He had his people. And most importantly he had the North Wind.
When it came to his people. What was supposed to also feature Lawrence Leon and his music. Didn’t. Unfortunately Lawrence Leon had caught Covid a few days before the performance. Our prayers and wishes go out to him for a speedy recovery. Another artist Zzaj who is featured on Shyheim’s track “Kaiser” was also unable to make the performance. But was fortunate was the artists Zorro, and another being 7urreal, who is apart of the collective Tribe Luminescent, of which Shyheim is apart of. It was dope watching Shyheim put some of the spotlight on 7urreal. Cause I learned that day that he got bars.
Shyheim. Most know him as ShyGuy and if you've been to any of his performances than you know that they have been mostly done under the ShyGuy moniker. But this performance was different. Throughout ShyGuy’s performance his mask fit firmly to his face while at times rapping in a still reserved matter. That was until we heard the chant. “Tryna leave this box I’m in, break loose (I’m tryna loose)”. With each repetition the chant got louder and louder, until finally Shyheim removed his mask and threw it to the ground. THIS WAS THE DEATH OF SHYGUY. And with that also came the birth of Shyheim Nwadiei. The thing that stood out most about Shyheim Nwadiei as compared to ShyGuy was that from the first bar, there was no question that he had the juice. The way he rapped “Talk to Me” was as if he was stepping into his greatness and finally realizing his gift was for the world and should no longer be dimmed. You are the Light!
From then on Shyheim Nwadiei took over and ran through an impressive list of tracks that ranged from familiar to unheard. Some of the noticeable ones being tracks from his latest album Calls of the North Wind. (Read our Album Review: Shyheim Nwadiei - Calls of the North Wind (tulsalines.com). But the question still remains. Is ShyGuy really dead? Here’s what Shyheim Nwadiei had to say:
“From this day forward. No more being called ShyGuy. It’s Shyheim Nwadiei! Only time you gonna see ShyGuy is at the North Wind Masquerade. SHYHEIM NWADIEI HAS TAKEN OVER!"