What an event! I'm talking about the Listening Party for 2Peece's EP "Sometime in June". The event was held on September 29th at The Black Wall Street Gallery. The host, 2Peece was dressed sharp to the letter T. Smiling as always, he was noticeably excited about letting everyone to hear about this amazing journey he's been on. So let's get into the event and the project called "Sometime in June".
This episode of Tulsa Lines Podcast we were at 2Peece's Listening Party for the "Sometime In June" EP.
We were able to interview a few artists: @the2peece) and host Duke Durant (@therealdukedurant)
One of the special gifts of the night from 2Peece was a customized bag of chips with the "Sometime in June" cover art. When you turn the bag around you notice that the ingredients of the chips are the actual names of the songs featured on the project. Also featured on the packaging is a picture of 2Peece as well as a QR Code that allows for you to go straight to the album for purchase. This was truly out of this world packaging.
Hope you enjoy!
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In this day and age the next album is only one post away. That's because music is released by the push of a button. Almost simultaneously all your music can be available to the masses. Gone are the early childhood memories of waiting until Tuesday for an album to drop and wanting to be the first one of your friends to bump it in your speakers. An album drop was an event. Numerous times I cleared my whole day and shut door, hidden in my room I would engulf myself in the world that the album created through it's musical production and it's vivid lyrics. These times are long gone. Except for when you talk about the album VSXO. 1st Verse who released the project late last year went against the norm and only released physical copies of the album (granted he would send you the files), but this was a bold statement, a $30 physical CD in this new world of free music. Post Napster. An artist would never be successful using this model. That's when you realize that 1st Verse isn't your everyday artist.
If you know Oklahoma Hip Hop then you know that 1st Verse has been a pioneer of the scene. One of Tulsa's elite MC's, 1st Verse has gained the respect of his peers and helped bring Hip-Hop into downtown. He's one part member of the legendary Oil House collective group that is filled with every element of hip-hop. His legend proceeds him as he undoubtedly has a classic album that he released over 7 years ago called TCTAS (The City That Always Sleeps). So after dropping a classic album you would think that his discography would be crazy. But like a hiring manager looking through work an applicants work history, there was a gap in his resume. After a classic album like TCTAS, there is a large gap between albums. That's where VSXO comes in to fill this void.
I know what your thinking. Why review the album now? Because in a world of microwave music. This album was so jam packed that I had to take my time with it. Every song meant something. Every bar is more than clever word play. Every beat was selected intentionally to create a cohesive project. The truth why I haven't put out a review for this album is because I had to live the album first. Anyone can do a quick meaningless reaction video. But what do you really get out of that except for the noise of the day. This album needed to be jammed while at work, or playing in the background while playing 2K. You had to bob your head to the beat while cruising down the B.A. while also rappin your favorite part. You had to skip through the tracks to find that song that expressed that you were feeling when your down. This album had to be lived. That's why I call this review 90 Days Past Due.
VSXO. To the cognac drinkers they recognize this title. VSOP meaning Very Superior, and the XO meaning Extra Old over 6 years. Which means that this album is a superior quality product that was well worth the 6 year gap between projects. Even the 1st song "VSXO Intro" sets the mode for the album. It's cool and laid back ad-libs mesh well with the track's production, it's hear you start to wonder $30? And that's exactly what 1st Verse explains in the first 4 bars of Track 2 "30 Dollar Copy".
The 30 Dollar Copy,
Ohhhh. That's why it's 30 Dollars. The reason why is because this is art. This is classic 1st Verse. And this is just the beginning of the album, like a warm up. The way he gets off on the track leaves no doubt in your mind that this is gonna be crack. This is audio dope. For people who appreciate wordplay, metaphors, and a deadly pen. This is it. Or in 1st Verse's words, "This ain't off the dome, it was written like Quincey. Written like my fist was tight, a different type of wizardry".
Track 3 is "Moor Flex", which is was the first single released off VSXO. (Read our review of the single by clicking the picture below.) The singles on VSXO seem to follow a formula of being the only tracks to appear on streaming sites, they also have a supporting visual video. It's a formula that works well and is spaced out enough to bring listeners back to the album. Maybe even purchase a 2nd copy. There are currently 3 singles for the album which include; "Moor Flex", "Boss Up", and "Find Yo Self".
When comparing these singles "Find Yo Self" is noticeably different than the other 2. This track is a break from the hard spitting bars and clever metaphors. This is actually a song that is almost like a mental break. It actually shows 1st Verse's versatility to be able create a song where the listener doesn't have to try to decipher every line. Just like the video, they can simply sit back and enjoy the vibe.
"Make it Yours" is a continuation of tracks that seem to be deep thinking tracks. This goes into even the next track "Everybody Got Needs". That is what makes this album so great is that it seems to take you through the highs and lows of life. One of the most memorable lines from album has to come from the track "All Of The Players" where he spits. "My man took a charge like his feet was planted. And stayed solid like he studied the street commandments." It's lines like these that make you sit back and appreciate 1st Verse's pen. Even the song Twitter Feed has one of the realest lines I've ever heard about Social Media. We are all on our phones all day so it's no wonder why these playgrounds of social interaction can stir up so much emotion.
But somebody said somethin on the Twitter Feed,
When it comes to making music that really makes you feel somethin, you gotta mention "Dawari Song". The thing that separates a rapper from an artist is that a rapper puts words together sometimes with no thought or no substance. But an artist, an artist can put their life into every track and it provides a therapy for both the artist and the listener. It was days that I personally was going through things and this song was the therapy. This song is reminiscent of a Jay-Z's "Glory". It's a personal conversation that 1st Verse is having with his son, while the listener is like a fly on the wall seeing everything play out. This one song has helped him along this journey. 1st Verse has gone through soo much, but when you see him out you wouldn't couldn't tell. He hides his emotions well. But this track was him getting out those emotions. That's what makes this one of favorite songs on the album.
"Tncs" it's one of those smooth tracks that you can just vibe to and appreciate 1st Verse's wordplay. His delivery is just so smooth. This is versatile 1st Verse, as he goes in out of flows and compresses some of the most complex syllables in bars that many have trouble saying in a sentence. I told you he could rap. He ends the track like someone cheering for the people's champ that the system has labeled as a criminal. He shouts the words, "They'll Never Catch Squeak Bro!"
And how do you end a classic album? For 1st Verse it's the same way you start a classic album. Using the same layed back beat from track one. .You might think that he's just gonna let the track ride out. WRONG! He gives you straight bars!!!!! On that same track he just let ride out, this time he leaves no doubt that this is a Very Superior and Extra Old, and definitely worth $30,
Pop the bottle open VSXO
A popular quote by Bernard Clive goes, "The loudest voice in a room is sometimes the quietest." No artists expresses this more than the Tulsa artist named Shyheim. His quiet and reserved nature masks his ability to slaughter his competition. His tracks often show just how surgical his pen is, as there is no waisted energy in his lyrical attacks. His alter ego "Shy Guy" is fitting for an artist who can both be the hero, but isn't also afraid to be the villian. Let's get to know Shyheim:
1. Many people would consider rap a braggadocious genre. Why name yourself Shy Guy? Well, Shy Guy is a character originally from Mario Karts. Shy was also my nickname growing up. When I was in middle school, I played that game RELIGIOUSLY. Everyday before school, during school, and after. This character happened to share a part of my name, so I strayed calling myself Shy Guy a lot around my sisters and stuff. I liked how he represented me — didn’t talk, but was animated in his non-verbal expressions. Even later in 2018 when I was previously apart of the Juice Radio Show, I called myself “Shy Guy Live from the Northside”. Later when I started figuring out my brand, Shy Guy became an identity of its own, but still apart of me, representing me tryna turn my weaknesses into strengths.
2. In Hip Hop there has been a stigma when it comes to therapy. On your blog Shy Guy Live from the Northside you talk about the benefits of Hip Hop Therapy. Have you ever been to therapy? I have been to therapy actually. I wasn’t consistent with it when I first went, due to being busy with work and whatnot, but I feel like I benefitted quite a bit from the few sessions I did go to. Who would be on my therapy playlist? Definitely The Internet, Sade, Jhene Aiko, Nipsey Hussle, 1st Verse, St. Dom, Tribe Called Quest, Common, and Slum Village off top.
3. On September 2nd you tweeted "It’s interesting so [to] see how many “nerdy” things have become trendy over the last few years. It’s like the “Nerd Enlightenment”. What's one thing that you're into that was considered nerdy but is now "cool"? Anime definitely. I got made fun of for reading manga, and repping anime like it was tatted on my arm.
4. What's one song that you think showcases your lyrical skill the most? And why? They’re not out yet, but I would say my songs ‘Hibachi’ or ‘Nagato’. As far as the songs I have out, I’d say my song ‘S&M’ which is exclusively on SoundCloud
5. What's next for Shyheim in 2020? I have my upcoming tape dropping called ‘Shy Guy: The Midwest Masquerade’ which’ll be coming before the year is over. Be ready for that!
Thanks again to Shyheim for taking time out of his day for the interview. Checkout his latest video "Will-O-The Wisp" below.
"I'm the kind of man who likes to know who's loopin, these beats, Bambi." This is exactly what listeners want to know. Just who is making these crazy beats? The culprit would be DJ Noname.. Who in only a short time has become one of my favorite producers and has been on a crazy run dropping EPs with the top tier artists in the town. He's become what some would call an album crate archeologists how he is able to dig through samples uncovering masterpieces that are so soulful and so filling .He made 'Snackin With Flavor' that proved his culinary skills to whip up one of the best projects of the year. I say one of the best because his EPs appear multiple times for this category of musical bliss. This time is no different, as he drops an EP with Bambi titled "Your Money's No Good Here".
Starting off with Track 2. Corner Cafe, right out the gate Bambi blacks out. It's bar after bar that hits you, leaving no time for your mind to recover. "B got the juice, niggas barely got the broth." This is just one example of why people call her Bambi Bars. Corner Cafe truly showcases her mastery of lyrical skill and her versatility as she jumps from flow to flow effortlessly. What I like most about this track is how she shows her femininity but on the same track is able to get aggressive. It's a reason why people call her Queen B. The queen spits from her thrown looking down on all the peasants. The queen ends the track so playful, like she this was just the warm up. Damn this was just her warm up. A queen shows her superior again as this track was recorded in just one take, on her her first try.
1,2,3,4. 1,2,3,4. Some would think this is the count for track 2 called Samba. But for those who have heard it know that this is how Bambi lines up targets as she kills each topic. She shows that she has a well cultured flow that dances around the beat. Speaking of beat, the beat is so somber that it leaves room for Bambi to use her voice as a drum that percusses after each bar. Some would say this is the technical structure of Samba which is "polyrhythmic". I called it Bambi Bars!
Queen B threw me for a curve ball because the title lends me to think that this is going to be ultra braggadocio high tempo Bambi, But surprisingly it's a more layed back and chill. It's as if the royal Italian silk robe hugs her curbs as the crown sits comfortable. She lounge's on the track being fed grapes and being fanned by half-clothed men. But don't get it twisted, she still is spittin', "Journey can be a struggle and no one drew a map for me .X's on the spot of invisible ink."
"Feeling like I hit the lotto and still clocked in".
How do you end an album with a Queen MC? You use a sample from another queen. The last track IJWYTKHIF samples Patti Labelle's "Love, Need And Want You", which is a fitting way for Bambi to express herself on this last track. Of which she doesn't waste any time letting you know. Bar after bar she starts with the word "Feelin". while giving examples how this feels more like a carefree feeling which is accented with the beat. The beat feels so West Coast influenced, it stands out in that way as possibly a single. But still enjoyable none the less.
If I had to give my feeling about this project, it's the drink before you go home. A short escape to your favorite bar that has beautiful women dancing, and the drinks flowing. Would the World's Most Interesting Man be there? Probably not. But if Bambi is on the stage spittin you'll stay for longer than that first drink. Don't be surprised if the bartender tells you, "YOUR MONEY'S GOOD HERE!".
In 2020 there has not been much to celebrate. That would be a lie. You alive. It's not quite YOLO. But it is live life to the fullest. One of the best things that has come out of 2020 was my interview with The Juice Radio Show. It's a local radio show in Tulsa that is apart of the Bobby Eaton radio broadcast. What's so great about it is that it's totally grassroots. OR out the mud. No waiting for major sponsors. No waiting for big radio studios. Just the DIY spirit and the support of the TOWN. That's what makes it so special. So when I got the call about Tulsa Lines doing an interview. I jumped at the opportunity to be apart of the show and see it's greatness up close and in person.
In Hip-Hop the main topic that comes up is haters. Rappers glorify the hate. Because if you don't have haters, then you aren't successful. Look at artists like 50 Cent and Tekashi 6ix9ine who built whole careers off hate and trolling. You gotta admit that hate sells. Ask 50 Cent who again profited off hate by selling "G-U-Not" shirts because he saw an opportunity to capitalize off hate. But when did I become a hater? I would say the exact moment is when I saw a post on the ï»¿@Fireinlittleafricaï»¿ page.
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." These words sum up Bash The Rappa's career. At his highest of highs, he was the underdog on the come up from a town that supported him and peers that both admired and envied him. But what happens when you start winning too much? America loves underdogs and they love a winner, but what America doesn't like is someone who wins too much. America doesn't like to see David turn into Goliath. That's when you become the villain. And for Bash The Rappa the price of his success was his transition from the hometown hero to now the villain. But how did he become the villain? This is a question Bash The Rappa sets out to explore in his new video "Letter To The Town".
And I was never the perfect ki-d,
The church has always been a staple in the black community. For generations it has been a place of not only worship, but has also been a place of family, community, values, and overall a place that prepared you for living a Holy life. And anyone who has lived on the northside of Tulsa knows that church is a way of life. Especially on a Sunday. Sunday is The Lord's day, and in north Tulsa this means churches are filled with family and friends who are all coming to hear The Word. The church is more than just a building, It's sacred land. One church that's a symbol of northside churches is the Praise Center Family Church located between North Peoria and MLK right on Apache. It's here that local rapper Steph Simon chooses to shoot a scene from his video Silver n' Gold which features fellow artist and churchgoer Dialtone. The two actually went to church together and have a long time friendship and have numerous collaborations together. But it's 45 seconds into the video that you hear Steph Simon disrespect this sacred land as he raps, "starring at the baddest bitches off in the serv-ices".
"Feel a way we riot. Feel a way we hittin' Kapernicks."
In these 2 bars the word "feel" gives each bar power. Because to feel, is to be alive. Toree T. is an artist from Tulsa that is bringing that feeling back to hip-hop. Every bar. Every syllable. But most importantly every song has a message that listeners feel. Of course she's a dope emcee that can at any moment flex her lyrical muscles, but that wouldn't be what's needed in music right now. Especially when people need music that will make them feel what's really going in the world, Toree T. decided she couldn't be silent, she would tell the story the best way she knew how. Let's get to know Toree. T.:
J. Cole burst on to the scene at a time when hip-hop was evolving. Some would say the last class to see CD sales and the end of the bling bling era. J. Cole came in at a time when Kanye single had made it cool to talk about more than being the hardest rapper in the room. This was the time when we started to see rappers able to express themselves on a more emotional and intellectual level. And if you know anything about J. Cole's music than you know he's one of the best at rapping about growth, family, social injustices, and most importantly uplifting women. But it was a surprise was when J. Cole got a lot of backlash from the recent release of this song "Snow on the Bluff".