When it comes to making music there are a million artists on this planet to choose from. But maybe that's where the problem lies, we’re only looking for artists that are on this planet. It’s a big universe. So why limit yourself to just the Top 40. Go see the galaxy. That’s exactly what NASA BO’s latest album Mr. Universe is doing. It’s doing things on an intergalactic level. And passing up all the haters in the process. Let’s take a look at the latest project from NASA BO.
NASA Bo is an artist from Oklahoma City who has become known for his hardcore in your face delivery and his hard-hitting bars, and can you believe this is his first full-feature project of which comes in at 20 tracks. An album with this many tracks comes in handy if you’re planning to go across the universe. You’re gonna need a lot of music, and that’s just what this project provides.
Every album needs that first track to make an impression. That’s just what the "Intro" is. The intro makes an impression right out the gate and sets the tone for the album. That tone being slapping beats and NASA BO rapping, rapping. NASA BO ain’t just making words rhyme. He’s going in. I’m talking about bars. And this is just the intro. When you get to track 2 “Tesla”, you know that track 1 wasn’t a fluke. NASA BO can really rap and he knows his value. “If these rappers wanna feature, ima charge em like a Tesla.” It’s witty bars like this that aren’t sprinkled throughout the album, Naw forget that these witty bars are heavily poured like your grandma’s kool aid. But the intro ain’t over, NASA BO let’s you know just how to say his name on the next track ”Nasa not Nasha”. “If you speaking on my name then pronounce it right.”
It’s clear to hear in the first few seconds of some of the tracks that NASA BO wasn’t afraid to dig deep in the crates and rap on some of the most iconic tracks. Track 4 for instance is this soulful sample of Deniece Williams song “Free”, which also happens to be the name of the track. It’s like the producer just gave NASA BO free range to murder the beat. Another classic sample is Tupac and Jon B’s “Are You Still Down”. Also is Bill Withers classic “Just The Two Of Us”. This track is more of a slower tempo with bars that reference what it means to really stay down. Most of the album goes deep in the sample crates which is a vision that was brought to life with the help of producer SAUCEMEUPGQ. Which we’ll talk about next.
We had to take a second to give respect to the producer SAUCEMEUPGQ and Track 5 shows your why, because by the time that you get to this track you realize that SAUCEMEUPGQ has been mentioned numerous times already. And not only do you hear his iconic beat tag all over the album, he also executive producer over the project, so it’s only right that he gets a track inspired by the producer on the track called "SauceMeUpBO". “Fuccin with GQ got me sauced up.” The beat is on go and so is NASA BO. You really see the magic of this track at the 1-minute mark where the bass is stripped out and NASA BO switches up his flow as if he’s sprinting on the track. This track is definitely sauced up and is a high point of the album. SAUCEMEUPGQ even gets to shine as a featured artist on the track “Triple Double”. NASA BO goes in himself from the very beginning and then throws the assist to SAUCEMEUPGQ, who shines with some clever lines of his own. “Me and NASA on the beat, Houston we have a problem”.
Throughtout the tape there’s these ironic bars that stick out, some of them are really witty and some of them are bluntly rhetorical. For example, on Track 9, “Keke Palmer” he says the line, “How you real but you wear fake clothes?“. It’s a really bluntly rhetorical bar that makes you just think. On another track he spits the line, “How your baby momma love me, but mine don’t.”, that’s some irony for your ass. But this also shows NASA BO’s ability to make even the most sensical bars into a perfectly painted picture. You gotta give him his just do.
When it comes to the featured artists this album only has 3. That’s something you wouldn’t expect from a project with 20 tracks, and surprisingly it’s well balanced. This is NASA BO’s project, so you gonna get NASA BO. But as far as the featured artist, we’ve already talked about SAUCEMEUPGQ who lends his production skills and bars to the project. Also, there’s Uno who lends his vocal talents on the last song of the project. He brings a softer side to the album which if you want to sale records you gonna have to have a few for the ladies to vibe to. And the track “No Lettin’ Up” does that with its infectious chorus. But our favorite feature of the project has to be on “Heart Breaker”, which samples Mint Conditions track “Breakin' My Heart”. NASA BO comes in so smooth with a pimp vernacular, then he switches up his flow up while calling out famous tv female co-stars from 90s tv that he had a crush on. The featured artist Tony D. just shines, his unique delivery and undeniable confidence makes him stand out. Listen to this bar, “Hittin licks with Jordans, blocks on blocks, DeAndre, Blueprint like Jay-Z, Irreplaceable Beyonce”. He’s in his pocket on this verse.
As you go through the album it’s clear that you’ll hear some crazy metaphors. NASA BO really be out here rapping. There’s so many lines we’ve already quoted but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The album is bar, after bar, after bar. For instance, on “Stuck N Love” where he spits the line, “She was black but now she Russian how she getting her cream on.” and not only that bar because throughout that track are so many more like, “Ain’t nobody got my back like this VLONE”, bars. Also on "Gilbert Arenas" he has this crazy wordplay where he says, “I be with my daughter teaching her ABCs, I got racks but they didn’t come from no EDD or no PPP, it was all on me, now we eatin like EBT.”, NASA BO is flexing on the beat. He has an undeniable talent. And it shows all throughout the album.
TULSA LINES FAVORITE TRACKS
When it comes to our favorite tracks, “Get Down” definitely is extra sauced up with the sample of Earth, Wind & Fire’s track “Reasons”. In this track NASA BO gives all the reasons why niggas can get down. And them 808’s by ADHD makes each bar hit harder. This a hit. "SAUCEMEUPBO" is another one of them ones that just goes. "Heart Breaker" for the reasons starred earlier. Another one is “Stuck N Love” because it has so many bars. Lastly, “Doe Party”, this is a straight to radio hit. This is a track that you’re gonna hear in the club. IT'S IS A STRIP CLUB ANTHEM! Like he said, "That nigga snappin'," So as you can see it’s hard to pick just one track. There’s just so many hits on this album which says a lot for a 20-track project. NASA BO did his job.
So, there you have it. The album Mr. Universe by NASA BO, and executive produced by SAUCEMEUPGQ. This isn’t an Oklahoma City album. This is an album that can penetrate any market. New York, L.A., Atlanta, Detroit. It doesn’t matter. NASA BO has what it takes to get to that next level. The album is literally out of here. And next year we wouldn’t be surprised if NASA BO is out of here with it.
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Also listen to Mr. Universe by NASA BO below:
The evolution of music is undeniable. Just look at this past Grammy’s and the fierce competition for Best Dance/Electronic Album. This can be attributed in a huge part to the Pandemic that kept us all inside, so it’s no wonder that now genres like Techno, Electronic, and House music have made a had a huge impact on pop culture. From Beyonce’s new album "Rennaissance" to Drake’s album “Honestly Nevermind”. This category of music is feeling the effects of a market being saturated due to a high demand. But the great thing about music is that the true fans can see through the bandwagoneers, and the real music, from the real artists, is usually the only thing that lasts. AP=Chem is one of the real bands that is looking to take their music all across the world and show why their true creators in this space and not just another band looking to ride the wave. Their looking to shock the world with new album Imed=2.
AP=Chem is a collective of two collaborating songwriters from Oklahoma City. Anthony Mahon, who also was in the band "The Gentle Art of Floating". And Eric Gorman, who also was a band member of "The Gentle Art of Floating" and also the band "Trap Queen". They describe their music as Inexplicable Modern Existential Dread. They have released multiple singles as well as the 2021 EP "Imed=1 Inexplicable Modern Existential Dread" and their now follow "EP Imed=2".
The first track off the album is called "Please Don’t Make A Dance Song (Out of My Plane Crash)", which is really ironic. This 70s infused high energy track just takes over. It’s like looking thru a TV cycling through 70s themed shows and commercials. Back when you could take drugs on a plane and be a part of the mile high club. The clashing of the sounds dance unapologetically in the listener's mind. How can you not dance to this? Throughout the you hear a voice that is seems to be a flight stewardess. Her fragmented voice layers on top of the beat. But near the end another voice comes, this time a male voice that seems to be an air traffic controller that guides the listener through the freeform nosedive of synthesizers and piano chords and crashes right into track 2.
Track 2 is called "Forensic Homicide". The track starts with an ominous bass guitar that blares through the speaker followed by the resting piano keys. But it’s the eclectic guitar that then pulling you as if cupid himself were playing. And it's the drums that let you know that your heart is still beating. It really gives off this forbidden love type of feel. Just listening to the track your mind elopes with the beat not caring of time nor space. This feeling grows as the infactuated crooner sings, “Disappear tonight, we’re never coming back here". The listener then rides the guitar cruising through the rest of the track. Forensic Homicide is a highpoint of the album.
By the time we get to track 3 "House Not Home" we are at the mid-point of the album. The track has this dark inviting feel to it. It plays out like the part right before the killer is about to make his move. The vocals tuck tightly behind the beat as support rather than the main ingredient. They go in and out leaving enough room and suspense that you have question will it return? This track highlights their songwriting abilities with a more lyric song structure. There’s a lot of ironic bars in this track for instance; “It’s a big house, off the interstate, a nice neighborhood, with an iron gate”. I just think there’s a lot of irony in having a big house that no one can see because it’s in this secluded area and neighborhoods are usually inviting but an iron gate suggests this one isn’t. But maybe that's also meant by House Not Home.
The 4th track on the album is "Tyrel Slide". The track brings the energy of the album back up. It’s pounding bass and synthesizers draw you in. The beat is beautifully layered which creates these special moments in the track. The elongated piano notes create these paths that the synthesizers can then go and roam, while the drums are like the barriers that keeps everything inbounds. The track takes you on a quest. I can imagine a montage of a hero training or the long journey the hero has to take before he gets to the boss at the end of the story. The track is short but that is also the beauty in it. Knowing it’s short means you appreciate it that much more.
The last track on the album is "Penny Dreadful". This is the finale, with that comes a combination of where we’ve come and also how far we still have to go. Maybe a Imed=3…? Penny Dreadful has this diabolical feeling to it. There’s a voice that layers on top of the instruments that sounds like an archeologist journaling his most recent discovery. Which would be this EP. Again a montage of a scientist doing calculations and writing down theories comes to mind. The hard-hitting drums keep the thoughts organized as the synthesizer's loop around the harmonized organs. This is how you want to end an album.
There you have it. AP=Chem's latest EP Imed=2. Here are some facts about the EP. There are 5 songs with a total playback time of 23 minutes and 49 seconds. The shortest song on the album Tyrel Slide comes in at 2 minutes and 42 seconds. My favorite track on the EP is Forensic Homicide, it’s just a vibe and kind of tugs at the heart strings, also Valentine’s Day is around the corner so this would be a good theme song. What I liked most about the EP is that it took you through highs and lows. That’s what a great album does. It’s able to be played through the highs and lows of life. All-in-all I think AP=Chem did what they set out to do create inexplicable music in these modern times of existential dread. And who knows. Hopefully there will be a Imed=3.
Make sure you stream the EP Imed=2 from AP=Chem and let us know what you think.
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Hustle Sold Separately two Oklahoma artists deciding to team up and drop a joint project. Which is not easy and is rarely executed well. Overall it has to fit musically. So when artists K.O. and Trip G dropped a joint project it was a surprise. Knowing that this would be a difficult thing to pull off I was skeptical. That was until I heard the first track which has to be the title track off the album called “Hustle Sold Separately”.
The track starts off with a maniacal beat produced by ADHD, who has been a long time collaborator with Trip G. The beat represents his signature tag line “ADHD Got This Bouncin Yea” with its hard-hitting bass and synthesized piano keys that seem to creep around the bass
Rapped by real name,
I never fronted.
By the first bar, it's not even a question. It’s Chris “The God MC” Cain. A name that carries so much weight and has been pivotal in the growth of Oklahoma Hip Hop. I say Hip Hop because he’s apart of the culture and is quick to remind you of the distinction between Hip Hop the “culture” and Rap the “genre”. Which he’s always been an advocate for the culture and is etched in his rhymes. Words that depict his life and most importantly the name that he stands behind. A bold statement, but for anyone that knows his music knows that bold is the only way he knows.
1) What's one album that you believe has the best production? I can’t just pick one, and I think that speaks to the sounds that you hear on (IN)VISIBLE MAN, but here are a few: Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, The Dream’s LoveHate, Big KRIT’s Return of 4Eva, Rick Ross’ Teflon Don and Roy Ayers’ Vibrations.
2) Many people don't know that you really have your P.H.D. can you speak about your educational background and why you wanted to get a P.H.D.? Yeah, I have a PhD in Higher Education Administration. I’m a first generation college graduate that worked at the university level for almost 7 years. It was important to finish because there is a very low percentage of Black people that have terminal degrees. But I knew I had to complete the degree on my own terms, which my dissertation was in the form of a hip hop album. Fast forward, the education still remains in my music. You’re gonna get dope production, classic bars and some soul that will edify you. That’s the formula.
3) What do you want people to get from (IN)VISIBLE MAN? I want people to understand that I see them. I understand their struggle of trying to make it in a world where they feel invisible, or no one really tries to grasp their stories or motivations for living. I want people to recognize that art imitates life and (IN)VISIBLE MAN is a direct correlation to the shit we endure everyday. This is the soundtrack of the times. It’s something for everyone. Lastly, I want everyone to know that the album consisted only Oklahoma artists and was a homage to Ralph Ellison, who wrote the iconic book, Invisible Man. I’m letting the world know that Oklahoma has been and will continue to be dope.
4) What's one song on the album you suggest everybody listen to? All of them. It’s not an album, it’s an experience. Each song is connected to the next. I want people to just press play, close their eyes for 45 minutes and go to a place. And allow the music to speak to them. I promise it will.
5) What's next for Dr. View in 2020? I’m one of the executive producers for Fire in Little Africa, which is a compilation album in commemoration of Black Wall Street. That project drops in February 2021, but I have a project with St. Domonick coming soon called 25 Lighters, a project with Thomas Who? coming soon called Dr. Who?, and my hip hop collective, The Space Program, is currently developing a project. Lastly, the Chopstars out in Houston (OG Ron C & DJ Candlestick) chopped and screwed (IN)VISIBLE MAN, and it sounds crazy.
The doc knows best. There's a reason why when doctors talk that people listen. Whether it's for health, wealth, or wisdom, having a doctor around puts everyone at ease. From Dr. Vivien Thomas to Dr. Dre, the greats have always left their marks on history. So when Tulsa and Oklahoma City was in need of a project to help solidly the Oklahoma hip-hop scene and showcase the two cities ability to work together and create a cohesive hip-hop project, the universe yelled, "Is there a doctor in the house?". Dr. View was the doctor to answer this call with his project called "(IN)VISIBLE MAN", which can only be described as so Tulsa, so Oklahoma City, so Oklahoma, but most importantly so Hip-Hop! Let's sit sit down and get to know the doc they call Dr. View.
Flava Man. Flava Man. Do you want to dance? Hell Naw. Hell Naw. I can't give you a chance. Can you finish this line. Probably not. Not even Shazam got this right. And this sums up just how badly promoted this song was. It was Evergreen content that had the chance to be big. But some would say could you really blame it for being underwhelming promoted? This song was buried deep down in a long tracklist of songs that were hits themselves that included some unforgettable verses. Not to mention how this soundtrack bridged two cities. Tulsa and Oklahoma City. These two cites are always in competition, well at least that's always been the narrative. But anyone who is really in the scene knows this couldn't be further from the truth, as artists like Steph Simon and Chris "The God" MC Cain collabed on a track called "Love Affair". Who could also forget the "Chosen Few" project from Dialtone and Grand National that proved that both cities not only work together but equally want to see each other win. Because a win in either city would mean a win for the state. But this was 2020!
Recently we were on the road with World Culture Music for their Tour De' Culture tour this past month. The cities included Oklahoma City as well as a Texas run of Abilene, Dallas, and Houston. The first stop was Oklahoma City at the Hubbly Bubbly Hookah & Cafe where World Culture Music opened the night with some dope performances.
The battle between right and wrong can often be blurred. In an era where there are so many sources for news, the facts can depend on who you ask. But what about when your on both sides of the argument? Are you both right and wrong? Or are you a victim of perception? This is what Jacobi Ryan tackles in his latest single "Hated". Being a multi-racial artist in a majority "urban" genre means that Jacobi Ryan like other multi-racial artists are forced with the decision to choose a side. Drake similarly tackled this issue in his track You and the 6 where he spits the line, "I used to get teased for being black, and now I'm here and I'm not black enough." The feelings seem mutual with Jacobi Ryan as he starts out both his first and second verse with a statement about his blackness.
Paige Howard. A movie that was written and shot by the Oklahoma City team Daily Devotion became more than just a movie. The Christmas Eve premiere was shown in a local theater room in Oklahoma City. And by the end of the movie it was clear that more was on the line than awards and accolades. There are still real life consequences. Consequently it was when you really stopped and looked around the room that you noticed the people who were genuinely happy to see each other, and genuinely proud of the team of people that had put so much into a project. As the movie ended and the applause from the audience began, it was nothing but love that filled the theater room. This was an important moment in time. This same feeling is most felt on the Paige Howard Soundtrack that became more than just a soundtrack. It became a celebration of the bridge that was built between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the perfect "Love Affair".
They say "when in France do as the French do". And when in the 'H' do as the swangers do. And we not talkin about dirty dancin'. Urban dictionary defines swangers as: "83 or 84 elbows chrome spoke rims that goes on a slab(car)." But definitions are always up to interpretations, and one artist by the name of Ray June is showing his interpretation of the Houston car culture that is swangin' in his latest video Swervin.