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.
I don't need approval,
K.O. is up first. The lyricist has built a reputation on intricate flows and clever bars having caught the attention of her peers, many have approached her to do features. On this track is no different as her skills are exhibited as if with ease. She starts out walking on the beat taking her time and making every word punctuated. But as she gets to the end of her verse she switches her flow to a faster pace almost as telling Trip G. Match Me!
I'm sucka free but you niggas some suckas
Trip G is not to be shown up. He proves from the beginning that not only can he match the pace but also that he can drop bar after bar, in sort of a lyrical sprint. Trip G’s verse is true to his style that can be described as more of a showman. He raps about staying on point because people will wait for the right opportunity and their plenty of opportunists. And Trip G is not afraid to call them out.
By the end of the track, both artists wait at the finish line not looking phased or fatigued. This is just the warmup. And most importantly this is the start to a great album.
Checkout K.O. and Trip G’s single from their title track called “Hustle Sold Separately" below:
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.
But for the past year people have been wondering "Where's Cain?" His last studio album release "Now Showing", played like a movie that brought back the nostalgia of growing up in the 90s while also giving it's listeners a front seat view of the Eastside of OKC. But what has he been up to since? He's released two EPs ("Lucky to Be a Legend" & "My Ghetto Gospel Wherever It May Be"), he’s released multiple featured verses (most notably "The Fire in Little Africa Project"), and also has been about his family. With all these accomplishments still, people were missing the presence of the rapper that has always been present on every bar. It was not until his unique black and white cinematic rollout for "Arrived" that we knew something special was on the way. When “The God MC” would let the world know that he had "Arrived".
Arrived is the name of the title track off the album that comes near the midpoint of the album. The track starts off with a female storyteller who speaks of being inspired by his music and the rap scene in OKC that he helped create. What’s always been a strength of his is how technical of a lyricist he is. His bars are so deep that even the subtlest bar is like a puzzle that crime detectives could put on a wall and piece together the connections between each bar. For example the bar. “2Pacalypse Now, Apocalypse Now, Just Smile”. One by one these breakdown into pieces that string together to lead to the next clue. Anyone can make words rhyme but only a truly skilled lyricist can make not only the words rhyme but also make the listener think. Only a lyricist can make the listener research what the artist meant when they wrote a particular bar. But then again this is “The God MC”
"Day one's since little niggas, couldn't play on the court." This one line again shows his gift to paint pictures with his words. Better yet movies, Because this line is something that we’ve all lived. As kids playing basketball waiting for the older kids who were playing full court to momentarily move to the other basket so that you could quickly take a shot before they come back. That’s the scene that’s replayed in every hood. Which makes this track so nostalgic and at the same time sort of a blueprint to how young boys grow up on the Eastside.
The album Arrived still has so much to unpack that it would be an injustice to just review it after one day. So until then here's the review of the track "Arrived" by Chris "The God MC" Cain. A track that is a holistic approach to looking at the different moments of time. From driving down the same roads, to seeing the gentrification happening all around him. This track is almost a celebration of his timing. Or better yet to announce that he’s “Arrived”.
Checkout the track "Arrived" by Chris "The God MC" Cain below:
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.