Soup, Brady Watt & Erva Carter Shined w/ N The Clouds

Disclaimer: I’m not a writer I just want to help spread cool underground acts.

N The Clouds = Boi Dru & Jay Kell, a rap duo here in Houston, TX. They headlined a show this past Friday at White Oak Music Hall that had one of the better crowds/acts at a local show in recent memory. Beautiful venue by the way.

Boi Dru far left, Jay Kell far right. Rap music always sounds better with live instrumentation. Check their latest track here, it has a Cali feel.

The singer on stage with them is Erva Carter.

Erva has a very strong yet soothing voice. Not sure what was I expecting but I didn’t expect her music to sound like this. The rest of the tracks on her Soundcloud are similar. I don’t mean this in a negative way.

Rap artist Soup in the background filming Brady Watt on the bass. Two good acts that opened for N The Clouds.

Brady Watt is a producer and bass player who has worked on countless projects. What sticks out to me is his work with the BluRoc/Creative Control era. That might be my favorite era of underground music. I believe Dame Dash was producing Rocafella 2.0. Unfortunately, it never came into fruition how it should’ve.

21sec in, look who it is….. Brady Watt is a legend in my eyes. He worked on Curren$y’s Pilot Talk I and II, some personal classics.

This is my favorite track Soup performed at the show. No pun.

Soup is a rap artist from Compton, now in Houston. On a dark stage he tended to resemble Pusha T in appearance at times. He had a good bounce to himself and his music. Someone to look out for.

Check out the acts that performed at the show. All were solid. Show some love and support if you’re feeling the music.

Leave a comment.




Chino Drops Texas Hold Video, Speaks On Influences

Fresh off the release of his latest EP, The Trill Is Back, Chino releases a video for Texas Hold, a favorite amongst listeners.

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 10.45.38 AM

Before you check that, check out a quick video where Chino stopped by to discuss a few of his influences.

Shot and edited by @mqbeatsvideo, Chino says the original idea was to host a Texas HoldEm card game for the video but plans fell through. Bummer. The video is still Chino’s best despite the unfortunate unfolding of the original idea. Below is Texas Hold.

Show some support if you’re feeling the music, leave a comment.



T-Shawn Opens For Big Baby D.R.A.M.


Last night, the University of Houston held their annual Frontier Fiesta which had D.R.A.M. headlining and local artist T-Shawn opening.


T-Shawn is from Dallas and currently a student at UH. A slight flex in introducing T-Shawn from his hype man, “T-Shawn has garnered a million hits on Spotify.” Not a bad feat, not a bad intro (Sway is the king of introductions).


I was impressed by T-Shawn’s stage presence. With a 30-40min set, he brought good energy and showmanship to the stage. A couple dancers in the background, a couple singers came out, there were beach balls and a sex doll being tossed around, a quick DJ show off (Juice da 5’5) and a little tootsie roll action, it definitely kept me entertained.

Videos are fresh. His sound is fresh. He makes feel good music, vibes.

Posted above are a couple tracks that are standout favorites of mine from T-Shawn. Check them out and also check out his latest project below.

Show some love if you feeling the kid, leave a comment. Preciate the time.



A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

The homie Justin Jermaine put me onto A Boogie. He was out in New York this past December and said this was what his people were riding to.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie is an NY cat and at the moment has a handful of singles, features and 2 projects out.



Autotuned ballads is his thing, and it works (who isn’t on this autotune wave though huh). Boogie has been in my daily rotation the past week. Though his subject matter can be a somewhat depressing, it’s hitting home at the moment.

A Boogie is currently on his TBA Tour and is being documented by Tidal Rising. Through episode 4, Boogie is consigned/seen hanging with Kodak Black and Trey Songz, dapped up by Stalley, and appears at a video shoot with Meek Mill. A fan says he’s better than Beyonce. High praise.

Check him out and show some love if you dig the music. Leave a comment below.



Quick Review: Rick Ross, Rather You Than Me…. A Touch Of More Life & Kanye West

Coming off his latest release, Black Market, Rick Ross releases, Rather You Than Me.


One of my favorite rappers, Rick Ross’s pen game (and beat selection) is nothing short of immaculate. He absolutely makes luxury rap that belongs in a Maybach. We all are in a Maybach when riding around to Ross, that’s how powerful I feel his music is.

“In a room full of failures I feel out of place…. I told Meek I wouldn’t trust Nicki, instead of beefing with ya dawg you just give him some distance…. I’m happy Donald Trump became the president, because we have to destroy before we elevate,” are some of the lyrics that melt over the simmering soulful production by Chad Nine on track 1. Chad Nine is a former Miami Hurricane defensive linemen.

Track 2, Santorini Greecekeeps the soul rolling into the nuke bomb that is track 3, Idols Become Rivals.

Before I continue, I have to say that Rick Ross has dropped so many good tunes over the years. His body of work has been really solid, and what’s more important to me is the gems/knowledge he’s bestowed upon us during that time. Not saying I always have to learn from the music, but man it can’t be ignorance in every track on the whole album. These gems show me that Ross is a student of hiphop and his culture. Well aware of his surroundings and history, Ross is one of the few artists able to perfectly blend consciousness with fly talk.

Beginning of Verse3 on Santorini Greece

Onto Idols Become Rivals, a lot of people were stuck on this track. Ross goes after Birdman a lot harder than he did on Black Market (he sends shots damn near the whole album). On this record he brings up Trick Daddy (probably because of his Breakfast Club interview), Birdman’s fake watch (maybe more depth to this, a fake watch saying you been a fraud), Mannie Fresh, BG, Turk, Lil Wayne and DJ Khaled. He says some shit.


Though the album is a little feature heavy, it doesn’t take away from it at all. I wish Isa Muhammad was on the album and Chris Rock played a bigger role. I think Ross could’ve cut She On My Dick, and replaced it with a, She On My Dick Interlude, narrated by Chris Rock, leading into I Think She Like Me instead. It’s somewhat redundant to have She On My Dick leading into I Think She Like Me because the subject matter is similar. Plus his last album had a track titled Dope Dick, which is indeed dope. Just my two cents though.

Wale spazzed on a track that also featured Young Thug, an interesting combo. And after hearing Powers That Be? We definitely need a Nas executive produced by Rick Ross album. Nas gliding over Rick Ross picked beats has a lot of classic potential. Ross is down with the idea but Nas shut down the rumor, however, he left the door open for it so it’s still possible though a reach. Nas and Rick Ross have good chemistry together, but Jay Z and Ross feels better, what happened with that photo of them (plus Rockie Fresh) in the studio?


If memory serves me correctly, someone tweeted Ross if this had something to do with the new album and he replied 👀 … it may very well still be on the way.

Drake’s “playlist”, More Life, also dropped this weekend. Off the first straight-through listen (and a few plays here and there), More Life has some tracks but as a whole is average. I was more impressed with the features and production than Aubrey himself. Jorja Smith, Skepta, Quavo, Travis Scott, 2Chainz, Young Thug and Kanye West stood out.

Some of the island/tropical sounding songs are definitely going to be hits, and with how everywhere the album is, his tracks will have placements in various markets. Truly, an excellent strategy.

You just never know what’s going to happen with Young Thug on the track and that’s why he’s amazing, so diverse. Thug sounds clearer than ever on that Sacrifices track with 2Chainz where, of course, 2Chainz kills it. Thug sounded clearer because of this opportunity or the mixing engineer? Chainz always kills the guest verse, he is a bit underrated I would say. Then toward the end of the album we are blessed by the GOAT. Kanye really brought some old Ye vibes on Glow. Kind of Graduation like. I think this is where we all thought TLOP was going. I definitely thought so when I heard Ultralight Beam at the Yeezy Season 3 premiere.

A theory is that when TLOP was still So God Help Me, it was going to be a personal album. I.E. All Day/I Feel Like That, Only One, Wolves Yeezy Season 1 (@ 8:28), however somewhere along the line the relationship between Hov, Tidal and Kanye soured and we got TLOP. Maybe that’s the reason for the rants? Just tired and fed up of the industry politics?

My issue with Drake still remains, he continues to reuse the same formulas to succeed. Those late night/early morning venting rap tracks, R&B samples, flow snatching and wave riding. He really an island ting now huh? I would love to hear him take a chance and push himself outside of this comfort zone. It’s hard to deny the numbers, he’s a good artist but I cannot listen to him for long. I’ve never been a fan like that, he’s just not for me. Maybe if he tries something new I would feel different. His subject matter and singing doesn’t move me. The singing is cringeworthy and the lyrics doesn’t seem genuine, but he’s moving so it’s hard to argue why he isn’t #1 right now. More Life is better than Views though.

Someone mentioned his career would be interesting to examine when it’s over. The numbers are hard to deny. Drake is at the top of the mountain without a clear classic, how will we view him in 20 years time? Does his “hits” hold longevity? It doesn’t look like he’ll slow down any time soon.

Unlike More Life, Rather You Than Me left me more speechless than critical so yes, Rick Ross’s album is better to me. But listen and see for yourself.

Below is a link to all the producers that worked on Rather You Than Me, via DJ Booth, one of the best blog sites out.

Leave a comment.



Griselda x Shady; The Essence Is Back

Last week, it was announced that the Griselda Boys signed a deal with Shady Records. At first I was skeptical, though Aftermath usually brings their artists success, the music tends to be bland for me (comparing TDE’s music before/after the deal, 50 Cent’s pop turn and the lyrical ability yet very ok songs Slaughterhouse churns out). After learning it was only a distribution deal, I figured they would be alright. Like Rocafella.

I’m assuming there was a bidding war with RocNation.


Prior to the news, Westside Gunn released an EP tilted, Riots On Fashion Avenue. 12 tracks consisting of an intro, outro, 2 new rap tracks, 2 remixes of those tracks and 6 instrumentals.

Following the news, Westside and Conway released a Just Blaze produced track…

Respect to the legend, but has anyone else been unimpressed by Just Blaze’s beats as of late? I know he gets tired of rap so he must not be as inspired. Who do you think won the Swizz vs Just battle?

…most of their projects were taken down from streaming services, and the Griselda Boys (Westside, Conway and Benny) stopped by Sway In The Morning to unleash some fury.

Didn’t I say we needed a Benny project? Yup, I said it when Westside released Hermes 4. I didn’t know at the time but Benny is Griselda, his rhymes are picturesque. “Got my GED behind bars in a cage, almost cried when I seen my daughter crossing the stage.” Benny lowkey washed Conway on this one. Then they stopped by Statik Selektah’s show…

Another view of the same freestyle below…

…and Conway redeemed himself. The essence is back! After hearing these freestyles, me and a few homies definitely got that Rocafella/Dipset feel.

The new business partners released Hitler On Steroids the same day of these freestyles. A DJ Green Lantern mixtape combining old and new tracks, to put the new fans up to speed.

Congratulations on the deal fellas. 12projects in two years? Y’all deserve it. Make sure to check out the full Sway interview here, if you’re unfamiliar with the future legends.

Oh and Benny does have a few projects out. 1 On A 1My First Brick. 17 Bullets.

Leave a comment below.



Chanel By Frank, The War Against The Industry


On episode 2 of Frank Ocean’s Blonded Radio, an Apple Music exclusive, he streamed a new song titled, Chanel. I didn’t catch the entire show but caught the end where the track was on repeat. I have been listening to it nonstop since Friday night. Every time Frank Ocean releases a single, it’s like the most potent drugs my ears have ever been under the influence for. Every single time. His writing skills are something else, I only put Anderson Paak in the same category as him when it comes to that.

Chanel… Tidal link because I’m a huge supporter of Tidal.

About Tidal.

I still trip off the fact we came up with the Tidal/Apple Music idea before Tidal/Apple Music was released to the public. Too bad we don’t have the connections. But that’s what MJR/WeMajor is. Inspired by BluRoc/Creative Control, we had the Tidal/Apple Music idea first. A platform for artists, we’re here for the art.

On episode 1 of Blonded Radio, Frank Ocean premiered a new song, Slide, with Calvin Harris, Quavo and Offset. Why won’t they let Takeoff eat? Bad And Boujee politics?


Aside from the new release, Frank shared a conversation with Jay Z about modern-day radio. Jay Z is the owner of Tidal, why would he be on Apple Music? Well Frank released his last album under contract with Def Jam, Endless, a visual album (part1, part2). The following day, Frank released Blond as an independent artist. The label was so pissed. He now owns his masters and is reaping all the benefits of his art.

Jay Z is a strong advocate for artists taking back the art, Prince was in the works of giving his records to Tidal in support of this. Prince was in a constant war against the music industry, even calling record contracts slavery (do your research). I believe Frank is using his Apple platform to get paid, but is siding with Prince, Jay Z, (Kanye), in this war. So Jay Z sharing his thoughts on Apple was a bit of promotion for Tidal, a kind of way to convince listeners why they should go to Tidal or support artists like Frank, subtly.

Excerpts of the conversation below (via Pitchfork):

“Take radio for instance. It’s pretty much an advertisement model. You take these pop stations, they’re reaching 18-34 young white females. So they’re playing music based on those tastes. And then they’re taking those numbers and they’re going to advertising agencies and people are paying numbers based on the audience that they have. So these places are not even based on music. Their playlist isn’t based on music. If you think a person like Bob Marley right now probably wouldn’t play on a pop station. Which is crazy. It’s not even about the DJ discovering what music is best. You know, music is music. The line’s just been separated so much that we’re lost at this point in time.

They have to revolutionize that thing, you know, be more progressive. I think with all the technology and where we are today, it’s definitely a more efficient way to get music out. Because it’s the whole idea behind having a festival that played all sorts of music. Because no one listens to music like that – you just listen to music more than ever. Back in the days there used to be hip-hop clubs. Like, specific hip-hop clubs. Now every club is a hip-hop club. Every club is a music club. You go in there, you’re liable to hear EDM, hip-hop, you’re gonna hear some soul, you’re definitely going to hear “Poison” around 2-3 in the morning.

It’s unfortunate because with, you know, technology and everything moving forward, we should, it should be a better way that the music, the musicians, radio, and these things that are supposed to be instruments for the arts, should exist. And it shouldn’t be about advertisement. And it shouldn’t be about—so the more times, you know, someone like yourself can bypass that, it’s better for the, for the arts. And it’s better for the audience ‘cause you have to have, like, a level of discipline and just a belief to put music out in this place where not everyone can. You know, people, like, they wanna shoot for that, and then they’re making music that’s not really conditioned to who they are [Frank says “right”], who they are so they can reach a certain platform.”

Chanel RMX feat. A$AP Rocky

Leave your comments, thoughts on the music or industry below.



Only Christopher We Acknowledge


20 years to the date, (March, 9, 1997), one of the greatest rappers to ever grace the mic was fatally shot in Los Angeles, CA. Above is Biggie with Puff. One of the last photos taken before his death.

Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G. had it all. One of the best story-tellers with an undeniable flow and lyrical ability, he was appreciated by all hip-hop fans (and in my personal top3). He dropped so many gems/wisdom in his music. To think he did all of this by age 24, it’s truly a shame. Beanie Sigel said it best @ 2:02.

And Biggie was getting better. What he did on his last recording, Victory? We didn’t witness prime Biggie yet, we were close but not yet.

I saw someone tweet today that Kendrick Lamar’s GKMC and TPAB would out-duel Ready To Die and Life After Death. Lil homie needs to pass that blunt.

Kendrick has been suspect since signing with Interscope. When I heard GKMC, I knew it was meant to appeal to the masses. Good album, but it had that mainstream/commercial sound. And though I think TPAB is amazing, I haven’t revisited the project in a very long time. Both projects didn’t have the lasting impression Section80 or Overly Dedicated had. Maybe because they’re not as organic?

He’s rapping Eminem-like since the GKMC era. High-toned voice and a sped up flow. I don’t like it. A conspiracy formed is the Interscope/Aftermath machine (via @SunLade, a very informative dude on the culture).

The Aftermath/Interscope machine is Lade’s theory on how they stole the market, how 50 Cent singlehandedly dismembered New York rap, and how they make their artists appeal to middle-class America. GRODT and The Massacre. Somewhere (whereabouts unknown), there is an argument that Kendrick is meant to appeal to the “woke” audience.

Hopefully the Griselda boys’ Westside and Conway don’t fall victim to this. They recently signed to Shady Records, but it’s only a distribution deal so I doubt they’ll change. I just don’t see it also, but let’s hope.

However, this post is about Biggie. Below is two links:

The link below is a Pigs&Planes article where they interviewed Robert Cagel aka Zauqael, speaking on Biggie’s unknown life in North Carolina before he blew up. The two met each other through hustling and formed a strong bond.

From a reliable source, Biggie used to work at a local grocery store in Brooklyn. The owner said Biggie was the nicest person he ever met. So kind that when he was told about Biggie’s hustling lifestyle he couldn’t believe it.

This second link is a thread of what Biggie planned to do in the years to come after the release of Life After Death.

The man was ahead of his time.

Jay Z and Biggie would’ve been the greatest duo. They matched each other perfectly. Brooklyn’s Finest, I Love The Dough, Young G’s.

Thinking about it, it reminds me of Vince Staples and Earl Sweatshirt. The way they complimented each other, and didn’t want to get washed by the other. That type of chemistry creates amazing records. Elimination Chamber, Hive.

Two dope MC’s that respected each other as rappers and friends, but having the competitive spirit wanting to come out with the hottest verse at the end of it all. Junior Mafia speak on it here:

What’s your favorite Biggie track, verse, memory?

Leave a comment below. RIP to the legend.



The Trill Is Back! Chino Proclaims On A New EP

The South has taken over the rap industry, and rap is taking over the music industry.

Houston has the potential to become the powerhouse of the South. Business is booming, the music scene is growing and the culture is captivating.

With Atlanta making huge strides, the mainstream musical landscape has begun to mimic that. But why not Atlanta? Why would Houston be the powerhouse of the South and not Atlanta? Though, Atlanta has taken over the rap scene I feel like Houston, as a city, is a bigger overall attraction than Atlanta.

Once upon a time, there was a whisper about the South. “No one is spitting down there. They’re too slow.” But like everything in life it comes full circle.

I cringe when a rapper from the east coast attempts to make trap/Southern music. The styles don’t blend well. There are exceptions but I’m speaking from a general standpoint.

With Atlanta’s triumphant run, the Houston influenced A$AP Mob blowing up, and a growing city, who is ready to take Houston’s throne?

I don’t label Travis Scott as a Houston artist. Houston just doesn’t come to mind when his name is brought up. So for the moment the throne is still vacant.

If you don’t know Chino, I wrote about him here.

Founder of Money Never Loses ENT (MNL), Chino is heavily influenced by Screw and Houston culture. He’s been rapping about it since his first recording session. Constantly hash tagging #DoinItFoScrew, in a conversation, he later gave me an explanation for the hashtag. “I just want to make music, live life and be comfortable. Screw was a movement. He put people on. I want to do the same for my people.”

Shot and edited by Jackie Tran.

Engineered by Jackie Tran, Chino proclaims, “The Trill Is Back!”, over colorful production by 318tae. “Country rap tunes”, he likes to call them.

The new EP is 7tracks, 20minutes long and features what sounds like his best work yet. The writing skills continue to improve for Chino, shown on Texas Hold and Today.

He is getting better, the music is sounding better, and the product is looking better.

I talk about progression and evolving frequently as vital keys for artists. The end result of it is very beneficial for both the artist and consumer. Chino is impressive with this one.

The World Is Yours Interlude comes after the intro in which he states, “life’s bigger than eighths and 7grams… To see a quick dollar you don’t have to be topless.” Believe in yourself when no one else does, he raps. This interlude serves as an ode to DJ Screw but has some depth to it as well. The world is yours, go get it.

Every feature on here brings it, the production is solid, the EP is cohesive, and the little instances like that interlude are hidden gems. Lil Wayne makes a special appearance as well. This EP is just good hiphop. Back To Rap is the “curtains close” example of that.

Houston is still up for grabs since I last wrote about Chino, can he take it? Who is on your Houston radar?

Check out the new music. Leave a comment below.