JCK

INTERVIEW WITH EMERALD

 

 

 

 

Emerald is a singer/rapper/producer from Dunedin, NZ.  She makes alternative rap. I had a listen to her E.P the Emerald E.P  and her music reminds me of live Hip Hop/Funk bands like The Shades and her eclectic influences of rock, funk and blues make for an interesting listen.

She recently got back from completing a Bachelor in Contemporary music performance in the deep south and is now about to put out her first music video. 

Emerald also loves to perform. Her favourite venues are outdoor festivals such as last years Twisted Frequencies. She also loves to collaborate with other local artists.

I caught up with Emerald and asked her a few questions.

Q. Who are some of your musical influences.

A. Female MC, Dessa (Of DoomTree), Nas, Talib Kweli, and kiwi rapper and friend, Trillion."I want to write music that expresses who I am. Music that people can relate to and enjoy whether they are Hip hop heads or not." 

Q. You do the occasional rap battle. Why? 

A. "Just so I don't get rusty. And it's fun". 

Q. How did your music video for Difficult come about?

A. I had an amazingly talented film making friend who I'd been looking to do a project with, so I wrote a song, chucked a few of my musical friends in it, then hitched up to Kaikoura and made a video with her. It's been an awesome experience that I've learnt a lot from. Can't wait to make another one."

Q.How would you describe your music in one sentence?

A. Damn, I had to come back to this one. Tough. I'm gonna say my music is 'Rhymes to inspire introspection'. 

Q.What sets you apart from other acts/groups?

A. The obvious one is being female. Beyond that, my music is honest and real. I'm not trying to be gangsta. I tackle fresh topics. I'm expressing my own unique thoughts and experiences. I love what I do and I think that shows in my presence on stage. 

Q.Whats your favourite and least favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture?

A. Favourite thing is the love that you get within the hip hop community. Even as the white girl at the battle there's still a mutual respect. Least favourite thing is the bad rep we have. I often see peoples faces lose interest when I tell them my music is rap. That's a pity because I try to write my music so there is something for everyone. But a lot of people switch off before they've heard it because they are picturing me rolling with 50 Cent or something.

Q.What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers? 

A.Just do it! Keep looking outside yourself for inspiration. Collaborate with others. You never know who might be keen to work with you. Make every song better than your last. My ears always prick up when someone raps about something real that I can relate to. Find something important to say and deliver it in a way that is authentically you. 

Watch out for her music video Difficult featuring Jacob Wright, LEWKA and Myra D dropping next week. I’ve had a sneak preview and it’s pretty dope.

Check out these fantastic screen shots from the up coming music video Difficult.

Check her out on Facebook, Soundcloud, Youtube, and Bandcamp.

Buy the latest Ep. (You choose the price)

emeraldep.bandcamp.com/album/emerald-ep

Free song downloads of earlier material:

www.soundcloud.com/emerald-3

Youtube:

www.youtube.com/user/emeraldmcgill

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF GOLD INTERVIEW

 

 

 

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Tauranga Hip-Hop crew House Of Gold is Mr Ridl, Quizzy, Havok, Merlin and VSOP1 They recently opened for international superstar Lloyd at Taurangas La Casa. I caught up with Axel Rose aka Mr Ridl to find out more about them.

 

Who and what is House Of Gold?

 

We are simply 5 good as mates that like to rap and record and produce our own music. We have all developed our own styles and are progressing ERRYDAY !You can catch us in the weekends usually dipping through Tauranga town, and local parties and gigs, hopefully performing at most !

 

When did you start and what inspired you to make music?

 

We all started at our own times but as a crew we have been going hard for about 3 years now

 

How would you describe your music in one sentence?

 

3 words House Of Gold.... hahahaha we got a lil bit of everything really, we got some old school some turnt some trill some real shit and some chopping shit.

 

What sets you apart from other acts/groups?

 

We get down with other crews but we just keep it real to our self and just work for our dream.

 

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

 

We are proud of all our music because all our tracks represent us as a crew.

 

Where do you come from or what part of NZ do you or your group represent?

 

We all come from Tauranga we represent all over New Zealand but more Papamoa.

 

Do you produce your own beats or do you use any particular beat maker?

 

Some times we do but lately we have been buying our beats of other beat makers around the world, but I am learning to make some new beats.

 

Whats your favourite and least favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture?

 

Our favourite is where Hip-Hop can make any bad day a good day .Our least favourite thing is the amount of people that try to stop other artists from making their own type of music

 

Tell us about your next release.

 

House Of Gold is working on our 1st every Album it has 25 tracks with 5 music vids and will be making hard copies of it.We will also be planing a little tour around Tauranga to drop it.

 

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers?

 

For real just keep going hard at what you do. Sit back and have a look at other artists and see what they are doing wrong and don't do it hahah always talk to new people to make new mates that can help you out in the rap game.Most of all STAY ON YOUR GRIND.

 

What can we expect to see from you over the next year?

 

More gigs a more music more vids and maybe a tour.

 

Check out the latest from Mr Ridl with the music video for Started Off Local.

 

UNDER THE LAND

 

 

 

 

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If you're like me you might have caught the Under The Land radio show on The Flat fm www.theflatfm.co.nz and seen some of their interviews with some of Aucklands local rappers on Youtube. I'd seen the name on Facebook and had recently liked their page but to be honest I didn't know much about Under The Land so I caught up with Daniel Murray aka Shephurd to find out more about them. 

 

What is Under The Land.

 

- A home for musicians first and foremost, Under The Land is based on the record label format where members have full creative options for their works. As long as there is passion and quality in each recording we back it up. A tight nit crew with various collaboration projects forming a web where anyone can jam with anyone to make anything. Under The Land recently has branched out and taken a new form as a radio show on The Flat FM where each week we play local and international chilled out Hip-Hop based music.

 

Where do you come from or what part of NZ does UTL represent?

 

- Auckland.. North shore and the Hibiscus Coast is where it started and has continued to be run from, except for a period of time when it was based in Perth, Australia.

UTL represents quality music created on a low budget. We don't chase the top 20 charts, we are all about making dope joints people can vibe to from a little mix up of genres.

 

Who started UTL and what inspired you to get involved in music?

 

- Shephurd (Daniel Murray) formed UTL in November 2007 as a bebo group, over the years evolving and becoming whatever it is today. I was sitting at my desk at work bored off my ass with the career I was chasing, Installed a DAW on my work computer, plugged in the headphones and started imitating the music I was listening to - Bone Thugs N Harmony notably. Once I realized that music is where I want to devote my life to I made sure every move I made in life would some how benefit the art.

 

What’s your vision for UTL?

 

- Really, just to make dope music that not only feels good to create and perform, but also something people would actually want to invest their money in to listen to it, to come to live performances etc..   Far from money hungry - we know what it is like to have no money, we know no one buys records these days.. UTL is driven to become that indie label that invests in the artists to the point we look like we could easily be rocking a major label, So we are set out to do dope music pressed to quality made CDs and Vinyl releases, Small scale to large gigs.. Investing our own money into top notch music videos and really just representing New Zealand music to the absolute fullest.

 

Tell us about UTL next release.

 

- On the re-launched Under The Land, Shephurd - Exit 420 EP is dropping first. Not a big release, just something to build up from. A small batch of CDs, test the waters with the Vinyl pressing perhaps. After Exit 420, the first full scale album we are dropping is a self-titled LP from 'The Escape' Which consists of myself (Shephurd) on the beat and MC-turned-singer Misaya. The Escape LP was recorded back in 2012 in two weeks.. We have been waiting for Under The Land to reach a level where we can mix it down professionally, press up CDs & Vinyls of a high quality and get some dope music videos under way to help promote it, all which we couldn't do in '12 at the standard were trying to set. After The Escape LP we have various small projects to drop which we are working on now.

 

What can we expect to see from UTL over the next year?

 

- The music we have been crafting to perfection over the last couple years. UTL's first music videos, pressed Vinyls and CDs, Online distribution. And Events.. UTL shows are coming back in a new way from what we used to put on when it was primarily a rap label.. So getting real nice with the live sound mix and lighting.. visuals etc.. Making a show, not just another club gig. Integrating the brand closer with The Flat FM now we are working with them.

 

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers?

 

- What I would expect of anyone who is attempting to make a life out of music is just that - It is a life style. Music.. the Hip-Hop culture especially.. It's a lifestyle.. You have to be willing to go hungry for the love of the music. sweat and bleed music as you go day by day making as many moves as possibly to make that end result come to fruit. If your going to rap, Don't be half assed about it. Learn how to work in a professional manner in the studio, perform without getting black out drunk.. re-write everything a couple times.. basically you want to create a product that will go down in history as a classic. If you are not striving to make this kind of work then perhaps keep it as a hobby. You are putting your time and energy into a piece of ART..  Make it count.

 

Producers have to switch it up and create some new shit.. There is a lot of dope work being made at the moment.. TDE is rocking it hard, Funk Volume is doing it big on the tours.. These are the kind or artists you need to compare your production levels to these days... This is the shit people want to hear. Get creative with the art direction of your productions, get your beats mixed by someone who knows what they are doing to make the hardest hitting kicks and snares etc.. sickest EQing on the riffs etc.. ballsy as bass.. Make some art, not just another fucking beat that sounds like everyone else on YouTube. ... Thats what it is. ART.

 

And in general - Everyone that is making music - Buy some damn studio time. If you cannot afford to invest your time and effort into saving up money to make the most top notch quality recordings and mixings, then what is the point? Work like the next song you are creating is going to be heard by Dr. Dre. .. You want that mans head to nod.

 

Shephurd sent me a sneak peak of his upcoming release Exit 420 an instrumental album. I would describe it as laid back electronic soundscapes mixing elements of Hip-Hop, Dub, Down Beat and Electronica. It's a pretty relaxing listen and I can see if getting love from Alt radio.

 

 

SKC DOSE 'N' DEPS

 

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If you're a Hip-Hop head from New Zealand the chances are you've come across SKC Dose 'n' Deps.

Strictly underground and non commercial, SKC Dose 'n' Deps keep their lyrical themes dark and grizzly and their image is both creative and captivating. Always masked, no one has ever seen what these guys actually look like.

The thing I find impressive about SKC Dose 'n' Deps is their massive repertoire of music created in a relatively short time. To me this speaks volumes about their commitment to their craft.

Their latest release is a 13 track album called Live Evil. Live Evil is available as a free down load from datpiff.

 http://www.datpiff.com/mixtapes-detail.php?id=620854 

I like how SKC Dose 'n' Deps take samples from old movies, youtube videos and T.V adds and use them in their songs. A lot of the vocals on their tracks sound LoFi, but these two elements help create their signature sound. Live Evil is a must have for fans of raw underground and Horror-core Hip-Hop.

SKC Dose 'n' Deps have over 1000 followers on Soundcloud where you can listen to their many songs of their several mix tapes and albums.

https://soundcloud.com/skc-dose-n-deps

I was lucky enough to get an interview with Dose and found out more about SKC Dose 'n' Deps.

Q.How would you describe your music in one sentence?

A.100% crazy insanely rare punch ya grandmum in the face rap fresh from the New Zealand underground Hip-Hop dungeon.

Q.What sets you apart from other acts/groups?

A.We've been rapping for nearly 2 years and never revealed our identity to the public, we've deliberately remained annonymous to be seperate and different from the other nz mc's.

Q.Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

A.If we had to pick one it would have to be "Kiwi On A Cloud" from our Mixtape "Underworld 19.11", it was the first song we recorded on a proper microphone.

Q.Where do you come from or what part of NZ do you or your group represent?

A.We represent for all of New Zealand, but we're originally from Hamilton city.

Q.Do you produce your own beats or do you use any particular beat maker?

A.We make alot of our beats using a few different programs like FLstudio Audacity ect, we also get instrumentals off beatmakers from websites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp and sometimes from a few other sources as well.

Q.Whats your favourite and least favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture?

A.Our favourite thing about Hip-Hop is getting to be a part of it, our least favourite thing about Hip-Hop is when rapper's bite other rapper's styles

Q.Tell us about your next release.

A.Our next release is F#$kd Up, crossing fingers we dont get arrested for it, there's heaps of new swear words, some legendary underground nz g-rhymes, a seance, a couple harty bars here and there and some new collabs from other local nz artist's/ producers.

Q.What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers?

A.Its cold out here but the tough still hustle, it's an uphill struggle, you could fall face first in a mud filled puddle, but dont let that dampen you spirits its a fact that we winning dont act like you diddnt no. "Victory's possible cynicism an obsticle - SKC"

 

TWOBARSHORT VOL TWO BY TWOBARSSHORT

 

 

 

Click here to go to TWOBARSHORT VOL TWO by TWOBARSSHORT on Bandcamp.

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King Kai,NPC, Eyez and Micsure are a Dunedin/Christchurch based Hip-Hop crew called TWOBARSSHORT.

TWOBARSSHORT have just released a four track E.P called TWOBARSHORT VOL TWO

Independently released on Bandcamp and available for what ever you think It’s worth. TWOBARSSHORT have delivered four tracks of crispy well produced and keenly crafted songs that will resonate with fans of underground NZ Hip-Hop.

TWOBARSSHORT are aiming to release four E.P's in 12 months. Volume One was released in May this year and is also available on Bandcamp.

TWOBARSSHORT are in touch with the NZ Hip-Hop scene. Delivering what I feel the Hip-Hop heads of New Zealand want and thats straight from the heart non commercialised Hip-Hop. Like the lyrics to the opening song So Sly say. Their music is for the druggies, the skaters and the misfits and theres not a commercial offering in site.

TWOBARSSHORT have an authentic New Zealand flavour to their sound and manage to deliver without sounding overly American which I personally always appreciate and their vocal delivery is tight, energetic and upbeat.

The stand out element in this E.P is the production. King Kai makes dope beats and the mixing and mastering on the E.P sounds top notch.

I caught up with Micsure and asked him a few questions about TWOBARSSHORT and the new E.P.

How would you describe your music in one sentence?

A collaboration of Hip-Hop heads trying to still live in the nineties.

What sets you apart from other acts/groups?

I guess our drive to release four E.P's within 12 months. I don’t really know any one who has done that.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

I personally like track 2 on the E.P (Bricks in the wall) because of the level of the verses we bring and the hook sticks in my head.

Where do you come from or what part of NZ do you or your group represent?

We are mainly Dunedin based with the exception of Micsure who lives in Christchurch.

Do you produce your own beats or do you use any particular beat maker?

King Kai aka Hamish Clulee makes the beats and produces the tracks he also emcees on some tracks. He's an all rounder.

Whats your favourite and least favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture?

My favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture is the freedom of speech being able to use the format to say what ever u want and try to make it sound dope at the same time. My least favourite is the fact people have seemed to have forgotten what Hip-Hop is and we are seeing an increase of watered down raps breaking the air waves. Ultimatley warping the definition of Hip-Hop for todays youth to something that to me is strictly advertisement.

Tell us about your E.P.

This is the second E.P in a series of four. We just lay down what we feel at the time. Go with the flow then King Kai makes it sound sicker than when we started. We aren’t going for any particular sound we just do what each mc/producer feels n chuck it together giving each verse a unique sound almost changing the feeling of the song completely.

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers?

I know its corny but just keep doing what ya doing yo.

What can we expect to see from you over the next year?    

Over the next year two more E.P's and hopefully a bundle of gigs.

 

 

COCONUT LIME BY TEAM DYNAMITE

 

 

 

Coconut Lime is the new New Zealand On Air funded music video from Team Dynamite featuring Che Fu.

Team Dynamite are Tony Shihamau aka Tony TZ and Lance Fepuleai aka Lucky Lance with production from Haz Huavi aka Haz Beats

The music video has an awesome Kung Fu style theme. Following a story of two Kung Fu wannabes who get their buts kicked by a group of marauders. After their defeat they realise they’re not as bad ass as they thought they were. So they employ the help of Master Fu (Che Fu) who trains them in the Coconut Lime style. After returning from training, the duo find their master dying on the ground and his home set ablaze by villains. Distraught by the death of their master, they vow to avenge him. Master Fu’s dying words are “use the Coconut Lime style”. They set off to avenge their master and inevitably defeat their enemies and avenge their master with the mighty Coconut Lime style. 

The music video made by Eddy Fifield is very well done and has a great cinematic look to it. I particularly like the wide screen effect.

The music video has only been out for just over a week and has clocked up a tidy 10,000 views. I’ve already seen it pop up on my Facebook feed a couple of times so it’s definitely appealing to their audience.

Having Che Fu on a track is always a smart move and along with the great music video and extended reach obtained with New Zealand On Air funding scheme, this jaunty track is bound to leave an impression on the NZ music world.

Coconut Lime is off of the album Shepherds Delight available from iTunes.

 

Check out Coconut Lime by Team Dynamite.

 

 

PAKKZ THA GENERAL

 

 

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If you’ve never heard of Pakkz Tha General and you’re a fan of Hip-Hop then you need to know.

Now I thought I’d seen some hard grinding rappers but Pakkz Tha General is on a whole nother level. In 2013 he released 3 full length quality albums. D-Day, Punishing Tha Game and The Western Leader.

Signed by 833 Records, Pakkz has already released a free E.P called Raw Footage to kick off 2014 and If that weren’t enough he has a double album coming out soon called The Borough King.

Pakkz is a big man blessed with a big voice. The kind of voice rappers would sell their soul to have and he’s definitely not letting his gift go to waste.

Each album is jam packed with features from well known NZ rappers and has the ever popular Sid Diamond featuring on every album. The songs are straight Hip-Hop, Boom Bap but manage to sound up to date with massive hooks that you can sing along to. The production and sound quality is world class and no expense has been spared to get a fantastic sounding and looking product.

Pakkz also hosts the P.T.G Code radio show on streaming radio Rep fm on Wednesday nights from 8pm until 11pm playing that real Hip-Hop all day. I caught up with Pakkz Tha General and asked him some questions to learn a bit more about the man behind the music.

How would you describe your music in one sentence?

Reality rap, that tries to encompass every emotion a human can go through.

What sets you apart from other acts/groups?

Longevity, hunger,experience.Ive been rhyming since I was 13 years old and active in the scene since I was 14. I was at most Hip-Hop gigs in Auckland from about 2002 until maybe 2010 so I learnt a lot, saw a lot and met a lot of good people along the way. Also I learned how to network through the net early, so I guess being able to collab with a lot of underground/up and coming and already known artists was an advantage because my fan base grew in the areas they were repping.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

Im proud of all my music I’d say from 2007 onwards. I put a lot of effort into everything after I felt I’d locked my style that I was going for, so everything from then until now and including my new shit I’m proud of for the fact I put my heart and 100% effort into every line from then on.

Where do you come from or what part of NZ do you or your group represent?

I was born in Opotiki, Bay of Plenty. Raised in Pawarenga, Northland and bred In good old West Auckland. I represent them all but for now I’m trying to put West Auckland on the map all day.

Do you produce your own beats or do you use any particular beat maker?

I did a bit of production, but only rapped on a few of my own beats, mainly because they sucked. Before I linked with my label I was making an effort to include all my NZ producer friends like Yorel, 44, Dj Kinetic & a few others but it slowly faded as i progressed, they weren’t advancing as quick with shit as I’d have liked them to so I started fucking with American producers like my dude Dreek who I’ve done a whole album with.The Legion, Vinny Idol, Mykill Myers, K-Dubb, Jared Gosslin and a few other dudes and I haven’t stopped since.

Whats your favourite and least favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture?

My favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture is just watching the evolution of the whole shit. The music, the trends, the sound and the people that come and go. My least favourite thing is the bickering n beef. Shit is childish, save it for the streets.

Tell us about your next release.

My next album Borough King is my 4th album to date and its a double album. Its got a few features who are mainly doing hooks plus a couple of international collabs as well. Basically what I’m trying to do on the next album is to solidify the work that I’ve already put in and make other cats realise that if u wanna do this you have to work as hard as I do. I’m also trying to show cats that this shit isn’t easy but it isn’t hard either. Put in work and get results,I’m letting them know that I’ve done that,now I’m the musical King of my hood & City.

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers?

If your truly passionate about this shit go hard. If your not 100 percent fuck off and do something else, theres already too many rappers. If you suck your gonna get eaten by Wolves like me.

What can we expect to see from you over the next year?

More good music,and hopefully some visuals. Basically the rise of PTG to where I belong. On top of this NZ music shit.

You can find me at.

Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/pakkzthageneral

Instagram : 5StarPTG

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/pakkzthageneral

and my official site http://www.officialptg.com

I’d suggest you go get the free E.P from the Pakkz Tha General website and get some goodness in your ears.

 

HANS K & MICRODOT

 

I was thinking the other day that Auckland is such a rich and diverse melting pot of cultures in which Hip-Hop thrives. Most of Aucklands races are represented in local Hip-Hop, although I’d never seen a rapper from the Asian community. Were there any? And If so where are they?

Well, it turns out the Universe heard my question. A couple of nights later, I found myself at a Visual Base Media gig at Juice Bar in Parnell. I was there watching some local talent including two very talented rappers Hans K and Microdot.

Hans K grabbed my attention immediately. Pretty much the polar opposite to the Hip Hop stereo type. I was looking at a slightly awkward looking teenager with glasses who then began to rap. "Wow" I thought. This guy has got something unique. Hans K aka Hanju Kim is only 17 years old and comes from Keri Keri. Hanju is of Korean descent and lives in Auckland. Hans K has been rapping and writing songs since the tender age of 14. He’s come a long way in a short time and at such a young age and with such a huge amount of talent, he will definitely be one to watch out for.

At the same show another rapper of Korean descent named Microdot performed. 21 Year old Microdot aka David Shin has had a song on the radio recently called For the road to riches. When I heard the song on the radio I just presumed it was another American track because of its professional sounding quality. The fact that a lot of the song is in Korean didn’t seem to even connect. Then I saw his video and was like oh cool he’s Korean and he’s an Aucklander. Microdot was a sensation in Korea as a child as a part of a child rap duo called All Black and he was signed at a very young age along with his older brothers to a Korean Label. Hip-Hop has always been a big part of his life with his older brothers also being rappers and producers.

Both performers put on a great show that night and really stood out to me as charismatic gifted performers. So rappers from the Asian community are out there and they are representing hard. Although despite Auckland massive Chinese population I still haven’t found any Chinese rappers. Where the Chinese rappers at?

 

Check out Hans K’s song Nostalgia

 

 

Check out Microdot’s song For The Road To Riches.

 

 

THE COOL ZONE EP BY ARCEE

 

 

 

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21 year old Rona Wignall aka Arcee is a female rapper currently based in Dunedin. On the 21st of June 2014 Rona is going to release her first E.P The Cool Zone.

I’ve had The Cool Zone E.P playing in my car today and I must say I’m liking what I hear.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard Arcee’s music. I caught her What Kinda Rapps you got entry a few months ago. Rona was doing something you don’t see everyday in Hip-Hop. A white girl with clever lyrics and word play rapping while playing the piano. It’s safe to say she caught mine and a lot of peoples attention.

Not long after that, I saw she’d released a music video called Fake Bitch followed by another video Go Hard. These were two impressive tracks and showed that Arcee wasn’t here to play. She’s obviously a serious musician with ambition and the skills to reach her musical goals.

One of the many things I like about Arcee’s sound is her unique accent. Originally from Manchester in the UK, Rona's Manchester accent makes her style reminiscent of Grime. Although I think living in New Zealand has softened her accent somewhat.

Her music is not easy to pigeon hole. I would describe it as Hip-Hop fusion with elements of Pop,Trap, Electronica, Drum & Bass and Dub Step.

The E.P is produced by Darryl Matthew Suasua (Daz on the night shift at Flava) and he’s done an impressive job. 

Arcee is one of the few artists I’ve heard of late who is making relevant up to date music. With the trend in the New Zealand Hip- Hop/Rap scene for rappers and producers to be forever stuck in the past. In relation to this status quo, some may consider her music bold. To me she comes across in her lyrics as a trail blazer who relishes going against the grain. A sentiment I think is highlighted by the diverse influences I hear in her 6 track E.P. 

Arcee is a skilled rapper who has the ability to impress, especially when she switches it up with her double-time flows. Arcee's songwriting, pop sensibilities and hooky choruses (like those found on the title track The Cool Zone) remind me of Lily Allen in places. Although It wouldn’t do Arcee justice to directly compare her with Lilly Allen because she has her own very unique style

The Cool Zone is a quality release and I can see it getting attention from student radio and with her producers connections in commercial radio, It has all the elements to become very successful.

The EP is a sweet fold out poster of Arcee with a CD inside. Get your pre-orders and orders through h.wignall@outlook.com

Check out the music video for Go Hard off of The Cool Zone E.P.

 

THE HIGHER LEARNING ALBUM BY DYSLO

 

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Higher Learning is a 15 track album by New Zealand Hip-Hop artist Dyslo aka Dylan Smiler a prolific, determined, and hard grinding rapper/producer.

I received Higher Learning in the mail and it went strait into the CD player in the car as I drove to the beach.

Dyslo is new to me. This is the first time I’ve heard his music. The first thing I notice is his interesting lisp, then I noticed his story telling. I’m a fan of the story in Hip-Hop songwriting.

The first song on the album and title track is Higher Learning which is about Dylan’s decision to turn his back on his life of crime and history of incarceration to educate himself in his passion of music at MAINZ music school. I instantly related having gone there myself. Alright that’s a good sign. I’m feeling this album first song in.

I notice that every song is a description of Dylan’s life and experience straight from the heart. I get the same feeling listening to Dyslo as I do from listening to Eminem. You feel like you're reading somebody’s diary and getting let in on somebody’s inner thoughts and personal life.

Dyslo collaborates with his partner Kelly Rose who lends her sultry female vocals to many of the songs on the album. Higher Learning also features an impressive list of NZ rappers such as Sir T, Raiza Biza,Capital Z and Ace Hood.

Dyslo’s 15 years of rapping and 7 years of producing show on this album. It takes time and experience to learn how to produce quality songs like these. The interesting thing about these songs is that they’re street and roots Hip-Hop, some could say Gansta Rap, but they also have a commercial appeal. There's a lot of quality tracks on here that I can see getting love from radio.

The stand out tracks for me reside a couple songs in. You could call it the sweet spot on the album. Gutter Talk a song exploding with energy and boasting a hard hitting, mean hook followed by the equally impressive Riding Shot Gun and then the touching and heart felt Stronger Than You Know are the songs that I was feeling the most. But to be honest they’re all good songs and people will connect with different tracks. The good thing is that all the songs have the potential to connect with the audience because of their honest, from the heart content, solid production and skill full musical execution.

Dyslo is a fantastic artist who’s hard work and dedication Is about to pay off. A quality album like this should not be slept on. So don’t sleep on Dyslo and get yourself a copy of Higher Learning.