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Two and a half years after dropping – perhaps the most incredible debut mixtape we have seen in recent years – 1999, Brooklyn’s Joey Bada$$ has released his much anticipated studio album, B4.DA.$$.

At only 20 years old, one of the most striking aspects of his flow is the potent influence of 90s hip-hop which acts as the solid foundation upon which he builds. His music also contains clear elements from his West Indian heritage, inventive components of new New York rap, topped off with a youthful fearlessness to add other genres such as dance and electronic into the mix. Still in the early stages of what is shaping up to be a long musical career, the rapper seems to exist as one of those rare talents who is loved and respected by everyone in the industry. Just one listen to any of the myriad projects/songs released by Joey and ProEra in the last three years and it isn’t hard to see why – His vision and lyrical talent are undeniable.

In Like Me (which features BJ The Chicago Kid), Joey ponders his mortality against the backdrop of Brooklyn. While the video itself has a clear storyline, it would be foolish not to look further into the message behind it and realise that Joey is exploring the deeper (and currently relevant) themes of police brutality, minority incarceration, fear, redemption, and hope.

Listen to B4.DA.$$ in full here.

ART/LIFESTYLE, MUSIC

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WATCH: Keith Ape – It G Ma

This video raises so many unanswerable questions in my mind and heart – Who are these people? Where did they come from? How does this video not have more views? Whose apartment is this? How do they afford such epic clothing/jewellery? What are they even saying?

Why will I never be this cool?!

LISTEN: Leon Bridges

25 year old Texan, Leon Bridges, is the reincarnation of Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and everything else good and beautiful about 1960s soul. What a striking voice. (Thanks Man Repeller for this recommendation!)

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A haunting new video from The Man of every hour, FlyLo.

This particular track is one of my favourites from the album (You’re Dead!) and appears halfway through when the protagonist is beginning to connect with the fact that he is dying, however is still not completely at peace with it. The video follows this concept closely and illustrates the idea of death dancing* at every corner; an inescapable and unsettling fate. While the imagery throughout is dark and morbid, the clip ends with a stirring surrender and a beautiful gunshot splatter of blood-red rose petals.

*(Literally dancing – FlyLo can be seen at 3:09, and more death angels cutting shapes at 3:37)