• Sis and Ramsey talk about Girl #3, singing Bite in the shower, and the Trenton music scene in the seventh installment of A-Side B-Side Podcast.
  • Check out K√§rma's new video for Likkle More shot by HoMEMADE Films.
  • Ramsey has words for Brick City's Marcus Ariah's lastest offering, Making a Man.
  • see.Francis is back for the first time this year with his new song produced by The Pyrvmids, Lifetime.
  • Episode 2 of Macc McCray's Thanks For Nothing Series continues with the video for Respect, watch that here.

Jun 12, 2018

Review: Circle of Life - @24kjae__

I'm a big fan of coming of age films. 500 Days of Summer, Moonrise Kingdom, The Breakfast Club, Boyz In The Hood, Good Will Hunting, shoot even Superbad make my top ten list. Atop of that list is probably Lion King. Ironically enough, the story Jon Crawford takes us on today is named after such, Circle of Life. It's a really easy listen if you love a good story. Jon Crawford comes to bat with original cadences and song themes. You can just tell that they serve as a kind of blueprint on Circle of Life.

Let's get to it. I think the real meat and potatoes of this project starts at track three through seven. Feelings kicks off that stretch. Minimalist percussion blares through your headphones. I can't figure out what the distorted and possibly reversed loop is that serves as the melody. Jon explains in this track how it's difficult for him to open up to the people in his life because people assume they know everything with the little bit we show. No hook just venting. I think that is a recurring theme throughout this project. That is my favorite kind of rap. No gimmick, no super produced beat, just space to vent and be heard.

Daddy's Little Girl is obviously an ode to his daughter. She's young and may not understand where he's at in his life. It's a letter she's probably meant to read later on in life. He hopes she understands why he made the decisions he made and how painful it is for him to miss part of her childhood while chasing his dreams. He wants that to be inspiration for her. He talks about his upbringing in his family with his own father and how they felt about him becoming a 17 year old father.

River Road (played in the Party Michael Interview) is the deepest dive into Crawford's life on this album. Upbringing, the neighborhood, his life in the system. If he didn't do that with the bars he sure did with a monologue at the end of the track. If you listen to nothing else and want to know what Circle of Life is about you have to listen to River Road. Who, But Me? follows up next. To keep it funky I've never heard a P. Soul beat I didn't like. He's probably my favorite indie producer out. He's responsible for a few of my favorites by a lot of Jersey and New York acts. We finally get a hook for the first time in a while.

"Who gon' put my n*ggas on, who but me? Who gon' take care of the Fam man who but me?"

Track seven is 3 AM in Camden. The visual and lead single was placed perfectly for the album. Track sequence on Circle of Life is on point. In fact let's fast forward to how he ended the project. Patience and Take a Chance are different than the rest of the project. I think for the most part this entire project was introspective. These two songs are messages outward this time. It's really inspiring music to continue on, trust your journey, and not be afraid to follow your dreams.

I really enjoy the honesty in Circle of Life. I don't know if it's because I too am a Scorpio or a fellow twenty something year old black man figuring it out. Although I don't share the same upbringing and haven't become a parent yet I empathize with Crawford's hunger. It's hard knowing you're great and you're really just waiting on people to see. It's a breath of fresh air into today's music mainstream or local. He said as much in the project and I agree, I'm not that impressed with music nowadays. Crawford has an absurd upside of talent. Music hasn't been about talent for a long time. The stars just have to align and I pray they do. If ever there was an artist I thought deserved to blow up it's Jon Crawford. At minimum find solace knowing Circle of Life is timeless music. If not timeless to the general public, timeless within your own household. I know people are quick to call something a classic and I won't speak too soon. What I will say is if things don't click they way they should, one day Gabriella will listen to this and know her father loves her. You can stream Circle of Life LP on your favorite streaming service by clicking this link. I've also embedded it below for your consumption. In Due Time is dropping July 30th and you can also look out for Wish Me Well, dropping on his birthday in the fall. I need y'all to feel this.

Jun 8, 2018

Listen: Hallelujah (Prayers) - @24kjae__

Before I could even get a review out of Circle of Life, Jon Crawford is back with a brand new single.

Hallelujah (Prayers) seems to be the new single of a new EP, In Due Time dropping later this summer. I really like the string loop and hi-hat combo on this beat. Crawford continues a signature story with a conversation with God about what his new intentions are for the rap game. To be frank, I wouldn't want to be in this guy's way. I don't know what it is about these lead singles and intros but this is super grandioso and sets a serious tone. Circle of Life review drops this Tuesday but in the meantime listen to Hallelujah (Prayers) after the break.

Jun 7, 2018

Listen: Shea Butter - @PilotJonze feat. @ONLYBISI @CashletePete

"It's that Black Boy Joy wrapped up in gold."

Last I spoke with Dave Michael Jonze, we talked about his complicated lyrics. I've been among the lucky few that have been listening to Shea Butter for the past couple months. You'd think by now I'd have it down like rap genius.

"This that Shea Butter Trap, That new escapism. Instill in my n*ggas with vivaciousness that you can't take from them."

I can't lie. I don't even know what that means but still, DO NOT DUMB IT DOWN for the masses. If they don't catch up. It's just another opportunity to explain and connect with your audience the way you know how. Complicated bars aside, Cashlete Pete joins the fold with his own gritter 16. OnlyBisi floated on the hook as always. In fact that doesn't do it justice, his voice is beautiful. I told them when I heard this song natural shorties are going to love it. Do me a favor, press play below. Do yourself that favor. After you've finished, find the next woman you see that smells like coconut oil, Palmer's formula, or uses Carol's Daughter as a leave in and play it for her. This song is for her. Dave Made Time is coming. Feel this.

You can also stream Shea Butter on:
Apple Music

Jun 5, 2018

#ASideBSidePodcast Episode 010: @TheRealTyJack Interview & Album Listener

Ty Jack at Loft 9 (shot by Jonathan Ramsey)
We have a treat for you today. Alter Ego is out now everywhere but we got to interview Franklin's own Ty Jackson early.

The singer-rapper-songwriter-producer (wow, mad talented) chops it up with Ramsey about Era Nu, BLVD Blues with SoULFULL, and the creative process behind this new album. Things get deep when we talk about the passing of his father and stepfather, The Trump Administration and more. To make things sweeter is the live album listening session on part two of this interview. I need y'all to feel this.

May 11, 2018

A-Side B-Side Podcast Episode 009: @partyxmichael Interview

Party Michael is probably one of the hardest working music industry cats in Jersey. Time and time again I talk about how he's produced or worked with all of my favorite acts (mainstream or otherwise).

I'm glad he made it in to talk to us about what he's up to these days. In this episode we talked about his new single, Letter. We also talked about how he got involved in music in the church, NVR WRY, playing for Tinashe on Good Morning America, and as much as I could get out of him about his forthcoming album. Press play and listen below.

Music in this episode is River Road by Jon Crawford.