Mar 20, 2019

Listen: Stuck In The Moment - @Shhh_imSPEAKING

Something I think I've always enjoyed was Sis on a acoustic ballad. She crushes it everytime. Whether it's Bite or her newest cover of Summer Walker's Riot, I always enjoy that kind of sound from Sis. Don't be confused, the Trenton songstress can get down too.

She does just that on her new single, Stuck in the Moment. If John Legend can come from behind the piano, Sis can make you dance too. This is only the beginning. Stuck in the Moment is serving as the lead single to her new forthcoming EP, Ghost dropping this coming April. After listening to this, I'm excited for the follow up to Girl #3. In the meantime you can listen to Stuck in the Moment on iTunes today, or you can press play after the break. I need you to feel this.

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Mar 19, 2019

Review: RollTheDice:1NE - @MaccMcCray

A month and some change back, Macc McCray released a new EP, RollTheDice: 1NE.

It dropped before Valentine's day, but it screams about break ups and has a somber theme throughout. In the production notes, McCray mentions this is just Side 1 of 6 so I'm interested to see if each chapter has it's own specific feel. This one is quick and easy to breakdown so I'm gonna go track by track.

SITUATIONSHIPS (Prod. by NK Music) - Situationships is the only track here that Macc didn't take part in the production. I've always been fond of nostalgia so the clips of Episode 18 of Martin was a nice touch. You know the scene where Gina and Martin break up after a foul Valentine's day. Enter chord progression from the grand piano and hi-hat, kick, snare percussion. The production on this track is super minimalist and leaves so much room for Macc to fill the void. It's all blended pretty lovely and it's not hollow. I think a lot of emcees and singers may try to do too much on this track but Macc floats here.

I'm usually weary and worry when rappers try to sing their own hooks but I'm pretty impressed with Macc's vocals. He even sprinkled in a little pitch correction and autotune for the pain. I also love that audio crossfade when it goes from one ear to another. Listen to it on speakers then listen again on a good set of headphones and you'll really appreciate this one.

TOO BAD (Prod. by Macc McCray) - Macc continues the somber mood and reminisces about a past love. Perhaps the same one from track one. You can usually tell which producers know how to play instruments and who plays the computer. That's no diss just usually makes for a better ear for blending digitized sound and live. Content-wise continues the tale about what his ex is missing out on. Deleted the IG and everything. Y'all must be done-done.

"Too Bad I wasn't what you wanted, but I was what you needed."

GO TO (Prod. by Macc McCray & A.G. Wavy) - Enough of all the sad stuff. It's time to get in your bag and that's exactly what Macc does. Why? Cuz he's the f*ckin Go To. Now that all the distractions are out of the way he's decided that it's time to level up. It's funny because we were just talking about braggadocios rap on twitter and that's what he's on here. He didn't ditch the mood all together because the outro features more singing.

It's short and sweet and I think musically it's great. Not distracting to the point you could probably study listening to it, but it leaves an impact that you'll know all the words by your third listen. It's only ten minutes of your time which leaves you wanting more. I'm interested to see if the next installment of Roll The Dice has it's own theme or continues the story. I'm at the edge of my seat because I've spent the last month listening to the same ten minutes. If that doesn't say a lot I don't know what does. You can cop RollTheDice: 1NE on iTunes today. Press play.

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Mar 6, 2019

WTM's Nine Jersey Acts to watch in 2019

Nine Acts, All musicians from New Jersey that are about to blow. You need to keep up with them now. This list isn't in any specific order. It's genre bending and frankly these are the people making noise that go unnoticed. Eyes and ears open ladies and gentlemen

By way of Jackson and Freehold, Drew the Recluse is a budding name in music around the Jersey Shore. These days you'll catch him playing The Saint, House of Independents, and the Stone Pony. You can also catch him at the Asbury Park Music Foundation working with the kids. The Singer-Emcee is one of the more talented guys from around the way incorporating multiple styles of music expression from Rap to Pop and Blues to Metal. If you ever get the chance go see him, Miles Nxbxdy, and the rest of Black Suburbia live. He's a true showman and I'm not sure I know anyone who loves the culture more. He's even been booking shows for a plethora of artists around the way. Look out for his project dropping soon but listen to his single, Drive below.

Sadé Emoni is a vocal powerhouse. In 30 years I'd put her up with all the R&B divas you know and love. I'm talking Patti, Beyoncé, Aretha, and Chaka. Difference is with that powerful of a R&B voice she mixes in her own modern sound. You can tell when a vocalist grew up in church. Without ever asking I'm sure that's where it all started. She was even on American Idol Season 10. The Jersey City by way of Woodbridge songstress is next up. Doin' the Most is her latest single, I'm sure a project may be on the way shortly after.

Circle of Life LP is one of those projects I think will be timeless. Jon Crawford is such a storyteller and Circle of Life is such a story. It's going to be interesting to see what comes after the coming of age tale of college, parenthood, and family. The follow up is coming very very soon, and so is my sit down interview with the Camden emcee. Look out for that, I think it's going to be special.

I call Mista Encore one of the hardest working artists in Jersey for a reason. The Long Branch artist has been bubbling not just in the area but nationally as he's appeared on Shade 45's Sway in the Morning. Earlier this year he dropped his latest EP, The Cleanse but it's what he's been doing on a day to day that's really caught my eye, or ears for that matter. The rapper-producer has been been doing a daily beat challenge this year releasing a new beat every day of the year. That's what I call a grind and I'm not gonna hold you, the tracks are too hard. Even the one co-produced by his toddler daughter is fire. To keep up with the beat challenge, follow him on instagram here!

Here's an act new on WTM radar. This past fall I caught Quincy Mumford playing at Blackbird Presents during Asbury Underground. The lead singer of The Reason Why is an Asbury Park native and is a true representation of the word, crossover. His blend of funk, and jazz meets hip-hop and R&B. He's a multi-instrumentalist and labels D'Angelo and Al Green as his greatest influencers. We certainly can hear it in his music. Check out a single he dropped last month, Cruisin'.

It's been a bit since we've heard from Cin. The last I've written about her was her debut tape, Just Til I Make it back in 2016. She did drop a tape last summer titled 7/10. To this day I still she made the hardest Jersey anthem with Straight Outta Jersey respectively. Cin has the most upside of every artist on this list. Her island roots give her a chance to dabble in the Caribbean inspired sound that is trendy today without it sounding corny. We all know when it's natural. She has a great singing voice so she doesn't have to ask for many assists for hooks. At the same time she's a better emcee than most of the boys too. 2019 can be the year she breaks. Check out her last project, 7/10 on Apple Music.

Mike Sav at FEELS LIKE R&B (shot by David Alexander for We Are Jersey)
Above Art Studios, House of Independents (twice), The Brooklyn Bowl. Those are a few establishments that have been shut down courtesy Mike Sav and that's just 3 months into 2019. He's been working with cover band Remember Jones, Shiitbagg, and a bunch of artists in the shore but his versatility will be the reason he doesn't stay in the shore. Mike is a talented singer as well as a gritty emcee with an ear for production. He's probably the most seasoned artist who isn't afraid to change and adapt. Pay close attention, he's up to something.

Making a Man is going to need a follow up. Marcus Ariah has one of the most mobilized fan bases behind him and he's bringing heat. We've already got a new single with, Big Baaa. The Newark emcee has collaborated with Casanova, Shotgun Suge and more. He's ready and hungry. He describes himself as an artist that can reminisce a 90's flow and switch up to a modern sound. I say it all the time, Ariah is a expert songwriter. It comes easy.

Let me tell you something. If you like to see a show, OFFTOPKILLS will give you one. You're slippin' if you don't ever get the chance to catch them live. Parker Caexar, Ice Cream Eric, Gnarly Nonsense, and Matty Green make up the high energy rap group reppin' Monmouth County. Musically you can do a lot with them. Headbanging and Moshing meets boom-bap and trap. They're pretty versatile and frankly they can all spit. I've only got to catch these guys live twice and I hosted one of the shows. Seeing them from the front row and backstage has given me perspective. I think they hold their fate in their own hands. They're only one or two chess moves from doing something really special. Recently the members have all been dropping their own music but here's Lost Boys from the collective.

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Mar 3, 2019

About Last Night EP Review - @_TheRealKarma (words by @RamseySaidWHAT)

I have a ritual in the days leading one of my favorite artist's release. I listen to their discography from start to finish before pressing play on the new project for the first time. I think that's the best way to see the journey in its entirety. Terry Pratchett, an old fantasy novelist once said: "If you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going." Let's do Kärma some justice by paying attention to the whole story.

Today's tale takes us on a journey from Bandcamp, to Soundcloud, and now to modern streaming services with Life After Love, Sunny Side Up, and now About Last Night. I think that's a testament to how seasoned Kärma is. After listening it'd be a disrespect to go into this project expecting to hear something specifically. She's too complex to be characterized without listening for sonics, prose, and cadence. You just have to hear for yourself. Let's dive in.

The EP is a little over 15 minutes so it's important you don't miss anything. It begins with Easy which got blessed with a visual treatment courtesy, HoMEMADE Films. Macc McCray even makes a cameo playing the love interest at the record store. It's cute, and reassuring words coming from a lover. The music is allegro and her voice is bright. It makes for a great opener to the project.

We played Depend on Me in the last episode of A-Side B-Side Podcast. This is probably the most traditional sounding R&B she's dropped in the last two projects. I'll explain that later. If you go back and listen to our interview with the Jersey City songstress, she explains her creative process as not just a singer but engineer as well. When you record yourself it comes with it's good and bad. She knows her own voice probably better than most acts which makes the mixing process a little more difficult. I didn't even know Kärma could even reach into tenor so low. I'm impressed by the range of her lower register. She shines at the end of this track with the three part harmony. She describes them as syrup harmonies. It's very intricate and we hear the same in the next song, Promise. Where the first two tracks are optimistic songwriting this acoustic ballad is much more somber.

The project closes out with Speak Up. Sonically, I feel like it could have been a leftover song from her last EP, Sunny Side Up. It just has that feel where it's a little unorthodox and falls in line with a subgenre of R&B instead of the structured sound our ears are accustomed to. This isn't a bad thing. It just proves more and more that Kärma knows herself and her sound. Make Me Say didn't make the cut which doesn't surprise me. She isn't a fan of singles so to see it make the project would be unlike her. Besides it didn't fit the theme. About Last Night is further proof that she is making the crossover from novice to veteran in more ways than one. If I could change anything about this EP I'd make it longer because I love it. She sure knows how to make us miss her. In the meantime let's run it up while it's still fresh. Check out About Last Night after the break. The soundcloud version has the bonus tracks too. I need you to feel this.

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Feb 23, 2019

#ASideBSidePodcast Episode 016: Oh, We Talkin' Support?

"Jersey doesn't support Jersey."

If I had a nickel anytime I heard that one man sheesh  I'd have no debt and a summer home in Santorini.

In this episode of our branded Podcast, A-Side B-Side, Ramsey talks about his new experience curating our last show, Feels Like R&B. He also talks about NJ Live 3 brought to you by Garden State Hip Hop & Ciroc at House of Independents last night. Rodney asked a question that piqued our interest about supporting the hometown team and what it means to really love the culture. This one got pretty heavy. Lastly, We're happy to announce that you can listen to A-Side B-Side just about everywhere you consume podcasts. You can subscribe to us by clicking the links below or you can listen now by pressing play via Audiomack below.

The Music in this episode is Depend on Me from Kärma's newest EP, About Last Night.

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and more. If you use another one let me know I'll get the link for you.

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