irstly, thank you for reading and supporting Untitled Track Magazine, the magazine for Underground and Independent Hip-Hop. It has been a bit wild since the first issue was completed. We have taken the show on the road heading from Tampa to Gainesville, heading to more venues in the Tampa Bay area from Supa D’s to Bulls Club, and even visiting some of the last record shops in Tampa. We have met many more grinders including guest reporter and upcoming artist Most High of T-Virus Entertainment as well as the Hip-Hop Hybrid whom graces this issue’s cover, iRite TMC! With the new faces in this issue, we have some old friends returning to this issue! As UNTK continues to follow SUMMERZ and ELLA ELLA on their grind and ask Instrumentool for his opinion once more, the second issue of Untitled Track Magazine is ready for your consumption. Let’s get started, shall we? H.D. Campbell Editor-In-Chief Untitled Track Magazine
ow. After finishing the first issue, we returned back to the same bookstore that helped inspire UNTK (the biggest inspiration was SUMMERZ… check out Issue #1 if you are unfamiliar with the story). So as we return to the magazine rack again, we see the cover of Hip-Hop Weekly and lo & behold there he is again! And he is not alone as you can see from the picture shown. If you read the Hot Mixtape Review in the last issue, you probably figured out that we aren’t big fans of him either. Well, to each their own…both taste and opinion. After seeing the cover and the subject topic, our heart, mind, and soul were reassured about the launch of Untitled Track Magazine! If this is the best that other magazines can come up with, then a magazine that showcases the grind of upcoming artists and producers would be welcomed beside them on the shelves as well. Well, at least with Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse, this should give the Hip-Hop magazines a temporary boost in their circulation sales (our money for the magazine with the greatest boost is the one that lands Kendrick Lamar on their next cover). Our opinion holds that his verse gives current mainstream Hip-Hop artists the needed boot up their asses to at least ignite the fire for better lyrics (even if that too may be temporary). We’ll see. Until then, we’ll keep our eyes on the grinders. So moving right along…
quick introduction, if we may… Franke Benjamin, better known as Most High, is the CEO of T-Virus Entertainment in Tampa, FL. As an upcoming artist himself, Most High grinds all day with his art and hustles many nights doing his thing at The Bulls Club. We here thank Most High for taking some time out of his busy schedule to speak to UNTK during Ella Ella’s Single Release Party. So without further ago, we turn it over to Most High:
ere at 1251 E. Fowler Avenue AKA The Bulls Club was the scene where “Real Hip-Hop” was spotted again! Over a dozen of Tampa’s Underground Hip-Hop artists amalgamated for the celebration of Ella Ella’s single release party. Ella Ella, a Tampa native, was clothed by the support of his family and friends. The show opened up with explosive talents such as Pat, Purp Gang, and R&B syndicate Mack-Homie. Intermissions were saturated with the tunes from DJ Grand Evil and the comical
Barak Amen. Later in the night, Ella Ella set the stage a blaze with his single “I’m a Ryder I’m a Slider”, then (with fellow Left Lane’s lyrical Beethoven SUMMERZ) expressed his need for a Queen on another single entitled “Passion Fruit”. This event was presented by the UGS (Underground Society), with manager Cedric Edmonds. According to Mr. Edmonds, “Real Hip-Hop isn’t played on 95.7, it’s showcased right here at the Bulls Club”. The show was put to rest with the performances of Bigger Squad, the ever so energetic G2G, and the lyrical ethics of Jay Scriptz. The show continues next week for Red Mike’s birthday bash/ mix-tape release party. It’s safe to say real Hip-Hop is alive! And doing quite well... And there you have it. We here at UNTK would like to thank Most High for the insightful report. Can’t wait to hear more from him and more about him in the near future!
o should freestyling be considered an art or a science? As we leave the pundits to weigh in on that question, here is a tidbit from the world of Neuroscience…the secret to understanding the neuroscience of creativity just might be freestyle rap! According to The Inquistr.com, a rapper’s brain flow reveals the secrets of creativity once it enters the “flow state”. The article also mentions that the same cognitive functions displayed during freestyle rap are used by athletes. Interesting, right? Well if you want to read more,
JUST TAP HERE!
J. Cole Born Sinner Born Sinner was one of our most anticipated album of this year with our major hope was that J. Cole wouldn’t hit the “Sophomore Slump”. So after listening to album, how do we feel about it? Well...we thought is was good and yet we wanted more. It started off strong with mentions of Biggie, Tupac, Trinidad James, and JayZ references (“Villuminati”) as well as invoking sounds of old with use of Outkast sounds (“J and the Snakes”) and ended strong with tracks such “Forbidden Fruit” & “Let Nas Down” but yet many moments that we felt that the album would have been better if some tracks were left out. But all and all, we liked Born Sinner... even better than Kanye West’s Yeezus. It was a solid effort for his sophomore album which will help him get more respect...but is it “classic-worthy” like The Blueprint? We’ll let the listener decide.
Kanye West Yeezus We understand there’s difference between art and product when it comes to music but we can’t understand the euro centric techno sound of Yeezus. As we reflect on Rolling Stone’s review of the album, we still trying to decide why they would give it higher marks than J. Cole’s Born Sinner. Could it been because of its puesdo-anger to same higher class he’s now part of even if you are black? Could it be the shock value of the blasphemy of tracks (“I Am A God”) which similar concepts helped artists like Madonna reach her pinnacle? Could it be that Kanye is now combining his version of Hip-Hop with heavily bass dark sounds that has existed across the Atlantic for years is now being imported by him as a new sound? Our opinion is even if Kanye do slight reminders of the early days with “Blood on The Leaves” or “Bound 2”, Yeezus is a techno album masquerading as a Hip-Hop album...and if we wanted HIp-Hop/Techno, we’ll listen to Daft Punk or the other tracks that plays on 93.3 FLZ on Saturday night. Oh...and you’re the next “Michael Jackson”? Yeezus just went Gold a couple of weeks ago...and Thriller has sold over 42 million. Good luck with that.
Jay Z Magna Carta Holy Grail As we listen to Jay Z’s new album and the radio favorite “Holy Grail”, we are reminded of an athlete whom is so talented at his sport that he doesn’t have to play as hard to get the victory. This is Magna Carta Holy Grail. The only thing that it would take some time to get use to some of sound effects but once your ears adjust Magna Carta Holy Grail sounds like a continuation of Watch The Throne. We’ll let you decide if that’s a good thing or not. As for us, it’s not so bad...we just feel that Jay Z has gotten comfortable with his skills so its more luxury rap than gritty hardcore...but we were teased with the second half of “Picasso Baby”. And we thought the track with Frank Ocean (“Oceans”) was decent...but not so much with the track with Rick Ross (“Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit”). In a nutshell, it’s not The Blueprint but definitely worth a listen.
Mondon Pay Attention As a member of D.I.T.C.M.G and Dy-Nasty, Star Bars lyrist Mondon launches a verbal barrage with his new mixtape Pay Attention. The only problem is why should Pay Attention be considered a mixtape? We mean, the songs are seriously too good to be considered mixtape-quality (no disrespect to mixtapes). From the violin-powered intro (“Exordium”), continuing with “Moment of Silence”, and finishing off with a remix of “Mic Check” with SUMMERZ, Mondon delivers a lyrical skill rarely found in Southern Rap. His lyrical ability is only maginfied with production from D.I.T.C.M.G’s Instrumentool and iRite TMC (whom also lends a verse on “X-Files”) as well as features from SUMMERZ, B-Jynx the Lyric, Rocky Rod, Maniac, Prophit, ReBeL, and G-3. In conclusion, we see a future as bright as the moon Mondon mentions in “Moon Man” as Pay Attention provides another jewel in the crown of Mondon, Dy-Nasty, and D.I.T.C.M.G. And being this album is available on DatPiff, you can get the “mixtape” for free! Go grab it now!
Dy-Nasty Lyrical Economy We went digging in the crates ourself and found some early work of a budding D.I.T.C.M.G. as the early form of Dy-Nasty which consisted of Mondon, B-Jynx the Lyric, Rocky Rod, Maniac, and Instrumentool (before he stepped exclusively behind the boards) decided to step into the booth at Studio 203 and spit some bars on some classic and recent (at the time) beats. Even listening to the maturing flows of this team of artists from this early mixtape, you could hear the lyrical quality that makes the name Lyrical Economy more than apt and definitely bankable. It isn’t just the flows that capture their creativity...you can see production skills at play as you witness B-Jynx gets behind the boards producing the track“Some People”. All and all, the album may be more than two years old but it is a testament to Dy-Nasty’s creative prowess and a great mixtape to get your hand on. Go to DatPiff and get your hands on it now (while you still can).
iRite TMC Nutrition Is it possible to create a mixtape in which the artist could spit bars and create original beats themselves? Yes, you say? Well, do the songs also sound good? Such rarities are hard to find these days yet we here at Untitled Track were simply handed one on our search of good music. Nutrition by iRite TMC is perhaps one of the best overlooked mixtapes on DatPiff that we found refreshing. With its velvety smooth productions and iRite TMC’s laid back flow, the six tracks of Nutrition is a great listen from “Dawn” to “Keep On” (our personal favorite). So would we co-sign with such art? Well, iRite TMC graces this issue’s cover as well as gives us a personal interview so to say that we were impressed with his skill would be an understatement. After listening to his work, you would think so too.Aris An viribus, C. Dam derte tem scri idi
Childish Gambino Camp Sometimes, the better lyricists can come from anywhere. They aren’t always former drug dealers or from the streets. Sometimes they can be actors (and no...not THAT guy) whom can tell his story in the form of rhyme. Enter Donald Glover. There’s a comedian/actor/producer/DJ/writer/rapper/etc that could put some full time rappers to shame, lyrically. And what is his story? Just being different. A rapper who raps about being called an Oreo? Someone who spits about being a black guy who wear short shorts? And what about his thing with Asian women? It’s a bit different from what most Hip-Hop fans usually listen to and yet some of the subjects he flows about are more relevant to listeners than the dope boy on the corner or being able to drive the fanciest of cars such as the story at the end of “That Power”. We enjoyed the entire album and gonna continue being fans if he keeps up the good work. If you are not a fan, keep it moving...there is enough music out there for you to enjoy, For the rest of us, we’ll continue jamming to Camp.
Chief Keef Bang Part Two With the promotion Bang Part Two was getting on DatPiff, we were under the impression that this would be Chief Keef’s magnum opus or something. Then we listened to it...and we sighed. Again, here’s another mixtape that panders only to the fanbase and to the fans of bass. The only tracks that we felt were memorable were the ones with comedian Michael Blackson (but we do wonder if the comments about Two Chains, Drake, and Rick Ross were just Michael’s words). Excluding the skits, Bang Part Two is only appropriate as a speaker tester and red meat to the fans. We won’t erase it out of our iTunes library just yet but when we begin to need more disk space, Bang Part Two is on the top of our list.
Trinidad James 10pc Mild This is gonna sound a bit odd but we have to say it...we actually enjoyed 10pc Mild (and we’re not talking Popeyes). We knew what we were getting after listening to Don’t Be S.A.F.E. and this review was more to see if Trinidad James would only be a “one-hit wonder”. Although we didn’t find any tracks as powerful as “All-Gold Everything”, many of the tracks were good. And what caught our attention is that 10pc Mild had as many features as a LP (even getting a verse from Childish Gambino, of all people) which fits just well with the direction of the mixtape. Although Trinidad James calls himself a “one-hit wonder” at the end of “Ro$”, we have to disagree as we continue to bob our heads to 10pc Mild. The way we feel, if Gucci Mane (whom is featured on “Ea”) can maintain a musical career, then Trinidad James is going to be ok.
’m sorry but I had enough of this. Every day, the same damn song plays nearly every 3 hours (or even less in some cases)… and this epidemic is the same for both recent releases and older tracks. Songs from Ja Rule and Ashanti are still playing on the radio after 10 years…and not just in the “Back In The Day Buffet” slot…seriously? So I hope that explains why the hammer was put through my old radio. So as the corporate-owned radio stations continue bombarding us with the same crap on the hour by the hour, what is it for a grinder to do to get heard? Getting discovered and signed is an option but do the gains outweigh the losses? And what about the numerous artists whom are signed that doesn’t get any spins on the mainstream radio? Perhaps the hottest of those artists are getting some play on Sirius XM or Pandora but it’s hard to listen to those outlets without a special type of radio or a smartphone. And even if either of these options were easily accessible, the fact still remains that signed artists from major record labels will be given higher priority over smaller label artists and independents. So what is it for an artist to do? Until we find a way to help the upcoming artist, let us brainstorm for a moment.
R&B (or Urban Contemporary if you want to be politically correct) but the twist would be that an equal amount of songs from unsigned & independent artists would get the same amount of spins as signed artists form the major labels. The programming of WHAT 100.1 FM would include a 3 hour show that showcases Underground and Independent Hip-Hop music and news. For the lack of a better name, we’ll call this program WHATs Up. WHATs Up will play on WHAT 100.1 FM on Saturdays from 7 pm to 10 pm. Sounds good so far, right? Now with everything set up, how would artist get their music to gain the same spin as a Jay-Z song on WHAT 100.1 FM? How about we do it in these steps: Step 1. When the artist happy with the song, they would upload the song to the WHAT 100.1 FM website. (More than likely, the WHATs Up section of the site.) Step 2. WHAT 100.1 FM would then tweet and post that this artist has uploaded their song to the station’s website and allow the followers & friends of WHAT 100.1 FM to listen & vote if they like the song. (This will provide enough time for the artist to inform their fan base that they have posted their song to WHAT 100.1 FM and ask for their vote as well. This would both help out the artist and the station as more listeners participate in the voting process and wait to see the outcome.)
In a perfect world, there exists a radio station that showcases underground and independent Hip Hop. Let us call this radio station WHAT 100.1 FM. The radio station would be both terrestrial (you can listen to it on your radio) and you can listen to it online and on an app. The programming for WHAT 100.1 FM would be Hip-Hop and Step 3. During this time, voters will have the chance to
vote off which songs they want off the regular airplay. plays on the radio, provide new music the opportunity Every song which includes signed, unsigned, and inde- it deserves, and let the people hear what they want to pendent artists are on eligible to be voted off. hear. It combines technology that is already present. It gives the return to the old school way of how radio staStep 4. If the song uploaded gains enough votes to rank tions work without worrying about concepts like payola into the top 25 highest voted songs of that week, the sta- and such things. It also builds a wider pool of listeners tion will add the song to the lineup of the coming Satur- that would be of great benefit to advertisers on the raday’s show of WHATs Up. dio stations to connect to more people to purchase their products and services. In this situation, WHAT 100.1 FM Step 5. During the WHATs Up show, listeners will be al- would be a win-win for everyone! lowed to vote on the top 5 songs they want to hear in the radio weekly line up. The top 5 songs with the highest But we know the truth. The radio stations are so in bed votes would get regular airplay on WHAT 100.1 FM. The with the major record labels that the idea of WHAT 6th to the 10th highest voted songs will be allowed to play 100.1 FM is not likely…but is it possible? Maybe not in next week’s show in a section called “2nd Chance”. exactly the way we may have described it but a similar Songs ranked 11th to 25th will be asked to try to upload concept could arise. It would definitely help revolutheir songs again to be voted back on to the WHATs Up tionize the music industry. We have put it out there… lineup in the future. now only time will tell. So as you can tell by the image, guess who was voted off my regular airplay… Step 6. At the end of the show, the songs that will be dropped from the WHAT 100.1 FM regular airplay will be announced. If listeners want a song back, they would be allowed to “Pardon the Track” by voting on the WHAT 100.1 FM’s website. The song with the most votes will be allowed in the WHATs Up lineup the next week to be voted alongside that week’s uploaded 25 songs. This is a pretty democratic solution, huh? Doing things this way would help get rid of the junk that continually
ow dear grinder…you have written the vers- What Do You Need to Do This: A CD of your songs es, recorded the flow, mixed & mastered the You or your group’s bio song, and the song is complete. Now what? Do Fact sheets you wait until the right person comes from out the All press materials/mentions you have collected blue to ask you about your new song you just fin- Photos of your group or you ished? Well…we’re sorry to be the bearer of bad Directions: news…but there’s a very, very, very, very slim 1. Create a cover page. The cover page should be a letter addressed to the person chance of such an event happening . You must you are giving the press kit to. This should have your contact promote yourself (at least at first) to get known. information, website, and basic details about your music. So how would you go about doing that? Have Put your contact information on every page of the kit. This you ever thought about creating a Press Kit? Evpage should be eye-catching and visually appealing since it ery little bit helps as you continue your journey to is the first thing that will be seen. your dreams. Maybe this bit of information from 2. Include your bio. IndieGuides.com may help you. It may also help A bio is a one-page sheet about you or your group. This should be story-based, easy to read, and interesting. you get booked for live shows too. So do you have three hours? Well this low cost method may 3. Include your CD. help you gain more for your career than you ever Include your latest CD. Make sure all of your contact inforthought. So let’s get started. mation is on the CD itself, in case it gets separated from the Estimated Cost: Low Estimated Time: 3 hours preparation with immediate results. (According to IndieGuide.com)
rest of your kit and the case.
4. Include a fact sheet about you. A fact sheet is a one-page reference sheet with basic facts about you. This includes: Your Stage Name or Group Name Tagline Style and genre of music A list of established groups or artist similar to you
Hometown When you began Discography Group member names (if there is more than one) Instrumentation (if any) Notable coverage or facts about you and/or your group 5. Include any press clippings, reviews, or positive mentions. If you have press coverage, include a page of quotes and reviews of you or your group, live show, or albums. 6. Include a list of where your music has been played. Include notable radio, television, and media play of your music. If you’ve licensed your songs in films or other notable ways, include those. 7. Include an 8x10 photo (optional). Most press wants to be able to download digital versions of your photos from your website.
DJ RISK ONE’s press kit provides an excellent example of a digital variant of the Press Kit concept! TAP HERE TO SEE HIS
PRESS KIT YOURSELF!
8. Make sure all this information is also available online at your website. You should have a section on your website that includes all the above information so the press can download the information at their convenience. Services such as SonicBids and ReverbNation provide online press kits that can house this information for a fee. (Both links lead to IndieGuide.com’s online guides to these services.)
And there you have it. We hope this helps. You can thank us (and IndieGuides.com) later.
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