Stepping in with his first release of the year is Kleo, who unchains the official music video for his thunderous single, “Stomp His Ass Out”.
According to Kleo’s Artist Bio on Spotify, “his music provides a backdrop to an anime fight scene”, and that is probably the most effective way to characterize this track. “Stomp His Ass Out” was one of ten songs that were featured on the Roxbury native’s 2019 album, Battle Damaged, and had been a personal standout ever since my first listen through the project. Furnished with a ridiculously high-paced energy, “Stomp His Ass Out” will have you feeling like you can rip a mountain from the ground and toss it into the depths of space.
The iLL Addicts were tasked with shooting and editing this visual, and much like their own music videos, they successfully created something both unique and fitting. A song of this caliber is deserving of a powerful video, and that’s exactly what the iLL Addicts achieved here.
Watch the official music video for “Stomp His Ass Out” below:
The versatility prevalent within the music exiting Brockton, Massachusetts is staggering to say the least. It makes sense that the city is dubbed “The City of Champions” given the exorbitant amount of high-level musicians that have their foundations set in this area. Adding his name to this roster of individuals is Benjy Ali, who just recently shared the first component of his discography — Grace.
The 3-song EP rests just shy of 10 minutes, however do not let this fool you into thinking that Grace is something that’s meant to be breezed through. Each singular song carries extreme depth, showcasing the multi-faceted artist that Benjy Ali is at his core. Full of lush harmonies that are crossed with some truly masterful production, Grace is substantial from every view point. Benjy carves in and out of the underlying instrumental with the strength and precision of a fighter jet dancing amongst the clouds. He intertwines deep-seated emotion that tears at the listener’s heart with well-balanced sonic elements that help to create a standout body of work. Justin Bloom, with assistance from Baby J and Isaiah Valmont, swung for the fences with respect to the production on Grace, with the end result being a grand slam.
“Be My Home” is without a doubt my personal favorite from this project, as Benjy encapsulates all of the above sentiments into this one track. He emphasizes the true prowess that’s associated with his vocal capabilities here, while at the same time maintaining lyrical dominance. I’m confident that this will not be the last time you hear Benjy Ali, as this Brockton artist is quite literally just getting started with what’s to come.
Following what has been more than a year long hiatus with respect to releasing new music, New Bedford’s Caliph makes his return as he recruits Obeatz to unleash his new single “Green Faces”.
While many listeners may initially be drawn towards the sound of his music alone, it’s what Caliph speaks on, and stands for, that has helped him amass a deep-rooted following. “Green Faces” circulates around the struggles of striving towards one’s goals while being an immigrant in the United States. This theme has been prevalent within a large portion of Caliph’s discography, and for rightful reasons, as the African-born artist has been a defying the odds for his entire life. No matter the set of circumstances, Caliph has persisted through the shadows and come out an extremely formidable human being. This was perfectly represented in 2018 when he won a Grammy for his role in American Dreamers: Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom, which was composed entirely of artists that were DACA recipients. When listening to Caliph’s music, that what you hear — the voice of hope. He’s continually been outspoken against social issues, and has made it a personal mission of his to become a voice for the disenfranchised.
Possessing a lengthy resume that’s full of some truly staggering accomplishments, there’s no better example of perseverance than Caliph, especially on his latest single “Green Faces”.
Austin Fair has had his foot on the gas in 2020. Only a few months following the release of his 17 song project Joyride, the Chicopee rapper returns with a brand new album entitled PIONEER — a lyrically dense, 29-minute reminder of why Austin’s name carries weight across the entirety of Massachusetts.
Although the pace of his recent releases may be characterized as being somewhat ambitious, the high-level of quality associated with them unquestionably stands as justification for such a rapid musical output. Laced with production elements of jazz-hop, courtesy of executive producer — and Austin Fair’s cousin — Humbeats, Fair flows from track to track with such mastery that it almost appears effortless. Bouncing between songs such as “Honor Roll”, which will motivate you to roll out of bed and do push-ups, to “Up & Away”, which will motivate you to roll up and spark, the lyrical content prevalent within this project is of a high degree. Echoing the sounds of a man punching his way through the glass ceiling that hangs over the Massachusetts Music Scene — a struggle that many artists from the Bay State know all too well — Austin Fair does a phenomenal job with respect to getting authentic sentiments out to his audience.
Dorchester native Dun Dealy taps in Gil Videos to help bring the official music video for his new single “God’s Call” into existence.
Arguably the biggest standout within his musical catalog to date, “God’s Call” is a three minute offering during which Dun Dealy details some of what he’s endured in life. No matter the set of circumstances, he continues to persevere through any and all obstacles that lay in his path. This perseverance is something that’s continuously been a theme within Dun Dealy’s releases, as the Dorchester rapper manages to paint powerful anecdotes of Boston’s street life in each and every verse.
Watch the official music video for “God’s Call” below:
Following a lengthy trip to some of the most beautiful corners of our planet, Maka is back with an airy single that’s appropriately titled “Rainforest”.
Starting off with an ethereal entrance that gradually picks up power with each passing second, “Rainforest” is only the most recent stellar component to be added to Maka’s already solid musical catalog. He possesses a very eclectic taste in music, which is something that can be noted by the widespread versatility that’s prevalent within his discography. This blend in styles is perfectly represented just after the two minute mark of “Rainforest” when Maka repurposes a segment of 50 Cent’s notorious single “In Da Club”. Whether it be his blissful ability to harmonize, proficient production skills, or his tactful wordplay, Maka simply knows how to deliver.
If you’ve been keeping your ears open to the music rising out of Massachusetts, it’d be safe to assume that you’re familiar with Brockton’s Van Buren Records. With a team of unique and polished artists that includes growing acts such as Jiles, Luke Bar$ and Saint Lyor — they’re a collective that is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.
Playing an instrumental role in this group is Lord Felix, but despite being at the epicenter of one of the more prominent collectives in the area, Lord Felix himself has been rather silent thus far in 2020. Other than his handful of features, the man behind the infamous mask has remained somewhat reserved since his victory as Best New Artist at the Boston Music Awards this past December. Now with the release of his newest single “Bad Bwodie”, it appears as though Lord Felix’s silence over the last few months has been spent building momentum — the pulling back of an arrow with the intention of a powerful release.
The single, released in tandem with a short clip entitled “Hometown Hero”, reverberates an anthem of triumph. Produced by MultiplePetes, a Boston native who astonishingly balances law school and music, Lord Felix rides the track with high energy and prideful lyrics, undoubtedly mirroring feelings still lingering from a breakthrough year in 2019. “Wifey ‘round my arm cuz she watched me beat the odds!” he proclaims in victory.
From the energy and magnitude of this single, one can only assume that Lord Felix, along with the rest of his Van Buren clique, have big things coming on the horizon. As his sound continues to refine with each coming release, it is safe to say that if you’re not paying attention to Lord Felix right now, you should be.