Leo The Kind – ‘Chaotic Good’ EP

By: Shamus Hill

If 2 Sides and In Bloom, Forever weren’t enough to hold you over — Brockton’s Leo The Kind just unveiled a two-song EP titled Chaotic Good.

Full of an incredibly vibrant, shimmering energy — this release only furthers the point that the City of Champs is currently generating some of the best music that Massachusetts has to offer. Over the course of the last few years, Leo The Kind has been steadily adding rich components to his discography, with a few of his tracks surpassing the point of a million streams. Chaotic Good is only his first release of 2019, however it definitely sits atop Leo The Kind’s discography as one of his most outstanding drops to date.

Listen to Chaotic Good below:

STREAM VIA SPOTIFY/APPLE MUSIC HERE

King Kade – ‘Grow Up, Go Love Something’ EP

By: Shamus Hill

King Kade was first introduced to Graduation Music readers a few weeks back with the release of his Mike Hector-produced song, “ASAP”. He returns today with Grow Up, Go Love Something, a beautifully-orchestrated EP that helps bring the best out of some of Massachusetts’ most notable talents.

Listening through this project is reminiscent of reading a good book — elements of each individual chapter stand-out on their own whilst maintaining a seamless flow throughout. Mike Hector, Pettros, and Halfway were in charge of production on Grow Up, Go Love Something, and each put their best foot forward to achieve a formidable sonic foundation for the entirety of the EP.

Revolving around the various stages of falling in-and-out of love, King Kade takes a pop-infused route towards getting his feelings off of his chest. Featured on Grow Up, Go Love Something are Pettros, FAbzabove, and Patrick Michel, who align with King Kade’s sound in an extremely harmonious fashion. Anyone who’s been reading Graduation Music will recognize FAbzabove and Patrick Michel by name, with their features on this project being some of their most-prominent pieces of work yet.

Grow Up, Go Love Something puts King Kade’s musical capabilities and relentless work ethic on full display. Show the Quincy-native some love as he’s set to have a promising 2019.

Listen to Grow Up, Go Love Something below:

Cashus Knight – ‘CASH THE RIPPER’ EP

By: Shamus Hill

Cashus Knight blesses fans with an entirely self-produced EP titled Cash The Ripper. Containing a range of tracks that circulate around Cashus’ recent mind state, this project is extremely thorough and well-deserving of praise.

“I ain’t go to school, I studied the cash flow // she call it cash..whoa, she fuckin’ with Cash oh”

Cashus Knight – “I’M BETTER THAN YOU”

“I’M BETTER THAN YOU” is the first track off of the EP, and it’s here where the energy for the remainder of the project can be derived. Cashus Knight’s confidence exudes on this track, as he speaks on the individualistic traits that make him the solid-being that he is.

From here, Cashus reverts to a much more rap-centric style, with songs like “KILL SHOT” and “OVERTIME” serving as evidence of his stunning rapping capabilities. With a lot of his discography being centered around melody, Cashus steps away from that on this EP. Quite literally demanding the respect of his peers through his raps, Cash The Ripper is a true testament towards Cashus’ versatility.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cashus Knight’s music, please take the time to check out this project as you will not be disappointed. His name will surely be circulated a lot around the Massachusetts music scene this year, so get hip now before it’s too late.

Listen to Cash The Ripper below:

CASH THE RIPPER – SOUNDCLOUD

Luke Bar$ & Jiles – ‘2 Sides’ EP

By: Shamus Hill

It may be Monday, but the New England Patriots are Super Bowl Champions and it’s somehow 60 degrees outside in February. Providing the soundtrack for this beautiful day are Luke Bar$ and Jiles, a pair of Brockton friends that recently dropped their 2 Sides EP. Centered around both the obstacles and adversity that this duo have faced throughout their childhood, this EP shines a light on how internal battles are sometimes externalized. Luke Bar$ and Jiles touch upon this below:

Growing as a man, you face a ton of obstacles and adversity. Some of which may put you in sunken place — mentally speaking. ‘2 Sides’ comes from a place where a kid is fighting internal battles, but portrays himself differently to his peers. Jiles becomes the yin to Luke’s yang — the two give two different sides to each story.

Luke Bar$ + Jiles on ‘2 Sides’

With each track flowing into the next seamlessly, listening through this project can definitely be categorized as a sonic journey. “No Fear” serves as the intro to 2 Sides, and it’s here where the yin/yang relationship persistent between Luke Bar$ and Jiles becomes apparent. Literally polar-opposites in terms of sound, both Luke and Jiles combine gracefully to concoct extremely thorough music.

“OK OK” is certainly one of the highlights of this tape. Full of meticulous flows that help facilitate a powerful delivery, this track really engrains itself into the listener’s mind. Luke maintains a hard-hitting feel here, packing this track with unforgettable lyricism:

“Spit a little rap till’ it pay off, till’ I ain’t got no day job // I don’t really want no pay stub, breakin’ down the check til the day gone…”


Luke Bar$ on “OK OK”

“Beat Ya Ass” is our personal favorite off of this project, with Luke Bar$ and Jiles threatening to beat someone’s ass in the most elegant manner possible. It’s here where the project takes a much more ambient turn. Both “Collard Greens” and “Sometimes” are extremely powerful offerings where Luke and Jiles paint vivid images of their personal-lives. The pair speak on what they’ve been forced to endure, their families, and the perspective of a kid growing up in Brockton. Easily the most potent release out of Massachusetts thus far in 2019, both Luke Bar$ and Jiles truly had an exceptional performance here.

Listen to 2 Sides below:

CLICK HERE TO STREAM VIA APPLE MUSIC/SPOTIFY

Ven – ‘Ventige’ EP

By: Shamus Hill 

Making his debut onto the Graduation Music pages today is Boston’s own, Ven, with the release of his two-song EP titled Ventige. I was first introduced to the tranquil-sounding rapper by the homie Sammy over at Selfmade Designs, and since diving into his music there’s been absolutely no turning back. Following the drop of Ventige, it’s apparent that Ven is willing to do whatever it takes to prove to everyone around him that he has what it takes to see his goals through.

That said, dubbing himself as the “Basquiat of the rap game”, Ven is on a mission to transform aspects of hip-hop’s original roots into some new art that entangles itself within the current fabric of modern culture. What really drew me towards Ven’s music at first was the nonchalant feeling that can be derived from both his raps and melodies. As one continues to listen deeper into his discography though, the seriousness of his wordplay begins to be revealed, and despite facing choppy seas during specific periods of his life, Ven has come out the other end unscathed, fully prepared to share his experiences with the world. As the young rapper continues to develop as time progresses, it’s going to be exciting to witness how his musical abilities grow.

Don’t hesitate to show Ven some love on his latest project, especially considering that he’s living proof of the fact that our area is only continuing to blossom. As new artists emerge from the cracks on the daily, the future of the music scene in the state of Massachusetts is only getting brighter. If you find yourself liking the sound present on Ventige, I highly recommend taking the time to listen-through Ven’s prior project titled U • FAME • ISMS, as it offers feels which are very reminiscent of this release.

Stream OfficialVen’s new EP titled Ventige below:

Nick Gray Speaks on Brand New ‘Bittersweet’ EP

By: Shamus Hill 

This past weekend, Massachusetts’ own Nick Gray released his sophomore project, Bittersweet — an introspective EP that seamlessly balances wonderful sounds and genuine meaning. One of the most outstanding aspects of Nick Gray’s artistry is his innate ability to speak on life experience in a manner that’s borderline addicting to listen to, and while Gray’s entire discography is filled with these profound talking points, his latest effort brings this sentiment one step forward, marking some of his best artistic progression to date. Alongside the main act here, we need to dish out some well-deserved shoutouts to Shame, BBY J, RolexDaytona, 10Fifty, and FlashBeats for their phenomenal work on production throughout Bittersweet. Watching how Gray’s sound has developed with time has been an absolute privilege to see, and it’s safe to say that Nick Gray is only going to continue to blossom in the future.

To honor the occasion, I took a few moments to speak with Nick about the meaning behind the Bittersweet EP, and some of what he’s learned throughout his tenure as an artist. Read all about it down below:


What is the meaning behind naming this project Bittersweet?

I’ve noticed you can’t have all good without something going bad. Putting time into one thing means less time for another. It’s sweet for the thing you’re putting time into but, bitter for the other. And that’s what I’ve been feeling lately. It’s life I guess.

Money appears to be a large portion of your motivation on Bittersweet, but what else drives you to be the artist/person that you are? 

Emotion. Seeing things get done. Seeing people be affected by things I do for a positive outcome. I wanna take care of people. It’s just who I am as a person. A provider. I’m selfish for my side. Deeper down though, maybe it’s a flaw, but I want to feel of value. That I have worth. I think it’s a general human thing to feel like that. But, I guess the things I do are because I’m trying to appease that feeling.

Prior to the start of working on this EP, what did you want your listeners to take-away from this body of work? Did it pan out as you had hoped? 

I just wanted to give people stuff I like listening too. Stuff I enjoy making. The stuff I make stems from emotion, even if it is just about money or hustling. I also wanted to put some deeper personal stuff in it. It’s tucked away behind the metaphors but if you can break through them you’ll see who I am. I’m hyped on the outcome. All the tracks hit exactly how I wanted.

Despite the use of an array of producers on this project, you still managed to achieve a formidable sound that develops throughout the entirety of this project. What were you looking for in terms of production on this project? 

I don’t really ever have an overall whole sound I’m thinking of. I just listen to beats and if they hit I make a song. Once I get enough songs that hit on sort of the same wave, I see how I can put them together. I like emotional slaps hahaha. I like bangers and stuff I can get introspective on. I think this project has a little of everything.

How has Massachusetts/Boston helped to mold you into the being that you currently are?

I grew up in MA my whole life. In the cold ass winter. Having to work outside, then moving to the city and learning how to navigate the underworlds and inner workings of it. It’s made me appreciate some things I’d taken for granted and also showed me sides of human nature I hadn’t previously seen. I think it’s turning me into exactly who I want to be.

You’ve been making high-quality music for a very lengthy period of time now. If you could give a single piece of advice to younger artists, what would that be? 

Don’t try to do everything yourself. Find what you’re good at and get better at it. Everything costs money in this world and making your music into a finished product is no different. If you truly believe in yourself, you’ll invest in yourself.

Stream Nick Gray’s Bittersweet EP below:

Click here to stream on all other platforms

Jovian Martian – ‘Sailor’s Pick’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

The name Jovian Martian, also known as Jovian Marshon, has been floating around near me for quite some time, but admittedly, I’ve never really taken the chance to listen to his music until now. There was never any specific reason as to why I wasn’t hip, but now that I finally have given Martian a chance, I must say, he holds some serious promise for the future. Today, the rising talent makes his Graduation Music debut and hits our pages with a brand new EP entitled Sailor’s Pick.

4 tracks long, this highly energetic and deeply entertaining project lets listeners know precisely why Jovian Martian needs to be known. His deliveries are confident, and backed by a melodic sonic direction and solid lyricism to keep things interesting, each song on this project hits with a similar ability to keep fans locked in for every second of its duration. At the moment, “Her World” and “Too Late” are my two favorites on the EP, but the more I listen, the more I realize that every track is in a close competition to be the best.

That said, Jovian Martian outdid himself with this one, so be sure to show some love and click play on Sailor’s Pick at the link provided below!

Production by JGONTHEKEYS, Smackdown Beats, Fly Melodies