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

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[Premiere] Garrett Merk – “Sometimes” (Prod. Frace)

By: Shamus Hill

The Graduation Music staff is pleased to present you Garrett Merk’s newest track, “Sometimes”. Featuring production by Frace, this well-orchestrated release revolves around the unpredictable variables of life. Whether it be personal or professional, “sometimes” things happen that we can’t control. Brockton’s Garrett Merk speaks on this below:

I wrote this song during a real weird time. I actually wrote it around the same time I wrote ‘72’. Even though I think these two songs are totally different in terms of sound, I think the content relates. This song is about “sometimes” wanting to give up. “Sometimes” wanting to call it quits, but realizing that I’m in too deep to give up. I’ve had this vision and this goal to pursue music since I was little…but life sometimes gets in the way. Going through heartbreak, being broke, and overthinking shit were all weighing on me during this period of my life. A lot of my music from here on out is a little different than what I’ve put out in the past. There’s more depth to it. It’s more serious. 

Garrett Merk on his song “Sometimes”

Everything from the concept of this song to its sonic structure are both well-thought-out and well-executed. Garrett doesn’t plan on giving up on his dreams whatsoever, and his relentless mindset will assuredly assist him in seeing his goals through. Don’t sleep, and if you’re unfamiliar with Garrett Merk’s discography, now’s the perfect opportunity to get hip.

Listen to “Sometimes” below:

CLICK HERE TO STREAM VIA SPOTIFY/APPLE MUSIC

Lord Felix – “Nothing” [Music Video]

By: Shamus Hill

Lord Felix is a name that’s been featured on the Graduation Music site a countless amount of times, and each of these instances he’s only delivered new musical highs. The Brockton-native released “Nothing” a few months back, with it being one of our favorite releases of 2018. We’re overjoyed that Lord Felix tapped in Daymian Mejia to assist in forging the visuals for “Nothing”, with all parties bringing their talents together to knock this one out of the park.

The music video for “Nothing” features some of Lord Felix’s closest friends and collaborators all enjoying the delightful track in a car. Perhaps one of the best ways to enjoy music, the video does a phenomenal job at encapsulating the exact feeling that can be derived from this song. Lord Felix’s versatility is put on a pedestal here, and both the song and music video are something that the city of Brockton, and the state of Massachusetts as a whole, should be extremely proud of.

We’re only 10 days into 2019, and people like Lord Felix are already beginning to raise the bar for artists all-over. The visuals for “Nothing” are proof of just how talented the members of Van Buren Records truly are.

Watch the official music video for “Nothing” below:

Artist: Lord Felix (Brockton, Massachusetts)

Production: Donato

Director: Daymian Mejia

Patrick Michel – “Don Ricardo Drive [Paranoia]” (Prod. Maka)

By: Shamus Hill

It’s been awhile since we’ve had some new Patrick Michel music to listen to, so it goes without saying that the Graduation Music staff is pleased to present you “Don Ricardo Drive [Paranoia]”. Making use of some hard-hitting Maka production, the Brockton-native truly hits this release out of the park.

Brockton, Massachusetts has steadily become one of the state’s biggest hot spots for music, with “Don Ricardo Drive [Paranoia]” being the first successful release to come out of the city in 2019. Patrick Michel has a history of making high-energy music, however this song is most definitely a standout within his discography. He’s preparing his listeners for his next project, which is slated to come out this year, so in the mean time allow “Don Ricardo Drive [Paranoia]” to fill that void.

Listen to Patrick Michel’s first release of the year below:

Premo Dee – “The Tab” (Prod. by Emani)

By: Shamus Hill 

Brockton-native Premo Dee makes his debut onto the Graduation Music site today with a smooth new release titled “The Tab”. Sampling Kool and the Gang’s “Summer Madness”, Emani did a phenomenal job with production on this track, achieving a warm, reminiscent feel throughout. Largely centered around late night reflection and restlessness, Premo Dee beautifully showcases his polished raps with this release, adding another well put-together song to his discography and further proving his prowess as a Massachusetts standout.

That said, Premo’s ability to blend his life into his bars is nothing less than astounding. I genuinely possess a feeling of excitement when I see that he’s dropping something new, which can largely be derived from his nonchalant, warming presence over the accompanying instrumental. While his delivery at times seems almost effortless, bar after bar he hits you with a wonderfully well-written line that demands your attention. It’s this combination of easy-going feels and hard-hitting lyrics in Premo Dee’s music that will have listeners returning for more, and he only furthered my belief in this with the release of “The Tab”.

Listen to Premo Dee’s newest release “The Tab” below:

Lord Felix – “Messy Wrists” ft. Stefan [Prod. PSOUL]

By: Seamus Fay

Brockton artists Lord Felix and Stefan are marked most notably by their unparalleled skills in evoking raw emotion through music. It seems as if every beat, every flow, every lyric, and every cadence is hand-selected in order to make the themes of a given song come across in the most impactful way possible, and quite honestly, this is achieved with pretty much every new song. Today, we see this talent come to fruition on the emotional single, “Messy Wrists”.

Produced by PSOUL, this track explores the depth of emotion that one might feel at a low point in life. The imagery of messy wrists haunts the listener in a way that highlights the internal struggle behind such feelings, and Felix and Stefan detail their demons with skillful lyricism and captivating vocal posture. That being said, I don’t know many other artists in Massachusetts creating such genuine manifestos of emotion as these two Brockton natives are right now. Their collective prowess is certainly nothing to look right over, so be sure to pay attention to “Messy Wrists” in all of its brutally honest glory.

Click play at the link below:

[PREMIERE] Marvelous Stefan – “On My Side” ft. Saint Lyor (Prod. Isaiah Valmont)

By: Seamus Fay

It comes as no surprise that Brockton is a hotbed of talent right now, filled to the brim with a number of standout acts that will undoubtedly be taking their careers to new heights as 2018 moves on. Among these artists are Marvelous Stefan, Saint Lyor, and Isaiah Valmont – three Graduation Music frequent flyers and inarguably three of Brockton’s finest talents out at the moment. Hearing them come together on a track would be nothing less than a privilege, and today, they’re here to bring that dream to life with a new single entitled “On My Side”, premiering via the Graduation Music SoundCloud.

Right off of the bat, this song proclaims both pace and energy, as Lyor and Stefan bounce off of another’s flows, going back and forth between smooth vocals and quick shipments of rap. By creating this stark contrast early on, the two are able to compliment Valmont’s hypnotic production and the burgeoning force of the drums – two elements that define the very essence of “On My Side” at its finest. With all of these features perfected to a common point of chemistry, it’s important to note that the lyrical content of the song decides who’s on Stefan and Lyor’s side, who’s pocket watching, and everything in between. They’re here to claim the top spots in MA rap, and no one is about to get in their way.

Listen to “On My Side” at the link below: