If you’ve been paying attention to the Massachusetts music scene in even the slightest bit this year, you’ll note the narrative surrounding the fact that Brockton has swiftly become the Bay State’s powerhouse with respect to the production of high-caliber music. Seemingly every week some new sounds manage to escape the grasp of the city’s young, prominent artists, and today Premo, Saint Lyor, and Lord Felix are here to add some more flavor into the mix.
“How We Get Here” serves as Premo’s first release in more than 7 months, however this statement doesn’t do justice to the amount of work the Brockton native has been putting in over the course of the year. Working diligently alongside Bodega as a model, Premo is one of the few artists from Massachusetts that has successfully trekked multiple lanes of local art. Much like his eclectic fashion sense, Premo’s ability to piece a song together can be characterized as both innovative and diverse. Similar to both Saint Lyor and Lord Felix, Premo possesses an innate ability to flow meticulously whilst maintaining lyrical formidability throughout — which is something that has ultimately made his discography wonderfully thorough.
Circulating around what it took for these artists to rise into the positions that they’re currently in, “How We Get Here” serves as a reminder for us all to put out heads down and keep working no matter what. In the cases of Premo, Saint Lyor, and Lord Felix — this is exactly what they’ve done to reach the level of artistic mastery that they currently possess. Complete with both beautiful sonic elements and thoughtful purpose, “How We Get Here” is one of the Graduation Music staff’s favorite drops up through this point in the year.
The Brockton group continues to dominate the Massachusetts music scene, and their latest release undoubtedly amplifies the year of success that they’ve been having. The brotherhood has managed to have an already explosive 2019 — from the release of Luke Bar$ and Jiles’ 2 Sides to Lord Felix’s Ultraviolet to Meech’s ‘NineFour, they continue to move with unrelenting force.
Van Buren’s “Live @ the Oberon” is their debut video as a collective, and following its release this past week it’s safe to say that it’s one for the books. The track was produced by Ricky Felix and Kiron, and features an all star Van Buren line up of: Meech, Luke Bar$, Lord Felix, Saint Lyor, and Jiles. The cypher is reminiscent of Odd Future’s Oldie or even A$AP Mob’s Yamborghini High — in that it shows precisely how every member is capable of holding more than their own. While visually opting for a minimal and dimly lit hallway as the backdrop, the strategic choice allows their bars to take center stage.
Although the show at Oberon has been cancelled for the time being, be on the lookout for the next Van Buren performance as it’ll surely be an event that you won’t want to miss.
Watch the official music video for “Live @ The Oberon” below:
Returning to the Graduation Music site today is Brockton’s Darius Heywood with “Night Rage” — the first single off of his upcoming collaboration project with Rauxy Woodro, From The East.
This introspective track circulates around the everyday realities of Darius’ life growing up in Brockton. Whether it be his personal trauma, witnessing struggle, or persisting when negativity surrounds, Darius Heywood explicitly dictates what has molded him into the individual that he currently is. Rauxy Woodro does a truly wondrous job with respect to his assistance in developing a solid sonic structure, with “Night Rage” serving as evidence that From The East is set to be the next formidable collection of music to come out of the city of Brockton this year.
Brockton’s Stefan returns to the Graduation Music site today with a passionate single titled “SAD2SEE”.
This release is based around the sad reality that comes paired with the pursuit of a significant other that’s plagued with self-doubt and a lack of love. This sentiment ultimately shifts this individual’s mentality towards one that is full of solitude, which hurts Stefan tremendously. While his heart may be full of true intentions, it’s worthless when the recipient isn’t aware of how to accept these emotions.
While the lyrical content of “SAD2SEE” may not be of the most positive nature, the sonic structure provided by Stefan with the assistance of Connecticut’s Twayne The Kidd is one that’s undeniably addictive. This track rests as my favorite component of Stefan’s discography to date, so with that being said I’m thrilled to see what he’ll have coming next.
Brockton’s Garrett Merk is back with an exceptional track titled “Fools Gold”. Featuring some transcendent production at the hands of Mic Kellogg, the pair truly bring out the best of one another as this song aligns itself as one of Garrett’s best up through this point in time.
“Fools Gold” is based around Garrett’s tiresome mentality with respect to the music industry and the artists/individuals present within it. While many put up some form of a facade in order to remain relevant, Garrett speaks on how authenticity needs to return to the forefront of music. Instead of putting up a front on social media — Garrett relies solely on his discography for the establishment of his fanbase. This is something that has paid off incredibly well for him, as he currently finds himself living in Los Angeles making progress towards the fulfillment of his dreams. The hard work and dedication will always speak for itself, and this serves as the basis for “Fools Gold”. As long as Garrett continues to express his true self, he’ll continue to prosper. With that, we’re thrilled to see what the young talent has in store as 2019 continues to progress.
If 2 Sides and In Bloom, Foreverweren’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.
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.