[PREMIERE] Kleo – “Live Dirty” (Official Music Video)

By: Shamus Hill

Gearing up for the release of his debut album on August 25th is 2020’s very own, Kleo, with the official music video for “Live Dirty”.

I’ve been a huge fan of 2020 since Graduation Music’s interview with the Boston-based collective nearly a year and a half ago. Kleo’s “Toyota” was actually responsible for my introduction to this group, and it’s been highly pleasurable being able to witness his growth as both an artist and an individual throughout this period of time.

“Live Dirty” works wonderfully as the first single off of Kleo’s upcoming project due to the fact that the entirety of the album contains a ferocious temperament that’ll have any listener ready to sprint through a brick wall. From start to finish, this is precisely what “Live Dirty” provides. While it may be true that Kleo has taken a bit of a hiatus with respect to the release of new music, it’s safe to say that he’s back and more focused than ever.

Watch the official music video for Kleo’s “Live Dirty” below:

Gio Shyne – “Nonono” (Prod. Christian Yoon)

By: Shamus Hill

The intergalactic combination of Gio Shyne and Christian Yoon grasps airwaves once again — this time with an alluring single titled “Nonono”.

Towards the beginning of 2019, Gio made it known that he was going to be releasing a large quantity of music over the course of the year. He’s held true to this — dropping singles like “Gully”, “Bliss”, and more that have really strengthened the Dorchester native’s discography.

Christian Yoon has been responsible for the production featured on the majority of Gio Shyne’s releases, and following a listen through “Nonono” — you’ll understand exactly why this is so. Each instrumental he crafts unleashes a new side of Gio’s artistry that was previously untapped. Whether it’s fearless raps or downbeat melodies, each Gio Shyne track unpacks something new, so be on the lookout for what’s next to come.

Listen to “Nonono” below:

GIO SHYNE – “NONONO” SOUNDCLOUD LINK

Gio Shyne – “Bliss” (Prod. Christian Yoon)

By: Shamus Hill

Fresh off of a highly energetic performance in Boston this past weekend, Gio Shyne and Christian Yoon bring their talents together to bless listeners with the official audio for “Bliss”.

We’ve said it dozens of times, but the music that these two make together is simply unparalleled. Gio’s voice is straight-up hypnotic, and he uses his music as a method for cleansing his mind. Offering an extremely true, yet vulnerable, side of himself, Gio Shyne utilizes “Bliss” to touch upon how he hasn’t been feeling love as of late. He’s started to become numb as a result, with his mind narrowing-in on the goals he’s laid out for himself. Caught between thinking too-much and not thinking enough, Gio’s arrived at a point where he’s ready to move forward regardless of what anyone else thinks or says.

Christian Yoon came through with superb production on “Bliss”, chopping-up a beat that literally makes you feel like you’re in the midst of a high-speed chase in space. He’s one of the most unique and hard-working producers in the state, with his level of talent only increasing with each release. Be on the lookout for 2020 this year, as the group is determined to become one of the more notable names in Boston.

Listen to “Bliss” below:

Briefcvse – “Sleep Talk” (Prod. Christian Yoon & Briefcvse)

By: Shamus Hill

Gracing the Graduation Music pages once again is Jamaica Plain’s Briefcvse, a grand-sounding artist who’s rapping capabilities are up there with the best in Massachusetts. “Sleep Talk” is his most recent release, and as usual the production comes at the hands of both himself and Christian Yoon. A hypnotic track that was pieced together following a vivid dream that Briefcvse had one night, this song will surely draw some more attention his way.

Briefcvse and Christian Yoon are members of the Boston collective 2020, and this union of young artists have been releasing some of the most potent music to come out of Massachusetts during the last couple of years. Each possess their own unique style, with Briefcvse taking on a more refined approach. He details outfits consisting of corduroys and Reebok classics, whilst making use of a sophisticated vocabulary that speaks volume to his intelligence. Briefcvse morphs into a true storyteller when he’s on the mic, painting vivid imagery that leaves no detail up to chance. His music is nothing short of captivating, with “Sleep Talk” only serving as further evidence of this. Briefcvse is poised to have quite the year, so sit back and enjoy this release as he plots on what’s next to come.

Listen to Briefcvse’s first release of 2019 below:

Artist: Briefcvse

Production: Briefcvse & Christian Yoon

Briefcvse – “Collected Fragments” (Prod. Christian Yoon & James)

By: Shamus Hill 

Anyone that’s familiar with Jamaica Plain’s Briefcvse is aware of the fact that he’s an individual in possession of an immense amount of talent. Lyrically-speaking, his skillset is unparalleled, and since his last release, “Edits”, it’s overwhelmingly apparent that he’s showing no signs of stopping. Today, Briefcvse blesses the Graduation Music pages with “Collected Fragments”, a 6-minute-long offering that pieces together four short songs into a masterful piece of work.

If Briefcvse’s discography were to be summarized into one word, I would have to say it’d be honesty. Never once has he shied away from inserting his truest self into his music, which has ultimately become something that has, and will continue, to draw listeners towards his direction. Describing the ideology behind “Collected Fragments”, Briefcvse states:

Collected Fragments is a compilation of four short songs put together into one. Each of these songs are expanded entries from my mood journal put together with different short interludes and foley. It is the closest thing to a musical representation of the inner workings of my brain.

With each release, Briefcvse details the profound instances within his life that have served as major learning points for him. “Collected Fragments” touches upon the aches and pains that the 2020-member has endured on his journey towards becoming the person he’s dreamed of. While accepting the fact that he is by no means “perfect”, he also understands that he can only learn from the trials and tribulations of the past. He’s destined for greatness, and as he continues to follow the good omens of his life, Briefcvse is sure of the fact that he will achieve exactly what it is that he’s supposed to accomplish.

In addition to Briefcvse, there were a handful of other individuals that helped bring “Collected Fragments” to life. Big ups to Christian Yoon and James for perfectly concocting a variety of instrumentals that helped achieve the somber, yet hopeful sound that’s prevalent throughout this release. In addition to them, both Rachel Oswald and Jenny Nguyen knocked it out of the park with their contribution to the “Collected Fragments” cover art, which was incredibly appropriate for the musical content at hand. Briefcvse has always had a knack for incorporating his talented friends into the art that he puts out, and following the release of  “Collected Fragments”, both Briefcvse and his group of friends are really showcasing the fact that they have something to bring to the table. Major shoutout to everyone that was involved with this release.

Listen to Briefcvse’s latest release “Collected Fragments” down below:

Gio $hyne – “Buzzin” (Prod. christian yoon)

By: Shamus Hill 

WHY MY LINE KEEP BUZZIN???

Ladies and Gentlemen, 2020’s Gio $hyne and Christian Yoon recently joined forces to drop off one of this year’s best tracks, “Buzzin”. Anyone who’s been around me throughout the last couple of weeks has most definitely heard this record and understands how truly addictive the hook on this track is to listen to. Debuting via Soundcloud just days before last month’s 2020 Night, “Buzzin” serves as Gio $hyne’s moment to release some of the energy that he’s been building up.

I’ve said it an absurd amount of times, but Christian Yoon’s production talent is at a very high level. The 2020-affiliated producer has combined with Gio $hyne in the past to concoct some quality records, but “Buzzin” may honestly be my favorite release from this duo. Gio has the awesome ability to flow buoyantly, yet purposefully on his songs, and he really showcases that talent on this offering. Combine that with the stellar talent of Christian Yoon, and you’ve got a well-put-together track that’ll have fans from Boston and beyond rallying around the 2020 name.

Witnessing the performance of this track at 2020 Night was nothing short of thrilling. Despite it only being a handful of days after the release of “Buzzin”, nothing was able to stop Gio $hyne fans from learning every single word to the record. The energy you can feel purely through listening to the Dorchester-native’s tracks is part of the reason I fell in love with the young artist’s music. Having the privilege of witnessing the effect of this sonic-energy on other fans of the music was stunning.

2020 is one of the Boston music scene’s most gifted collectives, with each member grinding their ass off to make a name for themselves. Gio $hyne and Christian Yoon are only two of the puzzle pieces that help make this group of young talents so great, and I’m excited to watch how they make an even greater impact in music throughout their future.

In the mean time, listen to Gio $hyne’s “Buzzin” below:

Gio $hyne – “Insane” [Prod. Christian Yoon]

By: Shamus Hill 

Following a nine-month-long hiatus from releasing music, Gio $hyne returns to the Graduation Music pages today with his latest track “Insane”, which features production at the hands of Christian Yoon. 2020 is one of my favorite collectives of artists in the area, so naturally, I was thrilled when I saw that both Gio and Christian had combined efforts here. The mysterious, ominous sound emitted from the underlying instrumental perfectly suites Gio’s style, making “Insane” a new favorite of mine from the Dorchester-native.

Compact full of bars referencing Boston nights, fashion, and even other members of 2020, “Insane” ultimately becomes a moment for Gio to speak on his life as of late. Despite, at times, feeling like he’s going “insane” and losing control of what’s around him, Gio takes some time to realign his thoughts, and enjoy the spare moments when his homies are around. We all reach periods of time where we feel helpless and unsure of the future, but it’s important not to get lost in that, and find moments of solace however possible. Being surrounded by close friends and the city of Boston, Gio $hyne is here to speak on that solace.

Listening through Gio’s discography, it’s easy to note the amount of growth his music has undergone since beginning to release music over a year ago. He possesses this nonchalant, alluring sound that fits seamlessly over numerous styles of production. One thing, in particular, I really love about Gio’s artistry is his ability to adapt to different sounds, which, at least over the last year, has become customary for him. I’m really looking forward to what his next release will be sounding like. If you haven’t yet, definitely check out our interview with Boston’s 2020 here.

Listen to Gio $hyne’s “Insane” down below:

 

KH Lyor – ‘M5’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

The last time we heard from KH Lyor, it was with his anthemic offering, “Smoke At The Party” – a single which has undoubtedly stuck in our heads here at Graduation Music as a standout release in recent months. Today, he continues the theme of creating warm-weathered soundtracks to life with a brand new, 2-track EP entitled M5. Consisting of “GO!” and “Sunday Morning”, the latest from the KH representative may be short in length, but before we delve further into this one, it must be understood that it lives on and lengthens its impact through the genuine creation of a summer-minded aesthetic. M5 is ready to take over our playlists, and thankfully so.

That being said, when you dig a little deeper, the prowess of this EP is only natural considering the production credits from Niaggi and Christian Yoon – two names that have hit our pages plenty of times as hit machines in and of themselves. Additionally, the song “Sunday Morning” takes to guest spots from KH Belo and WayUp Rui, and all in all, every name featured on the short project alongside KH Lyor absolutely kills it in their respective roles. This EP is a showcase of raw talent in its finest form, and with that, it’s no wonder that M5 is about to do some serious numbers this summer. The weather is warming up, the stocks are rising for the KH team, and now, we have the soundtrack to the moment.

Listen to KH Lyor’s latest at the link below:

 

Briefcvse – “Billy Bad Son” [Prod. Christian Yoon & Breifcvse]

By: Seamus Fay

As you may recall, Graduation Music interviewed Boston collective 2020 just this past fall, and since then, the group of promising young creatives has done nothing but impress in every single one of their releases, both individually and collaboratively. Today, one of 2020’s own, Briefcvse, is here to bless our pages with a new single titled “Billy Bad Son” – a play on the DC character produced by Christian Yoon that you simply need to hear.

Channeling a hypnotic, introspective sound for this track, Briefcvse delves deep into his trials and tribulations with addiction and mental instability in a way that shows immense growth. It’s a highly introspective and incredibly personal release, showing fans the struggles that he has been through as he gives us a look into what makes Briefcvse, Briefcvse, and with all things considered, this song is incredible far beyond its transformative sound, as it takes storytelling and personal journey to another level. With that being said, be sure to listen to the latest from this 2020 member below, because “Billy Bad Son” is truly something special.

CHI – “Starry Knight” [Prod. Christian Yoon & suspicious person]

By: Shamus Hill 

Alongside production from 2020’s own, Christian Yoon, and suspicious person, CHI recently dropped a vibrant, high-paced track named “Starry Knight”. Both a play on words and a reference to Vincent van Gogh’s world-renowned painting, this track speaks volumes towards how CHI recognizes her own talent/potential, and how she will remain as formidable as a knight in order to achieve what she has set out to accomplish. Also notable is the fact that the talented CHI can also be credited with the cover-art on this track.

Off the rip, the stellar production on this one catches the listener’s ear with ease. Both Christian Yoon and suspicious person did an amazing job with the beat on this track, so props to them for working their assess of and coming up with an amazing finished product. The combination of this instrumental and CHI’s lyricism are what truly make this song as dope as it is; I was in the midst of a two-hour drive home, and the second this song dropped, my shitty Chevy Impala instantly felt like a rocket ship.

While CHI has a faster-paced style of delivery on “Starry Knight”, she’s extremely talented at presenting raps/flows that directly hit you, and remain there. It’s evident that CHI spent a great deal of time working with this track, and this most certainly shows when listening to the final product. If this is your first time hearing of CHI, I highly suggest listening to her track with the SuperSmashBroz, Plad Fine$$e, and Lil Rich “Grab It“, and “Holy Moly” as these two songs in particular do an exceptional job at presenting what the young talent is capable of.

Quickly becoming one of the artists I’m most excited to see what they release next, CHI is making strides toward becoming a true voice of the city, so Boston: let’s show her some love. Listen to CHI’s “Starry Knight” (prod. Christian Yoon & suspicious person) below:

An Interview with Boston Collective ‘2020’

By: Shamus Hill 

During the past couple of weeks, among my usual tastes of local music, I was blessed to come across some music from Boston artists Kleo and Gio $hyne, both of which impressed me greatly upon first listen. The two rappers are a part of a collective by the name 2020, also consisting of rapper Briefcvse and producer Christian Yoon. With the assistance of Yoon’s stellar production, Kleo, Gio, and Briefcvse have each individually begun to develop their own respective sounds and truly carve out their spots in Boston’s rapidly growing music scene. I’m a huge fan of the fact that these four have chosen to work collectively with one another, especially due to the fact that each individual member has their own unique sound that distinctly separates them from the other members of 2020 – coming together to form a whole that can’t be stopped or imitated.

After speaking with Kleo, we quickly hopped on the idea of doing their first interview. They’ve been grinding, and with that being said, their work hasn’t gone unnoticed and it has come time that we show them some of the love they deserve. During my conversation with the artists, we touched upon their early influences, musical styles, and how long they’ve all been chillin’ with one another. Following the interview you’ll find a playlist of 2020’s music, so be sure to dive-in and discover some new gems.

Here’s everything to know on Boston’s ‘2020’.

Where are you guys from?

Kleo: I’m from Roxbury, Gio’s from Dorchester, Christian’s from West Roxbury and Briefcvse is from JP.

Approximately when did you guys begin making music?

Gio: We all linked up about a year back. I started writing songs from seeing my older brother rapping when I was younger, but I’ve been taking it serious since I dropped my song “Prey” a year ago.

Christian Yoon: Yeah I’ve been making beats since my senior year of high school and for a minute I was just doing my own shit, but I’ve been working with my friends for like the last 2 years or so.

Briefcvse: I started making music in junior year of high school. I started recording these joke tracks at my friend Gibson’s (TropicanaBwoy) house.

Kleo: I made music with Gibson too in high school then with Briefcvse junior and senior year, but I got serious like last year.

Are you in school, working outside of music, or devoting all of your time to music at this point in your lives?

Christian Yoon: Me and Case are in school, Gio and Kleo aren’t. We all got part-time jobs. I think we’re all spending the majority of our time on music right now. It’s pretty much all we do, it’s where all our focus is at.

Out of all of the music you’ve released thus far, which track would you say is your favorite?

Briefcvse: My favorite track that I’ve made so far is “Precipice”. Gio and Christian forced it on the beat and I’m really happy with how the concept came together.

Kleo: I like “Toyota” the most. It feels the most beautiful and artistic to me. It’s like just about finding something you love and don’t want to give up on and the song just feels mad warm and mad me.

Christian Yoon: I made a beat tape last year called “Kintsugi” based on the summer of 2016. It really felt like a snapshot of that time in my life and I’m still really proud of it.

Gio: The hit right now is “Gas In My Head” – everybody messes with that one. But I’ve mainly been listening to my newest song “When I’m In It”.

Why did you guys start making music? Any family influences?

Christian Yoon: Nobody in my family makes music but they’re all just kinda casual listeners. I really just started because I liked it. Music was really important to me in high school so I constantly checked the internet for new shit. I just wanted to get involved in making it somehow and wasn’t tryna rap so yeah, I torrented logic and started making beats.

Briefcvse: I started making music because my friends were doing it, but no-one in my family was big into iWriting becameame a means of dealing with issues in my personal life but it definitely didn’t start as that.

Gio: I had seen my brother rapping and doing shows while I was growing up, so being a rapper was normal to me and I was tryna write songs from when I was ten. In highschool, I saw Boston rappers buzzing and I started producing and recording. Since then, I started putting stuff out it’s been natural.

Kleo: School was super duper mega whack and I realized like in 10th grade, the only thing that I really connected with deeply was music, and I have a tough time putting effort into things I don’t love. Nobody in my family does anything musical. It was kind of weird starting – I felt like I was really starting from the ground up.

Do you incorporate any past life experiences into your music? If so, how?

Gio: My music is about the vibe. I like to touch on some of the shit I’m going through in life and let you know what’s going on with me. I’ve been going through a lot of shit recently and it’s all made its way into the music somehow. It’s darker.

Briefcvse: My music is all past experiences. It’s therapeutic for me to write about my own life – it helps me process it.

Christian Yoon: Yeah, my last project was all based on mental snapshots and journal entries from last summer, and even now when I make beats I’m usually either inspired by other music or feeling something I want to express.

Kleo: Yeah sometimes, but it’s mostly feelings, thoughts, or imaginative scenarios.

How long have you all known each other? I’ve seen on SoundCloud that all of you have done an extensive amount of work with one another. Is this more of a recent thing or have all of you always made music collaboratively?

Kleo: We all went to high school together, I became friends with Briefcvse first, and me and Gio became friends senior year, then Christian linked up with us like last year. Me and Case been making songs for a grip, but we started making music all together once we linked up with Christian.

Individually, would each of you mind touching upon your music making process? What’s usually the vibe? What’s the studio like? Do you typically all record with one another?

Briefcvse: My writing process varies. I’m either writing by myself in my room or on the train on the way to school. I record my stuff on the microphone in my bedroom but we usually record together.

Christian Yoon: My process really depends. Sometimes I’m inspired by a sample, sometimes I just find a chord or melody I like, it really just depends. Also, I could be anywhere as long as I have my laptop and headphones.

Kleo: Every night before I go to sleep I go through beats and try to write to them, and then I bounce ideas with the rest of the team when I think a cool song comes out. I like to record with my engineer Rysk. I like a lot of people at the studio so that I just have as many ideas and impressions around as possible.

Gio: Usually I’ll be going through beats and write a song real quick when I get inspired. Other than that if I have something to say or I’m just in the mood for it I’ll also write lyrics and put them to a beat I like later. Lately, I’ve been recording at Briefcvse’s crib so the studio is never empty.

Who are some of your biggest artistic influences?

Kleo: Tyler the Creator, Lupe Fiasco and J. Cole got me into wanting to make music, but a lot of my inspirations come from anime and television.

Gio: I like sonics like Rocky and Kanye, and writers who have a way with words like Earl. Growing up my brother always listened to drill music, so shit like early Keef left a mark on me – he probably taught me how to flow.

Christian Yoon: In music, the list is super long. Early Odd Future like when I was in high school, Shlohmo, and Andre 3000 come to mind, but there are so many more. Outside of music, I like some directors and photographers. I’m really fucking with Ren Hang right now, he’s a chinese photographer.

Briefcvse: LILUGLYMANE is hands down my biggest influence. His vocabulary is insane and his beats are fire. Besides that I’m really inspired by the comedian Demetri Martin. He wrote a 224 word poem called “I’m Mad” that was palindrone. That’s crazy to me.

I’m sure you’ve seen the music scene in MA blowing up as of late – are there any specific artists that you guys are fucking with? Any artists from the area that you would like to collaborate with in the future? 

Briefcvse: Najee Janey is one of my favorites in Boston. He’s got an incredible voice both when he’s rapping and when he’s singing. The music he’s working on now is crazy too, he just hasn’t released in a while.  Also Kadeem is fire, I think he’s such a good writer.

Christian Yoon: Stripes iii is my favorite rapper in Boston I think. Other than that, Najee, Sean, and Milkshaw. All of Most High, that whole camp. There are a lot of artists in the city that I want to work with, I think the timing will just have to be right.

Kleo: I rock with Michael Christmas the most, I feel like his music sounds so complete and has mad personality. I’d like to work with him, Durkin, and Haasan Barclay. Hopefully there will be more of a spotlight and more resources and opportunities in 3-5 years.

Gio: I rock with Stizz and Sean a lot, but other than them the only Boston music I really listen to is me and my friends.

How do you feel about the music scene in MA in general?

Briefcvse: I feel pretty positive about the music scene in MA. The Boston scene has grown so much since I was younger and I hope it continues to grow. As far as the rest of MA, I definitely need to explore more.

Gio: Our scene’s cool, we got some names but it feels like only a couple have popped off outside the city so far. What everybody’s doing now is gonna have a lot of impact soon.

Christian Yoon: Yeah I think it’s growing. There are definitely some awkward growing pains that come with that, but yeah.

Kleo: It’s mad cool to see it blossom into what it is now and finding new stuff every once in awhile is refreshing.

Have you ever had a live performance before? If so, how was that? If not, are there currently any plans in the works to make that happen?

Kleo: I’m the only one who has really performed. It was nothing big but we’re looking for opportunities to get some shows going.

Any artists you are currently listening to?

Christian Yoon: Lucki, The Smiths, Frank Ocean. Blond is like one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. I like Teen Suicide right now, too. Also Ariel Pink, Aphex Twin and Young Dolph.

Briefcvse: I’m currently listening to Lord Apex, Orion Sun, $ean Wire, Antwon, Isaiah Rashad, and Joao Gilberto.

Gio: Lately I’ve just been driving around to Earl Sweatshirt and Lucki. Some albums I’ve been playing are Live Love A$AP, Late Registration, and Blond.

Kleo: Dom Kennedy, Lil Ugly Mane, Foggieraw, Isaiah Rashad, Divine Council, Denzel Curry, Mick Jenkins, Quentin Miller, Ski Mask, Corbin, and Lucki.

What are each of you currently working on?

Gio: There’s a lot of unreleased stuff that I’m starting to drop now. I got a video for “Gas In My Head” on the way too. The shit I’m working on right now could turn into a tape, but I’m gonna let it happen naturally.

Briefcvse: Right now I’m working on an EP with Christian that has a comic paired with it. The comic is dialogue free and the songs tell the story of the comic book. The story was written by me and it’s going to be illustrated by my friend Nick. I’m hoping we can finish it by early next year but I’ll be releasing singles until then.

Christian Yoon: Yeah besides working with these guys, I’ve been working with Najee, Sean and Milk. Also my other homies from the KhromeHeartz camp, shoutout to them. And I’ve recently started sending beats to people who I’ve wanted to work with for a minute, so we’ll see how that goes.

Kleo: I’ve just been putting my all into making songs but who knows, something my come together from it.

KHBelo – ‘When Things Go Green’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

KHBelo first entered my radar when his debut single “Designa” was sent to me via Twitter a while back. Not only was it entertaining, but Belo clearly showed his ability to deliver a charismatic approach that fans could relate to with ease. His music had a luxurious sound to it, and with flex-worthy verses to light the way, it all came into a blend of standout elements that were sure to hook me in.

Just a few months after the original single, the Boston artist is returning to our pages today with a 2-track EP titled When Things Go Green – which, might I add, might be one of my favorite project titles out of Boston all year. With features from KHLyor and Alejandro Blanco (alongside production credits from KHyoon, or Christian Yoon), this project is sure to turn heads in its effortless, smooth soundscape of luxury and ambition. It’s inspirational in approach and stylish in sound, enhancing both “Da Boy” and “SIP (Stuck In Park)” to another level with seamless deliveries and an overall intoxicating texture.

Clear improvements can be seen in just the 2 months between the first single to now on this EP as well, and Belo’s work ethic and infectious energy will be sure to serve him well as he keeps working in the future. He’s tightening up all the loose ends and by way of consistent, high-quality releases, Belo might just be getting ready for a steady ascent in Boston’s budding music scene. Get hip to the rising talent by clicking play on When Things Go Green below and keep an eye out for merch from the project coming soon.