Kadeem – ‘Passing Exchange’

By: Shamus Hill

It’s been nearly a week since Kadeem unveiled Passing Exchange — a 5-track visual project that features some of the most remarkable raps to come out of the city of Boston in recent memory. From start to finish, Kadeem exudes thought-provoking lyricism that manages to connect with the listener at their core. Each individual bar leaves a lasting impression, as the Mattapan native provides yet another example of the high caliber of art that’s being pieced together in our own backyard.

According to Kadeem’s Bandcamp page, Passing Exchange is only the tip of the iceberg with respect to what’s to come:

This project is meant to be my steppingstone. I’ve always used music as an outlet, but for mostly thoughts rather than emotions. This project is my first attempt at beginning to break through. A quick-lived glimpse into what my journey will offer. During your listen, I hope it sparks anything. I hope you continue to create as your spirit intends.

Via Kadeem (Bandcamp)

Helping to catch the pure essence of each of these songs are filmmakers JR Alexander and Colin Pagnoni, who’ve successfully displayed why they’re some of the most capable within their craft that Massachusetts has to offer. Kadeem has always been applauded for his distinctive discography, however each passing moment of Passing Exchange brings the viewer a step closer towards knowing who Kadeem really is. Whether it be shots of him cooking some breakfast at home, or sipping Hennessy on Morton St., both JR and Colin manage to capture the essence of these raps — and Kadeem — in a wholistic fashion.

Typically, I like to point out standout tracks on every body of work that I discuss, however doing so here would be foolish as Passing Exchange is more of an experience than simply just an EP or mixtape. I strongly urge every one of you to play each of these tracks in their entirety, in the order that they’re presented so that the true experience may be retained.

Watch the Passing Exchange visuals below:

Direction by JR Alexander + Colin Pagnoni

Production by bza, no.pulp, Jeff Alan Gore, useeit, and Skunkz

Cover Art by Idalina Gomes

Kadeem – “Wide Margins” (Prod. Thelonious Martin)

By: Shamus Hill

Recruiting Chicago’s Thelonious Martin, Kadeem returns to the Graduation Music site today with his first single of 2019 — a hypnotic, well-sculptured track titled “Wide Margins”. This release serves as yet another marvelous Hip-Hop offering to come out of the state of Massachusetts this year, with Kadeem only furthering the narrative that our state is home to a plethora of talent.

The Mattapan native has been featured on Graduation Music a countless amount of times — with each one of his releases being endlessly-playable, layered pieces of work that circulate around Kadeem’s human experience. He has a way of making his raps appear effortless at times, however each syllable he utters holds a vast amount of weight:

“N*ggas on the road to riches in the sidecar // Baggies in the stomach, while you n*ggas swallow Tide Pods, the difference too wide apart”

Kadeem – “Wide Margins”

Thelonious Martin’s production here is a perfect fit for Kadeem, as he mixes his polished raps with unpredictable flows to concoct a truly outstanding release. If you haven’t yet, be sure to dive into Kadeem’s discography as he’s gearing up to have an impressive 2019.

Listen to “Wide Margins” below:

Kadeem – “Wide Margins” (Prod. Thelonious Martin) [SoundCloud]

Kadeem – “710AM” [Prod. VHS]

By: Seamus Fay

Okay, first things first, we need to admit that Kadeem is the perfect embodiment of how wonderful music can be when one values “quality over quantity”. His releases don’t come often, but when they finally do arrive, you can always count on the Mattapan talent to deliver something truly impressive in every aspect of artistry, and with that, it only makes sense why he is one of the most venerable acts in MA right now. That being said, just as he always seems to do, Kadeem is back on our pages today with a brief yet immaculate new video entitled “710AM”.

Produced by VHS, this short but sweet offering blesses us with about a minute and a half of dense, soulful instrumentation and vivid lyricism. We watch as Kadeem sits at the crib and prepares for his day, as hypnotic scenes enter and leave the screen with ambitious visual effect. The music is brought to an entirely new level of calmness and personality, and Kadeem is able to communicate so much in a minute and a half simply by keeping it real and making sure that the quality of the art comes first.

That said, to no surprise, Kadeem has dropped yet another magnificent offering, so be sure to click play on “710AM” at the link below:

Kadeem – “Change of Habit” [Prod. Wiardon]

By: Seamus Fay

Almost two months removed from the release of his esteemed mixtape, The Game Is The Game, it can be truthfully proclaimed that Kadeem is an absolute gem of an artist. His lyrical skills compete as some of the best in the state, without question, and by always picking just the right soulful production to top things off, there’s no stopping the Mattapan native once he gets on a roll. Today, we welcome Kadeem back to Graduation Music as he blesses us with a brand new single entitled “Change of Habit”.

Much like the subject matter of The Game Is The Game, this track finds the rising talent deep within his thoughts, spitting out an eager supply of truth that remains untouched for all of the 2-minute runtime. Backed by gorgeous production from Wiardon, Kadeem notes that making it happen is a matter of not just ambition, but of execution, as well. He’s ready to take over with a dedicated soul at hand, and inspired by the intoxicating rhythms of “Change of Habit”, I wholeheartedly get behind Kadeem in any of his journeys.

That being said, show some love and check out the newest offering from the Mattapan native at the link below:

Kadeem – “The Game Is The Game” [Mixtape]

By: Seamus Fay

Life is an interesting force. Unpredictability is a virtue that leads us all down our respective roads and decisions (both good and bad) are the pockets of choice that contribute to these routes. No artist sums it up better than Kadeem in his latest project fittingly titled, The Game Is The Game. Life is life no matter how you want to look at it, and this tape both skillfully and efficiently executes a deep understanding of what its title means through the eyes of soul-targeting production from $lumLord.

7 tracks long, the newest release from this Mattapan native displays his rhymes in their purest form. Every beat, every bar, and every descriptive exploration into the decisions that create the life he lives is thoughtfully hand-picked, and no aspect of The Game Is The Game makes it more unique than the bellowing professions of brutal honesty that it brings to the table. The fact of the matter is that with this project, Kadeem isn’t trying to boil life down to a few simple lessons. He takes life’s complexity by the neck and paints its inner conflict in a magnificent light, only to be translated through lyricism and sound into an unapologetic lesson of what his years on this Earth have taught him.

That being said, there’s no simple way to tackle this one and turn it into a simple blog post, as the music does more justice than words can capture. Although this project has been long-awaited, Kadeem has aged like fine wine and he proves to be at the top of his game with this one. Give it a listen at the link below:

Kadeem & $lumLord – “Unrivaled”

By: Seamus Fay

The Game Is The Game is quickly approaching (due for release later today) and $lumLord and Kadeem are already showing signs the slow-burning magic that they have been working on in recent months. In order to take this one a step back, however, we need to look at the reputation that Kadeem has built as an artist within the Boston area. Kadeem is where you go to when you want lyricism, soul, or better yet, a perfect concoction of both. His instrumentals and confident, yet sly bars seep into the ear and leave without causing a scene, resulting in some of the most tightly-wound, let-the-music-speak-for-itself kinds of verses. Today, all of this comes to the spotlight with Kadeem’s new single, “Unrivaled”.

Set to the calming sounds of a hazy, soulful instrumental courtesy of $lumLord, this track immediately takes off as a storytelling gem. As the title of the mixtape denotes, “the game is the game” and what will happen, will, without a doubt, happen. Kadeem has not only observed this, but embraced it, taking into account the world and the good and bad qualities around him before carefully crafting every verse. His lyrics are dense and the song moves quickly, but listeners are left hypnotized within this array of utter authenticity from the Mattapan native. “Unrivaled” is a smooth lead into what will undoubtedly mark itself as one of the best Boston-bred projects to come out of 2018, and personally, with this track as the benchmark, I can’t wait for what we’re about to hear.

Get ready for The Game Is The Game by listening to the newest single from Kadeem and $lumLord at the link below: