MEECH – ”NineFour’ [Album Review]

By: Shamus Hill

Anyone who’s been keeping up with the current climate of Massachusetts’ music scene will undoubtedly be aware of the mark that Van Buren Records has been leaving in 2019. Luke Bar$ and Jiles kicked things off with the release of their collaboration project, 2 Sides, and soon after they were followed up by Lord Felix with the release of In Bloom, Forever. The both of these projects have assisted in cementing Brockton as one of the Bay State’s musical powerhouses, and today, MEECH dropped his second album, ‘NineFour, which only reinforces this statement.

Sitting at a comfortable 6 tracks, ‘NineFour is a solid composition that intertwines vulnerable life experience and futuristic aspirations. Anyone who has kept up with our site throughout the last few years will assuredly recognize MEECH by name, as he’s steadily risen up the food-chain within Brockton’s long list of amazing artists. He possesses an innate ability to flow meticulously whilst keeping his lyrical content up to an extremely high par. Each track off of ‘NineFour contains a vastly different feeling, but much like life itself, flows into the next chapter with true fluidity. In a statement released by MEECH prior to the album’s release he stated:

I HIGHLY urge you to listen to the lyrics, concepts. Smoke one to it, drink to it, meditate to it, work out to it, etc.

Topics such as falling to the Demise of your own and other people’s actions, feelings of being financially/spiritually/mentally Rich & Broke. Struggle with Trusting people wholeheartedly, stress of going to outside festivities and evil aspects that’s currently infested into our world. To elevating mentally, spiritually & physically with a possible life partner. 
Every feature was written with so much vulnerability, and authentic ass perspectives. It’s the closest you’ll get to truly know who we are as PEOPLE and what we think and go through. If you don’t personally know us, we gave you a piece of who we are. 


Stay Woke, Stay Blessed, and Stay Inspired. 

MEECH via Instagram

The only features on this project are Van Buren’s Jiles, Lord Felix, and Luke Bar$, with each putting their best foot forward to assist MEECH in achieving new heights. “No House Parties (Stay Inside)” served as the first single to be released off of ‘NineFour, and throughout my first few listens to the project it remains formidable as my favorite component of this release. “We VB” which features Lord Felix, is yet another standout, as this track thoroughly encapsulates the energy persistent within Van Buren Records. This collective of highly capable artists is centered around hometown pride and the truthful bond that persists between each member. They only grow stronger as each builds upon their individual discographies, and as they continue to develop alongside one another there’s no telling where the end of their achievements will lay. We’ve already been blessed with a high volume of potent music in 2019, however it’s Van Buren Records that has been paving the way for the rest of Massachusetts.

Stream MEECH’s latest project, ‘NineFour, below:

Production by AG, B. Stanley, Godzart, AeBeats, E’ZZ, Emani Beats, & Dartizt

Cover Art by Oludaré & Lord Felix

CLICK HERE TO STREAM VIA SPOTIFY + APPLE MUSIC + MORE…

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Lord Felix – ‘In Bloom, Forever’ Album

By: Shamus Hill

It’s been quite the 2019 so far for artists in Massachusetts, with individuals across the state working tirelessly to gain recognition for their talents. Leading the pack by example has been the city of Brockton. Just a couple of weeks ago, Luke Bar$ and Jiles dropped arguably the most potent project that the state has seen in the last few years. Quickly following in their footsteps is Lord Felix, who’s debut album In Bloom, Forever, is a sonic adventure that puts Brockton art on a pedestal.

The content of this project circulates around the various events that have occurred throughout Felix’s life that have molded him into the individual he currently is. Whether it be tumultuous relationships, the pursuit of his goals, or the things he witnessed throughout his adolescence, one parallel exists — Felix is going to continue to thrive in any situation he’s placed in. No matter the scenario, Lord Felix has an innate ability to find the silver lining, which has ultimately assisted him in becoming an extremely formidable person.

Lord Felix performing at album listening party (Photo: Marika)

Recruiting some of his closest Brockton collaborators to help perfect the album (Jiles, MEECH, Clyde Black, Luke Bar$, Ricky Felix, and more), Lord Felix excelled at ensuring that each element of this release was meaningful. Each artist featured had some of their best performances on this project, only helping to reinforce the level of talent prevalent within this area.

“Love Is Fleeting, I Promise” serves as the introduction to In Bloom, Forever, and was certainly a favorite amongst the Graduation Music staff. Full of light-hearted, peaceful guitar rifts and a wondrous vocal performance, it’s here where new listeners can grow accustomed to the vibrant “aura” that Lord Felix possesses:

“You know that the aura so infectious // I make sure that you cannot forget me”

Lord Felix – “Love Is Fleeting, I Promise”

One of the most notable aspects of In Bloom, Forever is the seemingly “random” placement of emotion within the track-list. For example “Blue Valentine” is a short offering that serves as almost a vent session for Lord Felix. The single-verse interlude is layered with Felix’s true feelings about the unclear relationship he has with someone, and just as he’s about to let go of the truth, the track swiftly cuts into “Off Fifth”, a braggadocios song where Lord Felix, Notebook P, and Clyde Black talk their shit. After this, “The Worst Summer Ever” begins which is based around the hardships that Lord Felix endured throughout a specific summer. Bouncing back and fourth between seriousness and light-heartedness, Lord Felix’s In Bloom, Forever serves as a microcosm for the impermanence of life. Tomorrow is going to be vastly different than today, and it’s all about embracing this fact so that we can go into the future with our best foot forward.

Lord Felix has been one of the most hardworking artists in the state for years now, and he’s put everything he’s learned and experienced into In Bloom, Forever. Setting the bar absurdly high for artists in Massachusetts from here-on-out, get hip to Lord Felix now before he’s an international icon.

Listen to In Bloom, Forever below:

CLICK HERE FOR SPOTIFY/APPLE MUSIC

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

Tom Brady and the Celtics Are All In On Cousin Stizz

By: Seamus Fay

I originally planned on reposting the newest Cousin Stizz cosigns on the Graduation music Twitter, but looking at the full gravity of the occasion, this calls for a bit more than a tweet.

For those who still don’t know what I’m talking about, over the past week, Tom Brady posted the newest edition of his ever-inspiring hype-up videos, this time ending in a highlight reel with “Headlock” playing the background. Possibly even better than a nod from the GOAT himself, Stizz took home yet another win as the new voice of the Boston Celtics 2018-19 season campaign, #CUSRISE — not to mention that Brockton natives Luke Bars and Ricky Felix were the two masterminds behind the background production for the video.

In past years, Boston hasn’t been a city known for its open and welcome embracement of hip-hop culture. In fact, it’s been known for the opposite. However, seeing two major sports teams (and as we all know, major is no exaggeration) take pride in their city’s talent and put one of the main heads in Boston to work is a beautiful sight. It represents a win for Stizz and his team, sure, but even more so, a win for everyone out there looking to see more representation of Boston’s growing music scene.

The opportunities are rolling in and there are more eyes on our city’s hip-hop community than ever before, so let’s embrace it. Show some love to Stizz for being the soundtrack to the Pats’ workouts and the voice of the beloved Cs by clicking play on both videos. And make sure to hit up Ricky Felix and Luke Bars about their production placements, because looking back, they snapped.

2018 has been wildly successful for Boston music and this instance is an inspirational reminder. Here’s to an even brighter 2019.

MyCompiledThoughts – “U Me N Sorrow” ft. Luke Bars [Prod. L’indécis]

By: Seamus Fay

Okay, admittedly, we’re a few weeks late on this one, but that doesn’t mean that the newest from MyCompiledThoughts and Luke Bars isn’t something incredibly special. Titled “U Me N Sorrow”, this is not only one of Thoughts’ most emotional offerings to date, but the ever-so-smooth guitar riffs courtesy of L’indécis additionally top things off to make for an absolutely gorgeous listening experience. To keep it brief, we here at Graduation Music have been watching both MCT and Bars for a minute now, and to see their collective artistry reach these levels is nothing short of impressive. If there’s a direct path towards notoriety, they’re certainly on it.

That said, the aforementioned production on this one is what controls all of its silky glory. The vocals slide right along such an easily listenable sonic atmosphere, which only brings further attention to the talents of each of the two renowned lyricists. Breaking this one down even further, the description for the song on SoundCloud states that it is “a reflective song about love from the perspective of U, Me, n Sorrow”. This clear presence of emotion is what drives the authenticity and conviction in both Thoughts’ and Bars’ voices, so it only follows that “U Me N Sorrow” comes together as one of Massachusett’s finest offerings of the year so far in my opinion.

But don’t only trust my ear, listen at the link below and hear it for yourself:

Graduation Music Presents: ‘Recent Picks’ Playlist

By: Seamus Fay

As you may recall, we recently started a segment by the name of GRADUATION MUSIC RADIO, set to release a new episode every other Monday. This week, due to some technical difficulties, we are postponing the newest episode for a few days. To make up for it, we present to our readers a 15-track playlist of some of our favorite local songs at the moment!

Some tracks are older, some newer, but regardless, these are a few standout releases that you need to get hip to if you weren’t already. Check the playlist out below:

Saint Lyor – “Scales” ft. James Guild, Luke Bars, & Lord Felix

By: Seamus Fay

Ever since we began covering Saint Lyor’s music some months ago, we have seen him grow into an absolute force to be reckoned with, not only within the context of the Brockton music scene, but the Massachusetts scene as a whole. Today, this growth in artistry is taken one step further with the release of yet another standout single from the rising talent titled “Scales” – and it just may be his finest release yet.

This one, acting as a family affair of sorts, joins forces between Lyor and a few more of Brockton’s finest talents to offer in James Guild, Luke Bars, and Lord Felix. Once set to the tune of stellar production from Leo The Kind, this track seems to take a life of its own The enigmatic sound cuts deep within passionate cadences and honest verses from each artist featured on the track, tracing their steps as they trade verses one after another. As a fan of Brockton’s budding scene, “Scales” is a spectacular sight to see. The talent is clearly there, and singles like these prove that very fact with a clear emphasis.

Overall, from the first second to the last, this single channels the very energy that makes each of these artists so special in the first place. Saint Lyor set up the alley-oop perfectly, and I must say, the guests he brought with him all came through with the complementary dunks. Having said that, be sure to listen to the latest from the Brockton dream team at the link below. You won’t want to sleep on this one.