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

Skunkz – “Heavyhitters” [Prod. Crank & Lobo]

By: Seamus Fay

For a few months now, Graduation Music has been covering Skunkz and the wide range of talents that he possesses. In this time, looking back on the articles we’ve written about the Boston native, I’ve noticed one main aspect of Skunkz’s artistry that always seems to keep me hooked on his music: effortlessness. In truth, when Skunkz hops on the mic, it never feels as though he’s trying too hard. The words flow with one another quite naturally, and by using such nonchalant yet energetic cadences in his raps, the rising talent is always able to make impressive music without pushing away new fans and listeners. Today, he shows this off with a brand new single entitled “Heavyhitters”.

Produced by Crank and Lobo, it’s important to note that this track acts the first song off of the Trash Talk Series presented by Skunkz. And quite frankly, it’s a hell of a way to kick things off. His skills have been sharpening with each successive release over the past few months, and by bringing forth his most refined self in “Heavyhitters”, it is clearly shown that the hard work is paying off for the Boston representative. Through the scope of sonic direction, tightened-up flows, and increasingly charismatic vocal performances, Skunkz has just about found his sweet spot in the world of music, and the result is some truly impressive output for us all to enjoy.

Listen to “Heavyhitters” at the link below:

Skunkz – “OK My Friend” [Prod. Twayne & StayCrank]

By: Seamus Fay

After making his Graduation Music debut with the Mike Hector-produced single, “Smooth Boy“, Skunkz, or NSL, is back once again today to unleash his latest offering, “OK My Friend”. But this track isn’t just another single to hold the fans down – instead, this is the lead single off of Skunkz’ forthcoming full-length effort, Skunkz Le Pew, due for release very, very soon according to the Boston native and his camp. Regardless of when we receive the main course, however, “OK My Friend” is a very solid offering that will surely keep listeners on the edge of their seats in pursuit of more to come from this standout talent. Just a few songs into his rap career, I’d say Skunkz is doing quite alright as of yet.

That being said, let’s delve further into “OK My Friend”. Featuring production from Twayne and StayCrank, this song jumps off on an infectious note with a sample-based, mesmerizing beat that any fan can latch onto with ease. It progresses seamlessly, and once complemented by Skunkz and his seemingly never-ending array of hard-hitting lyricism and uncut honesty, the final product comes full circle as a noteworthy single within the catalog of this Boston representative and the street lifestyle that he details in his music. “OK My Friend” is also a testament to the imagery that this young artist brings to the table, and as every line seems to paint a picture in the listener’s head, we’re all brought a step further into the mind and life of Skunkz and his team.

Listen to “OK My Friend” at the link below and be on the lookout for Skunkz Le Pew soon!