Suriel’s Debut Album: ‘Blank Slate’

By: Shamus Hill 

The concept of a “blank slate” drifts back centuries, with its truest meaning revolving around the fact that people aren’t born with pre-existing knowledge, but rather that we learn through both our experiences and perception. Today, it’s commonly thought of as a new beginning, a point in one’s life where their past is in the past, and it’s only up to oneself to ensure a bright, desirable future. Perfectly embodying the many interpretations of a blank slate is Lynn-native Suriel, who recently gifted listeners with his wonderfully-developed, debut album titled Blank Slate.

Suriel made his first appearance on Graduation Music a couple of months ago with the release of “$tack$” featuring Rockie Fresh, a song that not only highlighted the Lynn-artist’s potent rapping ability, but showcased his hunger for success, just as well. Blank Slate offers a broader scope into Suriel’s personal life, detailing precisely why he values his strong work-ethic so highly, and how he’s overcome a challenging past to earn everything he’s got. Gift-wrapped with some impressive production and hard-hitting bars, this project is most definitely one worth spending some time with.

Towards the beginning of Blank Slate, Suriel touches upon some of the tumultuous events of his past, and how, at the time, he was unsure of whether or not they would be something that he could overcome. From living in the projects to being raised by a single mother, Suriel has always endured challenges that were beyond his control, however, he’s learned not to let these challenges dictate his life. Songs like “Motive” and “Wake Up” speak to this effect, recounting how Suriel found solace in his surroundings and built upwards from there. While this may not have been his natural reaction immediately, with time, Suriel has learned how to properly navigate through the turbulent periods of life so that he can work towards his goals. Something that each of us strives to accomplish, Blank Slate offers listeners a fresh reminder that they too can overcome anything.

“Rockland Street” is one of my favorite songs off of this album, highlighting how Suriel’s formidable state of mind is truly coming to fruition. While understanding that he’s never had an easy life, Suriel has also come to terms with the fact that a lot of the people placed in similar circumstances haven’t made it to the position that he’s found himself in. He’s placed an incredible amount of time and effort into his craft, and is faithful that his hard-working mentality is what will launch him into his next phase of life.

As Blank Slate shifts towards its end, listeners begin to understand how truly concrete Suriel’s state of mind is. While continuing to reference his difficult past, Suriel begins to describe how these events are what have made him into the strong, withstanding person that he is. Rather than falling victim to the things that he’s endured, Suriel’s taken it upon himself to put his pain to good use. “Blank Face”, the last song off of the album, largely centers itself around this thought-process. Suriel has already witnessed a severe amount of change in his life by refusing to let anything tear him down, and with this in mind, he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to succeed. He’s arrived at a point where he’s built himself his own blank slate, so it’s up to him to either choose to dwell on the past, or flip the page and become the person that he’s always dreamed of becoming.

Largely-based around life experience and change in perception, Blank Slate is a powerful debut album that is worthy of praise. Suriel is living proof that even if the circumstances aren’t always in our favor, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to back down and run away. By facing adversity and having the will to learn from trauma, each and every one of us can have what it takes to overcome any challenge that life throws our way. Suriel brings all of these thoughts to life with his latest release, making it a must-listen for fans everywhere.

Listen to Suriel’s debut Album Blank Slate below:

For those without Spotify, click here

 

Bouvé – “Freebies” ft. Major Baby & StupidGenius

By: Seamus Fay

Garnering even more momentum and preparing the fans for their Steady Leanin-hosted Norfside Fourside show this week, Bouvé, Major Baby, and StupidGenius are all here to bless our pages with a brand new banger entitled “Freebies”. But before we can get into the song, we need to get one thing straight. The North Shore is rapidly emerging as one of the most exciting regions in the state in regards to music, and these three acts remain at the forefront of such an exciting shift. That being said, let’s delve a bit deeper into the unbelievable collaboration that they decided to unleash a few days back.

Produced by none other than hit machines Rocktee and Lil Rich, this track immediately finds its supply of energy through hard-nosed drums and twinkling melodies that will remain stuck in your head for weeks on end. Each new verse is brought forth with exuberant energy and a charismatic touch that gives each artist their individuality while still contributing to the team chemistry in whole, and in every aspect, “Freebies” is a star-studded collaboration that proves why the North Shore is coming up so quick right now. There’s no shortage of talent in the area, with Norfside Fourside to act as a manifesto of the hard work going on up there right now.

Listen to “Freebies” below and if you haven’t already, cop tickets to the show here!

StupidGenius – “Mirage” [Prod. Bouvé]

By: Seamus Fay

It’s always going to be a great day when we receive new music from StupidGenius, and today, fans have been blessed with a warm-weathered anthem entitled “Mirage”. Featuring a guest production credit from none other than Bouvé, this well-deserved collaboration is a clear look into the potential of two of the largest hit machines in Massachusetts right now. The weather is getting warm, it’s about that time when everyone starts releasing music to chase the excitement of the season, and “Mirage” couldn’t have been a better release to kick things off on the right foot.

Featuring production from StupidGenius’s own, Lil Rich, alongside Bouvé, this sparkling beat acts as the perfect sonic background for a group of such positive energy and raw hype. StupidGenius has always been known to hold a certain level of authenticity to their sound, and by focusing on the successes and ambitions that they have both now and in the future, this track acts as a window into this with an exceptionally infectious tint. That being said, “Mirage” is just the song we were all looking forward to in hopes of completing our summer playlists, so be sure not to sleep on the latest offering from StupidGenius and Bouvé – this pairing could most definitely do some damage if they keep working together in the future.

Listen to “Mirage” at the link below.

StupidGenius – “Sincerely, For Jalen”

By: Seamus Fay

As some of you may know, Lowell lost a legend recently with the incredibly unfortunate death of Billy Gilmore – a man who, in my time knowing him, couldn’t have been a better leader and role model for those around him. Not only was he an icon in his city and a true role model within the community, but his impact in the lives of so many is a sentiment that deserves full recognition and simply cannot be understated in all of its priceless worth. In light of his death, Gilmore leaves behind his kids and more specifically, his son, Jalen – a constantly smiling, ambitious, hardworking young man that deserves nothing but the best in this world in memory of his father.

Lowell natives StupidGenius decided to honor Gilmore and his son with their new project, Sincerely, For Jalen. 4 tracks long, this is a testament to the power of a legacy as well as the traits and lifestyles that form one. It’s a beautiful standpoint of life and death in a sentimental perspective, and a valuable listen whether you knew Gilmore or not. I’ll leave it there and let the music speak for itself, so listen to Sincerely, For Jalen at the link below!

Major Baby ft. Big Baby Scumbag – “Stereotypes” (Prod. Lil Rich)

By: Shamus Hill 

Making his debut on Graduation Music today is artist by the name of Major Baby, unveiling his latest track, “Stereotypes”, alongside Big Baby Scumbag. Joining the duo with work on the boards is Lil Rich, lacing the two with a beat that straight up slaps and furthermore, helping to make for yet another addictive track to come out of Massachusetts.

Although he has been releasing music of his own for a few years now, I’ll admit that Major Baby slipped under my radar for a while. However, once I started bumping his music, there was no turning back. He’s worked extensively with Gruca on the majority of the tracks he’s released, and I’m a big fan of the energetic, gritty feeling that accompanies the pairing’s music. “Stereotypes” falls right into this category, allowing Major Baby to further develop that sound he’s been working extensively on with a hard-hitting touch.

This record was my first time listening to Big Baby Scumbag’s music, as well, but the combination of him and Major Baby on this song works perfectly. Each verse seems perfectly-balanced in a way that truly showcases the unique talents of each artist, and it really is a great sampler of the music brought to you by these two rising rappers in their respective energies. Hopefully we will get to see this power duo works side-by-side again in the future.

Listen to “Stereotypes” below:

The Top 50 New England Songs of 2017

By: Seamus Fay

Looking back, 2017 was a year of immense growth for New England and specifically Massachusetts’ budding music scene. We were fortunate enough to see the rise of many new talents as well as watch some of the more established artists prosper in their own ways, and frankly, it was inspiring to us to see the work that the artists, the producers, the photographers, the graphic designers, the mixers, the managers, etc. have been putting in. Without all of these people playing their respective roles, our scene wouldn’t be where it is today.

Having said that, we here at Graduation Music collaborated with Fresh Out The Mint to compile a list of the “Top 50 New England Songs of 2017” (in our humble opinion). Below is the playlist of all the tracks – enjoy!

Thank you sincerely to everyone for supporting us throughout 2017 and making our first full year as a blog a successful one. We greatly appreciate all the love and can’t wait to show you what we have in store for 2018.  

  • Young Seuss – “123”
  • Big Leano – “Broke” [Prod. Tee-WaTT]
  • Vintage Lee – “Bless You” [Prod. Jew Paidro]
  • Millyz – “Lessons” [Prod. Achillies]
  • VALLEY – “Atari” [Prod. Stoop Kid]
  • Caliph & Jefe Replay – “The Mood” [Prod. Obeatz]
  • MyCompiledThoughts – “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Cousin Stizz – “Lambo”
  • DJ Lucas – “Doubt”
  • Lonny X – “Believe It” [Prod. Gravez]
  • Juxi – “Leave Me Alone” [Prod. Banbwoi]
  • Jiggz – “Excuses” [Prod. digitLIX]
  • KREW$ – “Dog Days” [Prod. DMND]
  • RAMS – “Disease!” [Prod. Maka]
  • Rothstein – “Jaded” ft. Supa Bwe [Prod. Shepard]
  • Patrick Michel – “Perfect” [Prod. GrandCruu]
  • Alejandro Blanco – “Give It To Her” [Prod. TFresh & SSB]
  • Jefe Replay – “Stay Ugly” [Prod. Humbeats]
  • Mizzie Cash – “Maneuvering” [Prod. Rob $urreal]
  • Lord Felix – “Power” ft. Marvelous Stefan [Prod. LoLoTheGod]
  • Plad Fine$$e – “Cheese” [Prod. 4oTo Roles]
  • Maye Star – “Adjacent” ft. CH!LD [Prod. Sevnth]
  • WHYTRI – “XURWIFI (Remix) ft. Lily Rayne [Prod. Cecil]
  • Stripes iii – “Henny Down” [Prod. K.C.B.]
  • Khary – “1-800-IDGAF” [Prod. Cloud Atrium]
  • SuperSmashBroz – “Replay Interlude” ft. Jefe Replay [Prod. LDG]
  • Michael Christmas – “Not The Only One” ft. Tobi Lou [Prod. Durkin]
  • $ean Wire – “Moonlight” [Prod. Tropicana Bwoy]
  • Pistola – “Jokes On You” [Prod. Stoop Kid]
  • CAVE – “Who’s Next” [Prod. Maka]
  • Maka & Durkin – “Waterworld”
  • Gio Dee – “Buzz Lightyear” [Prod. MLVN]
  • Humbeats – “Monday” ft. Austin Fair & TeaMarrr
  • StupidGenius – “Palm Trees” ft. Capito [Prod. Lil Rich & Gruca]
  • Garrett Merk – “Simple” [Prod. Frace]
  • Danny Diamonds – “Can’t Talk”
  • Gogo – “Cocaina”
  • Polo $ummers – “$ad Boi” [Prod. WaVe GoD]
  • SuperSmashBroz – “Still” ft. Big Leano & Vintage Lee [Prod. Tee-WaTT]
  • Haasan Barclay – “Live For You”
  • CHE – “Thii”
  • Avenue – “Ain’t Shit Funny” (Remix) ft. Prano, Millyz, Le$, Al-Doe & Chase N Cashe
  • Donald Grunge – “Shade” [Prod. Maka]
  • Boogie Da God – “Get Well Soon” ft. Jefe Replay
  • Marvelous Stefan – “Double Tap!” ft. Saint Lyor [Prod. Trevor Powers]
  • Black EL – “Another Dose” [Prod. Durkin]
  • $wooli – “Rainy Days” ft. Rachel Aiello
  • Rosewood Bape – “Miss Me” [Prod. Kin Rich]
  • TeaMarrr – “The One” [Prod. Ky Thompson & Keith Bell]
  • Michael Christmas – “Top Turnbuckle” ft. OG Swaggerdick

StupidGenius – “Getaway”

By: Seamus Fay

StupidGenius is full of hits. There’s no other way to say it. The group is certainly no stranger to crafting thematic hooks to complement the consistently hard-hitting production, and I don’t see an end to the waves that they’re making these days in the national rap scene. Today, the rapidly-rising duo is here with a new single titled “Getaway”, an anthem for those hungry to reach the top, all the while reflecting on the progress that they’ve made.

“Getaway” is a breath of fresh air in the pursuit of success in rap, fueled by intoxicating melodies and braggadocious yet determined flows to resonate with on the journey to the top. It’s a well packaged single overall, and by always making sure to objectively use their strengths and highlight the best aspects of their sound, StupidGenius can’t miss. If you need me, I’ll be on my phone hitting replay on this one for the rest of the day. Click play on “Getaway” below.