“Swordplay” by @TaiyamoDenku (ft. @RealAfruRa)

“The Book of Cypha Den” is Taiyamo Denku’s forthcoming release and recently he dropped the 4th single from the project entitled “Swordplay”. The “King of Collaborations” recruited veteran “kung-fu style” rhymer and “silent verse assassin” Afru-Ra (“Life Force”) to assist in another episode of Taiyamo Denku slaying emcees. Produced by Austrian Beatsmith, the Asian themed track, with it’s proceed with caution yet, chilled vibes sets the foundation for Taiyamo and Afru-Ra’s lyrical assault. Step into the Dojo and enjoy!

“The Book of Cypha Den” drops on September 3rd and is currently available for pre-order.

All words, thoughts, and no bullshit written by,

#Cypher: Bridgeside Cypher #5 (Aaron King, Borderline, Stress Prince, and Ju$t Jill)

Shit, I thought I was already awake on this Sunday morning (PT). So, I was reading an e-mail (which I don’t selectively indulge in all the time these days, as the music gotta call my name) from “producer, engineer, songwriter, and artist” Terry Borderline – viewing his pic, scanning his bio, etc., etc., and also embracing my initial, but not concrete, thoughts of “oh he might be a soul, neo-soul D’Angelo type artist”. Yep, for a minute I was hella guilty of “genre profiling” just from looking at the aesthetics of the e-mail. I never consciously heard of Terry Borderline or heard his music before. So, I also clicked on this link Terry Borderline included in his e-mail that said “Watch Borderline obliterate the Bridgeside Cypher”. With my “genre profiling” still dominating my thoughts I was thinking “Ok, I’m about to watch a soul singer cypher” – enter the prelude to the yeah, right moment. Dammit, this effin’ cypher actually started off with none other than Aaron King goin’ in on a sick symphonic beat – (“Look at this crowd/They don’t know what’s in store for them”). Yep, he captured my surprised thoughts perfectly – so enter my WTF moment. And then, Aaron passed the baton on to Terry Borderline – enter that time Nipsey Hussle slapped the soul out of somebody outside of the BET Awards moment. The assumptive “genre profiling” lesson was learned – Terry Borderline got bars. And, the lyrical barrage did not end there either, as the cypher also includes Stress Prince and Jus$t Jill. Yep, I had to wake up, “tighten the fuck up”, adjust my posture as the introduction to Terry Borderline and the whole episode of opening my e-mail/listening experience inspired me to write this post. I didn’t even have an angle either, just organic thoughts – good shit is good shit. But, now you know how it is on the days when I do open my e-mail, and “something” makes me linger in that e-mail space, and eventually the music or vibes just call my name. I’m awake. Y’all enjoy…

Follow The Bridgeside Collective on Instagram.

All words, thoughts, and no bullshit written by,

The Return To Living Water: “Splash” by Thomas Who? | @IamThomasWho


“First name, Thomas
Last name, better than
Whoever put a pen
To paper if I’m being modest…”

I recently became aware of the name and sounds of OKC artist and native, Thomas Who? a few months ago. After releasing his prior projects “WhoTube” “Who Knew”, and “Who’s Next?”, Thomas Who? recently dropped his album “Splash” (produced by Yondo Beats and Taylor Latre) which is definitely, as his friend Jordan Drescher describes in the intro, a “proclamation” as to who he is in the rap game. However, all definitive accolades aside, after listening to the project, I feel that the hip hop culture has actually been waiting for his arrival.

There is a distinction between having the desire “to be” and unconsciously being necessary – but his “Splash” (meaning return to living water according to Thomas Who?) into the rap game was obviously destined to hit different. “I rap better than you.”. That’s a bold moniker. And, shit the path to one’s purpose should be celebrated – no matter what your arrival looks like.

“I never was worried
The path of the few isn’t matted down
Every head doesn’t have a crown
And every voice doesn’t have a sound
You gave up on what you dream about
That is why you and I
Are not the same…”

“Splash” consists of Jordan Drescher’s Intro, and 11 tracks with features by Ph!l Lea on vocals and Oklahoma artists Jacobi Ryan, Recon Wesley Warhol, Deezy, and Beetyman (who, in my opinion should honorarily be the 6th man for Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – I see you Beetyman). At least half of the production vibe on “Splash” is akin to a melodic, warm spring morning at times as can be heard on the tracks “OK” featuring Jacobi Ryan and Ph!l Lea and also on “Not The Same” which has this real addictive “easy like Sunday morning” aura and also features the vocal stylings of Ph!l Lea – Ph!l singing the chorus – “You gave up on what you dream about/That’s why you and are are not the same” on “Not The Same” is just downright mesmerizing. “Splash” also include themes that celebrates Thomas’s come up and his appreciation for individuals who’ve shown him support over the years on tracks like the celebratory “We Made It” and the latin jazz inspired “Splash Out”. Thomas Who? also has a little something that cleverly appeals to our adult habits via our “libido” as well as our affinity for dope ass lyricism and wordplay which can be heard on “Mo Betta Hues”.

“Can you dig it?
You witnessing
Living Lemony Snickett
On ya’ ticket
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Is all you gettin’
When battlin’ Soul survivor of Babylon
Teachers labeled me bad
Because the syllabus
Wasn’t challengin’…”

“If they label you a God/I sympathize with atheists.” Yep, a lyric like that from Thomas Who? is disgustingly brutal and speaks volumes as to who he lyrically aligns himself with – only rap’s upper echelon. Thus, what surprised me about “Splash” is all the organic, flowery “not bullshit, but great shit” that I wrote above, especially after hearing the barrage of rapid fire lyrics and whitty word play that Thomas Who? and Wesley Warhol displayed on the bass heavy, and addictive “ABNL” (“All Blessings No Luck” which also features Jacobi Ryan). See, “ABNL” was the first track that I heard from Thomas Who? And although “Splash” offers a great balance of tracks that range from colorful and light, to aggressive and edgy, the instructor of Cadence, Flow & Lyricism 101 still keeps class in session with tracks like “Dumb”, “Untitled” (featuring Deezy and Betty Man) as well as one of my favorites, next to “ABNL” and “Not The Same” – “WBSL 2” where Thomas Who? describes a lyrical war with him as “E. Honda meets Ryu but in All Madden”. And after he lyrically assaults you on the “EA field” and the dust settles, one will quickly realize, they don’t want it with Thomas Who? At the end of “WBSL 2” he once again affirms his proclamation – “I guess the bottom line is, I just rap better than you niggas.”

And, I still affirm, the hip hop culture has been awaiting his arrival…

“Which constellation shinin’
Is his pen aligned with?
I been a star
So this astronomical gassin’
Is nothin’ more than science..”

And, Thomas Who? knows this…

You need “Splash”…

“Splash” is now available via private purchase only. Go to Thomas Who?’s Instagram page, say hello via a DM, and request to purchase a digital copy of “Splash”. Also, shout out to Dewun Music who mixed and mastered “Splash”. And you’re welcome.

All thoughts, words, and no bullshit written by,

“Ever Since I Found You” (Official Video) by Jacobi Ryan | @Nothin2much

“Ain’t nobody ever stayed before
You lookin’ like
You finna change it though
Like every thang
That I’ve been prayin for…”

Yesterday, Jacobi Ryan dropped the visuals for his Week 31 track, the EDM, trap sounding, (but definitely hip hop and RnB inspired), “Ever Since I Found You”.

The visuals are filled with a lot of special moments as Jacobi put a call out to fans and friends to submit their wedding engagement videos to include in the visuals for “Ever Since I Found You”. Jacobi said in his recent podcast that the track is all about falling in love, finding someone that holds you down and also respecting that and the visuals capture those sentiments perfectly. Also, there is no “fake love”, or even any hint of mushiness from Jacobi here, as Image Line Studios created some real and abstract magic…

“A lotta people want to frame stories”…

With its contemporary and thought provoking art exhibits, the 21c Hotel Museum in Oklahoma City, OK interestingly enough served as the beautiful location for the video shoot. Using the wedding engagement videos, Image Line Studios cleverly replaced and framed the videos in the existing gallery artwork at 21c thus, making a sort of “love” exhibit (among the existing exhibits as seen below) that Jacobi admires as he tours the museum in a deep, peaceful, introspective mood.

The fact that the visuals and the slow, dreamy sound of the track seems to marry Jacobi’s tranquil space is truly the icing on the cake – as the energy seems to invoke the feelings of why and when the Universe seems to put some of us in the “eternal” endearing graces of our soulmate in the first place. We always want that feeling to last forever and remain that way. If love is meant to be, and it feels right, it’s meant to be. Y’all enjoy the video…

THE PODCAST…

Episode 31 of Jacobi Ryan’s #TMIKTMID is now available for streaming. The podcast is available on Apple, Google, Stitcher, Radio Public and Anchor.

This episode’s topics include:
– Faith
– The story behind the track “Ever Since I Found You”

As always… If the podcast “has provided value”, feel free to share your feedback at:

IG/Twitter: @Nothin2Much.

www.jacobiryan.com
www.52in365.com

“Forest Green Forester” [Official Video] GXNE WALLACE | @GoneWallace

“See this the strongest strain
You ever seen
You need to knock it back
The Dragonzord is blowing smoke
Its like it needs its muffler fixed
Good luck with that.
Niggas about to charge a luxury tax
A finder’s fee for brown paper bags
The dopest shit you ever had
That’s how I know
That I was born to snap
Like a Soulja Boy inspired dance…”
– GXNE WALLACE

I know it’s been a long minute since I really “stopped, stopped” (Ha Ha Davis) and dug into a GXNE WALLACE track. And, every time I do I get taken on a lo-fi lyrical trip. His current track and visuals for “Forest Green Forester” from his album “DZ3” (DRAGONZORD 3) is no different as GXNE WALLACE’s lyricism combined with the comfortable, laid back production reels you in for the euphoric set up (“It rise from the ocean”) and also toys with your decision making skills to leave the “good space” that he put you in from the gate. (“Come with me. You done with me? Nah”.) I’m just sayin, if Subaru ever entered the cannabis market… they’ll need Mr. GXNE WALLACE. Y’all enjoy!

“KanoDadda: EXPRMNT VII” @GranddadWoolly and @bbaixaone

I listened to the latest offering from producer CHIKANO and emcee/lyricist Granddad Woolly’s latest EP, “EXPRMNTVII”, the other day at work while working on some “paper pushing type goals”. And, I must say, the EP was the perfect soundscape for what I needed to accomplish. “EXPRMNT VII” is a twelve track EP and is being touted as a concept album and the production with it’s film samples and throwback music vibes, comes off as exactly that complete with Granddad Woolly serving as both the narrator, and shit the lyrical executioner. Just know, he ain’t takin’ no prisoners, nor is he lookin’ for you to “survive” either (“trap you in a web that you never knew was spun nigga”). Alright, time to keep you for a minute then kick ya’ ass of my blog… Read the full on point description of the album below and head over to Granddad Woolly’s IG to read his personal breakdown of some of the tracks and (in the words of Granddad) “talk about the shit”. Don’t forget to stream the album too. Y’all Enjoy!

“EXPRMNT VII is a conceptual musical narrative curated by Lisbon, Portugal producer CHIKANO & Northwest Indiana/Atlanta emcee Granddad Woolly. It is their long awaited full length debut album and follow up to their 2015 EP “EXPRMNTS I-VI” that serves as the supreme collaboration of these two talented individuals. The album is heavy influenced by vintage sci-fi, decades of popular culture, Portuguese themes, pure Hip-Hop and unhindered concepts. The album plays as a film, split into two parts but remains extremely connected by the music. Though the initial concept may liken itself to a 1930’s horror film, the deeper concept of the album centers around creation and its greatest mysteries….life and death.
CHIKANO & Granddad Woolly present some of their best production and lyricism to date and prove that their collaboration is as perfect as it is monstrous. With that being said, enjoy the film.”

“EXPRMNT VII” is available on all streaming platforms and is also available in limited edition on cassette, vinyl, and CD on Bandcamp.

“Time Heals” I$O Indies | @ISOIndies (Dir. by Ezru Gonzalez)

I$O Indies are having a great year and have remained very consistent with their music the last several months, having dropped two EPS, “I.S.O.” and “I.S.O. 2.0” and also a few singles in between including “7 A.M. in Brooklyn” and “Hydro”. Last month the duo also released the visuals for their single “Time Heals” which gives listeners I$O Indies’s natural golden era sound and also unleashes a more freer Conchezyout and DillMatic as opposed to the laid back vibe fans are accustomed to. I kind of felt like they’ve exhaled a little because their greatness is starting to peak in the hip hop arena. The video is directed by Ezru Gonzalez, and ironically, it is filmed on the streets with a mural of the Notorious B.I.G. serving as the backdrop. Yep, I$O Indies is definitely standing on the shoulders of hip hop giants – and rightfully so. Watch the video and enjoy!

❤#52in365 Week 31: “Ever Since I Found You” Jacobi Ryan | @Nothin2Much

“From the mind to the soul
Shit outta control
You gotta be
Made out of a rose
Mad flowers and gold
You got me so exposed
Tellin’ you things
Nobody else would know”
– Jacobi Ryan

It’s Week 31 of Jacobi Ryan’s #52in365 #FormerlyFresh campaign and love is definitely in the air. Jacobi collaborated with producer DG Beats who’s been featured on several tracks for the campaign, for his track “Ever Since I Found You”. DG Beats unleashes a a sound that is a one part trap and one part EDM vibe as Jacobi lays his feelings of vulnerability (“I don’t ever really talk too much/And you can’t argue with me when I say it’s real/A lot of people say a lot of things/U know the truth by the way it feel”) and the “straight arrow” impact of claiming and receiving love on the table (“Had to win you over, I don’t lose”). The appealing thing about “Ever Since I Found You” is that Jacobi delivers the theme of love on a platter that is not even complicated. In others words, it’s refreshing to hear, (and I think I just revisited this in one of my old poems) someone gravitate towards the “us” part of love and not one’s individual ego, demons, or habitual display of unchanged flaws. It’s straight up love.

“Ever Since I Found You” is now available on all digital streaming platforms. And, don’t forget to connect with Jacobi on Facebook when the video drops as he has something special in store for the visuals for “Ever Since I Found You”. Enjoy the track!

www.52in365.com

“Sick Sad Summer” by Klokwize | @Klokwize (Official Video)

Always remember – music, especially great music, is always timeless. Having said that, early last month, our friend Klokwize released the visuals for his track “Sick Sad Summer” which was produced by Ant Quint. I know I’ve seen the IG posts for “Sick Sad Summer”, and vibed out to the snippets of music but damn, I didn’t know the production on the track was so fuckin’ dope. Complete with a “1950s horror” vibe, classic hip hop elements via scratching, a lo-fi beat, electric guitars and this new don’t give a fuck lyricism, shit, the energy on the track is like – (excuse me while I break the fourth wall on this post – I always break the fouth wall on a Klokwize post) let’s just say you got me “effed up” Klokwize. This feels like a little sneaky rebirth and I LOVE it! For the listeners, the combination of the various music styles, Klok’s rapid fire lyricism, along with the slow swag of the eerily haunting beat hits you with a one, two punch, letting you know that Klokwize did not come to play with you this summer. The visuals are also fun to watch, as the director Michael Holcomb, picked a fitting location – a defunct amusement park and includes some interesting vintage picture in picture special effects in the visuals – I think I even saw the Mayflower too. Y’all watch and enjoy!

#EVEINSPIRATION: “IBTIHAJ” by @Rapsody featuring D’Angelo and GZA (Prod. by 9th Wonder)

“Ain’t an emcee on this earth
That make me feel afraid.”
Rapsody

Rapsody recently dropped her soul filled and classic sounding single and visuals “IBTIHAJ” on Friday, and, it truly is a breathe of fresh air. The 9th Wonder produced track “IBTIHAJ” features the soul music savior himself, D’Angelo, and one of hip hop’s favorite lyricist and legend, GZA of the Wu Tang Clan. The track also sample’s GZA 1995 hit “Liquid Swords” (the lyrics from hook from the original “Liquid Swords” is cleverly finessed by D’Angelo himself). The visuals also features GZA, and cameos by the legendary Roxanne Shante, Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige, and female biker Ms. Parris. “IBTIHAJj” is the lead single from Rapsody’s forthcoming album “Eve”

Honor thy Queen. Respect Muslim culture. “Eve”, which will be all about the celebration and empowerment of women is due out later this month. Thus, you won’t fail to notice the lovely ladies in the video in various scenes vibin’ with Rapsody and wearing/rockin’ their Hijabs in the visuals. The track’s title “IBTIHAJ” is named after and honors Ibtihaj Muhammad a member of the U.S. fencing team and the first Muslim American to wear a Hijab to represent the U.S. in the Olympics. I love the track especially the three-part chorus – the original from D’Angelo, plus D’angelo singing the original “Liquid Swords” chorus, as well as Rapsody’s original chorus for the track which is nicely arranged and you won’t even notice it at first because you are enjoying creative synergy. The homage to women that Rapsody has always included in her music embodies her spirit to always recognize the shoulders that she stands on in hip hop, but what has not changed with this new music is – Rapsody still ain’t letting you forget she is a skilled emcee period. Y’all enjoy this wave!!

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