Whether or not you like him, Spooky Black is primed to blow up (at least on the same level as Yung Lean) and he deserves it. ”Without You” is one of the most interesting pop tracks to drop this year and it sounds even better with Supa Bwe and Sidewalk Kal over it. The boys mostly leave the original intact, only adding their own original verses seamlessly in between Spooky Black’s. Sidewalk Kal is unsurprisingly amazing with a fast paced verse over the slowed beat and Supa Bwe adds some much needed texture to Spooky Black’s singing. The original may be a singular work but it’s hard to deny how much Kal and Supa Bwe add.
It’s been a pretty good week for hip-hop. We got some new Chance, Wu-Tang, Ratking and most importantly two new tracks from Deity Gang member and Up-Turn favorite Sidewalk Kal. What’s most exciting is that the two new tracks are the first taste of Kal’s upcoming Champagne Forever EP. I’ve been waiting for a Kal release for a few years now and can’t wait to see how he tackles a more formal release. ”Taxin”, the shorter of the two new tracks, is a lyrical beast that has Kal locked into an unstoppable flow for the entire 3 minutes. The beat courtesy of Grimm Doza hums and stutters underneath Kal’s unstable and constantly exciting verse. As the name might suggest, “Champagne Forever” is a bigger affair with Kal strutting confidently over Kalo’s 808s heavy beat. Unlike “Taxin”, “Champagne Forever” shows off the more party-ready side of Kal. It definitely won’t soundtrack your next frat party (do frat bros ever read The Up-Turn anyway?) but it’s nice to hear Kal take a track on as a victory lap of sorts. Champagne Forever EP drops April via Tar Records.
The godly collaborations between Tuamie and Sidewalk Kal continue with “Cut The Bullshit”. As he demonstrated on his track “Xpansion”, Tuamie is experimenting with new sounds and styles with his production and “Cut The Bullshit” has him moving past the soul-coated loops we’ve come to expect and embracing odder textures and synth sounds. I honestly can’t imagine many other emcees even attempting to rap over a track like this besides Sidewalk Kal and unsurprisingly he drops one of his finest verses yet. Kal was kind enough to include the full set of lyrics in the track description so it’s easier not to get lost in the labyrinthine wordplay that Kal rocks. Although not a word is wasted an early standout has Kal declaring “chopped like a soul break / flex cuz ya soul fake / snowflake niggas don’t invent just appropriate / gods chill in dark rooms smoke and procreate / spoke the golden great / bust a grape while i kiss her nape.” Follow that?
At the end of the day Tuamie is the loops master and the beatie king and he’s making it because he has never doubted his methods. Since his earlier days, Tuamie has gained a sizable fan base and even collaborated with Sidewalk Kal proving that he has skill to live up to the praise we’ve thrown his way. ”Generation Y” is one of his longest offerings so far and proves Tuamie can keep your attention for well over three minutes.
We heard the teaser a while ago and have been lucky enough to hear Kal perform this track live a few times so it was a pretty nice surprise today to see that Kal has finally decided to put out “Sri Lanka”. Since Yung AOL has overtaken Mattron this technically may be the last Mattron/Kal joint and it’s only fitting that it’s one of the best tracks they’ve ever put out together. There just aren’t many other rappers who can say so much and fit memorable hooks into a track in under 2 minutes but Kal keeps it effortless. If you’ve ever read The Up-Turn before you know we’ve ranted about Kal’s talent and seriously I don’t understand why he’s not famous yet. I listened to some Big Sean earlier today (the kid in a stall next to me was soundtracking his time on the toilet I guess) and it’s not that good. Kal is good. Nah, Kal’s a god.
Yeah, Deity Gang isn’t all dudes. I didn’t actually know that until I had the pleasure of meeting Keiya at the Deity Gang Paxico Take-over a few weeks back. Keiya is not only the sole member of Deity Gang who sings but she’s a fine singer on her own right as well. ”Due Time” isn’t in your face and probably isn’t the kind of song that would have Keiya winning American Idol but I’m cool with that and I don’t think Keiya has any desire to be on American Idol anyway. Instead, “Due Time” is a bite-sized and highly intimate taste of the kind of atmosphere Keiya can conjure with nothing more than her voice and a jazzy beat from the man Jay Curry. Try not to fall in love.
Ever since I first listened to Tuamie I’ve been hoping that a properly skilled rapper would take on one of his perfect loops. Luckily the wait is over as one of our favorite rapper’s decided to spit over a jazzy loop on “Thousand Arrows”. This is two gods coming together and “Thousand Arrows” is appropriately awesome. Over the nonstop movement of Tuamie’s beat Kal delivers a lyrically dense and disorienting verse. Where “Paranoid” was a tuned and perfected version of Kal’s space-gazing flow, “Thousand Arrows” is Kal with his eyes forward cruising as fast as he can. No matter what gear he’s in he doesn’t stumble.