• Mixtapes of the Month

    There was a time when mixtapes were loose collections of songs not good enough to make an album. Those days are over. In 2013, an age where artists recognize that the road to stardom is paved with free music, mixtapes have become full, original bodies of music in their own right.

    But all that free music also means discovering something truly worth your time can be harder than finding a needle in a digital haystack. That’s where our friends at DJBooth.net come in. Their “Mixtapes of the Month” series narrows down the previous 30 days (give or take) to three projects guaranteed to ensure the month’s best work doesn’t pass you by.

    So without further ado, here are three new ones for your tape deck, desktop, or iPhone.

  • Yonas: Transition 2: Bright Lights, Big City

    Each month we’re flooded with a ridiculous amount of music. While those new projects are often tailored to a specific sonic taste, there are a few artists who always stand out by giving everyone on the musical taste spectrum something they can appreciate. Look no further than Bronx native, Yonas. With his intoxicating energy, high-octane beats, and positive, feel-good style, the 25-year-old has stolen the hearts of many. Now, with his new free album, Transition 2, he might just steal yours.

    From the catchy yet substantive “I Thought I Told Y’all” to the R&B rooted, “Promises” Yonas gives you songs perfect for bumpin’ with the windows down and playing on those low key nights in. Need a song to make your next summer throwdown memorable? Look no further than “Girls Of Summer”. Yonas has so many styles, each of them equally as amazing, that no matter how you are, there is definitely something for you on Transition 2.

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  • Slum Village: Evolution

    As the San Antonio Spurs showed this month, no matter how “old” a crew is, if they have talent and experience, they can give the young guns a run for their money. Consider Slum Village hip-hop’s San Antonio Spurs. The Detroit trio, made up of T3, Young RJ and Illa J, have been bringing authentic hip-hop heads real music since 1996 and with the recent release of their new studio album, Evolution, the veterans show they rock the mic like it’s 1999.

    Some artist’s stick to doing one thing, but Slum Village does it all and does it all well. They make their own beats, write their own lyrics, and, of course, rap. They don’t need any bells and whistles or gimmicks either, impressing with a minimalist style that lets their stellar flows hit even harder. They say you are only as good as the company you keep and if that’s the case, SV is very, very good. The well-respected crew recruits a few guests who just so happen to be some of the undergrounds most acclaimed emcees. From veteran Big Pooh (of Little Brother) and the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff—both on “Rock Rock”—to Blu on “Let It Go”, the guests spots are well chosen and show the kind of clout SV has. While the guests may be notable, Slum Village are the ones who take center stage. The title of the album might be Evolution, but Slum Village once again prove that quality music never changes.


  • Donnie Trumpet: Donnie Trumpet

    Chicago is home to one of the most promising music scenes in the country. Sure, with artists like Kanye West and Common, the Windy City has always been a hotbed of talent, but lately a storm is a brewin’, which just might bring on a downpour of unique, refreshing talent. While you might know of the Savemoney crew from their poster child, Chance The Rapper, they are not a one-horse town. While most of the crew raps, there is one member of the family that says more with a trumpet than some artists say with a mic: His name is Nico Segal, a.k.a Donnie Trumpet.

    Donnie Trumpet, Nico’s pen name (or trumpet name if you want to get specific), recently released his self-titled mixtape; coincidentally he did it on his 20th birthday. Yup, that’s right, he is only 20 and showing a musical intelligence well beyond his years, lacing his cuts with soulful, jazz-inspired instrumentals that steal the spotlight from his guest emcees. Want to see him in action? Take a listen to “Zion” where Donnie’s fluttering, goosebump-inducing instrumentals take the attention away from the Chance’s reggae inspired flow and the ultra talented Vic Mensa (former front man of Savemoney’s Kids These Days). Donnie Trumpet has a strong hip-hop foundation that will ensure the youngins get what they love, but the jazz woven style will open up a whole new world to younger audiences while making the elders in the family happy with its sophisticated roots.