Ryan Hemsworth recently dropped his second official release, Alone For The First Time, a moody 7 track EP that was led by his single "Snow In Newark" with Dawn Golden. Today XXYYXX brings his twist to Hemsworth's track, further bringing the hazy song into the left field, warping the vocals and adding his signature sound to the mix.
Bay area music blog & a group of young creatives. Est. 2010
Kendrick Lamar's sophomore album is one of the most highly anticipated releases in contemporary music, after impressing the world with the release of his single "i", he returned last night to one of America's favorite late night t.v. specials with some new material. Joined by the immaculate Bilal, Thundercat, Terrace Martin (who goes off as expected with an ill sax solo), and Anna Wise this was a riveting showcase of what we can expect from the forthcoming album. Kendrick's experimental track takes us through the different perspectives he's heard from the different races he's encountered on his journey into stardom, an introspective and once again powerful track from K.Dot. Stay tuned for Kendrick to release his upcoming album this coming year, and take the time to appreciate the attention to detail through the above performance, which brings us substance and musical experimentation at it's finest.
It may come as a surprise to many, but OG Maco's material goes far beyond the hard hitting "B*tch You Guessed It", and after releasing his debut OG Maco EP, he returns with the socially conscious BREATHE EP. The Atlanta rapper takes the time to reflect on the recent state of affairs in the United States, addressing the race relations and lack of justice that the system has shown to Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant and countless others in a repeating cycle of oppression. The powerful cover art isn't just that, it represents the body of work that OG Maco's presented here, with production from Chuck Inglish on the questioning intro track "Get Down". Stream + download the EP below, you may be surprised by what you hear.
Antioch native, Vanessa Vigil is someone who you may often find in front of the camera, modeling for numerous clothing brands, or fellow photographers from the Bay Area. However, the 20 year old channels her passion into her personal photography with a different outlook than most, choosing to express herself through her medium by focusing around sexism. A burgeoning artist herself, Vanessa, often referred to as Vavi can be found in all the right places, at all the right times, whether it's hanging up her photos alongside Supreme at two different art shows, photographing some of the Bay Area's musical talents (most recently for example, her shoot with Down 2 Earth), or backstage at a HBK concert, the hustle never sleeps. Vavi's photography challenges male viewers to confront their privilege, living in a society that objectifies women, and offers a different perspective on the subject altogether through the use of her photoshoots or her body project.
Below check out our interview with Vavi to learn some more about her work, while also catching a taste of what she has to offer. She'll be a part of our group art show coming up on January 9th, (read up on Andre Elliott as well if you haven't yet) for more details stay tuned to our Instagram and Twitter pages.
You recently had some photos in the FAZE Flagship show and displayed a Frida and a Dia De Los Muertos inspired shoot, both drawing influence from your Mexican heritage. Tell us a little about what the two themes mean to you.
I'm willing to admit that my Frida and Dia De Los Muertos inspired shoots stem from me trying to get in touch with my Mexican heritage. I am the third generation to be born in the States. Due to the lack of keeping my roots alive in those generations, I find myself searching for who I am and how I fit into this culture that I know I am apart of, but yet I feel so far from. Many artist use their art to not only express themselves but to help find themselves. These inspired series are a perfect example of that. I've always been fascinated by Frida Khalo, such a strong beautiful woman, in such a cruel world. I often find myself thinking of her when i need inspiration or when i am feeling discouraged. I have also always been fascinated by the celebration of Dia De Los Muertos. Dreaming of the food and colors that are swirling around Mexico City those first few days of November. My inspiration came from a painting I admired at the Fruitvale Festival in Oakland for Dia De Los Muertos.
Your body series forces viewers to be comfortable with and appreciate viewing women of all shapes and sizes as opposed to reinforcing the standard of beauty presented by mass media. What are the origins of the series?
My body series project has no exact origin. Many factors play into how that series came about. One of the primary roots of that project comes from growing up as a female in a male dominant world. The older i got, the more aware i became of how i was treated because of my gender. I also became aware of the views that were put on women from things i saw everyday, on tv, video games, magazines, movies, every source of social media. I often say, art is my voice and i want something to say with it. My body series is my voice against objectifying women. As the project carried on, i learned that it was also having the affects that you mentioned. Opposing those standards of beauty, allowing other women that looked at the project to accept their own body. I could seriously talk about this project for hours, its been such a soul rewarding project due to the feedback ive gotten from the 'models' and audience.
You've done some work with a few Bay Area based musicians, for example your behind the scenes of IAMSU's "Stop Signs" and P-Lo's "Money Up" music video. How did your relationship with the Gang develop and what have you learned from them?
My relationship with the Gang developed from assisting some of the rawest Bay Area visual artists (like Chris Simmons, David Camarena and Julian Edward) that had already developed a relationship with them. Everyone in HBK is really easy to get along with so naturally I developed my own relationships with specific members from being around them. The main thing that I have learned from being around HBK is that anything is possible. Although my relationship with them is very new, it's inspiring to watch them grow and have their hard work pay off. Artists like Dave Steezy, Kehlani, and David Camarena are all between the ages of 19-21, myself falling in that age category pushes me to keep going. I've also recently been working with Jay Ant, already he is beginning to resemble an older brother figure who teaches me not just life lessons, but important business aspects in the art world.
You have an upcoming video that'll be premiering at the gallery opening, what can we expect to see from that? Will there be more video work from you in the future?
The video I am premiering is the first thing I've ever really filmed aside from a few clips of b-roll for P-Lo's "Money Up" music video. The video is about a minute-thirty of very simple, mediocre, close up clips. With the help of Chris Simmons, who did the editing, I'm pleased with my first experiment in film. What made it even more rewarding was my best friend since hopscotch days, Alexandra Smith, was the main model; and having my mentor, Chris Simmons, do the editing. Creating things you love with the people you love, well it doesn't get more rewarding than that. I appreciate them, and the never ending help and support that comes from those two.
You will most definitely be seeing more video work from me in the future. Im falling in love with filming, I'm fearful soon I wont be able to stop.
Lucki Eck$ recently brought us a tune alongside fellow Chicagoan Saba, but also released this track of his own enlisting Chancellor to create some musical magic. "Stevie Wonder" is pretty different from what we've come to expect from Lucki, bringing together an unlikely pairing in Young Chop, Nate Fox and Plu2o Nash on the production end. Chance begins the track with some impactful wordplay, where the production later switches up for a ridiculous verse from Lucki himself. Lookout for Lucki Eck$ to make some big noise this coming year, and be sure to peep his project Body High if you haven't yet.
Down 2 Earth has been preparing for the release of their collaborative album Wildfire for some time now, the trio of Azure, Clyde Shankle and Dayvid Michael returning today with two new tracks. For those who've been anticipating more material from the group, the two part drop definitely serves it's purpose in keeping your musical spirits satisfied, bringing us some standout production from The Invasion's Kuya Beats. Tyrese Johnson lends a helping hand to "Tolls", which comes sans a verse from Clyde Shankle, but nonetheless packs quite the punch with an onslaught from the three emcees featured (verses from Azure and Dayvid Michael). HBK Gang frontman IAMSU! assists Azure and Clyde Shankle on "Daze We In", taking the helm at the hook and also adding a verse to par with Azure's absolutely stellar rhymes. Take the time to enjoy this quality drop from Down 2 Earth, their album Wildfire is on it's way and will be well worth the wait, as they're looking to provide us with more standout, organic tracks like these.
Caleborate has been quiet for some time now. A couple of days ago the young MC liberates a passionate flip of Goapele "Closer". Caleborate reveals some intimate moments as an artists who tries to grasp the realities of being an artist in this day and age. Check out Caleborate's latest track below and be sure to check out his latest project #TheUsual on his bandcamp, it is something you don't want to miss out on.