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I was lucky enough to get to witness some of the fine-tuning of this greatness right before my eyes at Studio 221B in Oak Park, MI a couple of months back & now I’m happy to be able to share the final results. Those results pack a five-song funky homage to the late great Prince built from “For You“.  I thoroughly enjoyed the progression/arrangement of “Just For You” and its short ride is over in a pinch after getting lost in the sounds of the project. A short ride that will have you hitting replay fairly quick I imagine. The shining star here is Greg Beard but the AGiLE SOCiETY family is here in full force with JRGotTheHiTS & BOOSTER playing a role amongst other collaborations. To top things off it’s available for free! Listen above or hit the link directly here: https://soundcloud.com/theagilesociety/sets/just-for-you

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ALLiTiZ & Beware – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

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ALLiTiZ & Beware - Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Originally dropping in 2018 here is a project that is resurfacing as a movie of the same title approaches later this year. Forget the upcoming movie though, this three-piece storytelling lyrical endeavor hasn’t lost any luster since the original release.  Together emcee ALLiTiZ alongside producer Beware a creepy story marathon that has the two complimenting each other’s abilities in pristine fashion is crafted. Whether giving you the creeps on “Room for One More” or the ominous vibes of “The Green Ribbon” all three of these records offer something different but fitting as a whole. ALLiTiZ impresses with his delivery that has you listening intent on uncovering every detail of the stories he scripts. The team up with Beware is a welcome combination and “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” might just have you begging for a sequel.

Stream/Purchase Here: https://songwhip.com/album/beware/scary-stories-to-tell-in-the-dark

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Alexis Allon – “Closer” EP

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Alexis Allon - "Closer" EP

Sometimes recognizing “Starr” quality can be a daunting task, however with Alexis Allon you’ll start feeling the sky shine quite instantly as you press play on her brand new EP “Closer“. The Titan Records artist brandishes a powerful voice that carries its weight across a short but extremely fulfilling four record dosage that paints a vivid picture of Alexis’s capabilities.

Kicking off with one of my favorite records in the last few months is the single “Starr”  which has an infectious chorus that easily traps itself inside the space between your ears. Not only does the singing pull you in but Alexis Allon isn’t to be taken lightly on the microphone either. She squeezes in a fair amount of effective bars across “Closer“.

Keep Em” is a great example of those bars – in a more mellow record packed with jazzy vibes. “One thing that should be blatant is I’m here to make a statement‘… well statement made Alexis! The remainder of the EP carries forth the first half’s momentum. “Devotion” & the title track “Closer” are two short but sweet offerings that expand on the strengths of those before.

In closing “Closer” is a demonstrative effort that showcases Alexis Allon as a multi-talented artist who stands just as strong on her own as she does lending her vocal abilities amongst features such as her previous collaborations with Detroit legendary emcee Supa Emcee. The only thing you can ask for after finishing the EP is for more music, & without a doubt, “Closer” will stay in my rotation until that day comes.

Stream/Purchase: https://songwhip.com/album/alexis-allon/closer

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D|REVIEWS – Jonnie Morris – “Jonnie, Be Good” EP

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It’s been just a few months since Jonnie Morris was storming the Detroit hip-hop scene and beyond with his introductory effort “It’s All Beautiful and All Good” but the hungry emcee isn’t worried about delivering new music too rapidly. In wasting no time we are the recipients of another EP from the rising star & letdowns aren’t something in store with the latest dosage. “Jonnie, Be Good” feels a tad more aggressive in its delivery than the predecessor, rather harder hitting than the slightly more subtle storytelling of before. This is no negative mark as you can hear the strength behind the raspy voice of an emcee truly coming into top-notch form. 

With just six records on “Jonnie, Be Good” a focus on quality over quantity becomes a reoccurring theme as well & by the time it comes to an end you’re already back at the beginning for another cycle on repeat. In my weeks with the new release, I’ve found that to be the case often, as it’s shortness because an easy access replay value that further shows it true worth with each stream. As usual, I dive in & give a breakdown of my audible travels through the new ep from Jonnie Morris

01. Testing Me – Determination becomes a somewhat constant theme in the context of “Jonnie, Be Good” & the aggressive opener solidifies that from the start. “Straight facts try to catch me you either ether, or ripped into pieces getting down the reaper,” states Jonnie in closing on the hype introduction. The repetitive hook gets stuck in your head & “Testing Me’ provides the perfect opening statement. 

02. Cooking – This is the only record on “Jonnie, Be Good” that had to grow on me a little. “Cooking up the fire….” has Jonnie delivering bars a little bit faster & I enjoyed the verses but for me, the chorus/hook was the grower for me. I don’t dislike the record but amongst the ep overall it was my least favorite on the project.

03. You Can’t Stop Me – In where “Cooking” had to grow on me “You Can’t Stop Me” instantly reeled me in. Certainly, my favorite cut on “Jonnie, Be Good” we get a sample of some singing that delivers one of the shining moments on the EP. The lyrical spilling’s of this record carry us through struggles & real life glimpses such as a Teen Titans reference, bill troubles, & the hustle of making it all come together. This one’s one of my favorite records of 2019 to date. 

04. Knock It Off – Aggressive from the get-go the confidence seeps through this heavy hitting banger that’ll have you turning the knob up, up up! Another shining demonstration of Jonnie’s knack for providing pure lyrical substance in a way that effortlessly melts into the production he chooses. It’s obvious, past the halfway point of this EP that if you’re thinking about messing with this lyrical monster your probably best to just “Knock It Off“.

05. Back Down – Paranoid of cop calling neighbors “Back Down” has Jonnie Morris laying down a much deeper message inside the lyrics of this record. “I’ve got the youth” states Jonnie as he breaks down fears & what carries a warning message of sorts to “take cover” in this fucked up world we live in. A powerful record that is narrated via a powerful voice. 

06. TM: Reloaded – At the beginning, & in the end. “Testing Me: Reloaded” closes out “Jonnie, Be Good” with an alternate version that sets out to ensure that with his son by his side, he’s not playing with this hip-hop & the “monster with the flow” continuously proves his point as the sword slicing sounds demonstrate how you could “lose your life“. 

In closing, yet again & in such a short time Jonnie Morris continues to cement his place in this industry. That cement does not look to be breaking apart anytime soon and with “Jonnie, Be Good” we have a further polished effort that really has begun shaping an artist that not only has staying power but is able to provide powerful music for listeners in a relatable way. “Jonnie, Be Good” was a terrific way to kick off the year and with a brand new record featuring Kid Vishis arriving here soon we are from done hearing what the emcee has to say this year. I for one can’t wait to hear what else he has to tell us. The growth here was enough alongside the replay value & shining moments to slightly edge out last years rating of “It’s All Beautiful and All Good“, I give it an impressive 9.2/10.

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