Friday, October 11, 2019
“SHAOLIN’S FREESTYLE” is the first single off the up and coming mixtape titled “NALA” by Dubai based creative, ekay !!
ekay (formerly known as Reem Ekay) is an unconventional artist that dubs herself as a Neo-Soul Rap-head and credits the likes of De La Soul, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and the Roots as some of her early influences.
Born into Hip-Hop and raised as a spoken word poet, ekay uses a freestyle approach when creating music and draws inspiration from her raw emotions as well as color.
Her creative approach and conceptual projects showcase her soulful sounds, strong lyricism and visual narratives
ekay just released her first project under Rogue City Entertainment, entitled “Shaolin’s Freestyle” produced by Zenden Lavon!
Her new release is a sultry soulful ode to the Wu-Tang Clan where the female might intertwines with the ruckus of love.
Track is produced by Zenden Lavon, Creative direction by ekay, Brought to life by Amir De Leon, Captured by Young Habiti, Featuring Cyrus Izibili, Mastered by J Ulster and Presented by Rogue City Entertainment
Check it out below and also ALL streaming platforms
When asked about the single, ekay said "This all started with Zenden, me and a mic. He sent me a beat pack and the 3rd track immediately caught my attention. I started freestyling off the dome and the rest is history."
Zenden Lavon: "Loved working on the project . It was a lot of fun". I always enjoy putting on the producer's hat and creating music with other artists."
Zenden is also an incredible performer and someone who will have a huge impact in the near future. Catch the "Buckle Up" interview below.
I had to ask about Rogue City Entertainment and Lisa Tripp from RCE gave Re-Volt the below quote:
"..Marcus and I look to create a label that truly puts the artist first and becomes a household name in the music business on a global scale.
Right now we are working really hard to expand the careers of the 5 artists that we have. It takes a lot of time and dedication and we treat all artists like our family.
While we aren't signing any artists at the moment, we certainly will look to expand the family as the company continues to grow in its success."
Rogue City Entertainment as a label that focuses on management and artist development. ekay, Zirra and Zenden are part of that family and we are super excited for what is to come.
|'Hold Me Down" EP Artwork|
There's a certain feeling of satisfaction when I'm able to spot talents at their early stage or when they drop their first album/EP/song. Im a big believer that if something impacted me that I want to support it. I don't wait until that artist really "makes" it and that could be a good or bad thing. I just trust my instincts and go for it. Supporting someone with a talent is NEVER wrong and that's always been my approach since 2007 till now.
Yesterday, I heard a new EP dropped by Egyptian producer "77". He is 19. Born-raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and currently in Malaysia pursuing an education in sound engineering. His name is Mahmoud, and his parents calls him "7ooda" and he chose the name "77" as an "artist/stage" name simply because he saw the number "77" everywhere and he took that as a "SIGN" ...
When I asked him about his debut EP entitled "Hold Me Down", he had this to say: "...this is very special to me because as an individual, I always felt that something was holding me back from achieving what I want whether it is making music as an Arab or taking on the challenge that our society/culture refuses to accept or support. Especially now more than ever we are living in a generation where there is so much negativity being passed around"
I personally support such a theme and the fact that he's 19 and took that step is something I want to salute him on. He goes on and say "While creating "Hold me down", I slowly began to accept that I am the one that is holding myself back, the fact that I let all these things get into my head really shows that it is all up to me whether I will let that stop me from chasing what I'm really passionate about or not. After finally accepting that, I have given myself the freedom to do what I want knowing that there is nothing holding me down."
|"77" at work|
".. Nothing is holding you down but yourself! A huge shout out to every individual that was involved in this project for believing in my vision and for expressing their feelings towards this topic through a creative process!" 77 told Re-Volt
Listen to the FULL EP here and it features few artists that I personally love like , Keyz from Sudan, Felukah from Egypt and Acequared from Jordan + many others
I personally enjoyed the full EP, the journey I took, I had a 40 min drive and just put it on! and from the intro, "77" was able to take me through that journey of "Self Discovery" and that life might throw certain challenges your way but that's the way you will learn. I loved the production. I loved how simple/yet complicated they are. In terms of rappers, I salute "77" for choosing the names he got. I enjoyed it and I recommend you giving this a listen...
Show Love. Show Support.
Sunday, September 29, 2019
Iraqi-Kiwi artist I-NZ whose real name is Majid, just dropped his first EP just a year following the release of his viral YouTube video ‘This Is Iraq’, a remake to ‘This Is America’ by Childish Gambino.
The EP titled ‘Dollars & Dinars’ is now available on ALL streaming services. As a Kiwi born in Scotland to Iraqi parents, the cultural diversity is evident throughout his music,
The 8 track project is reflective of I-NZ’s current headspace as he addresses aspects of his personal life alongside various social injustice and political subjects.
The EP carries a dark and mysterious theme throughout yet still offers head bobbing moments by way of quality productions from A’Y and Prince Q.
There are couple of tracks that I really like on the EP, I like "Geppetto" and "Ellah Billah". I think I-NZ style challenged the producers which results in something kind of unique. It will be interesting to see how the Dubai Hip-Hop fan base react to this EP especially that it has "Vibes" but also there are important lyrics/songwriting that addresses issues that people in Dubai/region might not care about or want to get away from.
I-NZ has since been creating music that aims to bridge his Eastern roots with his Western upbringing. He does that in his own way. I still want to see what he has for the future and can't wait to get to know that EP he just dropped a bit more.
Give it a listen. Show Love. Show Support
Full EP, hear it HERE
Saturday, September 28, 2019
|EP Artwork (Designed by Tac)|
It's surreal to witness this project come to life. I've know the fam "Mazzi" since I launched the blog, way back in '07. We have always remained in contact and throughout my journey, he has ALWAYS showed love and support. Just last year, he was passing by the UAE and we connected and I was telling him about SOLE DXB and he got really intrigued and knowing him, he really fell in love with the idea of being in Dubai and witnessing this Cultural Hip-Hop festival. So, 3 months later, Mazzi made it to SOLE DXB as part of the Def Jam crew that was coming with Dani Leigh.
Last year, I was blessed to have a "Radio Booth" at Sole DXB, I called it "THE BEAT" and it featured 8 Rappers, but when I found out Mazzi was gona make it, I had to add him to the mix and watching all these rappers spit on various beats was a blessing
(Mazzi, Tac, P.Storm & Swerte (The Recipe), Jaysus Zain, Menon, Moh Flow, Freek and Malikah)
|Mazzi, Tac, P.Storm, Swerte, Jaysus Zain, Menon, Moh Flow, Big Hass|
(Missing in the pic: Malikah and Freek)
Pic by Hitesh Dewasi
I found myself introducing Mazzi to the community and one of those artists was Tac and to see that they now have a project together makes me super happy. I asked Mazzi how did this whole project see light, this is what he said :-
"..Stepping into the SOLE DXB cypher, I immediately sensed the immense talent around me!
Dubai has an array of artists with unique styles! One person who stood out was a this kid Tac! He was young, lyrically gifted, & hungry!
Soon after, I got a chance to build with him & saw that our styles would definitely compliment each other... That led to us mutually & organically deciding to record an EP on my next trip to Dubai!
We completed it in two days, & spawned “S.O.U.L. Broke Forever”!
Hope you guys enjoy it! Looking forward to further collaborations out there! YALLA!"
I had to also ask Tac about that collabo and he had this to say:
"no disrespect to anyone I ever worked with, but there's only a handful of rappers that give me a hard time on a record, and man... Mazzi?? He up there.." adding that when he met Mazzi in that Sole Dxb Cypher, the EP was born then..
a YEAR later its a reality and its LIVE!
The project is now ONLINE and you can hear it HERE
What's admirable and amazing is that ALL proceeds/profits from sales go to the Kenya Community Centre For Learning
which is a special needs school in Nairobi and this is how Mazzi has been releasing every single project/album and it's amazing to see this collaboration with a Dubai-Based Artist.
I want to thank both artists for collaborating, it is somehow a bridge, Tac is an Egyptian-UAE based rapper and Mazzi is American-Iranian based in NY. Its just beautiful..
I Love it. Show Love and Show Support.
Stream it, Download it. Push it.
Let's go TAZZI ;)
Monday, September 23, 2019
One of those artists is TooDope whose latest single doesn't shy away from addressing a situation that happened in Sudan.
With a beat that mixes Jazz and Sudanese sampling, TooDope's voice and Arabic lyrics hit home because they are very simple yet POWERFUL. He made an impact.
I asked him about the song and this is what he said " Sabbinaha is a Sudanese melodic revolutionary song I made in support of the Military Headquarters Sit-in that took place in April 6th until the the 3rd of June when the Janjaweed militias along with the support of government forces dispersed the sit-in in what can only be described as a massacre. I consider this song a landmark for me personally, because it highlights a switch up in genres going from hiphop & trap into Afro-fusion also it was the very first song I wrote that is fully in Arabic except for literary 1 line"
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
|Artwork of the song by @sick.g|
Nearly ONE year ago, Jordanian rapper "The Synaptik" released an album entitled "Om Al Mawjat". Album already considered a "classic" in Arabic rap. A movement that I am proud to support personally since 2007.
I been very vocal about supporting our youth, supporting the voices that actually portray a certain truth to what's actually happening on ground and just 4 days ago, The Synaptik dropped a song that i felt so emotionally attached to, a track that actually voices some of the things Im very passionate about.
I went all nuts when I heard the track, loved every lyric, loved the beat and the whole message behind it. There's a movement of Arab rappers working really hard but it seems that their efforts are only viewed by a "niche" of people in Arabia but I believe this is about to change and the sound of truth and creativity will break through.
The song is called "Matkhalesh Hada Ayesh" which somehow translate to "Don't Keep anyone alive" and when I asked The Synaptik what did he want to address with this song, he gave me the below quote that I would like to share here on RE-VOLT : -
"... I wrote this song after the Palestine Music Expo, where there were foreign bookers looking for "exotic" Arab artists, I felt like there was a huge margin of artists being ignored for not fitting the orientalist version of Arab music being pushed to the western audience, so I wrote this song as a statement that we as local artists that are not exotic enough for a western crowd, we have something to say, in fact we are the majority" The Synaptik told
Very powerful indeed and something to think about. The song is on YouTube + all major streaming platforms.
Track Produced by Bittar & Ameen
Show Love. Show Support.