Mixtape.
Two Tiffanys celebrating what they love by giving it a stage and using their voices to spread the word.

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Robot Koch – “Dark Waves” (ft Delhia de France) video

(@robotkoch)
Berlin-based electronic musician Robot Koch‘s “Dark Waves” song relaxes me, as does the slow-motion movement of the ocean waves in the music video. Delhia de France‘s mellow and hauntingly pop voice floats over the dark and uptempo atmospheric tune, as she sings about loneliness and struggling to stay afloat, while we see surfers Ryan Gast, Elija Bustos and Michael Ralla paddling in the Central Coast of California. Shot entirely on an iPhone 6s Plus by Sven Dreesbach.

I thought this song sounded vaguely familiar, too, and then I read that it was featured in the winter finale of the “How To Get Away With Murder” show–yup, why it sounded familiar! Very cool. Find this song on his Hypermoment album, via Monkeytown Records. Watch the video below.

Album Review: Goldini Bagwell – “#SmokersJacket” Series

For all of 2015, Portland, Oregon-based emcee Goldini Bagwell dropped one song per month (for free, at the time), for his #SmokersJacket Series. While I may be late to the game, I did start listening to the project a couple of weeks ago when I heard “Classicool (Pt. II)”. What I’ve always been into about Goldini Bagwell is that his lyrics aren’t only powered by cunning metaphors, strong punchlines, and poetic storytelling, but he’s often brutally honest with who he is, and I love that type of introspective vulnerability in rap. That’s what I can easily connect with. Can’t forget to mention that his flows are always on point, you can feel the passion in his delivery and lyrics, and his beat choices are always dope, and that’s especially true on this project (there wasn’t one that I couldn’t rock with). Now, before I throw you into the wild, to stream the project in full, let me tell you about some of my favorite songs.

Birthday Boys – “Birthday Boys”

(@illmaculate @marvwon)
From Portland and Detroit, respectively, emcees Illmaculate and Marv Won have teamed up to become the Birthday Boys, and they are releasing a 7-track self-titled EP on their shared birthday, February 4th. On the title track here, the duo exchanges confident and clever verses over a hypnotic and soulful boom bap beat. I love their playfulness on the track, their grimy bars pack a lyrical punch, flows are precise and effortless, and the beat is fresh. After listening to this song on repeat for over 20 minutes, I am most definitely looking forward to hearing the rest. Stream the song for free below, and hit up the Bandcamp link to pre-order the EP that was produced entirely by Los Angeles-based Calvin Valentine.

San + Hanzo Reiza: Tenchu (天誅)

Here’s some new sounds from London emcee Hanzo Reiza and Kingdom of Lesotho producer and instrumentalist San. Titled Tenchu in homage to the old ninja code (and video game), the collaboration features ten tracks of rhythm and rhyme from the pair, rough around the edges purposefully so to call to mind “an old katana blade.”  Listen and download below:

Tour Necessities Q&A: Mega Ran & Richie Branson on touring the West

Hip hop artists Mega Ran and Richie Branson are heading out on their first headliner tour together, and that all starts today. I had the incredible opportunity to ask them some questions for my Tour Necessities Q&A, where they talk about this West Coast tour and more. Before I get into that, though, I’m going to give you a mini break-down of these two awesome artists, just in case you are new to their names.

Photo Credit: Mark C Austin

MUTEMATH – “Monument” video

(@mutemath)
I’m a sap. I’m one of those people that cries at something beautiful (or sad, obviously), and I definitely teared up while watching alternative rock band MUTEMATH‘s latest music video, for their song “Monument”. Actually, you’re probably an apathetic robot or an alien, if you DON’T get a little bit teary-eyed watching it (unless you have a case of dry eyes, then I don’t fault you for that). Directed by Israel Anthem (for Science Lab), the visual is centered around a charismatic and humble man from Starkville, Mississippi, named Charles “LaLa” Evans.

Ciphurphace’s Chronic On Some Fig Newtons: “The Righteous Hour”

(@ciphurphace)
New Jersey-based emcee Ciphurphace has a video series out, called Chronic On Some Fig Newtons. I’m not entirely sure of the meaning behind the title or the purpose for the video series, other than to spit a capella raps. That being said, his very first episode is called “The Righteous Hour”, where he’s seen in the middle of nowhere, swinging aggressive rap jabs at wack opponents, while rocking a CrayonBeats “Beat Machine” shirt. The video was shot by his son Naiim Sun and edited by Ciphurphace. Check it out.

Photo Credit: Gregory Neiser

Tour Necessities Q&A: Stillborn Identity on Slow and Sunburnt tour

(@codyjonesSTLBRN)
Pittsburgh-based, punk-influenced rapper Stillborn Identity is heading to Florida today to begin a very short-run tour. By short, I really mean it–he’ll be performing in Cape Coral, Orlando, and Tallahassee, before heading back home and preparing for his next set of touring dates. I stopped him in his tracks for a moment to answer some questions for my Tour Necessities series, where I ask him a bunch of tour-related stuff regarding the Slow and Sunburnt tour. He talks about avoiding people on the bus, asking fans for a place to sleep, throwing crummy clothes away after shows to avoid cross-contamination among clean clothes, hopes to skate in down time, maybe trying yoga for the first time, dental hygiene being crucial while touring, packing back-up ham sandwiches, Taco Bell being his only fast-food vice, liking the instant gratification of performing for fans and disliking playing for careless crowds of people, slangin’ merch (such as his most recent album Slow and Steady and his TheThrowAwayDays zine), and more. Read about all of that and then some, along with peeping the tour dates (the first one kicks off tonight), in the Q&A below!

Tiffology’s Art: E&J

(@plagueround @dagsav)
In April or May of last year, I had finally gotten around to listening to the Dag Savage debut album (a full year after its release), titled E&J. I knew that I was going to love this album when I heard the second track, called “For Old Time’s Sake”. Johaz comes in with a fearless attitude, raw honesty, and even some vulnerability on this song, because he digs deep to share personal history–the good and the bad–with his listeners, in efforts to let us into his world and what’s shaped him into who he is today. He highlights life events in chronological order, by sharing stories about getting jumped, being molested, having sex for the first time, family problems, getting arrested, getting no love in his city, being a father, and more. I love when a musician, or anyone really, has the strength to go beyond the surface level of their life in their life’s work. Not to mention, this is the first song on the album (I was playing it in order, of course) where I was just wholly captivated by his vivid storytelling and lyricism. So fresh; I was a fan instantly. Exile‘s production is hot, too, of course; dusty, head-nodding drums, chunky brass bits, a bold piano taking the lead, cuts in all the right places… there is no wrong with this one. If I were rating this song, it’d get a 10/10.

Sángo – “Mais Mais Mais” EP

(@sangobeats)
Seattle-based producer Sángo dropped a 3-track project today, called Mais Mais Mais (translated to “more more more”), that coincides with his DR3 Tour that’s happening throughout Brazil and Europe, beginning on January 20th. The project contains 2 original songs and one remix of Bryson Tiller‘s “Don’t”, all of which find him diving deeper into his Brazilian favela influences that have been a part of his sound for several years. Listen to the project below, and then download “Infinidade” and “F.L.O.R” for free via Soundcloud. These are some feel-good, baile funk-influenced smooth electronic grooves that you shouldn’t pass up (for real, they made me feel alive and free, while moving my body to the rhythm); such a great energy and feel-good vibe. Check it out. Also, if you missed it, go get his Da Rocinha 3 LP.

Meaty Ogre has been mighty active

(@meatyogre1)
Producer Meaty Ogre has been incredibly active on Soundcloud in the last week; he has posted a beat (or more) damn near every day, and most, if not all, of them have been throwbacks (such as this “Darn” beat from ’04, and this ’06 “Candle Lit” song that featured Mestizo). Some of the beats were previously unreleased, half-finished, and some are throwbacks that he made for rappers. I’m happy to hear these, so instead of sharing one beat at a time (per post style), I wanted to share several of his latest uploads that I’m enjoying, so give them a listen below and go follow him on Soundcloud to stay in the loop.

Hiérophante: Clichés

So I’m totally obsessing over French musician Hiérophante and his track Clichés. Not only is the song mega dope, the video is pretty mesmerizing and highlights just how “the same” we all are as we strive to be different. The irony behind this video pointing out our tendancies to replicate what we’ve seen others do (subconsciously or not) is that this sentiment is nothing new. To quote Barenaked Ladies: It’s ALL been done before.