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


Album review: JE Double F – “Half Man”

JE double F is a punk-influenced, forward-thinking hip hop artist from New Jersey. However, he claims he’s not a rapper, because he can’t afford the wardrobe. “I’m just an average motherfucker with a bone to pick.

His debut demo EP, “Paganomics“, was released in January (so check that out, if you want). This year, he returned with a full-length titled “Half Man” (via Love & Death Records). It’s a 12-track album that roams within the daily struggle, hopelessness, betrayl, frustration with conformity, and so on. With a growl in his voice, and an abrasive, don’t-give-a-fuck attitude, he shows you what he’s all about. “Half Man” is set with creepy, haunting, scifi-like production, as well as some equally sick vocal samples. This half man, half beast will terrorize your ear canals and make you a fan.

Album Review- Crunk Witch–Faith In The Thief

Brandon Miles and Hanna Colleen are Crunk Witch, a husband and wife duo who’s sophomore album “Faith In The Thief” was just released this weekend. Forming in late 2009 the band’s self released EP “The Battle Beyond” sold out quickly while they were on tour and in March of 2010 Crunk Witch became a part of the official Milled Pavement Records Roster, releasing their debut album “The Legends Of Manicorns” under the label that same year. Brandon describes Faith In The Thief as an album which “mainly focus’s on people’s reluctance to take their lives in their own hands. Too many people say stuff like ‘I would but….’ or ‘I’d love to someday’. It’s time to wake up, because we’re all going to die. What better time to live? Actually, I think that’s the main theme of the band.” I was sent the album to review a few weeks back but I held off on posting it until it was actually available to buy. Check the review after the jump.

Album Review: Rafael Casal – “MEAN ONES”

Released earlier this month, Rafael Casal’s MEAN ONES was one of the albums I (Tiffny) couldn’t wait to check out.  Tiffology and I reviewed The Monster LP and the general consensus between the two of us was that it was one of the better albums we’d reviewed collectively. As a matter of fact, I still keep it in rotation, so with the dropping of MEAN ONES I knew we had to do a CrayonBeats review.

Album Review: Stainless Steele – “Straight Jacket Time Killin”

In November, Stainless Steele dropped the (free) album “Straight Jacket Time Killin“. If you’ve been a heavy listener of Stainless for a few years now, you probably remember his 2009 project, “My Top Friends Are Beat Makers“, where he collaborated with various beat makers around the globe, that he “met” through Myspace. SJTK is pretty much the part two to that. Again, he linked up with a handful of electronic, hip hop producers, such as Abjo, Chit$, AL_PD, Swarvy, Mndsgn, Infinite Potentials, Sir Froderick, Jonti, and others. And they reside in places ranging between France, Canada, the U.S., London, and Australia.

Straight Jacket Time Killin” has 13 tracks, laced with exotic, electro beats that Steele creatively flows over. In usual fashion, whatever he raps about (whether it’s wacky, bizarre shit vs sensual, amorous feelings vs heartbreak and sadness), it’s done in such a beautiful, poetic way. I see his style and skill of story-telling, as if he’s in a fictitious, black-and-white world (ala “Sin City”), where he is brilliantly splashing the walls with bright, colorful paint (of words and sounds). Like his past works, this further dives into his “perfect maniac”, sometimes twisted, imaginary world. Perhaps his parallel universe. That may be weird to any one reading this, but if you’ve read my other Stainless Steele reviews, you’d see that I’ve spoke about his story-telling before — his use of vocabulary and the words he pieces together to create a dreamscape in your mind is exquisite.

Anyway, on to the review!

Album Review: PT Burnem – “Ornithopter”

I’m new to PT Burnem‘s music, but not to the name (pretty sure I’ve seen Brzowski, MC Homeless, and Nomar Slevik talk about him here and there). That’s him in the picture you see above, rockin’ some crazy, cool self-made goggles.

PT Burnem, a rapper and producer from Baltimore, is getting ready to drop his fourth album, titled “Ornithopter“. The album was “Conceived under duress after his production tools were seized by the Moscow police. Ornithopter reflects the connection between Burnem’s touring live show and his album creation process.” If this album is a small reflection of how he is live on stage, then sign me up for tickets (in Arizona, yeah?). It’s complete with 8 tracks that play fully in about 20 minutes. He rides alongside mechanical, sometimes fidgety, beats with an aggressive energy and something to say.

Album Review: Gigio – “Caught In Traffic”

Gigio has been quite active, in terms of album releases, during 2011. The Grand Sunz album, “Forever Shining“, dropped in July. Then there were his solo releases… the “Good Hard Times” EP in August, and “Sour Milk in November. A month later, he pushed out his final EP of the year — he joined forces with B.C. producer Josef Blo, for “Caught In Traffic“. It’s a collection of 9 tracks, where they kept it true to the one emcee, one rapper vision.

Check out my review…

Album Review: Wings and Wounds – “Wings and Wounds”

Wings and Wounds goes back a little further than just a collaborative EP between Graves33 and Sarx. The two initially joined forces in 2010, for the “1 Day To Live” compilation album, along with 9 other rappers from their city of Seattle. Shortly after, Sarx pulled in production from Graves, for his first solo release, “A Clockwork Heart With Wings“. That Spring, they toured together for their “The Wings And Wounds tour”. While on the road, like a lot of musicians, wrote some songs together. After realizing that the 6 songs they wrote on tour would be a good fit for a debut album, they also decided to form as a duo, named Wings and Wounds. Boom… there you have it.

Album Review: Mio Soul – In My Skin EP

Singer, songwriter, and producer Mio Soul bursts onto the NYC music scene with her debut EP In My Skin. Covering all of the bases, there’s something for every musical taste. From R&B, Pop and Dance to Soul, Hip Hop and Funk, In My Skin showcases the limitless talents of the chanteuse effortlessly.  Set for official release November 1, 2011, Mio was kind enough to send of an advanced copy for CrayonBeats to review, so let’s do this shall we?

Album Review: Brzowski – “A Fitful Sleep”

Brzowski is an emcee from Portland, Maine. Brzo has a signature sound of frantic rap, where he straddles the lines of rock and hip hop. And it is gooood. He has self released several albums and projects over the years — such as “Glass House Music” (2001), “New England Gothic” (2002), “Perpetual Winter” (2002), “MaryShelleyOverdrive” (2005), “Blooddrive Vol. 2” (2008), and more. Fast forward to 2009 when Brzowski and Moshe joined dark forces — they’re a duo that both stood tall in dark, progressive sound. They released their first collaborative project and together on Portland, Maine’s Milled Pavement Records. That was a 2009 album called “Like Woe“, which is a limited edition EP (in 2010, they also released “Like Woe Remixes“).

Album Review: Otayo Dubb- Cold Piece Of Work

Choosing not to pigeonhole his style into just one box Otayo Dubb, embraces and incorporates the many styles which influence him throughout his life to create his own style: from Reggae to Salsa, Jazz and of course West Coast Hip Hop. “Cold Piece Of Work (Beatrock Music, 2011) encompasses  all of these genres and presents what Otayo Dubb likes to call “Blue Collar” music: “music for the masses with a little bit of conscious and a little bit of street.”  With production from Dubb himself,  MTK, Keelay, 6Fingers, Fatgums and Digital Martyrs and featuring emcees Balance, Zumbi (Zion I), Prometheus Brown (Blue Scholars),Bambu and Rocky Rivera, Sakima and more, this is definitely going to be an exciting album to explore. So how about we do just that, yeah?

Album Review: Rebekah Higgs – “Odd Fellowship”

The beauty that you see above is Rebekah Higgs, a Canadian-born (Hailfax, Nova Scotia) indie folk singer/songwriter. In 2006, she released her self-titled debut album. But most recently, on August 23rd, Rebekah dropped a new album through Hidden Pony and has called it “Odd Fellowship“.

It’s a 10-track album that was produced by Brian Deck (who has worked with Modest Mouse and Iron & Wine). This was my first introduction to Rebekah Higgs, and it’s safe to say that I enjoy her, and urge you to check her out.

[Album Review] Pia Renee: ENMITY


This diverse young singer dropped her first full-length album “ENMITY”  earlier this September. Born Pia Renee Easley, the Chicago based artist is considered a “late bloomer” by some standards as she didn’t officially pursue a musical career until her 20s.  Attending Harold Washington College where she enrolled into the college’s music program, Pia gained valuable training to help hone her natural talent and expand her knowledge of music. She then went on to perform with local artists in the Chicago scene, playing everything from R&B, Reggae and Pop and more.  I’d first heard her singing with another artists from Chi-town by the name of Andrew David, whom I mentioned a few weeks back. Pia Renee was featured on a few of his live performances (here and here  for example) and I was instantly drawn to her velvety voice, and I’m excited to check out her album, so let’s do this, shall we?