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

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F. Virtue & Juan Deuce – “New York Strangers” album

F. Virtue and Juan Deuce (@famelessvirtue @Juan_Deuce) dropped a collaborative album on October 28th, titled New York Strangers. From New York and Rhode Island, respectively, the duo offers up 10 tracks that find them rapping about parties, music, relationships, family, and beyond.

There are only 3 guest features, and those come from Daniel J. W!shington, J57, and Dick Van Dick. Production credits go to F. Virtue, J57, Falside, Tranzformer, Will Brown, Daniel J. W!shington, and Fallennwall. Some of my favorite songs to listen to on repeat this morning have been “Heavy”, “Cufflinks”, “Very Rare”, “This Gap”, and “Grams”. I’m going to talk a little bit about each of those below.

Album Review: Kap Kallous – “Grandeur”

Los Angeles-based emcee, by way of Orlando, Kap Kallous (@kapkallous) released his highly-anticipated album, titled Grandeur, back in June. It’s a 15 track album that featured guest appearances from Jon Connor, Preauxx, Caskey, Midaz The Beast, Maffew Ragazino, JBiz, Psalm One, Wrekonize, J. Gatsby, and several others. Production credits go to Optiks, ALXNDRBRWN, David Grants, Alexander O’Dell, Abbott, and Seandammit.

Although it was released through a website I don’t generally prefer (DatPiff), this is an album that you shouldn’t pass up. Seeing as how I’m a fan of Kap and have shared/reviewed past works from him, I thought I’d go ahead and review this one, too; even if I’m 4 months late. As always, I have a lot to say, so you can expect this review to be way-too-long. Read it or don’t – here are my thoughts!

Album Review: Morbidly-o-Beats – “Analogue Arsonist”

On August 5th, producer Morbidly-o-Beats dropped a tape on the newly-formed Us Natives Records, founded by production duo of the same name (separately, Ill Clinton and John E. Cab). Titled Analogue Arsonist, the 18-minute instrumental album was created solely with an MPC2000XL and an SP303. No computers were used in the making of the tape. There aren’t any track titles for this album either, just Side A and Side B, and it all streams seamlessly into one another. Let’s get into my review now.

Album Review: Blahzé Misfits – “Colonel Custard’s Lonely Dick Pic Band”

New York-based rap duo Blahze Misfits (rappers Ly Moula and Georgie Jessel) followed their debut album with a sophomore release, titled Colonel Custard’s Lonely Dick Pic Band, on August 26th. Based on the way things have been going since its release, you either reacted one of three ways: 1) Chuckled at it and was intrigued to listen, 2) Raised your brows, and lost interest before giving it a listen, or 3) Were completely offended by it. Whether it was the title and/or the album art, one of those three things occurred just now. Which was it?

Album Review: Marz Léon – “L O N E R”

Once I saw the music video for Marz Léon‘s “L O N E R” single, I was intrigued. The Los Angeles-based singer/producer captivated me with her seductive soul/pop voice, over ghostly electronic/downtempo production. The way she filled the open space was breath-taking. Then I heard “Fire“, and before I know it, she released her EP.

L O N E R was released on August 5th, 2014, via her Soundcloud page. The 7-track album is an emotional expedition through her inner thoughts, emotional struggles, and romantic experiences. It seems to follow a cycle of a relationship spiraling downwards, going through the roller coaster motions of love, heartache, and moving onto a new chapter. There are ups and downs (mostly downs), from being hurt by love and the fear of being fooled again, to finding self-confidence, self-love, and embracing who you are.

There’s a deep moodiness all throughout this album, from the lyrics, to the delivery, to the arrangement in the production, and the spaces in between. Where several people have to be overpowering with their tones to get their message across, Marz is skillful at showing depth with her warm, haunting voice over soothing and textured production… and it’s lovely. Without further discussion, go ahead and read my review. Prepare to be taken away. Afterwards, stream the album in full, and download for free!

Album Review: Sadistik – “Ultraviolet”

Seattle-based emcee Sadistik (@TheRealSadistik) released his highly-anticipated, third full-length album, Ultraviolet, on July 1st, via Fake Four Inc. I was initially put onto him through the features he did on others albums years prior, and then after listening to The Art of Dying EP he did with Kid Called Computer. Super solid work. However, I didn’t really start paying attention until last year, when I heard Flowers For My Father. I listened to that album over and over, and it’s still one of my favorites today. I even bought three copies of that album on CD, when he was selling them for a penny. Now, I check in on what he’s up to regularly.

Album Review: TV Girl – “French Exit”

The first time that I heard TV Girl‘s music (@tvgirlz), I was a fan. I rushed to CrayonBeats to share one of their videos, and kept their first mixtape, The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle, in heavy rotation. Since then, the Los Angeles pop band dropped a 5-track EP for free, called Lonely Women, in 2013, and the band’s members have switched up. Trung Ngo left, and Jason Wyman and Wyatt Harmon have joined TV Girl original, Brad Petering. From a duo to a trio.

Album Review: Jellyfish Brigade – “Diving Lessons”

Ever since I was introduced to and started sharing music by the Jellyfish Brigade, I’ve been anticipating a more recent release. Today is the day, my friends! The Portland hip hop duo, made up of emcee Lucas Dix and producer Jeffrey Acciaioli, finally released their highly-anticipated debut album, titled Diving Lessons, on June 24th via Minneapolis artist collective Polkadot Mayhem.

Diving Lessons details a 2-year period in Lucas’ life that began as his best friend, Gavin Theory, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In high school, they made music together as Hives Inquiry Squad and eventually moved to Portland from Wisconsin to pursue their artist endeavors. Around the same time that his best friend was diagnosed, Lucas met a lady who introduced him to the scenic places of Oregon, such as the Cascade Mountain Range, Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, and the Pacific Ocean. Those places, that love, and the difficulties in supporting a dying friend set the whole tone and theme for the album.

CrayonBeats Magazine: Issue 6!

Hello, everyone! After some delay, the wait is finally over, because we released our 6th magazine issue today! This issue has 84 pages, and it’s jam-packed with interviews. The cover features Epp, G_Force, and Tope (order of appearance) of the hip hop trio TxE. I interviewed TxE as a group, and then spoke with each artist individually about their solo careers (CrayonBeats photoshoot by Mike Grippi).

Luck-One – “K​.​O​.​T​.​N​.​W. II: Curse Of The Pharaoh” album

Back in February, New York transplant originally from Portland, Oregon, Luck-One sent me an email with his latest album, K.O.T.N.W. II: Curse Of The Pharaoh. An abbreviation for “King Of The North West,” it is a follow-up to the first volume that was released in 2011. Part two also marks his 7th independently released album.

I’m not necessarily new to Luck-One, being that I’ve heard him on guest verses and some of his singles, but this is my first time listening to a full album of his. With a low, raspy tone and a laid back flow, Luck-One brings it all out on K.O.T.N.W. II: Curse Of The Pharaoh. He’s a conscious lyricist that brings a balance with lighthearted, fun tracks, too.

DC Comets – “Monolith Monster” album

DC Comets (@th3oryhazit @creamofbeats) is a rapper and producer duo between Theory Hazit and Cream of Beats. From Cincinnati and Detroit, respectively, they originally met through a mutual friend in 2006, but didn’t begin to create music together until 2010. Having previously worked together on Theory’s Extra Credit EP, the two decided to make more tunes together and released a full-length album under their new moniker on March 25th, 2014.