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

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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.

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!

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.

Von Poe VII & Papa J. Ruiz – “5 Tracks and the Intro” EP

(@vonpoevii @papajruiz)
On January 2nd, California emcee Von Poe VII and Colorado emcee strong>Papa J. Ruiz released a highly-anticipated collaborative EP, titled 5 Tracks and the Intro. The 6-track project came as a surprise to their fans, because two didn’t tell anyone that they were working on something, nor did they even lead us on that it was being released, until the day of its arrival. They even dodged the questions in a 3-part interview that dropped 3 days prior 1, 2, and 3).

Thavius Beck – “Octa Na No”

(@thaviusbeck)
Thavius Beck dropped a brand new beat yesterday, called “Octa Na No”, that I can’t stop listening to. He brings a romantic, hypnotizing beauty to the energetic drum-driven beat by looping a certain lady’s vocals, and I can’t stop / won’t stop listening to it. Repeat, as necessary. Octa ya yes, you feel me? This is part of a beat-a-day beat challenge that he’s tasked himself with, so after you listen to the this here, go check out his Soundcloud page for a new something-something each day.

Soulcat E-Phife – “All My Life” / “Fly With Me” (ft Marie)

(@soulcatmusiq)
Vienna-based rapper Soulcat E-Phife dropped a brand new track last week, called “All My Life”. Over a breezy, jazzy boom bap cut, Soulcat spits introspective raps that serve as an introduction to her dark world. The song is coupled with another song, called “Fly With Me”, but it’s more upbeat and hopeful. Both feature a vocalist named Marie, singing a soulful hook, and both were also produced by Phil Chronics. Give them a listen below, and download for free (or name your price).

Rey Resurreccion – “Leaving On A Jetplane” video

(@reyresurreccion)
Last month, San Jose-based rapper Rey Resurreccion dropped a music video for a song, called “Leaving On A Jetplane”, from his forthcoming album. Co-produced by Rey Res and J.Sana, Rey approaches the song like it’s do-or-die, with a good energy, some social commentary on the media’s trickery and California’s drought, a promise that he’s got something fresh coming, and a catchy hook that you’re going to sing along to. The music video is cool, too, with a black-and-white color treatment and a bunch of cool animation effects. Directed and animated by Ratha Nou, and shot by Daniel Ortiz. Check it out, and look out for Sweet Tooth Tony soon.

Barrie Rose – “1 Plus 1”

(@barrierose9)
Electro-pop singer Barrie Rose came out with a dreamy and hopeful break-up song, called “1 plus 1”. It has a sweet sentiment with an optimistic “we’ll still be friends” feeling, except it sounds like she really means it post-breakup (because, shoot, I’ve heard that half-hearted “we’ll still be friends” comment after being broken up with, and it never held true). Listen to her pretty pop voice dragging across hazy electronic production, by Adam Samuel Goldman, as she sings: “One plus one, it might sound easy // But it’s never quite like that // Even if we never speak // I’ll always have your back // One plus one, it might sound simple // But it’s never what it seems // Even if our lives are changing // We meet up in our dreams.