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


Aesop Rock – “Rings” video

Aesop Rock is preparing to drop a self-produced album, called The Impossible Kid, at the end of April via Rhymesayers. I’m sure you’ve already heard about that, though. We haven’t seen a solo project since 2012’s Skelethon, so I’m extra pumped for this one. “Rings” is the first single and music video to drop, and Aesop said the following regarding inspiration for the song: “Rings reflects on my failure as a visual artist, and some of the regret I’ve experienced in regards to not pursuing it further.

Blackalicious – “On Fire Tonight” (Ft Myron) video

Straight from their 5th studio album, titled Imani, Vol. 1, one of my long-time favorite groups Blackalicious dropped a NSFW video for “On Fire Tonight”. Featuring singer Myron (of Myron & E) on the soulful hook, the rapid-fire spitting wordsmith Gift of Gab shoots off straight-for-the-jugular raps, over Chief Xcel‘s hard-hitting, horn-blowing, boom bap funk beat. Directed by James Connelly, the music video switches between color (during the hook) and stark black-and-white coloring (during the verses), with beautiful women moving and dancing, while naked and free. It’s strong, sexy, and so dang good. Watch now, and grab that album!

Onry Ozzborn – “duofilm” video

Leading up to Onry Ozzborn‘s highly anticipated DUO album, releasing March 25th via Fake Four Inc., he has released a few singles. As of a few days ago, though, he dropped a short-film of sorts that acts as a cohesive music video to a 15-minute mix of the album. Directed by Soundlapse, we see almost every guest from the album participating in the visual (such as Kimya Dawson, Aesop Rock, P.O.S, Sadistik, Terra Lopez of Sister Crayon, Theory Hazit, Rob Sonic, Nathan Quiroga, and others), in a get-together environment where they are either occupying various rooms with Onry Ozzborn or are seen projected on walls and screens. Similar to the album itself, the visual captures a lot of diversity, moods, and gives you something unique to absorb in each scenario. I enjoyed the cinematography and editing, too; it’s all visually intriguing and executed awesomely. Check it out below, and make sure you pre-order the album for $10-$15, depending on what you want (or grab it when it drops).

Equipto & Otayo Dubb – “Yuk The World” video

(@tayodubb @equipto)
From their collaborative Baby Steps album, released mid-last year, California emcees Equipto and Otayo Dubb dropped a music video for the song “Yuk The World”. Produced by Bean One, the song finds the two rapping about ignoring propaganda while acknowledging the real positive contributions, standing up for what’s right, and celebrating life’s good moments, even through adversity and the bad times. “Life’s a struggle, yet I still laugh // Can you feel that?

The video was filmed by Bambu, at a Free Breakfast event put together by the duo, at The Black & Brown Social Club. Watch the video below, and then check the maxi single below, which comes with a Digital Martyrs remix (free downloads on Soundcloud).

Adeem – “Looking For A Window” (ft Blueprint) video

New Hampshire emcee Adeem, whom some might be more familiar with through his hip hop group Glue, has just released a brand new song, called “Looking For A Window”. This was a bit exciting for me to come across, seeing as how it’s been quite some time since I’ve heard/seen his name–I think the last time that I saw his name somewhere was on a Mike Relm song in ’08 (and before that, it was the Catch As Catch Can Glue album). He’s been gone for a long time, but not forgotten…and I sure am happy to see him back.

Tour Necessities Q&A: Gajah on West Coast Halfway tour

First, let me say that Los Angeles-based emcee Gajah is not a stranger to CrayonBeats. Second, let me introduce you, in case you aren’t familiar with his work. Gajah jumped into the hip hop scene sometime in the early 90’s with a couple of rap groups, until he became the founding member of the long-standing, two-man hip hop group, Acid Reign (with BeOnd), who eventually earned their stripes with Project Blowed. As a group, they’ve released a handful of projects, worked with a ton of West Coast underground hip hop legends, have started their own label (Acid Lab Records), and have had countless performances. As a solo act, though, Gajah has released nearly 10 outstanding projects (some of which we’ve talked about here), performed all throughout the West Coast, and has worked with various hip hop artists (such as Open Mike Eagle, Uncommon Nasa, Abstract Rude, The Kleenrz, Duke Westlake, Graves33, Atari Blitzkrieg, Ceschi, Tommy V, Ellay Khule, Mute Speaker, and more).

Dregs One & Ill Sugi – “Emotion” (ft Gas Mask Colony) video

(@dregs_one @ill_sugiee)
From Dregs One and Ill Sugi‘s Universal Language album, the music video for “Emotion” dropped a few days ago. Featuring Gas Mask Colony, we see everyone roaming throughout San Francisco, kicking introspective raps about coping with the highs and lows of life, while also reminding us that everything isn’t as bad as it could be. Watch the video below, directed by Kolepa.

Tef Wesley – “Gametime” (ft Jered Sanders & Cane) remix

A couple of days ago, DMV-based emcee Tef Wesley dropped a remix to his Grussle-produced “Gametime” single. Featuring extra verses from Jered Sanders and Cane, all three emcees wreck the mic with fury, serving up heavy bars laced with aggressive deliveries and sharp game-related metaphors. They prove that they’re not here to play… unless, perhaps, it’s on the court or in the field. Give it a listen below and download for free at Soundcloud.

Special Education with Murs

(@specialsays @MURS)
Special dropped another episode of Special Education, and this time it’s with one of my long-time favorite emcees, Murs. Before even starting the game, he’s quick to tell her that she’s wrong. Haha! Little does he know, she kills it with the points on this one. In case you didn’t know, Special Education is a game show where Special challenges a variety of music artists by asking them questions about their own music, while seeing how well she knows them/their discography.

In this episode, we learn about which song Murs would perform for a group of third graders (however, he likes her choice more than his), the song he’d perform at an old folks home (again, he gives her more points for the reasoning behind her song choice), “love” is his favorite word, why “Walk Like A Man” and “1st Love” were the hardest songs to write (he also says that “Woke Up Dead” took him 10 years to write), and who was his favorite person to work with. Watch the episode, play along, and see what happens.

Special Education with T.I.

(@specialsays @tip)
Special had Atlanta’s own T.I. (aka Tip) on her Special Education show not too long ago and, man, he showed no mercy when it came to those points! Any time she got one wrong, you’d hear him saying, “NO POINT FOR YOU!” Hahaha. In this episode, he explains why “Freak Though” was the most fun song to make, we learn what video was the most fun to shoot, his favorite word, and why he’d perform “Whatever You Like” at an old folks home. It’s an enjoyable episode, so check it out.

Hoosier Apex – “Breakfast of Champions” EP

(@thejabberbox @channelbranimal @aceha)
So, check it: emcee Id Obelus (whom I’ve written about on CB before, but haven’t caught up with him in a very long time), emcee Richard Cook, emcee Branimal, and producer Ace Ha have separately been creating hip hop music that spans across the last four decades. They have also been frequent collaborators with one another, which you can audibly witness over at the Wormusic Bandcamp page. They’ve never teamed up all at once, just two or three at a time… until now. All four of these Indiana natives joined to make music under the name Hoosier Apex, and they just released their debut project on February 2nd. Paying homage to Kurt Vonnegut’s novel of the same name, Breakfast of Champions is a 4-song EP that acts as an introduction to what the group has to offer.

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.