I love discovering artists and so I came across Carlitta Durand with her visual for “iCarli” and I had to dig deeper. Carlitta is a Minneapolis born and North Carolina grown R&B/jazz/hip-hop artist that has a passion for diversity. Her latest project “Nostalgic Nights” is a small yet, diverse and explosive insider to what Calitta Durand is capable of. She is recently attending North Carolina Central University, where she is worked with artists like 9th Wonder and Little Brother. I find it dope that she writes her own lyrics and tells a story in each song that anyone can relate to. Her voice is very soulful yet jazzy and I will definitely be following her progress as an artist.
Check out the video for “iCarli” and tell me what you think.
If you are into Hip Hop a name that you must remember aside from Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, and Jay Z is the up and coming aspiring music artist and producer, Miles Brandon. This Oakland native is coming full force with a duo combination, talent, style, and versatility. Miles started his interest with a love of poetry at the age of 13 years old, where he grew up to discover that his passion was in Hip Hop. By taking spin offs from his name, he produced a few mixtapes with his current one “Mile High Club” that has been released this summer. He writes, produces, and raps about his voyage and his determination to elevate one’s mind in society’s growing music culture. The song “Overdose on Love” derives from the relationship woes with his girlfriend. By mixing party songs and strong messages, Miles designed a versatile mixtape that all Hip Hop heads could agree with.
The different tone and structures in creating his own beats is what makes him stand out amongst the many aspiring to reach the top. When asking about his latest mixtape he says, “You should never feel to settled, which is why I am ready to do even better than before.” By having that mindset to perfect every song, Miles Brandon encourages anyone else aspiring in his field to bring the most presentable and sound bound music that you can create. In my opinion he reeks originality in more ways then one.
What makes Miles Brandon standout? Creativity; Not only is it from within but it’s shown on the outside as well. With a love of shopping and fashion, Miles makes sure to keeps his threads fly inside and outside of the studio. With his 80’s influenced style and his Hip Hop inspired creativity, Miles Brandon “Mile High Club” is what needs to be leaking through your speakers.
Listen and download his mixtape here:
Check out this video for “The Take Off” produced by The A List Team’s Charles Jim-George (@keepitCharlie) a very creative producer, photographer and awesome friend.
While other artists are in competition to be different, Ta’Darrell “T-Ran” Randolph, Oakland native, has already won and is taking the next step by breaking the barrier for today’s Hip Hop music. At a very young age, T-Ran first fell in love with hip hop after watching the movie “Kush Groove”. Inspired by the talent and culture the film progressed, he was determined to make his love for music his career. He began pushing his music freshman year of high school where he networked with artists and participated in local events in his community. When transferring to Howard University (the other HU lol) his support system was so strong that he dived right into the scene, performing opening acts for homecomings and participating in events in Washington D.C.
“I am an artist from the bay, but I am not a typical bay artist,” he says as he describes his versatility to not conform to a certain genre. With an opportunity to attend a school with all kinds of cultures from around the world, T-Ran’s exposure outside of the bay area is what shaped him. By looking up to artists like Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Wale, and R&B sensations Pattie LaBelle and Usher, I would say that he has developed his own sense of music in the genre of Hip-Hop. It’s very rare that you come across an artist willing to build its own brand in an industry that has all been recycled and reused.
T-Ran currently has a mixtape that has been out since March entitled “The Opening Act: The Dreamer” which includes poetic stories created over recognizable instrumentals. One of his first songs “Give it To Me” was inspired while working at his job for Nike.
“They would give me stacks of shirts to fold, so I started writing the first verse in my head to kill time,” T-Ran made sure that his voice was heard in and out of the studio. Whether it is an on-air personality for Howard’s radio station or an internship for a business executive, his constant dream is on rotation to becoming a reality.
I always ask artists to share advice because with culture rapidly advancing, it is always aspiring to know one’s journey to their dream.
“If you always stay true to yourself more doors will be opened then closed”- T-Ran
Although Ryan Nicole is not a new name to me when you are close friends with her brother, I find this artist to be one of the most artistically inclined Lady MC’s (as I call it) to be birthed from the Bay Area. Oh, and not to mention she rocks and embraces her natural hair :). Social networking and her support system are doing a great job at putting her voice out there. I hear about her at events, word of mouth, and mutual blogs websites. For those not familiar to the Bay Area, Ryan Nicole was born in Oakland, California where she discovered her passion as an artist. She is writer, Artist, Rapper, Singer, Poet, and lyricist which has become a rarity in the urban culture….and for all that talent to come out of a WOMAN!? I must show my respect!! With famous Lady MC’s like Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and Missy Elliot holding the fort the down for many years I think its now time for Ryan Nicole to take over the throne. To tickle your hip hop soul and intellect, she recently dropped her new mixtape entitled Dis’onance Vol. 1 which is currently on rotation with one of my favorites “Um Ums” & “Magic Carpet Ride”. In my opinion this compilation captivates her whole persona poetically speaking. She spits versus with references to her hometown, love, and empowerment on beats of The Neptunes and features with other local artists. Ryan Nicole is next aspiring Lady MC that you should be looking for in the future!
Here is a few of her art pieces that are displayed on her online store:
Music lovers can only go back to the future with this Cincinatti born artist, Dame Fifty5 is Indie Pop Culture’s next best unsigned artist. He started off with a passion for fashion at the Fashion Institue for Design Merchandise in Los Angeles and soon grew into his love for music. Dame’s creative abilities have been expressed through many influences using different sounds to capture your mind and take your soul on a ride. I’ve favorited one song entitled “Love Nior” off his first mixtape Rode to Ruinsbecause I instantly fell in love with the lyrics and the sound seemed so timeless to Hip Hop. While he is currently in Berlin, Germany right now I will continue to rock out to his music back here in the bay.
Denim is an unsigned artist that has a cutting edge that all music lovers should hear. She’s been told that she’s the singing Jay-Z. Tell me if you think that’s true. Here’s her song “Sugar Honey Iced Tea”.
There has been alot of buzz on Hampton University’s campus this year, and the group ReKaste has a lot to blame for it. Performing at Hampton Idol and the Haiti Relief Benefit concert, I had the opportunity to hear with my own ears. The group members; Allen “StevieVisionz” Hargrove, Kyle “D.J. Kal” Lawrence, Leavil “Recipe” Armstrong, are music techonology majors hailing from New York City. They were able to collaborate and produce eccentuating vibes right on the campus of HU.
Along with “Throw it Up”, Rekaste’s single entitled “Something Special” which is my pick, is a very smooth cross from alternative and hip hop, with lyrics that have your mind, body, and soul at ease. It happens to be on my “feel good” playlist cause it’s fitting for the mood. Check it out here!
Rekaste has been making moves in the community as well. They will be at Blurr in Newport News, Va. March 31, 2010 performing with other artists. Be sure to get your tickets for this event go to their website www.rekaste.com where you can find more information on how to follow them on twitter and access to their latest music releases.
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