The Flock: Rap and Hip-Hop – Emil, Jamar Carr, PENPALS, Fontzerelli, Agency, Whooda Thunk

We have two goals here with our blog and our podcast; we want to help you find a bunch of new artists that you love, and we also want to support those artists. We came up with a new idea for a post where we take a genre, and give you a few artists within that genre. That way, it helps everyone. If you come here because you love one artist, you’ve got five more that you’re probably going to love now. That helps you load up your playlist with tracks that will impress your friends, and it also helps the artists hit untapped markets and possibly network with likeminded artists they didn’t know existed. Without further ado, I present “The Flock.”

Emil – Alive

Emil hits just in time for summer with his beach ready single, Alive. The whole premise behind the song is to enjoy the moment you are currently in, and that’s something that we here at B-Side Guys can get behind. Emil has a heady flow with a smooth beat behind him, and I know it’s something that we will definitely be playing at lake days and beach vacations all summer.

Favorite line:
I can’t have regrets
Look at all the things I manifest.
I can’t help but feel like I’ve been blessed.
Come alive and let me do the rest.

Jamar Carr – R.N.S.

Song number two is definitely more of a banger than Emil’s song above, but this gives you that perfect balance. Emil gives you the daytime flow, and Jamar Carr gives you the key to get pumped up when you go out with your friends after a day of drinking on the beach. Hopefully nothing happens, but if it does, this song is the song that’ll get you hyped up. This song shows the versatility of Jamar. If the name sounds familiar to you, it’s because we’ve already shared one of his tracks on the blog before (spoiler alert: there’s more coming soon). The previous one was a real brain burner about the plight and systemic oppression of African Americans in the United States, whereas this one is more about being real. Jamar Carr has already made mine and Caleb’s playlists, and continues to impress us with every song we hear.

Favorite line:
Love my brothers in uniform
Always going to make it through the storm
But y’all never want to hear that though
because y’all are some real niggas.
Dudes is ass,
Flow is trash
Exactly how I feel, nigga.

 

PENPALS – Hi Tech

He’s been chugging kerosene since 9:30 in the morning. And their video reflects this. Their flow fits so perfectly into almost any hip hop era, with elements that give nods to the 80s and 90s, but don’t feel dated. Their lyrics are simultaneously heady and interesting, and witty and funny. And they also seem to take themselves seriously while still poking fun in all their videos. All of this combines to one of my favorite new hip hop projects I’ve discovered this year. There’s something so anthemic about them belting “High-tech but we’re still fucking low lives” over and over on this track that makes it impossible not to want to sing along and feel like they are describing your existence.

Fontzerelli – La Di Da Di

This song was my biggest surprise of the week. I saw the thumbnail for the music video, and expected something a lot more poppy. I was pleasantly surprised when that beat kicked right at the beginning. Absolutely no build, this song jumps straight into the deep end, and Fontzerelli swims fast as hell. This U.K. rapper has an articulate flow with a growl that makes DMX perk up in his jail cell. This song isn’t a one-off win either. I fell down his content rabbit hole last night, and loved every single thing I came across. If you’re looking for a more articulate, wordier, UK DMX with exponentially more flow, you’ve found the dude. This video is a great introduction to him because it’s so aesthetically pleasing: beautiful colors, beautiful people, and a beautiful flow.

Agency – Cruel Joke

This is one of those videos you throw on repeat at the background of a party and just wait on someone to get sucked into it. It’s a really simple concept, with the ice cream cone slowly melting away while a countdown of some sort counts up. I’m guessing it is seconds? I guess it really depends on how hot the room is.

The next thing you’ll notice is one of my favorite new R&B tracks that explores a complicated relationship. And then a quick reverse of the melting ice cream cone. Some sort of comment on retracing an old relationship? Righting some wrongs? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Whooda Thunk – Alien Boy

Aw man. This is one of my favorite new tracks at the moment. It mixes some really interesting 90s elements that remind me of Beck but mixed with some cool psychedelic samples that are reversed throughout. Also the lyrics are so hilariously playful and witty. They somehow strike a balance between stand up act, and heartfelt plea.

“Based in Kalmar, Sweden, Whooda Thunk is looking to combine his influences in a sound that celebrates his love for music. By finding inspiration in everything from metal-band Korn, electronic artist Aphex Twin, to movies like Donnie Darko, Whooda Thunk manages to make something unpredictable.”

I have to agree with their self described mission statement, and can hear all of those elements. There’s no doubt that Whooda Thunk is making some of the most unique music I’ve ever heard, and I can’t wait to hear more.

 

-Seth and Caleb

 

Video of the Day: Handshake “Crawling”

We have a delightfully upbeat and strange video for you today, complete with puppets, snow gear, color shifting objects, and social commentary, among others. I’d definitely be interesting in hearing your thoughts in the comments on what message is being espoused. I mean other than just how visually stunning all of it is, which is certainly true. I tend to think there is some sort of angle about social media, and our relationships with technology, but I also think it could just to be some witty and creative shots that go well with the electronic rock style.

-Caleb

As always you can find this song and more on our June Spotify Playlist. Right here. 

Mid Day Music Blast: Kuwaisiana “Virgin”

I love songs with something to say. I mean, most songs have something to say, I guess, but not many of them have something real to say. Relationship problems, how great you are, and dreamscapes make up 99% of all lyrics (probably), so the song, Virgin, from the multinational band, Kuwaisiana, is a welcome surprise.

With raw instrumentals, and complex composition, Virgin gets into one of the biggest moneymakers on the planet: war. The song dives into how the war machine has been effective in not only stealing land and making people wealthy, but also how its role in our lives has made us desensitized to things that should appall us.

“I’m a virgin
in a VR headset
Show me the army
Occupy me”

That is the last line of the song, and it hits so hard. In less than 15 words, they talk about how the military industrial complex can be found in everything from pornography to technology, and at this point, we are inviting it into our homes without even realizing it.

Transitioning between discourse and harmony, this song covers the gamut of emotions. We love bringing you something upbeat and interesting for the Mid Day Music Blast, the fact that the Blast is actually talking about blasts today, is just a…well…blast.

Morning Commute: Cloudmouth “Nice Looking Mountain”

 

Good morning guys! I’ve been traveling around my hometown all weekend, and it’s made keeping up with the blog a little difficult, but I think we are back on schedule now, and we are coming back with a very strong song. This song has a ton of wonderful sentiments throughout it. It starts strong with:

“All my time is spent chasing the meaning and the money, and the funny thing is lost along the way.
All I need is a nice looking mountain, a little fire burning, and a bottle or two (three, four five).”

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel this way at least once a work when I’m waking up to go to my job. I think most of us would be quite content with a pretty simple existence, with some time to search for meaning and a good time. Unfortunately, our society is set up to make that a herculean task. I am hopeful that all of you out there can strike your work/life balance in a way that finds you content. It’s no easy mission.

I’ll end with some word from the song itself, because they express the duality of this sentiment quite well:

“Some people truly follow their heart,
others just carry it around like a breifcase or a pumping clutch, all covered in blood, and it’s just dragging them down.”

-Caleb

As always, you can find this song and all our other June tracks on our Spotify playlist right here.