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Denmark Vessey, the Detroit rapper named in honor of the man behind the planning of what could have become the largest slave revolt in North America in 1822, dropped Sun Go Nova, an album broken into two parts: a 5-track EP produced entirely by Earl Sweatshirt and Knxwledge and a beat tape produced by Denmark himself.
A soulful and intricate production, Denmark describes his work as “alternative and left-field… not light substance-wise, but light in that I want people to think of it as a treat, a little instance of coolness, a flash in the moment but not to be forgotten.” I can attest that while simply listening to the album can get anyone to bob their head, understanding the immense substance and meaning he’s spitting in his verses is an experience that’ll really get the mind going. From drawing analogies from the sun to expressing the need for Ethiopian coffee, Denmark delivers on his chilled, unique beats at an energetic and passionate pace.
[Cover image shot by Cam Robert]
This past week has definitely been another one for the books. Amidst albums from Kali Uchis, Saba, and ODIE just to name a few, many W&V favorites also shared new sets of visuals for us to enjoy. To help sift through all the dope stuff that dropped, below are five music videos you should definitely peep.
Duckwrth – “TAMAGOTCHI”
Duckwrth is a natural bundle of energy that’s well on his way to getting the recognition he deserves. In the Lino Asana-directed video, the purveyor of funkwave whips through the Mojave flexing his control of the rap game in the latest set of visuals from his XTRA UUGLY mixtape. “Tamagotchi” is perfect for both open road cruising and no holds barred mosh pits.
Sylvan LaCue – “Empathy” (ft. BJRNCK)
Sylvan LaCue is a well-seasoned warrior in the rap game. Earlier this year, the Miami-raised artist unveiled his Apologies In Advance album, guiding listeners through a spectrum of emotions through his skills on the mic and on the boards. “Empathy” is another snapshot from the story brought to life by his right-hand director Jonathan Benavente. Topped off with silky vocals with BJRNCK, this is another beautifully crafted video from the WiseUp crew.
Little Simz – “Morning” (ft. Swooping Duck)
From touring with Gorillaz to her own headlining tour next month, Little Simz has kept busy spreading good vibes all around. King Simbi gives us a peak at tour life in “Morning,” which features her venting over jazzy rhythms from Australia’s own Swooping Duck. Directors Versetti and Jeremy Cole, If you haven’t already, be sure to peep the deluxe version of Stillness In Wonderland.
Ciscero – “Function” (ft. GoldLink, April George, Cheakity)
With his Devil’s Pie EP on the way, Ciscero is back with the latest visuals from the project. Director Michael Bregenzer gives “Function” a truly cinematic feel that captures the harsh truth of the DMV streets when a seemingly fun night turns sour. Ciscero, April George, and Cheakity highlight their sonic chemistry over production from Supah Mario. Also be sure to check out the original track featuring a verse from GoldLink.
Gallant – “Gentleman”
Gallant has been fairly quiet in terms of releases since his stellar Ology album dropped back in 2016, but the Los Angeles crooner returns with another spine-chilling release. “Gentleman” is equal parts sensual and alluring that we love from Gallant, oozing with unfiltered passion. Director Sasha Samsonova paints Gallant in a steel blue hue as he delivers an echoing falsetto that’s sure to have you grooving along.
Elujay crafts a refreshing blend of soul, funk, and hip-hop that permeates throughout each track. The Oakland artist dropped his Jentrify album back in 2016, cementing his spot as one of the most promising artists of the Bay Area. Following shows with the likes of Xavier Omär, GoldLink, and Bibi Bourelly, Elu is currently working on a new project titled Avnt Garde.
As one of my personal favorites, “Golden” demonstrates his ability to create a feel-good vibe over stacked production from JULiA LEWiS, Kev Choice, and Chris McClenney. Teaming up with director Calmatic and All Def Music, Elu takes on the role of an old man fed up with a malfunctioning television and music blasting through the speakers upstairs to bring the track to life with a truly fun and exciting video.
Check out the video for “Golden” below.
Back in February, Dublin talent Rejjie Snow dropped off his debut album Dear Annie. With features from the likes of Cam O’bi, Anna of the North, and Jesse Boykins III, the extensive 20-track outing combined the eccentric textures we’ve grown to love from Rejjie to solidify his slot in the current music scene.
As the lead single from the album, “Egyptian Luvr” enlists Aminé and Dana Williams for an extraterrestrial adventure. Star-studded production from Kaytranada matches effortless verses from Rejjie and Aminé, united by Dana’s smooth vocal work on the hook. Director Martin Pariseau brings the track to life as the trio leads a journey across the city.
Check out the video for “Egyptian Luvr” below.
W&V favorite Jay Prince continue to grow his strength on the mic and on the boards. The London artist dropped his hard-hitting Late Summers mixtape last year, standing as a sonic treat topped with features from Aminé, Mahalia, and more.
Fresh off his SXSW run, Jay is back with his first release of the year, “In The Morning / Motion.” The double single opens with upbeat and feel good vibes that kick off the summertime early before slowing down the pace in the second track. Jay highlights his dynamic flow with his taste for a wide range of beats, surely on the way to another banner year.
Stream both tracks below.
Sángo continues to impress fans with his innovative production that blends hip-hop, electronic, and the sounds of Brazil. Soulection‘s rep from Seattle has produced for the likes of Bryson Tiller and Xavier Omär, constantly evolving his sound with each cut.
On the heels of “Sweet Holy Honey,” Sángo returns with the next single from his forthcoming album In The Comfort Of titled “Khlorine.” Also along for the ride is St. Louis contemporary Smino, coming through with his punchy flow. It’s always a special treat when Sángo and Smi link up—their latest collab is no exception.
Stream “Khlorine” below and expect In The Comfort Of on March 16.
It’s been just under a year since the world heard Lou Phelps‘ 001: Experiments 001 tape, an impressive project showcasing his versatility alongside the likes of Innanet James, Bishop Nehru, and more. Since then, the Montreal artist has blessed us with a few features and mixes leading into the new year.
Phelps is back on our site today with “Come Inside,” a nostalgic trip featuring production from his blood brother Kaytranada and Toronto emcee Jazz Cartier. The trio of talent combines elements of disco, funk, and hip-hop to create a refreshing and upbeat tune. With a catchy hook, suave verses, and a steady beat, this is a sonic treat you don’t want to miss.
Stream “Come Inside” below.
Back in 2016, Topaz Jones emerged into the scene with his funk-filled Arcade album, a ten-track outing featuring talent from Pell and Leven Kali. Since then, Topaz has continued to bless us with goodies including his COLORS performance and recent double single with “Toothache” and “Zoom.”
The Montclair artist is back this week with another pair of saucy tracks, “Nectar” and “Pleasure Pain Passion.” Topaz delivers some seriously groovy vibes over production from himself, Jack Hallenbeck, and Thelonious Martin. Topped off with a silky verse from KAMAU, the bundle of talents creates two infectious tunes sure to have you vibing along.
Stream both songs below.
Paving the way for producers in the Italian trap scene is the Milan-born Paolo Monachetti, known as Charlie Charles. Having grown up in Seguro, Charlie stepped into the rap scene at only 14 years old. At 21 years of age, he released XDVR alongside Sfera Ebbasta, a record that placed him in the front of the Italian hip-hop scene and caught the attention of Roccia Music and Marracash, an independent Italian hip-hop label. Especially after the release of Rockstar with Sfera Ebbasta, Charlie sits at the top of international charts.
A few standout songs I recommend checking out are “Bimbi”, “RAP”, and “Tran Tran”. Each has a unique style featuring rap talent from across Italy. The tracks stand as a mix of modern American trap, combined with elements of reggae and old school hip-hop, with a dark, mysterious tone. From unique loops to nontraditional synthesizers, Charlie is often accredited with bringing new futuristic sounds to Italian hip-hop, breaking the norm and introducing new sounds in the emerging genre.
Despite the immense amount of respect he’s gained while making moves for Italian trap, when it comes to the crazy life of a rap star, Charlie dejects it. Charlie claims to have “fired himself” from future live sets, and continues to produce music in the comfort of his home rather than traveling around.
“Non voglio passare per spocchioso, ma quello che sto facendo in Italia è distintivo… Sento, nel mio piccolo, di aver dato qualcosa alla trap senza scadere nel banale.”
In other words, Charlie isn’t interested in the luxurious, wild lifestyle that is assumed for such a big artist. Having rejected big labels, including Universal and Warner, it’s clear that Charlie wants the best for his art without the industry getting in the way. Rather, Charlie is set on molding the growing trap genre, bringing something new and distinct with the music he releases.
In 2016, Saba dropped one of my favorite albums to date titled Bucket List Project. The Chicago artist solidified his spot in the music scene, especially with standout tracks like “Stoney” and “World In My Hands.” As one of the most talented in Chicago and beyond, Saba continues to bolster his ballistic flow and clever lyricism.
Saba returns to our site with his latest track, “Busy.” Standing as one of his most introspective tracks to date, Saba touches upon everything from trust issues and mental health to maintaining relationships and tour life. Fleeting melodies from Daoud, daedaePIVOT, and Saba himself are brought to life in a set of elegant visuals from director Peter Campbell.
With his ability to captivate listeners with his skilled pen, Saba is sure to have another great year ahead. In the meantime, check out the video for “Busy” below and grab tickets to his upcoming Care For Me tour.