So Much to See and Learn in Billboard Top 10 Songwriter Ron Hamrick’s “Time”

By 44faced on Mar 06, 2019 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

What are the elements of popular songwriting? What makes a hit song? Multiple Billboard Top 10 songwriter Ron Hamrick’s single “Time” shows us many of these elements:

1) Feeling

Most people don’t talk about feeling with enough importance, but I’d say it’s the primary element. The songwriter needs to love what he’s doing. That love for music first and foremost shines through the moment Ron Hamrick’s voice enters the track.

2) Relief

The music feels like a great relief, i.e. that it stems from an authentic place in Ron Hamrick that feels every word he sings deeply and strongly. Every word and every nuance of every word is enveloped in the vision that Ron Hamrick is locked on, and which he’s trying to communicate.

3) Relatable

Before you know it, you’re in the chorus. Ron Hamrick touches a common chord in every person: time passing by.

No matter whether you’re a 55-year-old truck driver, a 35-year-old upcoming entrepreneur, and possibly harder for the younger generation, but there would be some early-20-year-olds and some teens also seeing what the song talks about: When you’re 13, you can still picture how you were an infant, a child in primary and secondary school, all kinds of different friends you’ve had, classes you’ve been in, your relatives, your parents and family. Places you’ve been, things you’ve seen and done. So Ron Hamrick chooses a topic that’s close to every person.

4) Picturesque

The lyrics weave together settings, objects, people and movements, making it easy to see music-video-like pictures of the sound painting Ron beautifully orchestrates.

The picture that came to me was a guy on a brown-and-white porch surrounded by green bush, kicking back with a cup of tea, as his eyes turned inwardly to his thoughts, and he traveled into a flow of memories and a contemplation of time. There was also lots of camera panning, zooming  and movement involved in these pictures.

5) Optimistic

Shining guitars, and drums-and-bass that hold the rhythm with a persistently calm drive, bed the track with a characteristic simplicity and positivity.

While different to most music I listen to, at the level of these elements—feeling a love for music, music as a relief in life, a topic common to all people, picturesque lyrics and an optimistic tone—it shares so much in common in today’s hip hop and rap songs that I like, and yesterday’s grunge and metal songs that I liked (and still like), and the day-before-that’s pop and rock music that I liked (and also still like), i.e. when looking through a more fundamental lens, outside cultural influences, with focus on the common things to all people that Ron Hamrick’s music has, I greatly appreciate the intermingling of elements that have woven together through Ron Hamrick with such precise professionalism. Ron masterfully uses his songwriting and musicianship skills, his body, his guitar and his voice, as tools to express exactly what he wants to sing to every person alive on the planet.

In addition to all that, since I help artists with their branding, I also have to mention Ron Hamrick’s genius branding tactic: using “Ron Hamrick is an internationally acclaimed Billboard Top 10 songwriter” as his tagline.

Why is this so genius?

It’s because, without knowing anything about Ron, when I received an email with Ron’s material, before clicking to listen to his music, I clicked to find out about him, and in about 2 or 3 places, it was strongly mentioned “Ron Hamrick is an internationally acclaimed Billboard Top 10 songwriter.” Thus, before I even started listening to his music, I already had the context locked into my head of “Okay, let’s find out why’s Ron Hamrick is such a successful songwriter.” Then, with that inquisitive ear, I entered the song, and the music started playing out as many answers to this question: “Why is Ron Hamrick a successful songwriter? It’s because…” and then I heard and wrote the reasons above. I believe that Ron’s branding approach and the domino effect it caused in me is worth a mention, because the context you set before people approach you helps shape the perception and feelings that you’re trying to convey.

I wish to thank Ron for the opportunity to listen intently on his music and write this review, which I believe provides great value to any upcoming musician, as well as anybody who wishes to take a deeper look inside a great musical experience.

Follow Ron Hamrick:

A Musical Journey to a Different Place in 3 Minutes and 52 Seconds of Love Ghost’s “Mr. Blue”

By 44faced on Mar 02, 2019 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

One of the greatest things music can do is take you from emotional point A to emotional point B, and even C, D and E etc. in just a few minutes. That’s exactly what Love Ghost’s “Mr. Blue” achieves.

Aside from the warm guitar tang, the full, chunky-yet-bouncy drums, the chest-felt bass undercurrent, graduating into a blooming ensemble of strings, pads and lead guitar, and the voice seated in the center holding a strong body throughout… i.e. aside from the luscious production and engineering work, the song makes a great use of dynamic range and intensification.

“Mr. Blue” opens at a relatively receded energy level. The more the song evolves, the more the interaction of efforts to combine sounds of the different instruments and the vocals together, materializing into a flourishing bouquet of harmonious elements.

The accumulation erupts when the chorus hits, like a drone camera sweeping into shore from high above the beach… waves of “I am Mr. Blue-oo” flowing over a field of an epic distorted guitar and additions of more and more strings and pads, continuously intensifying throughout and leading each time to the next song plateau.

Vocally, Love Ghost give out a hand to their parachute partners participating in the listening experience. In a style that can often spill into vocal overload, Finnegan Bell maintains a moderateness that is fair and perfectly complementary to the instrumentation. His inviting vocal delivery finds an integral slot in the dense palate of sound space that Love Ghost masterfully fill up thanks to producer Carl Restivo, known for working on Tom Morello’s The Atlas Underground.

With such a pleasurable musical world that Love Ghost generates, the connection to life’s problems communicates through the plane of language: the pain of Finnegan’s depression, struggle with relationships and finding his place in society clashing with the uplifting musical current like waves on the shore.

I see the world is tainted
I bid you all adieu
I am Mr. Blue

Ah, how the painful experience of life gives more flavor to the pleasurable experience of music. That’s what I love about Love Ghost, which is what I’m sure Love Ghost also loves about Love Ghost.

Or maybe, the experience of connecting to make music gives more flavor to the pleasurable experience of music. That’s actually what I love more about Love Ghost, which is what I also now think Love Ghost loves more about Love Ghost.

Here’s a great shot of them together…

Love Ghost

About Love Ghost:

Love Ghost is an alternative rock band consisting of Finnegan Bell (guitar and vocals), Mya Greene (Viola and Keyboard), Ryan Stevens (Bass and background vocals) and Samson Young (drums). They have just returned from a successful tour of Ireland where they played Whelan’s, Crane Lane, Roisin Dubh and Spirit Store (amongst others). They will be touring Japan in March and have 11 shows booked in Tokyo and Osaka. On April 27th they will be one of the featured bands in de Música de Vanguardia Festivalfff in Ambato, Ecuador- and they will be playing 2 shows in Quito prior to the Festival.

Follow Love Ghost:









Can Established Artists Express the Same Level of Motivation and Hunger as Jon Harris on His Debut Single “Big”?

By 44faced on Mar 02, 2019 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

Jon Harris - Big on Spotify

Listen to Jon Harris’ “Big” on Spotify »

The debut single release “Big” from New York recording artist, Jon Harris (@officialjholla), from his upcoming album Who Is Jon Harris? captures the motivational essence of the upcoming artist at the beginning of his journey up.

Encapsulating his vision for greatness, Jon Harris drops a manifesto-like vision of big things ahead for him in an anthem-like style. The opening grandeur of a brass section setting up an epic Rocky-like atmosphere, with a beat reminiscent of elements similar to the majestic quality of then-Puff Daddy’s “Victory.” I immediately thought how it’s been a while since I heard a motivational hip hop song, the kind that gives the energy to get through another rep at the gym, the kind that gives that feeling within to push through a state that holds back. This is exactly what Jon Harris’ “Big” does. It’s a motivational hip hop song in what’s become a desert for this style.

That is definitely something unique paying attention to artists right at the beginning of their careers still establishing themselves: the raw hunger for the come up before it becoming satiated and calmed with the money and status that a successful artist encounters.

The production work is a unique pull-away from the maximally compressed and limited loud sounds battling for the top of the volume war food chain today. The bass and drum machine combo takes from an almost late-80s, early-90s electro-dance and hip hop aesthetic, and the brass layering builds intensity throughout the verses toward a major hook climax, the kind of hook made to invigorate the crowd.

The hook of “Big” instantly grabs hold of the brain’s neurons, embedding itself into the memory reserve through a bouncing flow that immediately gives the impression of a stadium full of fans, bopping up and down with their hands in the air, mimicking its every word together with Jon Harris…

I think big, dream big, and I plan big
To make sure everything that I do is big
I try to get the most out of this life that I live
And the only way to do it is to do it big, so what’s up?

The beauty of Jon Harris’ “Big” is in how Jon acts out his desired future state, envisioning his status as an accomplished artist with a dedicated fan following. The song acts as an affirmation. It makes clear what Jon Harris is aiming at, and pieces together a unique ensemble of elements uncommon to the hip hop sounds we’re used to hearing today in order to achieve its motivational impression.

Jon Harris is a Hip Hop recording artist from New York. He grew up in an upper Westchester and start making music with no musical background or formal training. Jon spent his high school career, college career and the years to follow learning all aspects of the music industry until he felt he was ready. On December 14 he released his first official song titled “Big” from Living Life Our Way Entertainment.

Listen to Jon Harris’ “Big” on Spotify »

Jon Harris

Follow Jon Harris:

What Is Wystelands and Why You Should Be Listening to It?

By 44faced on Feb 27, 2019 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

I initially started this blog to sell beats on. I put my very first beats here. Anyone who knows producers knows that the very first beats, while they might show potential, are still very raw in terms of the sound: you’re a beginner, still lacking a lot of knowledge and experience with putting all the parts of the music together. For me, my problem with my first hip hop beats was that, although I understand music a lot, I still lacked an understanding of audio mixing and sound design. I always a much bigger sound than what I could produce.

Here is one of my first beats that I liked more, a trebly boom-bap beat coupled with a Twin Peaks-like synth and monotonic introspective vocals…

I recorded voice for this in my toilet (separate to the bathroom), which was very narrow and high, a sound with a lot of bouncing reverberation.

Since then, I’ve made new beats.

Beats are just one aspect of the complete production, which is not 44faced…

It’s Wystelands.

Wystelands is a complete production of voice and beats that power a message of what the world needs most today: peace, love, unity.

Wystelands is hip hop.

Hip hop was originally created to bridge divides in society, bringing together rival gangs in a spirit of creating a new, positively-connected culture. Instead of the anxiety world of violence, crime and drug abuse, hip hop aimed to elevate music, art, dance, people having fun together.

Now that hip hop has spread across the globe and become the most popular music style, it has also become a commentator of culture. That is, as society has become corrupt and divided, so too have the overriding principles and values of hip hop.

But hip hop, in its essence, is not a commentator on the world. Hip hop, in its essence, is not a passive, negative force that is used only to puppet a competitive self-interest-based value system.

Hip hop in its essence is a creator of a new world.

It is birthed from the unity of rivalries. Hip hop emerged as a creative, unifying force in society.

Therefore, because of its unifying essence, hip hop holds potential to bridge social divides and create a new and improved society.

As the world suffers the consequences—rising fear, anxiety, depression, loneliness, suicide, drug abuse, crime—of becoming increasingly corrupt, exploitative and emotionally detached from each other, hip hop’s roots hold the key to spark a connective impact between those detached nodes in the human network.

Hip hop has the potential to be a major influential force of positive change to a more peaceful, loving and united world.

It can help to raise awareness that it’s better to live peacefully, well connected and be loving to each other, than it is to retreat into our lonely individual worlds, where we try to make the most of it upon a constant gray background. Being emotionally detached from others is like being in a solitary confinement prison. The more we can raise the connected spirit of society, the more we will have happier, more confident and purpose-driven individuals.

That’s what Wystelands is about.

Check out Wystelands:

@Wystelands on SoundCloud

@Wystelands on Twitter

@Wystelands on Genius



Ben Green – High Notes [Review]

By 44faced on Feb 10, 2019 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

Carrying forward the same vibrant energy as his debut single “Change Up,” Ben Green’s (@bengreen717) second single, “High Notes” is a track that exemplifies his versatile and multifaceted signature sound, laying its roots in layers of smooth, typically R&B instrumentals and very stylized vocals. It’s a sound that shines a brilliant light on Ben’s rap game, bringing a clarity and heightened anticipation to the delivery, amplifying the track and making an indelible mark on the listener.

Emerging from Venice, CA and at only 19-years of age, the aspiring rap/hip hop and R&B recording artist delivers up a versatile and multifaceted signature sound and style with his witty rhyming techniques and next-level dynamic vocal projection. Determined to make his mark in the music industry, Ben Green has no intention of slowing down his momentum anytime soon, and has hit the ground running since emerging into the game.

Some artists learn music, others are born for it. Ben Green fits this bill. As an artist that has sustained an insatiable passion for songwriting, music always came easy to him, and also became a form of therapy and spirituality. This ultimately became the foundation and cornerstone to Ben Green’s career, and he hasn’t looked back since.

Ben Green has always loved hip hop and the powerful messages that can come from lyrical content and skill level. His mastered craft and rhyming skills are well-placed, well-paced, and bring his artistic merit to the forefront. His music is also reminiscent of many musical inspirations and artist influences over the years, including industry heavyweights like Eminem, Lil Wayne, Kodak Black, Mac Miller, A Boogie, and several others.

KF Greatness – Humbled Recognition [Review]

By 44faced on Feb 10, 2019 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

When you hear that a 19 year-old artist has been recording for only 2 years, you don’t expect the kind of maturity that KF Greatness (@imkatajikfisher) showcases on his release, “Humbled Recognition.”

An 8-track release, “Humbled Recognition” delves into the essence of the grind in the face of adversity. KF Greatness’ almost Kendrick Lamar-esque voice sounds 10 years older than he is, and his lyrics too successfully express a wealth of life experiences, relationships, obstacles in the way of success, with clever wordplay and seasoned flows. KF Greatness’ voice has a lyricist percussiveness, with an ability to penetrate melodies through a natural throat distortedness. His verses make virtuosic lyrical maneuvers sound easy, and his hooks slam.

The beauty of catching KF Greatness at such an early stage is that song after song, you feel the hunger, the work, the grind, the raw energy, and a clear focus on what he wants… fiery passion shining through a very humble and calm, external expression. He’s not sitting back in any chair lavishing in his success… yet. He’s seeped in the life of the come up and blending all of its experiences into a new kind of salad.

The honesty and humbleness is probably most indicative in the song, “Honest,” where he states, “I’m just being honest, no time for games, I gotta run it.” But turn on the release straight from the first track, “Curious,” and listen through till the end. You’ll be glad that you caught this artist so early. Keep an eye out for KF Greatness.

Young G Works – Back II Works (Album Review)

By 44faced on Jan 30, 2019 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

Young G Works - Back II Works

Young G Works’ new album, Back II Works, available at all major distribution outlets.

Rising up in Ohio, Young G Works (@younggworks) brings a rare raw, unedited vocal style into the street trap game. In a genre loading up more and more with autotune and wavey adlibs, Young G Works cuts through with a direct-through-the-mic approach. And he does this with a highly energetic, money-getting focus track-after-track on his newly released album, Back II Works, produced by CoalCashBlac of TheCoalCashCollection.

The 16 tracks on Back II Works embrace the spirit of trap, vitalize its psyche and make it powerful and relatable. Natural is the word that best sums up Young G Works. There is nothing overdone, underdone or fake throughout the entire album, but a natural feel and a natural flow that sounds as if Young G Works calmly spit the album in one take.

Usually, I start getting into a track-by-track rundown of an album, but as I listen to Back II Works, it becomes a solid whole.

Nonetheless, the undeniable lead track for bouncing the party is “No Cap,” where Young G Works teams up with DameDot and Ace Cino flaunting the money/women/weed lifestyle atop a beat sampling Salt ‘n’ Pepa’s early 90s hit “Push It.”

Interestingly, on the production end, 808s aren’t loading up the bass zone, but rather kicks are given an extra “oomph” to cover the bass, which gives off a boom-bap scent among a clearly trap roll.

Young G Works consistently communicates confidence throughout. One look at his “No Cap” video makes you see his concealed, sunglass-wearing figure rapping in your ear the whole album though.

Confidence proves to be one of Young G Works’ greatest strengths. He quickly establishes a mood then rides it out till the end, which is part of what gives his vocal input that natural feel, as if he gets a feel and streams it out. Lyrically, Young G Works swivels around a panorama of life experiences. He has the power to set a scene quickly upon his lyrical entrance, but more than that, he builds a world focusing from his personal axle, examining, acting and reflecting, while throwing in a slew of similes and metaphors in his outpouring of often one-sentence statements that state his position clearly in relation to everything he describes.

Among the constant chest-bumping, head-nodding motion characteristic of Back II Works, Young G Works adds to his confident flavor by fully emboldering his Southern drawl, controlling his flows at a moderate pace, emphasizing his vowels, while sustaining a modern quasi-monotone in his rolling statement pieces, and then using his characteristic rising and falling of energy when delivering a string of other moods to his gunning rap attack style. In short, he creates such a natural sound and feel, it’s as if he’s talking to you the entire album, expressing exactly what he wants to, shifting the listener from sitting across from him in calmer times, to bumping the party at others.

In times when trap becomes more and more redefined and artificial, Young G Works makes you remember that trap arguably began in the South for a reason, that it remains most natural there. Keep an eye out for Young G Works.

Remington James – Prototype VII [Album]

By 44faced on Jan 23, 2019 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

Before he became known as one of the world’s best rappers, Kanye West was the renowned producer whose work mostly with Jay-Z propelled him to the top of the hip hop production food chain. Many today might have forgotten that it took Kanye many years of consistently releasing more and more of his rap music to eventually become respected for his rapping, and not just be “that great hip hop producer who also raps.”

This is the analogy that came to mind as I approached Remington James’ first hip hop album, Prototype VII, released this week on all major distribution outlets. As a successful YouTuber and with a fitness training career solidified, Remington James is stepping outside of his comfort zone to do something he loves and that he’s wanted to do for a long time: make hip hop music.

If you read the comments on his fitness YouTube channel, then you can clearly see that this is no gimmick that he’s punted to further build his current fitness business. Instead, in his video “It’s Time to Move On,” he even mentions that he’s going to separate his channels to give his fitness audience what they want: meal prep plans, fitness tips, etc. Whether he does that or not isn’t really an issue. What I find most inspiring about Remington James’ effort to enter the hip hop world after finding success in another world is the fact that you can extract the common denominator behind both worlds—the success mindset.

You can expect a whole bunch of predictable trolls commenting away that “Oh look (sigh), this fitness guy is trying to rap.” But that’s exactly what differentiates a negative critic with zero subscribers buried in comment sections and a consistent, disciplined and hardworking creator always at the top of the page. It’s worthwhile therefore thinking in a more constructive way: that since this guy succeeds to sustain a great athletic physique, which is no easy thing to do, and also succeeds to build and maintain a dedicated YouTube audience, also not so simple, then why wouldn’t he be able to succeed in hip hop as well? There’s no reason why, since that same success mindset that get a person to under 10% body fat with a lean muscular physique, and to relentlessly release a video a day for years, is what’s needed also to succeed in hip hop today.

That is why I love the story behind the launch of Remington James’ hip hop career with Prototype VII just as much as I love the album, because of the exertion and determination driving every single song, an undertone of a passion that is trying to communicate itself to the world. It’s also this passion that has urged Remington James to spend hours upon hours practicing how to record and mix his own music, outside everything he’s doing in his fitness career.

Musically, Prototype VII is a well-rounded album that encapsulates different emotions, moods and discernments, just like life itself. The musical direction becomes clear after listening to a few seconds of the opening track, “Villain”: that the beats play not a driving role, but an accompanying one, in paving a path for Remington James to articulate a flow of emotions on certain topics in his life. A leading characteristic of the vocal output is clarity of emotion, a direct communication of what’s in his heart through a stream-of-consciousness style of delivery. Whether a natural talent or an acquired skill, Remington James’ undeniably powerful quality is in his ability to communicate. For the best listening experience, one needs to get into a mode of listening to a man reflecting on his life over beats that serve primarily to set a certain emotional stage to help what’s behind the words to sink through.

Such an approach to vocal expression became very clear when I asked Remington who his main musical influences were, to which he replied with a definitive answer: Lil Wayne. Remington’s approach to going into the studio without any prepared lyrics, and letting out what’s on his mind and heart on a certain topic is the same approach Lil Wayne had from around the early-to-mid 2000s onward. It’s a way of entering into a running emotional stream, unfiltered by intellectual jargon. It also paves an interesting foundation for Remington’s future development: the more he works on developing the mind aspect of such a style (thinking up and combining more and more technical aspects like wordplay and compound syllabic rhythmic push-and-pull) together with the heart aspect, which comes across like second nature, the more we can expect Remington James to blossom into the renowned hip hop artist, who was once a fitness training YouTuber.

For instance, Prototype VII is not one for enthusiasts focusing their microscopes on rap’s technical aspects, nor is it one for the lean-slurring party bangers driven by chest-pounding 808s. This is one for the inspiration, motivation and emotion seekers, something that everybody needs a boost of at any time. Themes Remington James tackles include the way to success, reflections on his success, who he’s been out to make happy (where his mother gains a frequent mention), overcoming hardships and disbelievers through a life where he’s succeeded, and dealing with women, among others.

“Look at You” wins the album’s Catchiest Hook Award for its opening hook, the rhythm of which holds the vocals throughout the rest of the track. The track that touches an even more emotional chord than the rest of it lies humbly at its end, “Hero.” It’s a confession box outpouring where Remington James digs deep into what is behind his continuous motivation to push forward, and the more he comes closer to a truer point—a point that the constant noise of media chatter does everything to distract us from—the more his voice assumes a new, raspier quality unheard in the album’s other tracks. In his “It’s Time to Move On” video, he mentions how he even cried after he let out a line in “Hero” about doing what he did in life to make his mother proud.

I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to review Prototype VII. Just as Remington James primarily emphasizes the direct-from-heart-to-heart approach throughout, the only preparation one needs to let this album enter the heart is to put aside all the intellectual noise that blocks us from feeling the other person—the envious troll that wants to put him down for being that fitness guy who now wants to rap, and the rap orthopedic surgeon who focuses only on checking whether or not specific technical aspects are in place—and let our listening ear absorb the heart of Remington James.

Dre Steelo – Play to Win [EP – Review]

By 44faced on Jan 08, 2019 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

On Dre Steelo’s (@Dre_Steelo) third EP, the Michigan rapper personifies hunger for success and expresses it in 6 diverse tracks.

One of the greatest things about reviewing upcoming artists is that the yearning for the come-up is raw and more real than ever. In Dre Steelo’s case, his EP Play to Win positions him as a wolf eyeing its prey, ready to go in for the kill.

The 6 tracks of Dre Steelo’s Play to Win share pinpointed focus, clarity and directness. Even when using autotune, Dre Steelo never heads into the wavy, drugged up hip hop territory, but maintains his gravity around a vortex that’s ready to propel him to a whole other level.

In the first track, “Don’t Matter,” Dre Steelo sheds off his disbelievers and non-supporters. Dre introspectively verifies his reality to himself, that his success depends entirely on his determination to rise up the ladder, as well as making a statement to anyone listening that whether or not you’re with him, it doesn’t matter: it won’t shift Dre from working his way up. Moreover, he skillfully articulates the latter as the song heads into a catchy hook based around its title:

“You can think what you want
“But there’s one thing you should know
“It really don’t matter
“It really don’t matter, no…”

“Win,” the EP’s second track, re-tweaks Dre Steelo’s aspiration for success from another vantage point. As the beat cools off to more of a chill mode compared to “Don’t Matter,” Dre’s vocal entrance makes it clear that he’s no less fighting in this track than before.

“I didn’t come to play,
I just came to win.”

Definitive of the energy throughout the whole EP, Dre Steelo’s hunger to win is like a shot of pure motivation. His intention for success is well-targeted in his sights, and invites anyone to feed from that same energy.

The beat cruises out onto the highway on “A Lot On My Mind,” a steady-riding fast-paced drive that provides a basis for Dre Steelo to lay down his thoughts about making it on his own, money, pain, relationships and more of life’s ordeals.

Knowing what suits his energy in this record, Dre Steelo continues that driving-style beat with “100”: a steady-yet-progressive feel pounding through your chest down to your feet with Dre Steelo punching out each word with distinctive articulateness that cuts right through to that part inside each person that needs that fuel to go the extra mile to reach any kind of success.

Dre Steelo shows more variety of his approach when “I Know” hits. Taking a more reflective outlook on life, talking about what only he can know and others can’t know about over a boom-bap beat with a pounding, wavy 808 reminding you it’s the twenty-late-teens.

“Miracles” finishes off the EP in classic closing style. A vaster scope, a wider field of synths giving room for Dre Steelo to once again lay down his intent to reach the top by touching on the essence of what a miracle is:

“Miracles, miracles,
Making something out of nothing…”

Whether you need some extra fuel to start your day better aimed at your goals, or you need an extra boost to muscle in that last rep at the gym, Dre Steelo’s got exactly that pure energy to give you that extra thrust. I just hope that when he’s winning at the top, he won’t lose that same hunger he now has.

Pologang DB – Mama Left Me [Music Video – Review]

By 44faced on Dec 14, 2018 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

Pologang DB is a rising lyrical prodigy from the Midwest who paints a vivid picture of his motherless childhood in “Mama Left Me,” a relentless 3+ minute outpouring of no cliches or hooks, just straight, raw rap. Don’t expect any love or respect for DB’s mother: “Mama Left Me” is a sad story of how DB’s mother fell to drugs, neglected him and his family, and overdosed when DB was 14. DB talks about all the other players in his life throughout the period, his father, brother, uncle and sister, and how they tried to hold things together while his mother continued her dissolving life. Top-level music production by Ill Will and NebulaBeatz ring memories of the emotional kinds of beats with gospelesque backup female vocals on early 2pac records but with modernized sound and instrumentation. Also, top-level video production by Hogue Cinematics, cutting between shots of DB doing his lyrical storytelling, and shots with actors playing out different stages of DB’s childhood, the other players in his life, and ending with a chilling photo of DB and his mother—”chilling” because underlying the two looking happy together in the photo, through their smiles pierces the aftermath of a story that portrays the unfortunate downfall of this woman who failed to overcome her drug addiction and grow into her responsibility as a mother.

A defining characteristic of DB’s flow is clarity: he makes his storytelling straightforward and easily accessible to connect with him. Often, a music reviewer seeks a stand-out one-liner in the song to emphasize in the review, but in the case of “Mama Left Me,” DB’s lyrical content weaves as a tapestry that pieces together more and more pieces of a jigsaw puzzle for the listener: the more it unfolds, the more you see a full picture coming together, and can step back and see this real-life movie playing out between DB, his mother, and all the major influences in his childhood. You thus can’t pull out a single line without connecting it to the entire lyrical stream. The verbal and linguistic clarity, as well as the unfolding nature of the flow, are a 180-degree inversion from today’s urban musical atmosphere that hails drug-influenced slurring and distorted meanings. I suppose that after growing up with such a crushing example of drug addiction in his mother, DB sees no reason to glorify drugs. He instead seeks clarity and directness, and to communicate his messages that way to the world. If the urban music world shifts into its next phase of hangover, then DB’s music awaits with the clarity to give listeners their energy shots as they contemplate yesterday’s mistakes and start a new day.

About Pologang DB
Up-and-coming Toledo, Ohio hip hop artist Pologang DB is one rapper impossible to ignore. One-fifth of the acclaimed rap group ‘PoloGang’, the melodic and fierce, technical bars of DB’s sound are a breath of fresh air in a declining musical landscape of cliche’ hooks, mumble rap and autotune.

Follow Pologang DB on Twitter »

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