Monikker's Hip-Hop Blog: Collections & Reflections on Art


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Show Review: MC Overlord album release party at Grizzly Hall 

Come and Take It Productions, at the E. Riverside venue, Grizzly Bar, presented MC Overlord's album release party show for the May release, You Ain't Know. Widely regarded as one of the first Austin rappers to have a live band, and for being a 10-time "hip-hop artist of the year" award winner, MC Overlord brought his rhymes, confidence, and amazing live band to rock Grizzly Bar. This was a night to celebrate great rock/r&b/rap music, with a very talented lineup preceding the MC Overlord set.

First off was the Michael Dillard Band, with lead vocals and rhythm guitar played by Mr. Dillard. The group's feel-good rock vibe is complemented by Michael Dillard's versatile vocals. I think this would be a great band for fans of Train, Kings of Leon, and a band I really like named NEEDTOBREATHE. Dillard's versatility really showed when the group played cover songs, particularly Anderson .Paak's infectious "Come Down."

Ter'ell Shahid and his band graced the stage next. A crooner of soulful, funky r&b, Ter'ell's vocals are rich and intimate. Dripping with blues and soul, Ter'ell and his crew set the stage for MC Overlord's upcoming set. Both Ter'ell and Michael Dillard joined MC Overlord on his set.  

Ovey kicked off his time to shine with the first song from his new album, "Make 'Em Do." Just as the album starts off with a hard-hitting and energetic track, so too did the live set. His live band was excellent, a rock outfit finely tuned for a rapper, with DJ Crash on the wheels of steel. Crash was a big part of the production team for the new album You Ain't Know. Overlord's show consisted of some of his biggest songs from past albums. However, he spent a lot of time on new material, which was great because the album has such good songs to show off.

In addition to Michael and Ter'ell singing alongside with him, Overlord also had guest singer Candi Sanders on stage to lend her vocal talents to "Bully." Just as on the album, this song was a standout track in Ovey's live ensemble. The richness of the song is no doubt not only due to Candi's soulful vocals, but also Jelly Ellington's production and songwriting work. Ellington was up on stage with Ovey as his guitarist, and they announced that his debut solo album would be dropping soon (here it is).

At times the group would jam out and Overlord would dance or just grin and vibe out to the music. His passion for music and putting on a good performance were on display throughout the whole night. The new album joints were just as good live as on the album, and maybe even better since he has such a talented group of musicians playing with him. If you like his records, you'll love the MC Overlord live show.  

Cinco de Flyo - local Austin talent rocked Spiderhouse in May 

While a lot of people were drinking margaritas to celebrate, the Austin hip-hop community flocked to Spiderhouse for some live rap on Cinco de Mayo.

Hosted by the Untapped Show, which plays local rap and r&b every 1st and 3rd Saturday on KAZI 88.7, the lineup had a slew of great talent. A lot of these artists make the Untapped Show's top countdown list on a regular basis so it was very much a show including the best of the best in the city.


                     J. King played the role of MC/host and kept the party going; he also took some time to rock the mic. 

A diverse array of rap and r&b artists graced the stage with J. King segueing from one to the next. The crowd heard R&B and reggae from artists such as Eson and Lady Shacklin.
Shacklin wasn't the only female artist of the night due to Jeanae. The singer joined her significant other on stage, the positive go-getting rapper, Willy G.

One group of artists bringing boom bap back was the Camo Crew. This included rappers such as Profit Z, Legion D Wise, M1sta Wyte. They were all business with hard-hitting rhymes. Big Mic Pereida & Jsun Prophesor also killed the stage with razor sharp lyricism and soulful boom bap. Don't worry though, the trap fans weren't left out...artists such as Whiteside put on a good show with more southern vibes. 

Here's to hoping that both Spiderhouse and Untapped put on more shows like this for the Austin hip-hop community.  

Album Review: MC Overlord - You Ain’t Know? Ovey is back with a... 



Album Review: MC Overlord - You Ain’t Know?

Ovey is back with a new record from Vallejo Music Group that hits hard from the beginning. His poignant intro is a serious poem penned to his haters. “I’m still serious for anybody hearin this/I’m never vacatin my spot, that means period.” This South Austin veteran has been rapping for Austin since the ‘90s and this album makes it clear he has no intention of stopping anytime soon. The a cappella intro leads right into the energetic “Make 'Em Do.” The production is handled by longtime collaborator DJ Crash. Much of the album, such as “Make 'Em Do,” “Talkin’ Shit,” “Bars,” “You Ain’t Know?” “Take the World,” and “Smash” are unified through the production, which is mainly a great mix of '80s and '90s boom bap/soul/funk influences. The older feel fits nicely with Ovey’s bars as he’s influenced by older rap from the '80s and '90s. He rhymes the last two or three syllables in each line on the fourth beat with ease and precision, like clockwork. There’s nothing boring about his vocals - the aforementioned songs are true headbangers to get rap fans pumped up.

There are a couple of slower ballads on the record, both of which are great. “Bully” is by far the most powerful and probably the most striking track of the album. It was produced by Jelly Ellington (who also plays guitar on it) and is the lone track produced by him. The guest vocalist, Candi Sanders, really shines here with her soulful vocals on the bluesy rap track. Overlord raps about his young life of being bullied and unpopular and comes up with an anthem that most anyone can related to: “Life’s a bully, but mom said that we push back/it ain’t about where you start it’s where you end up at.” It’s a song about change and survival. As good as the rest of the record is, this song is the standout track for its honesty, soul, and execution. The other ballad is “She Not Like Me,” which details a relationship with a woman he felt was way out of his league. “Grad school kinda girl, she was into books/I’m a South side poet, I was into looks/Classic with her style, she spoke with ease/clearly I was deep way out of my league.” He learned a lot from her unique outlook on life.

Producers DJ Crash, Omar Vallejo, Kenneth Thompson made sure to make an album with MC Overlord that feels like true hip-hop. The beats, scratches, and rhymes all invoke an earlier age that focused on just those things, the signature pieces of the hip-hop album. There are a couple of skits featuring Lessly Fisher Jr. that involve obnoxious phone calls from Ovey. These are funny, and were noticeably funnier when I was listening to the album with other people in the car. They aren’t truly skippable skits since they’re funny, but they do interrupt the flow and energy of the record a bit.

Overall, MC Overlord has made a short album that represents his skillset and production ears very well. His rhyming is sharp, not flashy, and to the point. The album is accented with talented guest artists HADES, Candi Sanders, and Doc Deuce - the last three songs on the album feature these guests. A record release party is going down at Grizzly Hall on May 6. You can get tickets here.

Click here to stream the record on the original post at [monikkermusic.com].

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May hip-hop shows in Austin 

Below is an ongoing list - if you don’t see any on here or see incorrect info, please message me or comment. 

May 4 - Rap Fiesta w/Protextor, Akademics, Nate, & more @ Kick Butt Coffee 10 pm drink specials https://www.facebook.com/events/116927578850664/

May 5 - Cinco de Mayo hip-hop at Spiderhouse Ballroom 9 pm 
Hosted by J King and the Hybrid Models, performers include: ESON, Lady Shacklin, Profit Z, Omega Heightz, Jsun the Prophesor, StormShadow, Legion D Wise, Mr Whyte, Big Mike, Blue Guerrilla Rush, and Willy G 
https://spiderhouse.com/event/cinco-de-mayo-hip-hop-event/

May 6 - MC Overlord album release party @ Grizzly Hall 9 pm http://www.comeandtakeitproductions.com/event/1450006/?utm_source=tw1

May 7 - Don Ares @ 512 on 6th St - 6:30pm

May 9 - Riders Against the Storm 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
The ABGB, 1305 W. Oltorf 
http://theabgb.com/event/earlybird-riders-storm/

May 13 - Sweet Summer with CupcakKe, Magna Carda, LNS Crew, and more @ Mohawk 8 pm https://mohawkaustin.com/event/sweet-summer-ft.-cupcakke

May 20 & 21 - Rhyme Time hip-hop fest @ Kick Butt Coffee 7 pm on Sat, 12 pm on Sun with over 60 acts playing https://www.facebook.com/events/434709963533391/

Album Review: MC Overlord - You Ain't Know? 


Ovey is back with a new record from Vallejo Music Group that hits hard from the beginning. His poignant intro is a serious poem penned to his haters. "I'm still serious for anybody hearin this/I'm never vacatin my spot, that means period." This South Austin veteran has been rapping for Austin since the '90s and this album makes it clear he has no intention of stopping anytime soon. The a cappella intro leads right into the energetic "Make 'Em Do." The production is handled by longtime collaborator DJ Crash. Much of the album, such as "Make 'Em Do," "Talkin' Shit," "Bars," "You Ain't Know?" "Take the World," and "Smash" are unified through the production, which is mainly a great mix of '80s and '90s boom bap/soul/funk influences. The older feel fits nicely with Ovey's bars as he's influenced by older rap from the '80s and '90s. He rhymes the last two or three syllables in each line on the fourth beat with ease and precision, like clockwork. There's nothing boring about his vocals - the aforementioned songs are true headbangers to get rap fans pumped up.

There are a couple of slower ballads on the record, both of which are great. "Bully" is by far the most powerful and probably the most striking track of the album. It was produced by Jelly Ellington (who also plays guitar on it) and is the lone track produced by him. The guest vocalist, Candi Sanders, really shines here with her soulful vocals on the bluesy rap track. Overlord raps about his young life of being bullied and unpopular and comes up with an anthem that most anyone can related to: "Life's a bully, but mom said that we push back/it ain't about where you start it's where you end up at." It's a song about change and survival. As good as the rest of the record is, this song is the standout track for its honesty, soul, and execution. The other ballad is "She Not Like Me," which details a relationship with a woman he felt was way out of his league. "Grad school kinda girl, she was into books/I'm a South side poet, I was into looks/Classic with her style, she spoke with ease/clearly I was deep way out of my league." He learned a lot from her unique outlook on life. 

Producers DJ Crash, Omar Vallejo, Kenneth Thompson made sure to make an album with MC Overlord that feels like true hip-hop. The beats, scratches, and rhymes all invoke an earlier age that focused on just those things, the signature pieces of the hip-hop album. There are a couple of skits featuring Lessly Fisher Jr. that involve obnoxious phone calls from Ovey. These are funny, and were noticeably funnier when I was listening to the album with other people in the car. They aren't truly skippable skits since they're funny, but they do interrupt the flow and energy of the record a bit.

Overall, MC Overlord has made a short album that represents his skillset and production ears very well. His rhyming is sharp, not flashy, and to the point. The album is accented with talented guest artists HADES, Candi Sanders, and Doc Deuce - the last three songs on the album feature these guests. A record release party is going down at Grizzly Hall on May 6. You can get tickets here.          

You can stream the record here:





 

Riders Against the Storm - “Mali” feat. MobleyR.A.S. unleashes... 



Riders Against the Storm - “Mali” feat. Mobley
R.A.S. unleashes another fire track for Austin that’s not only hot to dance to but is also full of social commentary and wisdom. Read more on Monikker Music. 


Gorillaz - “The Apprentice” feat. Rag‘n’Bone Man, Zebra Katz & RAY BLK
Gorillaz released new song “The Apprentice” ahead of their anticipated new album release. It’s a neo soul, funk dripping hip-hop pop joint. Read more on Monikker Music.


Big Boi - “Mic Jack” feat. Adam Levine
It’s a Daft Punk-ish sounding song. Big Boi is cool and confident on the raps. His new album Boomiverse is slated for a June release. Read more on Monikker Music.

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Fresh picks Apr 23-29 


Riders Against the Storm - "Mali" feat. Mobley
R.A.S. unleashes another fire track for Austin that's not only hot to dance to but is also full of social commentary and wisdom. Their description of their new music video/single speaks for itself: 'Mali' gives homage to the forces/spirits bringing us back, and resurrecting us from the 'dead.' Mali follows two souls trapped in torture and humiliation tactics used on enslaved Blacks. The song and video is a statement about being recognized in the world beyond your trauma, and walking with a healthy arrogance, confidence, and self-realized power in the world.


Gorillaz - "The Apprentice" feat. Rag‘n’Bone Man, Zebra Katz & RAY BLK
Gorillaz released new song "The Apprentice" ahead of their anticipated new album release. It's a neo soul, funk dripping hip-hop pop joint. To me this sounds like Gorillaz at its best, but strangely this song is listed as an extra on the new album deluxe version - so it's not on the regular album issue. Damon Albarn's haunting, soulful vocals mesh well with the laidback, trippy neo soul and the guest artists' bluesy rooted vocals. The rapper, RAY BLK, gets the spotlight on the last verse. He could almost be mistaken for Busta Rhymes, which is definitely an asset to his low snarling rap.   

Big Boi - "Mic Jack" feat. Adam Levine
A lot of recent Adam Levine/Maroon 5 stuff has been slightly cringeworthy, so I wasn't sure what to expect on this. But Adam turns out to be a good pick for the chorus' electro funk. It's a Daft Punk-ish sounding song. Big Boi is cool and confident on the raps. His new album Boomiverse is slated for a June release. 



 

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