Welcome to the first entry in Hypewriter’s Best of the Week series, where we showcase our favourite reader-submitted music, handpicked each week! We hope to bring attention to a myriad of young and promising talent with each entry, and offer a platform for up-and-comers to get their music heard – this week’s featured artists include Sweeney, Stefan James, MIC Que and more.
If you’d like your track to be featured in an upcoming BotW entry, head over to our ‘Submit‘ page where you’ll find details on how to enter!
SWEENEY – HADES + BOTTLE TALK
First up, we have Sweeney – a 20 year-old rapper out of the Boulder/Denver area of Colorado. With support from PRiME Entertainment, his music has been attracting new followers and beginning to buzz within the Colorado music scene. Hades is a looming monster of a track that blends Atlanta-flavoured percussion, distorted 808s and the same chilling choir sample you may recognise from Jeremih‘s Giv No Fuks. Sweeney sounds confident, charismatic and comfortable over a beat that could potentially swallow most rappers.
On the other end of the spectrum is Bottle Talk – a cruisy, soothing venture into the rapper’s psyche over an incredible beat, courtesy of producer Nova Jazz. It’s a track about self-doubt, repressed thoughts and introspection. It extends an invitation to question who we are, but ultimately asks both Sweeney himself and the listener: “what you say when that bottle start’s talkin’?”
If you’d like to hear more from Sweeney, check out his Soundcloud here.
FONTE RENZO – PINK LUCOZADE
Next, we have UK-based, 19 year-old singer and graphic designer Fonte Renzo‘s Pink Lucozade – a remix to ZAYN‘s lUcOzAdE that plays like a coked-out, dimly-lit nightclub episode, through a tight culmination of his influences. Hints of Majid Jordan, Disclosure, The Weeknd, and even Frank Ocean (the track includes lyrics from Frank‘s Novacane) can be drawn from Renzo‘s numb love letter to an ambiguous recipient that could just as likely be a drug as it could be an endlessly alluring lover.
Pink Lucozade is the first track that Fonte Renzo has released, however if you’d like to tune in for what’s in store for the young artist, you can follow him on his Soundcloud, Twitter, and Instagram.
AVIXN – [lofi.bumps]
It takes an incredibly talented beatmaker to draw emotion simply out of filtered samples and off-kilter drum-breaks – a skill that has defined the careers of many heavyweight producers in the past, like Nujabes, J Dilla (R.I.P.), and Stones Throw affiliates Knxwledge and Mndsgn.
avixn, an 18 year-old producer based in California, who’s been behind the boards for just two years, masterfully emulates the stellar qualities of his influences on his first release, [lofi.bumps]. The tape is a calming, melodic and mesmerising listen that will stick with you long after the final side-chained jazz sample has echoed away in a reverb haze.
MIC QUE – 18 & DEAD
18 year-old rapper MIC Que‘s first full effort, 18 & Dead, is an explosive series of hard-hitting trap bangers that are surprisingly original and insanely catchy – thanks to the North Virginia native’s endlessly charismatic delivery and welcomingly unhinged flows.
Tape standouts Concord, Raw Power, and particularly the almost frustratingly infectious Zone are all excellent examples of MIC Que‘s strong mic presence and knack for turning what could’ve been simply generic trap songs into anthems so catchy that they could quite comfortably stand amongst the chart-topping songs of mainstream artists making similar music.
Follow MIC Que on his Soundcloud to stay on top of the promising young artist’s future releases.
STEFAN JAMES – KROWNING EP
Last but certainly not least, we have Detroit-based rapper Stefan James‘ Krowning EP. Krowning is only a concise 8 tracks, however it manages to leave a huge impact in a short burst of speaker-lethal tracks.
James sounds sharp, confident and braggadocios over many of the tape’s cuts – however, on tracks like opener Step to the King, he occasionally strays to a more socially-conscious and aware side of the lyric sheet without compromising the woozy, dark and ominous nature of the EP. He sounds hungry and determined, but ultimately comfortable over the tape’s monstrous production – courtesy of producers Frank Fictious, STREETWOLFF, Bijan Amir (the producer behind an incredibly tough reimagining of Lady Gaga‘s Bad Romance) and more.
However, what is possibly most impressive and exciting about the work is the vast potential Stefan James shows in its runtime – James is just sixteen years old. Keep your eyes out for his name in the future, because this kid is definitely going places.
Follow Stefan James on Soundcloud to hear more of his work.
(Fun fact: the artwork for Krowning was designed by Fonte Renzo!)
If you’d like to hear a playlist of our favourites from this week’s Best of the Week picks, head over to the Hypewriter Soundcloud page or stream it below.