Welcome to the second 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 Level, Aaron Keba, Tony Occult, Yatu 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!
LEVEL – REVIVAL EP
First up this week, we have 28 year-old Russian producer Level‘s Revival EP. The tape consists of classic songs from JAY Z, Nas, Ludacris, Method Man and Redman, flipped and reimagined with all-new, original production.
The beats here are wonderfully dense and layered collages comprised of extracted samples and original instrumentation (drawn from Level‘s history in dappling in a vast array of genres, including drum’n’bass and house music) and every ‘revived‘ track is done justice – particularly the energetic and unruly reinterpretation of Redman‘s Let’s Get Dirty, propelled by skittering Bollywood-esque samples and squealing horns.
Follow Level on Soundcloud to tune in for whatever the Moscow native takes on next.
AARON KEBA – MADE ME THIS
Next, we have Aaron Keba‘s debut tape, Made Me This.
7 years into his tumultuous music career, following the formation and separation of a pop/hip-hop trio that opened for acts like G-Eazy, DMX and Dizzy Wright, the creation of a rapping British extraterrestrial alias, and the creation of more than 1000 songs, Keba has abandoned all monikers and begun releasing music on his own terms, with his own name, in his own way.
Made Me This is a brisk 7 tracks, though each is well-crafted with dynamic and diverse production that explores and merges a multitude of hip-hop’s sub genres. It’s hard to pin-point each of the NYC rapper’s influences, though he seems to be a culmination of the youthful attitude of Bones, the ad-libbing zaniness of Lil Uzi Vert (though with far more interesting beats behind him), and the confident, effortless flow heard in artists like Drake and J. Cole.
TONY OCCULT – RUN LIKE HELL
Backed by absolutely monstrous trap production, Run Like Hell is Tony Occult‘s venture away from his lo-fi, jazz-rap roots toward a gloomier, modernised sound reminiscent of artists like Travi$ Scott and Yung Lean.
20 year-old Kentucky-based rapper, singer and designer Tony LeRoy, aka Tony Occult, finds himself awash in a thumping haze of echoing reverb, sporadically distorted 808s and clattering hi-hats on his latest effort. The tape is 9 tracks of relentlessly dark and unapologetic trap goodness amidst hard verses and auto-tune croons and harmonisation – it’s a sound encapsulated in the Travi$ Scott-inspired haze of Northern Lights and the tape’s fantastic standout, Glow – a nail-bitingly hard track that has Occult spitting calmly sinister bars over an incredibly tough, off-kilter and surprisingly multi-faceted instrumental.
Follow Tony Occult on Soundcloud to join his growing fanbase and check out the rest of his releases.
YATU, zen & ERVA CARTER – THE OUTSIDERS
Next up, we have The Outsiders, the latest collaborative single from Houston-based, 4-person MC and producer collective Yatu, with zen and Erva Carter.
The track is a wonderful blend of dream-like vocals (surprisingly reminiscent of The Internet‘s Syd) from Erva Carter, zen‘s smooth and woozy production, and of course, two incredibly dynamic and different verses from members of the Yatu collective. The two emcees on the track both flawlessly inject numerous flows and inflections in their verses with fluid absurdity and a surprising chemistry akin to Andre 3000 and Big Boi. It’s a short and sweet track that could quite easily have been made by artists far more popular than any of it’s contributing artists are, and one that makes me hungry for more collaborations between them in the future.
The Outsiders is set to appear on zen‘s upcoming LP.
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.