Hi, I'm Andriana, but my friends call me Dre. Just a fan, with an ear for what's good. Coming up in tha game just in time to get old and die.
Sometimes I write for other sites. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any music posted here is for sampling purposes only. If you dig it, buy the album and spread the love. If you would like me to take down anything you see here....please Exit Through The Giftshop cuz that shit ain't gonna happen.
From Odd Future and Instagram to preconceived notions and higher states of being, I played a game of 20 Questions with rising London rapper Little Simz.
Landing major roles in the UK’s hit TV shows Spirit Warriors and Youngers, opening for Schoolboy Q on the European leg of his Oxymoron tour, and most recently, self-releasing her fantastic E.D.G.E. EP, Little Simz has solidified herself as a force to be reckoned with. After hearing any of her complex lyrics and triple-time flows, there’s no doubt the talented 20-year-old is wise beyond her years. But does that thought process also hold true for life’s every day questions? Mass Appeal sought to find out. We recently sat down with the UK’s princess of hip-hop to play a game of 20 Questions.
1. So you’ve been writing, dancing and acting since the age of 9, what made you want to start rapping?
For me it was just exploring different elements of performing arts. I was never too… let’s say, talented in the singing area. Haha. At the time anyway, so it was just another form of expression for me to write raps and rap poetry.
2. You’ve mentioned you play guitar, what’s the first song you learned to play on the guitar?
I think it may have been Nelly, “Just a Dream.” Only because it was like four chords and it was the easiest thing to learn.
3. Did you have any musical inspirations when you were writing EDGE?
At the time I was listening to a lot of Tracy Chapman actually. In terms of song writing, and just looking at how she kind of puts together songs and writes them, and the fact that everything has a meaning. I wanted to be a lot more conceptual in terms of what I’m talking about as opposed to just talking about ‘I’m the best thing coming out of UK and no one can test me,’ ya know? So just trying to challenge myself in that aspect.
4. If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Bahamas or Hawaii.
5. What has been the proudest moment of your life so far?
My mom telling me she seen me on tely.
6. Who is your favorite character on the Simpsons?
Bart. Yes. 100%. I just like that fact that he is so rebellious and just has a cheeky attitude. In real life I don’t really like kids like that, but in a cartoon it’s quite funny, so definitely Bart.
7. What are your hardest bars to date?
My hardest to rap physically and to perform live would probably ‘Bars Simzon’ because obviously the speed, and how many fucking metaphors and syllables are in one word, and to get it on time, it’s pretty difficult. Plus to time it up on stage, with the crowd.
8. Do you have a verse that you think is your best to date?
Ah, my best is yet to come.
9. Who is your idol?
10. What can people expect to find on your Instagram?
I suppose what I’m doing in life. I’ve come across so many Instagram pages that are either just a bunch of selfies, which I think ‘Yo, vanity has got the best of you’ and then I come across Instagram pages that are just pictures—like I would never see what the person looks like, it’s just pictures of literally whatever they see. It could be a picture of an ocean, a tree, and I like them type of pages.
My Instagram will be a picture of me with someone in the studio or just whatever I’m doing at the time, just to keep people updated, letting them know what I’m doing. I can’t lie, I take the occasional selfie, but you wouldn’t scroll down my profile and every single picture is of me.
11. Do you have a favorite Instagram to follow?
There is an Instagram called Travel Pancakes. Yeah, it’s a weird name right? But her photos are so sick, I enjoy looking at her photos. And as well, my friend Tilla, his Instagram is tight. He’s 16 but he just has, his vision as far as what he captures is just tight.
12. What was it about Odd Future that initially drew you to them?
I think I just like things that are different, and a bit left. And I like the fact that they do everything they’re own way, and they’re sort of, I get the impression they don’t answer to anyone, and they don’t like answering to anyone. And I’m very much like that. I hate being told what to do, and I’m just that person ya know. And I get that, and I’ve not met all of them, but just being a fan of them in general, they just have that attitude that they make the music they want to make, they put out what they want to put out, and everything’s just done how they want to do it, and I totally respect that.
13. What’s the last great show you went to?
Probably the “Would You Like A Tour?” show. The Drake tour. Yeah that was tight. That was so sick.
14. What goes through your mind just before you hit the stage to perform?
I knew I should have went to the toilet.
15. Do you have a good luck charm?
I actually don’t. Actually, cos I’m Muslim, so sometimes when I go on stage I have praying beads in my pocket. And yeah I’ll just have it on me when I’m traveling, when I’m on a plane I’ll just have them with me in my pocket.
16. If earth could only have one condiment for the rest of time, what would you pick to keep around?
Ketchup. I eat everything with ketchup.
17. What movie or show remake would you want to star in?
New Girl. Too funny.
18. Do you have a go-to party song?
Future “My Momma”
19. If you had to pick a food or a dish to describe your sound, what would you pick and why?
Risotto. It’s like rice and like creamy. The reason why is because when, basically my manager ordered it and I looked at it and I was like, ‘Uuhhh na, why would you order that?’ Cos it just looked really… it looked a bit like baby food, like just the way it was all mushed together, and I don’t know I just didn’t like the look of it… until I tasted it. I was like ‘Yo, why did I not order that?’ And me, I don’t like trying new things, especially when it comes to food, I just kind of stick to what I know. So I guess that would be a way to describe my music. People like, they hear a female rapper, and they already have their preconceived ideas and their judgments, but that’s until they actually press play. Same way, until I actually tried the food, you like it.
20. What’s the one thing everyone should know about Little Simz?
That I’m a Pisces and I believe a lot in star signs, and that I’m coming to take over everything.
Little Simz plays NYC next month. Details coming soon.
Denzel CurryIce Age Feat. Mike Dece (Prod. By Keenanza & Yung Icey)
The first single off Denzel Curry's forthcoming EP is too cold. The Carol City up-and-comer is one of the smartest, coolest, and most talented artists I've had the pleasure of working with. He’s such a gifted MC, with such a vision. His creativity spills into his flows, beats, and every bit of his being.
His new track, ‘Ice Age,’ is a perfect example. Next level lyrics, true to Miami tropical-cloud rap beats, and a killer hook. I can’t get enough of this one. You’re such a star Zel. Get it homie.
'Ice Age' is off Curry's Three Two Zel EP out later this year?
He makes melodies out of raspy chuckles and just audible-enough lyrics. Whiskey-soaked verses are sopped up with gospel-fused soul samples twice removed. We’re all family here. Carefully weaving a rich history into his music, Tree tells a tale that’s much grander than one would expect. The story of American soul, and it’s evolution to present day. A story every music fan should be familiar.
Perched in the dank stairwell of the historic South State Street record store and music venue, surrounded by exposed brick, masking taped posters, and stacks and stacks of old vinyl, Tree tells us the one thing he can’t live without, his soul records.
“Growing up, my father didn’t care for music being played on the radio, and even lesser about this new boom bam bop called hip hop. So he’d ride around with tapes playing Sly and the Family Stone, The Temptations, James Brown and stuff like that, just soul music.”
Creating a style all his own— one that incorporates billowy, head-bob worthy beats with and southern hi-hats and snippets from music’s rich historical roots— it’s safe to say, Tree is one of the most inventive producers in the game.
“When I started making beats, I didn’t really care for what was being made popular, especially sample-based music. I’d hear it and knew it could be done better and differently. I worked really hard to perfect my craft and create a new sound combining soul samples and southern trap with a bluesy tale/heartfelt account to create #soultrap.”
All I Need is One:
All I need is a soul record. That perfect soul sample. I gained notoriety with music writers and bloggers when I introduced my signature sound #soultrap, so for me, soul music is everything.
Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way” is the one. This joint is one of the songs you could hear around the house in my younger years while my mother was cooking or cleaning. I remember vividly this song being sung by my mom and aunts as they hung out in the living room at my grandma’s house after a family dinner, or what have you. After a few glasses of wine and beer, the family room turned into a Soul Train line where we’d all “step” (a form of dance invented in Chicago, mostly used by the older folks who loved dusties and soulful music) and sing oldies using brushes or what ever was handy as prop microphones, really just having a good time as a family.
The first of Tree’s upcoming Soultrap EP series, #TREESWAG a collaborative EP with Chris Crack, is out today.
G FrshFalling High ft. Sonny Reeves
A perfect example of why you should never completely write-up UK rap, London MC G Frsh debuts the visual accompaniment to his hit song “Falling High.”
The single, featuring British singer Sonny Reeves debuted on i-D back in March, thrusting the duo into the internet limelight with over 30,000 plays in less than a month. Off-kilter beats and crystalline falsettos coupled with and melodic rhymes and fluctuating tempos make the number an intriguing first taste— one that leaves you thirsting for more. Watch the track’s black and white theatrics come to life on Youtube’s silverscreen above.
“Falling High” is the first single off G Frsh’s forthcoming Alfie EP.
Who is Spooky Black?
To be honest, I’m not quite sure yet. But don’t worry, I have a lot more on the Midwest suburbs (and internet’s) answer to Keith Sweat Y2K coming soon.
For now enjoy a collection of my favorite Lil’ Spook tracks including his collaborative project The Standard (made up of Lil Spooky, Psymun, Allen Kingdom and Bobby Raps)’stwo new singles, ‘Decisions’ and ‘Doors.’ Minnesota represent!
WaldoKobe’s Room Original + Revision [Prod. by Sango]
Sadly, I never got a chance to writing about this release when it dropped. Mostly because I was taking a break from music writing at the time. Regardless, the collaboration between the Grand Rapids, MI duo of producer Sango and MCWaldo, titled "Kobe’s Room" was one of my favorite tracks of 2013.
Yes, the beats and his flows no doubt draw similarities to Drake, and the name “Kobe’s Room” may or may not be a nod to “Marvin’s Room,” but I love Drake, and “Marvin’s Room,” and everything about this track, so…. Basically haters gonna hate, and that’s never been my style, so here we go.
Waldo started making noise on the internet in 2012 when he released Pick Your Own Poison on LA collective Soulection’s digital imprint. I dug that release a lot. Catchy lyrics like, “Marijuana like Chlamydia, still burnin” (lolz) and a comfortability to his flows, coupled with Sango’s sexed-up beats, what’s not to love?
At the end of 2013 Waldo re-emerged a double album project that I have to say has some stellar singles. Completely produced by Sango, NSDE and OUTSIDE are full of playful and stylistic tracks that you’ll want to keep on repeat until you know all the words.
Waldo’s witty and smart lyrics lend to his knack for hooks and storytelling throughout the two EPs, with stand out tracks like "Red Toyota, Naomi’s Song," "Finally" and "Explicit Content." The more I listen the more I believe in his talents. With line after line of anecdotal rhymes and plenty of humor, I’m still trying to find a reason not to love this project. Haven’t found one, nuff said.
Be sure to check Sango’s “revision” of “Kobe’s Room” below, and Waldo’s upcoming show dates here.
Sunni ColónEternal Flowers
My first exposure to singer/rapper/producer Sunni Colón's music was after a photoshoot-turned-house party at a producer friend's spot in Williamsburg. He lives in one of those giant Brooklyn lofts that's perfect for any artist looking to lock themselves away in the studio to work on beats without driving their roommates and neighbors insane.
I ended up hanging in his studio, along with his manager(s) and a few other people while he showed us the new projects he was working on. One of those projects was producing beats for a new singer/rapper named Sunni Colón. The demos were a bit rough, and I liked his singing a lot more than his rapping, but I was interested.
When I got home I did some googling and came up with very little. Except a self-produced single released by the LA artist, called "Temple." Again, I was interested, but still nothing was really grabbing me and shaking me by my Drelocks. Then a few months later I heard, “Jezzabel,” and my interest piqued again. Now in 2014 Sunni’s dropped "Voyage/Lightyears," and last week, his latest cut (and my favorite beat), “Eternal Flowers.”
So the reason I told you this long, boring story is to tell you how I came to the conclusion that the guy has serious potential. He’s just not ready for the spotlight yet. The evolution of his still blossoming sound from just eight months ago to now is vast. His range of talents deep, and his intuition and ability to fine-tune and develop the sounds that are working, well that’s always the hardest part, and he’s doing a great job of it.
With a handful of explorative demos on Soundcloud and rumors of a debut full-length on the way, you can be sure Sunni Col is on my list of acts to watch.
Glass AnimalsGooey Rework ft. Chester Watson
One of the biggest tracks of 2014, Glass Animals’ “Gooey,” gets a killer makeover with help of Orlando, Fl rapper/producer Chester Watson.
Since 2012 I’ve professed my undying love for the Oxfordshire foursome Glass Animals. Their penchant for hip hop inspired basslines, harmonizing folklore and complex progressions that turn into catchy pop hooks that are anything but cheesy, are a few of the reasons Glass Animals are THEE next big act to watch. Seeing them live only confirms those suspicions.
Dropping serious lyrical heat on the rework of “Gooey,” one of the best rappers still flying under the radar, Chester Watson finally steps into the spotlight.
Stylistically, Watson has one of those low, raspy voices that pairs perfectly with down tempo Dilla inspired beats. On their own, his words sound like nonchalant prophecies. A smokey cloak of anecdotes, shout outs and weed smoke drifts through the air, and then it hits you— Earl Sweatshirt vibes.
Though sometimes his stories get lost along the way, at 17, he’s leaps and bounds beyond adrenaline charged MC’s, thirsty to break out. With more control of his flows than much more experienced lyricists, if we were in Vegas, I’d be all in on Chester Watson as a future star of tomorrow.
Glass Animals GOOEY EP is out April 7th via Paul Epworth’s Wolf Tone.
Be sure to also grab Chester Watson’s March release Tin Wooki from his bandcamp.
INTRODUCING HALEEK MAUL’S COLLECTIVE: ON THE TANZ
When most people think of music from Barbados, a scantily clad Rihanna comes to mind. Turns out she’s not the only game in town. 18-year-old Barbados native, rapper Haleek Maul has been making waves these past few years dropping his well received debut mixtape on MISHKA, and collaborating with the game’s hottest up-and-coming producers like Supreme Cuts, Hot Sugar, and Forest Swords. The rapper, known for his raspy words that evoke as much restraint as they do bite, recently started a collective of artists in Barbados called On The Tanz.
Maul says the collective is, “Mainly aimed towards promoting new taste in music and art on the island because it’s pretty stagnant here in that regard.” There’s also plans to release original content from the crew’s members in addition to putting on parties and shows on the island. The first official product from On The Tanz comes in the form of a sweet little mix that you can stream and download below.
On this sampling of Chicago’s finest, a sexy glow of R&B laced harmonies and billowy synths haunt, while Vic drops some of his best lines to date. Frank on the other hand invites a drowning in a syrupy haze, late night vibe with his raps. With nods to Yung Lean and Kid Kudi weaved throughout. And if that infectious “To the moon” vocal loop is Frank’s, well this song just got that much better. To the moon…