#rewindreview: Quanstar & Poe Mack ‘Big Boy Barred Up’ 2023

  Quanstar is a friend of QUANTUM LEAP RADIO and remains so due to the solid music he continues to provide us. On this sonic trip he teams up with producer/M.C. Poe Mack who has worked with the likes of Cesar Comanche and others on the current “underwater” HOP music scene. The two keep ‘Big Boy Barred Up’ simple with only twelve tracks and two features while Poe Mack ensures Quanstar is provided a musical backdrop that can’t be described as “retro.” Quanstar is comfortable in his lane of providing lyricism that doesn’t aim to compete with the youth, instead relating to ears that can appreciate “grown man raps.” ‘Act Like Bosses’ speaks to the new age of “wannabees” who get so inspired by negative aspects of rap music that they begin to believe they are in fact built for those aspects. Something that as of this date of writing can be applied to very well known figures in HOP music. ‘Plugged In’ is also a stand out track, as an examination of the effect social media has on human’s thinking they are so smart we end up falling for anything, even our own lies to one selves. ‘Big Boy Barred Up’ is an excellent introduction to Quanstar and Poe Mack if one has never heard either of their offerings of music. More importantly another example of how HOP music will continue to produce for all those still interested in this ever aging genre. What did you think of the album? Listen to QUANTUM LEAP RADIO every Saturday from 4-6p.m. CST & Thursday from 3-5a.m. CST on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston in HD2 Worldwide @kpft.org/listen/ & TuneIn app (under “kpft in HD2”) Catch past episodes by searching and following @fanlink.tv/QuantumLeapRadio

#RewindReview: SWURVHITTZ & Budda Early ‘As We Continue On’ EP 2023

  In the next collaboration with Bronx born and bred D.J. SWURVHITTZ and Budda Early, an appetizer is served for those who never heard of them and a possible holdover for a future release. ‘As We Continue On’ is a follow up to 2021’s ‘Religion’ EP but lacks the grounded effort that record had. This release feels more like an experiment or possible cutting room floor tracks but also is a glimpse into how New York is sounding currently. SWURVHITTZ provides beats that have minor to no sampling but lean heavy into bass and high hat drum kits. Budda Early displays lyrics that are not too deep and will grab the attention of fans of Maino or those still liking the Dipset era. ‘As We Continue On’ is an exercise in the two’s chemistry and working on what could be created next. They also offer an olive branch to that “next chapter” with the track ‘Food For Thought’ which only features J Dillenger, an unknown rapper who had the most profound track on the release. Take about fifteen minutes and dig in to continued vibes of underground HOP music from the place it all started from. What did you think of the album? Listen to QUANTUM LEAP RADIO every Saturday from 4-6p.m. CST & Thursday from 3-5a.m. CST on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston in HD2 Worldwide @kpft.org/listen/ & TuneIn app (under “kpft in HD2”) Catch past episodes by searching and following @fanlink.tv/QuantumLeapRadio

#rewindreview: Mickey Blue ‘A Long Time Coming’ 2023

  This is another benefit of QUANTUM LEAP RADIO and the rap music acts we get introduced to. Mickey Blue is a beatmaker who has taken that dynamic first seen on Marley Marl’s ‘In Control Vol.1,’ and procured multiple M.C.’s to rhyme over the producer’s beats. Often this can feel like a compilation album but over the years the idea of some of the best beatmakers in HOP music, getting fan’s favorites to collaborate, has always been like a buffet of one’s favorite foods or a kid in a candy store. On ‘A Long Time Coming’ Mickey Blue has a myriad of rappers, with some more known in today’s under ground like M-Dot, Jay Royale, Spit Gemz and veterans like Copywrite and Ill Bill. Mickey Blue makes a strong case that this will be HOP music to the core with no additives or preservatives as the beats here are straight hardcore HOP music, ripe for anyone still claiming “Hip-Hop is dead” or the genre is “too soft.” Tone Spliff contributes to the subconscious familiarity of what makes rap music Hip-Hop by providing the cuts and scratches on the album. The issue here is the mood doesn’t really change throughout the album with the exception of the single ‘Twenty Ninety Four’ and ‘Don’t Blink.’ It’s definitely not a summertime album and by the second half of the release it starts to feel like a soundtrack for Halloween. Many will have no problem with this and I believe Mickey Blue knows his audience, which is why the album maintains it’s theme. For those needing confirmation that HOP music is still dirty and raw the time has come. What did you think of the album? Singles include: ‘Twenty Ninety Four’ Listen to QUANTUM LEAP RADIO every Saturday from 4-6p.m. CST & Thursday from 3-5a.m. CST on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston in HD2 Worldwide @kpft.org/listen/ & TuneIn app (under “kpft in HD2”) Catch past episodes by searching and following @fanlink.tv/QuantumLeapRadio

Ghostface celebrates Set the Tone album and his birthday in New York City

  Ghostface Killah celebrated his birthday and premiered his new album Set the Tone (Guns & Roses), at the same damn time last night at Republic Records in New York City. Media and influencers previewed the album just hours before it was released to the public on digital streaming platforms. The LP features a cast of Hip Hop’s elite including Kanye West, Jarule, Nas, Fat Joe,  Busta Rhymes and Remy Ma. The album has a feature on every track except for the skits and outro. The evening was highlighted by the sounds of DJ Scram Jones, who played a heavy 90’s NYC set, with artists like Nas, Mobb Deep, and Jay Z to the crowds preference. The audience enjoyed Belaire champagne, appetizers, and Ghostface’s gourmet coffee “Killah Kofee.” Some artists who came to support Ghostface included “Simon Says,” emcee Pharoahe Monch, who shared with me that he’s working on a new album titled External Affairs which will drop later this summer. Rock the Bells personality and emcee Torae, Saturday Night Live’s  Kenan Thompson, reggae singer Serani, and rappers Jim Jones, NEMS, and Large Professor. Ghost performed some tracks off the album including the up tempo Kanye West featured “ No Face,”  “ 6 Minutes,” featuring Jim Jones and Sheek Louch and ” Pair of Hammers,” with  Method Man. The crowd was later treated to a super hype freestyle from Wu alum Cappadonna,  a Serani performance of “ No Games,” and Jim Jones  jump shot gesture as Scram Jones played his iconic ” Ballin.”  Set the Tone is well-rounded with a blend of R&B and soul features on “Locked In,” & ” Skate Odyssey,” a boom bap moment with “Kilo In the Safe,” and reggae-influenced tracks like ” Shots,” and “Champion Sound.” His storytelling is unparalleled and on tracks like “Cape Fear,” and “Scar Tissue,” he showcases these narration talents. And like his Wallabee collection, he’s got  various styles to chose from. On his born day, Ghost owned the night,  and Hip Hop was better for it! You can find Set the Tone on all streaming platforms. Written By David Lopez Video Credit: Damatrixstudio  

USA Breakin’ Scores Hair Deal with JML

USA Breakin’, a top breakdancing team, just landed a cool deal with Jamaican Mango & Lime (JML), a hair care company known for textured hair products. This year-long partnership (2024) means the breakdancers will have the hair products they need to keep their unique styles looking great as they compete around the world. This deal comes at a perfect time for breakdancing. It’s about to be a medal sport at the Olympics for the first time ever! JML will give the USA Breakin’ team special hair products that can hold up to the tough moves of breakdancing. Whether they’re spinning on their heads or doing fancy footwork, their hair will stay in place. Here’s where you can see the USA Breakin’ team show off their skills and awesome hair: Battle for NYC: May 26th Dance Con 2024 Miami: June 7th-9th Olympic Watch Party at Hard Rock Hollywood: August 8th Breakin’ Exhibition at Fort Lauderdale: December 3rd “We’re excited to partner with USA Breakin’ and help these talented athletes,” said Krystal McNear, marketing director for JML. “JML and breakdancing are both about showing off who you are and being creative, so this is a great fit.” Felix Sama, president of USA Breakin’, agreed. “We’re happy to have JML’s support this year, which is a big year for breakdancing.” Fans can look forward to special content showing the breakdancers’ daily hair care routines and how JML products help them keep their locs, twists, and braids healthy. This partnership is about more than just hair, though. It’s about celebrating breakdancing as both an art form and a sport. Don’t miss these incredible dancers defying gravity and expressing themselves through their art, all while rocking their favorite JML styles! More Than Just Competitions USA Breakin’, based in Miami, fights to make sure American breakdancers get a fair shot at competing worldwide. They carefully choose a national team that reflects the spirit of both the U.S. breakdancing community and hip-hop culture, which began in the United States. But their goal goes beyond winning competitions. USA Breakin’ helps breakdancing grow at all levels. They support local breakdancing groups, organize national events, and offer resources for the entire breakdancing community. This includes training for coaches, teachers, and judges. They even run competitions in four age groups: Youth (12 and under), Teen (13-17), Adult/Pro (18-34), and Legacy (35 and above). This focus on including everyone helps ensure breakdancing will continue to thrive in the United States for years to come. For more information on Jamaican Mango & Lime and its partnership with USA Breakin’, follow @jamaicanmangoandlime and @usabreakin on social media.   SOURCE Jamaican Mango Lime

#rewindreview: Teflon ‘2 Sides To Every Story’ 2023

  Teflon, the unofficial third member of M.O.P. took full advantage of the time we all “sat down” during the Pandemic, to plot a comeback. The rapper appeared on many features for M.O.P. and the Gang Starr family in the 1990’s and also put out an album of his own then. ‘2 Sides To Every Story’ is surprisingly solid and that is with all due respect. Teflon always seemed like he was a good “off the bench” player in the nineties but never had that release to show he could hold down an album. This release should not be overlooked for those wanting the simple formula of hard beats and hardcore rhymes. What makes the album so cohesive is D.J. Premier and Jazimoto produce the whole album and do a great job of blending their two styles to make it seem like it was Teflon and one producer. Teflon’s voice also play’s a critical role in why this album is good, as he has always had a unique high pitch tone and a way to play with the ups and downs of his delivery, and in 2023 he did not seem to lose that edge too much. The album also keeps features to a minimum and those bare minimum’s fit right in which is M.O.P., Benny The Butcher and I-Fresh on the hook for ‘Baby.’ The album starts off high energy on ‘Out The Gate’ and keeps that pace throughout the record. ‘Life In The Feds’ is one of the most memorable tracks as Teflon delivers his version Kool G. Raps’ ‘Ryker’s Island,’ that plays more like an audible ‘Scared Straight’ special as opposed to glamorizing the situation. ‘2 Sides To Every Story’ for me falls in line with the numerous veteran acts who in the last 8 years have evolved the idea that HOP music can only be created the best in ones prime. What did you think of the album? Singles include: ‘No Fake Love, ‘ ‘Life In The Feds’ & ‘Contraband’ Listen to QUANTUM LEAP RADIO every Saturday from 4-6p.m. CST & Thursday from 3-5a.m. CST on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston in HD2 Worldwide @kpft.org/listen/ & TuneIn app (under “kpft in HD2”) Catch past episodes by searching and following @fanlink.tv/QuantumLeapRadio

Five Questions with Digiwaxx – Benny The Butcher

Benny the Butcher has risen from the ranks of underground rapper from Buffalo, New York to a prominent mainstream recently. Aside from the acclaim of his part of the group Griselda, his work ethic and consistency have done the job of establishing himself as a force of his own. Many credit him as one of the MCs keeping lyricism alive; making him a go to artist for authentic street and surreal rap. As a testament to his prowess, his latest album Everybody Can’t Go is produced by HIT-BOY and the Alchemist, pretty much exclusively. Benny cements why he is held in such high regard, proving he can run with the “Big Dog” when Lil Wayne drops in and spits bars with Jadakiss on the track “Pillow Talk & Slander.” We recently caught up with him on his Everybody Can’t Go Tour as it stopped through Denver, Colorado. We just asked him 5 questions and then enjoyed the show… check out the interview below.   Fans can still catch him on few Westcoast dates this month.      

Drake vs Kendrick: Who’s Ahead on the Score Card?

A lot has happened over the weekend with Drake and Kendrick Lamar, and if rapping was boxing, both heavyweights have shown up to compete for the belt. After finally responding to Drake’s “ Drop and Give Me 50,” with the cryptic “Euphoria,” K. Dot followed up days later with “6:16 in LA,” keeping the pressure on Drake’s neck. Over an Al Green sample, Kendrick alludes to Drake having moles in his camp that are feeding him info, “ Are you finally ready to play have-you-ever? Let’s see, have you ever thought that OVO is working’ for me?… Fake bully, I hate bullies, you must be a terrible person. Everyone inside your team is whispering that you deserve it.” Kendrick honed in on the OVO team’s disloyalty and their dislike for their cash cow. K. Dot’s pressure did not last long as Drake’s “Family Matters,” dropped fourteen hours later. The track is accompanied by a video where the same minivan Kendrick’s mom drove, and he featured on the cover of good kid, m.A.A.d city album was crushed to pieces. And Drake is seen eating at the restaurant Kendrick recently brought attention to on “ Euphoria,” in Toronto, New Ho King, trolling Kendrick. The track is sonically pleasing as Drake changes rap patterns over three different fire beats from Boi-1da, Tay Keith, and Mark Ronson.  In my opinion, this is the best complete and radio-friendly song that came off the battle series this weekend. With allegations that Kendrick is abusive to the mother of his children Whitney Alford, and that one of his children may be fathered by K. Dot’s general manager Dave Free. He even adds that J Cole is losing sleep over battling K Dot but he’s stepping up to the challenge. And  he takes a shot at Rick Ross, “body after body, Ricky reading me my Miranda rights,” an assertion to Ross’s former employment in law enforcement. Drake is taunting and showcasing his dominance over K Dot and the rap universe over this 7-minute-plus track. Drake’s response did not get much time to settle. An hour later Kendrick responds with “ Meet the Grahams,”  over eerie piano chords, he recites a toxic letter to Drake, his parents, his son Adonis, and a mystery eleven-year-old daughter. The track  is  straightforward and  disrespectful  as he questions Drake’s existence and expresses that K . Dot would be a better father figure to Drake’s son than him. As Kendrick reads, “ Dear Adonis I’m sorry that that man is your father, let me be honest takes a man to be a man, your dad is not responsive I look at him and wish your grandpa would a wore a condom I’m sorry that you got to grow up and then stand behind him.” The song  has its moments of providing shock value and describes Drake as a man with several vices including gambling and pill popping.  However, Kendrick has to lose  some points if he is wrong about Drake having a hidden daughter. It shows a level of desperation or bad intel. Drake has denied hiding his daughter on an Instagram story. Less than 24 hours later, Kendrick dropped his 4th song this week “ Not Like Us, “ where he claims Drake and his OVO camp are pedophiles. One of the OVO artists Baka Not Nice, was charged with prostitution and human trafficking in 2014, the charges were later dropped. In addition, K. Dot accuses Drake of using artists from Atlanta like 21 Savage and Future for credibility and that he was not a colleague but more of a “colonizer.” This was definitely a moment for K. Dot Fans, with the personal and comedic content such as “‘scream OV HO.” With Kendrick’s output of four tracks in a week gave him advantage, but Drake has the better song with “Family Matters,”  and Kendrick may have reached with the accusations of hidden children. I had Kendrick in the lead because of all the music he’s put out the last week, as he keeps  applying the pressure, but the fact that Drake is holding his own is a win within itself, as Kendrick is more revered for his lyricism in the court of Hip Hop popular opinion. With the release of  “The Heart Part 6,” Sunday night, reactions  began to shift to Drake being up in this battle. On the song, he talks about setting Kendrick up with false information to trick him to thinking he had a daughter, and about Kendrick being sexually abused as kid.  He also reveals that the mother of children is not following him on Instagram, but is following the manager Dave Free, adding to the idea that Kendrick and her are on the outs, and her and Free may be romantically involved. At the moment it feels like Kendrick won lots of the mini battles with his heavy onslaught of content over the last week.  But Drake is currently winning the bigger contest, the one of truth. And Hip Hop fans are getting the best of this war of words.   Written By David Lopez

Will “Tale Of The Tape” be good enough to BUY OR RENT on Amazon Prime Video?

Amazon Prime Video: “Tale Of The Tape” Review Written & Directed by Malik K. Buie Executive Producer; Kim Osorio Executive Producer; Rashad Casey  Producer; Joslyn Rose Lyons  Hey #MyCreatives, Whoooooooooo what a few weeks of HIP HOP. From J. Cole bowing out spiritually and respectfully, Chris Brown smoking the dust pedals off of Quavo with his bars, and DRAKE vs KENDRICK Battle getting more intense as the weeks go on. Now onto the ordeal at hand that’s rather is sparking the question, “Will This Documentary help support the DJ Community”. The documentary at hand, called “Tale Of The Tape”. The documentary is an exclusive Buy ($7.99USD) or Rent (Up To 30 days for $4.99USD) on Amazon Prime Video. I will breakdown and review the GOOD, BAD, and #ReemoApproved of this documentary. The GOOD:  I will admit this was a solid and substantially researched documentary. The testimonies from Today & Older generation DJ’s and Music artists really giving props and honoring the impact of mixtapes. I feel they meshed the emotional and intellectual tie of the documentary of the culture. Honestly, can’t see too much of a “BAD”. The BAD:  I don’t think this is a documentary for the Hip Hop Culture Purists. This is more for the Fan who was of the mid 80’s to Mid 2010’s (Where Mixtapes got pushed away due to streaming) that lived through the emergence and impactful movement during those times. The video content seems “Dated” but the stories are still epic. Also, they should’ve broke it up to a series like “Hip Hop Evolution” (Netflix) did by regions would suffice the Hip Hop purist.  The #ReemoApproved  Honestly, there shouldn’t be any complaints past breaking it up by regions instead of seemingly the North, despite the one time with DJ Drama from Atlanta(By way of Philly). Also, it was debuting on Amazon Prime so they collectively had to put the best figures that are going to draw engagement and the dollars back to profit….end all be all this is still a business. For me as a semi-historian of Hip Hop, very entertaining and pleased of what was presented. Salute to Malik K. Brie, Kim Osorio, Rashad Casey, and Joslyn Rose Lyons for putting the documentary together.    In conclusion, “Tale Of The Tape” on Amazon Prime Video delivers a gripping narrative that seamlessly intertwines the worlds of Mixtapes & Music within the Hip Hop Culture. With its compelling figures of Hip Hop, nuanced storytelling, and powerful testimonies, it immerses viewers into the impact and intensity of the movement while exploring deeper themes of business growth and resilience in Hip Hop Culture. Coupled with its high production values and authentic portrayal of the Hip Hop,          “Tale Of The Tape” emerges as a semi-must watch for both Hip Hop enthusiasts and fans who want to relive of those times. As per usual, ON TO THE NEXT #MyCreatives     Follow Me on Social Media: IG: https://www.instagram.com/reemomeerak_/ X(Twitter): https://twitter.com/reemomeerak_ Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@reemomeerak_ LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kareemreemomeeraktyson Subscibe to The Podcast; Reemo Meerak: The C.U.T.S. https://www.youtube.com/@TheCUTS_ Subcribe To My Vlog Channel; Reemo Meerak: ReemTV: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzeBLMMZerckVQ9LJa93oZw For Interviews, Cover your event, write a review, or Features: ReemoMeerakBrand.info@gmail.com Shop The Merch: https://reemomeerakbrand.myshopify.com/

Universal Music Group Catalogs return to TikTok

In an interesting change of events Universal Music Group has agreed to a licensing deal with TikTok. This agreement has allowed UMG artists’ music catalogs back on the popular platform for creatives, TikTok, which has a billion plus users worldwide. Some of the artists under the UMG umbrella include Lady Gaga, Drake, Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny and Kendrick Lamar. In February, the music behemoth removed their music from the app, causing a disruption for artists under the conglomerate who use TikTok to expand their exposure worldwide. The removal of the music also affected creatives and influencers as their videos remained, but the complementary sound was removed from their mobile video posts. The UMG press release states, “ UMG and TikTok will deliver improved remuneration for UMG’s songwriters and artists, new promotional and engagement opportunities for their recordings and songs and industry-leading protections with respect to generative AI. Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Group, added in the press release : “This new chapter in our relationship with TikTok focuses on the value of music, the primacy of human artistry and the welfare of the creative community. We look forward to collaborating with the team at TikTok to further the interests of our artists and songwriters and drive innovation in fan engagement while advancing social music monetization.” And Ole Obermann, TikTok’s Global Head of Music Business Development, said: “We are delighted to welcome UMG and UMPG back to TikTok. We look forward to working together to forge a path that creates deeper connections between artists, creators, and fans. We will work together to make sure that AI tools are developed responsibly to enable a new era of musical creativity and fan engagement while protecting human creativity.” While the specific financial terms of the licensing deal have not been revealed, when the previous contract expired with TikTok, the two entertainment companies could not come to terms over royalty payments. One thing is for certain, creatives worldwide are excited to have some of their favorite artists’ music back on the most used and downloaded app globally and hopefully artists are getting a more equitable share of royalties for their music. It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of the music played on TikTok is from UMG artists. Written By David Lopez

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