Category Archives: Hip-Hop

Scotty B

scottybdontgiveup1Don’t Give Up by Scotty B (Self-released)

Scotty Bullard Caputo (aka Scotty B) is an up and coming hip-hop artist from the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, whose inspiring songs are just beginning to find their way into the hearts and minds of many a music fan. Don’t Give Up is Scotty B’s first release, seven deeply introspective tracks featuring the participation of friends such as Jaiden Tyler and Trevor Tyler. With a smooth, calming voice delivering some fairly hard hitting lyrics and the infectious beats to back it all up, those into discovering a promising new hip-hop artist should check into the heartfelt compositions of Scotty B.

Don’t Give Up kicks into high gear with the empowering strains of My Time, where Scotty B raps about putting down the drugs and following his dreams – a perfect introduction to the artist that should inspire many. Someday ft Jaidan Tyler is up next, where sharp observations on religion and the world at large are set to a wondrously ominous beat. Can’t Take My Girl ft Trevor Tyler then swirls through your speakers – an endearing love song to someone special.

scottyb1Just Pretend is smooth and grooving, and just like the previous track, shows a perfect collaborative effort between Scotty B and Trevor Tyler. “You ever had that feeling that you just know you’re going to make it?” Scotty B then muses with the supremely positive Music Is My Medication, featuring the perfect mash up of stirring lyrics and imaginative musical soundscapes.

This song goes out to anybody that’s ever lost one of their loved ones,” begins R.I.P., a tremendously moving track showing Scotty B at his most effectively lyrically. And then closing out Don’t Give Up is the rousing title cut, a celebration of making it through the rough times and pursuing your dreams with a grand amount of determination. Scotty B is well on the way to achieving his goals, and the results found within are impressive. It will be interesting to see where he takes his project in the New Year.

(Review by Ken Morton)

Scotty B on Facebook

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T. Mills

Ready, Fire, Aim! by T. Mills (Uprising Records)

T. Mills is a Hip-Pop artist who burst onto the scene last year with his song Rich Girls, which he promoted extensively on the entire Warped Tour 2009. Judging by the mayhem heard on his debut full length Ready, Fire, Aim!, T. Mills will find himself not only all over Warped next year (maybe on a main stage), but embedded within the Ipods of many a fan. Guaranteed to inspire just as many lovers as haters, Ready, Fire, Aim! is over-the-top fun, filled with super infectious tunes that should really bring fame and notoriety to both the artist and record label. He’s “confident, not cocky”, and destined to rock your world. Reference points may be entities ranging from Ke$ha, Breathe Carolina, and even Jeffree Star, but there is no denying that T. Mills is an all-out original whose music and lyrical meanderings are infinitely recognizable.

After a brief introduction, T. Mills takes us all on a whirlwind trip through a Friday Night, where the artist offers the lyrics “I’d like to say I’m sorry to every girl I didn’t fuck” and “Every now and then I do drugs for the fuck of it.” This song definitely lets the listener know just what they’re in for, which is a view into a life of decadence and intrigue. And the party continues on…

Couldn’t Do You provides even more into the wild persona of T. Mills, showing off his rap skills to the hot electronic beats. “I do whatever I want to” is a recurring theme throughout the album. Next up is Me First, reeking of hit song potential, kind of like what would happen if Justin Timberlake had a scandalous party with a roomful of Ke$has. Good luck getting the “I wanna be with you baby, but I gotta do Me First” out of your head!

I Live High is a booty shaking tribute to a carefree life that is a sure anthem for both T. Mills and his many admirers/detractors. Following is the amazingly campy Stupid Boy, a wonderfully catchy song that sends the entire album into the stratosphere. This would be a terrific radio cut, and the video of the song is absolutely sublime! Stupid Boy would kick-start even the most lackluster of parties.

Your Favorite is sexy and sassy, featuring a seductive female co-vocal and a super trip-hop soundscape. Cure In My Cup and On are both driving with their blasting techno beats and punk-like lyrical inflections. And Purr Like A Cat is another song that should live on in infamy, a semi-biographical song about one of T. Mills earliest conquests.

Lets Ride should be played at maximum volume while driving down the highway in a mischievous mood while See Ya Later is “Broadcasting straight from Earth” the fact that you have not seen the last of T. Mills.

Ready, Fire, Aim! is quite a debut effort, containing many memorable tracks destined to make T. Mills both famous and infamous. Songs such as Stupid Boy and Me First possess the stuff that hit single legends are made off. Leave your cynicism and pre-conceptions at the door, and be prepared to lift off and party it up hard with T. Mills as your wickedly good time MC. A ride on the wild side that most listeners will want to relive time and again. Expect 2011 to be a BIG YEAR for Travis Mills and Uprising Records!

(Review by Kenneth Morton)

T. Mills on Myspace

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Dylan Owen

Senioritis by Dylan Owen (Self-released CD)

Dylan Owen is an 18-year-old up-and-coming hip-hop artist from Orange County, NY who has experienced a pretty exciting year.  He’s opened for Asher Roth several months ago and recently performed a well-received set at the famed Bamboozle Festival in New Jersey. After two promising EP’s, Owen has released a full length effort entitled Senioritis – and one could easily call this a promise thoroughly fulfilled. Fans of Sage Francis and the aforementioned Asher Roth should really enjoy the depth and honesty found within the 13 noteworthy tracks on Senioritis.

An album documenting the final year of High School and moving on to an uncertain future without looking back, Senioritis is sure to hit an emotional chord with music fans from all walks of life. The disc opens with Book Report, a compelling introduction into the world of Dylan Owen that should instantly reel the listener in with its stark honesty. “We’re the suicide kids, we only think about ourselves,” rap Owen in the song, recalling tumultuous times of the past and looking to the future with cautious optimism.

Postcards is up next –a wonderfully catchy tune that has a good deal of hit single potential. On this song, songwriter Jesse Denaro joins Owen, and they make for a winning combination of rap and smooth yet stylish vocals.

Old Armor is sentimental and introspective, featuring the telling lyrics “My heart is as big as an elephant knocking at your door, but I don’t knock there anymore.”

A highlight on Senioritis is definitely the emotionally driven Garden Of The Gods, a powerful cut guaranteed to move even the most cynical. “I will take you home like a designated driver,” raps Owen in the most poignant track on the CD.

There is also a good deal of fun to be had on the disc, as the rambunctious Spirit Week is a “drinking song” that would surely liven up any party. This track features scratches by DJ Prime, who has worked with talents such as Asher Roth, 3oh3!, and LMFAO.

In It For The Love is hip-hop near the level of Eminen, with Owen combining forces with Rhode Island rap artist Symmetry, coming up with one of the most groovin’ tracks on the album.

The ironically titled Kiss My Ass Goodbye is another thrilling collaborating – an attitude-driven composition featuring a magnetic guest appearance by Mac Lethal – who is the co-founder of Black Clover Records. Best Things is a top cut. featuring a guest appearance by A-Game, another talented East Coast rapper well worth checking into.

The last two songs I’m Still Spinning and the title track sum up Senioritis on an introspective note, saluting the past as well as the “roads that we’ll soon be takin’ with a robust sense of anticipation. Owen will certainly find himself “Moving on to bigger and better things” – and Senioritis is an inspired documentation of a magical time in the life of a gifted indie rapper whose brilliant career is all but guaranteed.

Album credits you should know: The beats were mostly made by Nico Marchese from Goshen NY, excluding two by Devin Arne (a long time collaborator with Dylan Owen), one by Son Sound, and one by Mac Lethal. The album was entirely engineered by Devin Arne in Miami, Florida. It was mastered entirely by Frank Turbe in LA. Highly recommended!

(Review by Kenneth Morton)

Dylan Owen on Myspace

Dylan Owen Official Website

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BrandonGregory

Why Him by BrandonGregory (Self-released single)

Only in the age of Myspace and Itunes could a 15-year-old with a good amount of talent and drive find a way to get his music out there for everyone to hear. BrandonGregory from Norwich, CT is the young artist we speak of, and he’s certainly done a commendable job with his first single – a hip-hop song about the pure angst of breaking up and being left behind entitled Why Him. And while Brandon is definitely a novice, there is no denying how ultimately heartfelt and wildly infectious this tune is.

Why Him could be marketable to the peeps who like artists ranging from Justin Timberlake to Justin Bieber. Brandon has terrific rhythm and the right amount of emotion in his voice, rendering the song tremendously effective. When the chorus arrives – “Who’s gonna be there to last forever, he doesn’t really care if you stay together,” – the track really comes together with a perfect flow and energy that is completely winning.

“Coulda been my baby, coulda been magic, it’s almost like you hate me, it’s gonna end tragic,” says the beat poet Gregory, supplying an interestingly ominous tone towards the conclusion.  With a definite knack for lyrical imagery combined with the right combination of sincerity and conviction, BrandonGregory is sure to win fans over of all ages. Why Him is an impressive beginning for an artist destined to grow into a talent to be reckoned with as the years go by. Further sampling of BrandonGregory’s work may be found on his Myspace…

(Review by Kenneth Morton)

BrandonGregory on Myspace

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