Monday, December 4, 2017

4Square: JooseBoxx's New Album Covers Series with Notiz Yong, King Dice, Hvlloween, D'zyl 5k1 and more!

This year we wanted to do something different at the end of the year than just more reviews, profiles and video round ups. We wanted to add a little retrospect and creativity to the pieces so we're putting our year end content under the banner of The Wrap Up. To start off 2017's Wrap Up, we bring you the first installment of a series that will explore album covers we like, 4square. We're getting quotes from the artists and the visual artists they teamed up with for their album covers about some of our favorite releases from 2017.
In this series, we're asking musicians and the visual artists that helped them with their album art for quotes and stories about the covers to their records. I'll add a little commentary and perhaps on occasion some additional relevant imagery. We haven't failed to notice that our readership has tripled in the last 2 years and we want to reward y'all for that with some fun content, so thank you for reading as always!
MUSICIAN: Notiz Yong
ALBUM TITLE: BRB
ALBUM ART CONSULTANT: Apostrophe
ALBUM ART BY: Kast One

Notiz
"I had the concept of havin every title in acronyms, but Apostrophe was the one that threw the idea saying it'd be dope to have it look like a ransom note."
Apostrophe
"  I think i was having a talk with Notiz - cant remember where i think it was at his house and he was explaining to me how he was working on the BRB project and how every song on the album was an acronym. I complimented him on the originallity before asking if he had thought about his album art? He replied nah not yet. So i asked him " have you ever see the sun of sam? or like mysteries where they cut a letter from different magazines and stuff for there ransom letters? After shot him the suggestion of the mysterious cut and paste idea. He told me it was a good idea, i didnt think he would remember and thats pretty much how it happened. "
KastOne 
"So my bro Notiz Yong hit me up said he had an idea for a cover and wanted to know if i could try and create it for him...his project titled BRB (be right back ) was a project fully song titled in acronyms , he said he wanted to make it look like a ransom note, so we got to work with his help of course went through hundred of font individually choosing what letters (font ) he wanted to use, we pretty much sat there and pasted every piece of font onto the cover which i suggested we used a crumbled paper background to give it that real feel. It worked out great; took some time but well worth it. He loved it, I loved it. It came out dope. Added the actual title names in Korean as well I believe. Anyways, Notiz Yong is that dude and my brother for life! Make sure y'all download BRB, Sincerely, Kast One ( Yo mamas favorite rapper )"
MUSICIAN: King Dice
ALBUM TITLE: Shalu Avenue
ALBUM ART BY: King Dice

Dice
"As far as Shalu’s cover. I knew it was going to be Shalu when I started. I took the pic myself. That street sign is the actual place where the intro to the album takes you if you follow the turn by turn directions given. It’s where much of Dante’s Theme took place. When I was up to no good as a troubled youth it’s where I used to kick it everyday."

* for comparative reference, the cover to Dice's last album, RED MAHOGANY DRIVE*



MUSICIAN: Hvlloween
ALBUM TITLE: Grey Day
ALBUM ART BY: Ken Maddskillz

Hvlloween
"I wanted it to be a new age Dre day."
Ken Maddskillz
"Hvlloween had a vision and it was my privilege to make that vision a reality."

*for comparative reference, the Chronic album cover*
MUSICIAN: D'zyl 5k1
ALBUM TITLE: Delusions of a Commoner
ALBUM ART BY: D'zyl 5k1 /  April McPherson

D'zyl 5k1
"My idea. Photographer: April McPherson who I've used for all my albums except the Sauce. It's on the top of Perris Hill in San Bernardino. I wanted to express that the sky is the limit and that someone from my area can achieve great things...or at least dream it. Albums traditionally have the artists face on the cover. I wanted to show my back to convey that everything I've done is behind me and it doesn't matter. Only what's in front of me. I treated the album like it's my first. A reemergence and reintroduction of who I am....letting my face be a mystery and my words and actions speak for me.

I did that photoshoot in December of '15

Made the cover in the middle of '16. Album released March 31st of 17. I try to stay ahead of myself. From that same photoshoot I got the pictures for the Golden State Blues ep

I wanted the artwork to be done by me. I feel like most of my artistic expression should be personal and organic. When I brush up on my beat making skills I will start producing my own albums as well."

McPherson
"The main thing that comes to mind about the album cover and photoshoot we did was how it started raining on us. D’zyl is full of fun ideas whenever we do a shoot and this was no exception and was still a blast. Plenty of clothing changes, locations and laughs - he’s really a diva deep down but we still love him!"

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for JooseBoxx, youth hip-hop writing instructor with CHORDS Enrichment Youth program (chordseyp.org) and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

WIGGY WEDNESDAYS: FAIMKILLS BLACK CLOUD RE-ISSUES

Black Cloud Music alum and BrickToYaFace staple Faimkills has been re-issuing his material on major online outlets starting with Dystopia Cornucopia and Good Times for A Change.

Faimie’s brand of hipster lit-hop is unique and ultimately irresistible though it did take time to grow on me. The way he pokes at both stuffy literary culture and machismo-obsessed hip-hop culture is a delight and you never know what angle he’s going to be critiquing society from. Sometimes both and the target is often himself. All too aware of the ways that love and sex tear people down from their lofty stated ideas, his work drips with irony without being snobby and annoying. His wordplay and flows are different and engaging, switching between speeds and linguistic registers

The idea of these re-issues was brilliant and well-timed for this listener. I'd heard a couple singles and collabs from Faimkills and knew he was an educated dude but his large discography had been daunting up until now and I didn't know where to start. He polled social media followers on which records to re-issue on iTunes and the rest and casual new fans like me benefited and now have an easy jumping on point. Hearing this era of Black Cloud with him, Jynxx, Noa James, Curtiss King, Yasin and more is a real delight for someone like me who came into this community in 2014 and later.

One thing present in both albums is the juxtaposition of the hard and the soft. Hard banging beats by Dope Kid Danny, Jynx and Curtiss King soundtrack these albums where Faim gets vulnerable, poetic and honest about love and the other intricacies of youthful social interaction.

In particular, Good Times For A Change seems to nurture the seedlings of ideas explored on later Faim works Thrashed Out and Manic Pixie Dreams where he further explores among much else the  narcissism of modern love, the latent sexism in indie hipster scene culture through the lens of the stunted growth tough guy-ism of mid-2000s hip-hop culture. I look forward to getting into his work for the first time all over and over again as these re-issues continue. 
Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for JooseBoxx, youth hip-hop writing instructor with CHORDS Enrichment Youth program (chordseyp.org) and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wiggy Wednesdays: RiBs with CJ $immon$ and OhGoshLeotus

With The TransitionCJ $immon$ has delivered a really nice album to help end the year with- pristine, positive, intelligent but accessible it is some grown folks hip-hop but that doesn't mean boring by any stretch. In fact the straightforwardness of the album is refreshing- smooth 21st century style hip-hop production from the always outdoing himself OhGoshLeotus and pockets and flows and musings on life for days from Simmons.  He uses his team well but still knows how to seize center stage. His voice is at once husky and young, his energy is a delight to follow.
K.I.T. provides the artwork as well as some lovely choruses on several song. Leotus gives the album a consistent sound while still showing off his eclectic arsenal of funk, melody and bass. Cam Archer and Young Sincere are used to great effect on their appearances. Both singles, "Pina Colada" and "Be Free" are effective and fun ads for this life-affirming album.
 It's hard for me to find anything to not really dig about the record- it's musicality, it's set of good melodies, its repping of the IE to the 9s (pun intended), its celebration of working class grit and the prioritizing of family. Simmons' verses on love and his hopes for the future generation show a focus that shines in a way that demands ones' attention. Some say this may be Simmons' last project, I suspect it isn't. This album doesn't sound like an ending but quite the opposite.

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for JooseBoxx, youth hip-hop writing instructor with CHORDS Enrichment Youth program (chordseyp.org) and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WIGGY WEDNESDAYS: New Releases with Noa James, Kiddo, Ital Santos, CJ $immon$ & Altered Change

This week a lot of new videos, songs and albums came out so we had to share a few of them with our fine readers, check it:

NOA JAMES produced by ELIAS & AYE BROOK- KEEP THAT SHITTY ENERGY TO YOURSELF 

Noa James' new single is an aggressive banger that shows the flip side to the philosophy he's been espousing on records like his latest E.P. "Peace of Cake". Over a face-stompingly hard beat, Noa implores his listeners to only come with that pleasantness, ya dig? "Be Majestic" magazine coming soon, stay tuned to all things BTYF for the latest!



KIDDO - PENDULUM (Official Music Video)

VIDEO by MIGHTY MUDS ONE

Muds changes it up for a stylish L.A. visual to accompany the bonus track from Kiddo's debut album. The chorus here is undefeated as EOTR's march to L.A. supremacy continues! Peep it!

REAL JOY - ITAL SANTOS
VIDEO BY ITAL SANTOS & GEORGE BURNS

Ital Santos' new single, video and album dropped this week so peep part 1 of a day in the life of the artist formerly known as Jynxx! This chapter depicts a father and daughter adventure that should warm any hip-hop head's heart!


From the new album, Reflections



THE TRANSITION by CJ $IMMON$

The artist formerly known as Jig is back with a message about being free while you are on earth! Armed with wisdom and airtight flow, his new album just dropped so be sure to hear his new jams!


YA MAMMA'S FAVORITE by ALTERED CHANGE

A gritty yet silly LA area hip-hop duo, Altered Change are thinkers who don't take themselves too seriously. Peep their new record and find out why they are ya mamma's new favorite!

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for JooseBoxx, youth hip-hop writing instructor with CHORDS Enrichment Youth program (chordseyp.org) and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

WIGGY WEDNESDAYS: RIBs for the week of 10/11/2017 featuring Slick C, Atman, Curtiss King & more

THE PHOENIX BY ATMAN



What happens when God has chosen you for artistic greatness but your demons want a say in your fate as well? The Phoenix by Atman, the artist formerly known as Coii, is a thoughtful and forward looking indie hip-hop E.P. about rebirth after rock bottom. Almost fully produced by Curtiss King, every beat packs intensity and emotional heights, “The present is the most precious moment of all time…” Atman croons on the title track.

“Lost Control” has probably my favorite verse yet from 626-area staple ImagineThat, a stop and start confessional that helps Atman set the tone for this album, a thinking man’s set of electronic meditations. "The Phoenix" is a beautiful and layered poem about rebirth and coming back stronger.
“The Moment” is my favorite track from the record, a high energy song that bridges the divide between club bangers and album closers summing up an artist’s whole philosophy. 

 Atman's style is introspective and frank, his stage show and public presentation intense and strange. It's worth investigating his mysteries. Frankly, The Phoenix makes me wonder what lives his characters lived before the life, death and rebirth cycle depicted here.

PROGRESSIVE WAVES BY SLICK C

Slick C’s latest beat tape “Progressive Waves” is an unheralded joy to bump. Its funky textures, its emotional peaks and valleys are addictive and you’ll find yourself bangin’ and freestyling to them again and again.  Designed for blazing and cruising, Slick’s ear for a sample never disappoints. Chopped with scenes from blaxploitation classics, Slick offers his modern I.E. take on Cadillac music. The songs strut with a bossy confidence from the beginning to end, the melody is matched by the boom of the bass. Like so many adult hip-hop fans, Slick clearly grew up on the G-Funk so many of us love. On Progressive Waves, he recreates and modernizes it with a heavy authority. 

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for JooseBoxx, youth hip-hop writing instructor with CHORDS Enrichment Youth program (chordseyp.org) and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com

Thursday, October 5, 2017

VIDEO ROUND-UP WEEK OF 10/5/2017 featuring CookBook, Orchid, Hvlloween, Elevate One, Muds One and more!

SONG: COOKBOOK & FLYNN ADAM
VIDEO: MIGHTY MUDS ONE

This video is super fun, Muds delivers as always. CookBook's shit is chill on the surface but also super barsy over this bassy bossy production-peep it!

SONG: ORCHID
VIDEO: REGINA STONE

Here's a creepy cool subdued but lyrically direct video and song, just in time for Halloween!

SONG: HVLLOWEEN & SUFOK8
VIDEO: @6thelementtt

Hvlloween drops another cinematic polemic on the whack straight from the dungeon with Sufok8- the drums on this track don't stop either man, a favorite from his Grey Day record personally. The chorus is so simple but so clever, one of those ideas you wish you thought of yourself.


SONG: TONY GWYNN WITH THA HALO
VIDEO:  KALI OSO

Some hard boom-bap from San Diego; a knocker in tribute to Padre's legend Tony Gwynn- bang this!

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for JooseBoxx, youth hip-hop writing instructor with CHORDS Enrichment Youth program (chordseyp.org) and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

RIBs: Reviews in Brief for the week of 09/27/2017 featuring Noreik Thascool & WiseFacts


                                               Noreik Thascool - The Night Before
I recently met Noreik at Serious Cartoons record shop in San Bernardino and puffed one with him and Phantom Thrett; he got me so high I teared up during Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” as I gazed out of the store’s glass window while Thrett played it on the turntable. This was not a bad introduction to him and his work that I checked out immediately after, “The Night Before”, a dreamy modern but over-all very positive, smart and forward thinking hip-hop EP from the I.E. “If you take a look for a second you will see we are all connected…” he poeticizes wisely on “Wavelength.” His bars are solid, his voice pleasant and choice of production is more than apt. His message of a connected hedonist people is one I can relate to. His topics are often his passion for friends, family, women and connection. The alternating between poetic refrains and radio-friendly R&B style hooks help create the spacy yet warm feel the whole album has. Halfway through the record I noticed a little bit more of the “I get hoes...” stuff I hear in too many records but disclaimer as always, I am aging at what feels like a more rapid pace every day so take my noticing of subtle hip-hop misogyny with a grain of salt: on the spectrum of that kind of thing, Noreik is a saint. The Night Before’s words and music do blend together beautifully to create a nocturnal feel with which to soundtrack a nice night cruising or chillin’. Either way, super positive and chill but still barsy EP with hella profesh and fresh production- peep it! 

WiseFacts - The Bronze Child

Full disclosure as ever, WiseFacts has rocked with me and my crew WCA with his crew Caterpillar Flight on multiple occasions and it’s always a delight to hear what they are working on. I find them kindred in their nerdcore and positivity. I was surprised to hear his album, The Bronze Child, tackle darker topics, like a youth misguided by parents with poor judgement, youthful drug addiction and mistakes. Even these darker songs play with a nerd culture influenced frame of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde or Dr. Frankenstein to both express hip-hop sickness and horror at how far man can fall. The beats are busy and hard boom-bap that allow WiseFacts to earn his name- with impeccable delivery and projection, he speaks of spirituality, of rejoicing in family, of rejoicing in art and hip-hop skill exercise. There is much to unpack to the record and his verses are layered while still being assertive and clear. WiseFacts flow and voice are nice on the ear and he’s never saying something you’ve heard before. His views on Babylon and the soul are not the same pabulum we are used to hearing and he doesn’t sugarcoat it. The way he constantly checks his own ego within the bars is a fascinating truth to behold; peep The Bronze Child and observe an artist expressing poetry and hip-hop deftly and simultaneously, working on the path he walks always honestly and nakedly for all to see.

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for JooseBoxx, youth hip-hop writing instructor with CHORDS Enrichment Youth program (chordseyp.org) and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com