The Slice, Episode 57 [Urban Feature]

As May comes to a close, let’s take a deep breath and be glad that regardless of all the craziness around us that we are still here. In the interim, we might as well enjoy some good music while we hope for better days ahead. For this week’s episode of The Slice, we have more than a handful of gems so let’s get into it right away.

Pittsburgh-based rapper/producer Moemaw Naedon opens up the floor on a gritty note as he teams up with New Orleans emcee Calig Kontra on this street banger titled “Slime Volcanoes.” As the title suggests, be ready for pure grimy, unfiltered raps over dark menacing beats. The song is taken from Naedon’s upcoming album, Dr. Deadhorse, which sounds like the title of a cult horror flick.

Emerging genre-bending duo St. Christoph and  Shaade uplift us with the summer vibes on their debut funky tune titled “California.” Inspired by the fun-filled energy and grooves of the legendary Native Tongues crew, the duo delivers that good old feel-good sounds of yesteryears while retaining a contemporary element to their craft. This is pure escapism but we are here for it. Indigenous pop act JAYA takes us deep into her humble beginnings on her single  “Sanctuary.” Backed by sublime production courtesy of AIRAPPARENT, JAYA  reflects on the struggles her mother went through in providing a safe haven for her growing up. The track is both heartwarming and soothing, two things we really need in this global pandemic.

Brooklyn emcee Forde Tough is laser-focused on his new single “Next Up.” A contemplative track that details his work ethic and plans for the future as he moves past the naysayers and deadweight. Singer Mike Yorkz goes for a somewhat unorthodox style on his song  “Game Don’t Run Itself.” He makes use of a lo-fi, atmospheric backdrop to tell a tale of two individuals second-guessing getting into a relationship. The context is quite different here as self-doubt and over-analyzing the situation gets the best of him. This is his 4th single from his Happy EP.

Passport Rav shows us what exactly “Black Love” is on his new release. He ponders on the what-ifs and what could be over a jazz-infused backdrop while kicking knowledge about how being on a united front will always yield better results. The single is taken from his forthcoming project Black Conspiracist. “Don’t Know” is a collaboration between Israeli singer Shelly Perel and US rapper Mattn Island who both share their bad experiences over a soft ethereal beat. Perel holds nothing back here and delivers a melancholic performance that borders around a devil-may-care and emotionally numb vibe.

Sac town rapper Chuuwee recruits rap veteran Hus Kingpin on the cinematic track titled “Allusion.” A prime example of luxury rap, both emcees show the listener how good life can get if dreams do come true. This is also a good one to relax too as the horn-driven backdrop is quite reflective. “Allusion”  is taken from Chuuwee’s new album titled Babylon. Los Angeles based rapper Cahlaj teams up with producer Duecey who helps craft a solemn piano-laden beat for the rapper to share his journey thus far. Cahlaj takes us through his pains and the reality of coming to terms with growing older and ultimately cutting ties with friends. His laidback flow and contemplative demeanor really show his emotions as he faces reality with hope.

Emerging singer Siobhan closes up this week’s list with the soulful alluring track “With Love.” She taps into the classic R&B spirit to deliver this special affirmation of untainted love for her significant other over smooth piano chords.

Check our previous editions here.

Here’s a full tracklist of today’s featured tracks below: 

Cahlaj – “Cutting Ties” –

Chuuwee – “Allusion” (feat. Hus Kingpin) –

Shelly Perel – “Don’t Know” –

Passport Rav – “Black Love” –

Mike Yorkz – “Game Don’t Run Itself”-

Forde Tough – “Next Up” –

JAYA – “Sanctuary” –  

St. Christoph + Shaade – “California” –

Moemaw Naedon – “Slime Volcanoes (feat. Calig Kontra)” –

Siobhan – “With Love” –