The Slice, Episode 64 [Hip-Hop + R&B]

This week’s episode of The Slice opens up with Mega Ran and Del The Funky Homosapien who team up for the storytelling journey through a nostalgic video game tribute “Proto Culture 2.0.” The DJ DN3 produced track is an updated version of Del’s single from 2000 of the same name and it’s ripe with references to classics like Mark Of the Wolf (I love that game) to Maniac Mansion and more. “Proto Culture 2.0” will appear on AGES, VOL 2, Mega Ran’s forthcoming album.

Joy Nesbitt‘s funky single “Outside” takes us into a not so ideal summer as she reflects on COVID-19, President Trump, police brutality, and much more. It may sound gloomy but her cheerful hearty approach is quite alluring and heartwarming too. Karl Monroe and Dayjih team up for a bouncy, summer tinged jam titled “All I Ask.” Blending hip-hop and afro-pop, Karl Monroe puts his emotions on wax and pays tribute to his wife while Dayjih peppers the track with his infusion of Nigerian melodies. Emerging singer-songwriter Kayla Mims slows down the tempo with her latest single “Patience.” Over a lush soulful backdrop, she explores a situation where two people are on the same page in different books. It’s something we can a situationship and it would only take both parties to work out their differences.

UK singer Abi Flynn gives us another taste of jazz and R&B fusion on her new single “Testament to Love.” In her usual fashion, she delivers a passionate performance over a vibrant lively soundscape and gives us the true meaning of love. This song brilliantly builds up with eruptive emotions, so watch out for that part.

Straight out of Lumberton, New Jersey comes TA3 who is a rapper, poet, songwriter, and also a trombonist. His entry on the playlist is a solemn piece titled “Cry” that details his myriad experiences as a black man in America. He explores his struggles and looks at his survival as a blessing as he urges his kinfolk that it’s very much ok to find power in the expression of their emotions.
“Verbal Murder” is a lyrical slugfest by underground emcee Big Haz and the legendary lyricist Canibus. The duo makes good use of an anthemic backdrop to showcase their superb lyricism. The track will be on the upcoming Big Haz album called  Inner Peace which drops later this month.

Law makes his entry on the list with a feel-good jam titled “Good.” The track sees him teaming up with New York producers Jimmy Sue and BlackTop Hero, who craft a solemn piano-driven backdrop for Law’s introspective lyrics that dwell on fighting inner demons and coming out on top. Michael Rich‘s “Finally Breathing” takes us through the ups and downs of being in a relationship. From the doubts, loyalty and the acceptance of vulnerability though it all.

South African experimental rap act Push Push gives us a taste of her eclectic style on her new single “Front Door.” A pounding jam that blends indie-pop textures and hip-hop elements. She is quite unapologetic, unfiltered, and still charming on this one. Her debut EP, No Gods, will be out Friday, October 16th. UK emcee BREIS is all about pumping the positivity and on his new single “Arise & Shine” he urges everyone to never stay down when life knocks you to the floor but rather muster all your strength and bounce back. Backed by the funky backdrop provided by French producers SLN and Clais Lawrence, BREIS implores listeners to “know your worth and add tax.” The song is the title track from his new 5-track EP.

Melbourne’s Blush’ko gets behind the boards on his new song “Moon” and he crafts a dreamy and somewhat moody beat that fits his breathy vocal style. “Moon” is the second original offering for 2020, following on from his 2019 Majestic Casual mixtape Blush’ko In Love Pt. 2. Gabrielle Cavassa‘s “It Was Supposed To Be A Love Song” is a reflective ballad that deals with unrequited love and the emotion hurt that comes with it. Cavassa’s impassioned vocals take center stage over the bare bones piano-driven backdrop as she pours her pain on wax. She reflects on the situation and realizes her mistake in order to make the right choices at the end of it all. Reks teams up with Lil Fame and Singapore Kane to close out this episode for a politically charged track titled “Benjamin’s Dead”— a hard-hitting jam that sees the emcees lyrically tear down the oppressive system on which the U.S. was built. The track is from Reks’ 12th studio album, T.H.I.N.G.S. (The Hunger Inside Never Gets Satisfied).

Check out previous editions of The Slice here.

For a full tracklist of this week’s featured artists:

Mega Ran, Del The Funky Homosapien -“Proto Culture 2.0 “
Joy Nesbitt – “Outside”
Karl Monroe (feat. Dayjih) – “All I Ask”
Kayla Mims – “Patience”
TA3 – “Cry.”
Big Haz feat Canibus – “Verbal Murder”
Law – “Good”
Michael Rich – “Finally Breathing”
Push Push – “Front Door”
Blush’ko – “Moon”
Gabrielle Cavassa – “It Was Supposed To Be A Love Song”
Reks – “Benjamin’s Dead (feat. Lil Fame & Singapore Kane)”