The Slice, Episode 87 [Hip-Hop + R&B]

We start off Episode 87 with something reflective and sobering courtesy of emerging rapper/songwriter PG Blao as he drops his one-off single, "On My Way." The Lagos Nigeria native shares his trials and tribulations over a nostalgic guitar-laden production and reminds listeners that life is far from a walk in the park. Emerging Manchester-via-Birmingham genre-bending artist LayFullstop pumps up pure positivity on her new release titled "Receipts." She teams up with Superbeats who laces her with a dreamy ethereal backdrop that blends with her sultry melodic runs and uplifting lyrics. Never one to be boxed in, she balances the scales by flipping between eclectic melodies to well-crafted raps that display her versatility. The single is taken from her forthcoming EP, STiR. "I hate this world we live in" by Rxlph is a somber record that dives into the aftermath of a failed relationship. Over a laidback atmospheric backdrop, he delivers an emotive performance ripe with evocative lyrics that explore the dynamics of the love-hate relationship that is brewing inside of him. He is hurt and angry at his actions but just couldn't muster the strength to rectify the situation. It's quite harrowing and relatable as well.

British singer/songwriter Madison Paris's new release "Noughts & Crosses" is an experimental soul offering that explores intimacy from afar. Paris doesn't hold back and shares her candid thoughts on the issue and hopes the other person feels the same way she does. Hip-Hop duo Tha Joint takes us to the skies on "H.A.MF." The duo made up of Joey Golden and Jonathan UniteUs invites us to partake in their special seance as they escape from the stress of the world for a split second or more while JMNOP provides a haze-infused chorus. Connecticut singer Brian Jai delivers a smooth R&B offering with his single titled "Waiting" which sees him working with songwriters Jai and Erick "E.L." Morton and producer Troy Oliver. The result is a lush alluring track with Jai sounding as comfortable as ever creating personal R&B cuts with nostalgic elements that also sound poppy enough to keep any listener engaged.

Nigerian singer, songwriter FwFeyi raises the energy levels with his upbeat club jam titled  "Body." The Lordknowz produced record which is centered around a lady who caught his eye is bolstered by a rousing Afrocentric drum groove and bright textures. FwFeyi is more than comfortable as he delivers a splendid performance ripe with catchy melodies and even throws in a sax solo for good measure. “Body” is his debut single. Toronto, Canada-based singer/songwriter TENNISXCLUB teams up with artist/viral comedian John Nonny for the pop/dancehall infused track titled "Sideline III." The duo brings something refreshing with their melodic and carefree style that centers around having fun. The track is as smooth as they come and captures the spirit of summer with its tropical vibes and undeniable dance groove. 

Emerging indie rapper Smurfy shows us what makes him tick on "League Of My Own." The heavy boom-bap record sees him reflecting on how his relations with women have progressed as he got older. Somewhat insightful but Smurfy throws in quite a lot of self-deprecating lines with a dash of bravado to match.
Beats Anonymous links with NY, Buffalo rappers  Gaines, Skate Cobain, and Heem B$F  for some verbal onslaught on "Caskets." The record exudes the quintessential boom-bap elements with its crunchy drums and cinematic sound designs which fits the emcee's stylish wordplay and unfiltered lyrics.

Philly emcee MOO$H 's "So Blessed" is his way of counting his blessings and flexing on the opposition. Armed with a smooth flow and a knack for interesting wordplay, MOO$H  brings a stylish swag mixed with insight on this bouncy tune. German artist Klinke auf Cinch teams up with Malawian singer Postnegative on the collaboration single "get up, stay low." The production is quite eclectic with its hip-hop-infused elements such as scratching and punchy offbeat drum arrangement. The vocals are quite alluring and melodic and the way it flows over the off-kilter beat works perfectly but more importantly, the positive message being passed should not go unnoticed. 

"This I Know" is taken from Sabali, the new EP by Canadian emcee Kairo and producer Hoopaloop. The record is ripe with somber textures and revealing lyrics that dive into the dynamics of life. It might be gloomy but Kairo reassures us that it will be alright at the end of the day. British singer Kianja pays homage to her significant other on "I Appreciate You." The self-produced track is a blend of Latin and Dancehall elements with her distinct R&B stylings. From the smooth melodic runs and switch-ups, Kianja runs the gamut with her unique vocals and heartfelt message to the partners who lent their support during trying times, especially during the lockdown.

Indie rapper Uncle TreY and singer Green Baker team up for this laidback love-soaked track "Too Late" which dives into the dynamics of unconditional love. Baker ties it up with his smooth melodic chorus while Uncle TreY reminds listeners that he is not giving up on finding and keeping the right woman. As eclectic experimental soul duo The Steoples prepare to release their forthcoming EP, they share this new insightful track "The Real Wealth" which tells the tale of a young man asking his grandfather to pass along all that he has learned throughout his lifetime. Built over a dark and ominous texture laced with crunchy drums, the duo delivers a heartfelt and impassioned performance that strays from the norm but has quite a lot of gems to be unwrapped by listeners. 

Jeune Lio helps close out the list with the help of singers Chrystel and Yung D3mz as they team up for "Test Me," a midtempo Afropop jam that is ripe with lush textures, heavenly horns, and catchy melodic runs.  The track is taken from Lio's bilingual EP.

Check our previous editions here.

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

PG Blao – "On My Way"

LayFullstop – "Receipts"

Rxlph – "I hate this world we live in."

Madison Paris – "Noughts & Crosses"

tha Joint – "H.A.MF" feat. JMNOP

Brian Jai "Waiting"

FwFeyi – "Body"

Tennisxclub – "Sideline III" feat. John Nonny

Smurfy – "League Of My Own"

Beats Anonymous x Gaines x Skate Cobain x Heem B$F – "Caskets"

MOO$H – "So Blessed"

Klinke auf Cinch x Postnegative – "get up, stay low"

Kairo x Hoopaloop – "This I Know"

Kianja – "I Appreciate You"

Uncle TreY – "Too Late" feat. Green Baker

The Steoples – "The Real Wealth"

Jeune Lio – "Test Me" Feat. Chrystel & Yung D3mz