The Slice, Episode 89 [Hip-Hop + R&B]

This week's edition of The Slice opens up with "FlameThrower"—a fiery  (pun intended) track that teams up Decatur-based rapper Jarren Benton and fellow emcees MC Bravado, Jake Strain, and Pat Phinney. The quartet squares up verbally over a menacing backdrop provided by The Militant Marxman and goes for the jugular with the razor-sharp bars. Texas-based ATL transplant King Khali dives into the delicate issue of shady record contracts and artists who fall for the trap on his new single "Sign Here." He employs a mellow reflective beat to share the age-old tale of the underhanded activities of labels who use enticing contracts to snare young rappers. Joining him on the track is Sage who adds his own two cents to the matter.
"Kinfolk" is a mid-tempo bouncy R&B track by singer-songwriter and producer ANISE which serves as her third single of 2021. Armed with a soothing melodic run and choppy delivery, ANISE gives us something refreshing and catchy as well. She is currently preparing to drop her debut EP, Black Eve, in October.

Hollywood-based rapper Dom Giavonni shares a celebratory track "A Night Out" as life returns to some normalcy. Backed by a bouncy horn-driven backdrop, he reflects on the LA nightlife where the ballers are out in full swing and the hustle and bustle return to the clubs and more. Rah-C's new single "Dotted Line" sees him hopping back to his first love, hip-hop. He makes use of a bouncy melody ripe with cinematic and off-kilter sound designs while he dives into the issues that permeate his life and how he deals with them in a compartmentalized way. The twin sister duo, The KTNA (Hope and Millie) caught our ears with their sophomore single "Summer Never Dies," taken from their forthcoming sophomore EP, Resurgence. The self-produced track is built on lush textures with guitar riffs, dreamy keys, and soft drums that bolster the sister's sultry melodic runs and evocative lyrics. Miami-born and raised Nightmare and Sleepy are back with a new single "Control It," a moody somber track that shows introspective sides of the duo and also features a soothing melodic chorus from Destro). As Spitty The Sequel prepares to drop his CPT HyperDrive produced LP Traces Of Our Soul he shares the fourth and final single "Sleepless Night." A haunting track that dives into how the mind drifts into the abyss in the state of insomnia.

Singer-songwriter Sjamel's "One Day" is an uplifting track that talks about staying positive regardless of one's past. Bolstered by a smooth guitar-driven Afrocentric backdrop, he shares his life growing up part Nigerian/part Surinamese and also his many journeys as a young man taking steps to be successful in life.

Jim Swim implores listeners to make the best of their time on "Got Time," a bouncy dance-infused rap song ripe with warm textures and pulsating synths over 4 to the floor drums. Swim gets a bit introspective and expresses his desire to live life on his own terms without external stress. Producer Inf's newest release "Gotta Go" sees him linking up with rappers Detroit emcee Guilty Simpson and Kuf Knotz. The result is a punchy organ-laden beat that blends seamlessly with Simpson's commanding vocals followed by Knotz laidback stylings. The rappers are joined by Philly singer Christine Elise who provides a soothing ambient hook to tie it all up.

Rock/hip-hop band The Lamonts take us back to the high school days on "Starting 5"—a rousing track that is built on punchy rock drum grooves, off-kilter sound design, and sizzling electric guitar riffs. The lead vocalist delivers an impassionate performance ripe with vivid relatable lyrics. The track is featured on NBA2K22 coming out this fall! Maigo and Ralphy.wav 's "Floating" reflects on having a positive mindset during hard times. Over a choppy soulful production, Maigo delivers a melodic rap performance laced with introspective lyrics that are also uplifting and hopeful.  definitely, something we all need in these crazy times. Emerging singer/songwriter grysn.oir turns up the heat on his new single "CPR"—a moody sultry R&B ballad ripe with atmospheric textures and punchy drum grooves. The singer holds nothing back as he details his fantasies on wax.

Singer Amar2x shares his single "Special" from his debut project Akwasi. The record sees him pouring adulations on his girl and details how he wants to treat her even though he did her wrong. The track has a moody vibe with alluring undertones. Swiss-born, Berlin-based, vocalist Ay Wing whose new single "Angel Blue" celebrates femininity. Armed with her soothing melodic vocals, she details the feelings of isolation and introspection during the PMS phase. It's far from being gloomy but rather therapeutic for the soul as she finds time to feel her own energies away from the craziness of the outside world. This is the second track in a series of four songs (Cycle).  J Nolan is having fun on his new single "Splash," an upbeat summer jam that displays his fiery lyricism and flows over 808-laden production supplied by DopeNorTeria. Luna LePage's "Trust Issues" is an exploration of the pitfalls that come with puppy love, the effects of social media, and global lockdown. The production is as somber as they come with its acoustic guitar licks, warm basslines, and of course, her commanding vocal runs that flow seamlessly over the soothing backdrop. Yakul's new single "Wrong Way" is a vibrant funky jam that explores the dynamics of getting lost in the pursuit of love. Led as usual by frontman James Berkeley who delivers a heartfelt melodic performance, he takes us through the ups and downs of being emotionally trapped in a situation and the point where he finds the strength to get back to reality. The production here is quite off-kilter with the funky drum grooves, pulsating basslines, and sparking keys.

NY rapper Lady J Musiq holds nothing back on her single "In My Feelings," a mix of R&B and hard-hitting hip-hop. She makes use of a sparse guitar-laden backdrop and shares a love tale ripe with expressive lyrics and sultry elements to match. The chorus is catchy too and reminiscent of the early '90s R&B we grew up on. Emerging Nigerian rapper and singer Sagga Lee shows us how she struts her stuff on the synth-driven club banger titled "Flex." The Lagos-based artist brings a refreshing vibe with her hushed sultry flows and unfiltered lyrics that center around painting the town red, vices, and more. "Flex" is taken from her new project Dollface 2: Bad Bxtch.

Colorado hip-hop legend, Papa J. Ruiz and rising L.A producer NugLife team up for this jazz-infused anthemic track titled "Red iii Freestyle." Ruiz is in his element and delivers a rousing performance filled with witty wordplay. The dynamics of this joint are engaging and slowly builds with its triumphant horns, jazzy textures which rise into a heavy trap drum groove. Daugaard and Riggz the Lord have been working together for years and on their new release  "Far From" they share with listeners their journey thus far. Over a soulful reflective production,  they give something refreshing and insightful that everyone can vibe to. Singer-songwriter Kitt (formerly known as Katherine Penfold)  gets deep down personal on her new single " I'll Be Alright." Inspired by her personal situation after doing through a divorce, depression, and the global lockdown, she pours all the emotions on wax over a crunchy guitar arrangement with a soothing melodic run. Despite all the drama, she still stays determined and knows that things will be fine at the end of the day. The single is her first single under her new moniker. Mr. Champion helps close out the list with "Miles Freestyle"—a cinematic track ripe with a memorable hook and hard-hitting production. The rapper is off to the races with a verbal smackdown and holds nothing back with his vibrant performance.

Check our previous editions here.

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

Jarren Benton, MC Bravado, Jake Strain, Pat Phinney – "FlameThrower"
King Khali x Sage – "Sign Here"
ANISE – "Kinfolk"
Dom Giavonni – "A Night Out"
Rah-C – "Dotted Line"
The KTNA – "Summer Never Dies"
Nightmare and Sleepy – "Control It "(feat. Destro)
Spitty The Sequel x CPT HyperDrive – "Sleepless Night"
Sjamel – "One Day
Jim Swim – "Got Time"
Inf x Guilty Simpson x Kuf Knotz – "Gotta Go" (feat. Christine Elise & Tomas Delfgaauw)
The Lamonts – "Starting 5"
Maigo x Ralphy.wav – "Floating"
grysn.oir – "CPR"
Amar2x – "Special"
Ay Wing – "Angel Blue"
J Nolan – "Splash"
Yakul – "Wrong Way"
Luna LePage – "Trust Issues"
Sagga Lee -"Flex"
Lady J Musiq – "In My Feelings"
Papa J. Ruiz & NugLife – "Red iii Freestyle"
Daugaard x Riggz the Lord – "Far From"
Kitt -" I'll Be Alright"
Mr Champion – "Miles Freestyle"