rapper hassan wants to know ‘can i be black?’

West Coast MC Hassan Hamilton has been wooing crowds with his distinct flavor of humor-infused, punchline-packed rhymes since the tender age of 13. The rapper distinguishes himself from the pack through his willingness to verbally go where no MC has gone before, illustrated by his latest single “Can I Be Black.” The looping old-school hip-hop beat plays second-fiddle to Hassan’s socially commentary rap that poses questions like “Can I be Black and throw a barbecue in the park, go for a swim and maybe sell some water when it gets hot?”


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🚨HERE IT IS🚨 I’m back with arguably one of the most important songs I’ve ever written and recorded!! Everyday it seems more and more evident that it’s almost against the law to be Black in this country. Whether we’re getting harrassed and having the cops called on us by complete strangers while minding our business, the constant police brutality, the stereotypes, the economic disparity, and the complaining from the opposition whenever we protest social injustice and inequality, you name it.. it almost seems like we can’t exist in our skin anymore. And I wanna know why? Produced by the lovely and talented Queen of Northtown, @amyvoorhees, I finally decided 2 ask the question that myself and millions of others in this nation would like 2 know.. CAN I BE BLACK? Like, share, hate it, debate, do what you feel. But most importantly, listen!!! LINK IN BIO!! Available on other streaming services as well!! #RapIsFun #fatblackandawesome #AmyVoorhees #DTLV #northtown #tradevoorhees #canibeblack #blackexcellence #love2all #fuckracism #HipHop #instamusic #indie #diy #supportlocalart #supportlocalmusic #instagood #instadaily

A post shared by Hassan Hamilton (@hassanhiphop) on Aug 27, 2018 at 12:27pm PDT

Hassan weaves through the Black experience in America in each verse, filling each bar with realities relating to colorism, police brutality, anti-black media coverage and the harmful stereotypes that feed into systemic oppression. “Too independent to be liberal, to dark to be conservative” is the perspective that Hassan raps from, offering his views on the importance of who sits in the White House as well as Black-on-Black violence.

The song is 3 minutes and 21 seconds of hand-waving, finger-snapping truth, leaving us with one burning question:

Can we be Black?

Can I be Black? by Hassan

kaytranada and mick jenkins unleash “delicate flows under heavy metal bars” in new single

Mick Jenkins is building all kinds of anticipation for his coming album ‘Pieces Of A Man’ with Kaytranada-produced track ‘What Am I To Do’. Kaytranada gives classic soul, new life with his off-kilter rhythmic experimentation, giving Jenkins an old-school flair to compliment his smooth yet powerful flow.

“Because I’ll be screaming black, they’ll beat me to blue,” is just one of the hard-hitting lines dropped by Jenkins. The easy brilliance of the flow paired with gripping punchlines displays a symbiosis between the musical pair that makes this track feel effortless.


common’s emmy-winning supergroup ‘august greene’ just released a killer remix of the sound of blackness’ ‘optimistic’

Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins have formed a supergroup called ‘August Greene’ which came about after they won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for their song ‘Letter to the Free’, featured in Ava Duvernay’s critically acclaimed documentary ’13th’. They just released a joint album on March 9th through Amazon Music and they are already booked and busy.

The group just dropped a remix of “Optimistic” featuring Kirk Franklin, BJ The Chicago Kid, and Kierra Sheard. The song is an empowering combination of upbeat Hip-Hop and smooth R&B, grounded with ad-libs of a pastor preaching in earnest while Common preaches in verse. The song is eclectic and layered while also being easy and enjoyable.

August Greene will be playing at AFROPUNK in London when we take over Brixton on September 8th! Catch the them there and listen to the ‘Optimistic’ remix below.

get an invigorating injection of freedom administered by rap-rock duo thutmose & nombe in their ep ‘run wild’

Not all joint rap albums are created equal. Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-based MC Thutmose and German-bred producer NoMBe have managed to turn an instant musical connection into an EP that showcases the strength of both while delivering an organic and enjoyable-as-hell listening experience with their EP ‘Run Wild’. The EP is a successful experiment of Hip Hop beats carried by electric and acoustic guitar riffs that form a through-line in the album that makes the body of work more than a few songs thrown together.

“About a year ago, I met one of the most talented artists I have ever had the pleasure working with. Within the first few hours of meeting Thutmose, he and I wrote our single Summer’s Gone followed by many more. It’s rare for me to find an artist that I am this comfortable writing with, so when the idea of doing an entire rap EP came up, I immediately started putting together a handful of tracks.” – NoMBe

The title track ‘Run Wild’ carries an electrifying rap-rock arrangement with a pop energy that compelled EA Sports to use the song for the trailer FIFA World Cup 2018 video game. The trailer racked up 10 million views in just four days on Facebook and Youtube alone. “I have certain songs that have been a product of my own sound that wouldn’t technically fit, but I make them I love sports and I’ll create anthems to keep myself going for motivational purposes,” Thutmose told Variety. “When the FIFA thing came about, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is one of the few instances where this would make sense. I grew up playing soccer, all my friends play FIFA, so to me it was a no-brainer – just push the button.”

When me and @nombe started this EP, we took inspiration from our youth, coming from two different worlds and combing them to make this never ending one. Run Wild EP out now everywhere 🖤

A post shared by Thutmose 🇳🇬🦅 (@thutmose) on Aug 8, 2018 at 11:29am PDT

From the playful SuperMario riffs in ‘Kids’ to the enchanting electric guitar in ‘Soft Top’, this EP is alive with passion-filled exploration of a triumphant musical partnership.

smashing boy band cheesy codes, alt rapper jpegmafia turns backstreet boys song upside down

When R&B/Hip Hop unseated Rock and Roll as the most listened-to genre in the US at the end of 2017, the dominance and influence of Rap/Hip-Hop could no longer be ignored. Like many dominant cultures, there are artists who reside on the fringes, subverting trends and keeping to the underdog tradition of questioning the established status quo. U.S. Air Force Veteran turned Alt-rapper and producer JPEGMAFIA brings the center to the fringes with his tone-shifting flow and psychedelic subversion of traditional beats and beloved classics.

“Where MC Ren, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E mixed their politics with language that stoked the post-Reagan moral panic, JPEG-fluent in internet-native irony and bad-faith arguments-wields those tactics to serious, sometimes disarmingly earnest ends…. Entirely self-produced, Veteran is a remarkable exercise in sound and texture.” – PITCHFORK

JPEG was born in New York to Jamaican parents and currently resides in Los Angeles while building a name for himself in Baltimore/Maryland. Even with his Baltimore acclaim, he doesn’t prescribe to the growing Baltimore sound because his writing and delivery shift and adapt and breakneck speeds. In his latest offering ‘Millennium’, JPEG takes on Backstreet Boys’ classic, ‘I Want It That Way’, delivering half remix/half cover with smooth lyricism and an eclectic production. The song introduces itself as “easy listening” because of its mellow style but the add-libs and humor-laced critique speak to JPEG’s eccentric and multi-faceted approach to production.


A post shared by • BAEPEGMAFIA • (@jpegmafia) on Jun 5, 2018 at 10:41am PDT

JPEG will embark on The Reverse Christopher Columbus Tour this Fall in support of his fourth studio album Veteran. The 22-date tour will kick off on August 29th in Vancouver after he takes the stage at AFROPUNK BROOKLYN on August 25th.

video premiere: noise rappers dookoom re-appropriate the word “gangstaz” in their biting new visual

Based in Cape Town, DOOKOOM is the high-voltage noise-rap group challenging the expected music and form of self-expression and their latest video “GANGSTAZ” is a hard banger of a single with a dope video to match. The first single from their latest album, ‘RIFFAK’, the controversial foursome set out re-appropriate the term “Gangster” and flip it on its head. A hard-hitting takedown of radicalized white gazes that focus on the positivity of the community as they do their best to survive and thrive in their communities. And as you’d expect from DOOKOOM, this track has some serious teeth.

Photo by Mads Nørgaard

premiere: gender-fluid hardcore rapper rahrah gabor takes on anti-trans/queer street harassment in explosive track “kandy”

A self-described “Black, gender-fluid bitch from one of the hardest hoods in New Jersey,” Rahrah Gabor is back with a vengeance with her explosive new single “Kandy”. In the new thumping, trap-inspired track the rapper claps back at the street harassers of queer, gender-nonconforming and trans people, reminding the world that the girls have never just taken shit laying down.

“I really wanted to make something that spoke up for people who are always bullied and harassed in the street by these fuck ass men, specifically trans and otherwise queer folk,” Rahrah explains. “When that shit happened with Abel Cedeno reacting to his bullies in the Bronx, I became so enraged that I had to finish it and put it out.”

“Being a trans or gay or non-binary or woman or different, people who envy you and are ashamed of their desire and envy of you will always try you, and ‘Kandy’ is my message to these mothafuckas […] Keep thinking shit sweet and you might get fucking hurt.”

Check out the bash-back anthem below!

You can catch RAHRAH GABOR live at Sunnyvale BK 10/21/2017.

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rap/rock supergroup prophets of rage flip the script on oppressive biases in damning new track “radical eyes”

“They say we’re radicalized/ See our radical eyes!” Proclaim the rappers of Prophets of Rage, the revolution-centered rap/rock supergroup featuring members of Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill, over the roaring guitar, drum and bass of their rock members in “Radical Eyes”. The new track is a searing indictment of the white gaze and normative gazes in general, which position any viewpoints that resist the “normal” violence marginalized communities face as too “radicalized” and therefore wrong.

In the song, the collective–Chuck D, DJ Lord, Tim Commerford, B-Real, Tom Morello and Brad Wilk–reverse the narrative: It’s radical visions that are necessary to change our current reality, and it’s our regressive perspective on change that is the problem.

“Opposing viewpoints and movements are seen as radical rather than diversity,” Chuck D said in a statement.  “‘Radical Eyes’ is the lens everything is viewed through, any life movement in opposition is considered radicalized.”

Check out the powerful track below!

brazilian rapper moah tears it up in video for latest free-verse track “punk trap”

São Paulo-based musical creative Moah is as innovative as he is explosive in the video for his latest headbanger “Punk Trap”.

The track lives up to its name–creating a genre all of its own with a tight mixture of rock and rap that is recognizable yet refreshing in this new age of trap. Starting off with a bang, the layered free verse–sampling Xxxtentacion’s “Gnarly Bastard“–has all the pieces of mainstream hip hop, but with a twist: as the trap beat winds up, listeners are blasted with a tight fusion of punk vocal meets heavy metal volume. Alternating from lyrics to screams, your senses are left exhausted but buzzing for more.

Ever since Moah was a kid, the aesthetics and lifestyle of punk has stolen his focus–and what better way to satisfy a craving than to make it your own? Adding to the ever-shifting origin genre of Hip Hop, this Brazilian artist did just that.

An exciting listening experience with a hyped up, carefree video to match,”Punk Trap” is the new wave.

Check out Moah’s latest track and video above!

“ghettometal” rock band throwdown syndicate tackle the criminal justice system in “king of k.i.n.g.s.” 

Protest music comes in many forms, and in the case of D.C.-based metal group Throwdown Syndicate and their latest single “King of K.I.N.G.S”, their igniting lyricism blends with a traditional-yet-original formula allowing them to utilize a known genre in wildly progressive ways.

The quartet–prideful of its satisfying blend of Rock, metal, and hip hop–uses their conscious lyricism to bring “complexity and depth” to the heavy metal scene. With the track itself being a musical purge reflecting the pressures of modern-day society, this 3-minute project is more than entertainment, it’s a call to action.

In their own words: “It’s about normal, hard-working everyday people who are caught between the criminals that prey on them and the system that’s almost worse than the crime.”

This type of music always gets you hype, but with “King of K.I.N.G.S”‘s tantalizing riffs and activating message, your ears will be left ringing, but so will your spirit.

Check out Throwdown Syndicate‘s powerful new track below!