Lyor Cohen’s 300 label has been successful thus far. Raz Simone, being the first to partner with him, has been everywhere on your favorite blogs and even featured on Forbes. Even with all that, most of the moves the Black Umbrella team have made have been on their own. That’s what you call using your partnership to your advantage without heavily relying on Lyor and his team. He’s been building up to this moment right here.
Originally scheduled for March 6, Raz and his team opted to start off the week with Cognitive Dissonance. The 10-track album boasts no features and has him producing on every song mixed in with input from his BU team.
You’ll walk away knowing a lot of Raz’s personal history and his views on things. “Natural Resources” finds him questioning his family’s Christian ways. If you ever seen him (and his hands) in person, “8 Rangs” works to be his official theme song. There’s a vivid account of his life growing up in Seattle on “Don’t Shine.” These are just a few highlights. The whole album is worth a listen and not limited to a couple good songs.
Stream and download it below.
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The wait for Big K.R.I.T.’s sophomore album continues to rage on, but with any luck it’ll get a release date later this year when he’s satisfied with the final product. To pass the time, he decided to give us a week of K.R.I.T. with all kinds of goodies in store. How does seven new songs sound? The idea sounds pretty damn sweet.
At one point last year, we got photos of a session between Big K.R.I.T. and Rick Ross and assumed that the soulful producer would be providing Rozay with something amazing for Mastermind. It didn’t end up happening, however we do get to answer the question: “what does Ross sound like on a Krizzle production?” Rolling Stone premieres their collabo, titled “New Agenda.” This is southern-fried gold.
Previously: Big Sant Ft. Tito Lopez & Big K.R.I.T. – Fire Water II (Prod. By David Banner)
Is it love?
Many names come to mind when asked about the Seattle scene, but to save some time Dave B, Sol and Jake One decided to join forces for “Boathouse.” This incredibly smooth track has the makings of a great single. The hook (“tryna get my paper and my shit on lock”) is infectious enough to get stuck in your head at random times throughout the day. Dave delivers two memorable verses, while Sol does the damn thing in keeping up. No weak links in this.
Expect Dave’s Doughnuts EP to arrive in the coming months. Summer time theme music?
Previously: Dave B Ft. Jarv Dee – Levels (Prod. By Kuddie Fresh)
Nico Fazio’s name has popped up around these parts due to his production credits with rising California artist KR, Pro Era collective and more. He’s looking to keep building his name, and instead of waiting for more placements, he’s crafting his second instrumental album, Recreate. Teaming up with Curious Collection and Sermon’s Domain to sponsor it, he releases the first instrumental from the project; a collaborative effort with Taliel Brown (producer of The Underachievers’ “Land Of Lords”). Expect to hear the finished album on March 5.
Schoolboy Q’s Oxymoron has been fighting an uphill battle since Q announced it as his follow-up to 2010’s excellent Habits & Contradictions. Oxy was initially slated for a third quarter release in 2013, then a fourth quarter release, then it didn’t have a date, and finally landed this February. Top Dawg and Schoolboy blamed the delays on sample clearance issues; it’s hard to believe the label that took hip-hop and pop culture at large by storm with good kid, m.A.A.d city didn’t have the resources to get around that. More likely is that the songs Schoolboy was dropping (namely, “Yay Yay” and “Collard Greens”) weren’t living up to Q’s buzz at that point. But stumbles, be damned! Oxymoron is, disappointments and all, a solid major label debut from TDE’s most charming member.
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Residing on the Left Coast, we have a brand new video from 19-year old emcee LaShaun Ellis titled “Soul’d Out” off of his self-titled debut mixtape. He worked strictly with producer Khompono on his debut project, the LaShaun Ellis LP, and “Soul’d Out” was certainly a stand out track. The talented duo meticulously crafted and tweaked every track on the album, along with the help of Mike Bozzi, who you may be familiar with from his mastering work on Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city.
Download the LaShaun Ellis LP here and enjoy this new video directed by Ziggy above.
We’ve featured Jay Complex here on Sermon’s Domain in the past and today we’re treated to another gift from the Bahamian emcee. Jay liberates part 2 to his track “Bad Bitch In A Sundress” and cleverly titles it “Bad Bitch In A Nightgown”. The complexity of the instrumental from D.Original and D.R.U.G.S. Beats allows Jay to deliver a witty flow that he always offers, and it sounds great.
Previous: Jay Complex – NuReligion
Everything about Michael Christmas is unique. The name. The title of his debut project, Is This Art?. The song titles. The lyrics. He doesn’t sound like anybody else and that’s played a huge advantage to him gaining the respect of many blogs and fans alike. Art can be anything you choose it to be according to Mikey’s broad definition. It’s certainly what you get when you listen to the project.
Songs like “Leonard Washington” and “Overweight Drake” are lovely and hilarious to the pop culture fan. They bring up some memorable times or people. A lot of the project does. Many references occur throughout the 16 tracks but he’s not limited to it. Joining him for the ride is Thelonious Martin, Rome Fortune, Alex Wiley, Childish Major and many more.
“I was just really interested in the idea of what art is to people in this world right now, and what the limits are/who decides these things,” he says in an interview with Pigeons & Planes. “I’m giving people a chance to let me know if my shit is art and I’m letting people know what I think of things right now from an artistic standpoint.”
Stream and download below.
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Any smart person on this Earth has learned that wealth is a lot more than how many zeros are in your bank account. It’s a concept that Local-Mu12, consisting of Fokis, Stryfe and the newest addition Swiss Juellz, applies on their newest single of the same title. Rapper Big Pooh also lends a verse. The group’s debut album, Labor Day, will be out on March 4 and features Skyzoo, Sadat X, Torae and GLC.
Alexander Dreamer is the epitome of a talented, ambitious kid who has exactly what it takes to go far in this industry. That fact became obvious to us after vibing with his recent project Dancing With The Devil back in January. Today, AD decides to liberate the official video for his smooth track ‘Never Know’ off of the aforementioned project. The video was shot by Prime Time Media Entertainment and was premiered on FSD earlier today.
Purchase Dancing With The Devil here.
Previously: SD Freshmen ’14: Alexander Dreamer