Versatile Rapper, Lyricist, and Producer Butch Yung takes us through a day-in-the-life of turning Lemons to Lemonade with his latest release “No Sleep in the Trap”. This Audio Portrait is like that of an Ernie Barnes collectible, with production like a synesthetic pallet of sound painting a picture of daily life in the trap working cold, hungry nights for brighter days. The Trap’s glamourized popularity is not its reality- and most certainly not for everyone.
Such a world is an Alto Sax, whispering melancholic brushstrokes of its sorrowed actuality. Signature snare patterns of its war-torn ambiance are accentuated by the intricately laced machine gun dumping that litters late nights in every hood. Sounds of a Trench Town can be heard in the magnetic drive of this murky, eerily romantic piece where the Soul of the streets collide with pressures from the trap like rapids crashing against huge boulders, forcing Coal to create Diamonds by its very own nature.
Amerikkka documents the experience of being Black under the rule of American Colonialism, where police officers are branded as public servants whose task is “to protect & serve”. The question is; protect and serve whom, what, and why? It is today’s common knowledge that certain communities are given favorable protection over others, particularly Caucasians, Anglo-Saxons, and the assimilated. Wealthy citizens and areas are also prioritized for reasons of profit, yet there happens to be a much more sinister side to law enforcement that is deeply rooted in oppression, thievery, indentured servitude, chattel slavery (aka “Slave Patrol”), and the Ku Klux Klan.
What does it feel like to be Black in Amerikkka? G Perico let’s you know; “Clearly it’s the law breaking the law”, he says. The South Central, L.A. rapper has established himself as one of the most promising voices in West Coast Hip Hop, bravely addressing this place we call the United States. As Tupac’s classic words insinuate, life “Ain’t Nothin’ But a Gangsta Party”. Outside of one’s typical idea of a “gangsta”, it’s important to zero in on those rarely highlighted corporate gangsters and their cronies as gangstas at their own gangsta party. Consider that what may seem an entity designed to “protect & serve” (alongside other aspects of the “Justice” system) are mostly operated via persecution of the poor and from profiteering off of prisoners exploited in the Prison Industrial Complex- some of which are not truly guilty of any crime. Such exploitation amongst officials in powerful positions and their corrupt friends ruin any “just” intention, begging the question of who the actual “gangsta” is and where the true threat lies. Who is really bullying whom and what are the benefits?
As on of three members in the rap group G-Worthy, the project features the Amerikkka single produced by League Of Starz producer Dupri. G- Perico’s reflection on existing within the confines of American oppression offers insight on the feeling of life under Colonial Law and its rippling effects on Al Moroccans. Songs like these introduce us to asking questions about how Al Morocco became Amerikkka and why it’s nearly impossible to trust a Cop no matter how much one might wish to let their guard down.
Check out Amerikkka and stay tuned for a major announcement in the near future.
In an era where everyone is racing to the money bag, Oakland artist Kamaiyah comes from the center of Bay Area chaos, where she highlights the ups and downs of her journey and takes her time on the rise to proving her own success.
She took to the Oakland streets, where the love is extremely real for HipHop culture. People out there will actually purchase music from you off the street to where folks can sell 100K from their trunk easily. But for Kamaiyah, sky is the limit. She continues to push herself past her block, testing her endurance and breaking through street culture norms in ways that most female rap artists require a team for. Some of the most influential people on her art are Missy Elliot, TLC & Aaliyah, whose influences one sees in Kamaiyah’s brand and style of dress.
Her charismatic personality and to-the-point demeanor are refreshing in an industry that is often drowning in fluff. She’s worked with the likes of YG, Drake, and other street disciples that are leading various avenues of rap culture into a new age. Both a producer and songwriter, she is humble enough to admit that there are songs she has done that she doesn’t care for and others that she was shocked to see were so well received. All she knows is the vision she has for herself and the faith that she rides on, which is altogether inspiring. As part of XXL’s 2017 Freshman Class, she mention’s BowWow as a rapper whose lyricism drove her to focus on her pen game. Her first mix tape was gobbled up, with folks loving everything about it. She wanted to make sure that she represented the Bay Area for exactly what it is without any outside influence and really just hopes that listeners will grasp the journey behind her music and what it took to serve people with her final product. You can catch Kamaiyah on YG’s “Why You Always Hatin’” as the song most people know best, but her singles “How Does It Feel”, “Build You Up”, and “I’m On” are cult classics that can be heard amongst her biggest fans.
“You Only Live Once”, says the African Native Sista.
When you’re forced to live life on the edge, you know what it is; Trap or Die
Imprisoned by a system designed to oppress, eliminate, buy, sell or trade the Melanated and the poor, survival depends on creativity and innovation. It’s that rich n*gga/poor n*gga/house n*gga/field n*gga/still n*gga situation, where one’s excellence still faces stereotypes and all-around hatred no matter how hard the black womb/man works to achieve success. If anybody knows the ups and downs of what it’s like to teeter the tightrope between life and death with the men who are stuck in the rat race, it’s women like Nstasia. Her music is an aspect of the black womban’s story in America. It’s symbolic of the diehard love and confident support that a real woman provides regardless of circumstance.
Trap or Die is about the love, loyalty, risks, and heartbreak that a faithful woman endures while standing in the gaps for her man. Societal norms founded upon white American standards often lock most Brothas out of work opportunities that White Privilege reserves for those willing to conform to it. In the trap, the Brotha faces gang violence perpetuated by systematic oppression and the daily fear of a run-in with dirty cops that are out to round as many slaves into the Prison Industrial Complex as they can. Once the brother has a record, it’s nearly impossible to get employed. Next are one’s environmental factors, which affect productivity. One is lucky if a job offers benefits and is close to home, where most businesses would rather not operate if they weren’t liquor stores, churches, or fried food shops. The negative surroundings of addiction, physical health hazards, and scarce resources leave people desperate with limited options. Therefore, those who have never dealt with institutionalized racism, systemic oppression, or the glass ceiling of Corporate America will never fully grasp the struggle of the struggling unless it is the black womban because she is the child, the child bearer, the lover and wife of the black man and can see their battle from every angle.
Nstasia is that classic Womban; still a lady – but probably with a pistol in her garter belt and a No. 2 pencil for all a’those who betestin’! She’s the one who says “if you got me, I got you // Top down we screamin’ trap or die”. She has an alternative style of fashion exhibiting a varietal that exists in black America outside of the stereotypes that parallel the way a woman looks with the way a woman is. The song is dreamy and the vibe is like fishtailing a canyon highway on a sunny day in a getaway cruiser headed for the beach.