Wednesday, September 20, 2017

THURSDAY: Home Grown Hip Hop @ Club Metronome

An interesting twist on the usual showcase gig: Home Grown Hip Hop is half Massachusetts, half locals. The out of state delegation includes Party Boy Woodz, Joe Grizzly, City Lights and Busy Bars. Vermont is being represented by Colby Stiltz, Suss Brim, Chyse Atkins, Jibba "The Gent," Modest, JMC ENT and Khaosity.

DVP Cinematography will also be in the building -- you may have noticed that is the second time in one week we're giving a shout out to Miles Goad. Honest hustle always pays off.

If you're looking for some happening hip hop in the Queen city, this is pretty much it for this week. Be there. 9 pm. 18+ $5. 21+ Free.

Monday, September 18, 2017

VIDEO: BulletProof Dolla - "Intro"

Monday Motivation: we've got a brand new video to get the week started, courtesy of BulletProof Dolla and the tireless team at DVP Cinematography. BulletProof Dolla delivered a triumphant set at the "Vermont's Finest" showcase on Sept. 14th, and his new video is a smart move to keep the momentum rolling. "Intro" is a fast, flashy piece of work that showcases Dolla's ability to flip between flows like he's channel surfing. It's a hard-hitting introduction and a great looking business card for the Youtube era.

You can catch more of his work -- including a new mixtape - streaming on good old Soundcloud.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Above the Radar Wraps Today

Down on the BTV waterfront this afternoon, the last day of Above the Radar is about to get cooking. This is a huge graffiti art festival, the first of its kind here in Vermont, and the Anthill Collective has assembled a truly world-class collection of talent to bless a massive 260 foot wall.

It's going down at 1 King St. and there will be live music and taco trucks. You can't beat it.

Photo is by BTV hip hop superfan Brett North.

Friday, September 15, 2017

"Loops 4 Coupes" - John Carter of Earth

John Carter of Earth -- usually stylized JCOE -- is one third of Windsor hip hop crew Maiden Voyage. Loops 4 Coupes is his most recent instrumental project, and having just tested it out taking a spin through the mountains of Lamoille County, I can confirm it works. This is a smooth, head-nodding piece of work and a great cruising soundtrack.

JCOE has heat rocks on the stove right now, so there's more to come. You can catch him with Maiden Voyage tomorrow at 3 pm rocking the Jambulance Stage at the BTV waterfront for Above The Radar. Which is going to be f'ing awesome.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

FRIDAY NIGHT: Mics & Strikes @ Champlain Lanes

As a concert series, Mics and Strikes may sound crazy on paper: hip hop and bowling is not a combination we see too often. It really works, though. Especially with a lineup this strong.

"Wool See" is a new project by IAME -- a rapper / producer who was part of the Oldominion and Sandpeople collectives out in Portland, OR.

$15 gets you two hours of bowling with a killer soundtrack. Dig it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Little Pain x Dommy Divine, September 13th @ Higher Ground

This one snuck up on me, so it didn't make the September roundup, but this show is loaded with local talent.

As an old rap head in his late fifties, I have no business trying to figure out what is going here. Little Pain is, at least according Vice, "the leader of the Sad Rap Revolution" -- hopefully nobody is getting killed over that, sounds pretty serious. Dommy Divine appears to be either a promoter or a DJ, based on his soundcloud. Dude has taste, either which way.

I do know the cats on the undercard here, and it's quite a lineup. Yung $eth has been building his name off live performances, singles, and his recent EP, FUELED BY HATE. Beat wizard Loupo is currently working on about three dozen projects in the aftermath of his latest album, Good Company. Notation is a local menace hard at work on some new projects, David Chief is an impressive new producer with a big online audience, and Chyse is one of the best rappers in the state. $10 adv / $15 door. 8 pm.

Monday, September 11, 2017

THURSDAY: Vermont's Finest @ Social Club & Lounge, 9/14

Vermont's Finest is another showcase gig, sure, but it's perfectly timed. There's a tsunami of new BTV residents getting settled in, and this is an affordable show with a packed roster -- a great introduction to the scene for any poor souls that missed A-Dog Day. The evening is being put on by Barre outfit Sounds Lit Productions, BTV label Heartless Entertainment, and Khaosity's God Squad posse.

The current lineup is as follows: Blood Pressure Music, Dolla Day, StiltzGang, Khaosity, JMC Ent, BL SPITZ, Eyedos, Drive, Dok Trauma, Lifelesson, & Bitzz. 8 pm. 18+ $5 / College ID $2

Saturday, September 9, 2017

VIDEO: Budnick - "You Ain't Fam"

This video is both low-key hilarious and exceptionally well shot. Budnick has been evolving into a prolific rapper with an understated flow and a healthy sense of humor. This video is a pretty perfect introduction to his world. Director / photographer Ben Kennedy does expert work with framing and light here -- this looks awesome, front to back.

If you dig this, check out his 2016 album, Salute My Shorts.

Friday, September 8, 2017

TONIGHT: LoKi x Hank Collins at Arts Hop

Over the past 25 years, Burlington annual South End Arts Hop has grown from weird party to cultural institution. The city will be absolutely packed with excess creativity over the weekend, with events popping off in every living room, on every corner. We would recommend making your way down Pine Street to the parking lot behind Speaking Volumes, which will be hosting some tasty hip hop from 7pm to 10pm this evening, weather permitting.

LoKi recently released "Avanti," a collaboration album with Pensive, promptly followed by an ambitious project where he made 25 songs in 24 hours to celebrate his birthday -- you can read more about that here. Milkhaus is one of Vermont's most distinctive crews.

Hank Collins is a BTV local who's been having a great run this year, including a nomination nod for the Seven Daysies for Best Hip Hop Artist. He's an energetic spitter and he's amassing a serious local following. Check out his latest single, "Self-Centered," with production courtesy of Somba.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

TONIGHT: "Words & Verbs" is Back on 105.9 FM

Mister Burns is back on local radio station 105.9 -- "Words & Verbs" will be live again this evening at 10 pm sharp, spinning a mix of fresh tracks and classic cuts from the 802.

Remember, you can stream from anywhere: 105.9 The Radiator.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

ROUNDUP: Hip Hop Shows in September

September 6th: Yo! BTV Raps Vol. 9 @ Sidebar. This should be approximately hype as fuck, packing some high energy rap acts into an intimate lil' craft bar. Jarv and Boomslang are both party demolition units. In addition, Face One continues his comeback streak, Khaosity will be staking his claim to BTV, and PR Department will deliver a set. That's a new collaboration between Rico James of Self Portrait and local boom bap head PreciseMC. Also, happy birthday to hip hop superfan and live show cameraman Brett North! 10 pm. 21+. Free.

September 7th: Hip Hop Heals @ Backstage Pub and Restaurant This is a benefit show for the Garrows, a local family who had a house fire this summer. Admission is free and there will be a variety of fundraiser activities throughout the evening. Props to Colby Stiltz for putting this on.

September 12th: Big Boi @ Higher Ground. Hot damn. Not a lot needs to be said here. 8 pm. All Ages. $35 adv / $38 door.

September 14th: Vermont's Finest @ Social Club and Lounge. Another showcase affair at Social Club, a great BTV venue that makes a point of putting on real events. This should be no exception, an evening of local rap sponsored by God Squad and Heartless Ent. Lineup includes Eyedos, BL SPITZ and Dok Trauma. 8 pm. 18+ $5 / College ID $2

September 15-17 Above The Radar. This is a Very Big Deal: a three-day graffiti festival right on the Burlington waterfront, bringing in some legendary crews to collaborate on massive walls. This is a family friendly, pure hip hop event and represents a massive amount of work by Vermont's own Anthill Collective. Free. Go check it out.

September 15th: Mics and Strikes @ Champlain Lanes. The lineup hasn't been announced yet but if you want raps, drinks and bowling all in one place, this is your fix. Always a good time.

September 16th: Capital Punishment @ Sweet Melissas. Current lineup is Khaosity, Drive, Modest and Lifelesson -- expect more names to be added in the weeks to come. 9 pm. All Ages. $5.

September 16th: Upper Valley Summer Music Festival @ The Engine Room. Packed bill in White River Junction. 9 pm. $10 adv / $15 door.

September 21st: Home Grown Hip Hop @ Club Metronome. Colby Stiltz, Suss Brim, Chyse Atkins, Jibba Tha Gent, Modest, Party Boy Woodz, Joe Grizzly and City Lights. 9 pm. 18+ $5 / 21+ Free

September 30th: The Fall Come Up @ Gustos. A guaranteed good time. This is a homecoming party in Barre for Bar None The Best, and they'll be celebrating with a serious lineup: Judge Da Beast, Jibba The Gent, and NYT (aka Jamell Rogers). To top it all off, this is your chance to see the Street Religion crew live onstage without having to drive at least an hour south. 10:30 pm 21+

September 30th: Boomslang & Jarv @ Charlie O's. Another guaranteed good time, and in the same county, no less. It's a Vermont tradition. Best dive bar in the state if not the country, great party rap, colorful regulars grumbling about great party rap -- just because I've said all this before doesn't mean you shouldn't be there. 21+. Free.

Friday, September 1, 2017

VIDEO: Bar None The Best - "Eye See"

Barre true school disciples Bar None The Best are continuing their 2017 warpath, as promised. After launching a single with Termanology, "Grind," they took a left turn, shooting & editing a music video for their affiliate, Judge Da Beast. Now they're back with another Myster DL directed piece for "Eye See," a funky & catchy Nastee production.

No word yet on the next EP or album, but Bar None The Best deserve credit for knowing what they want and how to get there. They're making very interesting moves. They're one of the few 802 crews that are aiming squarely at a nationwide audience, and they've got an expert mentor. Not only has Nastee been on the frontlines of NYC hip hop since the 90's, he's still on the cutting edge in 2017, working with the Pro Era camp. He knows what works.

Between the aftermath of the Seven Daysies awards and the advent of the "" top 10 lists, there's been a lot of social media posturing about who "the best" in Vermont is. Like I say every two weeks here, that's thinking too small.

Bar None The Best have been proud outsiders from the beginning, devoted to hardcore street rap in a state that skews toward conscious vibes. They're concerned with cementing their place in hip hop, not Vermont. Their game plan in 2017 so far has reflected that, every step of the way.

Make sure your plan reflects your dreams, too. Don't let local politics or crab bucket reflexes make your decisions for you. Skills remain timeless.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

VIDEO: The Aardvarcheologist - Animalude feat. Stresselbee

Daaaaaaaaamn. This video represents a lot of work. Props to Texas-based Eric Power for a fantastic piece of art.

The Aardvarcheologist is a producer from...well, the hills, let's leave it at that. He's recently released an album, the Vermonster Mash Mixtape, featuring a big cast of Vermont artists. (Stream it here.) There's a lot of talent on that tape -- check it out.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

VIDEO: Judge da Beast - "Won't Lose"

Another fresh visual from the Bar None The Best collective, this time produced entirely in-house. This is another jawn off his last solo project, Arraignment, a heartfelt motivational banger.

Worth noting that Bar None The Best are headed down to New York City to play a show this evening opening for Termanology. Term dropped a feature verse on their recent single "Grind," which debuted on The Source's website late last month. They promise there is even more material on the way, too. These boys are cooking, in other words.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Es-K & Loupo - Symbiosis

Just in time for summer's closing act, we've got a fresh new soundtrack from Es-K & Loupo.

These two beat sculptors & sample composers have been honing a psychic bond for years now. Loupo helped co-produce some installments of the Spontaneous Grooves series and showed up again on Es-K's last two solo albums, Mantras in Motion and Passages.

Last year, the duo dropped the "Sanctuary" tape on Chicago-based BLVNT Records. That was a damn fine project, yet since then, each of them have released Lifetime Achievement™ level albums. Loupo's glittering dreamscape Good Company has been getting him rave reviews and worldwide plays, and of course, Es-K dropped his monumental Building Bridges project with Boot Camp Klik legend General Steele.

With Symbiosis, Es-K & Loupo reconvene at the peak of their powers. They're masters of the balance between building hypnotic space and giving the listener an interesting, evolving ride. It's well worth the trip.

You can also cop this on limited edition 10" vinyl while supplies last. See Cold Busted for details.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

VIDEO: Jamell NYT - "Nytmare"

A low-budget, high-concept and hella ambitious video from the spooky talented Jamell NYT. This track is off his latest project, Substance Abuse, which can be streamed here.

No word on future projects quite yet, but really, Substance Abuse is full of video-worthy tracks. Keep 'em coming.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Lynguistic Civilians Win 7th Consecutive Daysie Award

Naturally enough, The Lynguistic Civilians have claimed the crown once again. Brands that big, that well known, don't just go away. Still, their victory triggered a lot of conversations, most of them about whether a group that's broken up indefinitely should have been eligible. Barring any comebacks, perhaps Seven Days should retire the LC jersey to the stadium rafters in 2018. This time, however, the crown fits -- they were still doing shows to promote a new album in the past year.

The question of who could unseat the Civilians is interesting, though. This is not a talent show, first and foremost. Nor is it some kind of jury-reviewed reality TV show. The Daysies are a democracy that saw 572,306 votes in 2017 -- that's almost the entire population of the State of Vermont. (It's 91.6%, let me cook.)

Lynguistic Civilians won that vote because they promoted & played constantly, all over New England. Every artist in every genre in Vermont has "all over New England" in their bio, but it usually just means they played in Boston a few times.

What really sets the Civilians apart is the shows they played all over Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, in small town corners that only get local cover bands & godawful iPod DJ nights. They'd kill it, they'd sell albums and merch, and they'd come back again later and kill it again, often bringing new acts with them.

So the question here isn't about who can rap. That would be a very different list of finalists. It's not even about making an impact in hop hop, it's about making an impact with the 802, about being the one product everyone has heard of.

We've got a remarkable range of artists tucked away in the Green Mountains making serious contributions and connections worldwide. Few of them are doing much to promote their cause locally. That's not because they're lazy, or even doing anything wrong: they know that their audience is mostly outside the borders of a state this small.

Lynguistic Civilians have always made their Vermont roots a focal point of their music and branding. Consistent marketing pays off -- in fact, I'm betting they could win this again next year, easily.

Let's assume I'm wrong, though. (A safe bet, on average.) Obviously, S.I.N.siZZle has been hustling hard & working smart, Cultural Chemistry is about to get a lot bigger, Bless the Child is a respected BTV institution, and Hank Collins is a young talent with a movement behind him. Those were the other four finalists for 2017 -- and I have no way of knowing how the rest of the vote went. As Ricky Bobby once told us, "IF YOU AIN'T FIRST, YOU'RE LAST."

Hank Collins isn't the only young artist with the skillset to make a lot of noise: Notation is working on new material, Sam & Somba just dropped an extremely impressive EP, and expect to see a lot more from names like Modest, Khaosity and David Chief in the next year. Then there's Jamell Rogers aka "NYT" -- kind of a mystery how he's not famous yet.

Jibba the Gent has been doing tireless work as his own PR firm, racking up interviews, website features and actual radio plays. That, in addition to his relateable music, could pay off big.

Finally, Jarv is an obvious candidate. He's playing constantly, both solo sets and with his party-proven crew Maiden Voyage, and recording constantly, too. He's been on national tours with RA the Rugged Man multiple times now and he's amassing a considerable fanbase, here and far beyond.

There are some big things just off the radar screen. The Aztext are going to drop a new album. Chyse is only going to keep improving and building a local following. Bar None the Best are making a run for the top spot this summer, and that battle plan has only begun with their latest video, "Grind." The whole Street Religion crew have great management, a rabid local fanbase, and a lot of talent under one brand.

Winning over 500,000 locals is a tall order, though. It's worth taking a look at the Lynguistic blueprint and considering how to apply their moves to the next 24 months of your own career, if you want to replace them.

Good luck & happy hunting.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

ROUNDUP: Hip Hop Shows in August

August 2nd: Apathy @ Club Metronome. One of the best rappers alive touches down on Main Street tonight so, you know, go see that. 9 pm. $10 adv / $15 door. 18+

August 4th: Bowling for BP @ Champlain Lanes. A special charity edition of the Mics & Strikes series to benefit the Ryan Morin Memorial Scholarship. 8 pm. $15 gets you two hours of bowling and dope rap. All ages.

Also August 4th: The Khaosity Experience @ Sweet Melissas. An evening of hip hop in Montpelier with Drive, Trono of Self Portrait crew, and JMC Ent. 8:30 pm. $5. All Ages.

August 11th: Chris Webby @ Higher Ground. Suburban rap sensation Chris Webby has parlayed mixtape success into multiple national tours now and will probably never stop. Also on the bill: Bizarre of D12, because of course he would be. 9 pm. $18 adv/$22 door. All Ages.

August 17th: 3rd Thursday @ The Monkey House. Yet another big score for the Anthill Collective family, this month's lineup brings some outside talent to Winooski. Sets from Ben Schorr, Stay on Mars and Maine's furball fast-rap legend Eyenine, who puts on a hell of a show. Local metal rap act HatePH34R will be making an appearance, too. 9 pm. 21+ $3 // 18+ $8

August 19th: Dellarious Summer Jam @ Cloud 9 Bar and Grille. Sure, this is in New Hampshire on Hampton Beach, but the lineup is heavy on Vermont: Bar None The Best, Jarv, Jibba the Gent and the entire Street Religion massive doing a group set. This should be a fairly bananas event. 9 pm. $5 adv/$10 door. 21+

August 24th: Chyse & DJ Ross @ Social Club & Lounge. If you're not familiar with Chyse, fix that. He'll be headlining at Social Club & Lounge alongside DJ Ross. Khaosity, Jibba the Gent and Kastaway will also be performing. 9 pm. $5. 21+

August 26th: A-Dog Day 2017 @ Waterfront, Nectars, Club Metronome. It's hard to believe this is already the fourth A-Dog Day celebration. It's also hard to believe it's only the fourth one. This has become the most important event of the year, a pilgrimage, a holy day. The Friends for A-Dog Foundation not only puts on a world-class party, they're a community asset year round.

What a party, though. They're not kidding when they call it "a city-wide celebration," but make sure you're upstairs at Club Metronome when The Beatnuts go on.

Monday, July 31, 2017

VIDEO: Jarv - "Roast Beef"

Fresh flows from Jarv, this time another one of those viral video contest affairs. Producer Kato -- full legal name Kato On The Track -- is running a competition to see who can body this beat the best. Safe to say Jarv is a top 10 contender, based off this blistering performance.

NSMC5 is short for No Sucka MCs 5, and the contest is apparently still going: details here for those of you interested.

This kind of spotlight is perfectly tailored to Jarv's show-stopping sensibilities -- win or lose, he's picking up new fans in the process.

Chittenden county critters can catch Jarv on Friday, August 4th at the Bowling for BP tribute at Champlain Lanes. He'll be rocking with Maiden Voyage alongside the Cultural Chemistry crew. A great night for a great cause, bud. Be there.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Apathy, August 2nd @ Club Metronome

The gravitational center of the Demigodz crew will be touching down in Vermont next Wednesday night. One of the best rappers alive and definitely the best rapper from Connecticut, Apathy is currently touring in support of his latest album, The Widow's Son. That's his second full-length album this year, and it won't be his last.

The show is a collaboration between Stiltz Brand -- the multinational corporation that holds the rights to STILTZgang, presumably -- and JYNX Inc. Apathy will be bringing along N.M.E. the Illest, and it looks like the rest of the bill will be locals: Jarv will be there, along with JYNX Inc and the Stiltz extended family. Also on the bill is Modest, a new name to me and a rapper from Royalton, one of prettiest damn small towns on Earth.

Same as any other night at Metronome, doors are at 9 pm. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $15 at the door. This show is 18+.

You can buy advance tickets right here.