SINGLE REVIEW: Awakeness by Luckydabo$$


Luckydabo$$ is a rap/ hip hop artist currently residing in Oklahoma City but originally from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. As a child he showed a strong interest in music and when he migrated to Brooklyn in New York he began making music tracks with friends. He has now developed into a bilingual artist, rapping in both English and French and he released his first project The Me$$age last year to great acclaim from both critics and fans.

This track, Awakeness, is taken from The Me$$age and it’s a perfect introduction to his unique style and sound. After a powerful vocal-heavy introduction, a slick, laid back hip-hop groove kicks in which provides the platform for Luckydabo$$ to lay down his free-flowing rhymes. His rapping style and delivery is highly distinctive, alternating between English and French which gives a universal feel to his music. His fluency and ease on the mic is faultless in either language.

Lyrically, Awakeness is an example of the fundamental spiritual message behind his music. Essentially, he promotes the idea of uniting people from all over the world to help improve the living conditions of those who face hardship, such as those living in his native home, Africa. One of the track’s most memorable hooks is the powerful rallying cry: “Gotta get some food on the table, gotta get you fed….”

Overall, this is a refreshingly different hip hop track by a unique artist with a clear and powerful artistic vision. Music is perhaps the most inspiring and effective way to bring together people from all walks of life and Luckydabo$$ is using his considerable talents to preach love and peace, rather than the aggression and violence that features in so much contemporary hip hop. With a large fan base garnered already, I hope his music and influence spreads far and wide. The excellent Awakeness should be another strong step forward towards that goal.


VERDICT = 8.7 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:




Kid Fre$h is a hip-hop artist, rapper and songwriter hailing from Texas. He decided to consider a full time career as a rap artist after his first two singles, Loyalty (ft. T10) and Rollie, were released to great acclaim. In 2017, he followed up with Smoke Somethin’ and signed a record deal in 2018 with NuSouf Music. In the same year he released the Limitless E.P. and in 2019 he has already released the tracks Pe$os and No Pressure. He has amassed literally millions of listens on Soundcloud and a large following on social media.

This latest track, BAG SZN, is a slick hip hop track where Kid Fre$h really gets to showcase his versatile and highly proficient skills as an emcee and lyricist. As a rapper, he has a distinct, recognizable style and is remarkably fluent on the mic. His talent for verbal dexterity and lyrical flow is a force to be reckoned with, as good as any of the current crop of hip-hop artists.

It begins with a brief but entertaining spoken word intro, before an insistent, intricate beat joins forces with a deep, dub bassline to provide the foundation for Kid Fre$h to lay down some rapid fire rhymes. The track’s main hook appears early and grabs the listener immediately: “It’s the season to get rich, it’s the season to get sick….”

His lyrical delivery is aggressive and exhilarating, effortlessly stamping his presence strongly on the music. What stands out is his superb command of rhythm which is as important as the ability to produce fluent lyrics, and he achieves some effortless verbal gymnastics as the track progresses. This profusion of dense lyrics is counter pointed by the effective simplicity of the title hook.

Overall, this is a first rate, extremely catchy hip-hop track from a rapper with an infectious, arresting style and delivery. Aside from his obvious abilities as an emcee, the track’s arrangement and production can stand alongside the most successful hip-hop out there. This will maximize Kid Fre$h’s potential to cut a swathe through his numerous competitors and contemporaries and eventually reach the pinnacle of the hip hop scene, where he undoubtedly belongs.


VERDICT = 8.8 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

SINGLE REVIEW: Halo by Marc Illy


Marc Illy is a hip-hop artist, pianist, rapper, vocalist, songwriter and producer originally born in Pittsburgh. He was raised all around the world and has lived in Cape Town, Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, San Diego and Boca Raton, Florida. He now resides in Los Angeles. In 2008, he was the opening act on Method Man’s “Still High” tour as well as touring around Taiwan for two and a half years. He creates music in order to inspire and encourage others, along with his work as an entrepreneur and social influencer.

This track, Halo, is a mid-paced hip-hop track that showcases Marc Illy’s skills as a songwriter, rapper and vocalist. Starting with a brooding bassline, the track breaks into a laid back groove that gets the toe tapping, augmented by tasteful bursts of light electric guitar and Rhodes. On the verse, Ally raps with an assured lyrical and rhythmic delivery and a distinctive style. Lyrically, it depicts the struggles of the creative process: “So many songs never made it to the outside, going through a crisis cos without music I’m feeling so lifeless…”.

But the main theme of the track is captured in the instantly memorable sung chorus, about channeling and appreciating the best parts of our nature as people: “Don’t let them try to steal your halo, don’t forget that you are an angel….”. In the second verse, he depicts how hard life can be in the city with blunt honesty and brutal effectiveness: “So many people don’t even have a f***** home…and you complain you don’t have a screen for Netflix shows….”.

Overall, this is an inspiring and uplifting hip-hop track that boasts both superb rapping about real life subject matter and a catchy vocal hook that reels you in fast. Marc Illy’s lyrics are raw and honest, giving an emotional depth to his music that adds to its power and artistic importance. His music has a more noble and spiritual message than you find in most hip-hop, which often glamorizes violence and material gain. It’s a vital, positive message conveyed by great music and deserves to be widely heard.


VERDICT: 8.7 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

SINGLE REVIEW: Ride With Me by Soup Black

soup black.JPG

Soup Black is a hip-hop/rap artist hailing from Harlem, New York. He endured a difficult childhood, growing up in poverty with his father absent and a mother with addiction problems. He also faced bullying while in school. These negative formative experiences have been the source of his inspirational message about overcoming adversity and difficulties, which he has explored on his debut album S.O.O.P. (Started Out Of Poverty). Previously, he has released the singles Big Plans and Have It All.

This track, Ride With Me, is also taken from the S.O.O.P. album. It’s a mid-paced hip-hop track that allows Soup Black to fully demonstrate his considerable skills as an emcee and lyricist. It starts with a haunting piano refrain that has aspects of both jazz and classical, before a punchy hip hop beat enters, laying the platform for Soup Black to deliver. From just the opening lines, he displays a distinctive, clear rapping style that shows his emotional honesty and positive self-belief: “Dear life, you did send me through some ups and downs, but it’s made me what I am now, a role model…”.

After depicting some of the struggles he has faced along the way, the track builds up to an equally inspiring, anthemic chorus bolstered by uplifting synth strings. It’s a succinct message about overcoming your problems: “Throughout your struggles in life proceed to move on, don’t give up, hold your head, be strong....”. On the second verse Soup Black really displays his skills with some verbally dextrous rhymes delivered with consummate flair and style. With its well crafted, addictive chorus hook you will find yourself humming along by the end of the first listen.

Overall, this is an excellent single from a charismatic hip-hop artist who has fought back from his difficult start in life and forged an inspirational artistic persona. His life affirming, positive message will not only empower people from similar backgrounds but will help to uplift anyone going through hard times, from whatever walk of life. Aside from that, Ride With Me showcases his versatile talents as a lyricist and rapper, staking a strong claim to be the next big thing in hip-hop.

VERDICT = 9 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

SINGLE REVIEW: Mama Left Me by Pologang DB


Pologang DB is an American hip-hop artist and one fifth of the acclaimed rap group PoloGang. This group is made up of multiple independent rappers, releasing music together under separate aliases. As a group they have already received great acclaim, featuring in a top ten list in famous music publication Complex, alongside Gucci Mane who has been one of DB’s major influences. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, DB’s debut music video for Get a Roll (ft. Nick Kane) got a lot of traction online. He cites influences such as Lil Wayne and Drake on his infectious, storytelling rapping style.

This track, Mama Left Me, is a perfect example of that style. It’s a searing, hugely  honest and poignant depiction of having to be raised by his father due to his mother’s drug related issues. Musically, it fuses soul/RnB with hip-hop, a mid-paced intricate beat providing the platform for DB to lay down his rhymes. His rapping style is distinctive, with an incredibly fluent and fast lyrical delivery.

On the first verse it depicts a moving story of his father working hard to support them, then DB finding out the harsh reality: “When I was a teen I found out the real…see my Mama chose crack instead of life with her kids….”. In the second verse, the poignancy ramps up another notch as he finds out he has a sister he didn’t know about: “I got a sister that I just met, for real…so Caitlyn you gotta forgive her but she never will….how many other siblings we got that never lived?“.

DB is also brutally honest about the emotional issues that his childhood has left him with: “Sometimes I think I ain’t able to love, I play some bitches cos I’m scared to let emotions out, cos if my Mama played me what is you capable of?“. There’s an understandable feeling of anger and bitterness to some of the final lines of the track: “Hey, when I make it don’t you call, cos you don’t deserve shit…I remember that you left me…”.

Overall, this is a highly emotive and powerful hip-hop track by a massively talented rapper who has the courage to wear his heart on his sleeve. His fiercely honest, ‘for real’ approach combined with finely honed skills as an emcee means that just one listen to Mama Left Me will make a big impact on anyone with an ounce of soul. Like the best rappers, his innate self-belief also shines through, and if there’s any justice in the music industry Pologang DB should be a dead cert for success. Mama Left Me should be a big stepping stone towards that.


VERDICT = 9 out of 10

Alex Faulkner


Listen here:

SINGLE REVIEW: Gotta Go by MusicbyKO


MusicbyKO is a hip hop artist/rapper from Oakland, California. He has been trailblazing the underground hip-hop scene which has resulted in two singles that have generated 170k listens on Soundcloud. He has shared the stage with many artists including J.I.D., Earthgang and many more. He tries to set himself apart from other hip-hop artists by striving to connect with his fans through lyrics they can relate to.

This track, Gotta Go, is a good example of that ideal and also highlights his skills as an emcee and lyricist. The foundation of the track is a slinky, simple-but-effective beat and a rubber band bassline, the relatively sparse musical backdrop allowing him to take centre stage.

Lyrically, it’s an honest depiction of dealing with life’s difficulties and struggles, as well as the transitory nature of modern life and the necessity for moving on despite our problems. This is captured succinctly in the very catchy chorus hook: “Gotta go, gotta go, gotta run…stuck in this loop of hell“. Aside from the profound depth of the lyrics, the rapid fire delivery and effortless flow mark him out as a serious contender in his genre.

Overall, this is a strong release from a hip-hop artist whose gifts for rap and rhyme can stand alongside the finest in his field. With a proven track record of being able to amass a huge amount of listener interest, this could be the track that catapults this rap artist to the next level.


VERDICT = 8.3 out of 10

Alex Faulkner


Listen here:












SNy I mgight

SNY is a hip-hop artist hailing from the Gold Coast in Australia. He’s been making music from a young age, teaming up with music producer Jacob Rohde after high school and they have been now working for five years together. He considers his main influences to be Michael Jackson, Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa. He’s released several tracks including Livin’, Fountain, Drip Walk and Moncler as well as an EP, The Distance Between Dreams.

This track, I Might, has already amassed over 200,000 views on YouTube. It’s a laid back hip-hop track that begins with vibrant strings that recur throughout to excellent effect. Starting with vocal refrains and effects, SNY enters with an assured rapping style that suits the vibe of the music perfectly. The beat is intricate, constantly morphing and progressing with a fine detail to detail and the rhythm is augmented by deep dub bass, which means the track will kick in the clubs.

Lyrically, I Might is essentially an ode to the joys of a hedonistic lifestyle full of girls, money and enjoying certain substances which SNY portrays very entertainingly in a Wolf of Wall Street kind of way: “I want to f*** for no reason….”. The cut-up vocals between verses act as a very catchy hook and a nice contrast to the rapped verses.

Overall, this is a fine hip-hop track by an artist who has honed his style to perfection and knows exactly what he’s about. Its the perfect soundtrack to a party with its summery vibe and SNY proves he has the emcee skills to compete with the best in the business. This track has already been a major success, so the future is looking very bright for this young Australian rapper.


VERDICT = 8.5 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here: