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Content tagged with Indie Hip Hop

Silex – The Dutch Rapper MC Discusses His New Hip Hop Album EP and Growing Up in Rotterdam

Silex Music MCSurviving as an independent recording artist in this day and age isn’t an easy thing by any means. It’s often a never-ending grind to get your songs recorded, played, and heard; and at the end of the day, unless you’re doing it primarily out of love for what it is that you do, the odds are very much against you. Hailing out of the Netherlands, independent rapper emcee Silex has been living this grind for years and has established his mark on Rotterdam’s hip-hop scene. With a new single out and an EP on the way, Silex now turns to the rest of the world.

His new single “Just You and Me” offers a hard-hitting lyrical delivery that reminds us what it’s supposed to be like to strive towards a dream despite the hardships and surrounding negativity that can sometimes hold us back, with Silex rapping about ‘staying hungry’ through some of the more difficult moments. “I’ve literally been hungry just pouring what little money I had into this dream,” he says about these times. “I didn’t think about food. If I wasn’t getting new equipment, I was buying beats or paying for studio time, photo shoots, videos, you name it.“ Through it all, it’s that same hunger to succeed that still keeps him going today. “I just feel that this is all I’m good at. You know how many times I’ve been told to give it up? To just let it go, and that it will never happen? But for some reason I just cant.”

Indie Hip Hop Artist Gates Releases New Mixtape, Free Download

gates2Independent Hip Hop Artist Gates just released a new mixtape titled CookUp Season 2. The new record features remixes and hot tracks by various artists in the music industry.

Gates is looking forward to sharing the on-stage experience with fans.

“The ultimate goal for me is to get my music out to the public in a manner when I can do tours and really get up close and personal with my fan base,” said Gates. ” I really think the greatest measure of the artist/fan relationship happens on stage.

“This is where they can get the full 360 degree experience of the music.”

Interview With Indie Hip Hop Emcee and Producer Gangalee

Jamaican-born, Bronx-bred emcee Gangalee was doing her thing back in the day when women were some of the pioneers of the rap game. Today, she’s still writing and now, producing her own style of intellectual, empowering hip hop, and she’s hard at work bringing the superstar female emcee back up from the underground.

gangalee1GH: For those who are just meeting you, when did you first get into emceeing?

Gangalee: “I began emceeing in the Bronx on 182nd and Tiebout Ave. Doo Wop gave me my first shot by allowing me to be an initial member of The Bounce Squad. I was down with them from 1991-1993. It was an honor to be down and it was a great learning experience. Once DJ Doo Wop gave me a chance to rock on stage live I never looked back. I knew what I was destined to do: emcee.”

GH: Your Facebook page says that you’re “the untold story in hip hop.” Can you give us a taste of that story?

Gang Starr’s Guru Was An Indie Hip Hop Pioneer

Is the industry reluctant to remember this part of his legacy?

guru1On Monday, April 19th, the hip hop world said goodbye to a legend. Keith Elam, known best as the super emcee Guru, passed away after a yearlong battle with cancer. Unfortunately, the iconic rapper’s passing has been tinged with the exact brand of drama and controversy that he avoided in life.

A Bit of History

Guru is best known as part of the influential hip hop project, Gang Starr. He and DJ Premier put out six albums between 1989 and 2003, a catalog which began by defining the east coast sound, and evolved into a signature style that infused jazz influences with hip hop. Throughout this period, Guru was also releasing solo albums that delved heavily into merging jazz and hip hop (check out the Jazzamatazz series).

And then, right around the release of Gang Starr’s last album, some weird stuff went down. DJ Premier went home halfway through a world tour, and soon, Guru was being quoted as saying that Gang Starr was finished, and that he was moving on to new projects.

Interview With Seattle Boss Ladies, CanarySing

As all my many, many loyal readers know, there’s nothing I love more than girlie emcees in their indie hip hop glory. So imagine how excited I was a few months ago when a friend from Seattle sent me Boss Ladies: A Mixtape, by the underground raptacular duo, CanarySing.

canarysing1CanarySing, made up of spoken-word-artists-turned-emcees ispire (Hollis Wong-Wear) and lioness (Madeleine Clifford) will instantly bring to mind favorite fem-powerhouse groups like TLC and Salt-n-Pepa. But cerebral lyricism and a focus on unabashedly confronting what’s fucked up about society takes CanarySing’s oldschool sound to a fresh new place.

Recently, I had a chance to chat with these ladies about their approach to writing, performing, and rocking Seattle’s indie hip hop scene:

GH: I read that you’re working on some new material. Can we expect an album in the near future, and what will it sound like?

Maddy: Yes, we are very excited about releasing a brand new EP entitled Beautiful Babies. It will sound like a beautiful baby being born. No, seriously, it will have some new tracks that showcase Hollis‘ vocal abilities, and of course we’ll still be bringing it with the lyricism. We’ve also tweaked and revamped some of our classic songs.

Idle Warship x Mick Boogie = Indie Hip Hop Awesome

No Labels!

partyrobotNormally, I’d say it’s a bit late in the season for new entries in the “ZOMG 2009 album of the year!” category. HOWEVER, last week, Idle Warship released Party Robot – a mixtape that may hit dancefloors and iPods harder than Blueprint 3 and Merriweather Post Pavilion combined – if there’s any justice in this world for independent musicians, that is.

The Crew

Party Robot is the long anticipated product of a collaboration between the unstoppable emCEO Talib Kweli, rock/soul/dance/don’t-put-a-label-on-it diva songstress Res, and Graph Nobel, a Canadian artist who seamlessly combines hip hop and indie rock into a sound that is anything but the usual commercial fare.

The Mixtape Hype Machine

mixtapecollageWhy Apply it Only to Hip Hop?

‘Indie hip hop’ is one of those weird, amorphous terms that seems to have about as much to do with the indie rocker scene as, say, your church choir. There’s little cross over between genres, and musicians from both groups go about their business in very different ways.

Is There an Indie Hip Hop Scene?

In common, the two have the contentious nature of the ‘indie’ label. What is ‘indie,’ after all? Is it sound, as in the ‘indie’ rock style of major label darlings Death Cab for Cutie, and the non-gangsta rap but still uber-popular cerebral style of Mos Def or Blackalicious?