As powerful as duos can be in the music scene, the dynamic is typically lopsided to some degree. However, loyalty is what keeps Brevin Kim together, not dependency. This shows in the chemistry they share in the booth, as well as their unique vision. This young one-two punch began their journey in North Attleboro, and their innovative talent has taken them all the way to LA where they have built a stronger presence in the industry. One of their most recent wins was a feature in the Pigeons & Planes “See You Next Year” class , which highlights a handful of upcoming artists with a bright future ahead of them. This recognition led them to a priceless Mike Dean production on their song CHALICE, and even their own action figures. Combined with the release of their highly anticipated album PAIN MUSEUM, the two have made 2022 a year to remember. While celebrating success, they have stayed productive and it shows in their new single THE PPL I’VE BEEN

This track emphasizes my favorite qualities of Brevin Kim, which are their precise filters and EQ. While they are not all blessed by Mike Dean yet, each mix cuts into any speaker you choose and that is an underrated quality of artists these days, despite increased access to solid equipment. The song combines their trademark blend of anti-pop and alternative, with a big chorus that drives a perfectly crazy hyperpop sequence. The lyrics question the relationship and their attachment to it, as they explain how they already know the pain it brings them. The song also touches on the good and bad of transformation as a person, as fielding different identities is empowering and discouraging at the same time. 

Identity is a big priority for Brevin Kim and it is evident as always in their crisp mix as well as their interesting tones. It is often hard to tell who is on which verse and it’s usually so good that you don’t even care to know. The duo shares a bond that only brothers could have, which is because they’re actually brothers. Growing up together musically has built a remarkable chemistry that shows in their music as well as their whole expression in videos, interviews and more. With such a mutual understanding of the business and the music, I feel bad for the upcoming duos competing with them. Living in LA has opened a whole new set of doors for the two and they have been taking full advantage, resulting in a very solid catalog for artists their age. While 2022 was a big year for Brevin Kim, I have a feeling they’re just warming up. Make sure to keep up with them on all social medias @brevinkim for updates!

By Ryan Crowley



Ever heard of strength in numbers? Well, Van Buren has. And they’re proving it yet again with the release of their sophomore album DSM. The homegrown collective geared up for sixteen tracks to top their 2021 project Bad For Press, which cemented them as power players in the Massachusetts scene. Beyond local support, The album was featured on NPR and even scored them an appearance at the championed Boston Calling festival, amongst other achievements.Their diverse contributions have allowed the collective to expand to several audiences including fashion, film, PR and more. This album makes it a point to recognize how far they’ve come, and the respect that they’ve earned along the way.


Gritty mixes and tasteful samples work together to provide an immersive experience that reeks of fundamental hip-hop. While Bad For Press required unity to deliver a good first impression, DSM shows the trust they now have in each other, and the new lanes that this trust has opened. Fan favorites FOUL and The Source have been doing numbers on streaming platforms and are perfect examples of independent success, put together. Identity is a big priority for the group and it shows in their crazy tones. Every bounce is unique, but consistent enough for several artists to flow without friction. The bars always come first with Van Buren, which is a breath of fresh air in today’s melodic rap world. The group is always engaged in friendly competition and it makes for a more meaningful product, evidently. 


The creation of these new sounds came under some unusual circumstances, which can be just the edge that an artist (or thirteen of them) need to get the job done. In an interview with UPROXX (@uproxxmusic) the group walked us through their fallout studio, a rickety RV parked in a friend’s backyard. They spoke lovingly of the dark kitchen where most of their winter was spent, turning their hunger into something bigger. The conversation then turned to the lack of musical infrastructure as a whole in Massachusetts, and the importance of resilience and creativity. Making something out of nothing has put a chip on all thirteen member’s shoulders, and they look forward to opening the door for hungry local artists. 


Unlike most collectives, it’s hard to point out a leader of Van Buren, mainly because there isn’t one. The spotlight shines evenly across the label, and there is no mistaking the tone of each member’s flow. Something for every artist means something for every fan, and this approach has taken their music a long way from Brockton. We’re sure this new chapter will take them far, but they’ve made it clear that their heart will always be in Massachusetts.


By Ryan Crowley

Illy Dee Drops “Last Day In” with Video

Boston based artist Illy Dee releases single “Last Day In” March 6th 2022 with music video under 7981 Kal’s YouTube profile as he is associated with Illy Dee in H$M. While this song meets modern rap standards he displays his talents with a combination of drill and Detroit inspired music. The visuals were shot and directed by Rell, a Massachusetts grown talent as well. This release between the track and the video didn’t seem to unveil a major storyline however it is presumed to be a piece rooted from his recent experiences with adversity while finding himself a free man once again. Sources have said his upcoming song is called “Free Kal”. We aren’t sure when it’ll be released to platforms, but within his latest release “First Day Out” was his first release since being freed from incarceration for over the span of a year, nearly arriving on 2 now. While being incarcerated, his management team was able to promote his track “I Smell P**sy” featuring BJ Baller that dropped in 2021, and was able to hop on a few features like “Yellow Tape” by Aye Malvone, & “WYWD!?” by Zazi. From the looks of it, it was prior to his arrest in 2020 after Illy Dee dropped his first album “Neighborhood Bully” with some notable features from Detroit’s own FWC Big Key and Rio Da Young OG, and Boston’s own G Fredo. With new beginnings comes new opportunities and this city is thrilled to hear and see more of Illy Dee on the rise. 

Yours truly, 

Hope Shanley

Archy Drops EP “21 (Love to Give)”

Boston based artist Archy drops another project, this time an Extended Play, called “21 (Love to Give)” on all major streaming platforms. Considering the title was a take on his most recent album “21” it makes you wonder, why make a 4 song EP when he could’ve just made the album deluxe? Maybe the meaning behind this project will speak for itself. Archy says, “

Love to Give is the concept that throughout my whole life I’ve been a giver. When people give too much though, they get taken advantage of. In that case, I’ve shown love to a lot of females who took it for granted, when I put them first they couldn’t do the same. So when you look at the titles of my songs, you can see how it relates to the effects of giving out too much love and energy.” Just more proof of how we fail to reciprocate as a society. We can at least thank the humans that hurt us for the motive to create some beautiful art. “Best you ever had”, “I Don’t Need Your Love” “Sticks n stones” “You and I”. Archy’s favorite bar on this piece is “Blood on the floor, I don’t care I’m not gone/gonna clean it up” he says “This was my favorite line because it could have multiple meanings the way you look at it. Almost like a double entendre.

  • From being heart broken figuratively if my heart were to break in half all of the blood were to spill all over the place and leave a mess. 
  • Being backstabbed I would bleed out on the floor.
  • In arguments and break-ups things get very “messy” and blood is the symbol of something that happens too often. I’m tired of cleaning up the mess that someone else made.

It all depends on how you look at it, there could be unlimited meanings.”

Demonstrating passion behind music is what we need to see and hear more of. Putting meaning behind the lyrics and taking the time to break it down for listeners to conceptualize it is true dedication. ”KSully and Jacmac have been my main two guys to work with because they have very similar interests in music and styles. Working over 8 months with Sully we’ve made a bond and chemistry working together so when he’s producing or engineering we’re always on the same page. More recently I’ve become great friends with Jacmac. He’s very talented and hardworking. Both of them together help me strive and rise to the same level as them.” Says the artist. When I asked how much dedication was put into this, or if it kind of came together naturally, he replied “ In my city, February is a big music month. Everyone was dropping love songs, and stuff for Valentine’s Day. I wanted to leave that month for my guys to succeed and continue what they do every year, but I didn’t want to miss out so I dropped the project first thing in March. Most of these songs were finished already or planned, and they all fit perfectly so I put them all on the same project.” Believe in trusting the process and being patient! Archy says Pierre is an artist that inspires him in the music game “ I really started to grow on him after his tm88 collab and since then I’ve gone back and listened to all of his music and became inspired because of the talent he holds as not only and artist but a producer. He reminds me a lot of what Kz could really become once he pops off as an artist. An artist I’d say local that inspires me is Star Ch!ld. For someone who hasn’t dropped in over a year, everytime I hear some unreleased from him it makes me want to get in the studio and create, that’s one person that always allows me to get better and want to improve.” He’s speaking from the heart and speaking his truth, like he does so well in his music and his persona. Archy takes no days off when it comes to chasing his dreams and enjoying every drop of music. Be on the lookout for content to come while we know there’s nothing getting in his way. Archy will make a mark one day, just wait and see. Be sure to follow on Instagram @archydagreat and Archy on streaming platforms. 

Yours truly,

Hope Shanley

GNipsey and Millyz Release “Urus”

New music home grown from Boston all the way to California, up and coming rapper GNipsey lands feature with rising star Millyz resulting in single “Urus” with a music video reaching 80k views. When you hear the word simple, you might notice it has a negative connotation to being “boring”. Well, there was no need to go back and forth and complicate things with two talents that have the capacity to carry the song themselves. They kept things simple by evenly splitting the song in half between two minutes starting with Millyz and ending soundly with Gnipsey. This is a big step for not only Gnipsey, but for Boston as a city and culture. Millyz is nearly one of the hottest artists out right now from MA. This collaboration shows union, proof of success, and the evidence of this city’s potential. They’re Cambridge’s two heaviest hitters and this is huge that they’re dropping together considering it’s been a while. It’s certain this duo didn’t come to play. Gnipsey has had other features with bigger named artists like Lil Reese and 7981 Kal, never ceasing to impress his fans; however, I’d say this one in particular is groundbreaking for his upcoming career. Millyz is becoming more and more relevant and continues to apply pressure in the industry. When I asked if there was any drive behind this release, Nipsey said there was “No specific motive behind the song, just made it built off of good energy in California. Momentum, good liquor and good vibes made the song what it is”. Tune in on all platforms and take two minutes of your time to watch the official music video on YouTube. Don’t miss out on what’s to come from GNipsey and Millyz, and don’t you dare to underestimate our city. 

Yours truly,

Hope Shanley

Surge Drops New Project & Video

February 11, 2022 upcoming artist Surge released an EP “World Is Blu” a collective of 7 futuristic trap songs. Shortly after, February 21st Surge released the music video to “Confetti” track 4 on the project. The visuals represented the sound and vibe of the song very well, and only great videographers know how to capture such intentions. That being said, be sure to check out director @dark.sight on instagram. Surge originated from New Hampshire, but has grown an audience in New England overall. As you’d see in snippets of his latest show in the city, it seems to me he’s doing quite alright, considering the crowd chanted all the words to his songs. This project is on fire already…and who’s to say that it’ll be put out? An artist like this has a foreseeable future in the industry and is the type to have crowds jumping in mosh pits like there’s no tomorrow. Based on his unique sound, I could see Surge working with Boston based producers Akachi and/or Sonic Kaboom, but I’d be interested to know who’s worked with him thus far to create the sound you all hear now. Listening to his discography I couldn’t help but say to myself “He could make something really great with The Pirates” (a Boston collaborative group) but hey, that’s just my personal opinion. Might be something worth exploring, though. I also wouldn’t be surprised if one day he’s on stage with artists like Lil Uzi Vert or Playboi Carti. That’s the overall vibe I’ve gathered, and he fits in well with that realm of music. I’d even call it champion music. With a whopping 13,827 monthly listeners on Spotify, he’s on the rise, and you don’t want to miss it. Comment down below who you’d like to see us working with Surge in the future and don’t forget to follow @surgetnt on socials. 

Yours truly,

Hope Shanley

King of February, Fall River Artist Havi Drops New Project

Fall River based artist Javier Mendez, popularly known as ”Havi” has taken back his royalty as the King of February with his annual Valentine’s Day release Good. Guys. Finish. Last. The EP name was based on the concept that Nice guys are overlooked and usually end up broken-hearted” , says Havi. I asked, was there a motive behind one or more of the songs, or did the project have its own concept as a whole? He replied, “Well I always keep Valentine’s Day In the back of my mind as an artist, especially because I’ve chosen to drop on the 14th for three years running. Mixing my own experience with my artistic abilities, I hope over the six tracks I achieved what was attempted. As far as a specific motive behind the songs there wasn’t really a cohesive thought I started with and stuck to.” He says his personal favorite tracks are 3 and 6 (Stress Reliever and Last Time/G.G.F.L). “Stress reliever was very fun to make and I felt would stick out because of how oddly but nicely it stands from the other songs” Stress Reliever lives up to its title by giving you that chill vibe while keeping things upbeat. Relieving all of our stress and worries, Havi blessed us once again. This project was engineered by KZ (ProdbyKz) and produced by Benson (Rubyredbenny). Other contributors are Lxdhn on all visuals and Star Ch!ld’s feature on Nobody track 4. Havi says he has been inspired by artists like Miguel, Tory Lanez and Brent Faiyaz. “The way I make music is, I usually start with a feeling and develop a hook based off of that. You’ll find the most meaning in the hook.” This is my favorite project of Havi’s so far. You’ll notice how much more focused he’s becoming as an artist, the proof is in the product. His style and aesthetic are coming together nicely as everyone’s trying to find their niche as artists. I’m confident that if he sticks with the Valentine’s Day annual theme it’ll just get better every year and he’ll be crowned the righteous King of February. Havi says “It kind of came together naturally, the songs started being made as late as last June and the last song was finished a week before released” That being said not everything is best planned out. With the right dedication and intention, things will fall into place the way they’re meant to. My personal favorite from this project is Nobody featuring Star Ch!ld, it was a commendable collaboration that I’m excited to hear more from. These two are just 2/7 of their collaborative group The Pirates. You can find out more on our most recent Podcast with Stbrn Sal, Kz, Havi and Star Ch!ld. If you’re a hopeless romantic like me that enjoys Hip Hop/Rnb music you just might find yourself listening to Havi. Signing off this time with Best Regards,

Hope Shanley

Kay Bans – a name Boston is quickly becoming familiar with after dropping his new project “Heart Break Kay”…

Boston based artist Kay Bans released his album H.B.K. (Heart Break Kay) on all streaming platforms this week on January 26th. This is his second project out, the first being his EP “NEW YEAR SAME DEMON” including 3 tracks. The album honestly blew me off my feet. It was one of those listens that you have to background check the guy and make sure you’re not being catfished because they sound THAT legit. It’s incredible the hidden gems Boston holds with astounding undiscovered talent. It’s hard to pick the best of 11 great songs, but I will say I was drawn in by “100up+Day&Nite” and “Hurtin” tracks 4 and 5. When asked about the moral behind this project, Kay said “These songs were all created in different times of the year. I didn’t even think this was going to be the tape until we simmered down what vibes go with what. I have so much music in the vault, songs that I made far before these that are as good or even better. I just wanted to be structured about the way I dropped content. When I drop, I want it to hit hard… I don’t necessarily have a motive, as I am inspired by a lot of past events in my life. From past relationships, friendships gone wrong, etc. I’m big on friendship, realness, all that. I don’t like to be done wrong, cause If that’s the case, you shouldn’t just be in that persons life. And I’ve been done lot, so I used that to my advantage in my lyrics” I really, seriously dig the album. It’s something I would personally have on my playlist, and I’d be blind to the fact he’s not a mainstream artist (yet). Don’t be surprised when he blows up; I know I’m not afraid to place my bets on this guy. Honorable producers went out of their way to get in touch about working on this project such as Dreamz, Jaysworld, Noevdv, Wave, Aybigbro (Kay Bans best friend that also engineered the whole tape), Hennedy (also a good friend of the artist) along with other producers tapped in on other tracks. Kay says “My best friend is my engineer. So it allowed this process to be so much easier. He understands me as a person.” Working with people you connect with has always proven to do well, so I love that. My only complaint if anything would be that I wish his voice was amplified just a little bit more because it’s so great and it blends so nicely with the beat. Not diminishing the sound quality whatsoever, it sounds nothing short of professional. I would just like his voice to be slightly louder. There’s a good chance it’s just the speakers in my ‘98 Camry too. Now go listen, you won’t be disappointed. Be on the lookout for what’s next to come from Kay Bans!

Yours truly,

Hope Shanley

The Life of the Vocal percussion – Saint Lyor releases his latest single “Talking Drums”

You see, utilizing your voice goes a long way. It’s one of those things that we question or critique public figures of any kind for not doing just that, and it just tends to be seen as more of a moral obligation. It may also seem objective in some regard, but it’s impressive to see more than ever that there are people with an audience that take advantage of their ability and make a positive impact. Others, well, significantly shift the paradigm from what it was. See it as a positive connotation. How we should ultimately judge that impact comes down to how loud and vocal it can reach. It’s only if like… Drums could talk.


I’m sure you heard just that if you got to let your ears listen to Mr. Lyor, aka Saint Lyor’s newest track, “Talking Drums.” In the song, he utilized his vocals to convey his philosophy and informative things that enabled him to thrive and grow as a human being. Knowledge is key, they say. So what did he state in the song that made this clear?


Saint Lyor made it apparent in the first verse that my man didn’t drop out of college. He graduated. I know, crazy, right. An artist of his caliber graduated and got his degree. SHIFTING THE PARADIGM. This allowed Mr.Lyor to gain credibility throughout the song as he talks more about prioritizing his essentials, whether his mental health or relationship with the family. He understands the value of his cognizance, which allows him to strive for better not only for his inner circle but those who listen. Yeah, guys, that’s us.  


On a side note,Mr.Lyor, if you’re reading this, HOW DO YOU KNOW ABOUT TOP NOTCH? Let me put you guys on woah quickly. In the chorus, Saint Lyor references Top-Notch, a Jamaican Restaurant in Randolph, MA, and is where I’m from. Anyways, he talks about the owner whose (and I can’t make this up) name is “Mr.N****.” He implies that he understands a lot as well as the “big picture.”


Now, if you were to see this metaphorically, it’s best to see it as Mr.Lyor reflecting on his ancestors and seeing what they had to sacrifice to help their future generations like himself. No, I don’t see this as far-fetched at all. 


This leads to the following parts of the song, in which he makes it apparent that his knowledge and intellect feel like divinity and how he’s now able to format his philosophy of morality. They call it the Divine Command Theory(just to throw that out there).


You can get a sense of what he says on how we ought to be: that he feels his moral obligation is to not only spread positivity but to inform, and inspire his listeners. In addition, he perceives his responsibility is to strive for greatness on and off the mic.  


What I find unique with his philosophy is his idea of not ultimately letting history repeat itself. Saying verses like “Keep on going and study the ancients” depicts how he sees we should approach this ongoing current affair. Adding on, the universal message that he preaches as a whole is to become one with yourself. Now that’s talking on the drums!


The power in understanding makes the metaphor of talking drums come to light if you genuinely gave it thought. Individuality has been lost in some regard, and it seemed essential to convey precisely what’s problematic. When you come to grips with valuing your self-worth high, you see the sky isn’t the limit. 


To unravel much more of the meaning, Saint Lyor also touches on the concept of untapped potential. It’s the idea that is a combination of embracing what you know and what you have yet to learn. Some things that you’re intellectual about may seem odd to the naked eye, but recognize the distinction to be so. 


We’ve unpacked a lot, haven’t we? As much as this single taught us a lot, the message can’t lose its validity. We must allow the words to ring well with us so we remember what has been conveyed. But at the end of the day, let yourself be the talking drum. Come to a point where you cognate with the percussion so well, the noise becomes irresistible.