YB & Young Chop
“No More (feat. Lil Dave)”

Despite rocketing into the spotlight last year as the production-side figurehead for Chicago’s rapidly mutating drill scene (aided largely by his doom-saturated productions on Chief Keef’s now-legendary Back From The Dead mixtape), Young Chop has remained focused on developing a distinct sound, recruiting for his full-length joints a handpicked team of Chi-based rap-singers to round out his shimmering, ultra-melodic compositions.

This style was showcased well on last month’s Death Row mixtape, the sophomore release from blood brother and artistic ‘migo Johnny May Cash – February sees yet another solid tape from Chop and his squad, YB’s Life Of A Boss. YB’s flow, like Cash’s, takes stylistic cues from local melodic rap pioneer Lil Durk, and it would seem that Chop has switched out his old digital apocalypse sound for a more delicate brand of twinkling, auto-tuned origami.

Highlights include the weirdly poignant “All I See Is Green,” which features the aforementioned Cash as well as a gleeful verse from former Keef collaborator and recent MMG signee Fat Trel, as well as “No More (Feat. Lil Dave),” a melodic re-tooling of the Chicago blues updated thematically and stylistically for this year 2014. Peep the vid above, and download Life Of A Boss at LiveMixtapes.

• Young Chop: https://soundcloud.com/youngchopbeatz
• YB: http://indy.livemixtapes.com/mixtapes/26148/yb-life-of-a-boss.html

Diva in Paradise

Yialmelic Transmissions

If Yialmelic Transmissions were used as casual listening, then James Parker and Nicholas Croggon were right. Not only does Diva thwart any sort of creative companion/critique outside her meditations, but she IS the creative companion to her complete package of calm. And sometimes she brings along an travel buddy, which can be heard throughout dublab’s Monday podcast of Diva and her baby. Oh, and the moaning, honing, and droning on Yialmelic Transmissions was conducted by Diva, but potentially inspired by her baby and/or hubby Matthewdavid.

Every journey on Yialmelic Transmissions is a truely magnificent one. Not only are they lengthy, peaceful, and pleasantly worded, but on a cruddy weathered Wednesday like today, Diva opens minds and hearts to internal happiness. Personally, Yialmelic Transmissions reminds me of my childhood, going to these hippy macrobiotic camps, and watching my parents on some living room, laying on the rug, eyes shut, stereo moaning. It’s good to realize this sort of stuff is cyclical in our world, though. ‘Cause Diva and Matthewdavid are really aiming at cutest first-time parents award, considering they already RULE! ;)

Anyhoot, PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE stream Yialmelic Transmissions below and enjoy every drip of dream Diva provides:

• Diva in Paradise: http://divainparadise.bandcamp.com

18+

“18+ for 89+”

After cracking the top 10 of our Favorite 50 Albums of 2013 list with MIXTAP3, 18+ are kicking off 2014 with a new/awesome promotional video. The video is titled “18+ for 89+” and features an excerpt of a new track, with Boy and Sis (shown at the beginning of the video) singing atop a minimal, start-stop beat sequence and jagged samples. And, of course, it’s incredible.

Not sure what the song’s called, but the video’s title refers to the duo’s upcoming performance at an event by 89plus, an international project designed to showcase emerging artists, musicians, activists, and writers born during or after 1989. Its latest event is called 89plus Americas Marathon and will be hosted by Zona Maco, Mexico City’s annual contemporary art fair. Apparently, the whole event, taking place on Saturday, will be streaming live, so please consider sitting at your computer from 11 AM - 11 PM (EST) as you await 18+’s performance.

• 18+: http://eighteenpl.us

E+E

“Moth”

E+E, a.k.a. Elijah Paul Crampton, has just unveiled a new track, “Moth,” the first since his recently released, fantastic debut, THE LIGHT THAT YOU GAVE ME TO SEE YOU. The song, a voluptuous three-minute track of dramatic swells and heart-wrenching harmonies, features Crampton-penned lyrics spoken by Money Allah. As usual with E+E’s work, the song is ridiculously over-the-top, adopting a sort of big-box aesthetic designed to manipulate feelings and uncomfortably stir emotions. But it doesn’t matter: this is a reflection of our own histories, suffocated yet simultaneously opened wide by harmony’s totalizing, hegemonic nature.

The result? A clown, hunched over, tired of his own act.

“Moth” is a demo for a new work called Shenandoah, expected to be released sometime this year.

• E+E: https://soundcloud.com/eande

Prince Metropolis Known

“Popular (Thank You Kool Keith)”

The direct homage to one’s influences seems to be emerging as a trend in hip-hop of late. Of course, MCs have always given proper respect and acknowledgement to their forebearers — this is nothing new — but what is new is the practice of dedicating an entire song to said forebearer, and even mentioning him by name in the tribute track title. It popped off recently, albeit in a roundabout kind of way, when J. Cole put out “Let Nas Down.” Ironically, Nas may have actually started the practice back in 2004 with “The Unauthorized Biography of Rakim." Regardless of whether Nas, J. Cole, or pure coincidence is to blame, this week alone, I received e-mails about two new tribute tracks: "RZA" by Tha Connection’s Hus Kingpin and this “Popular (Thank You Kool Keith)” by frequent Keith collaborator Prince Metropolis Unknown a.k.a. Metropolis.

It doesn’t take more than a bar or two to hear the influence of Keith Thornton on Metropolis, and in case you didn’t know, this song’s title and chorus both reference the Ultramagnetic MCs’ 1992 classic “Poppa Large.” What really appeals to me about Metropolis here and elsewhere is how much he sounds like Diddy at times, not in lyrical content of course, but in tone and delivery. Thus, when I listen to Metropolis, I get to picture Sean Combs spitting lines like, “I’m with your mother eating Wheaties/ Reading about Tuskegee in Tahiti” or “I might ask to eat your children/ I thrive on stillborns,” which makes lines like these all the more absurd.

If you’re into that sort of thing, stream “Popular (Thank You Kool Keith)” below and look out for Prince Metropolis Known’s War Against Music mixtape, dropping today.

• Prince Metropolis Known: http://princemetropolis.bandcamp.com
• Junkadelic Music: http://www.junkadelicmusic.net

Gaza Tech

Transparency

Chic, subaquatic, butter, diving; a few emergent themes floating around the atmosphere of Gaza Tech’s Transparency. As I swim around the nearly 10-minute turquoise dream, it seems I have no need for breathing. Reality is irrelevant, a fading characterization of an otherwise seamless transcendence bubbling upwards to surface. Above, plankton shimmering in the sunlight remind me that I’m losing opacity. It’s a nice feeling.

Transparency is fathoms deep. Gaza Strip’s SoundCloud page says he’s from Brooklyn. His name also seems to be Jiovanni Nadal. That’s all you really need to know. Press play and you’ll figure out the rest:

• Gaza Tech: https://soundcloud.com/jiovanni-nadal

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.