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Feeling a bit, Insecure

A few weeks ago, we at Beats and Brews had the opportunity to sit down with emerging Detroit artist, photographer and videographer, FROSTisRAD. Topics included early video work with artist such as Royce Da 5’9, Rapsody, D12 and more

On March 13, 2020 FROSTisRAD released his newest single, “Insecure” on streaming platforms. Throughout the 2 minute and 40 second track, FrostIsRad gives the listener a look into the consciousness of his insecurities; rock influence instrumental paired with a dark melody and first person lyrics makes this track relatable to anyone who’s ever dealt with a negative self consciousness.

The beauty about music and this track in particular is that it can invoke emotion out of you, sometimes emotion that you didn’t even know was there. I highly recommend the listen.

Click the link below to either stream or purchase Insecure by FROSTisRad

https://songwhip.com/song/frostisrad/insecure

Commi$$sion-Growing Up

Those of you familiar with the popular Detroit music blog, “https://detroitrap.com/” should be familiar with the name, “Commi$$ion” for serving as one of the main editors for the blog. I’ve personally have had several run-ins with him throughout my journey in music starting with the former Sparkhop event, Sparkfest. This year, Commi$$ion decided to step into the musical spotlight with the release of his newest project, “Growing Up.” The album consists of 10 tracks and includes features from artists such as Kid Vishis, Johnnie Morris, Sin Crawford, JrGotTheHiTS, Alexis Allon, Johnyce, Vstyles, and Redman.

The 10 track album takes a look into Commi$$ion’s past, dealing with events from his childhood, his journey into fatherhood, his experience with loss, and eventually, takes us to the artist you see today. 

The first two tracks of the album, “CARLiSLE” and “LiTTLE JOEY” do a great job giving us the introduction into the early life of Commi$$sion. The next track off the album, “Tell Em” features Kid Vishis and Beats, Brews & Points of View alumni, Johnnie Morris is one of the more hyper songs one the album with a hook that surely would have crowds chanting, “Yall can’t fuck with us, now please don’t come my way.” This leads into the lead single and first video off the album, “Too much.” The storytelling on the track leaves vivid images to the listener of an adolescent Commi$$ion coming up in the world. 

The track, “Too Bad” is opened with a Public Service Announcement from none other than Redman himself with an assist from JrGotTheHiTS on the hook. The next track, STORiES FROM CHiLDHOOD featuring Vstyles gives the listeners a looking glass view into the lives of each artist when before they found hip hop. “Flagrant” featuring Sin Crawford follows and stands out as one of my personal favorite tracks on the album and one of my favorite flows on the overall project. 

I’d never imagined that I could hear a song about the passing of a pet and make me feel emotional, but the track “Stanley” manages to do so recalling relationship Comi$$sion had with his pet cat Stanley and his first experience with seeing death up close, the song does a great job in painting an image for the listener that’s sure to melt any animal lover’s heart. 

This leads us into the track, “Paper” giving us the second feature from JrGotTheHiTS on the album. To me, this track gives a nutshell summary into the writing process. Having so many song ideas, writing them down, then realizing that you could do better and go right back to the drawing board, a process I’m sure all artists are familiar with. The final track, “Rapper Dad” talks about how his two children influence his music, his journey into fatherhood and how his children changed his life, “Who’d ever thought I’d be a rapper dad”

Overall I’m a fan of this project, Commi$$ion has given us a big start on the list of albums to check out in 2020 and overall he proves that you can wear different hats. To be an artist and a journalist is hard separately but to do both is a task that not many can do, definitely looking forward to more music in the future.

Adventures With Vultures-Back To Normal

Over the course of my music journey, dating back to high school, I’ve had several run-ins with Adventures with Vultures frontman, Matt Sauter over the years. To me, its amazing to see the evolution of the artist that he has become and can’t wait to see where this journey will take him. With the recent departure from label “Original 1265” the sky is the limit and we at Beats and Brews are looking forward to whats to come from AWV in the future.

With the release of their new single,”Back to Normal” it shows that AWV still has that swagger and unique sound that makes them stand out. Make sure to take a look at the new single below. Back to normal is now available on all streaming platforms.

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Kickin’ it with Colston

If you’ve been following our social media, you’d see that the past month I’ve had the opportunity to step out of the Michigan scene for a bit and and the opportunity to travel to Asheville, NC for a Beats and Brews travel segment. On this tour, I’ve had a chance to meet several Asheville based brewers and musicians, most of which I’ll keep contact with long after this trip. My very last interview on this tour was with Asheville based Hip Hop artist, Colston.

While in Asheville, my time was primary spent focusing on the beer aspect of the trip, however, thanks to my good friend, A.D. Weighs I was able to connect and discover that Asheville has an hidden gem of a hip hop scene. I had the opportunity to sit down with some of the greatest talent(I’ll post those in a later article) and I’m really grateful to be exposed to the level of talent the city of Asheville has to offer.

I chopped it up with Colston at professor T studios about is new single, “Alma Mater” as well as previous project, “Uppercuts” the Asheville music scene and other topics will trying New Belgium Brewing’s “Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA.”  Make sure to check out the interview below as well as Colston’s new single, “Alma Mater.”

 

Don’t Mind Me, Just KeepitG

Over the past few months that I’ve been working on my album, “Be Careful, Be Safe” I’ve had the pleasure to write and record around several different creative environments around the area. One of these places lead me to Suite 328, where I had the opportunity to record the majority of my album with the music collective, KeepitG. Aareus Jones, Inglish, Two Face Swave, S. Delli, Hi Potent-C, Rich Young Tone and Dye Low.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Dye Low and Aareus Jones and talk about their upcoming collaboration project, “Light and Water” as well as Dye Low’s 365 Beat challenge and Aareus’s photo and video company, Soundwave Productions.

“A Lot of people are like, “Is KeepitG for like keep it gangster, it it like a gangster thing?” KeepitG is more like keeping it true to yourself, keeping it real with yourself; it’s our mantra.” said by Dye Low

Below you can check out the video of our interview!

 

Sitting Down With Juan Michael OG

A few months back, I had the opportunity to play at popular Downtown Ypsilanti venue, Ziggy’s. In addition to being on the bill, I saw this as a great opportunity to network with a few of the other artist, one of those artist happened to be, Juan Michael OG. Off the release of his newest single, “City of God” I had the chance to catch up with the Ann Arbor Based MC.

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“I heard the shit on the radio and I hated what I heard. We’re talking like late 1990’s early 2000’s, it was cool, it was still hype, but I felt I could do better, I could make my own, so, that’s when I decided to make music.” Juan Michael responded when asked what got him into music. “I used FL Studios to make my first song and ever since then I’ve been making music, though it wasn’t always necessarily rap. From there, I got ableton and kept growing from it.” He continued.

“1992 was me just having fun; really outlandish, really colorful, really expressive, it was just supposed to be an ignorant, flamboyant project to take the topics that I personally see as a problem, and flip it into a more colorful, happier positive palette. Juan Michael OG spoke on the process going into his highly reviewed 4 song EP, “1992.” One of the tracks on 1992 stuck out to me the most was a track entitled, “New Kanye.” “I love making music, and I will literally forget to eat when making music. I’ll tell myself I need to eat and i’ll forget to go in the kitchen and make food while working on a track. New Kanye sums up that energy and ambition when i’m in the studio, I feel like Kanye. Some of the qualities people see me as is similar to him, so if that’s the case, with this track imma show out. So, that track was me embodying the ego and optimism that Kanye has. Juan Michael responded about the thought process that went into making New Kanye.

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photo credit, Juan Michael OG facebook page

“My biggest influences are people who don’t rap. Modest Mouse are one of my biggest influences, and is due to their escentric mentality. The Gorillaz, they have a hip hop-esque vibe, but not necessarily hip hop. Linkin Park was one of my earliest influences as well.” Juan Michael spoke on his musical influences.

“Space Money Records is a thing i’ve been rocking with for awhile. Space Money is all about energy, when you look up at the stars and you see the sun and all these other places, we don’t take into consideration that these other places could have homes. Just like we have a sun, all these other places have suns that we can see visually, but, its all the same energy. The sun gives us life, everything comes from the sun. When I talk about space money, I reference the stars, galaxy and solar systems and with money being the thing that moves us everyday. We we get out of bed everyday, we don’t do shit for love, we do it for money because money helps us get the things we love, but that’s just the society we in.”  Juan Michael responded about the origin of his company, Space money Records

You can expect a new project from Juan Michael OG this year as well as a video for City of God coming soon as well as a new single entitled, “2much.”

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artwork for “City of God”

The Versa-tile Juanye

Fresh off his release of the highly anticipated project, “Versa”, I had the opportunity to sit down with Ann Arbor based MC, Juanye at his listening party at the Motivation Boutique located in downtown Ann Arbor.  

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“When it came to beats, I wanted to get every possible beat I could possibly think of, a couple songs for females, songs for my mans to vibe to, a couple track vibe songs. The overall theme of Versa is versatility, different beats, different style of rapping, things that people haven’t heard before.” Juanye responded about the concept in mind that went into making Versa. “I feel like I have a unique voice when an engineer touches it on any type of beat, so, it was about just being versatile.” Juanye continued.  

“My older brother, Jason, who’s doing some time right now is like 5 years older than me. One day he came home with his boys listening to Tha Carter II by Lil Wayne and I just remember thinking, “Damn, this album is hard as fuck!” and they were freestyling over Wayne’s voice. When I heard Wayne’s voice, the way he rapped and the little snippet on the beat, I just knew I wanted to rap. I came up with like five different ways I could’ve spit on that beat.” Juanye responded on his motivation to get into music. “Another big moment was when I was in 5th grade, my grandmother was real big into subscriptions that get sent to your crib, she actually found one that had a bunch of hip hop albums in it and it really meant the most in my life. I had five album: T.I.-Trap Muzik, Tupac- Greatest Hits, 50 Cent- Get Rich or Die Tryin, Jay-Z- The Blueprint, and Lil Wayne- Tha Carter. As a kid, I felt like I understood it more than most kids but I had a further mind at the time” Juanye continued.

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“Derrick’s little brother Chris is one of my best friends since I was in the 6th grade. We used to live right next to each other and Derrick played me one of the hardest mixtapes of all time which was Wale’s More About Nothing, probably one of my favorite mixtapes ever. After high school, we both had a listening ear, we both have the same taste in music, he’s digitally tech savvy and I do what I do to bring to the table and it just clicked like that. I wouldn’t want anybody else to be my manager.” Juanye spoke how he met his manager, Derrick Nicholson.

“When it comes to sound, Lil Wayne is the best of all time. You may catch me with a lot of melodies and background melodies on a track, because, if you ever listen to wayne, he fills the track up, there are no empty spaces…unless he’s going off the top. ”Juayne spoke on his influences in music. “Other than that, I rock with Jay-Z heavy and I’ve been on the Travis Scott wave for quite some time. Juanye continued.

Juanye is in the process of setting up a regional tour with manager, Derrick Nicholson. “I love repping Ann Arbor and that’s where I’ll always be, even if I do run into a check or a deal someday, I’m still probably gonna be somewhere high up in this bitch.” Juanye said about setting up the local based tour.

Be on the lookout for the “Osama” video coming soon as well as multiple visuals from the project, “Versa” which is available now on all streaming platforms.

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Below you can check out photos from the listening party at the Motivation Boutique on 8/3/18

 

An evening with Lvrboy

Located in Plymouth, MI, the Plymouth Roc is a very low key location, however, it is known to have several talented musicians come through and perform. In October of 2017, I had the opportunity to help put together a release party for Adventures with Vultures, in which the topic of our article, David Green, or known by stage name, Lvrboy was the opening act. Fast forward to present day, Lvrboy’s debut EP, Lvrboy EP has been released. I had the opportunity to catch up with him at a show at the Crofoot in Pontiac July 23, 2018 and talk about the EP.

“Lvrboy is certain phases of love that I felt like I went through, one of the most important things in life is love just because it’s something that everybody feels, its universal. When I wrote most of these songs, it was coming from a place of hurt or the feeling of missing somebody and the way they made you feel, or just the nostalgic feeling of when you met your first love, and how that can go from love at first sight to problems in your relationship and things that you got to deal with so things don’t escalate. So people can expect to be in their feelings, 24/7.” Lvrboy responded when asked about the the concept of his new project. “I’ve very proud of the project, had some great minds to bring it to life.” He continued.

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Lvrboy EP features 3 soulful tracks, Try, Pretty, and Brown eyed lover. Currently available for streaming on soundcloud, but plans to release the EP on major streaming platforms soon. Lvrboy draws his influences in his music from the likes of, Frank Ocean, Stevie Wonder and Thirdstory with a gospel-like vibe to him.

 

“My earliest memory is me sitting at church, watching the band play at rehearsal. I got to witness some great drummers early in life, so, when I turned 7, that would be my definitive moment,  watching someone else play music and going in and thinking, “that sounds incredible, I want to be apart of that.”” Lvrboy responded on the definitive moment he wanted to become a musician. “I hopped on drums, a couple years later I wanted to play bass, shortly after I started playing guitar  and I’ve sang my whole life, my whole family sings; it runs in the family, it’s God given.” He continued.

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In addition to Lvrboy, I had the opportunity to talk to Drummer and DIME University graduate, Duane Hewins, who plays alongside of Lvrboy. “I was around 3 years old when my parents got me my first drum set, when I was 5, the church put me on to play for the kids choir, and it was history from there, I’ve been playing drums since I can remember. My earliest memories are having a sister, and playing drums. I never knew that I wanted to make this serious until I turned 18, a year later I met Dave.” Duane responded on the definitive moment he wanted to become a musician. In addition to Lvrboy, Duane also plays with DIME University alum, Brother Elsey whom I had the chance to check out in Chicago earlier this year. “If you can play gospel, you can play anything.” Duane said

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Photo credit, facebook.com

“The plan is to play out as much as possible, and get back back to work on the album. Hopefully enough people hear it to have us come out and play in the city and leads to a tour. ” On his plans after the release of the EP. “This is my life bro, this is what I love, this is what I wanna do with my life.” He responded about his plans after the release of Lvrboy EP.

“Don’t stop, keep going. Even when you feel like you are at your whits end, you have nothing left in you, you know you’re just not gonna make it, just keep going. Practice makes perfect; discipline and connections are everything, and overall just be humble. He responded about his advice to aspiring musicians. “One of the biggest things Detroit suffers from is the willingness to work together, Detroit will make even the best musicians seem like the worst musicians just off the lack of humility in the city sometimes, so just be humble and be gracious, and pay respects to the people who came before you, because at the day, that’s who is going to open the door for you.” He continued.

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Make sure to stay tuned for future releases and shows from Lvrboy very soon.

 

A Girl Named Egypt

For those of you not familiar with the story of Egypt Covington, she was Belleville native that worked as a beer distributor for Rave Associates, however, she showed a strong passion as a country/blues singer, even managing to win Ann Arbor based contest, “Country Idol” back in 2014. On June 23, 2017 she was tragically murdered in her home in Van Buren Township.  According to an article from Mlive, “Family and friends have said Egypt Covington was “angelic” and had a loving spirit.” Arbor Brewing decided to create a Brew in her honor called, “A Girl Named Egypt” that past tribute to the late singer as well as provide funding to women’s shelters, animal shelters and a music scholarship. “I had the honor of being her friend. She was a regular at WOB (World of Beer) Her family and friends are great people” Said by Tanya Towne, manager at World of Beer in Canton. “She was a great person. Always smiling, always telling people great things and making them feel great about themselves; she had something about her that touched everyone’s heart. It was great for Arbor to follow through with the beer.” She continued. 

 

Coming it at 9% ABV and 50 IBU, this Double white IPA is brewed with elderflower, passionfruit and mango, some of the late singer’s favorite things. This beer packs a very strong fruity hop aroma,  medium to high white head and very carbonated. The esters resemble somewhat of a tropical taste, more than likely from the passion fruit that gives a fruity, spicy, clove-like taste but finishes a bit bitter.

 

If the story and the the residuals made off this beer are going to a good cause wernt not enough to make you get out and pick it up, overall it’s a great beer. The only thing I could say negative about it that since it’s sweet but comes in at 9% ABV, it could be a bit dangerous and sneak up on you, so, you may want to keep in mind that this is still a double IPA.

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I’ve personally never had the opportunity to meet Egypt Covington, but from the articles I’ve read on this story, she was a pleasant spirit and could shed positivity on anyone around her and her death is definity a huge loss for the community, however, thanks to Arbor Brewing, her legacy is alive and well with this brew.