This week’s edition of YO! HIP HOP RVA features hip-hop artistry in three forms: boom-bap, jazz and punk respectively. Tajahmad’s record will make you scrunch your face and nod your head, McKinley Dixon’s will give you hope and inspire you, and the Kidz will awaken your adolescent angst.
I had no idea what to expect before pressing play on this record (shoutout to Hear RVA and The Auricular for putting me on to this gem). But for the two minutes and 22 seconds that followed, I borderline concussed myself head-bobbing to Tajahmad’s snarly flow over production that would receive golf claps from Griselda. Despite hailing from South Hill, VA. (roughly 80 miles southwest of Richmond), the accompanying visualizer—shot on a VHS camcorder—shows eery scenes from Virginia Beach’s waterfront with a brief cameo from the MC. And it works.
Shot by RR
“Run, Run, Run” (Single)
“Run, Run, Run” is a chaotic, yet groovy stand out from McKinley Dixon’s fourth studio album, Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?. Indie hip-hop legend Blu joined the madness on the remix. In his Instagram post promoting the remix, Dixon credits Blu’s 2007 classic Below the Heavens (solely produced by Exile) for inspiring him to pursue a career in rap. Produced by Sam Koff, the song’s infectious, jazzy amalgamation of keys, drums, bass, horns and strong verses from both MCs (and melodic singing from Dixon on the hook) makes for a great record that you’ll play over and over again.
KIDZ AT PLAY
KIDZMERICA is an impressive follow-up to Kidz At Plays‘ well-received debut, Mike Tyson Jab. Clocking in at just under 24 minutes, the sophomore effort could best be described as a middle finger to “the system” and its vice grip on all aspects of life (ironically “the system” stunted the release of KIDZMERICA’s second single, “Tea Party,” due to sample clearance issues.) In the months and weeks leading up to the project’s release, the posse positioned six of its 11 groupmates—Jacob, Smyth, Markey’s Flower, Erth, Jacc Von, and Quincy X—as “presidential” candidates via quirky campaign videos (the album dropping on Election Day was a nice cherry on top). Don’t misconstrue Kidz at Play’s youth for amateurism. KIDZMERICA features masterful performances and production. The kids are alright.
My favorite tracks:
- “Tea Party”
- “The Ratification of Post-Trés A**es Late Night P***y in Fauquier County, Bad***y”
Top photo courtesy of Kidz At Play.