In March, Ambush Effect and Thoro collaborated for The Jump Start Open Mic. Walking in, the room illuminated with neon lights. Subsequently, the energy that permeated the atmosphere was quite infectious. Everyone exchanged the good vibes with one another, cheering on those who took the stage.
The host, Daniree, also graciously welcomed each candidate on the floor. No artist was ridiculed. Instead, the acts for the night were encouraged to show off their skill.
Rappurview even made an appearance and interviewed those who participated. Overall, Ambush Effect's events are truly loved by the masses. No matter who or where the show is, best believe there will always be an audience.
During my time at The Jump Start Open Mic, I was able to speak with a few artists who performed that night. I also had the privilege of getting acquainted with one who didn't but is looking to delve back into the music scene.
Stimulating your mind with top-tier (and direct) wordplay, clever punchlines, mind-boggling entendres, and a nostalgic approach to various experimental hip-hop beats, rap duo ShapeShifters are guaranteed to be the next emcees to burgeon from the Tri-State. Lyrically, they deliver relatable bars about self-discovery, former experiences, and putting destiny in their own hands.
Sonically, they mesh whatever appeals to them. Case in point, they aren't fearful of being authentic.
Al-Taron says, "It's crazy because you can't put us in a box. We like to make what we like to make. This guy [Rahim] is filthy. Whatever comes to mind, then that's how it goes down."
Their message is to go with the wave. To do what makes you happy. The rap group also advises others to question everything.
Music ultimately brought them together as a collaborative. While Rahim was heavy in the books, learning about music in school, he spoke to his best bud, Al-Taron, who was creating his own records at the time. He then talked to Al-Taron's dad, who happened to know someone that attended his school. Because of this, Rahim decided to dive into it, and they came together as ShapeShifters.
Their project, The Last 2 Brain Cells, is a must-listen! It's best to hear it at any given time, even during reflective moments. Just give it an earful, and you will see for yourself.
Al-Taron resonates with "Marmalade," and Rahim is moved by "Hollywood". Truth be told, though, they connect with all songs found on the project.
Their advice for aspiring musicians is to not second guess.
"Don't be afraid to drop that record, there's millions sitting in your hard drive."
They enjoyed performing "Drive By," which carries a sick Turkish sample.
Sir General's bars are a testament to rap not being entirely dead. As he drops lyrics about never losing focus on what's important, taking the good with the bad, personal experiences, staying aware of those around him, and his inner thoughts, the artist captivates fans worldwide.
Another notable trait is him just being unapologetically himself (queue "No Validations"). He won't hesitate to put someone in their place if need be.
Sir General adds, "I'm not a mumble rapper. I take time to talk about a lot of things I'm dealing with. I just write music and lay it down."
He's leaving it to fans to determine his sound. I define it as a blend of all genres like jazz, hip-hop, and R&B.
One song he resonates with is "Distance (feat. Kid Casual)," and he even says it's one of his strongest assets.
The multi-faceted artist began rapping at eight years old, writing his own lyrics without delay. As he became older, Sir General started spitting his rhymes at lunch tables and school. Eventually, it progressed and became a diehard passion.
Various artists inspire him, but he listed: Lil Wayne, Eminem, Lil Durk, Biggie, Tupac, and Rakim. In his words, he's just real hip-hop.
Currently, Sir General is pushing his freestyle to Big Sean's "Deep Reverence (feat. Nipsey Hussle)."
"In the song, I'm talking about how I don't need any validation. Some people hated on me and didn't rock with me at first. So, I was really coming off like, 'You know what? I don't need any validation.' This is just me tapping into my own thoughts. And getting back to what I do."
His advice to aspiring rappers is to believe in yourself.
"Don't give up. Keep it pushing. Don't focus on other's opinions because they'll always have something to say. As long as you know what you want to do, keep at it."
He enjoyed performing "Vibe," which is actually a vibe. Check it out!
Saving the rapsphere with dense punchlines, comical commentary, conscious rhymes, and storytelling cadence, the Hip-Hop Champion, a.k.a Sinvidious opts to create songs that can be revisited. Conclusively, his wordplay explores what happens around us. And throughout the listen, listeners can't help but to relate to what he's saying. Sonically, his instrumentals garner inspiration from boom-bap, hip-hop, and other genres.
He adds, "It's always great sharing my stuff. I enjoy making people laugh. I love showing off the stuff I make. It's a thing for me to stand out. If someone happens to forget my name or my song titles, they'll still be like, 'Oh, that's that guy?' On the car ride home, they'll just be talking like, 'Oh, remember that guy with the belt?'"
"I try to rhyme so many syllables or entendres. But to lighten the mood, I crack some jokes to get people's attention. Then, they think I'm about rap something funny, so it makes them open their ears."
His music journey dates back to high school, but the artist didn't delve into the scene until last year. He began by attending open mics, and The Jumpstart Open Mic was his first show back since COVID. Before the pandemic, Sinvidious went to open mics every other week with a good friend of his.
Outside of music, he creates YouTube gaming videos and poetry. These activities mostly get the ideas flowing when he's writing lyrics. He hasn't dropped any of his music yet. Feel free to stay on the lookout through his Instagram.
"I have a plan to drop my singles in a particular way. I kind of want to make a music video to all the things I've made."
His advice to aspiring artists is just to go out there and do it.
"Don't be afraid to grow."
4) T Z takes pride in her lyrical prowess. And given the bars at hand, I can only attest to the power they hold. In summary, T Z raps about her undying hustle, providing for her loved ones, her lavish lifestyle, putting haters to rest, enjoying life, and self-growth. Her instrumentals carry a lively element and take inspiration from hip-hop, lo-fi, and trap.
Music found the Boston native as she was recovering from drug addiction. Writing served as a getaway, and as time went on, her lyrics kept progressing. Currently, she's working on a project that'll cover a range of emotions and experiences. Off the new EP, she resonates with "Elixir."
"It ["Elixir"] comes in very strong. You're prone to bop your head."
The real takeaway that she hopes others will get by listening in is to inspire a larger vocabulary.
"More complex vocabulary, flows, speed, skill. For better for worse, things of that nature. I want to improve what has been done so far."
Her advice to aspiring artists is
"Don't be afraid to make your own sound. There's nothing wrong with going in a certain direction. Fit in with your music. Try to figure out how you can stand out. Use your creativity."
She enjoyed performing "Not Nice."
Although he didn't take on the stage, Kid Zay reminds others of his untouchable gift of gab through various singles. Amidst rapping about personal experiences and getting to the bag, he shows others what it means to go after a dream. His sound is a crossover between playful trap and hip-hop.
Kid Zay created music, thanks to a friend of his. At that moment, the two were relaxing in this friend's basement, and he came through with equipment. The rapper was astounded by the various supplies and took it for a spin. After learning the techniques of each one through his friend, Kid Zay was inspired to create music.
He's moved by Wiz Khalifa and his mother.
His advice to aspiring artists is:
"If you're out here to make music for money, then it's not for you. There's a lot more than what you see in the industry."
Stay tuned. Kid Zay plans on dropping music real soon. It'll speak on financial stability and leadership.
Written by: Natalee Gilbert