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Sudanese-American hip-hop artist Oddisee's new EP, “AlWasta,” takes its title from the Arabic colloquial term used to mean (to use colloquial English) “the plug.” The term “wasta” comes from the Arabic word “wasat,” meaning “middle” or “middleman,” and describes a member of the community who acts as a connector using their wealth of social currency. Understanding the value of social currency & how to use it (for better or worse) is what Amir Elkhalifa aka Oddisee focused on as the primary inspiration for his writings.
Detroit’s Red Pill released his solo Mello Music debut album “Look What This World Did To Us” earlier this year. The record was striking because of it’s straight-forward, intellectually broken, Bukowski-like realism. The photos were serious, brooding, and the lyrics were heavy and genuine. Enter the Day Drunk EP. Red Pill starts on top of a clock-ticking, mind-mesmerizing, introductory track from UK producer Paul White. After a philosopher-king monologue, the Zen Buddhist meditative chant begins – “Don’t work, just party - you’ll be alright. Don’t try so hard. Just live your life.” But Pill never leaves you insightfully dumb, with lines like “I think we need a new religion / wound up, bound up in submission / getting lost in the mission / false definitions/ be causing derision / all these people talkin’ competition / all these people talkin’ is division…” And then the record gets green lit. You may recognize the next Alex Goose-produced track from Silicon Valley. Red Pill lays hardworking slacker ambition bare in one dumb, drunk, punch over the energetic beat. The song is as ludicrously lavish as Scorsese’s “Wolf Of Wall Street.” The album moves into happy-hour heartstrings unfurling with a song for those who’d rather stay inside, those who, “outside of their mind, don’t know what’s real.” This is for those who can never fall asleep without a helper, “a little gin and seltzer,” as Red Pill puts it. Blu joins the 3 o’clock session, laying bars over an Oddisee-produced, rainy kitchen window thought piece. But, like any good rap savior, Red Pill pulls us back up from the depths with Exile’s upbeat “Porn & Milk.” The Day Drunk EP is a record to wash away the feeling when your cash is gone. Today, Red Pill is on some “love life” shit. Bottoms up. Day Drunk begins now.
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After Ugly Heroes' 2013 classic self titled LP, Apollo Brown, Verbal Kent and Red Pill are back again with a new EP coming out August 19th. The new EP features five new songs (including a Murs feature) and 5 bonus track b-sides. Ugly Heroes will also being touring Europe for a few weeks this August, starting with the legendary Hip-Hop Kemp Festival before hitting London and a number of other spots (all the dates will soon be up on the MMG Event Calendar). The new EP will first be available digitally with a vinyl edition to follow late in the year. Original artwork by illustrator Paul Grelet.
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