Music Quickspins

QUICKSPINS: Roddy Ricch – Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial

Roddy Ricch is an honest, creative rapper with the musicality of a singer

Roddy Ricch has steadily been making noise in the hip hop world with his Feed Tha Streets mixtape series, and his talent was officially recognized this year with a Grammy nomination.

The Compton rapper’s debut album, Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial, has arrived, solidifying the 21-year-old’s position in the genre as an undeniable talent.

In an age where hip hop is divided between conscious rap and shallow, catchy content, Roddy provides for a unique combination of catchy flows and meaningful lyrics, all while maintaining an underlying theme of motivation.

Each track seems to alternate between softer, melodic songs touching on themes like relationships and heartbreak, and more upbeat, heavy-hitting tracks.

Roddy constantly speaks about the tribulations of his “former” life, all while providing motivational reminders to his audience – a refreshing change from the typical rapper’s braggadocious claims of experiences with violence and crime.

Roddy has a little bit for everyone on this album, and it’s another addition to his impressive discography, further cementing the young artist’s status as a rising star.



Trial Track: “Big Stepper”

Star Bar: 

“It was hell in the projects, I survived the storm

Got brothers in the sky, they die ‘fore they born

I know the worst conditions make a champion

Look at my ice froze like a mannequin”

-Ricch on “War Baby”

Music Quickspins

QUICKSPINS: The Game – Born 2 Rap

Compton rapper The Game returns with a star-studded collaboration

Compton rapper The Game hasn’t released a project in three years, but his new album is 25 songs long – enough content to satisfy his core fanbase after his absence.

Born 2 Rap is a perfect blend of the classic west-coast hip hop sound with a more laid back, jazz-influenced twist. The Game’s consistently well thought-out bars are an ideal addition to the diverse collection of truly musical production throughout the album.

A wide array of interesting features are also present throughout the project. The guest list includes Ed Sheeran, Miguel, 21 Savage, Travis Barker, Masego, Anderson .Paak, and D Smoke (winner of Rhythm & Flow Season 1), among many others. While The Game’s flow can get a little repetitive at times, the long list of collaborators helps to constantly evolve the album’s sound.

Overall, this is a great return to the game by the Compton MC. Let’s see if he’ll have more content for us soon, or if this is his latest message to the public before another lengthy hibernation in the Cali sun.


Trial Track: “One Life” ft. J. Stone and Masego

Star Bar:
“Guess who back in the buildin’, stackin’ them millions
Y’all wanted me to rap, I’m bringin’ back that feelin’
Bridge the gap between mumble rappers and killers
Bridge the gap between smokers and lean sippers”
(Game on “No Smoke” ft. Miguel & Travis Barker)


Sounds from the shadows: Sasan’s story

Iranian Master’s student finds serenity in electronic and experimental music, regardless of what his home has to say

“They think Iran is just a desert with no culture, no music. They think it’s just politics, but it’s not,” said DSM.

As DSM – a 25-year old Master’s student in Building Engineering – explored Concordia’s SGW campus this past winter, shortly after arriving in Montreal from his home country of Iran, he stumbled across a copy of The Concordian on a stand in the school. After flipping through to the paper’s music section, he decided to reach out to its editor in an attempt to share his story.

“I thought, let’s try, send an email and see what happens,” said DSM. “I was also afraid because I thought you might not answer, or that you wouldn’t care to speak to me.”

Now we’re here.

See, education in Iran is often regarded as the ideal route, with other activities seen as extracurricular, and only that. “When I was in Iran I told myself that I was nothing,” said DSM. “I didn’t have good marks, and they think people who make music are just losers.”

For creators of electronic music, that principle reigns true, with an even deeper sentiment of taboo. “Many people believe that [western music] brings you to hell, and others think it encourages you to do bad things,” he said. “So we have legal music and illegal music.”

DSM, an avid techno-listener and experimental producer, began creating music in his house in Iran. He was inspired by a video clip he saw of superstar DJ/producer Tiesto commanding a crowd at a major festival, demonstrating music’s deep ability to bring all kinds of people together.

“It was so amazing for me to see that,” said DSM.

He first began dabbling in music by creating mash-ups, or “mixes,” for him and his friends on their long bus ride home from school. Though he later shifted towards producing his own songs, using the software Ableton Live. It’s now been four years since DSM has been seriously working on his craft, and the hard work is paying off.

DSM has been featured in Visions of Darkness, a compilation album of contemporary music by Iranian musicians, and is set to release multiple tracks through Montreal-based record label and creative agency, Husa Sounds. He also released an EP last December, titled Abstracted.

While his passion has continued to blossom, DSM chooses to keep his musical identity a subtle part of his life.  His parents are aware of it and are supportive of his musical endeavours so long as he stays in school and completes his Master’s.

“I usually play music at parties and gatherings, but also sometimes in my father’s car with my family,” he said. “We would listen to popular music in Iran, or old music that my father or mother love. I tried playing some mellow, deep house for them, not the hard stuff, and they liked it too. Sometimes I’d try to sneak in my own songs and if they didn’t say ‘next song’ I would tell them it was mine.”

For DSM, music is more than just a hobby or even a passion – it’s a form of therapy.

“I just wanted to release my feelings – it’s my way to calm down,” he said. “If I have too many things on my mind, music is the way to release my stress, to forget any bad things in my life. It’s like my Advil. If the music is so good you can get high on that, you don’t need weed or alcohol.”

Back in Iran, DSM was not able to peacefully enjoy electronic music as a result of the government’s strict rules and regulations surrounding public musical performances.

Musical performers are required to obtain a government license in order to perform publicly, whether it be at an art gallery or musical event. This leaves room for subjective decisions, which thereby controls the music scene in the country. However, a police officer’s bad day could very well turn into deeper troubles for a performing artist, despite whether or not they hold a license.

As a result of this musical censorship, many Iranians travel to remote locations throughout the nation, often deserts, where they can enjoy electronic music at any volume, dancing and partying through the night up to the morning. This added risk actually has its benefits, according to DSM. “If you want to have fun there you have to stress about the police. Even alcohol is illegal,” said DSM. “But if it’s harder, sometimes it really feels better.”

With one and a half years remaining for his Master’s, DSM hopes to maintain his 4.0 CGPA – though he continues to raise the bar when it comes to his music as well.

“I really hope that big DJs will play my songs at clubs or shows,” said DSM. “I hope that people are dancing and feeling my music. I really want people to feel it, that’s my goal.


QUICKSPINS: Post Malone – Hollywood’s Bleeding

While many have questioned Post Malone’s appreciation for hip hop and its roots, any debate surrounding his musical talent no longer hold any grounds whatsoever, as Hollywood’s Bleeding solidifies his position as a musical powerhouse – regardless of the genre.

This project is Posty’s third studio album, and probably his most heavily anticipated body of work to date. Following the success of his first two records – Stoney and Beerbongs & Bentleys – his fans patiently waited almost one year and a half for some new content, and it’s finally here.

Through the 17-song journey, the Austin artist effortlessly flows over a wide range of instrumentals, creating an easily-enjoyable vibe fit to please anyone and everyone. He discusses themes ranging from toxicity in Hollywood to fame and fortune, and his vocal abilities and sheer emotion provide for an extremely deep experience – one which connects the listener to Posty and his music on a whole other level.


Trial Track: “Take What You Want” ft. Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott

Star Bar: “Tryna chase a feelin’, but we’ll never feel it

Ridin’ on the last train home

Dyin’ in our sleep, we’re livin’ out a dream

We only make it out alone” (Malone on “Hollywood’s Bleeding”)


Christian French brings his first headlining tour to Le Ministère

22-year-old Indiana singer-songwriter Christian French brings his alt-pop sound to Montreal 

Often times, an artist’s biggest dream is to travel around to different cities as the main act on a tour. For Indiana-born singer-songwriter Christian French, that dream is about to become a reality.

For the first time ever, the 22-year-old is going to be headlining his very own tour. After performing in various opening-slot shows on Quinn XCII and Chelsea Cutler’s latest tours, French’s “Bright Side of the Moon” tour is nearing its debut  on Sept. 4, in Michigan.

Set to hit Montreal’s Le Ministère on Sept.11, French couldn’t help but reminisce on some of the earlier parts of the journey that many often overlook when discussing artists and their success. For him, his latest tour is the product of all of the work that came before this, whether it be sleepless nights or awkward shows in front of not-so-stellar crowds.

Speaking with The Concordian, French credits his family with being the origin of much of his musical interest. His family always had music playing – a common thread amongst talented musicians and performers. His sister was a member of a successful band throughout his high school years, another thing he said boosted his understanding of the music industry and how things work in the competitive and sometimes inconsistent profession of a musician. Artists like John Mayer and Eric Clapton also had a heavy influence on him, as he admired their songwriting abilities and deep connection to their music.

He began dabbling in singing even before entering high school, posting acoustic covers of some of his favourite songs to SoundCloud, and teaching himself how to play the piano, his passion truly blossomed at Indiana University, where he studied pre-med, played on the school’s hockey team, and was a member of a fraternity.

“It was really difficult to manage at first, but like with anything, you get into a sort of routine that kind of normalizes everything,” said French. “I tried to keep a healthy balance and not burn out on any of the three, and I think that really helped me. Of course, there were a lot of nights where I didn’t sleep much, but I just knew what was important and what I had to get done every day to continue to elevate.”

Having that many responsibilities in university is demanding, to say the least. French continued to hone his musical skills, with the crucial support of a close group of friends. With their unwavering support from the start, he was able to push through the barrier of uncertainty and shyness that holds many talented musicians back from reaching that next level– one that gets them their very own cross-country tour.

“I’ve had a close group of friends that have been supporting me since I started making covers,” he said. “They didn’t know what to make of it at first, but after they saw me continue to pursue it, they knew how much I cared about it and were behind me. I was in a fraternity, and everyone in the fraternity supported my music, showing their friends across the country, and it allowed for a country-wide awareness a lot faster than it would have been if I wasn’t in college with supportive friends.”

French continued to balance a heavily-filled platter of responsibilities throughout university. Meanwhile, he was continuously uploading music to SoundCloud and was performing at small local venues. Then, he finally got his first big break. 22-year-old American singer and multi-instrumentalist Chelsea Cutler invited him on tour; this was proof that his hard work and perseverance had paid off.

As university students, many of us know what it feels like to have a lot of things to worry about on a day-to-day basis, whether it’s related to school, loved ones, hobbies, or passions. When asked if he had any advice to students going through similarly-demanding situations, French said one thing:

“Do not be scared to take a leap and follow a passion. It’s important to have a plan and to know what you’re going to do, but nothing is going to happen unless you take action. There is no better time to start than now.”

You can catch Christian French’s performance at Le Ministère on his BSOTM tour, on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 10 p.m.

Tickets available online here:


QUICKSPINS: Tones and I – The Kids Are Coming

Tones and I is a newcomer onto the music world’s big stage; although The Kids Are Back is exactly what the world needed from the pop singer since her lightning-fast rise to fame this year.

The 6-track EP highlights the Australian former busker’s creative use of her voice over both upbeat dance-style instrumentals and more melancholic, piano-driven tracks. Her ability to twist and bend words, almost deconstructing their pronunciation and transforming them into an unrecognizable musical sound, perfectly demonstrates her ability to use her voice as an instrument. Also, the fact that she touches on relevant themes, such as sexual discrimination and the importance of the youth, show that her understanding of music goes beyond her natural talent. Tones and I is here to stay, and this short EP was enough to prove it to everyone.


Trial Track: “Dance Monkey”

Star Bar:

“No one wants to listen to the kids these days

Yeah, the fibs these days, yeah

They say that we’re all the same

But they’re the ones to blame” (Tones and I on “The Kids Are Coming”)


QUICKSPINS: Jidenna – 85 to Africa

Nigerian-American rapper Jidenna’s second studio album 85 to Africa is an expertly-produced body of work, with each track significantly different than the next. A listen of the album is a journey – one that includes creative sounds with influences from all over the globe, including Africa and the Caribbean.

85 to Africa discusses many themes surrounding Pan-Africanism, as the title suggests. From the origins of black people around the world, to the description of his ideal woman, Jidenna’s ability to balance controversial political themes with ones of lust, love, and tenderness throughout a short 11-track album, is exactly why it’s worth a listen. Its creative musicality and lyrical content are what you look for in a body of work, regardless of the few lackluster tracks sprinkled throughout.


Trial Track: “Babouche” ft. Goldlink

Star Bar:

“Travel wide, travel wide

I and I, by and by, that my tribe

They tryna conquer all the tribe

We laugh and multiply, divide”


Caribbean carnival season up north

Caribbeans in Canada use musical festivities to shine a global light on their culture

While Canada might be best known for its harsh winters and polite citizens, many seem to overlook the extremely diverse blend of people who make up many of our major cities.

One of the most influential diasporas in Canada is the Caribbean one, comprising about two per cent of the population, or more than half a million people. In metropolises like Toronto and Montreal, Canadians of Caribbean descent use “Carnival” – a festival of Caribbean culture and traditions most widely known for its bumping music and vibrant costumes – to give other Canadians, and the world, a taste of what being Caribbean is all about.

Caribbean culture is known to revolve around music, having birthed internationally popular genres like soca, reggae, and dancehall. Its Carnivals represent just that. The importance of musical celebration is highlighted in its people’s history and existence. Carnival is a physical representation of Caribbean culture.

Montreal’s version of Carnival, Carifiesta, began in 1975, in an attempt to bring the celebration of Caribbean people and culture to the diaspora in Montreal. Since its inception, Carifiesta has continued to grow as local Caribbeans and non-Caribbeans alike submerge themselves in the celebration of Caribbean nations’ music, creative expression, and vibrant energy.

At a Carnival’s main event, or “Grand Parade,” huge amounts of participants walk among massive, creatively-designed floats stacked with mega speakers, while each respective DJ blasts Caribbean anthems from the float. Participants dress in creatively-designed costumes with feathers and vibrant colours, walking side-by-side with the giant floats that flow down the streets on flatbed trucks.

Carnival’s origins can be traced back to the beginning of the 18th century on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. Many freed black slaves began to live among the Spanish and British settlers, carrying on their masquerade party traditions and taking it to a new level – one that still has its place in countries around the world today, as far as Switzerland and Japan.

The Carnival in Toronto takes shape in the form of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, which began in 1967. With an extremely significant Jamaican population – about 71 per cent of Canada’s total Jamaican population –  Toronto’s Carnival is the nation’s largest, with an estimated 1.1 million attendees earlier this month. It attracts close to 200,000 tourists and has an economic impact of approximately $400 million annually, according to the event’s Chief of Public Affairs, Denise Herrera Jackson.

The Toronto Caribbean Carnival takes place during the first weekend of August, with various Caribbean-themed musical jams held throughout the Greater Toronto Area. The Grand Parade, the weekend’s main event, is held on the Saturday every year. It features the extensive street parade, which is essentially a huge musical party on wheels. People gather to admire the costumes and float designs, while others walk among the floats and dancing crowd in the parade.

“The Grand Parade is the expression of freedom reminiscent of the freedom expressed in 1834, when slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire,” said Herrera Jackson, who’s also the producer of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival.

“Music is an integral part of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and all other Caribbean Carnivals,” Jackson said. “Each year, new music is created in celebration of Carnivals in English, Spanish, and French-speaking Caribbean countries. This has resulted in a dynamic and exciting exchange of Caribbean music among Carnival aficionados and the development and internationalization of Caribbean music on the world stage.”

Montreal’s version of Carnival, Carifiesta, began in 1975, in an attempt to bring the celebration of Caribbean people and culture to the diaspora in Montreal. Since its inception, Carifiesta has continued to grow as local Caribbeans and non-Caribbeans alike submerge themselves in the celebration of Caribbean nations’ music, creative expression, and vibrant energy.

For Jason Forbes, Carifiesta’s public relations representative and liaison to the city, Carifiesta is an important event to help Caribbean-Canadians demonstrate their culture and even build connections with others interested in learning more about it.

“Carifiesta brings a festive event to the city where travelers across Canada and USA attend,” said Forbes. “It provides Montreal a way, as a city, to acknowledge our diversity and support our heritage. It also brings tourism and economy into the city each year.”

It provides Montreal a way, as a city, to acknowledge our diversity and support our heritage. It also brings tourism and economy into the city each year – Jason Forbes

Carnivals in Canada are consistently looking to widen the scope of their influence and impact, welcoming participants and volunteers of all walks of life. This is something that Forbes puts a lot of attention towards, as the event’s public relations representative.

“Carifiesta is a community run organization,” he said. “I would encourage any and every young person who reads this, to take ownership of Carifiesta. Inform yourself on how you can be a member and help contribute to build this beautiful representation of your heritage. No matter who you are, Caribbean or not, we are all one family.”

According to 22-year-old Montrealer and self-proclaimed “Carnival junky” Dhantae Ashby, the recipe to Carnival’s success throughout Canada is not as complicated or premeditated as some might think.

“From what I’ve observed in the past 10+ years of [attending the Toronto Caribbean Carnival], non-Caribbean people love our music, food and love to take pictures with the costumes,” he said. “They always seem to enjoy the vibe.”

Both the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and Carifiesta are set to be held next year during their usual weekend in August and July respectively. It’s safe to say that many are already awaiting Carnival’s return to Canada.


Feature photo courtesy of Carifiesta


Everlasting love

Everlasting is the title of Rayana Speede’s upcoming EP and poetry book, but it’s also how she describes love, in all its forms.

The 23-year-old, an artist in every sense of the word, is preparing to release a unique project that demonstrates her wide range of talent.

While some choose to release music on Soundcloud, and others post poetry on blogs or websites, Speede decided she wanted to release a musical project and poetry book together as complementary works of art. The music will be available digitally, while the physical collection of poems will include QR codes, connecting the readers to corresponding songs.

Speede looks to redefine how love is discussed throughout art, using the creative passion she’s been developing since childhood. As a proud Jamaican-Canadian, her culture at home was a natural but driving force in growing her love for music, as well as art in general.

“My family’s really artistic,” said Speede. “We’re a typical Jamaican family who loves music. We’d just be chilling in the living room, singing together, just for fun. That’s something we love to do as a family.”

Speede’s family is no stranger to talent, as a majority of her immediate relatives practice some form of art, whether that be singing, painting or poetry. Her uncle, Mello G, has even gained popularity throughout the city as an established reggae singer. All that aside, expectations were always the last thing on Speede’s mind, throughout the process of creating Everlasting, performing at local underground shows, and singing in her church choir. Her and her family’s faith, on the other hand, have been one of Speede’s greatest inspirations.

“I was raised, and live in a Christian household. That’s my faith as well,” Speede said.

While the Books of Psalms and Proverbs of the Bible inspired Speede’s work, her beliefs also have a lasting impact on her mindset and how she views her career goals. “Faith really makes you redefine success, as well,” she said. “It’s not about buying houses and flexing. I care about sharing joy and love.”

Speede hopes to use her art as a medium to convey her beliefs concerning love, especially those often ignored in mainstream media.

“I wasn’t in a relationship for a while, but I had so much love in my life,” Speede said. “I really wondered to myself, ‘Why isn’t there a song I can listen to that’s catered to my mom, or to my dad, or to my sister?’”

For Speede, today’s media often fails to portray the true emotions that people feel on a daily basis. She believes that flings and romantic love are not the only forms of affection that should be highlighted in art.

“In this project, you really go through what my view of love is, and how to sustain all of its different kinds,” the artist said. “I can experience love for my mom, or for my nephews and nieces, all in different ways.”

Speede has been singing since she was five, and writing poetry since the age of 10. In 2016, she released her first EP, Love’s Aftertaste, after being selected to take part in a six-week artist residency program at Up Next studio in Montreal. The program spurred the creation of the four-track project, which features soul-caressing R&B vocals, paired with jazzy, laid-back instrumentals.

In fall of last year, Speede had the idea to begin Everlasting.

Cover art for Speede’s upcoming EP and poetry book.

“In September, I started putting together different poems I had written and was working on,” Speede said. “I really wanted to make a book with all of the poems I had written. I also really wanted to release music. Then I thought, ‘Why not just do both?’”

Now, Speede hopes to expand her audience with the release of her poetry book alongside the EP, and believes in Everlasting’s potential to help create a different discourse around love.

“I think it will open the doors for people to be open with each other, and talk about their feelings,” Speede said. “It doesn’t always have to be romantic. I really hope this project opens those kinds of conversations.”

Keep an eye out for her single, “Love is,” dropping on all music streaming platforms on April 19, and Everlasting, set to be released mid-May.


Flows for Philippines

Montreal’s music community joined together to perform for relief efforts in the Philippines

On Sunday, March 24, local Montreal artists performed at École Privée to help raise money for relief efforts in the Philippines, following a devastating typhoon in 2018. While the artists may have taken a pay cut to perform at the charity event, the cause behind the show made it well worth it. It was organized by the McGill University Filipino Asian Students Association (MUFASA), the McGill Association of North American Born Asians (MANABA), and McGill graduate Chuong Trinh, a.k.a. Waterboii, one of the night’s performers. It was their love for music and passion for helping others that spurred the idea for Bahay, the name of the event, which means “home” in Tagalog, one of the Philippines’s official languages. They thought the name sounded welcoming.

While the event took place late on a Sunday evening.—far from an ideal night to attend a show—the renowned Montreal club began to fill up around 10 p.m. With up-and-coming artists including Qi Yama of the art collective KAJ, Waterboii, Dev, Gxlden Child and more-established local rapper Lou Phelps set to hit the stage, the energy in the tight-knit venue grew by the minute. The perfectly-timed smoke machines and bright light lasers helped to add a vibrant aesthetic to the mysteriousness of the club’s dark, gloomy walls.

As Abdou, a DJ from KAJ, curated the playlist from around 10:15 p.m. to 10:45 p.m., the dancers in the crowd really began to move. By the end of the set, his eclectic, unique sound had clearly impressed, as the dancing crowd had filled any remaining space on the dance floor.

Minutes later, only a focused eye could have spotted the nonchalant movements of Qi Yama, who appeared gripping a mic behind Abdou and the elevated DJ booth. Then, he let the crowd have it.

He began to flow with an energy that surprised some, given his calm demeanor. His melodic bars rang through the small room, as some peered upwards in search of the catchy tune that mysteriously appeared. His set was short and sweet, as if not wanting to give away his secrets. As he wrapped up, Qi Yama descended back down from the stage to a booth nearby, leaving some slightly confused, and most wanting more.

Around 11:45 p.m., following a bustling set of hip hop hits from Netherboii, frequent collaborators Dev and Gxlden Child joined on stage, for more intense sets. As Dev took centre stage and Gxlden Child joined the DJ behind the booth, Dev’s questions to the crowd had them shouting back full-force.

“How are y’all feeling tonight?” he asked the crowd, through the autotune-laced mic that accompanied his sound. Their answers were muttered and matched his intensity—likely due to a mixture of alcohol and excitement. “The producer of this song is my boy and he’s Filipino. Shoutout to the Philippines, man,” he said.

As his set progressed, Dev performed each song with the same energy as the last, his body gyrating with passion. While it seemed like he could go on for hours, it was Gxlden Child’s turn to shift from bopping his head behind the DJ booth to performing at the front of the stage. He took Dev’s place and carried out his setlist with a more gloomy, melodic sound. His music’s energy quickly had its effect on the showgoers, as their movements slowed down to match Gxlden’s dark flows.

When it seemed like the crowd had given all of the energy they had to give on a Sunday night, they were resurrected by a performance from Waterboii, one of the organizers of the event, and a MUFASA and MANABA general member. Waterboii performed the entirety of his set from the dancefloor, with the crowd forming a circle around him, essentially creating a 30-minute moshpit.

The ambience quickly shifted to one that was reminiscent of a pre-2016 XXXTentacion show, with distorted trap instrumentals and raging vocals. Waterboii’s energy was infectious, as he bounced off of the crowd members and belted lyrics at top volume.

As Waterboii’s set came to an end and the mosh pit dispersed, his set came to an end, it was time for the night’s final performance. Lou Phelps, a household name in the world of Montreal hip hop, brought his funky, bouncing musical style to the Bahay event. As the attendees rapped along to the lyrics of his notable tracks like “Come Inside” ft. Jazz Cartier and “What Time Is It?!” ft. Innanet James, the infectious smile on Phelps’s face effectively helped spread an aura of good vibes over the audience.

“I knew what had happened [in the Philippines], and that’s why I was so honoured to be asked to perform for the event,” said Phelps in a later interview. “I have a few friends that are from the Philippines, also.”

The event raised over $2,000 towards relief efforts in the Philippines, a feat Waterboii hopes to surpass in the near future.

“Over $1,100 is pretty neat for a first time, but we plan to make bigger, better events in the future,” he said. We all believe in the potential of events like this, and we want to push communities to support a cause, and create new concerts for different audiences.”

Music Quickspins

QUICKSPINS: DDG – Sorry 4 the Hold Up

The YouTuber-turned-rapper and recent Epic Records signee, DDG, is looking to solidify his place in the hip hop world. His latest project is a short but sweet reminder of the constant work he puts in to reach musical stardom.

Sorry 4 the Hold Up, a clever twist on Lil Wayne’s classic mixtape series, Sorry 4 the Wait, is a four-track project whose major theme revolves around the complicated, public breakup he went through in 2018 and his actions following the split.

On the album’s opening track, “Lil Baby,” the 21-year-old smoothly croons over an electric guitar-based instrumental produced by superstar beatmaker Mick Schultz. DDG provides a detailed account of his intimate encounters, possibly reflecting on past events with his ex. Sorry 4 the Hold Up’s third track, “Hold Up,” holds the only feature of the EP. Queen Naija, fellow YouTuber-turned-artist, accompanies DDG on an emotional message to their past loves. Queen Naija went through a similar high-profile breakup in 2018, so it’s fitting that she shares the track with him.

The project’s final track, “Run It Up,” features an interesting trio of rappers to close out the EP. Released prior to Sorry 4 the Hold Up, the song includes YBN Nahmir, G Herbo, and Blac Youngsta, each of whom showcase their individual styles and flows on the club anthem. “Run It Up” is produced by Taz Taylor, who’s known for creating the beat for Rich the Kid’s three-time platinum single, “Plug Walk.”

While DDG’s fan base awaits a longer body of work, they should only expect a full project to be released once he gets through his Breaking the Internet tour, set to end on April 18. Nevertheless, Sorry 4 the Hold Up, despite being only four songs long, is just the right amount of music needed to hold them off—for now.


Trial Track: “Lil Baby”

Star Bar: “I think it’s really your pride

You not expressing what you feel inside

Girl, I don’t know what you’re trying to hide

You said that you loved me, that shit was a lie”

– DDG on “Hold Up” ft. Queen Naija

Music Quickspins

QUICKSPINS: The Cinematic Orchestra – To Believe

The Cinematic Orchestra is a British music group consisting of six members. The ensemble, formed in 1999, fall into many genres, though downtempo—a genre of electronic music similar to ambient music—and nu jazz, are most fitting. Their creative approach to mixing both traditional and synthetic musical sounds is one that sets them apart.

To Believe is the group’s fifth studio album, and comes 12 years after the release of their previous one, Ma Fleur. Their latest project is only seven songs long, though the above-average length of the songs makes up for the short track list. Each track is at least five minutes, with the last song of the album, “A Promise,” running for 11 and a half minutes.

With five of the album’s seven songs featuring vocals from less known singers, To Believe’s two other songs are strictly instrumental. The project’s sound is one that reflects a kind of personal, introspective journey. Each track, in its own way, provides the listener with a mental depiction of emotion and energy—whatever that may look like. Songs like “The Workers of Art” do well to demonstrate the reason for the group’s name. Its melancholic, flowing string melody is reminiscent of a dramatic, romantic scene between two troubled lovers. Though some tracks may run flat at times, highlighted by their extremely long lengths, each song ends on a reassuring note—one displaying The Cinematic Orchestra’s expert production and creativity.


Trial Track: To Believe ft. Moses Sumney

Star Bar: “Our walls come down / Reveal to me / No need to wait, no / For me to see” — Tawiah on “Wait for Now/Leave the World”

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