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Halftone Palm Trees



Immediately, this beat will catch your attention. The beat flipped Janet Jackson's classic "Anytime, Anyplace" and sprinkled in some Kendrick Lamar influence as well. This song is not bad at all, and gives some space to improve. Skweez is an independent artist who is working to find his way much like his musical influence, the late Nipsey Hussle. We honor the space Skweez has created for us to enjoy his music and the story he has to tell.

Bop: As mentioned before, this song does have some space to improve. The beginning of the song starts off a bit rough but the song in itself is written really well. Skweez is a talented rapper with an amazing voice. It is raspy and youthful; it is fresh and intentional. This gives Skweez an amazing foundation off which to build. Proper mixing of the vocals to help them align with the beat would elevate this song well on its way to being a certified bop.

Airpods Quality: The beat is really well produced but the track needs work on to address the rawness of Skweez's vocals. As independent artists continue to grow, it is essential that they begin to locate engineers who can mix their songs to radio quality. If you want to fully enjoy this song, turn down the volume a few notches to be able to hear all of the elements of the song; the Janet Jackson sample, the drums, the evolution of this beat to decipher from Kendrick Lamar's "Poetic Justice" to this independently existing record. "Can Get It" would still get some play in my airpods, for sure, though.

Knock Value: Given that this track derived from an R&B single, this song is a nostalgic groove. It has some knock to it, but it isn't distracting. The producer did a great job of flipping this beat from the two former iterations by Ms. Jackson and Mr. Lamar. Coincidentally, "Can Get It," reminds me of Payroll Giovanni in that it is nostalgic bounce to the flow. It won't have your speakers rattling in your car, but you'll find yourself snapping along midway through the record.

Misogyny Meter: There isn't a direct attack on women in the song at all. One of Skweez's influences is Curren$y and you can hear the influence in music. Skweez's flow is skraight hip-hop. There is confidence, introspection, and an invitation to acknowledge Skweez's style. Definitely something we can all enjoy.

Decidedly, this song is pretty good. It could use some work to develop the vocals and to remain steadfast in the identity of the song. However, you can tell that Skweez is a dedicated artist, a talented rapper, and a favorable songwriter. There is a charm about this song that you can appreciate as a fan of independent artists. Click the links below to follow Skweez on social media and to support this artist!

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There is something special about an authentic Oakland record. You can hear the East Oakland overtone in the first three seconds-- If you know, you know. John Doe delivers us nothing short of a bop with "Catch These Hands," one of the many dope songs by the artist. I also had the pleasure of reviewing not only the song, but the music video linked here. One of the best aspects of this song is how calm the artist sounds. John Doe does a great job of honoring the beat, giving it space to breathe, and allowing his lyrics and delivery to do the rest.

Bop: Yes. As an East Oakland native, John Doe has created a space for the Oakland sound. This beat is very Oakland. When watching the video, John Doe's friend in the background is even accompanying the song with original Bay Area dances, further solidifying the authenticity of the beat and the song. This is a subtle bop. When played in the car speakers, the song hugs you from all sides and encourages you to dance and move. Get into it, y'all.

Airpods Quality: Perfection. The vocals are clear and the beat doesn't drown out John Doe's flow. The mix on "Catch These Hands" is so clean, it blends well perfectly. When you play it from your airpods, it glides into your brain like butter; a bumping production with a beautifully smooth mix makes for a great single. When your production value is high, you can get away with a lot of things that sticklers may nitpick about. But when your production is great, flow is great, and your mix is on point, you have a radio-ready song. This song is ready for KMEL.

Knock Value: 10/10. You know that feeling you get when you hop in your car on your way to the gym, and you're trying to figure out how to get in the mood but you don't want to use your workout playlist; you just want to get a lil umph going? Yea, "Catch These Hands" will do just that for you. And with the knock value, this song will have your car JOMPIN.

Misogyny Meter: The question is, "will the ladies love it?" It is no question that when women love a song, it will do great. "Knuck if you Buck" is a prime example. The club screams "YEA WE KNUCKIN A BUCKIN AND READY TO FIGHT..." because the ladies love that part/verse. "Catch These Hands" has that same potential. While the verses are not performed by a woman, the energy is there. The hook is Instagram-caption-worthy and the verses are just vague enough to be applicable to a hater of any gender.

Overall, "Catch These Hands" is a very solid song. It is simple, yet has so much personality. Even the video, though simple, there is so much personality in the locations chosen: they are outdoorsy and interesting. John Doe doesn't do too much by going out of budget but is still able to provide a decent music video for his single.

Independent artists can take note from John Doe: book the video shoot; don't worry about having 20 girls in the video or renting a Maserati. Don't worry about having a handful of cash, or any of that if you don't already have it. Allow your fans to grow with you. Allow the people who support you to do just that. And watch how things take off.

Great work, John Doe.

Ink, 2022

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Apollo King 47 has created a solid acoustic tune with "Patron;" accompanied by a Richie Picasso visual, Apollo King 47 croons over his own acoustic production. A humble artist from Tenosique De Pino Suarez, Tabasco, Mexico, Apollo King 47 gives us an international song to vibe along to that is sanguine, vulnerable, and hopeful about building a life for yourself.

Bop: This is an acoustic mellow vibe, and Apollo King 47 is a crooner, for sure. Most of the songs in his catalogue are romantic, yet they are genuine, much like "Patron." It is clear that his songwriting concentrates on a heavy Baby Bash influence (whose first album was also released independently 😉). We love authenticity, especially from our international artists who often experience discrimination from predominantly English-speaking platforms. The joy comes in being able to experience a Spanish-speaking artist, digest their lyrics, and honor the space in-between. Love is a universal language, and Apollo King 47 has given us something to bop to with "Patron".

Airpods Quality: As can be expected with an Indie Artist, the mix on the song is a bit raw. However, this adds a lot of character to this acoustic song in its entirety. It feels like being invited to an intimate concert; like MTV's Unplugged. If you love a good acoustic song to add to your playlist, give Apollo King 47 a listen.

Knock Value: I wouldn't consider this a song that will have the speakers knocking screws loose. It is acoustic and inspirational. The knock comes with the feeling put into the song. As mentioned earlier, love is a universal language-- it is felt. Speaking of dreams for yourself and the life you want is empathetic, because who doesn't have dreams? Try not to expect your speakers to be JOMPIN; this is a ballad; a love letter to the self; it begs to question: how big can you dream?

Misogyny Meter: There are a few instances that could make one wince, but we can let this one slide. I'll give it a 6/10.

Overall, "Patron" is a very solid song from international artist, Apollo King 47. The song has been well-received and has even been reviewed by Plan-A Radio co-founder, DJ Show (linked here).

Make sure to check out Apollo King 47 on all platforms linked below.

Ink, 2022

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