Cincinnati // On The Rise // Mix

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Cincinnati is an old pork production metropolis with German roots. Its music landscape is largely flooded by folksy rock foursomes and long-haired guitarists who employ heavy reverb. Think music for blue collars. And, that grit hasn’t changed…but the sound is evolving and it’s an exciting time for audiophiles.

While Cincinnati does boast a nice hip-hop resume (at least for a city its size), it doesn’t have an identity/aesthetic like other Midwestern cities (Minneapolis, St. Louis, Chicago).

So, here, this mix showcases a different ‘Cincinnati’– A Cincinnati music scene that’s a little bit of an electronic playground, a pinch boom-bap soul and with voices proud to be from the Queen City, USA.

(Some KY artists include Elle Herring, tinyforest–they’ve been included because they’re dope. That is all.)

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http://8tracks.com/mixes/4689859/player_v3_universal

Ontologic – Why the f&*% we need to put out an album [EP]

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Ontologic, short for ontological, means “philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality” [via].  And, it’s truly a fitting name for this hip-hop duo who dedicate bars of poetics about hip-hop culture, its diversion from story-telling, gritty picturesque narratives to shallow sing-song rap songs. The duo, Unseen and Haiku, hail from Cincinnati, Ohio. Unseen…well, just Google ’Unseen rapper’. These tracks are from the early-mid ‘00s, so they’ve been in a state of ‘being’ for a while now. But, I don’t think they’ve ever gotten the attention they deserve. So, I give you Ontologic’s Why the fuck we need to put out an album album.

Artwork: Patti Miller

TinyForest – WithoutDreams [EP]

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Icouldwritelikethis. But, I’m not going to. I’ll leave that to TinyForest—a young cloud-rap producer from Cincinnati, OH who produces spaced-out sounds, but leaves the spaces out of his song titles. WithoutDreams is an 8-track foray into Stacy-esque, Lil B, powderpuff hip-hop, though with an acoustic flare. It’s nice. The winners on this one are “LuckyNumbers” (a downtempo joint w/ this expansive orchestral hit that fills up the empty space) and “MindInOrder”, a similarly slow-paced record. It’s not all great, but there’s definitely great stuff sprinkled throughout. Oh, and the dude has a huge crush on UGK—doing a cool-as-fuck remix of “Int’l Players Anthem” and sampling them for another track. Give this one a listen, like, right now.

Animal Crackers — National Geoplastic

Been doing a little research for a larger project, but I’ve got to stop and mention these Queen City cats. Animal Crackers, a DJ collective that started in 1995, were Scribble Jam (now defunct festival) heroes, and scratch wizards. This music is straight from the holy four facets of Hip Hop, turntables and crates of records sound. This album, National Geoplastic, dropped in ‘04. My favorite track is “Soul Merchant”, a solid mash-up work, akin to Girl Talk, just with  DJ Jazzy Jeff and A Tribe Called Quest influence. More chill than anything, each track is a weird compliment to the next. Yeah, there are a bunch of skits, but good music at its roots. 7.5/10

Ill Poetic — The Beautiful

Ill Poetic is a Cincinnati Emcee who released this song in 2007. He’s recently, (within the past week), been a part of BET’s Ohio Cypher. In this track, “The Beautiful”, he pseudo-quotes Outkast, “Twice upon a time there was man who died,” the beat waves in your skull like water stuck in your ears accompanied by a dripping piano. For more info check this much more extensive bio. Definitely an intriguing MC from the O-H-I-O. 

Eazy and Swagga — Welcome 2 Cincinnati (First Time Through) Review

Okay, I stumbled upon Welcome 2 Cincinnati, dropped on March 4th, doing a little datpiff.com browsing. I found this little tandem, Eazy and Swagga, a couple young kids putting out mixtapes at a pretty consistent rate. Did a little more research and realized this guy on the right is from DYT, 937, Dayton, Ohio. “Right Above It” feat. Yung he’s announcing this “Gem City mo——fu-ker” affiliation. “Gotta give these dudes a hometown listen,” I thought. 

Production: We’re talking about borrowed beats here. T.I.’s “Whatever You Like”, gets turned into a satire, “You have have whatever you like. Off the dollar menu tonight.” I respect the honesty. Chris Brown’s “Deuces”, which might be overdone, but come on man, any beat that 3stacks jumps on isn’t sh—. 

Eazy El Loco:

“I was born in September of 92’. I was a young prodigy. Music came natural to me. I started rhymin when i was 7 yrs old in grade skool and made it to where i am today.” (myspace.com/eazyelloco)

Too much autotune. Lots of autotune. Listen to Frank Ocean’s “Novocane”. He says:

“Every single record autotunin’, zero emotion, muted emotion, pitch corrected, computed emotion.” (Nostalgia/Ultra)

Too true. There’s some slick lyricism on “Power”, rapping over Kanye’s now iconic beat. 

As a full body of work it’s impressive considering how young these two are. On a scale of ten this mixtape is a 6.5, it’d get fourth in a bikini contest, a C+ in band class. Seriously though, give them a listen (Click album cover for DL).

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Where it stacks up?

Can’t really compare it to any big releases, it’s got as much autotune as Yeezy’s 808s & Heartbreak

Commercially?

Maybe it’ll be a hit at the corner markets in Dayton, Cincinnati, sell those hard copies and get a bacon, egg sandwich. Send songs to blogs, make a radio edit, have the lease to the beat and maybe HOT 102.9 will listen. 

Eazy and Swagga — Welcome 2 Cincinnati (First Time Through) Review

Okay, I stumbled upon Welcome 2 Cincinnati, dropped on March 4th, doing a little datpiff.com browsing. I found this little tandem, Eazy and Swagga, a couple young kids putting out mixtapes at a pretty consistent rate. Did a little more research and realized this guy on the right is from DYT, 937, Dayton, Ohio. “Right Above It” feat. Yung he’s announcing this “Gem City mo—-fu-ker” affiliation. “Gotta give these dudes a hometown listen,” I thought. 

Production: We’re talking about borrowed beats here. T.I.’s “Whatever You Like”, gets turned into a satire, “You have have whatever you like. Off the dollar menu tonight.” I respect the honesty. Chris Brown’s “Deuces”, which might be overdone, but come on man, any beat that 3stacks jumps on isn’t sh–. 

Eazy El Loco:

“I was born in September of 92’. I was a young prodigy. Music came natural to me. I started rhymin when i was 7 yrs old in grade skool and made it to where i am today.” (myspace.com/eazyelloco)

Too much autotune. Lots of autotune. Listen to Frank Ocean’s “Novocane”. He says:

“Every single record autotunin’, zero emotion, muted emotion, pitch corrected, computed emotion.” (Nostalgia/Ultra)

Too true. There’s some slick lyricism on “Power”, rapping over Kanye’s now iconic beat. 

As a full body of work it’s impressive considering how young these two are. On a scale of ten this mixtape is a 6.5, it’d get fourth in a bikini contest, a C+ in band class. Seriously though, give them a listen (Click album cover for DL).

_______________________________________________________

Where it stacks up?

Can’t really compare it to any big releases, it’s got as much autotune as Yeezy’s 808s & Heartbreak

Commercially?

Maybe it’ll be a hit at the corner markets in Dayton, Cincinnati, sell those hard copies and get a bacon, egg sandwich. Send songs to blogs, make a radio edit, have the lease to the beat and maybe HOT 102.9 will listen.