Deep Concentration: Will Kasso

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I told you guys last month that there would be some new beginnings around here, and our brand new podcast/interview series Deep Concentration will be a new chapter for this site and my own journey. Being a lover of podcasts and conversations, my aim for Deep Concentration is to have deeper conversations that will focus on the creatives that I have crossed paths with that either birthed new energy or just excited me as a fan and lover of the visual and performing arts.

For the first episode of Deep Concentration, I had a dope conversation with Trenton's own Will Kasso, who now calls Vermont home. I've been following his work for the longest, and have grown to know him over the last six years. He's one of the beacons of the Trenton graffiti scene, helping put the Trenton scene on the map, and is the founder of the S.A.G.E. Coalition, a community revitalization project that which was a major catalyst for today's arts scene in Trenton.

With his solo exhibition Urban Legend currently up at Artworks Trenton until August 31, I got to talk to him the night before the show's reception. Kasso didn't hold anything back, sitting with me for almost 90 minutes to talk about everything from his history as an artist in Trenton, NJ, the Gandhi Garden and that Mike Brown mural to the rise and fall of the S.A.G.E. Coalition.

You can stream the full episode via Mixcloud, or download it for free via iTunes and Google Play. You can also follow Deep Concentration on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I want to send a major shout out to Deal - The Villain for letting me use "Legend Blue" on Deep Concentration. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please contact us over at deepconpod@gmail.com.

Thundercat's 'Drunk' Gets Chopped, Not Slopped

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Are you as in love with Thundercat's brilliant 2017 album Drunk as I am, but want to hear it in a new (purple) light? You should grab Drank, which finds DJ Candlestick repping for OG Ron Cand The ChopStars, bringing a chopped (not slopped) take to the entire project. Standouts like "Show You The Way," "Them Changes," and "Walk On By" never sounded so lit, trust.

You can stream the tape down below, and grab it via LiveMixtapes.

Jon Glass Created An Amazing Beat Tape In Eight Hours

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Image via Facebook


You ever hear an idea so dope that you have to figure out a way to replicate it one day? This is one of those ideas. On August 12, Jon Glass stepped into the Mass Apparel shop in Massachusetts to work an eight-hour shift. No, he wasn't stocking shelves; he was crafting instrumentals of their The Shift beat tape series. He locked in, knocking out this impressive, seven-track release of hypnotic headnodders.

The beauty of Glass' work is the variety of tracks he has here. While tracks like "Fly Shit" are more of a hazy, sloooooooooowed vibe, cuts like "D-Block" get way grittier. "Shroom" might be on some ultra chill shit, but then "This Is Hip Hop" is a dusty-fingered, double bass'd boom bap-er. Dude really knows his shit.

You can stream and download the full project via Audiomack.

Jett I Masstyr's California Dreamin' On His New 'L A X' EP

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As we head into the beginnings of a beautiful August day, it's only right to get your lounge on, LA-style. The Houston-based homey Jett I Masstyr has the perfect EP for you. On L A X, Jett produced a five-track instrumental love letter to the city of Angels.

"I love going to Los Angeles," Jett shares, "whether its to work on music or just visit. I've never spent more than a few days, and it's never long enough. Immediately after landing, I can sense it's a different world...a different vibe completely."

If you need that type of vibe in your life, you can stream L A X down below, and cop the full release via Bandcamp.

Bad Rabbits, Beautiful Music

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My appreciation for Boston's Bad Rabbits is proof that I should leave the house more often. Recently, the homey Black Collar Biz opened for them during a dope edition of the Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series; I didn't get to catch Collar's performance live, but as I walked over to Mill Hill Park to take in the rest of the event, there was some futuristic funk slash rock slash R&B slash hip-hop vibes filling the air. It was everything I loved about my mom's '80s-era funk collection, mixed with a turnt, electrified stage presence, especially with their frontman Dua. When the show was over, I had to cop some of their music, which I recently just ripped for my travels.

Then I dipped over to their website and realized that, while you can (and should) cop physical copies of their music, a number of the releases are available for free (or whatever you want to pay) as digital downloads. I'm a few months behind, but the cut I included below ("Mysterious") currently has me going. It perfectly encapsulates what I dig about this outfit, and is something you need to get into...ASAP.

The Other Guys Provide A Soundtrack For 'The Working Class'

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Image via The Other Guys

I don't know about you, but the grind doesn't stop over here. When that work has to be done, you need the proper soundtrack to get through it, which is why I'm digging this new instrumental series The Other Guys are embarking on. Their new EP, The Working Class, is a boom bap-y batch of beats that will help motivate you to be great. Hell, it even features Tanya Morgan's Von Pea on the intro (and yes, that beat is included as an instrumental as well).

You can stream and download The Working Class for $free.99 over on Bandcamp, and grab that new Tanya Morgan album, YGWY$4, while you're at it.

Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman Release Their Third Collaborative EP, 'Triple Fat Lice'

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Artwork by Jeremy Fish
Back in October of 2016, Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman dropped the second installment of their Lice series with Lice Two: Still Buggin', and in a similar fashion, they shocked my world with the third installment, the amazingly-titled Triple Fat Lice. It's another limited vinyl/free download release, with five bangers featuring production from Oh No, Ben Boogz (word to 2 Hungry Bros), Quelle Chris, and more. "Pins And Needles" is a beautiful way to start ANY project, trust.

You can stream the full project below, grab a free digital download via Bandcamp, and order the vinyl release via Stones Throw.

iLL-Omega Is Back With A New Instrumental Tape, 'Omegatron'

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If you're looking for a batch sinister sounds for your Saturday excursions, iLL-Omega's got you covered. Fresh off an EP with Ray Strife, Omega's back with Omegatron, a 14-track instrumental release that's as dark as it is turnt. It's primarily of a hip-hop flex, although some of the more EDM-tinged trap tracks are nothing to sleep on.

You can stream that below; be sure to check out the Rocky's House Podcast as well, which iLL is a part of. Episode one is up now, and features DJ Say Whaat and DJ Itsjustahmad.

DJ Franchise Returns With A New Mix, 'Know Me Well'

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Image via DJ Franchise
DJ Franchise has been one of the better DJs I've met via the internets, especially when it comes to shared interests. Dude just gets it. I hadn't even realized he'd been taking care of himself over the last few years, sadly, until he released his latest mix, Know Me Well.

After a triumphant return after a two-year hiatus, DJ Franchise tells a self-reflective journey of infatuation, disappointment, & love again through dancing drums and piano chords.

Franchise is truly back like he never left, dropping a dope mix featuring the likes of Prince, Chance the Rapper, Kaytranada, Kanye West, and others. You need this; it's good for the feet and good for the soul.

J.Lately and Creature In The Woods Serve Up Their 'Nachos' EP

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Image via Helena Banks x Creature In The Woods

One cat we've always rocked with here is J.Lately, primarily because he's always been on some consistent shit. Instead of trying to be on some extravagant madness, Lately finds ways to engage listeners over the simple things in life, which is what the Nachos EP is all about.

Word is that J and Creature In The Woods met while playing soccer in middle school, but it took until they got separated that they finally realigned to create this beaut of a project. This is one of those projects that you can kick it with the squad to, blunt in hand, and just coast to the melodies of life to.

You can stream the full project below; it's also available for free download via SoundCloud.