Camden – Mir Fontane

Growing up in the same household as his older brother, Leo’s younger brother Owen was exposed to a lot of the same music from his dad. He was raised on Led Zeppelin and the Beastie Boys and now has a heavy rotation of Chance the Rapper and Greta Van Fleet. This will be his first-ever album review for Colossus Music, however, he did spend time in high school writing for the same paper as his brother, “Triton Voice”. In his spare time aside from music, he enjoys basketball, drinking tea, and watching Matt Damon movies. 

The reason why Owen is reviewing Mir Fontane’s Camden, an album which dropped in 2017, is because of his college roommate Dan. Owen is now into his sophomore year at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. Back in September of his freshmen year, his roommate and best friend Dan who is from Cinnaminson, NJ, close to Philly and about 15 minutes from Camden, turned him on to Mir Fontane. Although “Space Jam” was the first song he played off Fontane’s album Who’s Watching The Kids, “Frank Ocean” from Camden was what got Owen hooked. Now after a year plus of following Fontane and having his new album Who’s Watching The Kids 2 on heavy rotation, Owen and Dan went back and listened to the album that sparked a friendship. 

A lot like Owen, Dan was exposed to his dad’s favorite music from a young age. This included KISS, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, as well as the Foo Fighters. Now, Dan has added a good amount of hip hop into his rotation, with some of his favorite projects being Travis Scott’s Rodeo, Nas’ Illmatic, and Flatbush Zombies’ 3001: A Laced Odyssey. Aside from listening to music, Dan is an avid hockey fan, enjoys watching movies and spending time in Philadelphia.

and the review

The Vocals:

Mir Fontane is not your average, dime a dozen trap rappers. This album offers no shortage of catchy hooks, with this being prevalent on “Frank Ocean” as well as “Down by the River”. Mir has a flow that can rival just near about any rapper out right now. He can switch up his flow, just as he does on “This Life”, and he can offer unique singing performances on tracks such as “Real N*****z” and “Frank Ocean”.

Mir offers something that a lot of today’s rappers do not, which is a very talented ability to tell a story on a song. With tracks such as “$horty $tory”, “Camden Interlude”, and “Down by the River”, Mir brings the listeners into the picture he is painting with in-depth imagery. On “$horty $tory”, you can really feel the pain in Mir’s performance, which makes the story feel all the more real. With this also comes some typical trap lines, with Mir often referring to his hometown of Camden, NJ, as “the jungle”, but he also offers some funny, and memorable lines, such as: “Your girl vegetarian but stay on my salami” from “This Life”.

The Beats/Production: 

Camden offers no features barring a verse from Kenif Muse on “Ain’t Afraid”, giving the listener a raw feeling of Mir, which is fitting for his “coming out album”. There is not a beat on Camden you won’t like. From his performance mixed with the beats on this project, you’d feel like Mir and DaBaby would make quite a duo (as you see on Mir’s Who’s Watching the Kids 2). Mir and his team gave us some cool effects to add to the listening experience on this album, such as the background rain in “$horty $tory”, as well as background gunshots in songs such as “$horty $tory” and “Cold” which only adds onto Mir’s storytelling ability, immersing the listener into every bar Mir spits.

The Essentials:

“Frank Ocean”, “Down By the River”, “Real N****z”, and “$horty $tory”

The Rating:

This is the kind of album you put on when you’re trying to get through the last 33 minutes of a road trip and it’s raining. You’ll be singing out loud on the second listen and quote when not listening. Although Fontane released Who’s Watching the Kids in 2016, Camden a year later could be seen as his true first step on the scene just because of the flow from track to track and overall piece of dark art that Camden is as a whole. Who’s Watching the Kids has hits like “Space Jam” and “Options” but Camden is something you can look to as an album and think, “that’s Mir Fontane”. You will know all the words to this album before you even realize it.


– lil (but taller) Heff and Dan the Man

[Single] Live From The Funk – J/O/E and Milky Beatz

Judging by the album cover, I would have to say this dude is from Texas. I am all about that because I feel that Texas-based hip-hop is ignored outside of Dallas, Houston, and Fort Worth, especially up in NYC. J/O/E breaks through that noise for me. His flows are calm and measured, yet pack a punch. He couples it by rapping over a beat that seems to perfectly fit his style.

That being said, Milky Beatz does a great job adding to this track. It honestly feels like lo-fi meets early 90s hip-hop. It’s got a tight drum pattern that gets your head bobbing and a great mix of funky, yet jazzy instrumentals. All in all, J/O/E may provide some smooth bars but Milky Beatz really gives him the platform to make them both sound so good. For any old-school hip-hop heads reading this, I highly encourage you to check this track out!

Stream “Live from the Funk” here:

Stream all of J/O/E’s music here:

[SINGLE] Heart Scars – Jeremy Pascal

Jeremy Pascal is not a single person but instead, three friends and their alter ego. Based in Vienna, Austria, Tino, Julian, and Nico make music about the experiences they share. This generates an interesting blend of emo rap and punk to give us tracks like their debut single “Good Drugs” and others like “Heart Scars” and “Butterfly”.

I don’t typically gravitate towards this sort of rap. Emo rap is still a bit of a weird trend for me. However, the idea of it is something I totally love and acknowledge. Hip-hop has always been about being unique and carving out your own path. That is exactly what “sad boi” or emo rap sounds like to me. Are the old heads gonna like it? No. But that doesn’t mean it should be any less discredited as art. “Heart Scars” is a great example of this. The beat feels like a combination of a bit of hip-hop and a smidge of punk percussion which gives listeners a nice flow. The vocals are honestly pretty solid too. Sometimes I get really bored of lyrics in tracks like this but the trio provides a really catchy hook and some strong, emotional verses. Any Juice WRLD, Lil Peep, or even Blink-182 should definitely give these guys a listen.

Stream all of Jeremy Pascal’s tracks here:

[SINGLE] Less – Yury

This isn’t the first time I have listened to Yury and definitely will not be the last. I first discovered his single “Needless To Say” which was featured on the Colossus Heat Check. The Brooklyn based, Belarussian born rapper-producer has some serious style and a deep catalog. If you like “Less”, I am positive you will like much of the rest of his music. Yury works on every aspect of the musical process which is clear to see as each have a similar sound, yet unique vibe.

“Less” is different than what I usually listen to or write about. With its electronic feel and washed out bass drops, the track almost pulls you deeper and deeper into it. The vocals don’t push any boundaries with their lyricism but I really like the vibe. It sounds a bit like an emo-rap track however, it doesn’t have a sad beat in the slightest. One thing I have to give props to is the mixing and production. A lot of times, I listen to similar tracks with funky, washed-out beats and they sound off. “Less” is perfectly mixed and honestly just sounds cool.

Stream “Less” as well as Yury’s other top tracks here:

Helvetica – Jelani Aryeh

It’s been great find after great find lately. Jelani Aryeh is the newest to that list. The 17-year-old artist comes out of San Diego, CA. Jelani takes inspiration for his music from music and cinema alike. His first EP titled Suburban Destinesia is equally inspired by the movie “Palo Alto”, a movie about directionless teens in the city of the same name, and Jelani’s own experiences growing up in the suburbs. Helvetica is his second EP and is a must-add for any fans of Brockhampton, Frank Ocean, Gus Dapperton, or people who just enjoy vibey music.

There is a lot going on here on this EP. But the first thing that stands out is the vocals. Dude sounds like Frank Ocean meets Arctic Monkeys. Now to most, that sounds like a really weird combination but just listen to the first track “Curls” and tell me you don’t hear both styles. Honestly, this project is just really funky and smooth. It’s only nine tracks and 25 minutes but totally worth every minute.

It’s important to note that this dude is still really young. If he is making music this entertaining at only 17, he has a huge road ahead of him. It’s not often that I say “watch out, he/she is next”, but I think he deserves it. The potential you hear in this project is incredible. Super stoked to see where he carries his career.

The Essentials:

“Curls”, “Earl Grey”, and “Patagonia”

Stream Helvetica here:

[Single] The More – Emes

It seems 2019 has been the year of breaking R&B. With the likes of Y.K Osiris, Ty Dolla $ign, Tory Lanez, and H.E.R having successful 2019 campaigns, it makes sense for Emes (pronounced MS) to start taking the R&B community by storm. After graduating from high school in Hawaii, Emes moved to Seattle to pursue his talents as an artist. And here at Colossus, we believe he made the right decision.

“The More” is a melodic vibe with lyrics that attach to the audience. What caught my ears is Emes vocals, which have a very Ty Dolla $ign feel to them. The change in cadences and pitches are beautiful and what really makes Emes special. From the lyrics, production, and quality of the tracks is a must-listen. I know that the winter is fast approaching but this is straight beach vibes. Whether you are in Hawaii or Maine, this will transport you back to summer on the beach.

Stream “The More” here:

[Single] Change Up – B. Aull

If you don’t already follow the Colossus Heat Check playlist, it’s a perfect example of artists you haven’t heard yet that need to get more attention. Rapper B. Aull is exactly this. Originally coming out of Maine but now in Brooklyn, he cultivates a very vibey, unique sound with his music. He has already received a decent amount of attention on other music publications (Lyrical Lemonade and Earmilk to name the big ones) and it’s time for him to officially get attention from Colossus as well. It’s hip-hop…it’s R&B…it’s dance…it’s a vibe that will make bob your head….it’s B. Aull.

This song honestly slaps and I can’t recommend it enough. This isn’t the first time I have stumbled across B. Aull as he has once before appeared in my Discover Weekly but it is definitely the first time he has caught my attention. The track is catchy, rhythmic, and smooth. The beat feels like you are in a rainforest of hi-hats and bass. But more importantly, B. Aull creates a track that is lyrically solid and fun to listen to. You can truly hear his influence on different flows and cadences. “Change Up” is our newest find and should be your latest addition to your library or playlist.

Stream “Change Up” here:

Check out the music video for the single here:

Stream B. Aull other music here:

[Single] Six Feet Under – Kris Sobanksi x Meta P

Switching it up here a bit on my end with this one. I am all about different. “Six Feet Under” is different, but it works. With the likes of P.O.D and Eminem, this track combines an upbeat tempo with fast and understandable lyrics. However, its the chorus and change of pace that brings this track together and reminds me of the early 2000s.

Coming from Rhode Island, Sobanski teamed up with Meta P to create this dark and chilling track. Sobanski has been producing and DJ’ing for some time now and we highly recommend checking out his Spotify, holding a diverse catalog for not only Hip-Hop lovers.

Stream “Six Feet Under” here:

[Single] “Amourire” – NA2S

French rap has to be one of my favorite foreign versions of hip hop to listen to. Yes, I understand a little of what is being said but what attracts me is the cadence of rapping in the French language. I recently came across NA2S, a Belgian rapper who’s got a super chill vibe. He’s a young artist of Moroccan and Iranian descent who clearly has his world view effect his music.

Hearing “Amourire”, I immediately was feeling that XXXTentacion vibe. The slow, relaxing strum of the guitar matched by the melodic background vocals reminds me of “the remedy for a broken heart”. The only thing we are missing is some more trap-like percussion. Not everyone is a big fan of listening to foreign rap. However, if you want some vibes for a rainy day…this is the track for you. Definitely going to be following NA2S in the future to see what he does with his skills.

Check out “Amourire” here as well as NA2S’s other tracks:

[Music Video] “Can I Breath” – Rudeboy Tha Shottah

Coming out of New Orleans’ 6th Ward, Rudeboy Tha Shottah is on a mission to add his name to Lousiana’s ever-growing list of successful rappers. Just 22, he has seen first hand how the justice system has affected his close friends, family, and community members. Through rap, he is pushing himself with the limited resources and opportunities he has. He has talent, intelligence, motivation on his side to make this possible. I came across this music video through a submission on SubmitHub and it immediately caught my attention.

Dude just spits. Period. Louisiana produces some of the best rappers and while Rudeboy isn’t the best yet, he has the talent to take himself far. “Can I Breath” is an emotional track with an equally emotional video of him visiting his grandfather in the hospital. The beat is simple yet elegant with its calming piano loop and speedy hi-hats. Rudeboy is not quiet about his struggles and chooses to focus on pushing through the obstacles in front of him. His lyrics aren’t anything insane but his flow and cadence are extremely solid and smooth.

Check out the music video for “Can I Breath” here: