Will Static: Lightning in a Bottle

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Will Static- A young soul with an old flow.  Not sure if there is a better way to describe the artist know as Will Static.  Hip hop has really helped shape his whole life, it’s who he is and what he grew up on.

From an early age Will had a love for hip hop.  Thanks to his father, Will felt that steez at an early age.  His dad bought him his very first record when he was six or seven, Run DMC.  That started a love affair with hip hop and it was something him and his dad could do together.  His dad introduced him to the 90’s greats; Public Enemy, NWA, especially Ice Cube.  Those are things and moments that make Will unlike other artists his age.  At only 20 years old Will has a lifetime of hip hop knowledge and an appreciation for it’s art.  Many other artists in his age range (and even older) don’t care how hip hop was formed, they don’t see the importance and they don’t draw inspiration from it they way Will does.  He is not a trend hopping rapper.  He takes his love of hip hop and forms into art that means a lot to him.

Will came up a lot like most of us did.  Being introduced by his cousins and listening to the GOATs of our time, of our generation.  Namely, Lil Wayne and Eminem.  Two of the biggest artist names over the last 15 years.  Artists, no matter how you feel about them, helped shape the game and were influential in so many artists lives.  That only helped fuel his love of hip hop.  That only made the draw to it so much stronger.  It was at 14 that Will really started to dabble in the art.  Freestyling over random beats, as so many of us do.  The difference being, he took it seriously.  It was the love of music that kept drawing him in.  He even played bass in an indie rock band with his brother.

That progressed throughout his high school years.  At 15 he first heard Odd Future and it burned in him a longing to write his own music.  So that’s what he did.  He formed a group called The Danger Chamber, but without mics, equipment, etc, It was something that was more for fun.  So there it laid throughout high school.  He continued to freestyle, but never really took that next step.  Not until college.

 

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Will spent the first two years of college at UW-LaCrosse, where he was an All Conference running back and All State in Lacrosse ( one vote away from being All American.)  This is where the transformation into serious artist began.  During winter break of his freshman year Will came down to Milwaukee to see one of his favorite artists perform, Milo.  We all know what a success story Milo has been.  At this point he was the only local artist Will really knew, the only one he could really draw from and inspired by.  He didn’t even know who the opener was at that time (it was Webster X.)  This proved to be a pivotal turning point and changed how he viewed himself in hip hop.  He got the opportunity to rock a freestyle cypher before the show, which had people clamoring to him after the show asking if he had music out.  What a feeling!  It was this very night that he got to sit down and just chat with Milo, it encouraged him, it changed how he saw everything.  It was inspirational, Milo talked about setting goals and finding your own voice within hip hop.  This stuck with Will.

He went back to LaCrosse with a new mindset.  More focused than ever on becoming an artist.  He wrote a bunch of songs ( that were never released) and started getting more and more into the local/Wisconsin hip hop scene.  A meeting with Oshkosh rapper Keag also helped him on his path.  Keag encouraged Will to meet local LaCrosse rapper D-Whip, which gave Will his first chance at writing and recording in a studio and D-Whip taught him about the importance of having a musical presence in the streets and online.

This is when the music started to flow.  June 2015, Will released his first single, Fantasy, which featured D-Whip.  It also quickly caught the attention on local blog RapCine.com.  He didn’t slow down from there either, that very summer he hooked up with artists $moov, G Nes, Sunny Lou, and Oliver Blue, to form the group DRS aka Dirty Rotten Socialists (which we have featured here before).  They hit the bricks, heavy. Started recording their ep in the winter of 2015 and premiering their first single Ways, which featured Milwaukee heavyweight Reggie Bonds, in the spring of 2016 (HERE).  Months later releasing a second single, YDWT (HERE).  In that time Will not only performed at the Miramar with DRS, but also planned and orchestrated that show.

 

 

That’s where we leave DRS for now.  That’s the last word we’ve heard.  They are certainly a heavyweight group, who is bound to have great music to come.  More importantly though is the seriousness that Will Static is taking this craft.  Currently working on his debut solo ep.  Will writes atleast two hours a day.  Constantly rewriting and scrapping projects that don’t live up to his expectations.  He is not going to write, record and release a song in one day.  He has a business mind, an artists heart and a future as bright and powerful as lightning.  With this ep, he wants you to feel.  He wants to capture all human emotion.  He wants you to rock with him, have a good time and underneath it, make you feel something, make something you can relate to.

So, the first question I asked him when we started this piece was, who is Will Static?  In his own words:

 

He’s my outlet. I can get on the mic and really express myself. If its about larger societal problems, personal things I’m wrestling with, talking about the future, or just letting out energy, Will Static allows me to express what I’m feeling in a way that I think other people can relate to, and I hope the debut project really shows people that.

 

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Trust in my words that Will Static is someone you will want to keep an eye on over the next year.  Between his ep and some major moves happening in the background, Will Static is going to be a name for you to remember.  He’d kill me (jokingly) if I let anything go, the best moves are made in silence.  With a style that draws inspiration from every style of hip hop, even once being described as E40 meets Drake, Will has a unique voice and sound with an impeccable flow, especially for someone who just recently started recording music.

From the first moment I was approached by Will, I could tell he was different.  He had this excited energy about him.  Maybe that’s just me being old, but I could tell he was different. When we first spoke on the phone, it was such a positive experience, that I wanted to be involved with him and his music immediately.  He spoke with such command, such passion and was open to all ideas I brought to him.

Let this article hold you over for a bit.  I promise you, there is a lot of music coming and all of it will be worth the wait.  From big name producers, features and more…;.I’ve already probably said too much.

 

So I am going to leave you with this.  As I said above, he has a business mind, an artists heart and a future as bright and powerful as lightning….And it’s not going to be bottled up for long.

 

 

Catch him on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willstaticmusic/

Twitter: @willstatic

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/willstatic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Riverwest Sessions: Electric Pariah & Trapped in Elevators

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What a wild ride The Riverwest Sessions has been so far!  If you haven’t been keeping up with it, make sure to go checkout the Facebook page for all the latest updates!  We have been lucky enough to feature so many great acts since we started and that’s just the beginning.  We have so many plans in the coming year to increase what we do and to bring you more amazing content!

Which brings us to why we are here today!  New videos!  Today’s videos feature the bands Electric Pariah & Trapped in Elevators, stripping their sets back and doing some really great and creative interpretations on their songs!

Checkout the videos below!  Look, listen, like, share and leave feedback!  Make sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to our Youtube and Vimeo Channels for the latest and greatest!

 

On Vimeo:

 

 

 

ON YOUTUBE:

 

 

 

 

New Music: Young Daa & SAFS Sunny- NZT

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It’s been a minute since we heard some new heat from the Young Daa & SAFS Sunny album, but alas we have some new flame emojis.

NZT, starts off with a sample of Robert De Niro from the movie Limitless.  Fitting not only the track title but the direction of the song.  Local legend and producer extraordinaire Mike Regal lends his production talents, as he often has for the SAFS members.  We all know a Regal beat is gonna be fire right?  With headphones on it sounds AMAZING.

Young Daa keeps his eye on the prize and keeps that focus.  No time for rest, only time to accomplish and win.  For himself, his kids and for the city.

One life to live, let’s go and get it

Sittin’ still aint recommended

 

I don’t think that they get it, just want to provide for my children

Stacks gonna buy me a building, we bout the vision

Rapping for dollars, I give a fuck if those n*ggas know me

 

Then that bass heavy hook drops, super on point.

Feels like a took an NZT, I got the focus.

 

Then ofcourse is Sunny.  Sunny has always had his own voice and style that you can set apart from 1000 other copy cat, cookie cutter rappers.  That doesn’t change here.  Sunny brings those bars every time he touches a track.

 

If you aint tryna power up get the fuck from off the set

N*ggas waitin on my tape don’t know they waitin on they death

 

Got a bag full of gas, need a bag full of money

 

Super dope track.  Sunny and Daa are two of my favorite emcees in the city and I rock both of their music on the regular.  Both are entirely way too underrated.  Daa released one of the most slept on ep’s of the year in Milwaukee and I’ve been (patiently) waiting on that Sunny tape that was supposed to come out the 4th of July.  Haha.  Plus they were both on, arguably, the greatest track to come out of Milwaukee this year.

 

In the mean time I have been rocking all of their old tracks, I suggest you do the same.  Add this one to playlist without doubt.  Check it below!

 

 

 

 

Review: the Gospel- Penetrating Gaze

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By Taylor McAnally

Penetrating Gaze by the gospel Review

The first impression is one that is often overlooked by musical artists nowadays. Each track is processed individually, and for a lot of folks the concept of a cohesive album is lost. Wisconsin Hip Hop act the gospel does not have this problem. From the very first seconds of Penetrating Gaze, it is made extremely clear that this album will be one of tension and aggression. The rest of the album’s tracks follow suit, maintaining the high energy levels set forth by the opening tracks.

Produced by noise-rap empresarios Moodie Black, the sounds put forth on this album are those of both present and past. Nods and homages to the street-level grittiness of late-80’s east coast abound, actual record cuts and scratches appear and are used to great effect. Taking it in as a whole, this album would be very comfortable in the CD collection of any B-Boy back in them days. Emcee Lodoublet definitely exudes early Kid Rock levels of energy, though his rhyming is slipshod on a few tracks, that doesn’t stop his enthusiasm from coming through quite clearly.

Personally, this reviewer has a lot of respect for any artist who truly leans into their own sound, without compromise or integration of modern elements in an effort to not make the listener comfortable, but to challenge them. These cats are definitely firm and secure in themselves and their musical direction. In this current climate it can be really difficult to attract listeners to any act they aren’t familiar with. I definitely feel that things like the fuzzed-out vocals on ‘unity (operation ivy)’, which evoke Check Your Head-era Beasties as well as the noisier sections of grunge and alt-rock records from the 90’s, as well as the sample use on the following track ‘lets get invisable’ will bring lovers of those now-classic sound environments to the gospel in due time.

This is a good album, though not transcendent. Not every album has to boil and boggle the mind. Sometimes the listener just wants something ballsy to headbang to while they’re doing the dishes. Sometimes they just want to be sonically engaged while doing paperwork. Penetrating Gaze is a great choice if you’re into aggressive energy in your raps, a collection of interesting sounds, and a pastiche of 80’s-90’s era sounds.

7/10

Standout tracks: “speed queen laundromat” “vampire glory hole ft. derill pounds”

 

ICYMI: EmptyBrother7- THELAST24

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November 1st 2016, the date that emcee/producer EmptyBrother7 dropped his new beat tape.  The Minnesota man has released a lot of music in the last year, we’re talking beats on beats on beats.  THELAST24akaFROMUNDERTHEMOONLIGHT was in typical EmptyBrother7 fashion, a slew of brand new, smooth, sometimes funky (possibly drug induced) beats.  The title tells it all as well.  All the beats were made in one day and the tape was released the next, adding to the genius that is EmptyBrother7 and highlighting the immense talent and work ethic this producer displays.

 

With very little marketing and promotion behind the project, one would think that this would receive very little attention.  In this case, the opposite is true.  With well over 1000 listens in the first week, things were a buzzing!  Empty had so many artists hitting him up about getting on these beats, he decided to re-release the project and add a single featuring emcee Just Jimi.  The mix is a bit odd, but the lyrics themselves hold their own.  With deep, personal lyrics Just Jimi just some nice things over the beat.

 

 

Take a gander at these sounds and dig deeper!  There is sure to be something you love.  Oh, and if you are an artist needing beats or wanting to work, hit up EmptyBrother7, he is a hard working, dependable, selfless producer.

So go out and make some magic happen!

REVIEW: Tomas Doncker “The Mess We Made”

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With artists like D’Angelo and Kendrick Lamar creating album’s detailing the experience of black men and women in modern American society, Tomas Doncker’s album “The Mess We Made” follows suit with this potent and politically-charged album inspired by the Charleston Massacre. It’s hard not to get political when reviewing an album such as unapologetically political as “The Mess We Made”, but all I will allow myself to say is that as a minority, I understand and completely support a lot of what Tomas Doncker is saying on this release.

I’ve established that this album exists to send a message, but I bet you are wondering how the music is – after all, this is a music review. The answer to that is: quite splendid. The album is filled with funk and soul vibes that would drive any Sly Stone fan into tears of joy, hooks that will get stuck in your head for days, and manages to capture nuances of past and present music in just eight tracks. This album is full of energy and fervor but even departs into acoustic territory with the laid back but poignant “Don’t Let Go”. My biggest complaint with this track is that there is only eight tracks and it feels too brief for my taste. My favorite tracks are “Some Ol’ Dolls”, “Don’t Let Go”, and the cover of U2’s “Still Haven’t Found”. Do yourself and listen to this album in the link below, it’s exceptionally solid:

Premiere: MC Genesis- Day Dream

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A Day Dream of Showbiz success is MC Genesis’s gift to the world on his Birthday.  Featuring the inspired voice of Tone Jonez “Day Dream” sets Genesis in the limelight of his dream.  A dream he seems ready to ascend to, as he blisters through the beat with terse word play.  Painting a picture of his success as a rapper and reassuring us he has it in his grasp every step of the way.

We at Know More Music have been telling you about MC Genesis for some time now, we are blissed out that he wants to share more of his talent.  The takeaway here is that in a world where everyone is trying to get something from you, Genesis is taking his birthday to give to you. Enjoy!

 

https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=sZclb8-Z92g

New Music: M.M.S. Kaiser- Peeking Thru the Cracks

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Thank God.  Thank Lucifer.  Thank Cthulhu.  Whomever you choose to praise, thank them, that on this morning we get new music from M.M.S. Kaiser.  The talented singer/songwriter is known for having an abundance of unrecorded and unreleased music.

Officially billed as M.M.S. Kaiser & His Sad Children, the new track “Peeking Thru the Cracks” has many of the classic elements of his music as well as many new sounds.  Gone are the polished, clean, Radiohead type sounds and replaced by gritty, lo-fi noise.  Either way he does it, sounds amazing.

The noisy background, the harsh static sounds are all reminiscent of the home recording style that has made record labels such as Enemies List so popular.  Ofcourse, we are still blessed with that down home, roots, folk/americana sound and undertone that Kaiser is known for.  On this song he also belts out a few notes, something I have been waiting to hear more of from him and it sounds really FUCKING good!

This new track is part of a compilation album from Death Roots Syndicate.  I will include the link to the track as well as that album below.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

https://archive.org/details/Roots0045

Premiere: Onset- Once, Now Twice

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Occasionally I receive a request to review or premiere a project that throws me off balance, so to say.  That is, it ends up being a totally different experience than I originally anticipated.  Let’s call this one of those moments.  This, the debut single from the band Onset.

Front man and lead singer of the band Onset, is a young 16 year old artist by the name of Max  Husten.  A young musician/actor whom last year starred in the film Dark Prism with singer/songwriter Mac DeMarco.  Max is the draw of the video.  The flashing lights, the visual effects are clearly here just to add to the environment for Max.

The song has a a catchy pop sound musically, for the most part.  While Max sings in a lo-fi type sound for most of the song, in a flat voice reminiscent of good dead pan comics (in a good way!)  With some heavy hitter on production (Andy Moholt of the band Laser Background) and drums (by Julian Fader of Ava Luna),  the sound is completely on point.

Young filmmaker Dylan Mars Greenberg does an excellent job directing this video.  They expertly match the video to the song.  Probably a bright future ahead for them.  Having already directed several feature films including the new Amityville Horror film “Amityville: Vanishing Point” as well as music videos for Blondies keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen and David Bowie’s former trumpeter Mac Gollehon.

Max Husten has a low voice that does not initially draw you in, but his presence helps with that.  There is just something that makes you continue watching.  Max somewhat resembles Macaulay Culkin in Party Monster with the charisma of Christian Bale in American Psycho.  Take that as you will, but as two of my favorite movies, I am certainly drawn in to wanting more.

I tend to be long winded when I type, the opposite problem that I have in person.  Haha!  So, without further ado please check out the video below as well as the link to more Onset music on Bandcamp!

 

 

 

 

Review: Last Call- Zero Gravity

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By Taylor McAnally

Last Call Zero Gravity

What is the relationship between production quality and music’s ‘quality’? For many, the nicer a piece of music sounds, how it is engineered, mixed and mastered, the efficacy of the gear used to record it, the kinds of effects put upon the elements–these are the kinds of things that stand out to an ear. The engagement of the brain, however, is where the real mark is made by any media. How important is this deeper tickling of the cortex to the mass consumer of music, the new breed of listener who consumes music at a rate absolutely unheard of in any other age of man? Last Call’s new mixtape Zero Gravity impressed many thoughts on me, but none of them had anything to do with the lyrics. It was a very different experience from most that I’ve had with music, it was very interesting and I would really prefer not to do it again. Let’s back up.

From the jump, Last Call’s debut tape impresses the listener’s ear with a well-composed intro. Immediately setting the mood that is aided and abetted by the visual composition of the Bandcamp page (Props for that, by the by. Not enough artists give that sort of thing proper consideration.), we are very quickly introduced to the main throughline of the record, which is a love of weed. It’s almost impressive how Last Call is able to continuously speak on smoking pot in different ways. The thing about it is a monotony problem, however. One could be accomplished in three songs max instead gets stretched over a dozen of the fifteen tracks on the mixtape.

Again, I really want to emphasize just how well mixed and mastered these songs are. I listened both on headphones and studio speakers and found the elements all mixed very well, with an expert touch given to the mastering and effects. For the listener who is looking solely for something that sounds great in their car speakers, look no further, for now. It’s simply not enough to sustain my personal interest, however. Zero Gravity shines most when the subject matters turns to topics other than weed, which pretty much only occurs in the back half of the mixtape. “West Side”, the last track, is the strongest in my estimation. Real-life details of Last Call’s life and times are interspersed throughout the back half of the mixtape, making the songs there much more compelling than rote retreads of how great it is to smoke weed.

The conflicted feelings and thoughts that this mixtape impressed upon me were the highlight for me. I will say that Zero Gravity is thought-provoking in a way I haven’t found many tapes of this variety to be. The production carries itself throughout the release, everything sounds good and nothing is out of place. I’ll let y’all in to my process just a bit here: of the ten points that a particular record can score with me, five of those are for production values. Last Call has scored a perfect five in this area. The other five come from lyrical content, interesting rhyme schemes and intriguing subject matter. In this field, unfortunately, I have to give Zero Gravity a single point, for the last two songs on the tape. Other than that I found myself very disconnected from the material. Still, if you’re looking for something to cruise and smoke to, Last Call has got you covered.

6/10

Standout Tracks: “Hold It Down (4 My City)”, “West Side”