You might think Los Angeles, California is a long way from Iowa City, Iowa. But for Iowa City artist Benny the Jet, these two cities made him who he is today. Born in LA, he moved at a young age to Iowa. But for this adopted kid, growing up as an only child was far from the spoiled lifestyle you would think this Midwesterner would have.
Having lost his dad at an early age, Benny the Jet found comfort dealing with the racism and discrimination of growing up as a biracial adopted kid in the fields of Iowa through music and sports. His name “Benny the Jet” coming from running track as a kid and being fast like a “Jet”, the name stuck, and he decided to keep the name as he began his music career.
As young as Benny the Jet is, his musical soul is old with inspiration coming from artists like Michael Jackson, Tupac, Kanye West, and Childish Gambino, which for this very young 20 something year old, you can see he’s mature beyond his years. Blessed to have worked with artists he call friends such as popular independent artists Futuristic and Lex Bratcher, he hopes to learn from their success and build his own independent career. Having signed to Midwest DJ, DJ K Yung as his manager and hiring long time friend and someone he considers a brother as his road manager, Brett “Bert” Johnson, he feels this year in 2023 is the turning point of his career. He is currently working on his first ever major release, a 5 song yet to be titled EP. Having released singles before working with DJ K Yung and Bert Johnson he hopes this mentorship will bring a new sound and path to his career.
Pure Order, featuring emcees God’s Gift and Nemesis, captures the purest form of hip hop in its recent single, “New World.” The fresh single features a harmonious blend of spoken word and pure hip hop. Blending brilliant lyricism with intricate hooks, Pure Order seeks to elevate hip hop and hip-hop artists around the world.
Since its inception, Pure Order, based in California, has been creating music with purpose. God’s Gift began developing music that focuses on pure hip hop and lyricism in the early 1990s. Nemesis joined him in 2014 for a feature on his album with DJ Shag, “Valkyrie,” and the duo has been producing quality hip hop ever since.
“New World” is a high-energy hip-hop anthem that reflects on the current state of hip hop. “It’s not about throwing shade on everyone’s personal expression (I give it up to all artists!) but I feel that we should always keep elevating as emcees,” explains God’s Gift. “DJs, breakdancers, graffiti artists… they all keep elevating their art and doing crazier things with their art. Whereas in mainstream hip hop, people aren’t elevating their art or writing something new and different. It’s the same old ‘I got more money, I got more guns, more of everything than you’—that’s the constant message they’re putting out. We like to come with different concepts.”
To focus on her art, Nemesis turns to meditation daily. “I go into what matters most in meditation. When I let it in and personalize it, it lights a fire to speak the truth. There’s a solution to every problem we go through daily, and we can process it if we’re humble enough to calm ourselves to think clearly. We can create whatever world we want to from our perception if we focus away from what we’re told to think and actually think for ourselves.”
God’s Gift is aligned with Nemesis’ pursuit of truth and clarity. “He already had the concept of Pure Order long before he met me,” explains Nemesis. “He was looking for an emcee that could fit pure, unadulterated hip hop without trying to prove something or be flashy or degrading to our community.”
Together, God’s Gift and Nemesis are focused on uplifting and honoring artists instead of competing or dragging each other down. “If you have pure hip hop skills, you should be trading notes, not battling. Admire each others’ styles and elevate each other,” emphasizes Nemesis. After all, that’s how God’s Gift and Nemesis came together. Through the fusion of their contrasting styles, they created a harmonious sound of their own. God’s Gift, “just heavily poetic” from a young age, and Nemesis, introspective and the “unconquerable one,” help elevate hip hop together.
Pure Order is looking forward to a productive 2023, with an EP and some solo projects to come. “I’d love for people to fall back in love with hip hop after listening to our single,” tells Nemesis. “I want them to remember what felt good about hip hop when those of us who love it started loving it.” As for God’s Gift, he can’t stress enough the importance of supporting the independent artists you love. “If you like this style of hip hop, please listen to the rest of our catalogue and support us in any way you feel moved to. Supporting your favorite independent artist helps us continue to put our music out there so you can hear it.”
Make sure to stay connected to Pure Order on all platforms for new music, videos, and social posts.
The Tennessee-based rapper Wack’O has been hard at work crafting the singles and videos leading up to the release of his Spring 2023 EP. On his single “Life is a Gamble”, Wack’O recounts his life story, reflecting upon the trying odds that has shaped him into the person he is today.
He says, “What I do is make music from the heart. To make truly inspiring words. To give people the correct messages they need, and to write about life and what I’ve been going through. Wack’O is about pumping out good music and inspiring people using the things I’ve learned in life. It’s about inspiration and what it takes to become something different.”
“Life is a Gamble” is a crafted single about the mindset that Wack’O uses to guide himself every day. He says, “I wrote the single while I was going through some stuff in life. I was in the processes of changing my life around. I thought that since life is a gamble, I need to be inspired to keep going by taking things one day at a time. It’s a song all about changing your mindset to change yourself.”
Following previous tracks such as boastful “Mixing With Tha Bossess” and the triumphant “Time Is Realistic”, “Life is a Gamble” shows a more introspective side to Wack’O. Wack’O explains, “It took a lot of time to make Life is a Gamble. I prayed and searched myself to find a song that I wanted to give to the world. It’s a more mature song, a respectful and grownup song. So, it took a lot of time to produce it. I had to run it through a lot of ears and sit on the track to find out if I wanted to put this kind of single out there or not.”
The single showcases the signature sound that previews Wack’O’s upcoming EP. With a wide array of influences ranging from neo-soul to Master P to Jay-Z, Wack’O seeks a sound that breaks barriers. He describes, “There isn’t one particular way my music should be. My music should have creativity. It shouldn’t sound like or be written like what other people do. What I do is make people feel like they’re in another world. I work hard on my music to give it the feeling that people need.”
On his Wack’O’s upcoming Spring 2023 EP, audiences can expect “a lot of new growth and change”. The EP brings audiences on the journey of how Wack’O grew as a person in the previous year, telling a tale of metamorphosis. He says, “I strive to give people my whole mind and spirit. I’m not a simple clout rapper or simple street rapper. I feel that I speak poetry. It comes from my heart. I am a man who speaks wisdom.”
Leading up to the EP’s release in late March or early April, Wack’O will be dropping singles and music videos from the EP.
On February 10, Wack’O will be releasing the single and music video for a track titled “Just Do It”.
Looking to the future, Wack’O says that he is excited for people to recognize him and for him to reap the fruits of his labor. Wack’O is available to work on film soundtracks, plays, and commercials. He says, “With all this, I want to grow and I want people to see the hard work I put into my craft.”
He concludes, “To be able to go into the studio and create something new every time is a blessing. Every time I drop something, I want it to be even better the next time. I look for clarity in message. I want my messages to be resonant and understandable. It’s these kinds of things I strive for. They are all what keeps me going in music.”
Be sure to stay connected with Wack’O on all platforms for new music, videos, and social posts.
TWIN CITIES – There aren’t many high schoolers who would spend their car money on a marimba … come to think of it, how many would know what a marimba even is?
Spoke did. He had been saving his money all through high school for a car, an instrument that is very similar to the xylophone, but soft-toned. Spoke played percussion and was onS a drum line until he graduated in high school in 2016 – now his music goes to the beat of his own drum.
“When I’m not at work, I’m working on my music in one shape or another,” Spoke said. “I’ve been doing this for seven years. My music has always evolved because I like different sounds and trying new things.”
Described as multi-genre, Spoke released his newest album “Trash” this year – and you could say it sounds like Electric Rave with a slur. Each of the five tracks is as unpredictable as the next. When the marimba makes its debut in the third song, Spoke lets it lead. But the messages and raw emotion behind these vibes are exclusively for the listener.
“I don’t want to tell people how to think – I purposely keep the lyrics vague,” Spoke said. “Even I can go back and get different meanings from it, and experience a new feeling from when I wrote the song.”
A relatable tale , Spoke’s single “Save Name” dives into the concept of whether people will remember a someone or not – and is that recognition based on success after high school?
“I don’t tell people to expect anything when it comes to my music because it’s always so different,” Spoke said. “It’s not like anything that’s been released in the past 20 years. None of it fits, but somehow it does … all I want to do is get better – get bigger. But I’ve noticed with a lot of artists that make it big, they live too luxurious and then they need their next album to do well just to make it. So their music gets washed out – takes away the quality. I always want to stay in good music.”
Find Spoke on the following platforms for music with an eclectic sound:
Artist and producer, Dolla Bill—otherwise known as Will Francis—weaves multiple genres into his latest single, “House on the Hill.” The three featured tracks on his EP “3 Dolla,” demonstrate musical exploration while diving into the artist’s personal experience.
Inspired by everyday life, Dolla looked close to home to write his single. “Men are always trying to please their women. My wife wanted a nice house and I’m always trying to please her. That’s where ‘House on the Hill’ came from. I combined the whole idea of pleasing her with building a hip-hop song around the imagery. I’m a visual person. The cover art on the record shows the house and a money bag symbol.”
For his writing process, Dolla Bill began with the concept and visuals, then moved from lyrics to melody. “I jotted down the lyrics, then started to flow over them. Then the song kind of broke open. The pre-chorus and chorus came. Then the melody came. That’s how the song evolved.”
Musically, “House on the Hill” explores various genres through smooth transitions. “I’ve never really done a song before that includes rap, spoken word, and melody in the same package,” shares the artist. “It’s always been either hip hop, rap, or a singer-songwriter type thing.” The single begins with an instrumental intro, then transitions into spoken word that sets the mood of the song. After the first verse, the pre-chorus leads the way for the rap element. It is a song that flows from one method to another, demonstrating Dolla’s ability to fuse genres and explore sound.
“I think someone who has never heard it before will appreciate the transitions in the song and the vibe. It’s a laid-back vibe, not hard rap, not gangster rap—more of lo-fi rap,” explains Dolla Bill. “The song crescendos with the chorus.”
A New Jersey native, Dolla Bill relocated to North Carolina in 2013 and jumped straight into the local music scene. “I got into hip hop partly because of the environment I was living in, listening experience and partly by accident. As I was recording one of my singer-songwriter tracks, I couldn’t get the vocal right for it, so I started speaking the words and rhyming them and recorded for the heck of it. As I listened back, I thought ‘wow, this sounds like it could be hip hop. So I tried the next recording more intense, faster. It sounded better than the original singer/songwriter version.’ That’s how I got into it.”
At home in North Carolina, Dolla Bill’s day job spontaneously became a place of constructive feedback and collaboration when he began sharing his music with coworkers. “If someone asks where they can find my music, I always give them the links,” shares Dolla of his word-of-mouth strategy. “People respect you more when you put yourself out there as an artist. Sometimes I’ll even drop some bars on the spot.”
In the coming year, Dolla Bill plans to revisit and reinvent some of his earlier works—all while creating new music as it comes. “As soon as the creative fire starts, songs start rolling out,” shares the artist. “There are phases an artist goes through. Sometimes you’re in a creative mode, really focused on writing lyrics, composing, putting songs together. Then there’s the other phase of maybe not doing much of anything but that fire is still burning a little bit. Then another phase is the more technical end of music—not creating but polishing and reinventing and going back into tracks and re-engineering new mixes. Then next thing I know, I’m putting pen to paper again, writing and producing.”
In the lifecycle of a musician, it’s the ebb and flow that keeps things interesting for Dolla Bill. “The road can be long, hard, tough and more times than not, a dead end. What I have to remember is when I gauge any kind of success, gain or victories, it’s where I come from and reflect back on when I first started doing music. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. That was then and this is now. I’m in a better space both, musically, as an artist and in life.”
Make sure to stay connected to Dolla Bill on all platforms for new music, videos, and social posts.
Tampa artist Shelby Bond has been in love with singing and songwriting since she was a child, but there was a time in the recent past when she wasn’t doing much of either. A toxic relationship was to blame. The cure? Getting back to that first love.
She released a single called “Blessing” earlier this year – her first release in two years – and it was that song that helped her come out of her shell. “I pretty much wrote it and then went in and recorded the next day, but it took me a few months to completely finish it because I kept coming back and adding little touches,” she says. “I hadn’t been writing or singing for a really long time and I was coming out of one of those toxic relationships. I wrote that song and it definitely put a cap on the pain from coming out of those situations. It definitely helped me heal.
”She sums up the situation in the song’s opening line: I’m a blessing, you were a curse. Let you into my life, things started getting worse.
It’s got a melancholic vibe, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. And Bond has found it. Now she’s prepping her debut album for release next year. It’ll feature up to a dozen tracks showcasing her mix of genres and styles, including alternative R&B and pop. She counts Amy Winehouse, Sinead Hartnett, Sabrina Claudio and Jorja Smith among her biggest influences. She’s continued dropping singles, too. After “Blessing” came “Burnt Out,” and then “Option” and “Unhinged.” All four will appear on the full project. “There’s no specific genre on this album, it’s just all over the place in a good and exciting way,” she says. Most of the topics she writes about come from realized experiences, especially relationships. “Option” was inspired by a guy who wasn’t taking her seriously and kept blowing off plans. “Not appreciating me,” she says. “And I just decided I didn’t want to be in that situation anymore. So I wrote the song, and then let that guy go.
”“Relationships, that’s just an easy one for me,” she says. “Some things like ‘Burnt Out’ I wrote about being tired of doing all this work and life getting overwhelming. But you’ve got to keep going. I’ve written some club music that’s just about going out and having fun. I’ve got a couple love songs, happy stuff.
”The music is already resonating with a growing audience. “Blessing” has been played more than 130,000 times on Spotify alone, and “Unhinged” earned tens of thousands of plays in a matter of days. She’s heard from listeners who even cried to some of her songs. “I don’t want to make anybody shed tears, but it was flattering that I could touch people like that,” she says. Back when she was experiencing those toxic relationships, Bond decided to start living her life for herself – and get back to doing what she’s passionate about. For now that means grinding out studio sessions to finish her album, and she’s got some words of wisdom for everybody else. “Stay true to yourself,” she says. “Know your worth.
”Make sure to stay connected to Shelby Bond on all platforms
for new music, videos and social posts. Instagram:
Versatile hip-hop artist, Remo Da Goat—aka Ggmg Remo—stuns listeners with his single, “Woah,” straight off his upcoming album, Goat Shit Part 3: Da Old Me. The cross-genre artist is following up his first and second albums with a whole new sound, a throwback to his earlier days as a freestyle rapper.
With 1.5 million streams and counting, Remo Da Goat’s “Woah,” is quickly gaining steam. Not only have listeners demonstrated their support through streams, the single also earned the number four spot on iTunes for downloads and remained in the top 10 for several days after its release.
On January 7, the third installment of the Goat Shit series is coming out—fans, prepare yourselves! “Creating this album was different,” shares Remo Da Goat of his upcoming release. “They gave me a challenge to take a beat for 24 hours and then record whatever came out. We made 50 tracks and kept 20 of them for the album.”
“It’s a good album. It stresses who I am—the old me,” tells the artist. While his first album (Goat Shit Part 1: Up Next)took a mainstream approach, and his second album (Goat Shit Part 2: Toxic Love) focused on producing an R&B vibe, it’s his latest album that takes a step back into what inspired the artist to start making music: free styling.
Remo Da Goat’s love for music began around age eight, when he would freestyle with his cousins in the car. His newest album comes back full circle to his freestyle roots. Albums one and two, on the other hand, required Remo Da Goat to hone his writing skills before recording. “For the mainstream first album and R&B second, we focused on writing catchy hooks and following a formula that would work for those genres.”
With his third album, Remo Da Goat is looking to show audiences that he doesn’t fit in one particular box. In fact, his style is so versatile that he can skip from genre to genre and still engage listeners from one album to the next. “It’s a blessing to be able to put out CDs that did quite well. I’m blessed to keep it going and see different things across cities we tour.”
While Remo Da Goat is focused on having fun while creating his music, there is a bigger purpose he holds close to heart. “I’m having fun with the music. I want to keep a positive vibe going. The goal is to go back to the area I grew up in and give back to the kids in the neighborhood, get them into music.”
Remo Da Goat wants to keep surprising fans along the way. “I want to make sure that when fans hear my music they’ll never know what’s next. Singing. Rapping hard core. That’s what people can take away from my trilogy—there’s always something new coming.”
Make sure to stay connected to Remo Da Goat on all platforms for new music, videos, and social posts.
Luck Chapo has always been passionate about music and recently has taken it to the next level. After taking a short break from his creative pursuits, he began recording and releasing music again during Covid-19. With a brilliant and unique sound that blends traditional Hip Hop and modern Trap into something truly his own, he is building himself up to take over the Hip Hop scene.
Over the course of 2022, Chapo began releasing projects under the title of Classical Trap. In the last year, he released Classical Trap Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Now at Volume 3, he is doing as incredible as ever. “This is a press play album,” Chapo said. “There isn’t a single song you’re going to want to skip.” Classical Trap Vol. 3 takes you through Chapo’s own thoughts over top of iconic beats and a beautiful blend of classic Hip Hop sound with strong Trap energy.
Some of the top tracks on Classical Trap Vol. 3 include “No Take Backs”, “Doing Alright” and “Everything Movin”. “These are some of my favorites,” Chapo explained. Each track is filled with brilliant lyricism and bold wit. While these songs are bold and well put, they are far from the only tracks to check out.
“I’m really excited about this release,” Chapo said about the album. “I think it’s consistent and honestly some of the best work I’ve done so far.” With twenty tracks on Classical Trap Vol. 3, there isn’t a single song that you will want to miss out on. There is truly something for everyone on this project.
Following the release of Classical Trap Vol. 3, Chapo is already looking forward to his next steps and the coming year of his artistic career. Keep an eye out for upcoming releases and tracks as well as an upcoming tour in the Southeastern United States. Chapo is also set to release a new line of merchandise in the coming months.
Luck Chapo has a fresh new sound and is on the way to becoming something truly great. This is certainly an artist you will want to keep up with. “I’m going to be staying focused this coming year,” Chapo said. “I’m performing at a higher caliber than ever before and I’m excited for people to see that.”
Be sure to stay tuned in to Luck Chapo on various platforms for new music, visuals and social posts.
As the year comes to a close, Reed Waddle has been spending a long time reflecting. He has been looking back and the songs he has written over the years, remembering the people he has met and places he has been along the way.
Written in Summer of 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, Reed Waddle’s single “Save Me”, a tells of many thoughts, emotions, and demons felt in the wake of the pandemic. Reed says, “As this year was coming to a close, I found that this song ‘Save Me’ resonated with me deeply. It helps me get through what I was feeling during the pandemic.”
Reed Developed as a musician through the guidance of his dad, developing an over 20 year career recording music and playing gigs at bars. Since 2014, he has been writing songs for other artists and projects in Nashville. He has been refining his writing day by day, supporting artists such as
Hall and Oats, John Fogerty, Graham Nash, Jason Isbell, Shawn Colvin, and countless others.
Reed says, “I’ve always been surrounded by music. My dad is a lifelong colleague; I’ve been happy to have his support along the way.”
While writing songs, Reed finds inspiration anywhere. “I kind of think of music as folklore and legend. The musical road brings me from place to place. You put something out, and immediately the question is what’s next? There’s a beauty in everyday things. Your job as a writer is to keep your eyes open and your ears open”
Over the years, Reed has won many songwriting competitions and is the Telluride Troubadour Grand Prize winner. He still uses the guitar won from that competition from Colorado every day.
Reed wrote “Save Me” thinking though the pandemic over Zoom calls with collaborators. On a writing session on a whim, Reed wrote the single with Jordan Frye, looking to build an idea that was soulful and necessary during the pandemic. That’s the magic of cowriting, you take it where it’s supposed to take you,” Reed says.
The single has gotten plenty of attention, receiving the acclaim of synch supervisors and the attention of the team supporting Dolly Parton.
“I want to use this to take my next big step,” Reed says looking forward. “A year went by, and I sat on it, and I thought it was good to bring this one out for the public. The big goal is to continue to create. Grow my fanbase, keep playing shows, and continue to create.”
He hopes that the single will inspire others. Reed says, “The title seems kind of sad, but it aims to give some hope to people going through hard times. Life is a big, beautiful thing, sometimes it can be overwhelming, but there is hope somewhere. If someone is feeling kind of down, I hope ‘Save Me’ can help them feel okay.”
“Save Me” is available on all streaming platforms. For more about Reed Waddle and his music, visit his website: reedwaddlemusic.com.
You can also follow him on the following social media and music platforms: