A Band, A Movement, A Musical Journey, An Experience
A PLACE is the 1st single off of the debut album LEVELS, which is also the name of the band, lead by frontman Keith “WildChild” Middleton, along with Aaron Marcellus on vocals, guitarist Luca “Mack” Marcias, Jacopo “Snow” Mazza on Keyboards. The group is international, one from NY, one from Atlanta and two from Italy and have been performing on stages in Europe, Japan and the US, the past couple of years, writing, performing and testing out songs for this album. The four artists – all on different musical paths, from Rock to Funk, to Hip Hop, to R&B, to Jazz and Classical – have arrived at the same destination – LEVELS!
A PLACE, seems at first a simple love song “There’s no place that I would rather be … right here with you, my dear, beside me…” but it actually is a more complex and textured interpretation of Adam and Eve as our common ancestor, what binds all mankind in love and unity. Delving into the multi dynamic layers of Love, the international super group, LEVELS, explore the musical nuances of Hip-Hop, Neo Soul, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Funk, Afrobeat, and Latin genres. These diverse styles help to fully articulate the time traveling journey of Adam as he searches for his soulmate Eve after being exiled from paradise.
Keith explains “They say the legend of Adam and Eve is written in the stars. If you look closely, you may notice the two were cast out of paradise as punishment for eating an apple from the Forbidden Tree of Truth. Now both mortal, Adam vows to Eve that he will always find her in their next lives. A secret he learned from his one bite of the apple. In present day, it is written that Adam will find Eve at one of his shows with his band LEVELS.”
This album is the journey that we all share, reflecting life as Adam or Eve. The concept of belief in true love, faith you will find it, the pursuit of happiness the struggle of adversity subsequent loss and sometimes, satisfying triumph. Life is full of diversity and dynamics, and so is this album. A PLACE is your first taste of the Apple of Truth that is on its way.
Music Video Credits:
Director: Ahmed Best
Producer: BISN Media (Ahmed Best, Nikit Doshi)
D.P. : Kevin Zeigler
Editor: Salman Syed
Post Production: LaurelWood Pictures (Jeff Billings)
MIC HANDZ has been going through a lot this past year or two. From the loss of loved ones, to his own health struggles, starting dialysis and looking for a kidney transplant, he has been going through changes physically, mentally and spiritually and that has to come out in the music. “FOR ME”, a delayed visual off of the 2017 release HELL ON MY BACK: HEAVEN IN MY WAKE, was written as therapy. According to the Flatbush based MC, producer, graphic artist, video director and tour promoter, this song represents
“self-reflection of myself for myself ” “I believe going public and being transparent is key to growth.”
You wont find cliched boasting about lyrical prowess on this song. Produced by the German underground producers DICHTER 2 PRODUCTIONS, the musical soundtrack, introspective bars and passionate delivery, platformed by a LAST AMERICAN BBOY supplied visual in the heart of Brooklyn, is a release from pain by creating art through music, in the vein of Muddy Waters and the Blues tradition. The visuals, with assistance from Taz , Jana, Wendy, Uncle Freddy , Nayarah, Parnia and ROCKNESS MONSTA, help set the mood and fill in parts of the story untold by Handz’ documentary lyrics.
If you missed the album when it dropped, it’s not too late.
Full Disclaimer: I am one of the Executive Producers of this album, so my review is not objective. On the other hand, this album was created by The HighBred first and then brought to MCMI Records and when my partners and I heard it we immediately wanted to co-pilot, release this on our label, jointly with Intaphaze Records and Man@Work Productions. Why? Because its good music and good MCing. Pretty simple formula at MCMI, music is dope + the artist can “move the crowd”.
The production style, as you can hear, is organic, soulful, yet rugged, a perfect backdrop for gritty vocals filled with street knowledge, weed smoke and everyday struggles. Boonie Mayfield produced the entire album and he is a beast. All of the songs are tough but this one will make your face extra crunchy. Lyrically, nothing pop and no cliche tough guy raps. Just truth, reality and attention to the craft of MCing. On top of that Chordz doubles on vocals for the chorus.
The video, directed by The HighBred themselves, with editing done by Chordz brother J’ Mel Lu, with some after touches by Sir Manley. If you haven’t see the first two videos off of this project, check out Original (We Remain) and How I See It.
MCMI REPORT: John Robinson & Chief – Mega Fly, is the official single from the album We The Prolific, available digitally on Bandcamp & iTunes, and on vinyl & CD at UGHH & HHV. With a soulful, head-nodding, jazz influenced, east coast, underground hip hop beat, this track is bangin’!
The video, edited and directed by Rick Foy for DVID FILMS, is shot in the perfect setting for the grown man bars John & Chief are smacking you with, a Cigar Shop. Chief drops science on being 40, a grandpa, but still having bars for all challengers and J.R. give praise to Bobbito Garcia for dropping his former group Science of Life’s first single “Nine Ether”, back in the day, when he had his indie label Fondle ‘EmRecords, so you could say this record is “scientific” to say the least.
This song and video actually did exactly what every single is supposed to do – made me curious to check out the rest of the album, so I went to the Bandcamp page and skimmed through the tracks giving it a first listen. Every joint was flavor, so I will be back to purchase, soon as I finish this article. I am going to download of course, but the fact that this brand new record is coming out on Vinyl as well as CD is a testament to the artistry and dedication to fans, in the US, Europe and all around the world.
Salute to John Robinson and friends like Skitslam, Cymarshall Law, ID 4 Windz (Scienz of Life & Everliven Sound), Dexter St. Jock (Savage Balet), Stan 1, Jocelyn Ellis, U George, and Tiffany Paige, who all bless this album, for continuing to making great Hip Hop in 2015! A lot of people criticize the Bobby Schmurdas and other super young rappers for the immaturity or irresponsibility of their subject matter, but we can’t expect babies (no disrespect), to drop knowledge on this level. Sometimes we need elder statesmen, rap veterans and underground legends to take the lead and show these young bwoys how it’s done. – GMS (Twitter | Facebook)
These are the visuals for Boston lyricist M-Dot’s 1st official single “Shine” off his long awaited debut album “Ego and the Enemy” (2 part CD release). The track features Method Man (Wu Tang Clan), Dominique Larue & Katy Gunn and was produced by Soulplusmind.
The video is a 3D Animation in which the story showcases the constant conflict between good vs. evil, light vs. darkness. Directed by Bokkaboom for Streethearted videos, illustration was done by Vladimir Medarevic and Animation, 3D models and backgrounds produced by Marko Pejcinovic Mavko.