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Project Preview: Abby Jasmine, LifeofThom, Blackboy Infinity, & Papaagaye

Abby Jasmine - Urgent (ft. Danny Singh) (Single)

The Staten Island R&B Songstress makes her Project Preview Debut with a soulful track that has her trade bars and riffs with fellow vocalist Danny Singh. An airy guitar riff starts off the track and pulls us into the scene while a voice rings out above it, giving an almost cinematic quality to the intro. Abby enters with some soft-spoken yet profoundly worded vocals where she describes the situation that led her here. The layering of her vocals here adds depth to sonic landscape being flirted with in your headphones, before the beat switches up and Abby’s flow alongside it. Opting for a more rap-type flow as 808’s enter the beat and keep the bounce going. This gives way to the next part of the song where Danny Singh joins in as the other half of the story. He flows over the track like butter, with a smooth delivery that fits the instrumental perfectly. This back-and-forth story they’ve woven is one of my favorite new R&B tracks, and breathes life into the genre. Not to mention how great their harmonies sound, this track is absolutely one to look out for.

If you like Alternative R&B, Trap&B, or even Neo-Soul, then be sure to add this track to your playlist when it drops on September 22nd! Be sure to check out the snippet above for a sneak peek.

LifeofThom - HOSKINS (ft. HDBeenDope) (Single)

Returning to Project Preview for his latest single, this endeavor from Washington Heights rapper LifeofThom is a lyrical showcase, as he continues to rap a seemingly endless flurry of bars over what can best be likened to a dark J-Dilla type beat. With a clear boom-bap influence on the instrumental, balancing double entendres with seamless wordplay, Thom is able to find various different musical pockets to line his rhymes over, while the samples give a truly autumnal feel and vibe to the sound. Brooklyn rapper HDBeenDope joins in the last third of the track, immediately hopping the beat after Thom and giving his own two cents. HD’s appearance here is a welcome one, as he maintains the same fervor and tenacity he does in his own music, but without the same emphatic nature and energy. That is by no means a bad thing, though. His introspective bars cut through just as tight, and his toned-down performance is perfectly in tune with the aesthetic of the beat, and its accompanying music video, ultimately making for a standout performance in the short time he’s on the track.

If you like Boom Bap, Alternative Hip-Hop, or Jazz Rap, then check this track out when it drops on September 21st! Give the snippet above a listen for a quick snippet from the track.

Blackboy Infinity - No Sorries Allowed (EP)

New York Rapper Blackboy Infinity arrives on Project Preview with one of the most consistently energetic EP’s I’ve heard in a while. No Sorries Allowed is only 5 tracks long, but you never never feel how brief it is. On each track, BBI brings his A-Game in the lyrical and performance departments. Sometimes rhyming at what feels like a mile a minute, his energy is infectious, and exudes through the recording, which is something that I’ve only felt from a few artists before. Whether it’s a track containing a heavy Bounce influence (“Baseline”), or a track with a hook that brings you back to the heyday of Bling Rap (“Iverson”), BBI has a little something for everyone on this project. Serving as an impressive showcase of his talents, I believe that this effort shows why Blackboy Infinity has the potential to be one of the next upcoming faces in the city’s already colorful (and crowded) Hip-Hop scene.

If you are a fan of Alternative Hip-Hop, then you have to add this project to your library when it drops on September 22nd! Check out a snippet of my favorite track from the project, "Baseline" above!

Papaagaye - ICYTWAT Freestyle (Single)

Over an ethereal beat that gives heavy Bedroom Pop energy, Papaagaye makes his Project Preview debut with this freestyle track. Sonically, it is both alike and different from tracks we’ve featured on here before. There’s a dissonance between the instrumental and his vocals, as there’s no enhancement on his pitch (ie. autotune), and the difference between the two was definitely jarring at first. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it, but after letting it go on repeat a few times, I actually found myself becoming accustomed to the sound. I think the appeal of the track is that sonic dissonance, the distance between the sounds and how well they fit each other. While not every moment of the track is like that, certain pockets are and it definitely catches you off guard at first. The beat isn’t bad at all, I actually really enjoy the sequencing of it and the different elements it contains, the crooning definitely took a second to win me over. Though I do think that applying some effects to the vocals would benefit the track, it is a freestyle, and there is definitely a market out there for this kind of off-the-cuff sound. Ultimately, giving the feel of a less experimental JPEGMAFIA.

If you like Bedroom Pop, Lo-fi Rap, or Experimental Rap, then give this track a spin when it drops on September 20th! And check the video above for a snippet of this track.

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