Music Reviews

Detroit Rapper, Mack Tr3, Releases New Album – ‘Out the Mud’

Detroit Rapper, Mack Tr3, leaves no stone unturned throughout his metaphorically rich new album, ‘Out the Mud’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “False Idols”, Mack begins with an old-school sample and the sounds of a dark, moody storm that lead into the lyrical trajectory highlighting the pressure that he has encountered through following his dreams while ensuring to remind listeners that he can twist and bend words in an manner that’s unheard of. The second track, “Dopeman Dream$”, packs an instrumental punch over lyrics that speak of the lion that roars within Mack Tr3 as he highlights having his Mother in his life as a positive figure that keeps him away from the streets. “Real Life” is the third track that begins with a smooth beat that travels into lyrics that speak of how Mack Tr3 isn’t going to waste his time in conversations that don’t provide for his future. The fourth track, “Tr3 Rated”, jumps right into the lyrical story with zero remorse as Mack reminds listeners that he has opened the fridge to empty rows and nothing is going to lead him to fold. “Suppose 2 Be” is the fifth track in which Mack lyrically dials down to the raw reality that he is not where he desires to be in life and he has no time to waste on faulty relationships that don’t provide the fruit for his ever-growing tree of life.

The sixth track, “Shop Talk”, begins with the feel of a hard Young Dolph track as Mack lyrically brings to listeners attention that he has walked through living hell on earth and isn’t afraid to let the past go and take every single risk to create a brighter life experience for both his and his family. “Out the Mud” is the seventh and title track that lyrically tackles the choices that we make each and every day that either lead us toward a brighter day or back to the slums living life with a heart that gives zero love. “Set of “T**s” is the eighth track that begins with a heavy and bold beat that lyrically speaks of Mack’s relational experiences that haven’t matched with his desire to truly give a woman the best that he can as a mature and accountable man. The ninth track, “Letcher County Wave”, lyrically tackles the daily struggle that Mack experiences as he tries to adjust his behaviors to become the best version of himself for himself and his loved ones. Closing out with “Been Tr3”, Mack lyrically ends with reminding the world how true he has stayed to himself no matter what seasons of life that he experiences.

If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Young Dolph, 21 Savage with the old-school twist of Chamillionaire and Paul Wall, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Mack Tr3 on YouTube.

Mack Tr3 Social Links:


Music Reviews

Bulgarian Hip-Hop Artist, Robbie Z, Releases New Single – “Hot Wheelz”

Bulgarian Hip-Hop Artist, Robbie Z, is blazing hot and unique throughout the recent release of his new single and music video for “Hot Wheelz”. Soaring far beyond his age with a level of confidence that pours throughout his world, Robbie Z is the man behind the beat that is going to keep the spotlight on him whether listeners like it or not. Spitting bars that cut into the soul, Robbie Z remains in control throughout “Hot Wheelz” while showcasing the level of fearlessness that he approaches his artistry with.

Finding inspiration through both love and hate, Robbie Z doesn’t care about clickbait and puts himself out there on the internet and beyond without a care. If Robbie Z remains independent, he carries the potential to blow up in the world of Hip-Hop and beyond. At the ripe age of 16-years-old, Robbie Z has taken control of his journey and continues to expand as an artist with a promising future. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Post Malone, 21 Savage and Lil Pump, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Robbie Z on Soundcloud.

Robbie Z Social Links:


Music Reviews

Vancouver Hip-Hop Musician, Dr. BENTZ, Releases New Single – “Risin’ Up”

Multidimensional Hip-Hop Musician, Dr. BENTZ, naturally stands out from the crowd with his ability to combine his expertise within a variety of genres. Pouring his heart and soul into his lyrically impactful single, “Risin’ Up”, Dr. BENTZ doesn’t skip a beat as he shares with the world his downfalls that turned into opportunities for growth as he chose to never quit and give his music his all. It takes a soldier to overcome the sorrows that come with the territory of being a front-runner in the ever-changing world of music and streaming; Dr. BENTZ is that man.

You can feel the blood, sweat and tears that naturally flows throughout “Risin’ Up”. Dr. BENTZ’s fan-base continues to grow as his influence has taken the global route over the past few years. The splendor of mystery served to invigorate a rigid soul and Dr. BENTZ leads listeners closer to their center. Blazing a trail that is entirely his own, Dr. BENTZ is bound to claim his throne. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Logic, Post Malone and Ab Soul, then keep an eye on the journey ahead for Dr. BENTZ on Soundcloud.

Dr. BENTZ Social Links:



Interview: Justin Symbol

NYC Shock Rapper/Artist, Justin Symbol, is an enigma that is difficult to find out which is exactly the way that he likes being presented to the world. I caught up with Justin to discuss ‘Symbol Season Mixtape, Vol. 1’, the importance of practicing self care, upcoming mini tour, “Star Daddy” and more.

Congrats on the release of ‘Symbol Season Mixtape, Vol. 1’. Tell us about the creative and recording process and what you learned along the way.

With ‘Symbol Season’ I embraced my hip hop alter ego “Star Daddy”. It was about letting go of preconceptions and just having fun! I learned to trust my producer and do things I was afraid to do. One of these moments resulted in the most well known song, “Goldi”.

If you could sit down with your younger self and give him one small dose of advice, what would you say to him?

Practice self care and connect with others. Life doesn’t have to be a lonely race to the top of the trash heap of our society. Success means nothing if you’re not present and open to being able to enjoy it.

Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time?

Every day is that struggle. The voice in my head saying “You’re nothing. Die.” I’ve wanted to give in to that, but then I keep fighting. I had some people close to me die lately and it became an affirmation of life. Like, these people believed in me. They gave into that voice, but I can be the example to others that they don’t have to! There is an amazing world out there if you’re open to seeing it.

What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?

I think it obviously has the potential to be quite toxic but it’s also got great possibilities. Some real confidence and empowerment has blossomed. Also you have a lot of divisive “movements” which I question if they are even real or a scheme to tear people apart. All this stuff pitting us against each other, it’s not even worth focusing on. I can only do so much before I tune out. I always try to remember that perception is reality. Nothing can replace a real one on one human connection.

No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.

I have 5 years sober and have been privileged to maybe lead others toward that life style or at least show them that you can be sober and not super boring! I am also proud of my sexuality, and it seems to empower other people. I don’t put labels on myself but I exist outside the mainstream and I know that it can become a beacon to others who feel the same way. Life is too short to live in shame. I often forget how many people still do!

Photo Credit: Kamollio

As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?

I need to do way better in this area. For me, tour becomes this high that then saps my endorphins and I can become quite negative afterwards. I need to be better about making meetings, praying and meditating on the road. Exercise helps too! Toxic people are the worst because they can really drag you down and isolate you. Getting rid of those from my band was a big step in the right direction!

Reflect back to day one in the studio for ‘Symbol Season Mixtape, Vol. 1’, would you have thought that the mixtape would have turned out the way it did?

I didn’t really know what to think. We started with the song “Artistic Shit” and from the beginning I knew we were not going to create a record like anything I was previously known for. The goal was to be totally free and allow ourselves to be upbeat, fun and positive with the music. Sometimes things got very silly. I’ve never laughed so much while making an album! I never thought we’d get so productive that we’d end up having 21 songs!

Speaking of touring, any current or upcoming tour/show plans that you can fill us in about?

There will be a Justin Symbol West Coast mini tour in late Feb. I am bringing back the old school Justin Symbol vibe in a big way with a new live band of talented people. I’m very excited to reconnect with that part of myself, which I know the fans have been eager for.

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!

Stay tuned! 2019 will be a great year for Symbol!

Justin Symbol Social Links:



Interview: Alfred Banks

You can feel the passion and tenacity in the bones of New Orleans Rapper, Alfred Banks, every time that he steps onto the stage. Through years of immense dedication, Alfred has proven that success as an independent artist is indeed achievable if you do it with the bigger picture in mind at all times. I caught up with the man to discuss how his musicianship has affected his family life, his journey as an independent artist, remaining human with his growing fanbase and more.

One thing that I have recognized about you is that you are always grounded and human with your fans. You’re always creating time to interact in the comment section, etc. Tell us about the personal connections that you have made with your growing fan base over the years.

I am a very emotional person, you know? I am incredibly emotional. Throughout every single thing that I do, I always give it my all. Everything that I am exposed to means the world to me. I have always been an incredibly passionate person especially about music. So for me, even nine years into my career, the fact that somebody cares about my music still means the world to me. I don’t take any of that for granted.

The moment that things really started to shift for me was when I put out ‘The Beautiful’. That album changed a lot for me when it comes to how my fans began interacting with me as well as newcomers to my music. The way that people even speak to me changed after that release. I didn’t really understand how many people dealt with mental health concerns. I didn’t really understand how many people had family members and close loved ones who dealt with mental health concerns. People started to share their stories with me once I shared ‘The Beautiful’. Whether they had PTSD, schizophrenia, manic depression or if they were bi-polar or whatever their case may be, they were sharing that with me. One of the most important moments was when I did a show in my hometown, New Orleans. There was a lady who drove all the way from Chicago to come see my show; that’s a 14-hour drive. She mentioned to me that her son is in a mental asylum for schizophrenia and he loved ‘The Beautiful’. I have a project that came out before ‘The Beautiful’ called ‘The Beautiful Prelude’ and he even loved that release as well. He plays it a lot. Whenever this woman would go visit her son, he would always ask to play ‘The Beautiful’. She actually gave me a letter that her youngest son wrote to his older brother who was in the mental institution. The younger son was asking his older brother why he had to go and pleading about how much he missed him. She drove 14-hours to give me that letter. From that point on, it began to hit me.

That hits the soul. That is so meaningful. For an individual to even think to do that let alone take action, how powerful. Alfred, what you personally processed through creating ‘The Beautiful’ is an emotive tale in itself, yet for you to be able to selfless and listen to others as you were going through your own season of darkness; that’s real. Your fans are healing their own wounds, personal tragedies and life experiences through your work as you are doing so yourself.

Exactly. I really felt honored that somebody thought that highly of me. The woman that drove to New Orleans for the show lives in Chicago. I always put her on the list when I play a show in Chicago, yet she always insists on paying to get in and she always brings a bunch of people with her. She understands that any single person in the house matters. She is one of those people who truly cares about my music. That is what really sparked my interest to start talking to every single person that interacts with me. Anybody can hit me up and if it is humanly possible, you’ll get a DM or something. I don’t do the copy and paste shit. I talk to every single person in specific to the conversation. I appreciate people enough to not do the robot shit. I talk to everybody as much I can about whatever it is that they want to talk about if they show any interest in my music. Even if they don’t listen to my music because I do have a lot of followers that just follow me without having ever heard a song.

It’s bigger than the music with you. I think it really is a movement toward the betterment of the human being’s health with you. Ever since I started riding along on your journey, I have found intrigue through the fact that you always maintain level ground. I recall about a month or so back that you straight up came forward and said that you needed a break. You chose to take some time for yourself. That is so important and empowering for fellow artists and human beings to see. You are just like the rest of us, you need some space too. You need to process what you have experienced to keep moving forward in a positive, forward-thinking manner.

You hit the nail on the head. As I was recording ‘The Beautiful’, I realized in hindsight that yes, I was recording it for my brother and his experience with mental health issues, but subconsciously I was doing it for myself. I am manic bipolar and I suffer from depression as well. This past year proved that more than ever. This has been one of the most stressful years of my life outside of music. I knew that I needed to take a break. The problem was that I was beginning to publicly go through what I was going through. It was seeping through my social media. As open and honest as I am with everybody, I do want to keep a level of privacy. I don’t want to be a fucking huge name in which everything that I do is something that is put on blast and accessible to everyone. I had to take a break for myself.

Good for you. You switched it up for your latest music video drop, “This Is True”. What inspired you to take a risk creatively and utilize digital art as means of expression?

One of my guys, MegaRan, who I have toured with a bit introduced me to this dude, Pete Adler, and I just thought that his work was hot. I really liked what he was doing. Right when I saw it, I asked him to do something for me and it turned out really dope. I saw Pete’s style and he brought my words and style to life. It is the most comments that I have ever gotten on a video. People have been just showing love for the video even though it is one of my least viewed videos so far. Every time that somebody has chosen to share the video, it may get 10 more views and as a new artist, that adds up.

You’d be surprised. One single extra person knowing about your music can equate to 5 more views here, 5 more views there. It’s all about word of mouth; every single view and share matters. It all adds up.

For sure. Right when the video dropped and people started to share it, I noticed that new fans were being made through people seeing the video and inquiring about who I was and my music.

You bended the “rules” of what a Hip-Hop video could be and showcased a unique new creative way to go about things; that matters. You’re just getting off a tour and as you know, you were exposed to tons of stimulus. How has pursuing music as an independent artist affected your home life?

For me, going home is always the best part. I rap at a high intensity when I play a show. I am putting a lot of effort forward at every single show. I know that doing that night after night across the country can be a lot. Don’t get me wrong, being on the road is great. Some nights we are rapping in front of a bunch of people and some nights we aren’t rapping in front of anybody. It’s still a grind. It makes me appreciate this music thing more and more. One thing that I learned on this last run is that yes, you can get 300 likes on a pic but what if nobody comes to your show? You can get 30 likes on a pic and your show could be packed. It is really about the impact that you have on people. The interaction that you have with people online and in real life matters. It’s all about value. This tour taught me value. There are people that I know personally who don’t value my music. There are people that I don’t know who value my music. I am focused on talking to my folks that come to the shows, leave comments, interact, buy the merch, etc.

You know, in that limelight and just being an artist, you do come across a lot of wolves in sheeps clothing. They come out of the woodworks and it is undeniable from there. It leaves a stench in the room. And you gotta consciously distance yourself from those people and focus on being there for those who do ride for you. You gotta find new people. We live in a world in which we have instant access to a global fan base at our leisure and fingertips. You choose what you want to do with it and what you want to make of it. Someone else is going to take care of you and ride for your art, you gotta choose to drop the dead weight.

Of course. That’s what it’s all about. I am such an emotional person that I will say that this past year, it almost got to me. I was feeding into it. I took it personal that 30 people that I talked to personally didn’t come to one of my shows. I did a show here in New Orleans and I don’t really know anybody here yet that that show was packed. It just goes to show. It started to kick my ass though. I was asking myself if I was worthy, if I did something wrong. I was asking myself if people actually liked my shit. That is one of the reasons why I took a break. But back to your point, this tour was great for me. I was able to visit some of my favorite cities like Memphis, Columbus and Cincinnati. I got to open up for Tank and The Bangas in Kansas City which was great. It was a great run, but I love to come home and rest.

For sure. Any upcoming tour or new music plans that you can fill us in about?

I am doing a really big tour next year that I am looking forward to. I have a lot of album that I am sitting on right now and I just don’t know when I am going to put it out. I don’t really record a lot. I just create when the mode hits me. I have a lot to look forward to.

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?

Shout-out to everyone who is rocking with what I do. Y’all keep me afloat. You keep my life fresh and happy. Shout-out to everyone for showing love.

Alfred Banks Social Links: