Arts Desk

DMV Beats: RAtheMC, A Plus, G Two—and DMV Apps!

RA Factor

It was surprising to see rapper RAtheMC as a contestant on the second season of Fox's X-Factor. Not that the Largo, Md., rapper didn't deserve it—it's just that her appearance seemed to come out of nowhere. And while she was eliminated in October, she doesn't seem too bummed about it. On her new single, "My City," RA teams with fellow X-Factor contestant Lyric Da Queen to salute their respective neighborhoods (Lyric is from Flint, Mich.). The two battled on the show—here, they put their differences aside. Listen to it on D.C. Mumbo Sauce. —Marcus J. Moore

Like a G Two

Maryland rapper G Two released Trillmatic this week, and it’s a stellar work of humble ideas and churning raps that range from simplistically clever throwaway similes (“Put my eggs in one basket like a seahorse”?) to poetic longing (“when love lasts forever, how can I get over you?”). True to the "Southern Smoke" vibe in the title, the thing is like a more efficient Big K.R.I.T. project but remains decidedly local, with tons of soul samples from producer Ca$ito who gets credits all over the thing. The female R&B hooks are refreshingly straightforward and D.I.Y. In short: It's one of the best tapes I've heard this year. Listen to it here. —Ramon Ramirez

‘Bout That Life

Are you living a DMV lifestyle? Wait, don't answer that. But let's say there was such a thing as a DMV lifestyle. It probably would include Smartphone apps, right? Because apps = lifestyle, right? Don't answer that, either. Do check out the following DMV-oriented apps, however, if only because they're free: Definitely worth a test-drive is P.A. Palace's relatively well-stocked app, which acts like a condensed version of the go-go emporium's Web site. The dozen or so preloaded tracks are a nice touch, but the app's online radio section might not work on every phone. There's also the personal app from WKYS's EZ Street, which includes a show stream (it's labeled as "live," but it's hard to say when it's from) and access to EZ's very active social media accounts. It's definitely got some room to grow; at a minimum, he could easily expand the information about his various charity projects. A few archived shows and a daily on-air playlist might be nice, too. —Joe Warminsky

A Plus and Slim

From the back blocks of Capitol Hill comes lyrical monster A Plus, he of smooth flow and lyrical prowess. Over two tracks, the rapper employs his gift for storytelling to introduce the story of his younger self, aka Slim. Part 1’s backdrop of strings and drums—produced by Flawless Tracks—echoes the obstacles he faced growing up and the pain of pursuing his father’s shadow. A Plus unfurls Slim's story with dark, vivid details, tracing the gritty blocks Slim used to run with classic stream-of-consciousness rhyming. Samples include James Brown, Melvin Bliss, Divine Force, and The Sylvers, and it’s all Supreme Clientele-era Ghostface Killah head-nodding. —Dietrich Williams

This Week in Folarin’ Around

This week's sermon is served to you by Game and Wale. As part of his Sunday Service series, Game hosts the DMV's highest-profile rapper on this melodic, jazzy, Cool & Dre-produced track that tells of the forces that beckon them to their place of worship: titty bars. Game describes his love for particular strippers while Wale speaks to his addiction to shake joints and asses that fill them: "She's the reason we all here/She's the reason they all stare." Game couldn't get the samples cleared, so this will not be on his forthcoming Jesus Piece album. Another freebie for the masses. Listen to "Stripper" here. —DW

DMV Reads: Kingpen Slim, Kev Brown

Kingpen Slim has new visuals for “The Haunting”—let Marcus set the table and enjoy. Elsewhere, he takes MTV Hives’ audience on a beginner’s guide to stellar DMV producer, Kev Brown. —RR

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