Arts Desk

DMV Filter: Pro’Verb, Javier Starks, Bilal Salaam

The last time we heard from Pro'Verb, he released the autobiographical "Too Hip-Hop," which found the young DMV MC assessing his career path over soothing drums and light strings. On Friday, Pro'Verb dropped off "Write Brothers," the hyperactive new single from his forthcoming While You're Waiting mixtape, scheduled for a Sept. 2 release. The song features two rapid-fire verses—one from Pro, the other from Lyriciss, his long-time partner-in-rhyme. ("I earn stripes/My life is Adidas design," Lyriciss raps.) DJ Booth has the single.

We last mentioned Javier Starks in the spring when we stamped the Up and Up Open Mic as the best in the city. On Monday, Starks released the video for "Alright Now," a jazzy, reflective single from his forthcoming Faces of Change mixtape. The song, with prominent flute and saxophone solos, is about staying the course and keeping positive. Here, Javier raps, "I'm livin' life on the edge, you said it was troublesome/Only a glutton for punishment would understand where I'm coming from."

While this isn't a hip-hop song, its calm quirkiness definitely warrants attention. DMV/Brooklyn hybrid Bilal Salaam recently released his video for "Heart Alarm," an airy single from his Pedagogia do Oprimido EP. The video, shot at various subway stations in New York City, is pieced together by still shots and random computer keyboards. While the song is definitely an acquired taste, it's still easy enough to be appreciated by soul music fans.

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