DMV Beats: Harmony Muzik’s Psychosexual Cinema
Killin' It With a Skillet
Fellas. Whatever menace you can muster pales in comparison to the darkness Harmony Muzik is projecting in this "Taerkey Bacon" video. She extracts more dread from a drippy bottle of red nail polish than all the post-adolescent males in hip-hop have collectively generated in 2013 via mean mugs, vacant-eyed stares, and threatening hand gestures. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for mad crazy psychosexual cinema. I was an English major. But seriously, when that knife goes through that citrus fruit, and it looks like a bald-ass cranium with juice leaking out and whatnot? That shit is memorable. The song's creepy, industrial vibe (courtesy of J. Scrilla) only escalates the tension, and I like that freaky wink at the end, too. Apparently she digs Dexter. ("Taerkey Bacon" will appear on Harmony Muzik's upcoming album, Small Giant.) —Joe Warminsky
Laelo Doesn't Quit
Laelo had thought about quitting rap altogether. He hadn’t dropped a new song in almost a year and needed a break away from music. Maybe that’s why he sounds refreshed on “Back At It (For the People),” his new single featuring Forestville, Md., trio Gods’Illa. He raps: “The ruler’s back, but this time he’s a tyrant/y’all niggas got happy when y’all thought I was retiring.” Atop faint vocal samples and a menacing drum kick, the MCs criticize rappers who spit just to get paid. And when you think the song is over, Laelo offers a parting shot: “If I gotta sell my soul to get the paper, I’d rather be broke and that ain’t no joke.”—Marcus J. Moore
Kev Brown's Instrumentals
I don’t know why Kev Brown is so slept on in D.C. The Landover, Md., native is not only a gifted producer, he’s a strong MC as well. He leads the Low Budget collective, which includes MCs like Sean Born, Kaimbr, and Ken Starr, among others. But in case you need further evidence of his skills, Brown just dropped Songs Without Words Vol. 1, a cohesive 12-song collection of both obscure and recognizable beats he’s created over the years. Standouts like “Armada Latina” display Brown’s international flair, while “Multiply” showcases his affinity for head-rocking drum chops. Overall, Songs is a mostly downtempo affair with percussive funk and soul sprinkled into the mix. Sleep on Kev Brown no longer. —MJM
Muggsy the Man
We've already paid respect to Muggsy Malone's "Black America" track, but it's worth pointing out that there's a video for it now, too. It's got familiar D.C. love (the Ben's imagery is, thankfully, subtle), but the real treat is seeing Muggs work the camera a little. That glint in his eye, that fatherly smile—it's all natural. —JW
Wale Confirms Album About Nothing
Just weeks after revealing the title of his third studio album, Wale confirmed the much-anticipated Jerry Seinfeld collaboration, the Album About Nothing earlier this week. Via Twitter, he told followers that he had just spoken to Seinfeld on the phone and that the project would definitely follow The Gifted, his second album under Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group imprint.
Wale also dropped a freestyle over Fun's "Sight of the Sun." Look for The Gifted on June 25. —Julian Kimble
Is Ras Nebyu the Next RGIII?
Ras Nebyu is ambitious. In addition to his quest to take over the local hip-hop scene, he seems poised to infiltrate the local sports circuit, too. The self-proclaimed starting point guard for the Washington Slizzards announced that he will drop his next project, Ras Griffin lll: Uptown Rookie of the Year on June 12. Let's hope the RGlll reference becomes prophecy this summer. —JK
— THUNDER MAN (@RasNebyu) April 4, 2013
Yaddiya Shares Some "Cake"
Maryland rapper Yaddiya's new track, "Cake," treads on Rihanna territory and plants his own flag in it. Where Rihanna teased the world with her metaphorical birthday cake, Yaddiya raps about an unidentified woman's lust for money. "It's her birthday, this is what she usually do/It's her birthday, this is what she usually do/She say she want her cake and eat it too," he chants on the song’s hook. Though fun and extremely suggestive, the track details how the fast life can transport a good woman to the dark side. While you’re at it, check out Hucci by Yaddiya, his collaboration with London-based producer Hucci. —JK