DMV Beats: Young Moe, Dunson, Xaivia, and Rahiem Supreme
This week, Young Moe finally released a racy visual for "Million Dollar Dreams," the better of two obligatory Fat Trel collaborations on his latest mixtape, Humble Hustle 2. The baby-faced Alexandria emcee takes a bit of a back seat on his own street single, relinquishing both the opening verse and hook duty to Trel. But his measured introspection contrasts well against Trel's visceral street dreams. Directed by 1st Impressions Studio, Slutty Boyzs' go-to film crew, the video is loaded with narcotics, firearms, and gratuitous shirtlessness. —Harold Stallworth
To build anticipation for the release of his new single "Circles" on Nov. 19, Maryland rapper Dunson—who performed at last month's Trillectro-fueled Rock the Bells Band-Aid—is regularly releasing new music. His latest offering is "Raging Bull," a nod to Martin Scorsese's biopic of boxer Jake LaMotta. Dunson borrows the beat from the outro on Drake's "Furthest Thing" to flex his way with words; in between, he lets off a few shots at journalist and Rap Radar founder Elliott Wilson: "Is it 'cause my fro-hawk fresher?/That you'd rather gas a rapper when they flow not fresher?/Flew under your Rap Radar like my flow not better?/Like my show not better?/Cool, I grow off pressure." (Dunson clearly keeps up with his press coverage: The video shows a couple of shots of Al Shipley's recent Baltimore City Paper feature about the rapper.) Ruffling feathers to promote new music can be dicey, but I expect Dunson to be doing much the same for the next month or so. —Julian Kimble
The DMV isn't weird enough. Yeah, there's a lot of good music here, but not enough rappers willing to take creative risks. We need more MCs willing to get strange. Enter Xaivia, a California-born, D.C.-based rapper, filmmaker, photographer, and painter, whose debut project, The Parallel, is a self-directed film about his personal life. According to a press release, Xaivia was all set to be a professional skateboarder until he got into an accident. At 18 years old, he moved to D.C. and endured homelessness. He lost close family members and unexpectedly became a father.
In this NSFW video for "Cold Chills," a distorted Stevie Wonder sample sets the course for a haunting assortment of creepy visuals. Xaivia writhes on the floor as candles burn in the background. We see flashes of Xaivia's artwork as he rhymes about the grind: "If you ain't talkin' love, everything you talk is tasteless/I ain't talkin' nothin' if it ain't green faces." The whole thing is dope, gothic, and straight-up weird. —Marcus J. Moore
D.C. rapper Rahiem Supreme, craftsman of this year's Swag Genie project, has some new stuff to get off his chest. With his next work, Lost Gemz, on the way, Supreme shared bonus track "A Letter to the Rap Game," an oral history of hip-hop peppered with musings on its current state. At more than seven minutes long, it's a somewhat extensive history lesson, and its four beat changes serve as segues between different time periods. It's reminiscent of Joe Budden's 15 minute lyrical tirade "Who Killed Hip-Hop" but with more historical context and less venom. Rahiem also recently released the first installment of The Daily Bread, a two-part documentary about his own experiences in hip-hop. —JK