Arts Desk

DMV Beats: Fat Trel, Early Reed and Friends, Head-Roc, PHZ-Sicks, Dunson, and Lyriciss

Fat Trel

Now that Fat Trel is a major label signee, let the new, flashier music commence. Trel's new track, "She Fell In Love," isn't really about love—it's about lusty times in Florida. There's the girl he bedded in Miami. Then there's the girl he met in Orlando after a show. By song's end, he's remembering his humbler days riding the Metro—but "now it's big steak with the big shrimp, heavy butter like a real pimp."—Marcus J. Moore

Early Reed, J Scienide, and Kev Brown

Don't listen to this new J Scienide/Early Reed/Kev Brown cut called "Full Circle" until you've watched the making-of video that got posted a few days after the track dropped. It's interesting to see rappers fuck up; whereas beatmaking is often about tweaking things methodically, studio MCing is sometimes a matter of right energy, right time. In the vid, J Scienide, the prodigiously bearded one, commits to establishing his flow firmly over Reed's beat, which deploys one of the more strong-armed flute loops you'll ever hear. The end results are tight. Bonus cut: J Scienide's "Garbage," produced by yU and released early last month. —Joe Warminsky


Wednesday evening, Head-Roc unveiled his latest album, Black Leon, during a special listening party hosted at Mount Pleasant's Marx Café. Anyone who missed out on the shindig can stream the new release from his Reverb Nation profile page. Produced by Black Ink, its boom-bap-driven production hearkens back to 9th Wonder’s earliest work; in between hard-nosed battle raps, the self-proclaimed Mayor of D.C. Hip-Hop tackles romance, bullying, and using his "Black Rock Star Superhero" powers to rescue civilization from itself. —Harold Stallworth


Last month, rapper PHZ-Sicks sounded a little more sensitive. His "Lost & Found" single explored the dexterity of love through an imagined conversation with a female friend. For his new single, "The Love Scene III," the Virginia rapper gets explicit over a Timbaland-like beat, and singer Alison Carney is along for the, er, ride. "We can make love in the mornin', sexin' in the evenin'," goes the hook. "Take it to the countertop, then up against the wall, I just hope that you can take it all," guest singer Scolla says later. It's the latest single from PHZ-Sicks' forthcoming album, The Moment, out Dec. 3. —MJM


After weeks of promotion, Dunson released his "Circles" single this week. Produced by Phatboiz and Dunson himself, the song finds the rapper reflecting on toiling away in an office job to finally achieving a meaningful creative goal. Rapping double-time over a hypnotic beat with a jazzy sample, Dunson advises everyone to chase those dreams: "So do what you love, fuck the shit you like/'Cause it's your life and in the end yeah, it's all right." "Circles" is the first single from his next project, Outlier, which is due in February. —Julian Kimble


Lyriciss linked up with Virginia's K-Beta and rising Philly MC Chill Moody to crank out the Grussle-produced "Calling For You." Now, in his latest visual from The Balance, Lyriciss puts his growing camaraderie with Chill Moody on display (and Moody shows his appreciation of the DMV with a reference to D.C. radio legend Petey Greene). In between, there's footage of Moody's show at Philly's legendary Theatre of Living Arts, and Def Jam signee Logic even makes a cameo. Lyriciss and Chill Moody have great natural chemistry; more collabos would be welcome. —JK

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  • Head-Roc

    Peace and we appreciate the mention. However, we want to get a few facts straight.

    First, the Black Leon Show (packed house) was Tuesday Nov19th, and not Wednesday, Nov 20th.

    Second, Head-Roc is not the "Self Proclaimed Mayor of DC Hip-Hop". The title was bestowed upon him by Tony Smith and Tony Sizemore, door men at the Legendary State of the Union nightclub on U Street well over 15 years ago. It's a name that was embraced by the community and used with increasing frequency ever since... for 15 years.

    We would appreciate the removal of "Self Proclaimed" from the description of...

    Head-Roc "The Mayor of DC Hip-Hop"


    Head-Roc PR Department.