AZURE— For his most recent 2018 album, GODSPEED, Bay Area rapper-producer Azure partnered up with director Kevin Curro for a number of music videos. Shortly after the album dropped in July, “Lemons” dropped in August and visually feels like a San Francisco golden hour captured in a jar. Azure’s self-produced and co-directed “Fingers to the Bone” dropped in December, and takes place on the rooftops and apartment corridors of San Francisco, serving itself up as a righteous anthem for weary hustlers:

AZURE: website | soundcloud | instagram

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VERSOUL— I first met Versoul at a performance at the historic I-Hotel, where she shut down the cypher with fast raps and hella heart. Then known as Babii Cris, her album Triple Threat showed for her chops as a producer and rapper. I look forward to doing an in-depth interview with Versoul later this month! In her newest project, Versoul presents her debut album, Soulrise, and her new music video for “Chatterbox,” which were both released on December 31, 2018:

“This one goes out to anyone and everyone who has transformed their flaws into strength and light. Growing up I was a Chatterbox, it was either good or bad. Trouble in school, being that one friend who “talked too much”, but my voice was the only thing I had, my only power. So although I grew up ashamed of it, I slowly learned how to transform it for the better, within my music.”

Versoul’s album release party for Soulrise will be taking place on January 19th at The Parkside, featuring local artists as well. Buy your tickets here:

VERSOUL: spotify | instagram

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ANN ONE — Last week I talked about Tiger JK and Yoon Mirae from Hip Hop Trio MFBTY, and their label, Feel Ghood Music. Of Feel Ghood Music’s artists, R&B singer Ann One has actually been on heavy rotation for all of 2018, through her features on Ruby Ibarra’s Circa 91 album, as she lends her voice for “The Other Side, Welcome,” “Background,” and “7000 Miles.” But she actually goes way back with a handful of Hip Hop artists, and one of my favorite Filipino American- Korean American collaborations to come out of the west coast is Ann One’s “Watch Yo Mouth,” featuring Yoon Mirae and Rocky Rivera, produced by DJ Phatrick and Kiwi Illafonte. While Ann One has remained active and busy through smaller projects, she made her own return to the Korean music scene in March 2018, fourteen years after Phoenix Rising in 2004, with her single, “This Ain’t Love,” an R&B song that features the range, character, and soul of her amazing voice. In her newest music video, “Ride,” featuring label-mate and up-and-coming rapper Junoflo, on her 2018 EP Supernova, Ann One’s sultry smooth R&B vocals glide over body-rolling beats. Note that the music video is the Korean language version, and an English version of the song is available on her EP, which you can stream on Spotify:

ANN ONE: spotify | instagram

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