Tubby's Top 5 Local Hip-Hop Tracks — September
Tubby’s Top 5 For September
Summer is leaving us. I hate to start things off on a bitter note, but it's true. It's getting darker; it's getting colder. I would say “winter is coming,” but that one's a little played out by now. And yet, even though the temperature is dropping, the music being created in Alaska right now is just getting hotter and hotter, and I felt like sharing five new records currently heating up within the 49th state.
This is another installment of Tubby's Top 5.
Nutcase Sanotra — Rambo
A well-known name in the Anchorage rap scene for years now—a former member of the illustrious rap group Up North D-Boys (UNDB)—Nutcase Sanotra, aka Peanut, has returned home from a brief stint behind bars. Nutcase is now focused on re-introducing himself as his own man, with his recently released, debut solo album, Phone Diary.
One of the lead tracks is "Rambo." Combined with the fact that Nutcase is both braggadocios and bold, it sounds exactly like you'd expect a song with that title to sound like—it's an action movie in rap form, with all the theatrics you'd expect from a Sylvester Stallone blockbuster made in the 80's. Over an eerie beat, Peanut enthusiastically spits, "Rambo! Rambo! Rambo! Rambo! Killin’ these niggas in a Lambo! Rambo! Rambo! Rambo! Rambo! Niggas still trappin’ out the Bando!" Simple, sweet and catchy. Nutcase is bringing that loud, enthusiastic energy he's always been known for.
With this track, and Phone Diary in general, it's safe to say that Nutcase is back and bigger than ever.
Rambo is the fourth track off Phone Diary. It’s available on iTunes, Spotify and all other media outlets.
DC The Savage — Free 6AM
Frozen Founders frontman DC The Savage has been known within the ever-growing hip-hop scene in Anchorage, and with his first release on iTunes, a tribute to his cousin 6AM (also known as Rico G The Mayor) appropriately titled "Free 6AM," his buzz is only going to continue to grow. The smooth, mellow beat, produced by Dee B, matches DC's smooth, calm delivery. On "Free 6AM," The Savage calmly and confidently lets it be known he's nice on the mic with lines like, "Ever since I can remember, I've been the coldest, I was born up in the winter," while letting it be known that 6AM's recent incarceration weighs heavy on Savage’s mind and that he's riding for his family with the bars like, "Grew up on the West side of A-N-C, shout out all my niggas baggin’ on the East, feds got my cousin, hope they let him free, heard something about a set-up, we gonna wait and see."
DC The Savage, who is still smoking from his fire ass verse on Alaska Boi's "Some Mo," which was released earlier this year (probably my favorite local rap verse so far in 2017), is definitely leaving his mark in 2017. Hopefully we'll get more from DC and Frozen Founders before the year's end.
Double Dose — Reasons
Frozen Founders affiliate, and one of Anchorage's most lyrically technical wordsmiths, Double Dose recently released the new track "Reasons," produced by longtime local producer DJ Allegiance. Slightly more serious than his previous release— the still catchy "Fresh"—the dark, melodic instrumental for "Reasons" has Dose declaring his greatness while expressing the fire that burns inside him, all while trying to avoid the temptations this life brings.
The song begins with, "You know I have my reasons, know I cannot fall, be stronger than temptation, I've seen them waste it all, but I can't stand for failure, they just want me in them chains, I feel greatness from the rage, I swear my time has come around." You can hear the passion and determination in Dose's bars, as you can in all of his songs, something that I noticed about him and his music early on.
As for DJ Allegiance, who used to make beats back in Fairbanks years ago, I'm happy to see/hear him teaming up with someone as gifted as Dose. I hope to hear more from these two.
Darius and Johnny Kohler — Wilma Fetty
Quite possibly the best hip-hop duo in Anchorage right now, Darius and Johnny Kohler return with the new track "Wilma Fetty." The mellow record, produced by Kohler, has young Darius—who’s still riding the wave from his last album Where 2 Now—in his zone as he spits, "Pushin’ the limit, sprintin’ to the finish, fads, they change, but the style is infinite. Alaska grown, the sound we invented, Johnny on percussion, he's a real sound chemist. If you in the building, raise your hands to the ceiling, we some true emcees, always giving you the feeling, since 2nd grade, had dreams of getting paid off this, now weak spitters gettin’ laid off quick, don't quit your day job."
Darius is a master at making what I call "nostalgic rap," where the mood of his writing and delivery, along with Johnny's soulful production, puts you in a place, mentally, where you remember what it's like to be a young, free, independent thinker. It brings me back to simpler times. That is definitely something these two are great at—making organic hip-hop; music from scratch; Soul food rap.
Always inspiring, Darius let's it be known that you can do whatever you want, on your own terms, just as he has. "You can do anything that you want to, yo. Try hard if you want to grow, picture me winning, doin’ it on my own, playing this while you're getting stoned, and let the vice take you wherever you wanna go. I've been doing this for a while, Anchorage is my city, the winter gave me my style."