PREMIERE: BHAIRAV - Goku (ft. Heru)

Words by Evan Froiland

Making music is easier and more accessible than it's ever been, a fact that we at Explain greatly appreciate. Today, we bring you a track from BHAIRAV. The Madison-based producer (and UW-Madison student) is a New Jersey native that's relatively new to beat making, having started just last year. His work has paid off, carving out a sound all his own on the track 'Goku', a collaboration with Heru, a fellow UW-Madison attendee. The Oakland rapper is part of UW's First Wave hip-hop scholarship program.

BHAIRAV (left) and Heru (right). Image:  Brigham Starks

BHAIRAV (left) and Heru (right). Image: Brigham Starks

The two complement each other quite well; 'Goku' is a definite head-bobber.  There's much more to come from both of them, including a full collaboration project, 'Son of the Moon', as well as Heru's upcoming self-produced effort, 'SkyLord'. You best keep tabs. 

Klassik - Mask Off (Klass On)

Back on our pages today is Klassik - Milwaukee’s wonderfully talented hip-hop/jazz vocalist and producer. Anyone with an internet connection has probably seen or heard at least a couple renditions of Future’s ‘Mask Off’, the Metro-Boomin produced hit. Klassik joined the trend with his own version, and it’s absolutely breathtaking. ‘Mask Off: Klass On’ showcases levels of musicianship and composition prowess that very few possess. To call it a creative masterpiece wouldn’t be overstated. Just press play.

Rob Knapp announces debut EP, drops first single

Despite having released just 2 solo tracks to date, Rob Knapp is a familiar face and voice to Milwaukee show-goers. As the performing counterpart of Mic Kellogg, he never fails to make an impression upon crowds with his powerful singing voice.

We debuted his first song, ‘Paradise’, last August, and today we are excited to announce the release of his debut project, ‘The Jekyll & Hyde EP’. It's set to release in May 2017.

Knapp detailed, “The idea of Jekyll & Hyde is someone changing the way that they act or express themselves depending on the situation, so in two situations they can act completely differently. That’s the idea of my music; I don’t want to be pigeon-holed into a specific genre or specific category. I’m establishing to people that my music is going to be dabbling in a lot of different things, and that is my essence.”


Along with this announcement comes the first single from the EP.  ‘Jealousy’ is a speak-for-itself banger produced by Mammyth. Stream below and stay tuned for more from the artist soon. 



HRSH - Osmosis (Prod. HRSH)

by: Ali Shana

Hip-hop's roots show strength in numbers and mob-mentality. It is essential to the scene's networking while collective emcees often pursue a uniform style. This is not the case with Illinois-based artist HRSH. Hailing from the seven-member hip-hop group High Five, HRSH's latest release 'Osmosis' is an airy and slow-paced track. Although this vibe can be found in the artist's 'Talking About Practice' EP released six months prior, HRSH produced 'Osmosis' himself, allowing complete creative control. The lyricist did not disappoint in taking this opportunity to the next level. Stylistically, HRSH plays with a familiar cadence perfect to bob your head too. This easy-listening flow paints a picture in the listener's head.  The story starts with everyday habits and progressively gets more morbid. His straight-forward lines express increasingly dark content while being spoken in a calm, OG tone.

For example, "I need to know if I can keep you close? Or will you fold? I'm way too high, a bleeding nose, I need a dose." 

While this track is a showcase of talent, it is also very much an odd-ball that will keep you listening. Stream the glitchy and light headed track 'Osmosis' below.

Majority Pork - Seven Costanza's Farwell Record

By Rachel Jane Lynn

This past Tuesday, to the dismay of many locals, Seven Costanza released their farewell record, Majority Pork. The album exhibits the wide range of sounds that the group so often experiments with. Mixing punk, garage tones reminiscent of Weezer, along with funk and esteemed classic rock tones, there is something for everyone to dig on this release.

There is a cheekiness to this album that is unique compared to the rest of the outfit's catalog. It comes to no surprise that this group is acquainted with the local group Scrimshaw. We predict there may be some direct nods and influences to the off-kilter styling of some of these Milwaukee-based musicians. Although this arrangement is deceased, we look forward to any chance of seeing these guys in different arrangements and possibly, reunited some day. 

The eight-track record starts off with "Shoshanna," displaying their heavier, punk side while progressing into a grungy Breeders-like sound. The commencing riffs on track six, "Clean Machine," disclose we're in for a treat - and they just might convince your brain that it's 1994. Escape the Trump era and decide for yourself.

Check out the release below. (Seinfeld fans: take note of the album art for some laughs.)

Video: 'Pastor' - Dad

By: Steph Baghai

Two weeks ago, we premiered Dad's lasted banger "Pastor", the second single from the rapper's tape 'Dadscension'. With the premiere, we mentioned a soon-to-be-released visual accompaniment - and it doesn't disappoint.

The Milwaukee-based artist noted the mid-point of his trilogy was developed during a turbulent time and that the works would represent his reflections. Well, in classic Dad style he's made a point to share his deep turmoils with a (dark) comedic twist. The Cellar Dweller-shot video follows the Pastor, aka Dad, in a heavily symbolic exorcism that is equally other-worldly. 

The video comes as no surprise, Dad's videos are anything short of a compilation of amusing satires and light-hearted portrayals. In the latest visual, the battle between two forces are depicted with a comical aesthetic that lightens the darker-toned track. The visual ties together the various elements that emanate Dad and what to expect from his next tape. 

Check out the video below. Bless.

PREMIERE: student 1 - dichotomy

22-year-old Minneapolis resident Lu Afework raps under Student 1 and is releasing music at a rapid rate. Having dropped more than 40 tracks between several projects in 2016, it's no surprise that yet another project comes early in 2017. Student 1's self-described "hot fire goofy boy raps" draw an awfully lazy comparison to early Childish Gambino, although Lu's not quite as angsty or eager to rap about his dick as early Donald. 

Student 1's latest effort is 'dichotomy', a 7 song EP with a feature on each track. He easily trades bars with a number of different artists, all the while showcasing some of the Minneapolis scene that surrounds him. Emcees such as Drelli, Why Khaliq and CRASHprez join Lu on tracks, with production from the likes of shrimpnose and gorgeous randi flamethrower

Overall, 'dichotomy' is an easy listen, with Student 1 continuing to polish his raps. Expect more music to be continuously pumped out. And for any Minneapolis readers, there's a release party coming up. 

Stream below. 


by: Ali Shana

Cream City Motion's laid-back lyricist EMAAD made a dent in 2016 with his EMAADNESS EP. Now, the emcee is back with the perfect track to slap in the back of your car, 'MAAD MAN'. Spitting over a NIKKO BUNKIN instrumental, the song serves as a move-making anthem. Calm and confident, EMAAD doesn't hide behind catchy cadences. The rapper spits it nice and slow so you can hear every bar.

Throughout the three and a half minute track, the line "I don't care, I'm a work harder" repeats. Plain and simple, a message that applies to anyone overcoming their obstacles. As the CCM dynasty continues, make sure to keep your ears open for EMAAD's come-up.