The Best Hip Hop Artists of 2015

As we currently are approaching the third month of the new year, I thought it would be interesting to do a feature on the best hip hop artists of 2015. Now, there are a ton of rappers and hip hop artists out...

Lewis Del Mar - "Wave(s)"

The indie genre was in need of some new fresh sounds, and finally in 2015, I think we finally see more bands experimenting and adding a new flavor to the scene. Something that Lewis Del Mar does, especially on their latest gold nugget of music called "Wave(s)." I have to shout out Indie Shuffle for this dope discovery as this is a definite favorite from this week.

The duo of Lewis Del Mar mix in a cool R&B vocal that is carefully crafted over and indie-folk instrumentation. Hell, it even has this hip hop bounce to it, but that's what I dig about bands like these -- changing the indie scene with new swagger.


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Listen to PARTYNEXTDOOR’s OVO Sound Radio Mix

PartyNextDoor's New Mix for OVO Sound Radio

Although Flume's recent BBC mix was fresh, we also got another one over the weekend from crooner PARTYNEXTDOOR. He released an exclusive mix for OVO Sound Radio, featuring some gems from Notorious B.I.G., Gucci Mane, 50 Cent, and even mixed in two brand new tracks from himself. His music has typically been hit or miss with me, but there is no denying he has some serious talent. Listen to his mix below.


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ZHU x Gallant - "Testarossa Music"

ZHU x Gallant - "Testarossa Music"

Los Angeles based producer ZHU has consistently made some futuristic fresh music, with his own electronic style. Yet, he also has this mysteriousness about him which makes the music much more alluring. I was also stoked to see the talented R&B singer Gallant on this, so I had no hesitation that this song would be anything but amazing.

This electronic song not only oozes soul and R&B, but a cool funky twist, especially when that guitar kicks in. This is music gold and I know you guys will dig this. Stream the KCRW world premiere rip below.


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Stream Flume's Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1

Flume's Essential Mix for BBC

Over the weekend, Australian producer Flume released a new BBC Radio 1 Essential mix for the masses to enjoy. There hasn't been too much material from him lately, but this mix got me hyped on hearing his sound once again. The mix features material from Vic Mensa, Chet Faker, Ta-Ku, Jamie xx, Vince Staples, Knxwledge, TroyBoi, Salva, Clams Casino, James Blake, JME, Mssingno, Mura Masa, himself, and more. This has something for everyone, so give this one a stream and play it loudly for your neighbors.


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Joey Bada$$ – "Aim High" (Produced by The Alchemist & Harry Fraud)

Joey Badass "Aim High"

When you look at the title of this post, there are few reasons that this is good. First and foremost, Joey Bada$$ is still one of the most underrated hip hop artists currently out. Sure he has a good fan base and had some good buzz, but I still don't think he gets all the recognition he deserves. Secondly, producers The Alchemist and Harry Fraud combine forces to produce a mellow beat for Joey to flow on. Although this is not the strongest track from the trio, it's still good to see them working together. Stream the track below and turn the speakers up.


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What Music Blogging Taught Me & Why It Was Important For My Career

Music Blogging

As I quickly approach my fifth anniversary of Oh So Fresh! Music being created (where did the time go??), I started to reflect on everything I learned from music blogging. As I began to ponder it all, I ended up with a list that really detailed why creating this blog was important into my career development and how it shaped the person I am today.

In fact, it actually sort of shocked me at how much a hobby, passion, and enthusiasm for music really became even more than that over years. I'm sure I'm not alone in some of these points with other music bloggers, but I wanted to share how important it is to follow a passion and what it can do for you.

Am I a full time music blogger? No, but a few have made career of theirs like the ever so excellent Pigeons & Planes. Yet, should that stop you from starting one or keeping one going? Absolutely not. Not only has keeping my blog led to learning and building a ton of skills, but it also opened the doors for new career opportunities. You might be wondering how or are curious to what running this blog has done for me in the past few years. By no means is this a post to brag about accomplishments or to come off condescending. I'm merely hoping to inspire you and maybe help you see that instead of having hesitations about an idea or project, to just go for it.

One of the main reasons I decided to start my own blog was plain and simple: the music. I wanted to have an outlet to share some of my favorite music, a place to share my thoughts, and something I could say was my own. Yet, it also opened my mind and ears to music I might never have come across otherwise. It connected me to many PR, labels, and new artists looking to have someone share their music. It didn't even matter that at the beginnings I only would receive 15-30 views a day, artists just appreciated the love. However, while the love of music has always been the main goal, there has been so much more that I learned.

Follow Your Idea Through, Even If You Have No Clue Where to Start

Research:  While I was a few months out college with a Computer Science degree, there was still a lot I didn't know or how to start. One thing that music blogging has taught me is more patience for research. I had no idea about blogging platforms, how to connect a domain, where to begin, or how to be noticed by search engines. Sure, I knew some basics, but this was a start from scratch project with no help but my own.

Entrepreneurship: My blog has not become an actual business like some, but it also gave me the insight about being an entrepreneur. Going out there and creating something all on your own is not always easy, but creating a music blog was the first step in understanding this concept more. This has also been useful when it comes to job interviews. I'm always asked about it, why I started it, and how I went about it. You are showing the interviewer initiative in starting something on your own and that you have a passion that drives you. I never really thought of it that way initially because this was my hobby, until my first major job interview was so interested in.

Writing & Grammar: Let's face, writing and grammar will always be a major factor in the real world, especially in the workplace. It doesn't matter what degree you have or what field of work you are in, writing and grammar are always important factors. If you can't formulate a proper sentence or know the difference between "your" and "you're," what are the odds a company would trust you with bigger duties? By having a music blog and posting constantly, it has helped me shape my writing voice, tone, and pick up on spelling errors much quicker. Sure, some still slip through the cracks, but over the course of five years I discovered I make less mistakes no matter how fast I type. By no means am I an expert, but this has improved with time by having a blog.

SEO:  If you aren't familiar with the acronym yet, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization (for any Internet noobs out there). All I knew in 2010 was what the acronym stood for, other than that, not a clue. Yet, when you run a website or blog, you quickly realize how important understanding this concept and the rules are for your site to generate good organic traffic. In the music blog world, ranking in search engines can be tough because there is some serious competition for the music you post about. But researching (Oh hey, see above again) led me to thousands of articles discussing the importance of SEO. From there, it was trial and error, seeing what works and what doesn't.

Marketing: Now that I had a website, how the hell do I get people to notice it? This is where the whole concept of marketing came into play. While we all tend to do some sort of marketing whether we realize it or not, when it is something of your own you find unique ways to be heard. This could be social media, shows, events, reaching for press, etc. The list is endless and it quickly teaches you creative ways to get your product out there.

Social Media: When it came to social media, the only thing I really knew was I needed a Facebook page. Yet, I quickly learned how important Twitter was for my blog and became my main outlet for getting new readers, connections, and traffic building. This also turned into utilizing Youtube, Google+, and Pinterest. I learned not only about how to interact, gain followers, and all that good stuff, but the analytic side of things as well. Social media is more than just posting, you need to have and create some sort of strategy in order to find success.

Networking: You can quickly find value in networking, whether it is with bloggers, industry leaders, advertisers and more -- networking, networking, networking. If there is anything you do on this list, never stop making connections. You know the saying, "It's not always what you know, it's who you know?" Well, while sometimes it might not seem fair, this is true and a part of life. Keep it friendly, don't be afraid to reach and connect with people in your niche. You never know where that can lead you or who it can lead you too.

Analytics - Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools (Now Search Console) became my new friends. Sure they were a little complicated at first and I thought they were odd, but the more I clicked around and used it, the better I understood it's value. These are two of the most free powerful tools to have if you run any type of website or business. It allowed me to see where traffic is coming from, what SEO practices work or don't work, how my content is linked, and much more. But by having no formal training, it allowed me to make mistakes and continue to learn from it. My experiences in this have led me to working a job where I look into analytics for companies and provide them with techniques to improve rankings.

Organization: 25k+ emails are currently in my inbox and while I may not respond to most of them anymore as I am a one man operation, I have learned some serious organization skills. This is a big skill to develop, especially for millennials diving into the workforce. We have our hands on so many things and our attention spans are all over, running something of my own taught me how to stay organized and on top of things. Especially with responding to business or advertising inquires, writing, scheduling posts, email follow-ups, etc. Starting a website, blog, or your own project helps you realize how important being organized is. This extends to more than what I listed, this is also for site files and photos, drafts of posts, strategies, ideas, passwords, etc.

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KYLE - "Remember Me?" ft. Chance The Rapper

KYLE featuring Chance The Rapper

California artist KYLE has been grinding for the last few years now, but the buzz has really been growing with his latest few singles. The most recent cut is called "Remember Me?" featuring Chicago native and one of my favorites, Chance The Rapper.  The song has a smooth beat, which allows KYLE to flow with ease, topped off with Chance's crooning on the chorus.

You'll be able to find this tune on KYLE's upcoming project, SMYLE, which will be out in a few days. Stream the song below.

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Portugal. The Man Cover Kanye West’s “Amazing”

Portugal. The Man Covers Kanye's "Amazing"

I love when cool bands do interesting covers of other popular artists, which is exactly what Portugal. The Man did with Kanye's "Amazing." Why did they choose this one though? Well, Kanye had announced that he would be performing a two night concert of his album 808s & Heartbreaks, in honor of it's release. So the indie/experimental band wanted to honor it in some way and released this smooth cover. Enjoy below.

We saw that Ryan Adams covered Taylor Swift’s "1989" so we decided to go ahead and cover something good. Kanye is playing 808s & Heartbreak at Hollywood Bowl tonight, if we were not in Marfa playing El Cosmico - Trans-Pescos Festival we would be there, one of our all-time favorite records. Here is…"Amazing."


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Bench X Thump: The Brit Invasion of EDM to America

Bench partners with Thump to bring you a documentary about the Brit Invasion of EDM music to America featuring brand ambassador Jess Glynne.

Bench was born in 1989 as a small menswear brand with deep roots in skate and BMX culture, but it has become a global fashion brand offering stylish clothing with a functional edge that suits the needs of a 24-hour city life.

Although a fashion brand, music is a fundamental part of Bench’s DNA. They have rallied and supported emerging artists across music genres that range from indie to electronic. Bench is consistently on the search for fresh talent (something I pride myself in doing as well) similarly to their recognizing Jess Glynne with whom they formed a partnership with before she began achieving some massive attention in the early summer of this year.

The Brit Invasion: A Film Hosted By Jess Glynne
The Bench x Thump documentary is presented by Jess Glynne who helps tell the story of how British Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has become the latest phenomenon to hit the American music scene and change youth culture in a whole new way. It should come as no surprise that EDM is one of the biggest music movements to hit the U.S. in sometime, especially with the festivals continuing to grow each year and the music dominating the Billboard charts.

Artists and producers such as Disclosure, Gorgon City, Clean Bandit, MNEK and Sam Smith have topped the Billboard charts, bringing the distinctly British sounds of the UK into mainstream American success. The movement of these talented artists and their popularity are hard to ignore.

Autumn/Winter ‘15 Bench Campaign shot

The documentary follows Jess Glynne on a journey to America to investigate the British Invasion - looking into the history of the sub-genres like house, techno and garage that was originally born in Chicago and New York, finding out what happened to it in the UK, and then how this music has made a return to it’s motherland several decades later. Over the course of 48 hours Jess meets artists, promoters and club-goers from both sides of the world, trying to get to the bottom of what initiated this British invasion, the role UK artists are playing and how they are shaping the U.S. electronic dance sound today.

#LoveMyHood Competition
To celebrate the launch of the Bench AW15 x Jess Glynne #LoveMyHood campaign shot in Jess’s London neighbourhood, Bench is giving you and a guest the chance to win an amazing trip to London to see Jess perform and experience her exciting city for yourself.

You’ll receive two VIP tickets to Jess’s gig at The Round House in London on the 4th November. They’ll pay for your travel, 3 night’s accommodation in a cool hotel, give you spending money and you’ll each receive some extra cash to spend at Bench on their fresh, new Autumn/Winter ‘15 Collection designed for a 24 hour city lifestyle.

For your chance to win this prize all you have to do is:
  • Watch the AW15 Jess Glynne x Bench #LoveMyHood video
  • Answer a simple question
  • Start thinking about who you’d take with you!
Don't miss out on this amazing chance to take a trip to Jess’s home city to see her perform. Enter at

Follow Bench:

Additional information:
Documentary launched at The Price Charles nightclub in Berlin 11th September 2015
Shown on Thump from 14th September 2015

Documentary contributors:
British producers Gorgon City:
LA based producers Hotel Garuda:
Sound Nightclub –
Rhonda’s owners Greg and Loren

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SPORTS - "Get Bummed Out"

SPORTS "All Bummed Out"

I was in an interesting mood today when it came to my music choices, so it's no surprise I took a unique approach with my music post today. I'm still digging interesting and unique indie sounds, so SPORTS released their last pre-release single called, "Get Bummed Out." The Kenyon, OH band's sophomore album, All of Something, is out October 30th and will be one album to check out in the next few weeks. It's not the most complicated track, but its fast bounce and alt vocals grabbed my attention. Stream the track below.


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Apache Prophet - "American Spirit: The Sequel" (Prod. AWYW)

Good morning. Did you have a dream?

Apache Prophet has been on a role lately with a stream of excellent new tracks leading up to his new album Black Sands Beach (that's the album artwork above). The 21-year old rapper released "Late Nights with Sake" back in March, an emotionally charged song with a moral that tells us to never hesitate to reach out to someone you see struggling because you may not get a second chance. That song was his best to date until he dropped "Unfinished Sonata" on us last month, and he transformed himself and his music into something more, a place of shelter for people who are struggling with depression and other issues that can result from the heavy burden the world can sometimes place on us. Again it was his best work to date. Now he tops both with "American Spirt: The Sequel".

"American Spirit" the original, was the opening track from his excellent album from last year If He Dies He Dies 2, and it is still one of my favorite works by him. In just under two minutes and with only a few bars he takes you on a journey into his psyche and his world. He puffs an american spirit cig while exorcising demons and ghosts from the past and the line "American Spirit, Mental Wars" reaches far beyond the scope of his personal problems. Now with the sequel he does the same thing on a whole other level. Just like the original, this song opens up the album to come. Of course the beat is incredible (you never have to worry about that with Prophet) and of course your gonna feel what he has to say. So just listen.

The Beach will be opening soon...


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RL Grime Remixes "The Hills" by The Weeknd

RL Grime Remixes "The Hills" by The Weeknd

The Weeknd has dropped some serious gems over the last few years and continued to do so with the single "The Hills." The subject material is pretty messed up and dark, but that's typically the emotions Abel strives for. Now here we are with LA producer RL Grime's somewhat lighter version of "The Hills," taking a whole new approach to the song. He kept the vocals mainly intact and Grime constructed a light trap beat with sped up electronic elements. Interesting take and I like the experimentation with this one.


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Beth - "Don't You Worry Child" (Charming Horses Remix)

Beth "Don't You Worry Child" Charming Horses Remix

Swedish House Mafia had dropped a monster of a song "Don't Worry Child" not too long ago, which really elevated around the world. So it is no surprise when cover songs started appearing, but many were done quite well. Beth being one of those, yet the cover then got another face lift thanks to Charming Horses brilliant remix. Between the alluring female vocals, house tempo. and electro-funk influences, the song got a cool fresh touch. Now, this song started making waves in August, but I think a lot of people may have missed this great remix. Stream and watch below.


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G-Eazy - "Say So"

G-Eazy "Say So"

Well, G-Eazy released a new tune called "Say So" the other day, and unfortunately I had no time to listen to the Vinylz produced track. If you scan the Internet for music, then you should already be familiar with G, who has dominated the independent hip hop space on the web. "Say So" isn't a standout track from his collection, but nonetheless it still oozes that G-Eazy steez we all love. I'm sure we will be getting some more material very soon from the rapper.


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