Arthur Pitt Rates Artists From XXLMag.com’s The Break
Three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), a new artist is featured on XXLMag.com’s The Break. An ideal destination for fans, artists, and industry members, The Break showcases up and coming talent, giving a brief introduction on the artist or group, and highlighting some of their standout music. Each month, industry insiders will team with XXL to rate and comment on the submissions.
Rostrum Records’ Arthur Pitt, the man who’s been behind the scenes during the ascents of Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller (and before) has an ear for talent. Below, check out his comments, and see which of these artists has what it takes.
My kneejerk reaction when listening to tracks like “After I’m Gone” is to tune out pretty quickly. It’s not the type of hip-hop I prefer. Regardless, I was pleasantly surprised with the steadiness of the hook, which stood out more than the verses. It carried the song. The visuals were repetitive and a bit cliche. It felt like I was watching you in front of a mirror the whole time.
The energy picked up a bit in “Understand.” I like the inclusion of the notebooks and the setting in the video. Once again the hook is solid. It’s strange that your hooks are stronger to me than the overall body of work. You should be proud of that and continue to hone your skills there. “G.O.O.D. Friday” is pretty solid. I think I hear Kanye and Black Sheep sampled. Your energy and presence is severely lacking in the video, though. Overall, it’s dope you are from a good music town in Austin, Texas. Keep working hard and step up the visuals and bars. Your heart is in the right place as an MC.
I don’t like your stage name at all. It’s extremely generic to me. The good news is that “Fly Away” was very enjoyable. Both as a visual and song. I truly appreciate the honesty and realism of rapping about day to day events in your young years. Flow picked up throughout the song, a few nasty punchlines, beautiful and talented young lady on the hook, and a nice throwback sound to classier days. You might have given the young Ms. David too much time to shine in the visual.
I see the Drake and Mac influence as you mentioned. I’d like to see if you could spit some of that double time flow live that you did between the 2:44-3:20 mark. You rode the beat well and I like the hunger in your voice. The visual was a bit long for me. I understand it was an in-studio performance but keep those 3 minutes or less. Toronto is a hotbed for talent and you have plenty of it to grow into. I also noticed you got a lot of retweets and Facebook likes for your writeup here. Build your fanbase digitally and on your own. Good stuff kid.
OCD: Moosh & Twist
I’ve been hearing about these guys from a few different people in particular Ian Wolfson of Rex Arrow Films. I was initially impressed with the YouTube hits and digital following you guys have seemed to cultivate on your own. With Philadelphia’s rich history of music I was expecting a lot. I didn’t like the idea of a Journey sample but the energy was great in the visual and you both flip it pretty well. The first kid (I think Moosh) was not as impressive as Twist on this track, although I see the potential. Ian gets the highest grade on this one for a great video. Bias aside.
Another good choice using Rex Arrow Films for “Live It Up.” I like the positive message, live instruments on the track and visual. Moosh, you have to watch out for weak bars like “I hit out the park I be Mickey Mantle.” You are going for the lyricist appeal so make sure bar after bar is filled with solid wordplay and consistency. The backpack golden age era style you guys have is admirable and I love the overall positive messages of the music. I’m definitely going to check out a full project.
NYC continues to look for more breakout young MCs. You guys have the boom bap classic style to the T. “Hard Hatz” production by DJ Pause was fire, verses were effective, and the graffiti gritty look to the video was dope. Nothing new or that innovative, but I appreciate your goal to rep for the Big Apple on your accord.
Brave choice going over Rakim’s classic “Juice” instrumental. I believe that is the Verrazano in a lot of the video with several shots of the Manhattan skyline. Matches the energy and instrumental. I’m not crazy about the name DJ Pause. I understand you guys consider yourself a group but I would keep Dasah as the lone figure in most of the future visuals. I’m definitely going to look out for an EP.
I’ve heard a few tracks from this kid before and I believe he’s gotten some cosigns from solid artists. The girl in “Dear Jasmine” was beautiful. You, sir, sound like a watered down Kid Cudi on the hook (if that is you on it). Flow is effective, though, with a nice, laid back and steady rhyme cadence. You also seem comfortable in front of the camera. I’ve never heard of a breakout rap star (or any rapper) from South Carolina so keep pushing. Perhaps a North vs. South Carolina friendly competition will start to sprout. I personally was never too enthralled with any rappers from the Carolinas so don’t expect much more of my ear.