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Streetsmartz101 New Single Will Have You Crying ‘Black Tears’ – Essentially Pop

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Not even two months since the last StreetSmartz101 video drop, and they return with another fantastic video. Back in April the trio released ‘Queen’s Anthem’, a celebration of women everywhere and the women in our lives. The Central Floridians, along with their own label Zero18 Global, are shaking up the music scene and making it their own. They’re devoted to building their brand and making sure they’re a force to be reckoned with.

Now they return with ‘Black Tears’, an emotional, soulful hip hop track that’s sure to leave listeners feeling moved. Known for their huge hooks and attention-grabbing bars, StreetSmartz101 are no different with ‘Black Tears’, the song being perfect marriage of intelligent, quick-witted hip hop and rich soul music. The rapping in the verses acts like a fast-paced but smooth transition into that vulnerable soul sound.

Just like ‘Queen’s Anthem’, ‘Black Tears’ really makes you stop and pay attention to what they’re saying. It’s a deeply moving story about young black men who face law enforcement and may never see their families again. “Watch out for cops,” StreetSmartz101 warn the listener, citing the tragic deaths of Trayvon Martin and George Floyd – and how that’s made them paranoid for their own lives and safety. But that fear can’t be avoided – not for a son and not for a mother. Listen carefully, and you can feel a mother’s pain at the thought of losing her son.

The video for ‘Black Tears’ is perfect for this single. Starting with a woman standing in front of the camera, we see her plead for the black kings to listen and stop being selfish with their reckless behaviour – “These streets don’t love you,” she implores, “They don’t love nobody. They’re definitely not gonna love you like your momma’s gonna.” She firmly asks the viewers to think about the pain they’re inflicting on the people around them when they want to go out and risk their freedom. From there, the music kicks in, and the guys of StreetSmartz101 come into frame.

We’re invited into the home of a single mother and her son. We watch as he walks out of the house, and all eyes fall on him and his next moves. As the video continues, the mother leafs through photo albums as her son fades away into the background. The video ends with StreetSmartz101 all dressed in white as the young man walks down the street towards the horizon. It’s an ominous video that’s sure to leave an impact.

Watch the video for ‘Black Tears’ below, and follow StreetSmartz101 on Instagram.





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Silk Sonic Wants You To Groove With “Skate”

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Silk Sonic has finally released its second single, and it was worth the wait. The duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak have delivered another dose of ’70s nostalgia with “Skate,” the perfect follow-up to their chart-topping “Leave The Door Open.”

After releasing their first single, Silk Sonic performed on several awards shows and specials and were nominated for three BET awards. They’ve even teased a full album, An Evening with Silk Sonic could be coming at any moment.

Until that album drops, though, we’ll have to take what we can get and “Skate” delivers. A funky and smooth tune, you’ll have it on repeat on your Spotify all day long. Check out the new track below and, as always, make sure to let us know what you think!





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Neil Nathan – ‘You’re My Lady’  – Essentially Pop

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Throughout his career, Neil Nathan has been compared to great artists on the regular. And they’re a diverse bunch too: Dusted says he reminds them of Cat Stevens; Skope likens him to the big three: Beatles, Dylan, and Cohen. Surviving The Golden Age goes further and says his music is imbued with the spirit of Roger Waters, and Bruce Springsteen; while Blogs N Roses invokes two ends of the spectrum in The Kinks, and Neil Young. Even more diverse is Powerpopaholic’s comparison of Nathan’s soulful, high energy songwriting to that of Matthew Sweet, and Jeff Tweedy; while No Ripcord pulls no punches in pronouncing Neil Nathan to be “the bastard stepchild of Jackson Browne and David Bowie”.

That’s some mighty big boots to be stepping into.

But listen to Nathan’s songs, and you’ll instantly know why he elicits such comparisons. He has a classic style about him in every aspect – from his songwriting, deep understanding of the storytelling art, his powerful lyrics, his pleasant and versatile voice, his guitar, with its warm tones, and his talent for timing.

His latest single, ‘You’re My Lady’, a joyous celebration of love and togetherness, feels readymade for easygoing radio; there’s a familiarity about it, it could easily be a 70s FM radio classic high rotation track. It’s a pop-rock standard right from the outset.

The lyrics to ‘You’re My Lady’ tell the story of a man who travels through dangerous terrain, just to get to the woman he loves. His lady. The video takes the frank, forthright, and homespun lyrics one step further, and we see Nathan dressed in a spacesuit, wandering through the desert. Soon enough, he’s performing, helmet and reflective clothing still on, in front of computer animated graphics, strumming his acoustic guitar, while otherworldly landscapes flash by behind him. In one glorious scene we see the earth rise before him, as he roams across a barren moon.

Watch the video for ‘You’re My Lady’ below, and keep up with Neil Nathan and his music by way of his official website.



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Wolf Rd – ‘As Good As It Gets’ – Essentially Pop

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Chicago quartet Wolf Rd have been hometown heroes right from the start of their career, and when they celebrated the launch of their 2019 debut EP, ‘Nowhere Around You’, the show was sold out.

Wolf Rd are still releasing singles from the EP, complete with music videos, along with high energy performances in the Chicago area, which have seen them share the stage with national touring acts, and ensuring their position as one of the Windy City’s most loved local bands.

Made up from Chris Hoffmann (vocals), Nick Hoffmann (drums/additional instrumentation), Geoffrey Duckmann (guitar), and Devin Stone (bass), Wolf Rd blend the signature anthemic melodies and passion of pop-punk instrumentation more familiar to fans of metal; suffice to say they’ve created a sound that is both unique and genre-inclusive. They’ve drawn comparisons with All Time Low, and State Champs, for their harmonic vocals, while their energy sees them likened to Neck Deep, and their raw emotion calls to mind that of their Chicago compadres, Knuckle Puck, and Real Friends. Wolf Rd’s cathartic songs are ideal to get those feelings out, no matter where you’re screaming the lyrics – whether that be the basement of a local club, or through your speakers or headphones at home.

‘As Good As It Gets’, from their new EP, ‘Counterpoint’, shows fans a more mellow, delicate side of the band. Produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Roye Robley, the track features acoustic guitars, and sweet harmonies, as well as a guest vocal from Sylvia Mendez. Explaining that break-up songs don’t have to be nasty or violent in order to share the pain, Chris Hoffmann says,

“One thing that was really important to me was that I didn’t want this song to be one-sided. I’m far from perfect, and when things fall apart, both sides usually share some of the blame.”

The video for ‘As Good As It Gets’ starts with the aftermath of a birthday party. A “Happy Birthday Bartley,” banner proclaims its intent, along with torn streamers and empty beer bottles, casually strewn around a backyard. The scenes of the clip perform as a metaphor for the rollercoaster relationship outlined in the song; we see both sides, from the sweet, intimate moments to the heated arguments and the dramatic end. But the memories – just like the remnants of a party, are still there to haunt you.

Watch the clip for ‘As Good As It Gets’ below, and find out more about Wolf Rd and their music online, by checking out their official website.



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