S23 Presents: STUDIiYO23 Fresh Faces

The team at STUDIiYO23 loves living on top of the world when it comes to what’s fresh, what’s hot and what inspires. Music is part of our lives, and as such we’d like to bring our S23 family along with us on our journey to discover musical talents wherever they are. So lend us your ear and peep these STUDIiYO23 Fresh Faces.

Jay Electronica
Although Jay Electronica isn’t “new”, he deserves to be on this list as he is one of the freshest emcees out right now. Jay has been at this thing for a while but still has yet to release a studio LP, yet in some circles he is the most buzzed about artist of the past five years.

Jay Electronica has some of the most thought-provoking rhymes while still providing a hip hop sound that has lead to people like Diddy and Q-tip wanting to work with him and has ultimately got him signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation in November of 2010. Jay is currently overseas working on his mixtape Act II: Patents Of Nobility (The Turn). There is plenty of material available on the net that Jay has released throughout the years, including his Just Blaze produced single “Exhibit C”, which is the cut that has made him a household name in the Hip Hop community. You can also find Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), which was made available on a Myspace page back in 2007 and is a 9 minutes and 17 second continuous track set to Jon Brion’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” soundtrack. There is also Jay Electronica’s Style Wars EP which he also dropped in 2007 as well as countless singles and features.

To get the full Jay Electronica experience whether you have yet to hear his music or if you just want everything he has been involved with, we suggest you cop Jay Electronica: Pre-Act II [The Essentials] right here for free. This is a double mix of everything Jay as well as some stuff even we had not heard yet and some bonus cuts. Pre-Act II is the perfect introduction to Jay Electronica as well as the perfect addition to any Jay Electronica fans library.

Danny Brown
Detroit has always been a hot bed for dope music and there are no shortages of ill emcees killing it out of the D right now. Danny Brown is one of them that should be on your radar. Danny Brown offers a style of Hip Hop that is one-of-a-kind. One part great story-teller, one part comedic emcee and one part as eccentric as Andy Warhol; Danny Brown is one of the most entertaining emcees doing it right now.

There really isn’t any single one emcee that you can compare Danny to. My first introduction to Danny Brown was his Detroit State Of Mind Part 1 project he released in 2007, since then Danny has put out parts 2-4, with Detroit State Of Mind Part 4 being one of the best free projects I have ever listened to. Danny Brown also released The Hybrid, which is now being re-released and can be pre-ordered. The Hybrid boasts a few stand-out tracks like “Guitar Solo” in which you get to hear Danny’s incredible story telling ability. Other tracks like “Exotic” and “White Stripes” show off his comedic values.

To get to know Danny Brown we would suggest copping Detroit State Of Mind Part 4 for free right here. You can also stream Danny’s latest project, The Hybrid, on the Rappers I Know Bandcamp . Peep the visuals for Danny Brown’s single “Guitar Solo” right here. I believe that Danny Brown will have a huge impact on Hip Hop in the next couple years and look forward to hearing much more from this incredibly unique emcee.

Blu is one of those artists that is going to be relevant for a very long time. I imagine his album Below The Heavens with producer Exile will still be talked about a decade from now. Blu not only offers thought provoking rhymes but he also has an undeniably distinct and fresh way of delivering his raps. Blu is one of the few emcees that have made the XXL Freshman List (2009) that I completely agreed with.

Starting out as a hype man for acts like Slum Village, Platinum Pied Pipers and Emanon, Blu was quickly recognized for his songwriting ability that was well beyond his years. At the age of 21 in 2004 Blu turned down Interscope and Death Row Records to sign with Los Angeles independent label Sound In Color. After releasing his 2005 EP, Lifted, and his 2007 project , The Narrow Path, Blu and Exile teamed up for the Below The Heavens LP. In a day when artists have several producers working on one album it was refreshing to hear an LP crafted by one emcee and one producer, especially a duo that compliments each other as well as Blu and Exile do.

Blu currently re-released his 2009 mixtape, Her Favorite Colo(u)r, after having it mastered and is now set to release his No York! LP which is slated to drop sometime in 2011. To get an idea of what Blu brings to hip hop we suggest you cop Below The Heavens via iTunes, or wherever you cop your music, and Her Favorite Colo(u)r. Check out the visuals for “Blu Collar Workers” off of Below The Heavens right here and/or check out his latest offering from No York!, “Doin’ Something”, a posse cut with Pac Div, U-N-I, J*Davey, TiRon and Ayomari!

Janelle Monae
Funky. Psychedelic. Soulful. EPIC. Janelle Monae is the kind of artist that you can’t just describe with one word. It takes either a combination of many, or something completely made up like “Soulfunkyepadelic.” Once your mind is open to the gift that she has to share, making up words may come naturally. The combination of creativity that rests in her sound, her attire, and her words easily holds her in the category of Prince, which would explain why he has been found as a fan in the crowd at a few of her shows. Real will recognize real.

With that being said, there’s no question as to why Outkast would be one of the first groups to want to take her under their wing. Meeting in Atlanta while Janelle was blowing minds around local colleges in the area, Big Boi was quick to embrace her and decided to introduce her to his fellow chum, Sean “Diddy” Combs. Sean was immediately inspired, and teamed up with Big Boi for the production and release of Janelle’s 2007 Grammy nominated EP, Metropolis: Suite I.

Today, Janelle Monae brings light to the dark with her current 2010 full -length album, The ArchAndroid. Quoted as a prominent believer in time travel, she exudes just that, bringing cinematic influences from the past and combining them with futuristic “Android-like” sounds from the year 2100. Featuring prominent figures such as Saul Williams and Big Boi, this album will leave your brain and soul feeling like it’s been put through a reflective revolution, and released into another world to party with the rest of them. Check out one of her most recent creations off of her new album. “Tightrope” featuring Big Boi. Dance on!









Theophilus London

This butterfly MC from the Bronx is the definition of fresh. Visually and melodically, he is a time machine back into the days when hip-hop was an escape into immediate heart jumps, head swings and shoulder bounces. With influences ranging from Prince to Whitney Houston to Michael Jackson, Theophilus London extends the boundary of generations, bridging gaps with nostalgic flows and beats that knock.

Since 2007, he’s been spreading his wings within the industry, gaining networks and flourishing the mixtape game with Jam! (2008), This Charming Mixtape (2009), and I Want You (2010). Evolving and exploring with each step, his stamina led him to four nationwide tours, including one ambient adventure over seas. Catching the eye of Warner Bros. Records, they geared him up for the release of his 2011 EP Lovers Holiday, featuring the fly singles “Flying Overseas” and “Why Even Try”.

Today, his music and his videos are the bubble in the hip-hop brain leaving discoverers in a constant state of wondering, “Who’s that guy that dresses like he’s from the 80’s?” You now know. He’s Theophilus London: a fun, fly, inventive, free spirit that leaves smiles and rhythm for the soul. He is currently fresh off a round of hot stops, including SXSW, where the Studiiyo23 family had the pleasure of catching his live show and meeting him backstage! Here’s some footage of him performing for you. Be sure to watch until the end. Big up to Theophilus for the Studiiyo23 shout-out!

At STUDIiYO23 we believe that quality music is just as essential to life as air and water. Be sure to check back on the first of every month for each installment of STUDIiYO23’s Fresh Faces. As a collective we all agree that good music can be found around the world and as such we will continue to highlight new and upcoming artists throughout most genres of music from every corner of the globe with a focus on quality, just like everything else we do at STUDIiYO23.

One Love.
-S23 Music (@meenafresh, @lxalford, @studiiyo23)