Darion Harris and Soire Records: Up Next

The Back Story

I sat on my phone on a steamy summer morning and skimmed through my direct messages on Instagram. I must admit before I go on, that there are multiple users that run the Shore Life Lyrics account. I came across a conversation that another Shore Life Lyrics board member had started. It was with Soire Records affiliate, Darion Harris. I became interested with the idea of learning more about Harris, and about Soire Records. We talked for a bit getting to know each other’s music interests and styles. Eventually we scheduled a phone call for the subsequent day. I had to think about what I would ask Harris, mainly because I wanted to extract from him the most unique factoids about his music along with the rest of Soire Records.

Our conversation started as an interview soon broke into an open conversation about diversity of music. Harris answered questions as if he had been doing it for years. Although he was soft spoken, his confidence grew with every answer. We talked for about 20 minutes before we parted ways. After the conversation ended I thought about the best way to express to you the creativity that Soire Records has on it’s hands.

The First Fire Quote

We talked about the direction of his music and as my pen blazed across the page Harris let out one of the most important pearls that artistry has to offer. “Every artist has their own direction,” said the New York native, “I’m a producer first.”

Harris The Ever Growing Artist

Darion Harris entered the world of artistry as a neophyte. At just 16 years old Harris started making his first tunes. His main influences are Donald Glover, Pharell, and Tame Impala writer, Kevin Parker. The main genres that Harris sticks to are EDM, R&B, and Hip Hop. Harris however did talk about the fact that there is no boundary on what Soire records music comes with; their discography seemingly comes with an endless range of genres and styles.

Answers Directly From the Source

How many artists are on this lable?

We have been expanding we started off with two artist, but we have 5 artist right now. Their names are Junius Karr, Darion Harris, Must Come Down, Absent Nabi, nd Gosha Guppy.  Then we have people who don’t make music who are big a part of what we do. Blake who has been a DJ for us at all our shows is an example of that. Nate who has been doing our artwork for years and Jordan who’s helping get stuff moving the backend are also important parts of this label.  We honestly move like a family over here.

How did it start? 

The anti-label label. In 2016, Darion  founded Soire Records; a label where artists get the support they need to launch without having to relinquish creative freedom. While the vision sounds like a politically-correct statement that Universal or WB Music Execs could cough up at any second, it is through Darion’s experience that brings meat to this statement. “I was producing behind the scenes for people when I was sixteen and I was able to observe other artists. Many of them didn’t have control over their own ideas and branding. From watching this, it created a fear of not being able to express myself as an artist. That’s how my label came about.”

What is the main focal point the branding you are going for?

Honestly, the main focus is trying to put out authentic content and quality content. We take our time with our music until its ready for the world to hear what we are doing. Everything that’s out feels like its dressed up nice and packaged well, but the product itself isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Whats Next?

Stay up to date with all of Darion Harris’ music HERE

Soire Records Music can also be found on spotify here:


Absent Nabi

Junius Karr

For Darion Harris and Soire Records next up is the release of his single on August 21st. Here is was the Soire Team had to say about that.

After a year long hiatus following the release of Soire his explosive joint mixtape with label mate Absent Nabi, and garnering support from rising stars in the music industry like Smooky MarGielaa and his mentor Melo-X, Darion Harris is ready to step back into the spotlight with his new single “W.U.L.A.” The track is a message to all those that doubt Harris and are obsessed with questioning his lifestyle. He lets them know that if they can’t accept his individuality, they should “take a pic” and keep it moving. Drawing inspiration from Rae Sremmurd and Pharrell, “W.U.L.A.” is a light and bouncy self-love anthem that demands engagement from the listener.

Darion’s Pearl Of Wisdon

I guess my advice to anyone trying to create is to know your worth. Each thing you create is a product of yourself and it should be treated that way.

keep up with Soire Records at


Ella Ross: “I Really Pushed My Self”

I caught up with the talented shore artist Ella Ross. We covered an abundance of topics some short questions. Here is your chance to dive deeper into what can become one of your favorite artists from this area. Enjoy!

1. At what point in your life did you realize music was important to you, and at what point did you want to pursue it. 
For my whole life I was really drawn to music, as most people are. I love that a song can remind you of a specific place or time in your life. Songs can have different personal meanings to different people. Music truly is the universal language. I started doing vocal lessons when I was 11. Right before I was about to go to college in Nashville, I realized there was a lot more to learn and I took advantage of my surroundings, Asbury Park! I was around 18 when I started writing and taking music more seriously. I released my first EP in the summer of 2017.
2. Who are your main inspirations as artists in this industry?
It changes a lot, at the moment I’m really inspired by Billie Eilish, Lorde, Radiohead, and Wolf Alice. I think Lorde’s writing style is really unique, her voice is truly her instrument. I think Billie Eilish is really cool. She’s super young, but is already so successful and I think it comes from being herself. Her melodies are simple and beautiful.
ELLAROSS (44 of 45)
photo by Ciara Perone
3. Do any other genres besides your own influence you?
I listen to all genres and I am definitely inspired by so many different genres. I listen to a lot of Dolly Parton even though country is not my genre.
4. Who pushed you to pursue music?
I really pushed myself. My family completely supports me along this journey as well.
5. At what point will you be able to say youve made it?
I don’t really like to set goals that will cause too much pressure on myself, but there are definitely certain venues I’d love to play at and certain people I’d love to play with.
6. What is your pearl of wisom, or advice you would give to your younger self or other artists?
First, Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and be yourself. Take advice from people, but your own opinion matters the most. 
7. Whats the next big thing for you?
I have a new EP coming out June 29th with a release show that night at The Saint. Special guests include We’re Ghosts Now, Lauren Patti, and Ernest. I’m really excited about these new songs and I’m genuinely proud of them.
You can follow all of Ella Ross’ music, and so on through the various links:

The Lambert 15 Vol. 2 The City of Angels

The Lambert Top 15: Los Angeles (Vol. 2)

By Andrew Lambert

Photo via Flickr

These lists are based off of my own personal opinion. I do not take into account commercial or critical success, and these lists may differ from your own opinions or appear biased.

Los Angeles has become arguably the best place for a rapper to come from. The impact the city had in the 90’s with artists like Tupac, N.W.A., Snoop Dogg, and many more, has forever changed the game. It’s Californicated paradise sound, heavily influenced by the weather and marijuana, creates relaxing vibes, while keeping in touch with the ghettos of Compton and enormous gang presence, creating some of the hardest gangster rappers we’ve ever seen. L.A. is an artist’s paradise, and I am going to explore 15 of my personal favorite albums created by Los Angeles rappers.

15- “Goblin” – Tyler, the Creator (2010

I am sure we all can remember seeing the edgy music video for “Yonkers” for the first time. Rap had not had its own personal dark psychopath since Eminem. Tyler’s debut enraged many, but inspired even more. He wasn’t a gangster, but he surely was not innocent, as he rapped about committing violent crimes, rebellion, and some questionable ideas. Songs like “She” and “Radicals” stand out to me as two songs on this project where Tyler made it clear he was here to stay. His odd style of production in collaboration with his aggressively rugged voice makes for a one of a kind sound.

14- “Black Sunday” – Cypress Hill (1993)

Cypress Hill is an interesting group, and at the time, were pushing boundaries to places nobody thought they should go. From “When The Sh– Goes Down”, to “Insane in the Brain”, to “Hits From the Bong”, the madness that is Cypress Hill is evident, while remaining a classic L.A. rap group and keeping in touch with their roots production-wise. Cypress Hill is an important piece to what Los Angeles rap has become today.

13- “Doggystyle” – Snoop Dogg (1993)

Although I went against the grain and did not pay homage to Los Angeles greats like Tupac and N.W.A. in this article, I enjoy Snoop Dogg’s debut all too much to not include it. As a superstar and television personality today, people forget how gangster and reckless Uncle Snoop was back in the day. While songs like “Gin and Juice” give a glimpse of the chilled out Snoop that he would so famously become, songs like “Murder Was The Case” shows how in touch with the hard streets of Compton Snoop Dogg was. All in all, this album is a classic.

12- “Earl” – Earl Sweatshirt (2010)

Tyler’s little brother, the genius producer who goes by Randomblackdude, or “that motherfucker Earl”, whatever you call him, Earl made a name for himself with his debut album back in 2010. Still a very young man at the time, only 16 years old, Earl was rapping way beyond his years and creating some of the most unique instrumentals we’ve heard at that time. From “Couch” to “Earl”, Earl makes his ability to spit mad-mouthed rhymes very clear, on top of his boundary pushing lyrics. While initially angering parents due to his lyrical content involving crimes and darkness, he became one of the first rappers to touch on mental health as a teenager.

11- “Oxymoron” – ScHoolboy Q (2014)

Kendrick’s right hand man should not be known as just that, and he proves so on his album. ScHoolboy Q has created a distinct image for himself as the aggressive MC druggie with the bucket hat. He keeps Los Angeles, particularly Compton, close to his heart, and embraces it’s style to a full extent. While showcasing his gangsta rap abilities on songs like “Man of the Year” and “Gangsta”, he does not hold back, and creates some unique melodies while displaying his fondness of partying and substances in songs like “Collard Greens” and “Hell of a Night”.

10- “To Pimp A Butterfly” – Kendrick Lamar (2015)

Almost everybody claims to love Kendrick, but not many people really listen to what he has to say, or listen past his monster commercial hits. While songs like “King Kunta” and “i” have become radio staples, it is songs like “These Walls”, “Alright”, and “The Blacker the Berry” that really made me fall in love with this project. The symbolism behind the cover art which shows a shirtless squad of minorities on the White House lawn, is so perfect because it intimidates all that corrupt politicians stand for. Kendrick challenges the ideas so blindly accepted by society, and reads a poem throughout the album. The story this album tells will break your heart and make you smile at the same time, and on top of all of this, will send an extremely important message.

9- “November” – SiR (2018)

Don’t let its recent release date confuse you, because SiR has a sound so jazzy and soulful, it will take you back to the 90’s. His soul and soft voice accompanied by a west coast vibe create for some eloquent masterpieces to take you to a different planet. Songs like “Something New” and “Dreaming of Me” display his softer side and his ability to sing, while his newfound T.D.E. associates helped incorporate that west coast sound on songs like “D’Evils” and “Something Foreign”.

8- “I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside” – Earl Sweatshirt (2015)

Earl Sweatshirt has made a name for himself as a unique lyricist, but only some knew of his skills on the production side. This project puts his versatility on display as he gets extremely experimental. Although it may sound odd at first, the completely unique style of Earl is almost genreless, and he creates a complex array of sounds on each track. My personal favorite track, “Mantra”, not only showcases a different style of production never before heard, but also includes some of Earl’s best bars. The album might be an acquired taste, but it is definitely worth the time.
7- “Blank Face” – ScHoolboy Q (2016

ScHoolboy is without a doubt a gangster, and he embraces that hippy gangster image on this creative project. While he touches on the modern style with songs like “By Any Means” and “THat Part”, ScHoolboy Q makes it clear he will never lose his ghetto roots with hood anthems like “Dope Dealer” and “Groovy Tony / Eddie Kane”. Although and gangsta rap legend in the making, ScHoolboy Q proves himself as a true artist with long story telling ballads and interesting production.

6- “Summertime ‘06” – Vince Staples (2015)

Known for his breathtaking music videos that include creative imagery, Vince made it clear he is just as much an artist as a visionary. His boundary pushing lyrics tell stories of violence, heartbreak, and political concepts told from someone who has seen the worst of it on the streets of Long Beach, and is also a former member of the Crips. “Norf Norf” and “Senorita” depict so vividly life on the streets, while songs like “Jump Off the Roof” give us a taste of Vince’s artistry and musicianship. This album is an instant classic, and its sharp imagery will live on for years to come.

5- “Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City” – Kendrick Lamar (2012)

I’m not too sure what I can say about this album that practically everybody doesn’t already know. This is the album that made Kendrick Lamar who he is today. This is the album that dug a message into listener’s minds of not only what Compton is like, but made us remember the name. It will go down as one of the best rap albums of all time most likely, and while hard hits like “m.a.a.d. City” are timeless bops, the most memorable track for me is “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst”, as Kendrick tells a heartbreaking story involving death and legacies.

4- “Do What Thou Wilt.” – Ab-Soul (2016)

Ab-Soul had already become a lyrical madman by the time he released his 2016 album, in which the title is the tattoo across Ab-Soul’s shoulders. Different from the other releases from Ab-Soul, he gives us a deeper look into who he is as a person. By far the darkest of his projects, songs like “D.R.U.G.S.” and “Huey Knew THEN”, really give us a view of his inner demons. His choice of production also differed in a good way, as he created a fusion of traditional west coast elements with darker, more abstract, elements. This album as very easy to relate to personally, and is Ab-Soul’s most creative work.

3- “Flower Boy” – Tyler, the Creator (2017)

I think it was unfair that this album got so much attention for the sole reason that it made people question Tyler’s sexuality. In my opinion, I don’t care if you’re attracted to boys, girls, turtles, or dolphins. I just want a good project that is honest, personal, and obviously sounds good. Tyler does exactly that on this album, and gave haters everything they said he couldn’t do. His previous projects showed us how ridiculous Tyler can be, as he almost made his last projects as laughable as possible. On this album, however, he gets personal. Songs like “911 / Mr. Lonely”, “November”, and “See You Again”, we see Tyler’s emotions for the first time. He vividly depicts that behind the colorful anarchy, he is still a person, and is most likely lonelier and sadder than we think. On top of that, just when critics thought he couldn’t rap or have the ability to deliver bars, he gives us “Who Dat Boy” and “I Ain’t Got Time!”, in which he, excuse my French, raps his fucking ass off. His musicianship is, as always, enjoyable to listen to, as he is a master of his production craft. Tyler’s best project yet will be remembered for a very long time as most likely the project that took Tyler to another level.

2- “DAMN.” – Kendrick Lamar (2017)

As I said before, there is not much to say about Kendrick that we all don’t already know. This album is, in my opinion, his best project yet, and when you look at his catalog, that was very difficult to do for Kendrick. His flow has evolved substantially, moving from traditional bars to intricate and creative flows, while not losing his lyrical mastery. He also has become a skillful producer and musician, incorporating some of the most creative use of instruments I’ve ever heard in rap music. As expected, he gets political, but to my surprise, he somehow delivers an expected message in a very unexpected way. He also touches on his personal life and experiences with romance, creating for a journey that will make you just say “damn” at the end of every masterpiece of a song.

1- “Doris” – Earl Sweatshirt (2013)

Aside from the fact that Earl is one of my favorite rappers ever, I put this album as number one on this list because I feel like it goes underappreciated. Earl’s lyrical madness is on full display, and his skills as a producer are not held back in any way. From a dirty street anthem like “Hive”, to a ballad to marijuana on “Sunday”, to a darker personal view into Earl’s troubled life on “Chum”, to a typical circus of a song that Earl has delivered time and time again on “WHOA”, this album has it all. Earl establishes himself as a true artist on this one of a kind project, which is clear is the most in touch with who Earl really is.

The Lambert 15 Vol. 1 The Big Apple

A note from the editor:

Welcome to the Lambert 15. This will become everyone’s most debated volume series this site will have to offer. I encourage you all to reach out on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, or directly on this site and voice your opinon. Andrew Lambert is going city by city, state by state, and week by week he will tell you his top 15 projects from that city. Enjoy each volume and take it for what it is; a debateable topic.

The Lambert Top 15: New York City (Vol. 1)

By Andrew Lambert

Photo via: Fine art america

A note from the author:

These lists are based off of my own personal opinion. I do not take into account commercial or critical success, and these lists may differ from your own opinions or appear biased.

New York City was the birthplace if hip hop music. When Sugarhill Gang release “Rapper’s Delight” in September of 1979, music was changed forever. As a result, and to no surprise, there has been a plethora of talented artists. In this list, I will explore fifteen of my favorite albums delivered by a New York City artist. There may be some projects that will come out of left field, and there may be some projects that you’ll be just as hyped as me about… deadass b.

15- “Disguise the Limit” – Nyck Caution (2016)

Pro Era stormed into the rap scene in 2012 when two rappers dropped revolutionary projects, but the other artists in their crew don’t get enough credit. Nyck Caution is a mad-mouthed MC who can deliver classic New York punchlines, and has an unmatched flow. His raspy voice somehow seems smooth, and makes for great additions on Pro Era’s unique style of production. “Disguise the Limit” features a number of classic rap songs, including “What’s Understood” which was produced by Metro Boomin and features no other than Joey Bada$$. It also includes a tribute to his late friend, Capital STEEZ, on a track called “Out of Reach”

14- “Vacation in Hell” – Flatbush Zombies (2018)

The first time I heard Flatbush Zombies I was a freshman in high school (2012), and “Thug Waffle” came on. I honestly thought it was a joke, until I started exploring more of their music. Although Meechy Darko’s voice was an acquired taste their unique style and border-line psychedelic rap is nothing short of ear candy. “Big Fish” and “Leather Symphony” are just two tracks of the many that stand out on their first studio album, and as a producer, I marvel at Erick the Architect’s abilities to create, and was surprised at how little samples he uses.

13- “Amerikkkan Korruption” – Capital STEEZ (2012)

There is a lot that can be said about Capital STEEZ, and after his mysterious suicide in 2012, the enigma of the crazy lyricist only become more vast. STEEZ had a lot of mental health issues, including schizophrenia. These complications mixed with his heavy use of shrooms and LSD lead to his unfortunate demise. He believed he was a god, an indigo child, and thought the world was going to end in 2047 in which he will come down and reveal himself as god. He became obsessed with the number 47, and even released this project on April 7th (04/07). The number 47 is visible in a lot of STEEZ’s artwork, as well. His extremely wild mind did make for some amazing music, however, and when I first saw the music video for Free the Robots, I was instantly hooked. Long live STEEZ!

12- “LONG.LIVE.A$AP.” – A$AP Rocky (2013)

A$AP Rocky, in my humble opinion, is an unbelievable artist. He has managed to prove himself in almost every rap genre, including trap, east coast rap, experimental, grime, and more recently collaborating with new wave Soundcloud rappers. His undeniable swagger and touch of psychedelics make for an interesting mix, and his debut studio album delivered all of the above. From “P.M.W.” to “Fashion Killa”, it is clear of how diverse Rocky can be, and there are plenty of bars where Rocky flexes his ability to spit.

11- “All-Amerikkkan Bada$$” – Joey Bada$$ (2017)

I know, it is pretty clear of how much I enjoy music by Pro Era. Joey Bada$$ has proved himself to be one of the best lyricists in the game, and although this project gets some hate by fans, I happened to enjoy it greatly. Songs like “For My People” and “Temptation” really showcase Joey’s soul, as well as his ability to provide something different than aggressive New York rhyming. His flow and tenacity are still evident, and he shows so on “Rockabye Baby”, a collab with ScHoolboy Q that is nothing short of a Pro Era and TDE classic.

10- “Evermore: The Art of Duality” – The Underachievers (2014)

If you haven’t heard of The Underachievers yet, you better get yourself acquainted. The duo from Flatbush is, in every way, one of a kind. Their projects feature a blend of New York MCing with a vibrant style and taste for psychedelics and separate universes. Their song “Allusions” is a timeless display of their rapping abilities, while “Rain Dance” puts their creativity on the forefront.

9- “12” – A$AP Twelvyy (2017)

When someone from the A$AP Mob dropped a project, and it wasn’t Ferg or Rocky, I did not know how to feel at first. I wasn’t sure if it would be any good. It was summertime, so I said why not and threw it on while I was painting. A$AP Twelvyy is as New York as it gets. His intense flow tells stories that take you to the streets of New York City, and make you feel like the shooter Twelvyy once was. “Strapped” and “Periodic Table” show just how in touch with his concrete jungle roots he is, while “Diamonds” and “Ea$tSideGho$t” display how creative he can really be and make a name for himself in the new age of rap. The album even features a wild collaboration with Flatbush Zombies on a track called “A Glorious Death”, and the switch in that song will leave you speechless.


8- “Illmatic” – Nas (1994)

You can’t talk about New York City and not mention the legend, Nas. If you played the video game Saints Row 2 back in the day, “N.Y. State of Mind” would be immediately recognizable. There was something so badass about driving around in gang wars while listening to Nasty Nas spit heat. Nas’ project features hard N.Y. bars, and even soulful flare in songs like “The World Is Yours”. This classic is a must have in your music library.

7- “1999” – Joey Bada$$ (2012)

It is amazing to think that Joey Bada$$ released his legendary debut mixtape at only 17 years old. What’s even more impressive is the nostalgic sound he produced as a teenager, and his ability to create some of the most exhilarating punch lines. Joey’s debut mixtape will take you to the 90’s while keeping you grounded here today. It is a classic mixtape that features some of the most iconic Pro Era songs that helped their rise to stardom, including his epic collab with Capital STEEZ, titled “Survival Tactics”.

6- “The Black Album” – Jay Z (2003)

When I saw Jay Z live, he played about 30 songs. Whenever the legend, who some argue is the greatest rapper of all time, performed anything off his 2003 album, the arena went haywire. It is hard to pick which Jay Z albums are my favorite because he has so many. Jay Z’s distinct voice and slick flow, matched with his expert ear for good production has helped this project become a staple in music libraries. From “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”, to “99 Problems”, it is clear Jay Z may have 99 problems, but this album certainly isn’t one.

5- “4:44” – Jay Z (2017)

I may get some flack for including this album and not some other Jay Z classics like “Reasonable Doubt” and “The Blueprint”, but there is something special about being alive when a legend like Jay Z drops something and being able to experience it. The first time I heard the instrumental for the title track off this album, I was immediately inspired. The music video for “The Story of O.J.” is not only a classic vibe and showcases Jay Z’s creativity, but it is something that was needed for the time. Jay Z is as honest and open as he ever was on this album, and it made for some emotionally incredible music.

4- “Cozy Tapes, Vol. 1: Friends” – A$AP Mob (2016)

While I did not enjoy the second edition of the Mob’s “Cozy Tapes”, Volume 1 is a journey and a half. Every song sounds completely different, from production to flow, and really shows how well A$AP Rocky in particular can work with other artists. The album features hard New York flow on songs like “Money Man” and “Crazy Brazy”, a touch of grime on “London Town” and “Put That On My Set”, and even some more experimental and psychedelic anthems like “Way Hii” and “Telephone Calls”. The visuals for the album took my breath away, as evident from the visually stunning music video for “Yamborghini High”, which is the most popular song on the project. A$AP Rocky put his creativity and acting skills on display as well, with a short film for the album with “Put That On My Set” and “Money Man”.


3- “B4.DA.$$.” – Joey Bada$$ (2014)

Before the money… badass. Aside from the cool title, this album is in my opinion Joey’s best work. He fused classic New York style MCing and production with ideally modern elements. Joey flexes how talented he is on the mic on songs like “Christ Conscious” and “Big Dusty”, while showing his creative side and his ability to send a message on songs like “Paper Trail$” and “Hazeus View”. This project is as New York as they come, and there isn’t a single song on it that you can’t bump with the volume all the way up.

2- “Too High To Riot” – Bas (2016)

While J. Cole is clearly the ruler of Dreamville, Bas is slept on too heavily. This project is something I can’t even put into words. The production is not like anything I’ve ever heard, and he almost fuses modern-style trap with nostalgic vibes and a jazzy touch. Bas is clearly a man on a mission, and the album sends a message. As creative as the subliminal undertones are, it is really the unique flow and wild production that blows me away on this album. His soft side and emotions are on display on songs like “Live For” and “Penthouses”, while he narrates his bad experience with drugs on “Methylone”, and just in case you forget how talented of an MC he is while getting lost in the creativity, Bas makes sure to remind you on songs like “Night Job” and “Housewives”.

1- “AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP.” – A$AP Rocky (2015)

I’m a sucker for Rocky, I know. But come on, it is impossible to deny how creative he is. There is not a stone Rocky left unturned on this project, and while some argue his debut album is his best work, I disagree. From slow moving, jazzy instrumental rap songs like “Holy Ghost” and “Jukebox Joints”, to psychedelic masterpieces like “L$D” and “Fine Whine”, and to new age bass fueled on songs like “M’$” and “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye”, Rocky covers all aspects. I think he best displays how creative he can get while still keeping it G and delivering top notch bars on songs like “Canal St”, “Electric Body”, and “Max B”. This album, best when listened to start to finish, is a peak into the mind of a gangster turned artistic genius in A$AP Rocky, and if you choose to take a look, you will be delighted with what you find.


One of the Shore’s best young talents has provided us with some insight on his music! Meet $tandard, and see what he has to say about his orgins of music, his influences, what motivates him, and whats next to come for the spitter out of the Jersey Shore.

At what point did you find yourself interested in music? What was the “break out” or realization moment.

As long as I can remember, growing up I’ve been around Music. Between my dad who plays the guitar and my older brother who plays the drums it was impossible for me not to wanna learn how to do something so captivating. To me it always seemed like art. To create something so meaningful to yourself and at the same time effect the life’s of others gives a irreplaceable feeling. When I was younger I would always sing and hum melody’s but I knew I didn’t wanna actually sing. Even with all the rock n roll that was playin in my house, hip hop was something I was always in love with. Something about the way rappers  could tell such detailed story’s and make it seem so effortless amazed me. I never thought I wanted to try it myself though until I went to my first concert in 2012. It was my freshman year of highschool, I went to see asap rocky and Joey badass at the pnc art center. Me and the people I went with all got there early and we were sitting on the stage while Joey was preforming. Seeing them up there made me get a uncontrollable feeling of needing to be up there myself one day. That same night I wrote my first rap down in one my school note pads. Still one of my dreams is to preform at pnc.

Who are your top 3 influences and how do you see yourself in them?

Being someone who loves every last thing about hip hop you could imagine all the sub genres within that i listen to. It could be from the 90’s or present day, so much music influences me on a day to day basis. My number one influencer and my favorite artist of all time is 50 cent. Reciting every single word to all his albums straight through, skilled me in finding my rapping flow. He created body’s of work that are timeless and will always be appreciated through the generations, something I strive to be able to do one day. Another one of my top influencers would be young thug. Being a newer rapper it’s hard to be looked at as legendary but I think that’s exactly what he is. I think he personally opened doors for hip hop and made it universally okay to be yourself. He freestyles everything he does and he’s a big reason why I do the same thing myself. I always wondered what it would be like to be on that level. My last influencer but my backbone with everything I do musically would be my producer lord Baha. Me and him started out together and if I ever felt like giving up he’d be there to slap sense back into me. Not only him producing the music for the majority of my songs but being my closet friend helps everything run smooth as can be.

What keeps you motivated, what pushes you through the hard times as an independent artist. What advice would you give someone who’s just starting 

I always try to remain super confident with my approach to music. At the same time you have to be humble enough to accept criticism so you can learn. When times seem foggy I have great people around me working reminding me what it is we have to get done and what we’ve already accomplished. If you just starting out you need to be open to working with everyone and obtain as much as you can from them. LISTEN carefully to the people who know what they’re doing. Don’t focus on the bigger picture right now focus on what’s in front of you and how you can be the best in that situation. I think will smith said it best don’t worry about building a house, worry about laying down that first piece of brick so perfectly it couldn’t be done any better. Work your way up.

Rumor on the streets is that you’ve been talking to some management. Is Standard about to blow up in NJ? Any secret debut projects we should be looking out for? 

I have a lot of people helping me with the business sides of things. I’m currently not in contract with anyone for management but as my career progresses someone will fill the roll. I have a lot of people on my team right now shooting for the same goal as me so I know very soon you’ll be seeing a lot more of everything. Music, videos, interviews, etc.

Soon I’ll release a project on all platforms composed of my favorite songs I’ve released so far. Currently I’ve been releasing singles every week on my SoundCloud and plan to for many more to come.

What is music to you ?At what point would you feel you made it. 

It’s my number one priority, I feel like if i can do good in it then I can put everyone on. Even if it sounds clichè it feels like music gives my life purpose. Its a powerful thing, I was fortunate enough to realize at a early age. When I make it big I’ll know It’s real when everyone around is set up in a position to be successful. Than I’ll be pretty content with what music brought me. Getting signed to a major label one day is something i would like to do as well. The big shows, the big checks, i want all that.

You can catch $tandard Tuesday, May 22nd at Starland Ballroom with 21 Savage and Bloc Boy JB. 

Follow $tandard on Instagram and check out his music below:



By: Pat Walsh

At what point did you find yourself interested in music? What was the “break out” or realization moment.

” Music played a huge role in my life before I ever actually started making it myself. I’m not one of those artists that can say “I started writing songs when I was 4 years old” and yada yada. But, music had a huge impact on me as a kid. It was this magical and powerful outlet that had the ability to change my mood, my perspective, and attitude towards life in general almost instantaneously. Hip-hop in particular grabbed my heart from a young age and I it has been the soundtrack to my life ever since. As far as making music myself, that did not really start until I was 16 years old. In my sophomore year of high school I would get stoned and freestyle with my friends. One day someone was like “Yo you are actually pretty good you should try and write and record!” And that is where my love affair with making music myself began. I had a USB desktop microphone that I would record in my closet with into Garage Band.   Within a month or two I linked with Indy and soon after started recording with my engineer Marco at Shorefire Recording Studios. I just kept going and going and growing as an artist with Marco’s help. It has now been 6 years and I haven’t looked back since.”

Who are your top 3 influences and how do you see your self in them?

“I always find this question to be the most difficult to answer as an artist, for a few reasons. My musical influences change from week to week, and I honestly never can really tell which artists are influencing me and leaking into my sound. When I was young it was Lil Wayne, T.I., Jurassic 5, 50 Cent, and all the OG’s you always hear in typical answers. (I don’t feel the need to write the OBVIOUS Biggie and Pac, you should already know.) As I made my way into high school I was definitely getting more into the young stoner rap, listening to Wiz a lot and Mac Miller religiously. I was also diving deep into Kendrick and Cole and Big Krit as they grew. I will say the artists I listen to that kill my writer’s block and inspire me to write are Frank Ocean, Lil Peep, Future Islands, Tame Impala, BROCKHAMPTON, and a bunch of different artists that do not put themselves in any sort of box from a creative standpoint. Writing can start to feel repetitive if you don’t challenge yourself to explore new sounds and use your voice in different ways. Also thinking beyond the idea of labeling myself as a rapper/singer and detaching from the idea of genres in general helps me to remain creative and grow as a writer. That’s what keeps it fresh for me. I don’t know if I answered the question lol but take from it what you will.”

How does your connection to Sony benefit your career as an artist and in 5 years do you see your self independent or signed to a major? 

” I signed with an indie label called Black 17, who is distributed through Sony/The Orchard. It has been a huge benefit to my career in many ways. First and foremost, 5 years into my career finally having the cosign of a label with a dedicated team that shares my vision has been game changing and reassuring to say the least. Being that they work out of the Sony offices in Manhattan has been incredible, bumping shoulders with artists and managers and really getting a behind the scenes look into the game has taught me a lot. I pinch myself every time I leave a label meeting and it helps me be grateful for how far I’ve come. I can’t say whether 5 years from now I will be independent or signed to a major. I think that there is a lot of stigma attached to signing with a major and a little naivety when it comes to remaining independent. I think a lot of artists close themselves off from potential opportunities by being totally anti-label. If the deal sucks, don’t sign. Keep working, and grinding independently and growing as an artist! If the deal is good for both parties, find a lawyer to guide you through the bullshit paperwork so you don’t get fucked over and move forward with it. There are a million stories of major labels starving artists, and I am not ignorant of the downside major labels can have on a career. But there is also a lot of stress involved with doing things independently, and for someone like myself who only wants to think about the music, having a team is super beneficial.

At what point in your career would you feel you’ve made it ?

“It was always to pay the bills from music and not have to work a shitty job. I am getting closer to that becoming a reality every month, but honestly once I have that I made it. After that we can start dreaming of plaques, but one thing at a time.”

 What is your biggest motivation that keeps your pushing through the hard times as an artist. How do you overcome the struggle and keep the fire fueling? 

“When I’m going through a rough patch, losing faith in the grind and feeling uninterested in writing, I take a step away from it for a week or two and clear my mind. I just live life. I try not to think about music at all. Sometimes, being a hungry artist, you put every second of thought and energy into trying to get to that next level and you burn yourself out. I also detach from the results of what I am doing and try and get back into the place of why I started making music in the first place: For the love of it. It is my therapy. It is my place to go and express myself without judgment, from myself or others. It is my one true love. When I can remember that, and remember that as a career or not, I will be making music for the rest of my life, I can relax and breathe. So pour some coffee, roll up whatever you prefer, and get lost in the music.”

Spotify / Apple Music / SoundCloud : CØNSEPT


 CØNSEPT Apple Music

Social Media : @conseptofficial


My Favorite Music Videos (Not Hip Hop)

“Jeremy” – Pearl Jam – Ten (1991)

In today’s day and age, with all the chaos surrounding mental health and gun control, I thought it would be appropriate to start off with Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy”. With the eerie hook, “Jeremy spoke in class today…”, the song is inspired by something Eddie Vedder read in a newspaper about a 16-year-old boy named Jeremy who went up to the front of his English class and shot himself in the head on the morning of January 8, 1991. The video opens with it being 64 degrees in a cloudy suburban neighborhood, and it closes the same way. That is to illustrate that nothing happens, and life goes on. Eddie Vedder saw the little newspaper section regarding the teenager, and felt like he wanted to make something out of it, dedicating the lyrics to his life, and portraying a music video to illustrate the pain he went through, and how little has been done to prevent these kinds of things. It is a powerful video, viewers discretion is advised, and if you watch it and feel uncomfortable, well, you’re supposed to. May Jeremy Delle rest in peace, and although he may have thought he stood for nothing, he will never know the impact he had on millions across the world when Pearl Jam released their powerful single.

Side note: If you ever get the chance to see Pearl Jam live, do it. I saw them and they played almost 40 songs. It was incredible.

“Get You” – Daniel Caesar ft. Kali Uchis – Freudian (2017)

The only word to describe Daniel Caesar’s impeccable voice is “soul”. A classic video accompanying a soulful number by the young singer was delivered. Take a step into the setting of a small stage at night with young people dancing while Daniel Caesar is singing almost directly to you. This song and video will make you think of that special someone.

“When You Die” – MGMT – Little Dark Age (2018)

After their eruption into the mainstream back in 2007, MGMT almost shuttered at fame and their next few projects were not what fans were expecting, and commercially were busts. Their latest release, however, is proving that MGMT is back, and they are killing it. With that signature MGMT sound, the upbeat, yet sarcastic, song puts listeners in a trance, and the music video is like nothing you’ve ever seen. The satirical psychedelic visual will make your head spin, but you will love every second of it!

“Mind Mischief” – Tame Impala – Lonerism (2012)

When people think of Tame Impala, they think of his masterpiece, “Currents”. In my opinion, “Lonerism” was just as good, and it has one of the most riveting music videos I’ve ever seen. Set in a classroom, the Australian psychedelic rock musician’s stellar music comes out swinging. The student is evidently attracted to the teacher, which results in them going outside into her car where they smoke a joint, and that is truly where the video itself “starts” in a sense. What happens after that is simply incredible, and the title “Mind Mischief” is a perfect name for what your head will be thinking when watching the rest of that music video.

“Nikes” – Frank Ocean – Blonde (2016)

Given how little he raps, and how unbelievable his voice is, I refuse to consider Frank Ocean a rapper. The looseness and absence of structure on Blonde, with the beautiful instrumentalism made the album one of the best pieces of music I’ve heard in a long time. The video for “Nikes” is as honest and true to Frank’s persona as it is visually stunning. The music itself puts you in a trance, the video does nothing but make that trance turn to euphoria. The imagery in the video sends chills down your spine at some points, such as the reenactment of the Heaven’s Gate ritual mass suicide of 1997. Frank Ocean’s unique style with the use of cars has always been a staple in his work, and he executed “Nikes” perfectly.


“Queen of California” – John Mayer – Born & Raised (2012)

Now let me just say that I fucking love John Mayer (excuse my French), and “Continuum” is a top 5 blues album of all time. Now, the music video for John Mayer’s “Queen of California” is almost triumphant. John Mayer walks from set to set in a one take shot, with a multitude of different scenes filled with joy and music. It is one of the most entertaining videos I’ve seen in a long time.

“Serpents” – Neck Deep – Life’s Not Out To Get You (2015)

The British pop punk band stormed the scene in 2015 when their second album blew up among that community. While dedicated fans consider their debut, “Wishful Thinking” to be just as good as their follow up, the 2015 album garnered much more commercial success. “Serpents” is a hard hitting song about being used in a relationship, which is something many can relate to. The music video features the band in a cartoon haunted mansion, illustrating what it feels like to be in such a situation.

“Everytime” – Boy Pablo – Roy Pablo (2017)

The indie group out of Norway is gaining recognition among the indie community. Their hit “Everytime” is a smooth and sunny song that reminds us of teenage love. The music video has a humorous taste to it, with the members playing in awkward positions, and giving quirky smirks to the camera. It is an entertaining number, and a joyful little video that was made by the group. A lot of talent is there in Norway, and more people should take notice!

“Na Na Na” – My Chemical Romance – Danger Days (2010)

My Chemical Romance was one of the best rock bands of the 2000’s, ranging from hard rock, to punk, to more hardcore songs. Their 2006 album, “The Black Parade”, was a smash hit, and I think I speak for everyone when we say that if any of those songs come on, we’d still sing along today. MCR’s frontman, Gerard Way, is a theatrical man, and is the genius behind he themes that each MCR album has, such as the dark murderous assassin in “Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge”, the triumphant “Black Parade” with skeletons in marching band attire belting out anthems, and it was no exception for their 2010 album when he created the Killjoys. Taking place on another planet, the album tells a story of the Killjoys and their dangerous, yet flashy experiences and battles. Their music videos for the album actually accompany each other, and tell one big long story. In almost comic book style, the video for “Na Na Na” is electric, and is their battle song, with the Killjoys fighting off their enemies with space lasers throughout the video. The lyric video is just as exhilarating if you get a chance to watch both!

Honorable Mentions

“A Lizard State” – King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath the Moon (2013)

“Everlong” – Foo Fighters – The Colour and the Shape (1997)

“Holocene” – Bon Iver – Bon Iver (2011)

“In Bloom” – Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)

“Buddy Holly” – Weezer – The Blue Album (1994)

“Someday” – Sugar Ray – 14:59 (1999)

“Hurts Like Heaven” – Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto (2011)

“Kings and Queens” – 30 Seconds to Mars – This Is War (2009)

My Favorite Hip Hop Videos

By Andrew Lambert

“Runaway” – Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

Now when I say “Runaway”, I do not mean the song, which is what some consider to be Kanye’s Stairway. I am referring to the 34:32 full length film he put together for the 2010 album as a whole. If you have a half hour or so to spare, I highly suggest watching the film. Personally, it is my favorite piece of film in the music industry. Kanye’s storytelling, riveting imagery, creation of a fictional goddess, and the stunning visuals throughout the film make this an absolute masterpiece.

“Free the Robots” – Capital STEEZ – Amerikkkan Korruption (2012)

First things first, may STEEZ rest in peace! The lyrical genius that STEEZ was pioneered Pro Era into what it is today, and helped raise our very own Joey Bada$$. Joey fans know what STEEZ meant to Joey, but very few actually listen to his music. Not only is “Free the Robots” one of the most lyrically and politically electric songs out there, the music video is just as genius. STEEZ pushes boundaries with his multitude of visuals and his unbelievable instrumental. I suggest taking the time to dedicate a few minutes to the legend himself, Capital STEEZ.

“Chasing Faith/ Rain Dance/Allusions” – The Underachievers – Evermore: The Art of Duality (2015)

The Underachievers are one of the most unique rap duos in the game right now, and although they haven’t obtained commercial success yet, they are well on their way. They take the term “art” to a whole different level on every track, and “Allusion” is no exception. They take three of their best songs from their 2015 project and make almost a movie out of it. Inspired by 1998 film starring Johnny Depp, “Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas”, the rap duo’s trippy visuals make for a wild ride.

“Senorita” – Vince Staples – Summertime ‘06 (2015)

Vince Staples has been applauded on many occasions with his music videos. His black and white effect seems to be a theme throughout most of his videos, which many believe is an illustration of how color shouldn’t matter in society. Of his many unique videos, “Senorita” is a striking one, progressively sending a multitude of subliminal messages throughout the video. The ending will leave chills down your spine, just a warning.

“Money Man / Put That On My Set” – A$AP Mob – Cozy Tapes, Vol. 1: Friends (2016)

The Mob has made a name for themselves with crazy music videos, with “Yamborghini High” being the most popular one with it’s colorful and innovative effects. A$AP Rocky in particular has dabbled in film, so his acting skills were right up to par with the professionals in his short film that he made with the rest of the Mob. Only about 12 minutes, it tells a mini story that takes place in London, dealing with drugs. Like Vince Staples, Rocky uses black and white filters over the shots, with color sneaking in here and there. Although this film is entertaining and accompanies the music very well, it is also a very honest depiction of what drugs can do to a community as well as the modern grip that substances have over our cities.

“Hive” – Earl Sweatshirt ft. Vince Staples – Doris (2015)

Earl’s dirty style and lazy flow are a staple in today’s rap game. His unique style of sampling that he uses when he produces under the pseudonym “randomblackdude”, has become almost addicting. Of the many songs he has with Vince, “Hive” is by far the biggest. Stepping away from his usual wild visuals, such as “Off Top”, the music video is dark, just as it should be. It depicts Earl in a dark, dirty living room in a hoodie with a group of people dressed in that same skater bum look, but with demon masks on and odd costumes. The video features a number of subtle effects, such as the wallpaper slowly moving behind Earl, and almost gets under your skin, but is an impressive and honest visual for a brutally honest song.

“L$D” – A$AP Rocky – AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP. (2015)

Rocky’s beautiful ballad dedicated to the psychedelic drug is barely even a rap song, but nonetheless he keeps it gangster somehow so beautifully. The video is exactly what you’d expect it to be; trippy as all hell. In my opinion, it is the most accurate depiction of what it is like to be on the drug out of any music video I have seen. Allow yourself to get lost in the stunning visuals in A$AP Rocky’s music video, and if you like that, check out “Jukebox Joints”!

“Fight the Feeling” – Mac Miller ft. Kendrick Lamar Macadelic (2012)

When Macadelic first dropped, Mac fan’s were not pleased, for they were used to the fun teenage Mac. As time has gone by, however, fans have come to appreciate the more real Mac Miller, his true feelings, and have recognized Macadelic as a masterpiece. While not an official video, the “Onwards” cartoon by James Jarvis with Nike has been associated with the song. THe film was originally silent, but someone dubbed the song over it, and that is what most people think of. The video is a cartoon, but the animations are executed extremely well, using outlandish landscapes for the character, as well as a subtle, yet magical moment when Mac Miller hands the microphone off to Kendrick, but I’ll let you guys experience that for yourselves.

“Birds in the Trap” – Travis Scott – Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (2016)

Travis Scott has proven he has a bunch of wild visuals and trippy scenes up his sleeve, but the short film he created for his stellar album is a different view of Travis’ artistic abilities. The film opens up with Travis arguing with his girl, riding through Houston, and going through a typical day in H-Town. I won’t go into too much detail on the twist in the film, but it involved, life, death, and Travis’ Number One album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. Go and experience tha chaos that is Travis Scott and watch his 14 minute film.


Honorable Mentions

“Mirror” – Samiyam – Animals Have Feelings (2016)

“Sensual Seduction” – Snoop Dogg – Ego Trippin’ (2008)

Mamacita” – Travis Scott – Days Before Rodeo (2014)

“Diamonds From Sierra Leone” – Kanye West – Late Registration (2005)

“The Story of O.J.” – JAY Z – 4:44 (2017)

“Alright” – Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly (2015)

“Wide Angle” – Felly Wild Strawberries (2017)

“Something Foreign” – SiR ft. ScHoolboy Q – November (2018)

“Who Dat Boy” – Tyler, the Creator ft. A$AP Rocky – Flower Boy (2017)

“Goosebumps” – Travis Scott – Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (2016)

R&B Bangs- Playlist

Playlist By: Lauren Walker

Past meets present with this collection of songs. The music on the playlist ranges from Cool and the Gang and The Bee Gees to individual musical masterminds such as Kanye West and Frank Ocean. The entire playlist carries a certain je ne sais quoi that skillfully intertwines different sounds and makes a for 9 hours and 50 minutes of bold and beautiful sounds. The favorites of the group? Biking by Frank Ocean and Waves by Kanye ft. Chris Brown. Enjoy!

R&B Bangs

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