Spotlight

Garden State Hip-Hop Premiere: Parker Caexar of OFFTOP Releases The Music Video For "Honcho"

Rapper Parker Caexar, an Atlantic Highlands native, gives us a glimpse of his endlessly entertaining world (or, at least, what he imagines it to be) in the new video for his single “Honcho,” which came out earlier this year on his second EP, “JOINTS.”

The video, directed by Peter Noon, features what appears to be a typical day in the life of Parker, with cameos from his friends and colleagues, who band together to make Caexar’s illusions of grandeur a reality.

Riding in convertible mustangs, shirtless under a fur coat; having his hair washed by beautiful women; quickly jumping between NJ and Brooklyn, posse en tow, and providing musical accompaniment for his friends’ general debauchery, are all common place for Caexar, according to this visual. But this is not your typical cocky or pompous rap video, things quickly take a turn for the unusual.

When asked about what he believes this video says about him as an artist, Caexar said “​I think the video does a great job of exemplifying how boastful and larger than life the song is. What ties it up for me is that there’s a scene that takes places as the final bridge plays that juxtaposes the song’s overall braggadocio with a little sadness.”

Caexar is 1/4 of the rap collective OFFTOP, a local group of rowdy rappers known for their wildly entertaining live performances, at which all 4 members are typically shirtless, jumping and/or screaming.

In the “Honcho” video Caexar pokes fun at his and his collective’s non-traditional approach to making traditionally aggressive, upbeat, and catchy rap songs.

Although, the video airs on the side of satire, one undeniable aspect is the genuine and unabashed hype that Caexar’s featured crew consistently provides, which is a true testament to OFFTOP’s general precept to make music that they’d want to listen to.

“​I think this video says I’m just getting started. OFFTOP is just getting started. I think it shows positive creative movement and OT’s ability to make great shit happen. I’m excited for the future,” said Caexar about what the release of “Honcho” means to his career, in conjunction with the collective movement.

You can check out “Honcho” and other videos from OFFTOP on their Youtube channel.



Far From Going Thru The Motions: PnB Rock Returns To New Jersey On June 2nd

Philly rap artist PnB Rock is far from going thru the motions with his music career. On January 13, 2017, he released his debut studio album GTTM: Goin Thru the Motions. GTTM was a commercial success and cracked Billboard’s top ten list for R&B/Hip-Hop albums.

To kick-off summer 2017 PnB Rock will return to the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville on June 2. Rock will be performing fan favorite tracks such as “Selfish” and “Hanging Up My Jersey”. “Selfish,” produced by Needlz and Donut has peaked at #51 on Billboard’s Hot 100. This is a remarkable start for an artist who was homeless less than two years ago.

Philadelphia has introduced hip-hop fans to an eclectic list of rap artists ranging from Schooly D to Black Thought. The beats and lyrical content are typically gritty, unless you were a fan of the Fresh Prince an DJ Jazzy Jeff. PnB Rock’s sound has great balance. He can spit raw, unapologetic lyrics like Beanie Sigel. Then, harmonize enough on a track to take your bitch like a young Teddy Pendergrass.

Fans can expect that and so much more on June 2. Rock will also share the stage with Brooklyn’s own Corey Finesse. The Nu La Entertainment recording artist has been on the hip-hop industry’s radar after crushing his Funkmaster Flex freestyle in February. Finesse has also released popular music videos for his songs “Vagabond” and “Derek Fisher”.

Fans can expect a stellar performance by each artist. Rock and Finesse are blossoming in their respective lanes and the Goin Thru the Motions tour has been a tremendous success since beginning in April.

What: GTTM: Goin Thru the Motions tour featuring PnB Rock and Corey Finesse.

Where: Starland Ballroom 570 Jernee Mill Road, Sayreville, NJ

Tickets: Link



Spotlight: A Look At Kosha Dillz And His Grind On Vans Warped Tour 2015

Kosha (1)Kosha Dillz performing at Vans Warped Tour 2015

“A lot of rappers couldn’t do this,” says Kosha Dillz when asked about his experiences on Vans Warped Tour 2015. “Warped Tour is a different kind of grind,” he adds. The New Jersey native has juggled multiple duties while trying to stay on point as a performer this summer. Since beginning the tour in early June, Kosha has acted as his own street team, retailer, and moving crew. Stickers and promotional flyers baring his image can be found anywhere at every venue. This classic gorilla marketing strategy is used to promote his set time and is a trail leading to the Kosha Dillz tent, where Dillzionaires can buy music and apparel.

July 19th was a homecoming for the rapper formerly known as KD Flow. In typical fashion, his stickers and promotional flyers could be seen throughout PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey. “It feels good be home,” said Kosha, who now resides in Los Angeles, California when he is not on the road touring. He took the Beatport Stage at 12:10 p.m. to perform for his hometown fans, and kept them mesmerized as he blazed through old and new tracks.

His unique lyricism and showmanship kept the crowd moving with songs from his album Awkward in a Good Way and his new EP What I Do All Day & Pickle. The biggest moment came when Kosha invited his mother on stage to vibe with spectators.

The rapper, who has resided in both Middlesex and Monmouth County, is featured on a shortlist of hip-hop artists on this year’s tour. Other hip-hop artists include – Mod Sun, Riff Raff, Isles, MC Lars, and Splitbreed.

After a long day of performing, talking to fans, and promoting his music with a makeshift picket sign he roamed around the venue with, it was time to go.

“Some rappers wouldn’t want to do all this themselves,” said Kosha as he packed up the Kosha Dillz tent with a little help from rapper friend, Flex Matthews.

Doing it himself is why he is featured on this year’s Vans Warped Tour and his grind has taken him places he could never imagine back in 2008. As Kosha continues to create his own success on this year’s Vans Warped Tour his different kind of grind will put him on bigger stages in year’s to come.



Spotlight: I.N.X., A Poetic Scholar

James Church - Seven Chakras - GSHHWilmington, DE rap artist, I.N.X., an acronym for Influential Nexus

In many cases, art is a reflection of life. Commercial rap music has devalued this notion with false realities shown in music videos and heard on wax. Wilmington, Delaware rap artist, I.N.X., defies this trend with unwavering authenticity in his music.

Upbringing

Born and raised in the infamous northside of Wilmington, Delaware, James Church, commonly known as I.N.X., always had a true understanding of what the real is. “I wouldn’t choose to grow up in these conditions, but it gave you insight on how to be mature and fend for yourself. Wilmington is a struggling city. The crime, drugs, and gang violence can get a little crazy,” he tells Garden State Hip-Hop. His environment was not the only thing to develop his maturity and independence. I.N.X.’s grandmother became his primary caregiver at an early age while his mother attended college. “A lot of people always say I have an old soul because I was raised by my grandmother,” he reveals. When asked how that correlates with his music, he responds, “It makes me more introspective.” His introspection manifests comfort with musical vulnerability, a trait uncommon amongst rappers. Similar to how a poor man feels while listening to the blues, I.N.X. believes thought and genuine emotion develops a stronger connection to people. “I represent the people; my music covers a different basis – like the state of society,” he says.

Poetic Justice

His rap career began as early as sixth grade. During his first two years of middle school, I.N.X. was an on-again, off-again emcee. “I would start then stop rapping,” he admits. Spoken word poetry harbored most of his interest. “Poetry was my thing.” However, without many resources to excel in spoken word, he pondered fully committing himself to the art of rap as he prepared for high school. Rapping was something that came natural to I.N.X. “We were always freestyling in the cafeteria,” he states when asked about his days at Delcastle Technical High School. Yet, spoken word poetry was really how he expressed himself. That changed after gaining popularity amongst classmates when his freestyle over Young Jeezy’s “Go Crazy” instrumental circulated around Delcastle. I.N.X. would soon part ways with spoken word poetry. “After that, I told myself, I think I want to get back into rapping now.” That moment created a new beginning for I.N.X., the rapper. This would lead him to form a rap collective known as the P.S. Movement (Poetic Scholars) with members of his track team. “Some grace of god type shit,” is how I.N.X. describes their union. Together – I.N.X., O2, Pruf, and Dante sought to become voices for Delaware rap music.

Overlooked and Overshadowed

After finishing at Delcastle, he furthered his education at the University of Delaware where he would eventually graduate in May of 2013. His four years at the university consisted of studying, recording music, designing apparel, and promoting the P.S. Movement. Unfortunately, people were slow to gravitate to the Poetic Scholars. “The doubt game is so heavy,” says I.N.X. He added that another huge problem is Delaware’s lack of camaraderie. “I think there’s a lot of talent here, but no one wants to come together.” Moreover, neighboring Philadelphia has overshadowed America’s first state for quite some time. “So many Delaware cats sound like Philadelphia emcees.” I.N.X. explained how Delaware rappers should ask themselves, “Yo, do I sound like myself?” With the ongoing success of Philadelphia native, Meek Mill, some might say why shouldn’t they? But I.N.X. is not one to imitate.

The Power of Chakra

“There’s only one James Church.” And that statement could not be more evident on his new album, Seven Chakras. “The album is me, and it’s only one me.” Personal misfortunes served as the catalyst that helped create the project. After the death of his grandmother and a breakup with a long-term girlfriend, I.N.X. lost his balance. “I lost my way. With Seven Chakras, I wanted to accomplish a feeling of getting back to my centre and my energy right.” His energy and emotion is certainly felt throughout the album. “I gravitate more to emotional breakdowns and chords.” The production on songs, such as “She Like” and “Hold My Ice”, exemplify that. His reflective roots are consistent on each song, especially “South American Rum”. “It explores my sins. The way they affect me and what desires come from them.” The entertainment value of Seven Chakras only scratches the surface of its significance. It is a therapy session for a rapper seeking to regain his inner bliss. “It’s my heart in 17-tracks.” James Church’s art is a reflection of his life. His growing rap career is a lesson on how looking inside will truly awaken you.