Benjy Ali – ‘Grace’ [EP]

By: Shamus Hill

The versatility prevalent within the music exiting Brockton, Massachusetts is staggering to say the least. It makes sense that the city is dubbed “The City of Champions” given the exorbitant amount of high-level musicians that have their foundations set in this area. Adding his name to this roster of individuals is Benjy Ali, who just recently shared the first component of his discography — Grace.

The 3-song EP rests just shy of 10 minutes, however do not let this fool you into thinking that Grace is something that’s meant to be breezed through. Each singular song carries extreme depth, showcasing the multi-faceted artist that Benjy Ali is at his core. Full of lush harmonies that are crossed with some truly masterful production, Grace is substantial from every view point. Benjy carves in and out of the underlying instrumental with the strength and precision of a fighter jet dancing amongst the clouds. He intertwines deep-seated emotion that tears at the listener’s heart with well-balanced sonic elements that help to create a standout body of work. Justin Bloom, with assistance from Baby J and Isaiah Valmont, swung for the fences with respect to the production on Grace, with the end result being a grand slam.

“Be My Home” is without a doubt my personal favorite from this project, as Benjy encapsulates all of the above sentiments into this one track. He emphasizes the true prowess that’s associated with his vocal capabilities here, while at the same time maintaining lyrical dominance. I’m confident that this will not be the last time you hear Benjy Ali, as this Brockton artist is quite literally just getting started with what’s to come.

Listen to Grace below:


Premo.Dee – ‘Satellite.Blvd’ [EP]

By: Shamus Hill

Brockton, Massachusetts has played a sort of mitochondrial role within the Bay State’s music scene over the last year or two, with notable acts such as DTheFlyest and Van Buren Records spreading the City of Champions’ influence far beyond its borders. Attached with this surge in music coming out of the Brockton area has been an influx of truly profound artists that — together — have assisted in shining a light on the diverse landscape of music that exists within Massachusetts. Helping to validate this statement is Premo.Dee, who recently gifted his listeners with his first project — Satellite.Blvd.

Since releasing his first song more than two years ago, Premo.Dee has been making strides with respect to developing his sound. His recent string of releases prior to Satellite.Blvd were extremely promising, as each showcased a different side of Premo’s artistic capabiities. Satellite.Blvd is where he really ties everything together, with each of the EP’s five tracks being a fitting addition to his discography.

Featuring Van Buren’s Saint Lyor, Lord Felix, and Jiles, in addition to James Boy — Premo.Dee included the perfect cast of individuals to bring this body of work to fruition. Some notable standouts on this release are “Watch It” and “How We Get Here” as both of these songs do a superb job at detailing why Premo.Dee is as promising as an artist as he is. If you’re a fan of Satellite.Blvd, be sure to listen to Premo’s verse on Briefcvse’s new album as well.

Listen to Satellite.Blvd below:


glvsshouse – “Games” + “Again”

By: Shamus Hill

Making his return to the Graduation Music site is glvsshouse, who’s formerly known to listeners as King Kade. This time around, the Quincy native drops off two extremely well-executed singles titled “Games” and “Again”.

“Games”, which utilizes production at the hands of San Antonio’s Julian Skiboat, is a true breath of fresh air. While the lyrical content of the song revolves around moments in life that are anything but pleasant — glvsshouse manages to soar over the vibrant instrumental, helping to instill an overall feeling of optimism. “Again” also takes influence from tumultuous relationship experience, however takes on a much more somber temperament. Establishing an almost yin and yang relationship between the pairing of songs, glvsshouse reminds his fans of just how versatile of an artist he is. Be on the lookout for his upcoming collab EP with Donald Grunge which is set to drop in the coming months.

Listen to both “Games” and “Again” below:

Leo The Kind – ‘Chaotic Good’ EP

By: Shamus Hill

If 2 Sides and In Bloom, Forever weren’t enough to hold you over — Brockton’s Leo The Kind just unveiled a two-song EP titled Chaotic Good.

Full of an incredibly vibrant, shimmering energy — this release only furthers the point that the City of Champs is currently generating some of the best music that Massachusetts has to offer. Over the course of the last few years, Leo The Kind has been steadily adding rich components to his discography, with a few of his tracks surpassing the point of a million streams. Chaotic Good is only his first release of 2019, however it definitely sits atop Leo The Kind’s discography as one of his most outstanding drops to date.

Listen to Chaotic Good below:


King Kade – ‘Grow Up, Go Love Something’ EP

By: Shamus Hill

King Kade was first introduced to Graduation Music readers a few weeks back with the release of his Mike Hector-produced song, “ASAP”. He returns today with Grow Up, Go Love Something, a beautifully-orchestrated EP that helps bring the best out of some of Massachusetts’ most notable talents.

Listening through this project is reminiscent of reading a good book — elements of each individual chapter stand-out on their own whilst maintaining a seamless flow throughout. Mike Hector, Pettros, and Halfway were in charge of production on Grow Up, Go Love Something, and each put their best foot forward to achieve a formidable sonic foundation for the entirety of the EP.

Revolving around the various stages of falling in-and-out of love, King Kade takes a pop-infused route towards getting his feelings off of his chest. Featured on Grow Up, Go Love Something are Pettros, FAbzabove, and Patrick Michel, who align with King Kade’s sound in an extremely harmonious fashion. Anyone who’s been reading Graduation Music will recognize FAbzabove and Patrick Michel by name, with their features on this project being some of their most-prominent pieces of work yet.

Grow Up, Go Love Something puts King Kade’s musical capabilities and relentless work ethic on full display. Show the Quincy-native some love as he’s set to have a promising 2019.

Listen to Grow Up, Go Love Something below:

Cashus Knight – ‘CASH THE RIPPER’ EP

By: Shamus Hill

Cashus Knight blesses fans with an entirely self-produced EP titled Cash The Ripper. Containing a range of tracks that circulate around Cashus’ recent mind state, this project is extremely thorough and well-deserving of praise.

“I ain’t go to school, I studied the cash flow // she call it cash..whoa, she fuckin’ with Cash oh”

Cashus Knight – “I’M BETTER THAN YOU”

“I’M BETTER THAN YOU” is the first track off of the EP, and it’s here where the energy for the remainder of the project can be derived. Cashus Knight’s confidence exudes on this track, as he speaks on the individualistic traits that make him the solid-being that he is.

From here, Cashus reverts to a much more rap-centric style, with songs like “KILL SHOT” and “OVERTIME” serving as evidence of his stunning rapping capabilities. With a lot of his discography being centered around melody, Cashus steps away from that on this EP. Quite literally demanding the respect of his peers through his raps, Cash The Ripper is a true testament towards Cashus’ versatility.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cashus Knight’s music, please take the time to check out this project as you will not be disappointed. His name will surely be circulated a lot around the Massachusetts music scene this year, so get hip now before it’s too late.

Listen to Cash The Ripper below:


Luke Bar$ & Jiles – ‘2 Sides’ EP

By: Shamus Hill

It may be Monday, but the New England Patriots are Super Bowl Champions and it’s somehow 60 degrees outside in February. Providing the soundtrack for this beautiful day are Luke Bar$ and Jiles, a pair of Brockton friends that recently dropped their 2 Sides EP. Centered around both the obstacles and adversity that this duo have faced throughout their childhood, this EP shines a light on how internal battles are sometimes externalized. Luke Bar$ and Jiles touch upon this below:

Growing as a man, you face a ton of obstacles and adversity. Some of which may put you in sunken place — mentally speaking. ‘2 Sides’ comes from a place where a kid is fighting internal battles, but portrays himself differently to his peers. Jiles becomes the yin to Luke’s yang — the two give two different sides to each story.

Luke Bar$ + Jiles on ‘2 Sides’

With each track flowing into the next seamlessly, listening through this project can definitely be categorized as a sonic journey. “No Fear” serves as the intro to 2 Sides, and it’s here where the yin/yang relationship persistent between Luke Bar$ and Jiles becomes apparent. Literally polar-opposites in terms of sound, both Luke and Jiles combine gracefully to concoct extremely thorough music.

“OK OK” is certainly one of the highlights of this tape. Full of meticulous flows that help facilitate a powerful delivery, this track really engrains itself into the listener’s mind. Luke maintains a hard-hitting feel here, packing this track with unforgettable lyricism:

“Spit a little rap till’ it pay off, till’ I ain’t got no day job // I don’t really want no pay stub, breakin’ down the check til the day gone…”

Luke Bar$ on “OK OK”

“Beat Ya Ass” is our personal favorite off of this project, with Luke Bar$ and Jiles threatening to beat someone’s ass in the most elegant manner possible. It’s here where the project takes a much more ambient turn. Both “Collard Greens” and “Sometimes” are extremely powerful offerings where Luke and Jiles paint vivid images of their personal-lives. The pair speak on what they’ve been forced to endure, their families, and the perspective of a kid growing up in Brockton. Easily the most potent release out of Massachusetts thus far in 2019, both Luke Bar$ and Jiles truly had an exceptional performance here.

Listen to 2 Sides below:


Ven – ‘Ventige’ EP

By: Shamus Hill 

Making his debut onto the Graduation Music pages today is Boston’s own, Ven, with the release of his two-song EP titled Ventige. I was first introduced to the tranquil-sounding rapper by the homie Sammy over at Selfmade Designs, and since diving into his music there’s been absolutely no turning back. Following the drop of Ventige, it’s apparent that Ven is willing to do whatever it takes to prove to everyone around him that he has what it takes to see his goals through.

That said, dubbing himself as the “Basquiat of the rap game”, Ven is on a mission to transform aspects of hip-hop’s original roots into some new art that entangles itself within the current fabric of modern culture. What really drew me towards Ven’s music at first was the nonchalant feeling that can be derived from both his raps and melodies. As one continues to listen deeper into his discography though, the seriousness of his wordplay begins to be revealed, and despite facing choppy seas during specific periods of his life, Ven has come out the other end unscathed, fully prepared to share his experiences with the world. As the young rapper continues to develop as time progresses, it’s going to be exciting to witness how his musical abilities grow.

Don’t hesitate to show Ven some love on his latest project, especially considering that he’s living proof of the fact that our area is only continuing to blossom. As new artists emerge from the cracks on the daily, the future of the music scene in the state of Massachusetts is only getting brighter. If you find yourself liking the sound present on Ventige, I highly recommend taking the time to listen-through Ven’s prior project titled U • FAME • ISMS, as it offers feels which are very reminiscent of this release.

Stream OfficialVen’s new EP titled Ventige below:

Nick Gray Speaks on Brand New ‘Bittersweet’ EP

By: Shamus Hill 

This past weekend, Massachusetts’ own Nick Gray released his sophomore project, Bittersweet — an introspective EP that seamlessly balances wonderful sounds and genuine meaning. One of the most outstanding aspects of Nick Gray’s artistry is his innate ability to speak on life experience in a manner that’s borderline addicting to listen to, and while Gray’s entire discography is filled with these profound talking points, his latest effort brings this sentiment one step forward, marking some of his best artistic progression to date. Alongside the main act here, we need to dish out some well-deserved shoutouts to Shame, BBY J, RolexDaytona, 10Fifty, and FlashBeats for their phenomenal work on production throughout Bittersweet. Watching how Gray’s sound has developed with time has been an absolute privilege to see, and it’s safe to say that Nick Gray is only going to continue to blossom in the future.

To honor the occasion, I took a few moments to speak with Nick about the meaning behind the Bittersweet EP, and some of what he’s learned throughout his tenure as an artist. Read all about it down below:

What is the meaning behind naming this project Bittersweet?

I’ve noticed you can’t have all good without something going bad. Putting time into one thing means less time for another. It’s sweet for the thing you’re putting time into but, bitter for the other. And that’s what I’ve been feeling lately. It’s life I guess.

Money appears to be a large portion of your motivation on Bittersweet, but what else drives you to be the artist/person that you are? 

Emotion. Seeing things get done. Seeing people be affected by things I do for a positive outcome. I wanna take care of people. It’s just who I am as a person. A provider. I’m selfish for my side. Deeper down though, maybe it’s a flaw, but I want to feel of value. That I have worth. I think it’s a general human thing to feel like that. But, I guess the things I do are because I’m trying to appease that feeling.

Prior to the start of working on this EP, what did you want your listeners to take-away from this body of work? Did it pan out as you had hoped? 

I just wanted to give people stuff I like listening too. Stuff I enjoy making. The stuff I make stems from emotion, even if it is just about money or hustling. I also wanted to put some deeper personal stuff in it. It’s tucked away behind the metaphors but if you can break through them you’ll see who I am. I’m hyped on the outcome. All the tracks hit exactly how I wanted.

Despite the use of an array of producers on this project, you still managed to achieve a formidable sound that develops throughout the entirety of this project. What were you looking for in terms of production on this project? 

I don’t really ever have an overall whole sound I’m thinking of. I just listen to beats and if they hit I make a song. Once I get enough songs that hit on sort of the same wave, I see how I can put them together. I like emotional slaps hahaha. I like bangers and stuff I can get introspective on. I think this project has a little of everything.

How has Massachusetts/Boston helped to mold you into the being that you currently are?

I grew up in MA my whole life. In the cold ass winter. Having to work outside, then moving to the city and learning how to navigate the underworlds and inner workings of it. It’s made me appreciate some things I’d taken for granted and also showed me sides of human nature I hadn’t previously seen. I think it’s turning me into exactly who I want to be.

You’ve been making high-quality music for a very lengthy period of time now. If you could give a single piece of advice to younger artists, what would that be? 

Don’t try to do everything yourself. Find what you’re good at and get better at it. Everything costs money in this world and making your music into a finished product is no different. If you truly believe in yourself, you’ll invest in yourself.

Stream Nick Gray’s Bittersweet EP below:

Click here to stream on all other platforms

Jovian Martian – ‘Sailor’s Pick’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

The name Jovian Martian, also known as Jovian Marshon, has been floating around near me for quite some time, but admittedly, I’ve never really taken the chance to listen to his music until now. There was never any specific reason as to why I wasn’t hip, but now that I finally have given Martian a chance, I must say, he holds some serious promise for the future. Today, the rising talent makes his Graduation Music debut and hits our pages with a brand new EP entitled Sailor’s Pick.

4 tracks long, this highly energetic and deeply entertaining project lets listeners know precisely why Jovian Martian needs to be known. His deliveries are confident, and backed by a melodic sonic direction and solid lyricism to keep things interesting, each song on this project hits with a similar ability to keep fans locked in for every second of its duration. At the moment, “Her World” and “Too Late” are my two favorites on the EP, but the more I listen, the more I realize that every track is in a close competition to be the best.

That said, Jovian Martian outdid himself with this one, so be sure to show some love and click play on Sailor’s Pick at the link provided below!

Production by JGONTHEKEYS, Smackdown Beats, Fly Melodies

Cousin Stizz – ‘Cold Times’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

Representing Boston with an endless supply of hits, Cousin Stizz has been applying some serious full-court pressure in all of 2018. Just a few weeks back, he blessed us with a three-track EP entitled All Adds Up, and today, he’s here to drop off yet another trio of heaters with Cold Times, housing the songs “Made”, “Butterfly”, and “Brain Freeze”. At the core of the project, Stizz reflects on his rise from the mud to the mountaintops, grateful and energetic as ever. He translates his determination to keep working hard into a collection of anthems that any listener can find inspiration from, and in doing so, reminds us all why he’s starting to realize his full potential as a bona fide star in the world of rap.

That said, sonically, Cold Times represents an important moment for Stizz. As it seems, looking at the last 6 tracks that he has dropped, the Fields Corner native has truly found the sonic direction in which his talents are best applicable. Doused in ethereal, ice-cold melodies and crisp drum patterns, he navigates his way through booming 808s, doing so on his own terms with a diamond-flashing grin to light the way. Stizz really made it, and Cold Times tells listeners that they can do it, too. Especially in rap today, it can feel as though artists are flexing at you rather than doing anything to inspire you, but with our favorite cousin, he always takes listeners right by his side and shows them the way that things can be if we just believe and put in the work.

This is a stellar release to keep the stocks on an insuppressible rise, so show some love to Boston’s own and listen to Cold Times at the link below!

Cam Meekins – ‘Yellow’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

Turning some heads and providing an undeniable anthem with the release of his new song, “Big Joints”, Cam Meekins has been in heavy rotation as of late. Quite apparently, he’s making some of the best music of his life and having ample amounts of fun doing it, so much so that this infectious joy translates right into the Boston-bred artist’s new EP, Yellow. If there’s any project that symbolizes a moment of pure, heart-led artistry, it has to be this one, as Meekins so passionately shows a love for what he does with his latest project. “Big Joints” was a heater in and of itself, but listening to the full EP, it clearly shows that he has even more heat to keep the hot streak coming.

With this, over the span of just 4 tracks, Yellow is able to paint a clear picture of the life that Meekins has been living as of late. What the EP lacks in length it makes up for in soul, offering up hearty deliveries and bellowing vocals that show vivid accounts of what life consists of for the rising talent — and quite frankly, it seems like a great time. Communicating these themes by way of addictive runs and unforgettable lyrics, each and every track on this one is destined to get stuck in your head with ease, even with all of the major rap releases that came out this Friday (at the moment, “Crazy” is stuck on the brain).

Needless to say, Cam Meekins is ready to do some serious numbers with this project, so be sure to show some love and click play on Yellow at the link below!