Maka & Durkin – ‘Waterproof’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

When it comes to the finest of duos in music right now, two of Massachusetts’ own, Maka and Durkin, simply need to come to mind. They proved themselves to be a powerful pair in all of the tropical glory of Another Island, and today, following up the lead single “Malie“, this Jordan-Pippen team is back to drop off yet another collaborative project entitled Waterproof. And quite frankly, it’s some of their finest work to date. I didn’t know how much better it could get from Another Island, but they’ve outdone themselves, and I can’t wait for you to hear.

That being said, over the course of 9 songs, the latest from Maka and Durkin finds them at their most polished forms to date. Durkin’s production brings out the best in Maka, and by riding each beat with an equal supply of effortlessness and melodic touch, Maka makes the most of these addictive sonic backgrounds. One heater after another, this EP brings to fruition a dance-inspiring mood that you simply can’t help but fall in love with, and at its core, it’s an incredibly fun project for listeners to keep on repeat during any and all upcoming functions they may have.

Listen to Waterproof at the link below and hear Maka and Durkin making some of the best music of their careers!

Alejandro Blanco – ‘Risky Business’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

Massachusetts offers an incredibly wide range of talented artists, and our goal here at Graduation Music is to shed light on as many of these acts as possible and get our readers hip to the next stars out of MA. That said, when it comes to the music scene in the state, one artist artist that you simply have to make sure you know goes by the name of Alejandro Blanco. You may remember him from the stellar project, AUGU$T, but even if you don’t, you should understand that this rising talent has been relentlessly churning out hits for quite some time now. He’s on a rapid ascent to the top, and making his case arrives a brand new EP today entitled Risky Business.

8 tracks long, this project is doused in the very artistic elements that made us fall in love with Alejandro Blanco’s music in the first place. His vocals remain at the intersection of sharp and smooth as ever, while lyrically, Blanco has only improved from his past offerings. Sonically, Risky Business finds its identity within the first three tracks, and from there, Blanco is able to remain is his bag while balancing a beautifully cohesive set of sounds on the production side of things at the very same time. In this way, the project is incredibly well put together, so make sure you show some love and click play at the link below. Alejandro Blanco is ready to be a star.

Production by LDG Beats, Love2x, SOUNDSBLVCEY, MORSHABZZ, Ricky Flaire, RoxburySound, and YOUNGINTRUE

KHLyor & JUANPESO – ‘Power Trip’

By: Seamus Fay

If you’ve been following Graduation Music for some time now, it goes without saying that you’ve stumbled upon the name KHLyor at least once or twice while browsing our pages. The Boston native’s music has consistently yielded coverage due to its remarkably smooth presence, and today, in this very same way, Lyor jumps back to the spotlight with a brand new, 2-track offering entitled Power Trip. However, this time, he’s not by himself. Alongside Lyor arrives JUANPESO, who I wasn’t hip to before this mini tape, but certainly came to impress in each of his guest spots on Power Trip.

That said, this drop consists of two songs: “002” produced by Lil King & LJ, and “Iron Man” produced by Lil King. Lyrically, it comes across as one of KHLyor’s most luxurious sets of music to date. Influenced by his extensive background in fashion, the rising talent is able to connect the mediums of fashion and music in a seamless way, and in doing so, he brings to fruition a high level of energy which JUANPESO complements without any degree of friction. The two roll together with a relaxed chemistry, so much so that Power Trip is able to cement its status as a must-listen for anyone reading our pages.

Click play on the latest from KHLyor and JUANPESO at the link below:

Danny Diamonds – ‘For The Record’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

Danny Diamonds is no stranger to our pages here at Graduation Music, and deservedly so, as he continues to utilize pure talent and a charismatic personality to fuel his remarkably strong catalog of music. Today, keeping the full court pressure on and subsequently brightening up our week, we get to hear a brand new EP from Diamonds entitled For The Record. And let me just say, for the record, that this is undoubtedly one of the smoothest projects to come out of Massachusetts this year. No debate.

That said, over a duration of 7 tracks, this tape offers up the most polished version of Danny Diamonds that we have heard to date. His vocals are sharp as ever, his lyrics delivered with a thundering passion, and most importantly, it truly feels as though the rising talent is putting his full heart and soul in every single second of every single song. Also worth mentioning, this project comes equipped with three, previously-heard singles, as it reintroduces “Stuck”, “Pacifier”, and “La La” with a brand new burst of excitement, so much so that they take on new breaths of refreshing energy thanks to the fuel of the other tracks on the tape. So to answer any questions — yes, this is a must-listen.

I could go on about this one all day, but the point is that Danny Diamonds outdid himself. Listen to For The Record at the link below:

Production by Illuid Haller, Glassic, Polyte, K-Rain, Yusei, & Gambi
Feature from Abhi The Nomad

Cousin Stizz – ‘All Adds Up’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

In a week filled with momentous rap releases, one of the standout projects that came out was undoubtedly Cousin Stizz’s latest All Adds Up EP. And sure, I know I’m biased being from Massachusetts, but I truly mean it when I say that this mini release is direct proof that the Fields Corner native is going to be an absolute star. I mentioned it in a tweet earlier this week — the conviction in his voice and overall attitude of the three songs show many facets of Stizz’s skill and mentality at the moment, with the most prevalent being his dead-set vision of success. He’s going to make it, regardless of what may come in the way.

That said, this trio of songs brings to fruition quite possibly Stizz’s most refined artistry to date. The production, handled by the names noted below, is both ominous and determined, hanging onto every bar with futuristic melodies and trap-induced drums. Additionally, Stizz’s charismatic cadences help to supercharge his unforgettable lyricism, and all in all, this EP comes through as a reminder that whatever might be on the way in the future is going to shake things up quite a bit. Stizz is on a mission, and All Adds Up tells us that the direction he’s heading in is straight to the top. Listen at the link below:

Artwork by
Production by ,   &

CountFOV – ‘Phase 1?’ [EP]

By: Shamus Hill 

CountFOV makes a triumphant return to the Graduation Music site, this time with an EP entitled Phase 1?. Featuring production at the hands of Loesoe and Bravestarr, CountFOV floats effortlessly over each instrumental, gifting listeners some pleasant bops for the end of the summer.

“Lonesome” is the first track on the EP, and it’s here where CountFOV establishes the feel for the entirety of the mini-project. Produced by Loesoe, this song is centered around being alone, yet not being saddened or bothered by it. CountFOV plans on doing him regardless of who’s surrounding him. He briefly touches upon the opposition, but doesn’t let any negativity derail his goals in life. Something we’ve all endured at one point or another, CountFOV wants to remind his listeners to stay on track, and not to get caught up in any bullshit.

“F.Y.G.” is the second track off of the EP, and also utilizes some Loesoe production. It’s here where CountFOV details his ideal girl, and how he won’t be letting anyone hold him back in life. He’s on a mission towards success and isn’t about to have anyone ruin all of the work that he’s put in.

Perhaps my favorite song off of Phase 1? is “Do The Most” which features Bravestarr production. Beginning with Bravestarr’s contribution to this track, “Do The Most” is incredibly pleasing, sonically-speaking. CountFOV comes in and it literally sounds like he’s bouncing on top of the beat, which, when combined with his addictive flows, makes for an absolute bop. For the most part, this track is based around CountFOV’s desire to have as much money as possible. Similar to the two prior tracks, he isn’t going to let anyone get in the way of him and his bag. Combining relatable topics and victorious production, CountFOV is not one to be messed with.

Listen to Phase 1? below:

Bela – ‘Peach’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

It’s always a pleasure when Graduation Music gets to cover brand new artists, and today, we have an act by the name of Bela arriving to our pages with her new, 4-track EP, Peach. Hailing from Malden, MA, I first got hip to this rising talent while scrolling through my emails one day. Her passionate vocals and raw emotion immediately struck my ears as something worth listening to, and ever since, Peach has been on repeat as one of the better EPs to come out of Massachusetts this year.

With this, over the course of just 4, blissful songs, listeners are brought deep into the world of Bela and the heart-led feelings that she so vividly describes. Her lyrics are crisp and genuine, marking the project as authentic to an extent that few artists are able to achieve so effortlessly. Furthermore, adding fuel to the fire, Bela’s vocals possess that certain “memorable” quality that makes them nearly impossible to pass over — infectious by way of their soft presence over the 4 hypnotic instrumentals. It’s alluring in both a sonic sense as well as an emotional sense, giving abundant reason as to why Bela is definitely an artist to pay attention to.

That being said, Peach is an incredibly enjoyable listen, so be sure to click play at the link below!

Genshin – ‘Distant’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

In my eyes, the function of an EP is meant to be a compact collection of music that informs listeners as to what direction an artist is moving on. There’s a reason the lack of length works as it offers a simple snapshot of a given artist’s capabilities, but even so, when done right, this kind of project can truly stand out as more than just a brief snapshot. In the case of Genshin’s latest EP, Distant, the impact is felt most clearly in the introduction of such a curious, alluring sonic atmosphere.

Throughout a quick 3 songs, he transports listeners into an entirely different world of sound, all the while evoking strong, almost nostalgic bouts of emotion that are both compelling and comforting in their own respects. Each track pushes this idea one step further, and if there is any project to show you how much damage Genshin can do in such a short amount of time, it has to be Distant. Connecticut has something very special on its hands, with this EP acting as perfect proof.

Click play at the link below and show some love to this Graduation Music favorite!

KH Lyor – ‘M5’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

The last time we heard from KH Lyor, it was with his anthemic offering, “Smoke At The Party” – a single which has undoubtedly stuck in our heads here at Graduation Music as a standout release in recent months. Today, he continues the theme of creating warm-weathered soundtracks to life with a brand new, 2-track EP entitled M5. Consisting of “GO!” and “Sunday Morning”, the latest from the KH representative may be short in length, but before we delve further into this one, it must be understood that it lives on and lengthens its impact through the genuine creation of a summer-minded aesthetic. M5 is ready to take over our playlists, and thankfully so.

That being said, when you dig a little deeper, the prowess of this EP is only natural considering the production credits from Niaggi and Christian Yoon – two names that have hit our pages plenty of times as hit machines in and of themselves. Additionally, the song “Sunday Morning” takes to guest spots from KH Belo and WayUp Rui, and all in all, every name featured on the short project alongside KH Lyor absolutely kills it in their respective roles. This EP is a showcase of raw talent in its finest form, and with that, it’s no wonder that M5 is about to do some serious numbers this summer. The weather is warming up, the stocks are rising for the KH team, and now, we have the soundtrack to the moment.

Listen to KH Lyor’s latest at the link below:

 

Jonesy – ‘All Of This Is True’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

Arriving at our pages from New Haven, Connecticut, an artist by the name of Jonesy is here to let the world know who he is with his brand new, All Of This Is True EP. As the title suggests, every line holds the utmost honesty in Jonesy’s life, and in detailing the trials and tribulations that we see in our daily lives, he has successfully created a relatable piece for any listener to find addicting in its own sense. Connecticut is becoming a hotbed of talent and Jonesy is adding to the cast of rising stars, so be sure to pay attention as we delve further into this one below.

Featuring production credits from The Law, Soshu, Yondrik, K$ubi Kayy, and Papajxn, it’s the inspiring sound of this project, perhaps, that hits the second hardest behind the lyrics. Each instrumental captures such a vivid snapshot of the life of Jonesy, lending itself to the content of the verses while maintaining the overlying focus of the EP perfectly and showcasing the wide array of talent that this young artist holds. His tales of life, struggle, and ambition are aspects that we can all get behind, so don’t sleep on this one.

Listen to the All Of This Is True EP at the link below!

Tashawn Taylor – ‘Women Make Me Strong’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

Hailing from Cambridge, MA, an artist by the name of Tashawn Taylor is here to make his Graduation Music debut today with a brand new EP entitled Women Make Me Strong. Just 3 tracks long, this release acts as the perfect introduction to an incredibly solid young talent, shedding a well-deserved light on the women in his life while also showcasing the wide array of skills that he possesses. That being said, I highly recommend paying attention to this one, so be sure to stay tuned in as we delve deeper into the project below.

At its very core, the element of this EP that first caught my attention was the refined artistry that Taylor holds with such an effortless approach. Each of the three songs feels as if there was ample thought and care put in, and in an age where quantity can sometimes blur the importance of quality, I believe that any listener will appreciate the work that this rising talent put in. Beyond technical skill, however, it’s also important that we note the importance of the premise of this tape – women. Not often do we hear such thoughtful music dedicated to women, and it’s a refreshing sentiment to hear Taylor pay a well-deserved tribute to some of the most important people in all of our lives.

Listen to Women Make Me Strong at the link below and keep an eye on Tashawn Taylor heading into the future!

BoofyMane – ‘4:19 4/20’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

In celebration of 4/20, Boston artist BoofyMane is here to bless our pages with a brand new, 3-track EP titled 4:19 4/20. In all of their hypnotic, sparkling energy, each of these three songs comes across as a testament to the heightening potential that this young talent holds, and with that, everyone needs to start paying attention. BoofyMane is here to stay, so show him some love as we delve further into his newest offering.

In essence, 4:19 4/20 shows fans the contrast between burgeoning melodies and hard-hitting, deeply-cut lyricism. It finds the perfect intersection between the two, and by capitalizing on these pockets of space, Boofy is able to comprehensively showcase his skill set. Overall, this EP is short in length yet incredibly solid in its central functions. Boston might be looking at one of its next stars in this young artist, so don’t sleep.

Listen to the newest from BoofyMane at the link below: