Welcome back to another edition of Saturday Spotlight. Each week we review submissions from all over the globe, picking the best out of the batch to highlight at the end of the week. If you’re an aspiring rapper, a producer wanting to create a buzz, or a singer looking to expose their talent, Saturday Spotlight is dedicated to discovering the next star. This week, we received over 45 submissions, below are the two picks!
Whether it’s your latest single or a new beat you made, all upcoming artists can submit music to us for Saturday Spotlight on this link.
From Newport News, VA, mynameisntjmack is an artist whose thoughtful lyrics, laid back flow, and gravelly tone are reminiscent of artists like Isaiah Rashad and Tyler, the Creator. On ‘New Brass Knuckles’, mynameisntjmack tackles a smooth lo-fi beat, adding a dimension of depth to it with his baritone vocals. Most notable aside from his flow is the way his bars are so in pocket. “Tryna dodge the primadonnas with they Prada and they dollars/Going ga-ga for the commas/Money matters to these women but don’t matter to my mama” is how the prolific artist begins the track, creating an effortlessly smooth vibe that belies a self-assured confidence in his bars and subject matter.
After hard hitting bars, mynameisntjack introduces us to a singing flow with a melancholic tone that makes the listener crave more of this style from the artist: “I don’t feel safe inside my home/A couple thousand fans a couple friends I’m still alone.” It takes a specific skill and talent to convey emotions this heavy with such elegant simplicity. It’s what makes mynameisntjmack so relatable without being stale or predictable. The hook is an earworm with mynameisntjmack’s melodies, stacked with harmonies and doubles that give the hook an eerie chorus effect.
All in all, ‘New Brass Knuckles’ is the song you listen to for comfort, when you don’t want to feel as alone as you do. It’s there for the walks home and night drives on empty roads. Listen to ‘New Brass Knuckles’ below.
Hailing from Atlanta, [g]illes (pronounced “Jeeills”) is an artist who knows exactly what he wants, and how to get it. It’s not just his artistry that boasts his in-depth knowledge of hip-hop – it’s how he maneuvers the tricks and pitfalls of the industry, demonstrating a studied understanding of how to make it as an independent artist. Working as an entertainment lawyer alongside his music career, [g]ille’s multi-faceted background is clear in his attention to detail in both his music, and his promotion of it. Urging fans to buy his music and projects rather than stream it, he commented in a recent interview with The Grey District that streaming music has almost made the possibility of its longevity obsolete. A project that takes 6 months to create is streamed over 2 weeks – and fans are already asking what’s next.
After a string of successful singles and projects, [g]illes is back by popular demand with his latest single ‘RNS’, featuring Big K.R.I.T and Jade. Over four minutes long, the song is a deep dive into the troubled mind of the complex artist, detailing family struggles with mental health, the weight of personal burdens, and the political pressure, as a black man, to stay strong even in the face of adversity from all sides.
The track begins with soft piano chords, setting a melancholic tone that [g]illes sure enough follows with the first impactful bar: “On God I swear that life hard/High probability the same n***s too scared to climb wishing that I might fall”. In these two bars alone we catch a glimpse into the talent [g]illes possesses. His syllable breakdowns are counter-intuitive, his flow jolted over the piano chords. But this is what conveys the jarring pain behind the bars. “Therapy reveal high trauma, past mistakes turn to my karma, that’s on Mama”. [g]illes continues in this way, slowly and intentionally laying the foundation of the song’s heavy subject matter in anticipation for the beat drop. The piano crescendos with support from harmonic female background vocals, all rising in high suspense until the beat drops like a thudding heartbeat to reveal the hook: “Heart on my sleeve, real n* shit on my chest”. Soon after the hook, Big K.R.I.T. comes through with his own rendition on the theme: “I’m sitting back tryna spit something that worth saying/God knows all my prayers ain’t worth praying/Life is a field of dreams, I’m still playing.”
All in all, ‘RNS’ is a hard-hitting track that is more intent on provoking thought and reflection than being of high commercial value. It’s art, it’s real, it’s honest – and vulnerable without being draining to hear. The musical definition of ‘shedding a thug tear’.
Listen to ‘RNS’ here.
Through our artist discovery platform Saturday Spotlight, we have discovered some amazing talent in the past including Russ, Ty Dolla Sign, Mez, IDK, Victoria Monét and Trap Beckham to name just a few. In most cases, coverage on HHNM was their first look among media outlets. Find the submission guidelines here.