We’re back with AFTR PRTY Radio Week 13! This week we highlight Manhattan freestyle legend Marlon Craft, Tom The Mail Man takes a break from singing and blesses us with a toxic rap anthem, Keys Open Doors enlists the help of Mac Ayres to introduce listeners to Cali culture, Jersey's Dougie F talks about the struggles of getting out of the hood, and JustZeke's viral hit could be the beginning to a long career. Read more about each artist/track below and definitely follow, like, and bump the full 25-song playlist on Spotify!
"Wherever", Marlon Craft
NYC underground legend, Marlon Craft, is looking to make noise with the first single off of his upcoming sophomore album. The Manhattan native began gaining a following for his freestyle series on YouTube, Craftstyle, where he's destroyed classic beats like Mobb Deep's "Survival Of The Fittest", Biggie's "Who Shot Ya", and Nas's "Nas Is Like". On this track, "Wherever", Craft expresses his frustration with the music industry and his grind to the top:
"Paid those dues, I don’t understand the cost fully". With 5 EPs, 2 Mixtapes, and a debut album, it's easy to understand how someone as talented as Marlon Craft can be frustrated by his role as the underdog, but his lyrics and talent will never go unnoticed.
Hopefully, this sophomore album brings him an even bigger and more loyal fan base than he's already cultivated on his own. Either way, we'll be rooting for The Beacon School alum!
"My Bitch", Tom The Mail Man
On "My Bitch", Atlanta's very own Tom The Mail Man, adds to the long history of Hip-Hop classics about an artist and his "ride or die": Biggie's "Me and My Bitch", The L.O.X.'s "Ryde or Die, Bitch", Kanye and Jay-Z's "That's My Bitch", and many many more. For this track, Singer/Rapper Tom, pulls legendary producer Ginseng also known as rapper Lil Wintr. On the surface, Tom's describing how horrible this girl is, and how he's chasing the bag and could care less. However, he also describes the trust issues he's experienced in this drug-fueled relationship, which is toxic and destroying both people, but they stay together nonetheless: "My bitch so fucked up, Never trust her, we ain't lust, I'mma fuck her like it's fuck her". Obviously, there's a bit of pain here. Who hurt you?
Further than rapping, Tom The Mail Man is also a singer, vlogger, and mixing engineer. He's definitely a full rounded artist continuing to build a quality fan base, and with roots in Atlanta, it's hard to see him not breaking through to the mainstream side of the music industry.
"Chevy Missions", Keys Open Doors
Hailing from Washington, artist/producer Keys Open Doors, has been slowly paving his way by building solid connections and showcasing his outstanding piano skills on shows like Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel. With help from LA-based singer/guitarist, Mac Ayres, Keys Open Doors is introducing listeners to the California culture that he's grown accustomed to: "You say you new to the city let me help you out, I got plugs I just really wanna help you out, I got drugs and they really gonna help you out". He's still on the come up but we're definitely going to keep a radar on Keys next moves.
"Walter G", Dougie F
With co-signs from Travis Scott, KYLE, and Pitbull, Orange, New Jersey's Dougie F has had a pretty solid career since his start in 2014. Although he's yet to become a household name, many Hip-Hop heads have come across him at least once if not multiple times in the past few years. His most recent EP, Without A Smile, finds Dougie F reminiscing on his rough childhood and the sacrifices and grind it took to make it out of the hood: "Momma had work, flipping burgers out of the BK, Project baby, so you know I felt the heat, aye, Niggas die everyday, I know it sound cliche, Shit wasn't sweet, it was beef, not cheesecake" (Walter G).
Clearly, Dougie's goal is to provide motivational street music for people who may feel trapped by their surroundings. His message is that you can rise above.
"Dayum (JuggSzn)", JustZeke
Had to save the best for last... but Philly's JustZeke brings the energy swag and wordplay on "DAYUM" so don't be surprised when you see Lil Uzi Vert hitting his legendary shoulder dance in the music video. With only 2 EPs, a single, and connections to Uzi, JustZeke has the potential to have a big year in 2021. He only started releasing music in 2019, but he holds the confidence of a vet and reps Philly til the death: "Bitch, I'm from Philly, I move like a mobster, Family in Trini, I fuck with the Rastas".
The song feels like a freestyle with just an intro, chorus, and verse, you can even hear him break flow at the end of the song but it stills slaps. "DAYUM" is currently going viral on TikTok and has over 1 million views on YouTube, and will definitely keep spreading as he continues to build his music catalog.