Tag Archives: Boston hip hop

#Bandcampgold-Role Model by Michael Christmas

#Bandcampgold-Role Model by Michael Christmas

by Dan-O

A lot of the most profitable rappers have become quite good at positioning themselves as post-joy flat featured heavy-hangs-the-crown types. Of course it isn’t true for most of them but acting like the weight of the world is on your shoulders as you are at your sales high marker is a cooler way to react than actual excitement.

The thing is you can’t replace what excitement gives a song. 19 year old Boston MC Michael Christmas flexes the power of enthusiasm all through his new album Role Model.  Conceptually the album functions around the relationship he has to his sister and the way young innocent eyes make you rethink the image you present to them and the world they are stepping into. After going over the basic rules of engagement with the world to her on the intro he slides right into These Days where he loudly chants how jacked up the world is. It is produced by Meltycanon who does four out of the fifteen songs on Role Model and most of the best ones. Girlfriend Upset and These Days are all anthemic sing-a-longs where the production is broad enough for everyone to love but odd enough (Girlfriend especially) to be tailored for Christmas. The other producer who deserves a tip of the hat is Thelonious Martin for his ill fuzzed out guitars on Growing Up and everything to do with Ball.

It was a surprise hearing Christmas is from Boston because all the Boston MC’s I know of are stone faced hoody wearing Reks/Esoteric/Slaine types who are more likely to rap about eating your intestines than about being shy in the club and erectile dysfunction (see Not For Me second verse). All the hooks on Role Model are big pretty and fun. He doubles his vocals so you can hear him giggling and repeating his “tick tick” ad lib. He might rap about pancakes and then next track hook up with G Perico & Domo Genesis for an ILL West Coast rap song (Polo Sweater). Shout out to G Perico ,by the way, who is one of my favorite rappers of the world and a definite 2017 MVP candidate for the work he put in.

The reason I keep coming back to Role Model is that it is about feeling like you’re not good enough for the new world. Watching the next generation grow up smart and emotionally savvy while fearing you’re not growing at the same pace (Christmas sees this with his sister while I’m raising a son who is clearly better than me). It is about that but it handles the conflicted heft with an earned optimism so by the time you get to track nine (Ball) you are throwing your hands in the air. When track 10 starts Tianna is listening to Ball and singing along and you feel how important his music must be to her. How much she has at stake in him, you take the trip with these characters. You feel how important these relationships are to them. It’s a refreshing perspective and the energy he leverages is contagious.

Stream or Purchase Role Model below:




Song Review-Lisa by Sonny Shotz featuring OnCue

Song Review-Lisa by Sonny Shotz featuring OnCue

Sonny Shotz new mixtape American Summer feels bigger than fourteen tracks. Every song has a specific place within it and a unique experience that it provides. A full listening can make you feel spread beyond where you thought the end was. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts Sonny talks about not doing drugs, the state of American life and in this song downshifts into a warm sensitively handled Montell Jordan style “let’s get down” song.

Through the first verse when he’s soliciting Lisa into the phone you might compare this to Drake’s drunk dial song Marvin’s Room. The problem with the comparison is that Sonny never stops having fun and joking. As cheesy as the chorus might seem it smiles at you and never becomes predatory or insulting to Lisa. While Marvin’s Room was meant to give you the heebie jeebies this is simply lining up an evening with someone he likes. It’s about making space in a nice day to kill time with an important person…and the beat KNOCKS.

From here the real work begins. The next project Sonny will start to pull things tighter to make more of an impression. It’s always early in a career when you get material like American Summer that beats your eardrums from so many different locations. I’ll guarantee you the next one will get priority listening for me and this one….could get a lot better as I keep listening.

Instead of a youtube song link you can stream or download American Summer below: