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Nonso Amadi: The One Good Thing in Pandora’s Box

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That night was just like any other night, except for I found something special—or rather someone. And thankfully, it happened when it did, for I was all out of complimentary skips. I believe the station was Tory Lanez, and I had probably heard each song one hundred times, plus once more. But this song was unlike the rest. I’d never heard it before, but I immediately sunk into it.

First came the beat, which built up like kernels exposed to high heat, before unleashing a sweet cluster of lyrics known as “Tonight.” As the song played out, an incessant need to know more grew. So, at the first sign of light, I made it my business to seek out the 23-year-old—and I did!

His name is Nonso Amadi, and I found him thanks to Pandora.

photo courtesy of Instagram

“Being an artist means I’m able to be a therapist for others that can’t express themselves in the same way. There’s a whole lot more to it, but this is the most primary meaning for me, because it means I can directly affect people’s lives just using words and melodies,” he says. “I tend to write most of my songs from a submissive stand-point, I think it holds a higher emotional value that way.”

In just two months of it’s release, “No Crime,” Amadi’s latest track, is climbing to nearly 200,000 streams. It’s an impressive feat for someone who, after recently receiving their masters degree in Engineering Design, decided to pursue a career in music.

The Afro-fusion artist recalls times when he wasn’t sure if what he was doing was enough. “I’d say it’s been a progressive and incremental growth with its ups and downs, certainly deserving a documentary of some sort,” he says. “There’s been a lot of times that I doubted myself, as is usual with many creatives.” Though, despite his occasional bouts of doubt, Amadi finds himself on the cusp of firing an artillery loaded with new music. He’s keeping everything top secret, but he made it clear that he’s got way too much music for just one project. He admitted that he may have to make a few collaborative tapes, just to compensate for the heavy volume of new projects sitting in his lap.

photo courtesy of Instagram

Compared to some of his earlier music like “Kwasia,” “Aika,” and “Long Live the Queen,” the Toronto based musician, has been playing more with his artistry. During the interview, he says, “I think you get to hear me experiment some new and exciting genres. I try expanding my catalogue by reaching out to other audiences.” As an emerging artist, originally from Nigeria, Amadi seems to have a good idea of where he’d like to see himself within the next five-to-10 years—and how to get there. With a strong sense of maturity, sometimes lost in new artists his age, he gives credit to the company he keeps. He emphasizes how “without some sort of mentor or good knowledge of the industry,” it’s nearly impossible for a new artist to “navigate” their surroundings. The times that he doesn’t have a mentor, he educates himself by watching interviews and documentaries. One of his favorites is a clip of Patrick Stewart advising Michael Dappah on how to remain fearless.

Amadi sees fear as a crutch, which helped lead to the next question.

“Is your fear of flying something that you’ve outgrown in order to advance in your career as an artist?”

He laughed while answering. “I still don’t like flying, but I’ve had to do it a lot more these days. He clarified that it isn’t so much fear, but rather an ongoing feeling of inconvenience. Fortunately, he’s learning to tolerate it, because his fans want to see him. “I need to go to South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Sweden, Paris to name a few,” he admits. “These are my top streaming countries, that I’ve never set foot in.” Lately, though, he’s been spotted on the road a lot, performing and engaging with his fans.

It’s with ample amount of prayer, rest, and the daily grind, that there’ll be nothing to stop him from reaching those places…or outperforming his 10-year plan.

“God says there’s going to be a level up, so let’s look out for that,” he says.

photo courtesy of Instagram

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Interviews & Features

Hip Hop Fundamentals: Teaching The Youth Through Dance

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Young Audiences NJ

         A dance studio can be a place of freedom for dancers to improve their craft. It also has some really great autistics, that make it ideal for having an interview. It is one of the things that made a recent sit-down between Hip Hop fundamentals and Hypefresh magazine so enjoyable.

   Founded back in 2012, Hip Hop fundamentals is run by Mark Wong, also known as Metal and Steve Lunger. Both men have been breakdancing long before the birth of their organization. Since 2004, they had been breaking as a group. They did everything that they were capable of with breakdancing, traveling all over the world to battle other crews, and putting on street shows and performed their moves at parties. Eventually, Metal and Steve found themselves teaching breakdancing and discovered that they liked it.

“You can see and feel the result very instantly, I’m working with a kid, they’re having a good time, they’re getting it, then you see this like light bulb go off over their little head that’s like super satisfying.”

       From there, they started to do more community center programs, and then from there, assembly programs. They became to brainstorm and experiment with mixing academics with the arts. This led Metal and Steve to create programs, teaching subjects like physics and the civil rights movement, using dance. From these concepts, Hip Hop fundamentals was born. Metal and Steve have gone into almost every school in the Philadelphia area, and many through New Jersey, and use their breakdancing skills to teach children.

“What can we do with breaking? Everything. But most of our bread and butter is youth education.”

        When asked why do and use breakdancing the way they do, Steve and Metal both responded by that’s just who they are. Breakdancing is as natural to them as walking down the street. Metal and Steve have dedicated themselves to perfecting their craft and teaching it to others. Metal believes dance to be something that can transcend language and be an important aspect of teaching. For them, the movement of their bodies is, at its core, a pure art that they can use to teach anyone anything.

 “Every kid knows how to jump around and move. We’re taught many kids who do not speak English. You don’t have to speak a lick of English to dance.”  

      Metal and Steve both cited by their own background in education as influences on their organization’s plan. Though, Metal specifically has taken influences from other movement classes and teaching styles that he has seen and been a part of.  Steve remembers being inspired by the Kickstarter campaign that he and Metal found when Hip Hop fundamentals was just starting. During this time, they had created a civil rights show, with the help of a friend of Metal’s who was now a teacher. They performed the show for free, just about everywhere that they could. According to Steve, they performed it in Clark Park at least ten times. These shows got press from some well-known news outlets, like the inquirer, leading to major funding for their organization. That money allowed for them to host workshops at school, at no charge to the school.

     Metal’s view of Hip Hop Fundamentals mission comes from his past with DJ Scheme. Metal has a “Graffiti Mentality” that he got from Scheme. “When I look back, I want to look back and say that I did this beautiful piece, it was beautiful, it was intricate, it was gorgeous, but I also bombed mad places, I did mad things, and for me, that translates to, I reached as many young people as possible and impacted their lives as much as I could with the time I had them, and there’s also young stars I look at and say that’s my masterpiece. It’s a quality and quantity thing.” Steve shares that vision. Both men are looking to do everything they can to help all the kids they can through dance.

Steve and Metal structure their classes to based on who they are teaching and the subject.  “The kids are our clients,” Steve said and Metal agrees with the philosophy. They try to keep the class as flexible as possible, to fit the needs of the children. “A lot of kids tell us, this is the only time that I get to be a kid.” They take responsibility for their influence on student very seriously because of this. They attempt to connect with and push the kids who host them as long as they are with them. According to Steve, education is a two-way street. While the kids are learning from them, they should be learning from the kids how to be better teachers.

     Typically, when they perform, they will let one person lead the performance. While everyone they work with is talented, too many clashes of style can be bad. So, they give leadership of a set to one person and from there, let the rest follow. Metal and Steve have performed in schools throughout Philadelphia and New Jersey. They’ve reached countless kids through Hip Hop Fundamentals who themselves have gone onto becoming professional dancers. “I don’t care of you never remember me, I had a positive influence on you, then that’s enough.”

      There are very few companies, if any, that are doing what Metal and Steve are doing. None of them are doing it the way that they are though. What makes Hip Hop Fundamentals so special is them. Metal and Steve have a rare combination of talent and a powerful drive to do good.

      They are not just satisfied with what they have right now though. Metal and Steve are looking to expand their organization even more. They have already started some of their programs to other schools in California.

          Metal and Steve have learned so much from their time at Hip Hop Fundamentals. They have learned about Philadelphia, not just from a geographical standpoint, but they have managed connects with other dancers too. “Philly is a dancing city.” Philadelphia, according to them, is a city that keeps them honest. In Philly, you always have to improve your skills and prove that you deserve your fame.

             They have also learned about themselves, on a physically and mental level. They have grown as people since they have been responsible for youth education. Steve, particularly, has learned how to be more patient.

            If they could give any piece of advice to upcoming dancers, it would be to be original. Everyone is dope. Find the thing that makes you special and own it.

           You can follow Hip Hop Fundamentals on their website, or on their facebook, or Instagram. They also have dance class at nights on 2100 Chestnut Street, in Center City, Philadelphia.

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Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn Release Low-fi Gem ‘Love One Another’

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Emerging Brighton rap duo Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn release their newest low-fi gem, ‘Love One Another’.

Producer Harvey’s snappy, ghostlike instrumentals balance perfectly with Frankie’s vivid flow, his lyrical content outlining the day to day struggles of life making music and the things that are sacrificed – love in a time of an artist trying to become his best self. It’s the soft, almost confessional tone and flow that makes this such an innovative and standout prospect.

It’s a unique style that’s seen the young artists build a serious cult following in their hometown, as well as ongoing support from Loyle Carner and a shout out from Jorja Smith. Thrillingly low-ebb instrumentals balance cerebral raps, whilst Frankie’s deadpan delivery can’t help but burst with character. Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn are destined for big things, it’s a question of how interesting 2018 will get. Make no mistake, this is a duo that are sure to generate hype on a large scale.

Watch the video above and click this link if you are on our Apple News Channel.

In other music news, watch Lil Durk and Booka600 keep it real in their new visual “7:30” 

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Kev Rodgers: South Jersey’s Next Music Marvel

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This is Kev Rodgers: an emerging music producer/rapper hailing out of Collingswood, South Jersey.

Click here to watch this video exclusive if you’re on Apple News.

Kev Rodgers is quickly making a name for himself, having produced for many emerging South Jersey and Philly artists. A few being Mir Fontaine, Shawn Smith, and Ish Williams. As of recent, he’s co-produced one of the biggest Rap records in 2018 for Jaden Smith, titled “ICON” which amassed over 100 million streams on music streaming platforms. Alongside accomplishing a whopping 85 Million views via YouTube, achieving a certified RIAA certified gold award.

This time around, Kev Rodgers is ready to make his mark on the rap game with his latest personal release of The Rare One Story LP; his third entry into his portfolio.

Hypefresh staff traveled over to South Jersey for the day of his album release party (via Taste Creators in Philadelphia, PA) to ask questions about the project, diving deeper into Kev’s mind about the process and inspiration dedicated to making the LP.

In a day that went down in history for the young music marvel, The Rare One Story LP serves as a major milestone marker in his career to accommodate all his other achievements. Check out this full-length feature above and enjoy the vibes.

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