Born in Washington, D.C., to a Sudanese father and an African-American mother, Amir Mohamed grew up in Maryland, influenced by soul and rap as well as myriad musicians on both sides of his family. His 2010 effort, Traveling Man, found him signing with the Mello Music Group, where he remained for 2012’s album People Hear What They See. In 2015, he returned with The Good Fight, an effort driven by social commentary and retro soul, and 2016 saw the release The Odd Tape – an all-instrumental mixtape that was issued around the same time as his free download EP Alwasta.

Sounds like: Kenn Starr, Apollo Brown, Black Milk, J Dilla


What sets PUP apart in the booming Toronto rock scene is their ability to fuse raw punk energy with catchy earworms, big hooks, and scream-along choruses. Their songs are loud and fast, equal parts unchecked energy and calculated arrangements, with hair-pin turns, raging guitar riffs, and an overload of gang vocals. This is why AUX recently called them “One of Toronto’s best live bands” and Grid T.O. named them their “Ones To Watch” for September. They released their second full-length album The Dream Is Over in May of 2016.

Sounds like: The Menzingers, Beach Slang, Cayetana, Jeff Rosenstock

SATURDAY: Royce 5′9′’

Detroit’s Royce da 5'9" is something of a rapper’s rapper: hard-working, well connected, indifferent to trends but passionately dedicated to the craft. And he brings it all together on Layers with textbook boom bap, as confident and cinematic as it is cool. “Highest exalted/Call me commercial?/I’m highly insulted,” he drawls on “Shine,” delivering a workingman’s credo that surfaces again on the album’s title track, alongside Pusha T and Rick Ross: “I philosophize with wise words from learned lessons/In my world, mistakes turns to blessings.” Not that he’s too humble to flex when he’s ready—just listen to “Hard.” In 2016, we’ve seen the release of both his solo mixtape, Trust the Shooter and his solo album Layers.

Sounds like: Slaughterhouse, Proof, Joell Ortiz, Obie Trice

SUNDAY: Gay Henry, Ziemba, Mar Habrine, and Itch Princess

Gay Henry is Guy Henry Mueller, a twenty-eight-year-old musician and performance artist from Guerneville, CA.

Ziemba is the performance moniker of René Kladzyk, a NYC-based artist and musician. She has performed original and collaborative work at art, music, and dance spaces throughout NYC, including: Issue Project Room, The Museum of Art & Design, Glasslands Gallery, Trans Pecos, Gina Gibney Dance, Panoply Performance Laboratory, Silent Barn, St. Marks Church, Secret Project Robot, and Momenta Art.Her debut full-length Hope is Never is set for digital/tape/vinyl release via Lo & Behold records on May 31, 2016.

Mar Habrine (a.k.a. Soaking Rasps, Smoldering Wreath, and member of Mpls. groove-noise trio Skoal Kodiak) delivers nine totally crucial and meditative tracks of distinct slippy-dubby electronics and deep murk-gurgle jams. Minimal non-beats and hard stereo panned gargling, loopy lazer beam hymns and deep tone-load zoners.

Itch Princess is the solo musical venture of Minneapolis based Katelyn Farstad, who also plays drums in Minneapolis-based: Larry Wish and His Guys, RENO, and Tips for Twat (RIP)

Blog by Ellie