I’d Rather Jam Slug!

Stacked lineup

With the inaugural “Slugged Nites” on the horizon I wanted to take the opportunity to shed some light on the movement as well as my Jit Camp certified Slug Rap classics.

The project that started it all.

DJ Don Rock’s 2020 release “Welcome To The Players Club” is the blueprint for the Slugged Sound and the Slug Rap genre. Taking inspiration from the 1998 Bernie Mac classic “The Players Club”, The Don takes you on a slowed down ride throughout St.Pete.That’s not to say their aren’t some bangers on the project, Don Rocks music is what you get hype with in the club and what gets ya in your feelings after the club.

The DBZ samples just hit diff.

Not being biased but the record is super special to me. Laz Beats another key producer in the Slug movement, joined forces with me to craft the second essential Slug Rap project. Taking inspiration from the DBZ character we formed “Lord Slug”. Using the blueprint Don Rock gave us, Laz & I crafted the perfect Slugged Out mix that is guaranteed to have you “Jammin Slug”. Featuring tracks from some of my favorite artists like Bones and Freddie Gibbs there is something for everyone on the project. Laz did his thing on the mix, chopping up the tracks and hitting them with that reverb just like a Super Namekian. The vision all comes together with hands down the best cover art of 2021 crafted by the Abstract Poet.

One of my most an EPs of 2021.

Jerry Nova and BTMVLE Jotta will be hitting the stage performing tracks off their upcoming “Good Fellas“ EP. With plenty of solo work on the horizon for both maybe we can get a few sneaks peaks for their upcoming projects. Be on the look out for Jotta’s “Cheap Vacation” dropping soon.

One of the best lyricist in the city.

At this point one of the most prominent figures in the St.Pete Hip Hop scenes, I know Tre Butler is going to kill his set. His 2018 project “What About Before?” is mad underrated and he’s got one of my favorite singles out right now “Guardian Angel”. If your a fan of crazy bars and flows, Tre is your guy.

Master Rishi

The producers line up for the first event is crazy. Let me tell y’all now, this Rishi Beats set is about to be next level. Making a name for himself in the scene over the last few years, no one chops up a sample like Master Rishi. Diving more into the MC side of things I hope we get a sneak peak of what he’s been working on lately, if it’s anything like his new single “CHURCH” we are in for a treat fellow slugs.

Vinniethebeatdealer is one of 813 finest.

Whether you want that trap shit, boom bap, or some jazzy vibes Vinniethebeatdealer got you when it comes to production. Really hype to see what kind of vibe he brings to the set.

Chef J.D. is Basedgod in the kitchen.
Choose your food adventure.

Hands down the food pop up king, Chef J.D. knows what flavors your palette wants before it even knows it. Who else out here making stuffed chicken wings with mozzarella. I am not the biggest fan of pasta dishes but anytime Chef J.D. is cooking you know the Jit has got to pull up. I heard Chef is blessing all the slugs at Slugged Nites with a loaded fries special you don’t wanna miss. Chef’s Choice is for the GOATS!

Chicken wings stuffed with mozzarella!!
No one is killing the pop up pasta game like this.

The inaugural “Slugged Nites” event is stacked between all the artists, Djs, Producers, and vendors there is something for everyone, even Capi gettin on the ones and twos. So come out on 3/20 and support The Slugs and I, I guarantee you’ll be “Jammin Slug!”

St.Pete Hip Hop Pioneers: DJ Shurefire

Before he became the official DJ for YNW Melly, DJ Shurefire dominated the St.Pete party and club scene as the go to DJ. Bringing the best mixes and working with the cities top artists like Famous Kid Brick, Smoothie Bandz, and Playrunna AV, Shurefire showed how crucial a DJ can be in an artists career.

YNW Melly’s official DJ.
Legends

In the early days DJ Shurefire made a name for himself in the St.Pete Hip Hop scene as the go to DJ. Along with other big production companies at the time like So Excited ENT & Guta Sound Records, Shurefire was able to make or break the cities top artists. I remember him running the scene back in the day with Brick and Smoothie as well as with Black Boi and City Boi.

Shout out to BTMVLE.
You know we brining that fire.

Once Shurefire became established he was able to start his own label “Call The Fire Department”, helping to break Florida’s top up and coming artists like Rod Wave & YMW Melly. Eventually touring with YMW Melly as his official DJ. No one talks shit on the beginning of tracks like Shurefire, especially on “Self Explanatory” with Playrunna Av.

No one rocks a club like Shurefire.
Free Melly, Free Smoothie.

Despite Melly and Smoothie being locked up at the time, DJ Shurefire has showed no signs of slowing down. Along with RodXTheXGod, Playrunna AV, and Cartier 500, Shurefire went back to his roots dominating the club scene most notably at Turbo Ultra Lounge. Shurefire always has his ear to the streets, so if he co signs an artist you better call the fire department!

Second Saturdays At The Factory.

Statement piece.

Every Second Saturday of the month The Factory St.Pete hosts an Art Walk showcasing some of the artists who have studios within The Factory and who have collaborated with The Factory in the past.

The main installation I was looking to check out this month was from bujikimo. I first saw the couch piece he made for the grand opening, as well as the piece he brought to Coastal for the “Lonely Fans” show. I saw some glimpses of the Bear Brick online but I had to see it in all its glory in person. By far my favorite bujikimo piece, it’s really dope how he added his esthetic to the bear brick canvas. The stop sign piece also on display was inventive as well as an unexpected canvas choice.

Zulu Painter is a Factory regular.
It’s the eyes for me.

It always a joy for me to see some new work from Zulu Painter. I love how he is able to capture people’s faces. His versatility was really on display this month with the new clock piece he unveiled called “Time”. The eyes inside the clock are my favorite touch. The color pallet forms almost a kaleidoscope effect within the clock.

The Exit sign is essential.
Watch out for the blooms.

iBOMS is another main stay at The Factory. The main focus in both of these pieces are the blooms. In “Blooms of the mortal” The bloom appears to be taking the form of figure. Also notice the head is cut off. In “Unsweetened Love” the pig character can’t handle the taste of the blooms causing him to spit them out.

Such an underrated piece.

One of my favorite pieces still on display is the collab piece between iBOMS & Zulu Painter. Pretty much a mash up of both styles, since they are two of my favorite artists how could I not love this one. It’s the skeletor grill for me. Plan on picking this piece up in the coming week if it’s still available fingers crossed!

N.E.R.D. Vibes
No one makes a collage like the abstract.

Abstract Poet is becoming one of my favorite artists. His collage style is like none I have seen before. I was lucky enough to have Abstract Poet create the cover art for the Jit Camp presents: Laz Beats- Lord Slug project. Hopefully one day I can get that actually made into a physical piece, that would be next level.

Cactus Jack

Beyo had a couple pieces on display. I am unfamiliar with his work but I really dug this Travis Scott piece. It was a dope touch to capture the cactus jack colorway esthetic for the piece.

Gio’s Typos Always on the scene
The Nature Of Fire is doing some next level work.

Two of my favorite Factory residents Gio’s Typos & The Nature Of Fire are always a joy to see. Gio is a poetry guru. The Nature Of Fire had some new pieces she has been experimenting with on display, she definitely has a dope little collection on her hands.

#floridarama 🐊 🐆 🦩
Saint Paint has been killing it with the murals.

While I was at The Factory I had to show love and check out the new Saint Paint mural he just finished for The Fairgrounds. Each letter captures a piece of Florida, and who doesn’t love a good post card. Can’t wait to see what’s in store at The Fairgrounds but I’ll be picking up my charter membership this week.

St.Pete Hip Hop Pioneers: Famous Kid Brick

Brick is the future.

Ever since I was a Jit way back at Southside Middle School I’ve been bumping Famous Kid Brick. Back in those days he was at East Lake High school making moves around the scene, until his hit single “I B Rollin” set Brick above the rest in the burg, making him the cities go to hit maker.

Had the Black and Gold Supra’s just like Brick.
Underrated banger.

Building off the hype of “I B Rollin” Brick teamed up with Smoothie Hines and DJ Shurefire to dominate the city with countless bangers like “Dumb Doe” & “Haters Gettin Mad”. Oh yeah Free Smoothie btw! Back in the day I remember having on these songs on MP3 files just so I could put em on my iPod.

Cristol a 727 legend.
Official AF

Soon after Brick signed with 727 legend Cristol’s Hussch Boy ENT to help bring his music to the club scene. Cristol brings more of that Tampa Jook music flavor, a sound Brick could definitely dominate with his high energy. With the Hussch Boy team behind him Brick dropped his biggest single to date “I’m On It”, which still to this day might be the biggest record in St.Pete history.

YouTube mixtape, Ya already know!

When I hear that “I’m smoking on that purp, my shoes match my shirt!” I can help but be nostalgic. For me “I’m On It” is the next evolution of “I B Rollin”, once again cementing Brick as the cities undisputed hit maker.

Legendary

Despite all the fame Brick is still able to put on for the city. Brick joined forces with the legendary Crown Marquiss for the “Local Fame” EP with Local Muzik being the vibe. Brick was already featured on the St.Pete Hip Hop classic album from Marquiss “Live From The South Side” on the track “FAF”.

Who else shuttin down international.

I remember when Brick shot the “Just Like Gucci” video at International Mall in Tampa. I don’t ever remember anyone else ever shutting down the mall like that. This joint was in heavy rotation on WILD 94.1, especially once word about the video dropped.

“Bidding War” video is a vibe.

Brick is now a viral sensation, remaining at the top of the St.Pete Hip Hop landscape. No word on when his next project is releasing but that new track “Who Who” that he’s been teasing on IG and Tik Tok is about to be his biggest hit to date.

Even In My Will Keep It Trill.

Pen and Pixel vibes.

Since it’s Throwback Thursday I figured I take a look at an under appreciated EP from one of the 813’s finest Richie Guapo’s “Hot Boy Summer”.

I’m a fan of all sub genres of Hip Hop but my heart will always be in the Florida Underground and Cloud Rap scenes. On “Hot Boy Summer” Richie Guapo is able to take the trill vibes of the old school Florida Underground Miami scene but sprinkle in a Tampa Bay flavor. The intro track “Stunna Island” sets off the album perfectly. The chill beat allows Guapo to showcase his various flows. He also shows love to the late A$AP Yams on the track.

Heavy in the rotation.

My favorite track on the project is “Bam Margiela”. If the airy trill beat wasn’t enough the hook by Guapo will be stuck in your noggin for days. The title and vibe are destined to make the track a FL underground classic. The auto tune segments of the song were actually really dope.

“Hennydropguap Freestyle” is the banger of the project. Guapos flow on this track reminds me a little of Ski Masks. This is a quick track but it’s a barrage of bars from Guapo. The beat is really solid as well.

Bringin Tha Phonk.

The next track “Broke” is another banger that shows a lot of hunger from Richie Guapo.

The EP finishes off with the pose cut track “RIP Buddy” featuring Fetti Suo, YZM, and Wheatly. This is a really fun track and it was dope to see some features appear on the project to give it a change of pace. The beat switch towards the end was a nice touch.

“Hot Boy Summer” is my introduction to Richie Guapo. He’s a really dope artist and I feel the Tampa Bay Scene has plenty of room for him. No one in the area is really making trill music so if he can make another “Bam Margiela” he should be on his way to the top of the underground no time.

St.Pete Hip Hop Pioneers Series: Robert Gallardo

All Grey Everything.

With the St.Pete Hip Hop scene in full force and so many dope artists and styles popping up I thought I would put people on to who some of the pioneers of this St.Pete Hip Hop shit are. First up is one of my biggest inspirations Robert Gallardo.

So ahead of its time.

The first time I remember hearing about Gallardo was his series of visuals he did for Crown Marquiss, Ameen Spade, Mario So Dope and the rest of the Local Muzik crew. The video he did for the J Goodie and Crown Marquiss classic track “Unsuccessful” was recognized as an instant classic at the time. If only we got an Ancient Barbarian video.

Free Smoothie!

Another one of my favorite videos from Gallardo is the “All I Want” video from Smooth Hines featuring Crown Marquiss. This one was actually filmed at a corner store right down the road from my house. This video showed me that people from St.Pete could actually be apart of Hip Hop and be on our own shit. Back in the day Marquiss, Smooth, FKB, DJ Shurefire, and Gallardo could do no wrong, which is still pretty much true still to this day.

Rocky’s most ambitious project to date.
Crash test dummies.

After his dominance in the St.Pete Hip Hop scene Gallardo decided to take his talents to the next level becoming the creative director for A$AP Rocky, designing and helping Rocky create the vision for his album “Testing”. This also opened the door for Gallardo to join the AWGE creatives collective. Gallardo had major input on all of Rockys set design as well as the vision for the videos accompanying “Testing”.

Video Games become reality.
One of my favorite visuals.

Gallardo was able to bring Rocky’s dreams to life with both of his sets for Camp FlogGnaw in 2016 and 2017. Has a member of AWGE Gallardo had major input in the first A$AP Mob album “Cozy Tapes Vol.1” designing the album cover as well as the memorable “Yamborghini High” video.

It came with a beam.
Kiss my ring.

Some of the more underrated videos from Gallardo are “New Choppa” by Playboi Carti and my favorite “Richard Mille Plain” by Gunna. The late has some ahead of its time visuals aspects, reminding me of the film “Uncut Gems”.

Grey skies turn black.
Box design by jxpvtty.

Now that he is no longer doing free lance work, Gallardo has become a Youtuber creating vlogs and content to help other creatives. He is the creator of two apps the “Adventures of Gallardo” app and “Cover Art Studio”. He also has a greyscale Rubik’s Cube in development. For the last few years Gallardo has only dressed in grey color ways to keep up his image like some of his creative influences.

Everyone who wants $GREY will get $GREY.

Gallardo also developed his own crypto currency “$GREY”. “$GREY” can be used in the Grey Area to trade and share ideas with other creatives. Only 10 Million $GREY will be created.

727 Legend.

Who knows what Robert Gallardo has planned next in his creative projects. I would like to possibly see him curate a series on the Criterion Channel or get back into making videos for select artists. Either way I will support and thank him for everything he has done for the St.Pete Hip Hop Scene.

Centralized Creativity.

St.Pete Hip Hop pioneer Robert Gallardo is helping artists centralize their creativity by creating the “Cover Art Studio App”.

Gallardo created the cover art for A$AP Mob’s “Cozy Tapes Vol.1”.

With the “Cover Art Studio App” artists are able to become the graphic designer by creating their own project cover art work. The platform features a free version but for maximum access I would recommend upgrading to the premium version.

Parental Advisory to make it official.

As a creative myself I have been struggling to find a consistent graphic designer to help with branding and logo work so I can only imagine the work it takes to find a solid graphic designer. Now artists can take their vision into their own hands.

The free pack is pretty solid.
The skulls are essential for any underground project.

Gallardo is really blessing the community with this app. It’s super easy to use and as a graphic designer himself Gallardo should know what works and what doesn’t. I heard rumors of the first app Gallardo was working on and hope to see that project come to light one day, he definitely is showing us the way.

Everyone that wants $GREY will get $GREY.

St.Pete Hip Hop pioneer and creative Robert Gallardo has created his own form of Cryptocurrency to be used by and for creatives $GREY.

$GREY Skies turn black.

Members of the Grey Area use $GREY in the think tank to share ideas amongst other creatives, curator, and designers. Merely just having $GREY will help you on your creative journey.

Once it’s gone it’s gone.

$GREY allows your to interact and access others work in the Grey Area. Like other cryptocurrencies, there will only ever be 10 Million $GREY created in the world.

This is a huge movement for Gallardo and the creative community. All creatives should get behind $GREY so we can build the Grey Area. Everyone that wants $GREY will get $GREY.

St.Pete Stand Up Vol 2.

With so many dope singles coming out of the St.Pete Hip Hop scene I felt it was only right to release the second installment of the “St.Pete Stand Up” series.

Everyone can relate to “Pauline”.

On “Pauline” Mackey Emannuel wants his grandma to see all the success he has seen over the recent years. Emannuel is the king of hooks in the burg, whether it’s on “Too Much” off the Zhu tape or on “Poppin” Emmanuel has that ear worm potential every time he graces a mic. I feel anyone who ever wanted to make a lost family member proud will relate to this track. Can’t wait for the album and whatever comes next from Mackey Emannuel, “Fish Head Soup” on the way.

Definitely one of the most personal tracks I’ve heard from Dephree.

Dephree wrote this track after his wife and son left him due to his drug use. The story telling on this track is an approach Dephree has taken on other tracks but this one has more of a melancholy vibe. Most of us have messed up in relationships before. I really dug the vulnerability Dephree showed on this one. Can’t wait to here new music from the St.Pete new comer.

One of the hardest songs ever to come out of St.Pete.
Some next level shit.

Despite not having a full project yet Playrunna Av is definitely king of the trap scene in St.Pete. Wynner Circles head honcho has the sharpest flow and most quotable lines, that’s the reason he won the gold medal in the Trap Olympics. “Gangsta Shit” is just on some cold gangsta vibes that you can just ride out to. His newest single “Different Level” is just a barrage of quotable lines. This track is the definition of flex music. RodXTheXGod should continue to make all of Playrunna Av’s beats they make deadly combination.

On “Walt Disney” Palm Pact and Face Melt representatives Euphemistic and B-Zeik bring 90s underground hip hop vibes to the burg. This track reminds me of some Rhymesayers shit but that is definitely an untapped lane in the scene right now. Not sure what is next for Euphemistic but he had some standout verses on Palm Pact’s “Armada” from last year.

Based Freestyle vibes.
Big Baby is the rap game Exoida.

After dropping the Tampa Bay classic “Www.Flexedupshawty.com” Big Baby Scumbag has been dominating the Tampa Bay Hip Hop scene crossing over to both sides of the Bay Area. His “Tom Brady” track was the Buccaneers anthem all season. Big Baby is showing no signs of slowing down, dropping two of the years dopest freestyles. On “Grove Streer Party Freestyle” Big Baby is able to capture those west coast mid 90s gangsta rap vibes on some San Andreas shit. The beat goes hard and Big Baby does his thing, “I’m with mad dog and I’m drinking on some mad dog.” On “Crank Dat Yu Gi Oh” Big Baby shows why he’s the rap game Exoida. Whoever made that beat is a legend. Combining “Crank That Soulja Boy” and the “Yu Gi Oh” theme hit me in all the right places.

James Blake vibes on this one.
R.I.P. The Super Villain.

On “Yaya” featuring Joe Devlin, Vinny Vigro takes us on a trip to heaven. The god level hook on this track has a James Blake feel similar to Travis Scott’s “Stop Trying To Be God”. I would highly recommend checking out Vinny Vigrø’s 2018 album “Love is Life. Life is Love.” if you dug this track it’s on some Alt Hip Hop vibe. “R.I.P. DOOM” is a solid tribute to the Super Villain. Vinny definitely let the world know DOOM has fans down in Tampa Bay.

Coming off his “Sacrifices” project Josiah Odin is back with some more introspective bars on “Patek Heart”. Josiah is in his pocket on this slow airy beat. The beat made by Raz sounds like some “Me Against The World” era Pac shit. “I’m just an old soul not in touch with a whole lot” is one of my fav lines from Josiah Odin.

Love the concept.

Josiah Odin also recently created a living playlist featuring new music from him as well as other Tampa Bay Area artists. Be sure to stay up to date with the “ROOTS” playlist exclusively on SoundCloud.

So much dope music coming out lately from both sides of the Bay. For all things St.Pete and Tampa Bay Area Hip Hop keep it locked.

Carry Your Adventure!

Everyone that wants a bag will get a bag.

After a slew of teasers and a t shirt drop, the homies at Cowboy By Takeo & Balaclava Boys are back with possibly the biggest drop of the year from both brands.

All I need is some drugs and some woods for my nest.

The collection is made up of various designer bags showcasing the Cowboy By Takeo X Balaclava Boys logo with the “Carry Your Adventure” theme. The look book done by Dex Q highlights every piece in the collection. Each bag is available in three different color ways Tan, Green, and Cordura. The first piece “Full Circle” is a side bag small enough to not be a burden, while still allowing for major storage. The perfect match for stashing your woods and lighter.

Might be my favorite piece of the entire collection.

For those of you that need a little more space for your product, I would suggest the “Trapsack”. This adjustable backpack is essential for all them road warriors rolling down 275. This is the perfect middle ground piece, not to big and not to small.

Might have found a new travel bag.

If your looking for more of a smaller side bag I would recommend the “Sidekick”. This piece is your right hand man. Perfect for holding a small amount of gear, this side bag is your go to for quick trips around the burg.

Might have found a new laptop bag.

The homies made this laptop bag piece for all the content creators. The “Courier” is essential for any creative on the go. Sometimes we need a little more power than our phone, carry around your laptop and other gear with this piece when your in the daily battle of creating content.

So simple yet so high class.

One of the smaller pieces in the collection is “Au Revoir”. With this padded case it’s never been easier to carry around your medicine and other goodies. The Cowboy Goods And Wares grinder was pretty much made to stash in the case.

The ultimate statement piece.
With this top notch quality, your bag ain’t going nowhere.

Now for the centerpiece of the entire collection “Cache N’ Stache”. I remember when Takeo first showed me this piece I was blown away. This duffle bag piece is something you can’t just get anywhere. From sports gear, to your entire Balaclava Boys collection, you can pretty much fit anything in this duffle. This feature brings the “Create Your Adventure” theme to the forefront. The adjustable strap is a really dope feature, not often seen with other designer duffles.

The homies out of BTMVLE got you covered for all your custom embroidery needs.
Super easy to order and shipping is mad quick.

If some how you are able to get the entire collection your are a certified legend. The homies Takeo and Moose really brought their craft to the next level. I love how they are able to evolve as creators while still staying true to both of their brands. Stay locked to Jit Camp for all the dope product coming out of the shop from BTMVLE, Cowboy By Takeo, & Balaclava Boys.