Sir Michael Rocks

Sir Michael Rocks Puts It In Your “Lap”

Sir Michael Rocks, one half of the Cool Kids, has been busy. The Chicagoan released three solo mixtapes in 2011 (The Rocks Report, Premier Politics, Premier Politics 1.5) and hit the road with Mac Miller earlier this year. Now he’s back with “Lap Of Lux.” Billed as a street album, the new collection features a host of heavy hitters behind the boards. SMR’s The Cool Kids partner Chuck Inglish, Cardo (Taylor Gang), Hit-Boy (G.O.O.D. Music) and J. Hill (Chief Keef) are among those supplying the sonics. Album opener “Now You Do” was produced by Flosstradamus and features Rocks’ ever-changing style. “Lap Of Lux” drops August 2.

Substantial’s “Resume” Comes Pre-Approved

As a self-proclaimed team player and soloist, Substantial knows how to get in where he fits in. He’s rocked with QN5 and Tonedeff, and has released strong solo material. The trend continues on the potent “Check My Resume." Produced with soulful excellence by Oddisee, the tune features crisp drums, well-timed scratches, a soul sample and what sounds like a xylophone. As for the rhymes, the Baltimore rapper flows passionately about his musical heritage and his microphone supremacy. His allegiance to and affinity for hip-hop founding fathers Kool DJ Herc and Busy Bee also add heft to his pedigree. “Check My Resume” is culled from Substantial’s third album, “Home Is Where The Art Is,” which is due September 4.

Alias & Fakts One’s Dream Becomes A Plan

It’s always interesting to hear artists talk about the song/moment/artist that inspired them to pursue careers in the rap game. For Alias, it was an unlikely selection: the Eric B. & Rakim version of Jody Watley’s “Friends." The Los Angeles (by way of Portland, Maine) rapper reveals this nugget on “Dreamer,” his new cut with producer Fakts One. Over a wistful, string-laden beat, Alias also shouts out Nas’ “Illmatic” album as a monumental release in his evolution as an artist. “Dreamer” is about making your dreams into a plan that results in reality. For Alias, he’s living his dream.

For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter @SorenBaker and check out his author page on



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