Lexicon “Undeniable” music video here
South Raleigh born and raised, UNC-Chapel Hill-based rapper Lexiconmeshes southern-fried beats with boastful and overtly sexual lyrics to create over-the-top songs that are as much confessions of carnal frustration and fantasy as they are aggressive, egotistical declarations of his own virtuosity.
Over the course of the past year he has become one of the most, if not simply the most, controversial musicians on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. With song titles as blatantly suggestive as “F*** Yo Mans” and “Butterscotch,” the controversy surrounding UNC’s most prolific and versatile hip-hop act is certainly warranted. However, Lexicon claims that the content of his songs does not stray from the now-seemingly innocuous R&B and Rock & Roll hits of the 1950s. When defending his explicit works it’s simple: Lex references Howlin’ Wolf and Elvis Presley, proclaiming, “They talked about sex—why can’t I?”
And why can’t he? In the present day, college rappers are unfairly pigeonholed into insincere social consciousness and pseudo-intellectualism, and the artist who doesn’t fit the mold is automatically labeled a “wannabe mainstreamer.” Lexicon vehemently challenges this bias, and his success has been striking.
Having already headlined at Chapel Hill’s renownedLocal 506 (a feat virtually unheard of for a UNC rapper), as well performing Main Stage at UNC’s Fall Fest (an annual event attended by thousands of undergraduates), Lex has built a strong following both inside and outside the University community.
Considering his ever-increasing momentum and popularity, Vinyl Records would like to give you a chance to revisit some of Lexicon’s best work from the past year in VR Presents: “Lexicon: The Classics”. The four songs compiled here first appeared on Lexicon’s mixtapes, Edna, and I Am NC, but have been reworked in a way that truly shows the artist coming into his own: each is tighter and far sexier than it’s original. This man wants your attention, and he more than deserves it.
So download Lexicon: The Classics, here, and check out his next show at 9pm Saturday, October 10th at The Library, featuring South Park affiliateBang Bang Tang. The show is free for ages 21+.
For more Lexicon, be sure to check out his myspace, and be on the lookout for his new album Nwachukwu due out on itunes in the next few weeks.
Chapel Hill has long been known for its indie rock scene-from Mammoth to Merge Records, to the multitude of noises pulsating within a given hole in the wall, dimly lit alleyway, or down some ominous stairwell on any night of the week. However, a very particular sound floated towards the top of the community’s musical melting pot this year, and it involved deep, rhythmic bass, glistening guitar, emotive keyboards, and some of the most energetic drumming around.
Andrew Rooney’s stage persona “Apollo” and his out-of-this-world “Celestial Starship Band” threw a wrench into the plaid shirts, snap buttons, and tight denim world of Chapel Hill/Carrboro with inventive hip hop backed by funkified, soulful jams that can’t be heard outside of the Triad’s “Solos Unit”, the undisputed local masters fusion hip hop.
From a sold out CD release show at Local 506 with fellow Vinyl Records’ labelmates Lafcadio and Lake Inferior, to nearly every on-campus concert and outdoor festival he could get his hands on, Apollo proved himself a trusted source for socially conscious, local hip hop that kicks out the jams and maintains a party vibe to the nth degree.
Though Apollo can be expected to still make face around Chapel Hill next year, his life leads him a bit east, into the heart of downtown Durham as an up-and-coming high school math teacher. There’s no doubt Apollo and producer Proper-T will continue their musical pursuits, but it does mean he will be parting ways with Chapel Hill-based Vinyl Records UNC, once again finding himself as another face in the vast sea of self-releasing and promoting hip hop artists. What are his distinguishing characteristics? A solid sophomore release, “The Architect,” available at his myspace for only eight bucks, and some incredible familiarity with the local music scene and many of its avid supporters–not to mention he’s a soon-to-be UNC graduate with friends, family, and a university-based swath of supporters to back him up whenever he desires a return to the lime light.
So long, Apollo, and we wish you the best of luck. We can’t wait to stroll down 9th Street and hear “Spittin’ Rhymes” blaring out of Shooters. And for our readers, download these free tunes, including the second single from “The Architect,” “Crusin’” as well as a live version of his anti-Asher Roth “College Life.”
Looking for a change of scenery? Drop down to Raleigh this weekend, and be sure to check out Vinyl Records’ Apollo at Aurora Nightclub Saturday at 9pm. Located at the heart of Hillsborough Street and following ReDress Raleigh’s eco-fashion show which begins around 5pm, it should be a blast! Its free!
Directions to Aurora here
While your in town, walk it out at the Hillsborough Street Renaissance Festival–what should be Raleigh’s biggest block party since 1792. More info here, and don’t fret about the cold weather and rain, alot will be in doors or under cover. See you there!
Listen to Apollo here
What are the two most annoying things in the world?
A capella groups and tweens.
Which is why you’d assume Kids Rap’n the Hits Vol. 6 is awful. And it is. It is a complete trainwreck. A horde of 12 year olds sing slightly off key to a midi backing track. There isn’t actually any “rap’n” – just sing talking. In this case, read “rap’n” as “songs by black people.” Give the songs a listen, just so you can have the pleasure/horror of hearing kids going through puberty say, “If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it,” or “I fly like paper, got high like planes.” Quite disturbing.
- Live Your Life
- Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)
- Just Dance
- Paper Planes
- I’m Yours
- American Boy
- Hot N Cold
- Let it Rock
- I Want it All
Some quick notes from Vinyl Press:
- A wonderful article about the inner workings of Vinyl Records can be found in this week’s Independent, as well as online at this link. We’re extremely excited about getting such great publicity!
- If you’re looking for something to do tomorrow afternoon, the Thursdays on the Terrace music series at the Johnston Center is now curated by Vinyl. Performances by kapow! music and Aminal Music will be going on from noon until 2pm.
- Friday night! Apollo/Lafcadio/Lake Inferior! Local 506! Free! CD Release Showcase!
Vinyl Records dropped the first Lake Inferior song on the Internet a couple days ago, and we’re continuing today with our other artists. “Tank Top Straps” is the first single off of Apollo’s The Architect. You can download it for free right here. Listen to it. Give it to your friends and family to listen to. Play it very loud.
Two new events have been added to the Upcoming Events page. Lafcadio and Lake Inferior have shows scheduled in the next few weeks at venues along Franklin Street.
A bit of news on our three artists:
- Apollo has been recording since signing to Vinyl. The tracks are coming together, and everyone here at Vinyl is excited to hear the finished product. We look for Apollo to fill an important place in the Chapel Hill community when the CD drops.
- Lake Inferior have been in the studio too, putting the finishing touches on their release. Their being top-secret about it, so I can’t comment as to how it sounds, but I expect nothing less than great. Expect something dynamic. In the meantime, here’s Lake Inferior covering “Heartbeats” by The Knife at this semester’s Dress to Get Screwed party. No word on who the vocalist is.
- Lafcadio should be heading into the studio shortly. They’re churning out songs at the moment. Recently, singer/guitarist Liz Ross put up a demo of a new song she penned, “As Far As I Can See” on lafcadio.org – go check it out! The band also seems to be slightly obsessed with plates of shrimp. Figure that one out.
So the news from the end of last week was the commencement of the particle accelerator experiment investigating the big bang. The huge particle accelerator is located in Bern, Switzerland, and really where else would it be? The scientists are studying the interactions of several types of particles, including lead ions, and the research may give us an entirely different paradigm for thinking about and visualizing the universe. But more importantly this was a time for music, and these brave scientists are on the cutting edge of the realm of hip-hop as well as that of physics. They released a video from the site of the experiment to help us hip young cats better understand the incredible complexity of what is going on and what they hope to accomplish…keep an ear out for Stephen Hawking (aka DJ Hawking)