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Tag: "Khalil Ismail"

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Press Shuffle: Thanksgiving Edition

Halloween has its fair share of spooky tracks and ghastly anthems. Christmas not only has carols, but also offers dozens of best-selling albums from the likes of Mariah Carey and Louis Armstrong. As the holiday sandwiched between the Halloween and Christmas celebrations, Thanksgiving can be easily overlooked when it comes to music. Thankfully, we’re here to give it the proper recognition it deserves. With a little of everything, this playlist is sure to get you in the Thanksgiving spirit.

Hap-Happy Thanksgiving” - Sara Lindsay and Greg Dolmage: A song about the magic of Thanksgiving. Just hearing that list of food should be enough to make you hungry!

Food Is Fun” – Dave Taylor: Simply put: “A warning of the things you shouldn’t do with food.” Or should you?

Chocolate” - Amy Kuney: Oh, the power of chocolate.

November” – Jesse Lafaser: The crisp wind is blowing, the leaves are turning, the merry holiday spirit in the air… what’s there not to like about November?

Dear Sister, Your Brother” – Talain Rayne: Thanksgiving is the time to see your family again: why not make a point of reconnecting with a sibling or cousin which you haven’t talked to in a while?

Thankyou Haters” – Khalil Ismail: Now that you’re giving thanks, make sure you don’t leave anyone out. Haters make you famous.

Way Too Expensive” – Murali Coryell: Which is why you need to start getting ready for Black Friday shopping, right?

Have any tunes in particular that you care to share? Disagree with any of the picks? Want a theme in particular to be Shuffled? Let us know by dropping a comment!

Listen to previous Press Shuffle playlists over at

Food for Thought


The Thinker: Khalil Ismail

Khalil Ismail may be young, black and from the inner city, but that doesn’t mean his story is one you’ve heard before. While some hip hop artists are content to use their experiences on the mean streets as the only fodder for their music, Ismail transcends his own upbringing to bring other social causes to light. Calling himself “ordinary,” the Baltimore rapper delivers galvanized hip hop manifestos that are anything but.

On his debut full-length The Calm Before the Storm, he tackles love, war and everything in between. “Freedom” takes Operation Iraqi Freedom to task. Over keening electric guitars, Ismail unleashes his furor, rapping “Is it so different cause the killings overseas / Should we use the word “collateral” when it’s a human being?” “Hip-hop” is part love song to the genre, part invective against the industry that keeps “feeding the masses with fatty acids as if there isn’t an organic alternative that’s good for your heart and tastes even better than the bad did.” With too many rappers spitting misogynistic and violent lyrics, Ismail has crafted some serious hip hop you can sink your teeth into. Bon appétit.


Converse’s “Get Out of the Garage: Meet the Finalists

During November fans judged the best emerging talent in Rock and Urban music on OurStage for Converse’s “Get Out of the Garage” Music Contest. The competition was steep: over 6,500 artists entered to for a chance to play one of two grand prize opening slots at the upcoming Levi’s/FADER Fort showcase in Austin this March. Now that the judging has ended 10 finalists from each “Get Out of the Garage” channel have been selected by the fans for grand prize consideration.

Take a look at who made the cut!


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