Ramz celebrates black women in “Underneath” music video

UK hip hop artist Ramz follows up his “Belong To The Streets” and “Brixton to Oxford Circus” freestyle releases with an official ‘black is beautiful’ statement in his latest single “Underneath”. As nations around the world continue to demand justice for black citizens, particularly in America, it’s uplifting to hear artists standing firm in the […]

Audic Empire demands attention in ‘Head Change’ album

Audic Empire of Austin, Texas takes no names. Instead, this reggae rock band open fires on all topics in their latest Head Change album, now available on all streaming outlets via Reggae 360 and Blue Avenue Music Group. Matching the music’s metal-infused demeanor is the album’s producer Howi Spangler, frontman of similar zero-fucks-given reggae rock […]

Riot Fest drops massive 2021 Phase One lineup

Without the thrill of monthly festivals and concert getaways, 2020 has been, well, the biggest drag of all time musically. Great pieces of art have surfaced along the way, sure, yet only an extremely limited amount of events are being experienced in-person due to social distancing. Damn COVID. In summary, festivals need a do-over. Up […]

John Legend marks Juneteenth with ‘Bigger Love’ LP

A second after the stroke of midnight on Juneteenth (aka, June 19th, a day commemorating the final emancipation of black slaves in 1865), John Legend unleashed his highly anticipated full-length album Bigger Love to the public. Four years have lapsed since Legend’s last Darkness and Light LP heightened the soulful superstar’s career ever-higher and, let […]

Run The Jewels answers BLM call in ‘RTJ4’

What to say about Run The Jewels… what to say about vigilante justice? For that is exactly what rappers El-P and Killer Mike are — lyrical vigilantes. Exposing the world for what it is one track at a time, this renegade hip hop duo bluntly states what’s been on everyone’s mind this past year and […]

Fyah Roiall explodes in “Energy” single

Up-and-coming Jamaican artist Fyah Roiall defies classification, mashing UK grime with American trap and dancehall into something new, dubbed ‘grimehall’. Grimehall — or traphall, depending on preference — is a rising trend for JA artists, taking modern twists from other parts of the world to mix with traditional Caribbean music, rendering edgy rap-reggae paired to […]

Pastor Ayu pledges 365 original songs in 365 days

Washington D.C. has been thrust full-throttle into the front lines of the Black Lives Matter movement sweeping the nation and rightly so, considering that is where country leaders reside! This fight is long overdue to be resolved and fed up citizens are taking to the streets to voice their anguish for the atrocious death of […]

Unified Highway preaches positivity in ‘Headlines’ album

Headlines may be Unified Highway’s sophomore album, yet these are no green musicians! Unified Highway is a dual collaboration consisting of Amp Live (formerly of Zion I) and of Eric Rachmany (frontman of Rebelution). Amp Live has been recording important music for over 20 years; Rachmany and his mates recorded the first Rebelution album back […]

#BlackLivesMatter playlist on Top Shelf Spotify

Contentious clashes between police and protestors have intensified over the past weekend, as people of all colors and creeds speak out on the inhumane and incorrigible death of George Floyd. Following Floyd’s death, there has been a litany of marches around the United States — all justified, most ending in violence. Some police officers join […]

Shrub lays it all out in ‘Back To Earth’ album

Guess what, guys? Shrub is back! For those unaware or for those that need a brush-up on early reggae rock names, Shrub is an Ohio-based hip hop-meets-reggae effort led by frontman Jay Shawberry. You might recognize the old guitarist, Blaine Dillinger, as he is the current lead guitarist for HIRIE. Now solo, Shawberry used to […]

Top Shelf Music News: Episode 5

Top Shelf Music News is back with Episode 5, or should we say, Quarantine Edition #2: Electric Boogaloo. Host Matt Cook streams from his living room while Kristy Rose… well, she’s somewhere the COVID can’t reach. With no live concerts or fests going on until further notice, the two comment on new music releases, current […]

One Earth Live virtual festival unifies globe this Memorial Day Weekend

A virtual lineup of world musicians, instructors and speakers has been announced for a truly one-of-a-kind, unifying event happening this upcoming Memorial Day Weekend entitled One Earth Live. This virtual rendezvous promotes positivity in a world so needing it taking place online only via their streaming partner PORTL on May 23rd and 24th, 2020. This […]

The Dirtnaps drop eerie “Shadow” single

Rising hip hop-reggae artist The Dirtnaps out of Detroit is taking the quarantine scare up a notch in the latest single “Shadow”. The name might be plural, but The Dirtnaps is actually the brainchild of one-man-band Richard Ensley — writing, performing and producing it all on his own! After signing to Eyecon America, Ensley has […]

How Cali Roots wins Earth Day, every day

Memorial Day Weekend simply will not be the same this year in Monterey. For the past decade, one festival has grown to be synonymous with the three-day weekend at the Monterey Fairgrounds, the same setting of the historic Monterey Pop Festival — you know, where Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire in between Janis, […]