Audio Push ‘Inside The Vibe 2’ Review

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In a recent article by Pitchfork, Chicago Alternative rapper Open Mike Eagle interpreted the daily tribulations of being an underground artist. A teacher by day, and spoken-word lyricist by night, he struggled for nearly a decade, driving long hours to venues that would pay him a mere two-digit commission. In a phone interview with Pitchfork, Open Mike Eagle managed to describe the tedious and even exhausting tributes of trying to make it as an underground rapper.

“Sometimes you’d get paid $25 or $30 for a show, but you might have to drive for an hour {to get to and from the venue].”

– Excerpt from Open Mike Eagle on the Economics of Being an Indie Rapper (Pearce, Sheldon, Pitchfork).


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Music listeners are the forefront witnesses to an ever-evolving but saturating market. Artists are more than willing to commit their time to a label of their choosing, or follow independence and stand for your own work. Although the options are viable, there are risks that adhere to the freedom. As an underground artist, any detriment or advantage that comes along your journey will be a significant impact.

As the case for California duo Audio Push, their commitment to their artistic pursuit has well paid off for the last decade or so. Starting with their hit single Teach Me How To Jerk in 2009, The duo has been pushing release after release throughout the whole generation. Especially after being signed to Interscope Records in 2009, Audio Push had released singles that have retrieved momentary fame but seemed to wane off after its seasonal celebration.

Chicago disc jockey and Hip-Hop producer Cory Altenhofen, known by his stage name by Coryayo, has been hustling through the artistic independence for a couple of years now. He seems to be always busy, releasing a project every handful of months or so, as well as booking tours and crafting new beats for other artists. Besides being signed to German label Radio Juicy at one point, Coryayo understands the lifestyle of the commission. His focus is solely on his music, as his motivation is focused on whatever dreams wander in his conscious.


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With their new album, Inside the Push 2, both Audio Push and Coryayo imply the struggle of being underground artists. The album is eight tracks long. Although the duration of the project may fair compared to standard studio projects, the soul has not been shortened by any means. When it comes to the bifurcation of lyricism and production, it’s simple whole-hearted Hip-Hop. Audio Push isn’t pontificating anything new or developing an intriguing style of Rap. Rather, they’re keeping the style and message simple and clear. Whatever topics they discuss, ranging from clubbing to relationships, from family to ghetto fables, its transparent truth.

When it comes to Coryayo’s production, this may be his most immaculate set of works. Compared to this works two to three years ago, it doesn’t feel like the same artist. Coryayo went from Jazz loops and vinyl play to pristine Pop samples and R&B grooves. There isn’t an overarching sound that envelopes the whole project like his previous works, which really seems to match Audio Push’s need for a diverse sound.

Although the evolution shows good progress, the sounds themselves aren’t anchoring or boundary-pushing. Coryayo makes good loops, but these loop aesthetics have been head before. The R&B grooves are typical, as the Boom-Bap vibrations are at least unique and catchy.  Speaking of catchy, some of the tracks here really know how to bounce. The Tendency has to be the catchiest song of the project. Coryayo is pushing his own boundary into new territory, with a jamming pattern that bounces forward and drops down in a one-two step procession. Rapper Price seems to be having fun with this song, but it’s a story told a million times before. A story of “being the jerk” to a current partner.

As Coryayo pushes forward with a few danceable tracks, the more interesting tracks here are the more humble tracks. His production on the first two songs, Tribe Color featuring Bri Ariel, and No Regrets, are more of his poignant productions. Tribe Colors is a spacey and ethereal introduction anthem featuring Coryayo’s partner, Bri Ariel, and her matured intonation. The song No Regrets is definitely a favorite of this album.  The production is light and filled with soul, as well as Price’s humble venting. Juju cathartically expels his frustrations and motivations in the same, simple matter as Price, which elevates the song as a meaningful and vibe-heavy tune.

Audio Push together makes a decent effort overall in this album but could have probably put in more effort. Understandably, 2018 has been one of their busiest years. Along with two other projects earlier this year, Cloud 909 and Melange, it’s unfair to ask for Hugo-level wordplay for every project released. The whole point is that whatever they’re saying has truth and meaning.

Audio Push is aiming more for narrating segments of their lives, rather than constructed stories. They speak about the topics of love, work, neighborhood violence, and childhood. These segments are manifested into short segments of their lives and motivations.  As Audio Push continue to do what they do, this is a huge forward leap for Coryayo. The production is definitely the highlight of the project, and I can’t wait to see what else both these artists have in store.

The soul is an important carrying point for an underground rapper, and the artists here show no less of it.

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