Def Bananas is a Group You NEED To Get Behind

I’m a sucker for branding. If you package something shiny in front of me, and put a fancy sticker or logo on it, I’ll most likely buy it. With that being said, when I see something that includes “Def”, I automatically associate it with good Hip Hop. That is definitely the case with the group Def Bananas.

Hailing from New Jersey, Def Bananas is composed of Kam Dela Coopsta VII (the producer), GQ (lyricist), and Mr. Lugo (lyricist). According to their website, they’ve been at this for about five years.

Five years is enough time for any group to develop their own sound, which is definitely the case for Def Bananas. They bring that alternative sound to hip hop that everyone craves when they need a break from the norm.

The title of their new single is appropriately titled, “Something New”. It’s got a boom bap feel to it, but with a refreshing twist. If you’re a fan of east coast hip hop, then you’ll like this cut. They completely switch it up on their latest track, “Fish Tank”. Anytime you got lyricists who can switch up their flow on each track, then you’ve got a good artist you’re listening to. Check out their Soundcloud, and check out their video for “Something New”, above.

The Fort Knox Five is a Group You Need to Get Behind

So I’m looking at Twitter, today, trying to figure out what’s going on in the world of CMJ Hip Hop. While not much is going on, there are a few artists who strike my attention with their sound. I recently looked up the Fort Knox Five, and can say I was pleasantly surprised.

The Fort Knox Five isn’t exactly a “hip hop group”. Their sound is a mix that also includes funk, reggae, and electronica. I was reading their Wikipedia, and they said they mostly aim for “funk-infused electronic music”. Fair enough.  I was intrigued by this group, because when I hear groups that fuse electronic and hip hop, I automatically think of Five Deez.

This group isn’t exactly fresh off the block. They’re seasoned vets, who’ve been in the game since 2003. You might have heard this group before, but they might have been under your nose just like mine. They’ve licensed their music to movies, like The Cove, and video games like NBA Live and Need For Speed.

I like the meaning behind the name too.  Here’s what they told Magnetic Mag a while back,

“…because our studio has always been called Fort Knox. There are actually only four of us, but five sounds better than four…Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, Jurassic 5, Jackson 5, MC5.”

The Fort Knox Five recently came out with Pressurize The Cabin, which ended at #43 on CMJ’s year end hip hop chart. This album features appearances by Sleepy Wonder, Mustafa Akbar, and Flex Mathews. Check out the track, “Reach”, which features Flex. This definitely caught my eye.

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