Hometown Highlights: Blindside USA, Farian, Psychic Heat + more

On this edition of Hometown Highlights there is a lot of amazing new hip-hop from Kansas City artists. Several rappers we've been keeping up with have dropped tracks in the last two weeks and we are excited for you to hear them. If rap isn't your thing, there are new songs from the excellent singer-songwriter Eric Griffin Jr., hardcore band Blindside USA, and psychedelic rock band Psychic Heat. So dig in, we think you'll find a song or two you'll enjoy.

Farian - "Houdini"
Farian is a Kansas City artist that I was not familiar with until I saw him open a Gee Watts show last month. The dread-headed rapper released his sophomore track "Houdini" shortly before that. In this low-brow, balls-to-the-walls banger he conjures up images of magicians, genies, and more. "Abracadabra/appear in a Phantom/These bitches, can't stand 'em," he shouts. You can also catch frequent Kye Colors collaborator Donnell handling the production on this one; lots of bass, lots of piano slamming.

Psychic Heat - "Elixir"
"Elixir" is the second single to be released in the time leading up to Psychic Heat's debut LP "Sunshower." The Lawrence band sounds better than ever as they jangle and solo their way through the sunny psych rock jam. Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees similarities run amok on this one.

Blindside USA - "Painkiller"
Kansas City's premier youth crew hardcore band is back again with a non-album song. The band offered their new song "Painkiller" up to Florida label Life To Live Records for their "Here And Now" compilation that collects heavy tracks from bands all across America.

Eric Griffin Jr. - "Capes and Dinner Plates"
I'm pretty sure I meant to write about this song in the last Hometown Highlights, but instead got sidetracked by how nice that other Eric Griffin Jr. song was. The Record Machine released their third "How To Keep Dreaming" charity compilation in April with Youth Pool and Brother playing the release show. Griffin's song from that compilation shows the songwriter penning one of his most entrancing pieces yet.

Kye Colors - "Get Right"
After releasing his mixtape "00" and a follow-up track called "Good," Kansas City 16 year-old Kye Colors has dropped one of his best songs yet. On "Get Right" Colors declares that he's working hard, his time is now, and that he got his groove back. The song features an upbeat soul sample, thunderous bass, and a beat switch-up near the end that could break ankles. Seeing Colors perform this song (twice) at The Loop party last month was one of the most joyous moments in local rap this year. He can dance.

J-Tone - "No Advice"
Hopefully by this point you've listened to the "[explicit content]" EP that features J-Tone, Izzy, and WontoN. On his first solo track since the collaborative release, J-Tone boasts of his independence over a fresh Kye Colors beat. The way Kansas City rappers have been linking up lately has been amazing in case you hadn't noticed. Colors' stop/start drums and zipping basslines are the perfect setting for J-Tone's twisting, hyped-up flow.

Gee Watts - "On Some Shit"
"On Some Shit" is the third single off Watts' upcoming release "Caviart." This belligerent, trap-influenced track shows off Watts' capability of rapping over a wide range of beats and has quickly become a crowd favorite at shows. Could this be the one that grabs him a national audience? We hope so.

Zarin Micheal - "Autograph" ft. Gee Watts
Hip-hop fans should definitely be able to pick up the Yeezus influence in many of Zarin Micheal's songs. The young rapper debuted this song live at The Loop party (what a sick night that was) with Gee Watts swooping in to perform his verse. "Autograph" features Micheal rapping faster than we've heard him before. His change of flow and introduction of Watts on the track also creates a fun highlight since most of Micheal's lyrics are quite dark or serious. "Sinner Of Attention" is sure to be one of Kansas City's best rap releases of the year.

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