Posts tagged with Approach

MilkDrop releases new single with Approach, DJ GTRAIN

In an ever-developing revelation of his musical identity, we now bring you the next chapter in the development of MilkDrop.

The local lyricist just dropped a new single with the help of a familiar powerhouse last week. The moment "Welcome Home" fires up, you find yourself somewhere familiar with DJ GTRAIN's signature scratching. The song, produced entirely by local hip-hop mastermind Approach, features the poetic and lyrical skills of MilkDrop. If you've been paying attention to the local scene, you know that instantly recognizable synth sound Approach has become famous for. The man has a strong hold on any music he puts out, never sampling and always creating.

MilkDrop has been crafting an image as the idyllic rapper, romanticizing all his thoughts into rhymes. He's been plugging away at his craft over the last year, and the strength behind his vocals are showing on this track.

To show that this is a collaborative effort, MilkDrop eases off the gas at about two minutes in and lets GTRAIN and Approach carry him home (much like how they've been there backing him up throughout this venture). "50 dollars in my pocket isn't much to get through the week," he declares before trailing off, leaving you a solid minute of music to think on that statement before the song ends.

You can catch both Approach and MilkDrop at Josey Records in Kansas City on Saturday, Dec.19.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Major hip-hop show to bring together Stik Figa, Approach, Barrel Maker

One of the most celebrated rappers in the state is finally going to perform Lawrence.

Stik Figa is a wizard with words, a magnetic performer, and knows exactly how to make the locals get emotional. The Topeka rapper, who has been cited as a major influence on locals such as Ebony Tusks, will finally be coming out of hiding to play the Bottleneck this Friday. He'll be joined by two of the most admired hip-hop heads around: Approach and Barrel Maker. In between, the audience will also be treated to DJ Johnny Quest and D/Will.

There are a few reasons this event is so celebrated, but it's important to note that Stik Figa is from Topeka, Approach is from Lawrence, and Barrel Maker is from Kansas City. That means this performance could attract music fans from all three cities along I-70 together for one night. Nobody is better at singing about where you come from than rappers, and this will surely be a show that will leave audiences swelling with hometown pride.

These three performers tend to be close, and Barrel Maker is a celebrated video artist who has directed a fair share of music videos for both Stik Figa and Approach's other project, Lincoln Marshall.

The Bottleneck show starts at 8 p.m. Friday. In the meantime, enjoy one of Stik Figa's many music videos below (directed by Barrel Maker).

Some classic Approach (also directed by Barrel Maker):

And here's a taste of Barrel Maker's own music video:

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Life of the party: Local rappers inspire, entertain and educate at Replay show

On Saturday, the love of hip-hop was alive and well at the Replay when three local acts got together to showcase what the genre has to offer. You won't always find hip-hop heads at these shows, but you will find those who are curious about the genre and applaud local talent.

Barrel Maker had the daunting task of starting the night off and getting the mood just right. Sometimes it takes rappers a song or two to get warmed up, but not Barrel Maker. He hits the ground running, putting his body into it and flinging across the stage at full gallop. He doesn't even need to close his eyes in concentration when he blazes through his lyrics.

Barrel Maker, an accomplished video artist responsible for some of the prettier music videos in the area, had a lot of camera references in his lyrics. He is a multifaceted artist that maintains his energy to the very end. That's the thing about Barrel Maker, he's good 'till the last drop.

During his set, Barrel Maker and D/Will kept bantering with the audience about hip-hop but got very little communication in return. Approach was in the crowd and remarked, "They're getting educated!" In a way, that was true.

Lawrence doesn't necessarily always turn out for hip-hop shows, although there are plenty of opportunities. lowercase KANSAS, a sort of open mic for rappers, has called both the Bottleneck and the Granada home. The Approach powerhouse resides at the Replay, so most of his associates will hit that venue up as well.

The Jackpot also has the occasional hip-hop show, and tends to bring out a Topeka crowd. The opportunities are there, and Lawrence is coming around… but it's a tedious process.

Here's an artist who could help speed that up. Duncan was the life of the party. There's something thrilling and gladdening about watching a live band with a hip-hop act.

The musicians were top notch, and quickly demanded everyone's attention when the drummer started up. That drummer, by the way, played his kit AND the keys at the same time. Like the performer before him, Duncan was also a spritely fellow and enjoyed spreading the good word through his music.

He slowed it down for a song when he dedicated it to his Granny. This one got us right in the feels. The song was highly relatable for anyone with a Granny, and entirely likable for those without.

But he quickly recovered with an inspirational number. It was kind of like going to church. His songs were full of positivity, especially when he dedicated one to his wife and preceded it with an announcement. "I think it's cool to make songs about your wife!" This was met with a round of applause, and more positivity that ran rampant in Duncan's act.

Lincoln Marshall extended the sentiment when they hit the stage. The collaboration between Approach and MilkDrop are a match made in hip-hop heaven. The two play off each other's talents and personalities, and we get to reap the benefits.

Approach still maintains his intense and likable onstage presence as he tumbles and darts around MilkDrop and various audience members. He called this set "20 minutes of cardiovascular," and it totally felt like it. By the time Barrel Maker joined them onstage for a song, Lincoln Marshall's act was beginning to feel like a buddy cop movie as the antics ran high.

Approach — an artist known for dipping his finger into writing, performing, recording and producing — announced, "I'm a man of many hats, and the hat I'm wearing right now is making your ass move!" There wasn't a still bootie in the house.

The time for Lawrence's hip-hop resurgence is now. Even at a late hour, fans turned up. How could they not? These rappers are lovable, contagious, and know how to convey a message.

If you make it out to their shows, you'll be entertained AND educated. Approach put it best when he addressed the crowd and waved his hand towards the performers. "We put the art in what we have to say and leave you with something so you don't go home stupid."

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Hard-working rapper Approach can’t stop, won’t stop

Here's a fella that puts your busy days at work to shame.

On Saturday, Sean Hunt (you know him as Approach) earned his title as one of the hardest-working rappers in the area. He started by spending the day in the Lawrence Public Library's Sound + Vision studio for a new series they're launching (stay tuned).

After that, it was off to the Granada to open for Talib Kweli. Approach just recently debuted Lincoln Marshall, his new collaboration act with MilkDrop.

It was nothing short of astounding because when Approach performs, he puts his whole body into it. This guy started off strong, spinning and sprinting across the wide Granada stage.

After a couple of songs, he was so unsatisfied with the audience's reaction that he dove into the crowd and performed a few songs from the floor. A circle of fans formed around him, throwing their hands in the air and gleefully cheering along as he continued his high-energy pacing and flawless rapping.

Approach didn't even get to stick around for Kweli's set because it was time to pack up and move down the street to the Replay, where he DJ'd into the early morning hours. This set was also pleasing to revelers on the dance floor as they (once again) threw their hands in the air in approval.

Does Approach sleep? Does he eat? We're not sure. But we are certain that his endless hustling and hard work is the reason why he is hands down one of the most celebrated artists in this community.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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