- Jared Chesnut - BlazeRadio DJ/Operations Manager
redc@uab.edu

Before we get to the "tale of the tape", perhaps its best to fill you in on what kind of showdown we've got here.

Birmingham Big Battle is a 1v1, winner stays on competition between some of the best local artists and bands. Each week, the champion takes on a new challenger, with the winner decided via voting from our listeners on Twitter (@blazeradio, in case you were wondering). Voting runs through to the next Wednesday, where we'll announce the champ on that week's show.

This week, we've got a tag battle in the works, as challengers Shaheed & DJ Supreme try to take the belt from inaugural champion Callie Wilson.

Representing Birmingham record label Communicating Vessels, Shaheed & DJ Supreme arrive as one of the more established acts in the Birmingham hip hop scene and beyond, recently finishing up a tour of Europe with Jurassic 5 and collaborating with the likes of Raekwon from Wu Tang Clan and Comm Vess labelmates The Green Seed. Their game is something that trades in consistently on point beats and brilliant rhymes, as shown on "Champions of Truth", a track from their most recent album "Knowledge, Rhythm, and Understanding" that features J5's very own Akil the MC. Without question, the duo have the potential to make their presence felt as the "Cerebral Assassins" of Birmingham music for a long time to come.

Standing in the other corner is the champ, 19 year old Callie Wilson. Already getting out in the Birmingham scene, playing venues across town like Saturn and the Nick and getting airplay from Birmingham Mountain Radio, Wilson is on a rapidly ascending trajectory. After an entrance in our very own Welcome Concert contest that saw a huge last minute comeback fall just short, Wilson returned to the fray to best Birmingham muse Love Moor in the first edition of Birmingham Big Battle. As proven on single "Night Vision", which features fellow Birmingham artist and Welcome Concert opener Kenny Loften, she's got the potential to stick around for a while.

You've seen the competitors, now's the time to let us know: Who deserves the belt? Who moves on to next week? Who is going to, as the saying goes, GET READY FOR THE NEXT BATTLE? Follow us on Twitter @blazeradio and get your votes in now, cause polls close Wednesday!

Track Takes: All Hail King Kendrick

Black PantherAt this rate, Kendrick Lamar is the King Midas of Hip-Hop: meaning that anything that he touches turns to gold. The Black Panther soundtrack is no different, as the album, curated by Lamar and Top Dawg, is an aural masterpiece. The soundtrack seems like it will tie in perfectly, which will be released on Thursday. The much anticipated album has an all star cast of artists lending their talents, which include Kendrick Lamar himself, TDE labelmates SZA, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, as well as A-List artists such as Khalid, The Weeknd and Travi$ Scott.

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Red Planet Reviews - "The Healing Component" by Mick Jenkins

Jared Star Trek

DJ Red drinks more water for this review. Artwork by Sarah Faulkner.

- Jared Chesnut - BlazeRadio DJ/Operations Manager
redc@uab.edu

Disclaimer: Red Bull kindly and generously provided transport, lodging, and access to Mick Jenkins’ performance in Nashville. That said, the views and opinions of the album are solely those of the author.

My first exposure to Mick Jenkins was a cram study session ahead of his October gig for Red Bull Sound Select in Nashville. For whatever reason his name was one that I hadn’t really paid attention to around the studio. That said, what little I had time to hear from the Huntsville native set up some solid expectations, which were absolutely met on a cold October night in the packed full Exit/In. Between a constant flow between styles, messages, and a treatise to “drink more water,” Jenkins carried a charisma on-stage with him that boosted his material. It was after that fact that I got a hold his late September release “The Healing Component.”

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Birmingham Big Battle - Callie Wilson(c) vs Shaheed & DJ Supreme

- Jared Chesnut - BlazeRadio DJ/Operations Manager
redc@uab.edu

Before we get to the "tale of the tape", perhaps its best to fill you in on what kind of showdown we've got here.

Birmingham Big Battle is a 1v1, winner stays on competition between some of the best local artists and bands. Each week, the champion takes on a new challenger, with the winner decided via voting from our listeners on Twitter (@blazeradio, in case you were wondering). Voting runs through to the next Wednesday, where we'll announce the champ on that week's show.

Read more

Coloring Book: A Blessing and a Miracle

Coloring Book: A Blessing and a Miracle

- DJ Swole - BlazeRadio DJ

Chance the Rapper released his highly anticipated third mixtape “Coloring Book” on Thursday, May 12th, through Apple Music. The independent artist who hails from Chicago release 14 songs with features from stars such as Young Thug, Lil Wayne, and Kirk Franklin. This mixtape is a follow up to his very well received mixtapes “10 Day” and “Acid Rap”. I took time to listen to it and this is what I came up with.

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