Before I get into the music, let me first tell you about the Deans List Tour. At it's core, the DeansLT is a showcase circuit that tours colleges and high schools throughout the United States but it is much more than that. Four years ago Nigel “Scott Morris” Guscott had a vision. A vision that would change his life forever. His vision was to “give talented artists the opportunity to expose their talents to the collegiate market and more.” Now this is a vision we at Upcoming Hip Hop support 100%. Since 2012, the Deans List Tour has followed its objective of bringing together college students and the youth at large specifically in the New York City community. Shortly after the DeansLT started to pick up, Scott and his team launched a booking agency (Mor.Bookings). Scott Morris also continuously partnered with (D2LAL) to present the DeansLT each year. They are the management / marketing company that manages Scott Morris and when it comes to the tour they help develop the tours brand, to continue its rapid growth. The two companies continue to grow the tour in its fourth year finding talent, creating creative shows, and managing professional connections with various higher education institutes in the NYC metro area. The tour has been expanding to more states and colleges every year and it doesn't show any sign of slowing up.
All of this building, networking, and hard work has lead us up to today; the release of a project with artists that were featured on the Deans List Tour this year. We couldn't be more thrilled that we got the premiere. The artists that were selected went through rounds of eliminations and performances so it's safe to say they are some of the most promising artists from the east coast. The project features nine artists, one group, hosted by DJ Blackout, and presented by none other than Scott Morris himself. Welcome To Deans List Tour Year 4 Vol 1 is an easy listen that will give listeners a diverse soundtrack. There are party tracks, politically charged songs, and tracks full of rhymes. If you like what you hear, make sure to catch them on tour because they are about to head out for the second leg in a couple weeks.
“This is an amazing body of work and a must listen. I am proud and thankful for all the artists involved.” – Scott Morris
The Silent Celeb is the first artist featured on project with "Girl From Ipanema". She starts out a capella and then beatboxing, claps, slaps, and snaps all come into the mix. The natural instrumentation goes perfectly with Silent Celeb's beautiful, powerful voice. I think it is the perfect beginning to a solid project. Steff Reed is up next and he doesn't waste any time amping up the energy. Steff blends the lines between Rap, Rock, and R&B with "Frontline" and he does it well. This is a SONG. Steff is looking for justice and he is using his music to find it. I find this song very inspiring and recommend it for people who are ready to rebel (in a peaceful way). Juanito Jones follows and his track "I Can't Breathe" follows the same theme as Steff Reed. I believe it's an ode to Eric Garner and many other POC that have been murdered by the police without reason or justice. Juanito has a powerful message and he performs it with passion. You can't ask for more from an artist. Ra[k]oon is the fourth featured artist and he spices it up with "18 Wheeler". I'm usually not a fan of autotune but I don't mind it in this track. It seems to fit Ra[k]oon's voice nicely. Arnow marks the halfway point of the project and they go IN. Every single member of Arnow flows all over this beat, effortlessly. And if you thought the track is high energy, you should see them perform it. They are one of a few groups that I have seen get an unknown crowd jumpin'.
Josiah Hotwire comes next with "Overqualified" and it could be a club hit. The beat is hard and Josiah Hotwire's chorus in easy to remember. Mani The Mogul follows with "Go Crazy" spitting a couple fire verses over a spaceship, hip-hop type beat. Her ability to rap really stands out to me. She has everything; rhymes, wordplay, and flow. This is one of my favorites on the project. Young Tef is the eighth artist featured on Welcome to the Deans List Tour Year 4 Vol 1. continuing the high energy. "Henny in My Cup" is another unknown club hit and has the lyrics to support it. I could see this track getting wild when Young Tef performs it in Brooklyn. I may need to catch one of her shows soon. Jennifair is up next and she switches up the vibe with "Pick Up Lines". I was really excited to hear this track because I saw her perform a couple weeks back and she blew me away. This song is no different. She is such a powerful singer and talented artist. Zeyi is the last and final artist to be featured and he closes it with a bang. He sticks to his signature style and it shows in "Sambo". I really love when artists find their sound and stick to it, which Zeyi has done. I couldn't even compare him to another rapper if I tried. It is a great finish to a great project. As an added bonus, the host of the mixtape, DJ Blackout, makes an original mix of all the songs.
Overall Welcome to the Deans List Tour Year 4 Vol 1 has great mix of artists and styles. It has everything you could ask for in a project which is no easy task with that many different artists. I gotta give it up to Scott Morris for putting all of this together. His vision, passion, and hard work is what helped create this project and made it great. I really like his movement and willingness to help independent/upcoming artists. If you have read this far, you are probably interested in learning more so make sure to hit up their website and social media (links below). And also make sure to give credit were credit is due.
Tracklist & Social Media Links
1."Welcome to the Dean's List"
2.“Girl From Ipanema” by The Silent Celeb
3."Frontline" by Steff Reed
4."I can't breathe" by Juanito Jones
5."18 Wheeler" by Ra[k]oon
6."Man I Know" by Arnow
7."Overqualified" by Josiah Hotwire
8."Go Crazy" by Mani The Mogul
9."Henny in My Cup" by Young Tef
10."Pick Up Lines" by Jennifair
11."Sambo" by Zeyi
12.DJ Blackout's Mix