Get Refreshed: Roxas Hits A Hat Trick, The Unstoppable d1v, and Sam Thraxx’s Definitive Guide To Making It In The Music Industry

“Get Refreshed” is a weekly column by Billy Bugara covering all things digital in the music world. Refresh yourself here

Cover by Brixton Yorker

dark0: “shining star”

I am not quite sure who would’ve ever had the following belief, but for anyone who thought London-based club producer dark0 had anything less to prove up to this point in his career, they would be coming from a place of sheer ignorance, plain and simple. The outstanding outpouring of content from this digitally-incentivized production force has been nothing short of brilliant in all regards, and the mass amount of times this notion has been proven as such should be enough to cement their status as among the greatest modern figures within his craft. 

And yet, he’s nowhere close to being finished — not in the slightest. Exemplified by the Year0001-hosted single entitled “shining star,” the first off of their long-awaited debut album experience Eternity, his potential has yet to be fully revealed, which is truly saying something for us outside onlookers who have considered his past work in a near-perfect light. 

But with this track being paired with the corresponding reveal of the forthcoming album’s fantasy video game concept – driven by the 3D-rendered video by Sybil Montet – the worlds of contemporary club and trance were rocked upon this release in full. It teases towards one of the most exciting projects to be promised yet this year, and in such an emphatic and downright impressive manner all the same.

Kyenn and dltzk: A Match Made In Beautiful Chaos

After bursting onto the digicore landscape last year, dltzk solidified their status as the scene’s next sure-fire superstar with their early album of the year contender Teen Week this past February. In that same period of time, the once-unknown Kyenn hit the same scene with their own level of force — bringing with them a constant string of some of the most brilliantly manic hip-hop performances in recent memory from such a new act. 

Both of these acts embody their own distinct perceptions of chaos in their art; Kyenn primarily does so with their frenzied flows and all-around crazed vocal delivery and presence alike, while dltzk more so reserves their conveyance of bedlam in their resoundingly dense and dynamic production cues — ranging from enigmatic drum and bass with their solo output to the far more controlled, yet just as jam-packed offerings for others in the digicore scene who take more common approaches to their work.

But nothing – absolutely nothing – can match the same depiction of pure calamity through music alone as when these two come together for a track. Kyenn has dropped a number of dltzk-produced singles this year, and not a single one has yet to fail in meeting the expectations provided by the above description. The production mastermind takes an approach to their collaborations that is specifically tailored towards Kyenn’s unmatched artistry. Each time an instance like this happens – such as with their most recent single together “watchusayin!” – the results couldn’t be any more telling and impressive all the same.

bodyGaard: “Double Zero”

For all those that enjoy boxing genres in by their most frequently applied stylistics, just know that every scene, every genre, and every style alike has their dynamic edges to them; sometimes it just takes some extended listening. There exists so many – far too many – skeptics out and about who carry this belief in regards to all genres, but digicore is certainly among the most critiqued in this manner, and unfairly so to be as honest as can be. 

Receipts that spell out quite the contrary do in fact exist — and to those specific individuals, I would like to present them the most telling of them all: bodyGaard. This magnetic and forceful figure brings an entirely distinct approach to their respective scene, and it’s one built entirely off of going against the grain with everything they convey from a performance standpoint on the mic. Take their recent single “Double Zero” as the latest, and possibly greatest piece of evidence they have to back up these claims. Their keen sense of harmony, equally soothing as it is intense vocal delivery, and conceptual songwriting cues that directly correlate with their intriguing artistic portrayal, and you get a track and artist alike that goes against the “atypical conventions” of digicore, yet fits right in with the scene just as appropriately. 

d1v: “stop me”

When will the fabled day finally come where all the proper acclaim is finally given to d1v for their continued magnificence? Their solo output – and by extension, the rest of the work put in by their Boysnightsout contemporaries – over the past year-plus has never ceased to amaze, dazzle, and inspire, with the last of these descriptors proving to be the utmost telling of the bunch. 

That’s because d1v’s entire catalog up to this point in time has proven itself as being so far ahead of the game in every single respect imaginable. The traits that many acts who have likened themselves to the electronically-inclined status of r&b and hip-hop have now normalized were being fostered as far back as 2019 by this outstanding figure, and to say that their influence in this regard has gone relatively unnoticed would be a complete understatement. 

That being said, there’s no stopping d1v; there never has been, and there never will be. That notion becomes quite evident with a single listen of their latest single “stop me” — perhaps their most fine-tuned and spotless cut yet. For as naturally equipped as they’ve always proven to be as far as their elegant vocals and engaging mic presence is concerned, the level of sheer bliss and grandiosity that this track exudes in that sense proves that d1v is an ever-progressive being — someone who is always working to make their perfect status that much more flawless. 

Roxas Goes 3-for-3

Since proving themself as among 2020’s greatest late-year standouts, Co-op and 7serene’s very own Roxas has undergone a period of continued experimentation in regards to their 2021 output thus far. They’ve tackled a number of different approaches and corresponding shifts in style with each successive offering throughout this time, and in the ever-adhering progressive setting that digicore brings in its presence alone as a scene, this methodology is not only fitting for a rising act like them, but entirely necessary. 

While this approach has manifested itself in numerous different forms throughout this year, it has never been quite as evident as it was just this past week. For it was during these past 7 days where Roxas would come to release a trio of singles – two of which on their own, and one hosted by their aforementioned Co-op collective – that each embody a different type of approach to the, again, free-forming and all-encompassing digicore landscape.

The leading “payload” acts as a drill-centric spiritual successor of sorts to “typo” by fellow digicore figure Kuru — who appears on this track as well, pairing their guest verse with another to follow from Pitfall, as well as joining in on the track’s production along with tgwog and litothedon. All of these contributions put together make all the sense in the world given how tailor-made their individual styles are to an experience like this, and the track’s sheer quality alone proves that sentiment in full.

Whereas the 3D$-produced “VIOLENCE” landed on the Co-op page with a traditionally-inclined take on digicore’s pop-leaning tendencies, their other solo release “#yea (freestyle)” is a pure exhibition of their hip-hop prowess — giving an exemplary performance on the mic with one and a half minutes of relentless wordplay and captivating flows over an appropriately-spacious 4am instrumental. 

These 3 tracks represent a small, small portion of the seemingly endless cast of sounds and styles that Roxas has come to foster in such a short amount of time. But it begs the following questions: should someone as dynamic as they are ever feel the need to lock in on one sound? Given their current setting and the status of their young career to this point, the answer to the question may in fact be a resounding “no.”

The Definitive Guide To Making It In The Music Industry… According To Sam Thraxx

Words By Sam Thraxx

When Billy Bugara reached out to me about writing a guest article for Lyrical Lemonade, I was overjoyed.” I can’t believe this,” I thought to myself. “I’ll have the opportunity to raise awareness about a topic I think is important and not talked about enough, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to make meaningful, positive change through the power of written word.”

However, after my initial excitement, I realized something that would make this task a more difficult process to complete than any assignment I’ve taken on in my writing career: there were simply too many worthy topics I wanted to bring to peoples’ attention.

Producers not being credited on songs, music law, and how cryptocurrency will shape the future of the industry were but just a few of the music-related topics that came to mind when I was deciding what to write about, but I was still stumped nonetheless. I couldn’t decide on a specific subject matter that was definitively more important than the rest. However, after hours of brainstorming, I finally honed in on an idea that jumped out from the litany of article proposals swirling around my head. It was an idea that had consumed my thoughts like none ever had, and I knew in that moment I needed to bring it to light. The idea was simple:

I would like to be friends with DaBaby.

It’s surprising, I know. Most people would believe that I would not have a lot in common with DaBaby and that I would not want to be his friend, but the reality is that I have a lot in common with DaBaby and I would like to be his friend. There are many reasons for this.

DaBaby and I both love guitar beats. I produce them and he raps on them. One activity we could participate in together is I could make a guitar beat and he could rap on it and we make a song together and make millions of dollars. The song could be about how we’re friends or even how we’re best friends, or how DaBaby hasn’t ever made a friend this quickly and how our friendship is different and deeper than other friendships he’s experienced because he’s never felt more comfortable with someone in this short an amount of time in his entire life. Or the song could be about how he has a Rolls Royce that he likes to drive in. Whatever DaBaby decides the song is about is fine, I don’t really care as long as we have a good time in the studio making the track and chopping it up. It would be nice for DaBaby to rap a verse and then the beat stops and he’d say something like, “Hey Sam Thraxx, how’s that?” and I could say, “Great work DaBaby, this could be your best song yet.” It’d be a positive experience I believe we’d both enjoy. 

One of the other things DaBaby and I could do together is play sports. I love sports of all kinds – basketball, baseball, ultimate frisbee – I enjoy them all. I would love to shoot around or have a catch with DaBaby because it would give us both an opportunity to unwind from our hectic schedules and allow us the chance to spend time together, united in accomplishing a shared goal. It would be fun to throw a baseball back and forth with DaBaby and he’d catch the ball and say, “It’s been a minute since I’ve had the opportunity to have a catch. It’s calming and puts my mind at ease,” to which I’d respond, “Yeah, it’s great.” We’d throw the ball for a while until we got tired, then we’d sit down on the grass and drink Barq’s Root Beer. “This is good root beer,” I would say, “where did you get it?” DaBaby would reply, “I got it from the Barq’s Root Beer machine that I have in my house. I have a lot of money because of my successful albums and I’ve been able to use some of the money to buy a soda machine that dispenses cold Barq’s Root Beer whenever I want. It’s my favorite drink.” I would explain that Barq’s Root Beer is my favorite drink too, and he would be surprised that we had that in common and it would bring us closer together as friends. 

The last activity I love that would be fun to participate in with DaBaby is pranks. It would be fun to go into DaBaby’s room while he’s sleeping in his mansion and put shaving cream on his hand and tickle his nose with a feather. He’d feel the tickle on his nose and he would touch his face with the hand that had shaving cream on it and he’d get shaving cream all over his face and we’d laugh about it together because he’d probably be a good sport about it. “I got you good DaBaby,” I’d say, and then he would say, “I’m going to get you back just you wait.” And we’d laugh some more. Then later that day when DaBaby and I are sitting down to a dinner where it’s just us, because it’s good to get a one-on-one dinner with good friends sometimes because you can talk more openly than you would with people who you’re not as good of friends with, and right as I sit down it would sound like I farted. The reason for this would be because DaBaby put a whoopie cushion under my chair and I didn’t notice it and I sat down and it sounded like I farted really loud. DaBaby and I would laugh about this and he’d say, “I told you I was going to get you back,” and I’d laugh and say, “You got me good DaBaby, you really got me good.” I would be a good sport about this prank as well because I’m a good friend and understand that pranks are not to be taken personally, it’s just a fun way for friends to joke around with one another. 

There are many more activities that DaBaby and I both enjoy that I could write about that would give people an understanding as to why we’d be good friends, but I don’t want this article to be 200 pages long. Thank you for reading, I know many of you clicked on the article and expected to find information about how to make it in the music industry but I needed to title the article that to get clicks because I need a lot of people to see the article so hopefully one of DaBaby’s people sees it and passes it on to DaBaby.

Thank you for reading.