By Jack Barnes
Featuring Nas, Black Milk, Fashawn, Keyon Harrold, Stro, Ezri, Cantrell, and 070 Phi, the 8-track project marks the beginning of an annual series released by the New York label. Every year, Mass Appeal will choose 5 of its artists, rising and established, and send them on a nationwide tour, paired with an EP showcasing the current talent. Enjoy this audio stream below after the jump and please share this with friends.
Starting 5: Vol. 1 begins with gospel-carried, Statik Selektah-produced “Apostles”, which features Nas supporting the idea that veterans should open the door for rising acts, treating them as partners as well as protégés. Mass Appeal Records, under Nas’ leadership, has been aspiring to bring a free nationwide tour where fans everywhere will get a chance to see the talented artists under his label.
“SonShine” follows the same message. Black Milk and Keyon Harrold guide newly signed Cantrell and Stro, introducing them to the jazz-inspired production the rapper/producer and trumpeter are known for.
“I Had Enough”, “6 Rings” and “Utter Disrespect” provide that palpable energy fans should expect on the road every year. Ezri brings veteran energy while recognizing his sophomore status on “Black and Blue”, supported by heavy bass and ethereal, distant synth keys.
The project’s end is as thematic as its start, Starting 5 headliner Fashawn shouting out the rest of his team to close out “Run It Up”: “You should know Stro and Ezzy with the biz / 07 with the s**t / ‘Trell tell ‘em what this is, homie”.
Starting 5: Vol. 1 Tracklist:
- Apostles feat. Fashawn, Ezri, Nas
- I Had Enough feat. 070 Phi, Stro
- 6 Rings feat. Cantrell, Ezri, 070 Phi
- Black & Blue feat. Ezri
- Utter Disrespect feat. Fashawn
- When Morning Comes feat. Cantrell, Stro, 070 Phi, Liana Bank$
- SonShine feat. Stro, Cantrell, Black Milk, Keyon Harrold
- Run It Up feat. Cantrell, Fashawn
Starting 5 tickets are available now at tix.to/Starting5Tour (Tour now FREE thanks to our partners Puma & Monster Energy)
2/6 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory – Constellation Room
2/7 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues – Voodoo Room
2/8 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theatre
2/10 – Oakland, CA – The New Parish
2/11 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
2/12 – Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret
2/13 – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
2/15 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall
2/16 – Denver, CO – Globe Hall
2/18 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
2/19 – Milwaukee, WI – The Backroom @ Colectivo Café
2/21 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s Rock Club
2/22 – Pontiac, MI – The Pike Room
2/24 – Toronto, ON – The Rivoli
2/26 – Montréal, QC – Le Belmont
2/28 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East Downstairs
3/1 – New York, NY – S.O.B’s
3/2 – Philadelphia, PA – Milkboy
3/3 – Washington, DC – DC9
3/5 – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl
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Props to Spotify