Jordan Montgomery

10 Cool Songs From Pittsburgh by Alex Young

Music videos and tracks featuring Hardo, Josephine, Nizzy and more.


Josephine | Photo by Alex Young

1. Jordan Montgomery - Black Folk 4 Life (Bad Boy For Life Remix)

It was Jay tracks only. Slim Tha DJ proved up to the task combing through Jay Z’s music catalog to entertain a crowd at the Boom Concepts gallery venue in Pittsburgh. Rapper Jordan Montgomery was there as Hov’s super fan spitting every lyric bar for bar with acute cadence. Montgomery’s music could play at intermission during a Jay Z concert. He rhymes around the beat like Hov. His wisdom speaks to other young, black Americans and that deserves more attention. The classic flavor on Montgomery’s “Black Folk 4 Life” tastes fresh from the cut’s cool music video directed by Jordan Armstrong. Artists’ cameos by Jaybee Jackson and Livefromthecity are hype.

2. Slicky Williams - Remain Humble

A sensitive trap tale from Homewood, Pittsburgh rapper and singer-songwriter Slicky Williams. Buy his new EP on iTunes.

3. Josephine - I Need Teeth

Super chill song from an Irish-Jamaican songstress from the ‘Burgh. Any DJ worth any finesse could play Josephine’s track at the function. She has more music on the way so, don’t sleep.

4. The Keymakers - Tell Me Something

When we observed The Keymakers at the Always Money studio in Toronto, it was clear, Rome and Rederic had a plan to roll out their music. The assist from the Always Money collective, engineer B.C., writer Jesse Christophr and Cash Money Records representative Anshuman Sharma, boosts The Keymakers’ quality. From prep school life in the ‘Burgh to radio ready, introduce yourself to The Keymakers. If not, you may come across the group in a Spotify playlist.

5. Rome Fortune & Toro Y Moi - Hoodrich Disco (Music Video Directed by Glasshead)

Media production company and music group, Glasshead adds to their clientele with this music video direction for well-known musicians Rome Fortune and Toro Y Moi. Glasshead rises out of The Steel City to meet opportunities across the country because they entertain with whacky, flattering content kind of like a meme. Whether its hip-hop mimicking Doja Cat’s “Mooo!” song with The N word or general comedy about the culture, Glasshead shoots straight. Feature article on that squad soon.

6. Camp Yola x D Clak - Home Invasion Part 1

50 Cent got people wanting to turn their lives into TV like “Power.” It goes to show the inner-city underbelly really tries people. What’s perceived as entertainment is survival mode.

7. Hardo - Fame or Feds

Hardo follows up his 2011 “Fame or Feds” mixtape with OG Pittsburgh rapper Deezlee. This time, “The Fame or Feds Story” album illustrates Hardo’s trap origins, while paying respect to the relationships that affected him most. Hardo’s latest project culminates his development as a rapper to those who’ve watched his rise.


“But I got this little dream team called B.C. What the fuck we gonna do?” The B.C. rap group is prowling. BIG BEE pouncin’.

9. FlatLine Nizzy - Watch

Next out of the trap. Watch his video for “Dey Don’t” too.

10. Stoneith - The Thought of Mine

“You keep switching up your ways moving lane from lane.”

Thoughts on "Driving While Black" by Alex Young

"This is pro-black, so black it make you nervous."

Watching the memorial service for Muhammad Ali broadcasted on ESPN, Jordan Montgomery's debut solo album plays in the background. Titled "Driving While Black," Montgomery's project is a coming of age story of what it means to be young and black in America.

Since Ali's death, many stories and quotes about his champion individuality and demand for respect amongst all humans echo from the people the boxer touched. "Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong," Ali said.

Paralleled by the day of remembrance and recognition for the heavyweight champion of the world, Montgomery's music raises awareness about a problem we still face in America and around the world, racial injustice.

The Pittsburgh resident, activist and rapper, a product of 1Hood, a collective of hip-hop artists who believe art is the best way to challenge inequity and unify humanity, presents an album inspired specifically by social and political issues, like police brutality, affecting the African American community.

Conceptually, "I wanted the album to serve as a time capsule. I feel like the sound and content represents how a lot of young people feel about the modern injustices that we've witnessed," Montgomery says.

From the heavy guitar chords DJ Thermos inserts in the song "Bodies in the Trunk," and declarations like, "This is pro-black, so black it make you nervous," which Montgomery says in "Black People," the rapper resonates with the frustration some Afro-Americans feel about their treatment. The track "East Side" illustrates the life-threatening possibility of being racially profiled and arrested by police.

Though "Driving While Black" travels through troubling times of the black community, it also offers a beaming light of hope for those who relate to the album's content. Montgomery's lyricism is revolutionary and celebratory. With bounce provided by producer Christo, the song "Only Thing" offers excitement and pride around black culture. "We the only thing I hear poppin', we them boys you can't stop us,"  Montgomery raps.

However, commercial, white audiences' adoration of black culture cannot cover up the lack of respect some people have towards its creators.

Jordan Montgomery's "Driving While Black" album makes listeners aware of the injustices some people face simply because of their skin color.