Sir E.U

Who is SYBYR? TBD...Watch his music video for "Talisman" by Maxwell Young

Songbyrd Music House hosted a slew of DMV’s underground emcees in support of WIFIGAWD and The Khan last Thursday evening in Washington, D.C.

Courtesy of SYBYR’s  Instagram

Courtesy of SYBYR’s Instagram

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the show was DMV native, New York transplant SYBYR’s track, “Talisman.” Donning black lipstick and mis-matched camouflage, he slowed down the pace, ushering moshers into a subdued bop. Formerly known as Syringe, SYBYR channeled enigmatic energies, rapping “Like the talisman, had to make my own magic—balance in the hand.” By the end of the song, the vibe was caught, heads nodding along in support.

SYBYR has added context to this track, releasing the music video to “Talisman” early this morning. The glitchy visuals directed and produced by Bic Flame and Landfill, respectively, feature the rapper in what appears to be an abandoned house—the perfect canvas for graffiti alluding to anarchy and disorder. SYBYR looks comfortable in this realm as we see him rapping through broken window panes and on-top of tables that haven’t been used in years.

Anti-World” is the name of the collective SYBYR reps along with 18 other artists. Its logo, a hand-drawn, exed-out globe, looks like a spider or a gauged eye off first glance. That and the demon illustration that quickly overlays SYBYR’s face in his latest music video are reminiscent of D.C. legend Sir E.U, particularly his M a D a G a S C a R album cover, although we’re unsure of any influences. What is certain, though, is how much of a rage that show would be—a bill featuring the “Hippodramidan” and SYBYR—two of the most eccentric artists we’ve encountered here in the District of Columbia to date.

Stay tuned for more on a new favorite and follow SYBYR on Instagram and Twitter.

10 Jonts From The DMV by Maxwell Young

Y’all keep coming with the heat and we’ll amplify.

*Jont: Washingtonian slang to generically describe something or someone. In this case, songs.

UUV c/o Lordy | Photograph by Maxwell Young

UUV c/o Lordy | Photograph by Maxwell Young


A representative of Prince George’s County Maryland aka “the Whop,” Rezt’s latest project, Murrlin was featured in this summer’s Sounds of D.C. vol. II playlist. “Worth It” has this ‘close your eyes and nod your head’ type knock to it, which makes sense as its tagged as ‘crank-soul’ on SoundCloud. Much of Rezt’s music follows this 8-bit video game bop that is prevalent in today’s hip hop sound, but the difference is his rapping skills are more apparent than some “mumble rappers” would like to show.

2. ledroit ft. SIR E.U - fuck off

Ledroit is the mastermind behind the omnipresent Tech Yes—an array of electronic genres and original sounds with Sir E.U as the backing emcee. Watching the duo in person is like watching Shaolin Fantastic and The Wordsmith command crowds in the Netflix original series, The Get Down. To have a streamable tune from them is epic. It’s one thing to watch artists cross pollinate and perform in other bands (Ledroit and E.U both moonlight in Rob Stokes Band and have conceived a new punk/hip hop/electronic group called Michaelangelo) but it’s a whole other dynamic when the project is executed for online consumption. As fans, we can appreciate the moment. Speaking of moments, you might have caught Sir E.U in the remix of this instant classic internet video.


Released just several days ago, Loceke follows up Den-Mate’s self-titled 2016 project. Lead vocalist Jules Hale compliments spacey guitar riffs and wobbly bass notes with her unique monotone voice that evokes alternative/punk feels.


Ciscero dropped new music for the first time in five months last week. “Bite Down” was teased to a sold out crowd at Union Stage on the Wharf during April + Vista’s first-ever headlining show.


Tashaze recognized the need to prolong the vibe set by Martin J Ballou and Mudi in the original track off Ballou’s You& The Space Between - EP because at two minutes, “Intermission” leaves listeners wanting more. From D.C. by way of Seattle, Tashaze has found a home with mxdhouse—an art and music collective that has supported the consistent programming of GIRLAAA, which you could have attended several times at John Geiger and Davin Gentry’s boutique hangout, Diet Starts Monday.


Jenna Camille released “3000 Roses” last night, but she’s been playing it during her performances for awhile.  Mellow synths carry over Camille’s vocals that slowly build throughout the track.  We’re looking forward to her Luce Unplugged show at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on November 1st.  She’s been quietly fine-tuning her album Free while also collaborating with rapper Odd Mojo.


“I should cool it/‘cause these potholes real live stupid/Why they keep ‘em in the hood?/Not where white folks movin’,” ponders James, the Maryland-based rapper. “The Cool” comes from Innanet James’ recent Keep it Clean project, which includes a feature from Pusha T.


Mudi and Martin J Ballou have found a magical connection and they share the fruits of their creations mutually. Sometimes MUDI features on Ballou’s tracks and other times, like in this instance, Ballou will produce, mix, and master tracks for the R&B singer’s catalog. “Siren” has been in heavy rotation since it dropped last month.


The catchy tune on the back half of McGhee’s newest EP, Since You’re Watching, features Alex Vaughn, who stepped out for a cameo at Odd Mojo’s curated Urban Outfitters Live in Chinatown several weeks ago. It’s reminiscent of early 2000s garage production from the UK, like “Has It Come to This?” by The Streets.


Her name is Filet Mignon and she has pink hair. Unsure how her persona as a DJ gets more cohesive than that. To be determined. This mix sounds similar to the set she spun last Friday at Open Studio D.C.’s closing event featuring UUV & Nomu Nomu. She flexed a rendition of Immature’s “I Don’t Mind” as well as a captivating mashup of Drake’s “Free Smoke” and his crush Sade’s “Lover’s Rock.” Let Mac Miller’s “What’s the Use” fill your room at 21 minutes.

DMV Music Check-In by Maxwell Young

Perhaps you were at Trillectro this past weekend or maybe the after party hosted by Jungle Fever. April + Vista sold out Union Stage for their first headlining show last Friday, and Tech Yes has found a new home at Saint Ex on 14th Street. There’s a lot happening in the DMV music scene, we’re checking in.

April + Vista were joined by percussionist Foots of FootsxColes during their sold out show at Union Stage last Friday. Photograph by  @africanist

April + Vista were joined by percussionist Foots of FootsxColes during their sold out show at Union Stage last Friday. Photograph by @africanist

“Playin With Me” by Hipster Woods and Sir E.U

In a now deleted Instagram post, DJ/producer/founder of art collective TrashPass, Hipster Woods, proclaimed his punk-ness for all of the D.C. music community, and the world, to receive. A message so transparent should only be quoted, but his blunt feelings of wanting to convey his own punk experience was received loudly. The message made good promo for a track equally as loud. “Playin With Me” is produced by Woods featuring the turbulent vocals of Sir E.U. Clocking in at around seven and a half minutes, the song is more of a mix, as it was Woods’ intention to manipulate E.U’s voice like an instrument for a beat rather than have him flow in traditional song format.

This Wednesday: What a Night Presented by Jay Cousteau and Filet Mignon

Flyer via Jay Cousteau’s  Instagram

Flyer via Jay Cousteau’s Instagram

If you’re not going to Converge at U Street Music Hall on Wednesday, you should make sure to stop by Velvet Lounge for Jay Cousteau and photographer Filet Mignon’s ‘What a Night.’ The youth will be well represented as Northwest rapper Lul Big Brother, producer Supa Statiq, and fellow member of the Cousteau clan, El Cousteau, are slated to perform.

915 U St NW


$15 online; $20 at the door

OG Lullabies’ Red Bull Music Academy Residency

As part of her work with the Red Bull Music Academy, multi-instrumentalist OG Lullabies gives music heads an insight to her music compositions as well as a live tutorial demonstrating the Granular Convolver. Unless you’ve seen OG Lullabies live, it’s hard to discern every instrument she includes in her music because of how well she blends them together. You’ll see how she builds a texture of sounds and ambiance in this Facebook video.

Thursday: Urban Outfitters Live

Flyer via Odd Mojo’s  Instagram

Flyer via Odd Mojo’s Instagram

The Urban Outfitters in Chinatown is continuing their installment of live performances, and Thursday’s lineup looks to be one for the books. Odd Mojo, who we mentioned is working with Chris Allen, is also collaborating with Jenna Camille—admitting that their music is reminiscent of Janet Jackson. Maybe Mojo debuts new sounds. She is joined by host ArykahB, Babeo Baggins, FootsxColes, along with accompanying DJ sets by Tomiyeyo and Exaktly.

737 7th St. NW

4 - 7pm

“Water Walk” by Tedy Brewski

In his music video for “Water Walk,” Tedy Brewski continues to integrate movie, video game, anime, and internet subcultures into catchy blends of contemporary hip hop that are twinged with glitches and special effects. Did you know Tedy is a painter now, too?

Listen to Trae the Drummer’s New Instrumental Album Off the 6 With Band UnRehearsed

There might not ever be a time when Warren G. Crudup III aka Trae, is not at least 20 feet away from a drum kit. Trae is constantly working whether it be playing regularly with Jenna Camille and The Free Radicals, or at his residency at Bin 1301 on U St, or my favorite, with his partner, bassist Luke Stewart of Blacks’ Myths, a neo-punk-funk-rock band. Thanks to a chance encounter on U Street, ITR learned of Trae’s newest endeavor, an instrumental album with four-piece band UnRehearsed. Off the 6, available on all streaming platforms, is something you turn on to feel good, groovy. If you want to start your day on an uplifting note, Off the 6 will get you there with Trae’s frenetically varied drum rhythms and the band’s funky guitar riffs.

Paid/Job by Chris Allen Premieres Friday

New music from Chris Allen drops Friday. Image courtesy of  Allen ’s Instagram page.

New music from Chris Allen drops Friday. Image courtesy of Allen’s Instagram page.

Washington, D.C. native and Pittsburgh frequenter, Chris Allen, is spreading his wings in both local communities. Those in Pittsburgh will welcome him back to his home away from home at Hounds’ installation/showcase event at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh on Friday. Meanwhile, flicks of the rapper have surfaced on Odd Mojo’s Instagram page, confirming the two have been working on music with fellow DMV rapper, Kassim. We’ll wait patiently to hear what such a collaboration sounds like, but new music is coming from Allen this Friday with the release of “Paid/Job.”

Thraxx King’s Project 79 Merchandise Featuring Words by InTheRough

Thraxx King put an ITR article on a t-shirt.

Thraxx King put an ITR article on a t-shirt.

Offering t-shirts and hoodies, Thraxx King surmises the consumption of his latest album Project 72 through literal moments of engagement. Neon green hoodies are time-stamped at nine seconds with the Apple Music layout of Thraxx’s song “7+2.” We’re honored he chose to print our article, amplifying his album on a short sleeve, mint green t-shirt. Stay tuned to his Instagram for the drop.

Funk Parade 2018 This Saturday by Maxwell Young

funk parade 2018.jpg

Funk Parade is a one-of-a-kind day fair, parade, and music festival celebrating Washington D.C.'s vibrant music and arts as well as the unifying spirit of funk throughout the historic U Street neighborhood.  If you're looking for a glimpse into the groups and faces who make up the music and art communities of the District, the fifth annual Funk Parade is an experience you don't want to miss.

It’s the largest collection of local musicians playing on one day.
— Jamal Gray, Director of Uptown Art House
Kwesi Lee of Nag Champa performing at Funk Parade 2017.  Photograph by Maxwell Young

Kwesi Lee of Nag Champa performing at Funk Parade 2017.  Photograph by Maxwell Young

The U Street corridor has long been a cultural pulse for the nation's capital.  For instance, following the armistice of World War II, the heavyweight victory of Joe Louis, and the 2008 election of President Obama, the neighborhood streets erupted in "typhoons of joy."  The soul of live music resides on the sidewalks and hallmark venues as well.  District-born jazz musicians Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway were staples of the defunct Bohemian Caverns, which now serves as a back-drop for local street performances.  The Lincoln and Howard theaters have amplified premiere acts nationwide from genres including jazz, soul, blues, and hip hop.

Sparked by a vivid dream of musicians, marching bands, neighbors, and strangers rejoicing in the sounds of the District, founders Justin Rood and Chris Naoum have consolidated this rich tradition into a day of movement, education, and good vibrations.  This year on Saturday, May 12 there will be festivities during the day and night at various stages and venues around the U Street corridor.  Read on for details regarding sets, showtimes, and destinations.

Day Fair 1-7pm (see other stage info here)

DC As Funk Stage

One Love Massive

625 T St. NW

One Love Massive is an artist collective that embodies the belief that music is a unifying force that defies all classifications and can unite D.C.  Its operations are actually in the U Street neighborhood where they will be hosting some of the District's most recognizable talents including Malik DOPE Drummer (3:40pm), Pinky Killacorn (3:55pm), Sir E.U (6pm), Ace Ono (2:25pm), and WInzday Love (1:50pm) throughout the day and evening.

Evening Music Festival 7pm 'til late

Funk Parade Lincoln Theater Showcase

1215 U St. NW

7:30pm showtime

Funk Parade has partnered with Trillectro--another DMV music festival--to host a night showcase at Lincoln Theater.  For $15 ($20 at the door) listeners are guaranteed to be in a groovy pocket for the duration of the show.  Heavy-hitters Ari Lennox, Mannywellz, and Dreamcast grace the stage.  Moreover, the lovely Ayes Cold, Native Sun, and Underdog will be on the ones-and-twos--I'll vouch for them any day of the week.

Uptown Art House Experience at Flash DC

645 Florida Ave NW


The Art House gets back to the vibrations of live music following its audiovisual production, The Landing at the Kennedy Center.  Commanding one of the grooviest joints in the District, Flash DC, Uptown Art House will be hosting the incomparable, enigmatic Nag Champa Art Ensemble.  Expect to hear some new sounds from the veteran musicians as they prepare to release their debut project '68.  Special guests include electronic DJs Ledroit and St. Clair Castro.

OTHERFEELS Funk Parade Showcase at Local 16

1602 U St. NW


Founded by James Scott, OTHERFEELS has created an intimate experience of bourgeoning DMV artists through carefully selected performance bills, a radio show, and most recently a cocktail bar in Adams Morgan called Loves Me Not.  On Saturday, the label will host percussionist and pianist FootsXColes as well as BlaqueStone.

Funk Parade at Velvet Lounge

915 U St. NW


With music performances both downstairs and upstairs from 12pm to 3am, Velvet Lounge will be quite the gathering place.  Odd Mojo returns to the venue following an epic release party for her new album Channel Yo Mojo.  She is joined by R&B, neo soul group Not.Alone and PNMA.

Washington D.C. Veterans Meet Pittsburgh Musicians at The Smiling Moose by Maxwell Young

Flyer by  Rob Stokes

Flyer by Rob Stokes

Pittsburgh has a way of calling people back home and for Rob Stokes it couldn't be a better time.  Following the second game of the Penguins' road to a third-straight Stanley Cup, Stokes is returning to the Steel City to debut his latest album, Live at the Heartbreak Hotel along with fellow Burgh band, The Bird Hour.  He's not alone, though. Having spent the last eight years in Washington, D.C., he's amassed some epic music friendships as GUMP (Give Us More Power) and Sir E.U will be joining the band on a sprint of east coast tour dates.

Because we all think Dave Chappelle is God. That’s what brings us together.

GUMP from Rockville, Maryland is a four-piece quartet drawing from alternative and punk rock genres who performs with varying speeds.  They evoke images of a Green Day-esque, Gym Class Heroes amalgamation that gathers to perform in a garage every day. In fact, the accompanying video to their latest track "Flight Song," projects this very scenario.  Other times, though listeners might catch more orchestrated notes in their music as one of the band members plays the cello. Stay tuned to their channels as they are working on a series of releases for 2018.

Sir E.U is no stranger to InTheRough web pages, but his presence is truly one you must experience live.  Whether he's rapping for 25-hours straight, freestyling to various house music sets, or posturing with two microphones in his hands, his bars are dense and adaptable to a range of sonics.  He's one of the defining musicians of the DMV traversing a fluctuating underground scene since he was a teen. As a result, his voice can be heard on a number of collaborations, and attributed writing credits on Stokes' album, his pen is equally prolific

Rob Stokes Band delivers the follow up to their 2017 album, Love Was Made for these Times with a record that shines through the vulnerable vocals of Stokes himself.  Live at the Heartbreak Hotel is an album made from a Pittsburgh perspective.  On Late Bloom Radio, Stokes talked about envisioning a steelworker in the smog-ridden sixties, off the clock at the local dive bar ruminating on the sacrifices of love while engaging in the hedonisms of life. 

This bill of veteran musicians and experimentalists is available Friday, April 13 at The Smiling Moose on East Carson St.  If you're in Pittsburgh, don't miss the opportunity to hear a sample of some of the soundscapes from Washington, D.C.

Friday, April 13

10pm - 1:30am

The Smiling Moose

1306 East Carson St.