December 13th, 2019

Mickey O’Brien – “Strangers” video & DJ pack

“Strangers” is the new single from Mickey O’Brien’s debut full length, My Drift, released early in 2019 on Hand’Solo Records. Produced by Juno Award-winning MPC master Fresh Kils, who calls it “a filthy masterpiece”, the album is a blazing collection of working class, hip-hop poetry, and “Strangers” might be the most on-point expression of this. “I wrote this song at my absolute rock bottom,” says Mickey O’Brien. “It’s a real life account of my struggles with addiction and depression. Honestly and truthfully writing about my problems has given me the power and strength to overcome them one day at a time.” “Strangers” show us that the modern struggle is very real, and is increasingly an inner one. O’Brien rips through bar after bar of introspective, raw, reality raps. He puts it all on the line, addressing his own inner demons, and creating light from the darkness. The video dramatically reflects the struggle with striking images of darkness, hard times, and perseverance. The video/single shot and directed by Daniel Jardine (Boom Shoal) is an artistic embodiment of the cry to take a closer look at the substance abuse, mental health and high depression rates in our modern age. Ultimately, it calls on us all to take the blinders off and stop ignoring the issues. And if you’re struggling, please talk to someone.

You are not alone; there is help:

Written and performed by Mickey O’Brien
Produced and mixed by Fresh Kils
Cuts by Uncle Fester
Remix by DJ Matto
Mastered by Dorc (Banging Masters)

Artwork by Selene Toffoli

Video shot and directed by Daniel Jardine (Boom Shoal)
Edited by Mary Komech

December 6th, 2019

DJ Matto presents “We Came to Rock” posse cut

Conceived as an original contribution to the second annual 24 hour celebration of hip hop at CHRW in London, ON, the posse cut “We Came to Rock” first aired alongside other songs debuted during the Hand’Solo Hip Hop Hour segment. With a heavy emphasis on drums and synth, the hype, head-nodding production—plus the wild cuts on the chorus—are courtesy of DJ Matto, pka DJ Usdneedls of Vancouver rap duo Hidden Fortress and current producer and DJ half of +/- based out of Fukuoka, Japan. Pulled from the Hand’Solo Records roster, each of the nine MCs provide their own take on hip hop, from the braggadocio biography of Mickey O’Brien through Jesse Dangerously’s positive confessional and Big Bear’s struggle to keep the content clean to concluding with the party raps of Iron Wind. Plus Tachichi, Touch, More Or Les, Pnutty Goldust and District Prime, each provides their own perspective, too. With so much Canadian rap talent on one song, it’s a given we came to rock!

Lyrics written and performed by Mickey O’Brien, Tachichi, More Or Les, Touch, Jesse Dangerously, Filthy Animals (Pnutty Goldust & Big Bear), and Primal Winds (District Prime & Iron Wind)
Produced by DJ Matto
Cuts by DJ Matto

Artwork by Selene Toffoli

November 6th, 2019

Cassette Gods explore 3L3M3NT 115

Not long after posting an excellent review for Whatevski’s Cult Classics, Cassette Gods follow with another out of this world review for the Alien Trap Lords with their album 3L3M3Nt 115.

Read the review here:

October 30th, 2019

Scratched Vinyl review of A Joy Which Nothing Can Erase

Scratched Vinyl included The Mighty Rhino’s last album, We Will No Longer Retreat into Darkness, in their top 15 albums of the year for 2018, and the new album receives a 9/10 and a glowing review. Read on…

Or read the review here:

October 16th, 2019

Cassette Gods judges the Cult Classics of Whatevski

Ask and thou shalt receive! The Cassette Gods have delivered a review of Whatevski’s Cult Classics cassette, and the judgement is positive… Does that make his teachings even more legit now?

Read the review here:

October 16th, 2019

A Joy Which Nothing Can Erase – Pre-order & Release Party!

Pre-order the album, or pick up a copy a day early in person at the release party (info at the end of this post)…


Performances by
10PM – More Or Les
10:30 PM – Ultra Magnus
11PM – The Mighty Rhino

Music by Bosh Flimshaw

Date: Thursday, October 17, 2019 (doors at 9PM)
Venue: Stone Lounge (783 College St) – the basement of Revival
Cost: $10

EARLY SHOW – come to the show AND get your beauty rest!

Check out the Facebook event page for more info:

October 15th, 2019

Scratched Vinyl reviews Ultra Magnus’s Muziki Mzuri

I totally missed this very excellent review from Scratched Vinyl of Muziki Mzuri, the newest album from Ultra Magnus. While the quality and crispness of sound on this album owes a lot to the engineering expertise of Fresh Kils, he wasn’t the lone producer on the album. “Old Arrogance” was produced by Callum while “Boogs” and “Pleasant” were produced by Boogie Belgique; and of course, Uncle Fes produced “Bully (Fester Remix)”. All the producers deserve their shine. 🙂 Still, awesome album, awesome review.

Read the review here:

October 11th, 2019

Out Now! The Mighty Rhino’s “Full Steam”

The first single from The Mighty Rhino’s A Joy Which Nothing Can Erase is out now. “Full Steam” is a devastating neck-snapping banger, packing powerful, witty, and hilarious punchline after punchline into two high-art 16s and a crowd-pleasing shout-along winner of a chorus… Produced by Skywise.

Full Steam

Written and performed by The Mighty Rhino
Produced by Skywise

Artwork by Adam Selene

October 6th, 2019

Announcing A Joy Which Nothing Can Erase!

Dropping October 18!

The Mighty Rhino – A Joy Which Nothing Can Erase

01. A Joy Which Nothing Can Erase
02. Full Steam
03. Beam of Light
04. Little Ol’ Me
05. Unfuckwithable
06. Tell ‘Em How You Feel About It
07. Aw Hell You Motherfuckin’ Right (feat. Fatlip & Ultra Magnus)
08. Ain’t Pushin’
09. Not All Is Lost
10. Honourable Man
11. Fuckouttahere (feat. Adam Bomb, Prince Po, More Or Les, Fraction, Roshin & Skizza)
12. I Want You To Know I Love You
13. The Desires and Prayers of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Produced by: Notion (3, 4, 8, 9), J.W. Friedman (6, 10), Iceberg Theory (1), Skywise (2), Red Dot (5), Myer Clarity (7), Triple A (11), Abstract Artform (12)
Cuts by: DJ Digital Junkie (7)
Mixed and mastered by: Notion

October 5th, 2019

It’s time to vote in VPC6 R1!

The sixth season of the Vocalist Producer Challenge song competition is now underway with Round 1 up for public voting. The theme this round is memes. With 40+ entries, there’s a lot of competition for Hand’Solo artists Ultra Magnus (on team Magnus Supreme with Taco Supreme) and Primal Winds, along with our close friend XoC (on team XO+ with Milk Plus), who I still hope will one day release an album on the label.

We would appreciate your support with votes for the following songs:

Magnus Supreme – It Was All A Meme

Primal Winds – The Hitchhiker

XO+ – Cats All Your Bases Are Belong to Us

And while you’re there, check out some of the other songs in the competition and give them some votes, too.

Vote here: