Coming to Trees on June 29, a hip-hop showcase featuring some of the best local names on the scene.
Buffalo Black is the rap project of Jamil Kelley. Born and raised in Dallas, Kelley’s first forays into music began at a young age; pulling inspiration from Spaghetti Westerns and anime and channeling it into his artistry. The up-and-comer then turned to writing and poetry as his primary form of expression.
While studying philosophy at UNT, Kelly released his first mixtape, Flomogenic, in 2010 under the moniker Jml Kly. Following its release and a handful of formidable projects, Kelley went on to create the Buffalo Black moniker. The persona sparked a newfound creative drive in Kelley. This new artistic direction and stage name incentivized the artist to start producing his own material.
Kelley has since cemented himself as one of North Texas’ most acclaimed artists. In 2011, he was spotlighted as one of the top 10 Best Local Hop Hop Acts in the Dallas Area by the Dallas Observer.
“Beyond the production elements, though, it’s Buffalo Black’s vocals that stand out. Kelley has a well-developed and polished delivery. When he’s at his best, his flow isn’t all that dissimilar from Schoolboy Q’s. He’s confident and charismatic. And, on this debut LP, he brashly announces his presence.” – Central Track
Lord Byron is the musical project of Byron Neal. The 24-year-old Dallas native spent most of his youth growing up in a public housing complex. After attending college in Tyler for a year, he moved back home. The decision took a dark toll on Neal. While attending school, the artist lacked a sense of motivation and felt he wasn’t going anywhere.
The self-professed recluse then wound up becoming a recording artist after attending a party with a friend in Highland Park. With a newfound sense of direction pushing him forward, Neal began working in collaboration with producer ★★★★★™, among others.
Now on the fast-track to success, Byron shows no signs of slowing down.
“Lord Byron is undoubtedly one of Dallas’ best hip-hop talents. When he released his second project, Dark Arts Vol. 2, in the fall of 2013, it would’ve been tough to find a music critic in the city who didn’t recognize it as one of the best local rap releases in recent memory.” – D Magazine
MEDICINE MAN REVIVAL
Fort Worth native Keite Young performs soulful hip-hop under the moniker Medicine Man. After attending college for a brief period, he signed a publishing agreement with Gospel Central at the age of 19. He was eventually asked to go on tour with Kirk Franklin and the Family as a backup singer.
Young landed a recording deal with Hidden Beach Records, a subsidiary of Sony, soon thereafter, but the endeavor eventually fizzled out. This stifled Young creatively, but he saw this as an opportunity, forming Medicine Man with collaborator and producer Jason Burt.
“Medicine Man is a culture of honesty and vulnerability. Keite is a modern day shaman and has a lot to offer the music community in more than just the music department.” – Dallas Observer
“Dallas’ Medicine Man Revival is an elixir for our times – a sonically-pleasing blend of blues, soulful strut and cosmic connectivity.” – KXT
Experimental soul musician Jon Bap is a promising young artist with ambition to spare. The virtuoso was born into a musical family, which allowed him to indulge in various genres and styles at a young age. This upbringing inspired Bap to join his local church choir.
These surroundings encouraged Bap to form his own musical identity, while honing an experimental edge all his own. Drawing influence from bouncing funk, soul and silky-smooth R&B, Bap crafted a unique aesthetic that’s instantly recognizable.
Wearing his influences on his sleeve, Bap unabashedly twists conventional song structures and rhythms into his own hybrid of sound. This approach makes Bap a standout amongst his contemporaries.
“His aesthetic as a recording artist is one of disorderly virtuosity, a composer who piles up home-recorded sounds in unexpected and sometimes stunning ways. In this regard he has more in common with, say, the Dirty Projectors than D’Angelo, though he’s clearly indebted to both.” – Pitchfork
Catch the lineup on June 29th at Trees. Tickets are available at TREESDALLAS.COM.