Awon & Phoniks Release “Knowledge of Self” on Don’t Sleep Records
Don’t Sleep Records. Don’t forget that name. We’ve been telling you now for quite some time. This label is ill and it really shows that independent artists have a chance in a rather shallow music industry.
Right now we got this sucker on repeat all day.You want nasty organic beats and powerful lyrical messaging? Yes, you do. The new Awon & Phoniks album, “Knowledge of Self”, is definitely a must for any hip-hop fan. It is also a must for non hip-hop fans because this isn’t like the hip-hop you’ve been hearing on the mainstream radio. This is a powerful underground movement that helps carry the longevity of good music in our society. To some it may just be two independent artists doing well, but to us it is much more than that. It is a mission to create an outlet for talent to disseminate their message and I can’t even begin to emphasize how special that is in this day and age.
We will have a in-depth look at this latest album to you shortly. In the meantime crank up your speakers and listen to a quality album release from start to finish.
“Knowledge of Self” is the 2nd official offering from hip-hop duo Awon & Phoniks. Coming over 2 years after releasing their debut album “Return to the Golden Era” in Summer of 2013, the Newport News, VA emcee and Portland, ME producer have been working diligently on their follow-up. While the debut LP was a throwback to 90’s hip-hop in every sense, with lyrics focusing on Awon’s troubled youth and tales of street grandeur, their 2nd LP sees the group maintain their signature sound while refining things both musically and lyrically. This time Awon is speaking from the present, educating youth on tracks like ‘Reflections’ and speaking on current social climates in ‘Summer Madness’ and ‘Profit Off My Pain’. He has adapted his rhymes to more relevant topics while keeping his all-natural flow groove-locked in the pocket. The duo also capitalized on the networking opportunities their first LP provided, collaborating with a multitude of talented artists from all over the globe such as Oslo’s Ivan Ave and London’s Heeni. Phoniks shows his maturation as a producer on tracks like the trunk rattling ‘Do They Really Love You’ and ‘Be Real With It’ featuring jazzy piano chops, subtly layered samples and off-beat, un-quantized rhythms. While the debut LP was crafted with the artists in isolation, recording and emailing each other from their respective bedroom studios, “Knowledge Of Self” was made possible by traveling across the east coast and working together in state of the art recording facilities. The tracks are given a warm punch from being recorded through top notch microphones and preamps and bounced down to analog tapes. Across it’s 13-tracks, Awon & Phoniks make their best case at providing fans with one of the most well-rounded, impactful hip-hop projects of 2015. Not only have they returned to the Golden Era, but this time they have done it with a seasoned wisdom. Knowledge Reigns Supreme.
The writing process for Knowledge of Self was more meticulous for me because I wanted every word to have meaning. I wanted people to walk away from a Hip Hop record feeling good. I wanted to have a positive message overall, but still maintain the heavy rotation quality that we as artist strive to achieve. Overall Knowledge of Self does speak to the audience from my perspective as a man today, there is more Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding to pass on daily. As I was told Each One Teach One. – Awon