Artist of the Month

deli cover



October 2015
Shelf Life
"Everyone Make Happy
Everyone Make Happy, the debut LP from Shelf Life, via Lefse Records, finds an absorbing lyrical yet comforting instrumental balance. Scott Leitch (ex-Pirouette/recent drummer for Alex G) cultivates songs that gently sway with internal warmth, while placing listeners in a deeply personal, somber state.
Space-warping synths smoothly land on the surface in “The Curse,” the initial introduction to Everyone Make Happy. Those glowing synths fade to the background as the airy, easily-assimilated acoustic guitar provides shimmers of daylight onto the song’s anguished lyrical tone - “bathe in sister’s blood/talk to the ghost of my dad’s mom/about nothing but heaven and the cancer in her gut.”
Pushed by its percussion, “Mark II” delivers what appears as subtle instrumentation, penetrating beyond the surface as a tight bedroom-pop sound. What starts drearily - “wake me up, when my lungs, start to pump normally” - lifts the shades to the point of optimism. “There’s always something in the sunlight,” riding a casual, almost accidental groove along the way. The album continuously stares directly into sadness, observing a very real place of grief. In “Creature” with its road-worn, country-folk twang , Leitch addresses the questioning nature of a sickness as a somber cloud hangs overhead. “I ask myself what my Father would do/he’d fold his hands lean to belief/but the creature inside him is not inside of me.”
“Low Key Lumber Theft” forebodingly spirals forward as the last dashes of daylight fall below the horizon. The guitar crisply cuts through dusk, venturing further out of sight as it gains momentum and then coolly concludes. With a daydreaming-psych vibe, “Time Traveler” moves into a nostalgic familiar space, which although consoling - “I am meeting the past/it is just how I thought/I have found what I lost” - still cuts - “You had gone away.” An anecdotal throwback, “Double Dare” soaks into your mind with its direct lyricism and catchy melodies, a la Alex G, while “Sinking Just Right” lulls you into a submissive calm of internal self-doubt - “does everybody hate me, just a little, little, little bit” - drifting until your “sinking just right.”
This album delicately balances the weight of emotional darkness with a glimpse of the light, from outside pushing in through the cracks. - Michael Colavita

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New Asaad Album Available for Streaming & Purchase

Controversial Philly rapper and former Deli Philly Year-end Fans'/Readers' Poll WinnerAsaad, recently dropped his long-awaited new album Young 27. It features contributions from Sunny Norway, Oogie Mane, QB, P On the Boards, Problem, and more. You can stream the record in its entirety and purchase it below.


New Track: "Blue Note Entendre" - Asaad

It feels like it has certainly been a minute since we revisited music from Asaad. That's not to say that we weren't feelin' him. It just seemed like the madness of the music industry had finally gotten to the boisterous emcee who is prone to controversy, and he decided to take down most of his recordings. Well, he's been back for a bit now, and on his latest single, "Blue Note Entendre," the jazz instrumentals hint at an artist possibly coming closer to some inner peace (as well as being influenced by the iconic record label); however, you can still feel the flames from Asaad's diction. There is the sound of a young man maturing on this one.


Asaad Album Release Show at Silk City March 26

Asaad (born Saayid Asaad) has been one of the most prolific and controversial artists in the local hip-hop scene. Since dropping his debut mixtape Flowers in 2009, the North Philly emcee/producer has released seven other albums and nearly a hundred tracks. He first caught our attention with 2011's #DIRTYMIDDLECLASS, which helped to get him nominated for The Deli's annual year-end Best Emerging Artists Poll, where he won Philly's Readers'/Fans' segment of the competition. 2012 proved to be his most productive year to date with the release of New Black History Month, #WHITE, and #TROY, as major music media outlets began to take notice, but the venomous tongue of the brash, young talent and an album cover that depicted Tupac having sex with Notorious B.I.G. seemed to alienate him from the rest of the hip-hop world. An artist, who once thrived on the controversy, began to show signs of wear in 2013. Asaad surprisingly changed his stage name to Saudi Money, attaching it to a handful of releases, and then, after showing great dissatisfaction with the music industry (there were rumors of him being "blackballed" by the hip-hop community), he attempted to delete the existence of himself and his music from the internet. Well, it seems that the time out of the public's crosshairs has helped to rejuvenate the Philly-bred talent. He'll be returning this evening at Silk City under the name Asaad, once again, with a new record, Flowers II, in tow. Come out tonight and experience his rebirth! Silk City Diner, 435 Spring Garden St., 9pm, $10, 21+ (Photo by Snaps NY) - Q.D. Tran


New Track: "Horror Film" (Feat. Saudi Money) - Reap Howard

Ha...in preparation for last night's Halloween festivities, we admittedly took it pretty easy yesterday as we donned our costumes and make-up with alcoholic beverage in hand, so we're playing a bit of catch up with releases in honor of the beloved holiday. After needing a break from the hustle and social media, Saudi Money, a.k.a. Asaad, provided us with a few bars on Reap Howard's track "Horror Film," reminding us that the controversial emcee is still alive and angry.


Free Download: Black History Month II - Asaad

While Asaad continues to tease the release of his upcoming EP 006, the prolific North Philly emcee dropped a new mixtape Black History Month II to keep us entertained. You can pass the time today until your weekend starts with his latest below, which is also available for free download HERE.




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