Mass Appeal

Mass Appeal


MASS APPEAL - SUN march 3 2019 w/ rappers Fashawn, Ezri, Stro, Cantrell, 071PHI


What did you do the year you turned 21? Hip-hop prodigy Fashawn earned a spot on the cover of XXL magazine, toured the world and built a rep as one of rap's new rising stars.

Fashawn's debut album, "Boys Meets World," was heralded by critics and fans alike as one of the best albums of 2009 for its gritty, street-wise and intelligent rhymes. Some even compared his introductory opus to Nas' brilliant "Illmatic." It was enough for XXL to name Fashawn to its list of hip-hop's best freshman.

Brooklyn's Stro is the newest member of Nas' Mass Appeal record label, following the signing of Cantrell earlier this year. Stro began to garner attention when he appeared on the X-Factor when he was 14 years old. He went on to release several projects including Grade A Frequencies. Now, the rapper is getting ready to release his debut project through the label, Nice 2 Meet You, Again on October 19th.

"#N2MYA represents a new me and a new beginning. There was a lot of ups and downs creating this project, but through the grace of God I'm able to say I got it done," Stro told Billboard. "Through the grace of God, I'm also able to release this new music through one of the most authentic labels in music today, Mass Appeal Records. The whole building has been supporting what I do. NAS SUPPORTS WHAT I DO. That's a blessing I’ll hold on to and keep in mind for the rest of my journey."

ezri initially began writing music simply as a means of entertainment, but over the years the hobby began to serve as a medium to take negative aspects in his life and transform them into positive self-expression. this is one of the driving forces of ezri’s music as he confronts the pressures of his life by creating honest and transparent lyrics.

after releasing his first two projects, it’s ezzy and everything ezzy, the clevelander garnered a lot of attention following his show-stopping freestyle on sway in the morning—accumulating over 8 million views online.

he has since played a stellar guest star role on fox’s hit show empire and play a lead role in the land film, executive produced by nas. the music video for ezri’s goodbye on the land’s soundtrack released subsequently as he takes a stroll down his neighborhood and says goodbye to his life struggles in a ‘letter to the hood’.


Millennials rap about their dreams like 90s MCs spat about their glocks. The difference between Cantrell and the bevy of artists trying to “make it” is his introspection. He’s very driven toward his goals, but he also knows there are more important things at hand. The penultimate “Balance” contains more depth on the hook than you’ll find in most rappers’ verses. Cantrell is dying of thirst as he laments, “I just wanna feel free, I just wanna feel free, I’m just tryna find the balance/Tryna get a grip slipping climbing up this ladder.”

While his peers would accompany their freedom rhymes with faux-inspiring horns, Cantrell’s words are anchored by weighty piano keys, wistful strings and dense drums. His ability to saddle common sentiments with painful emotion will drop the listener’s heart into their stomach, but lifts up Stardust 2 Angels as raw and relatable.

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