The next step in Gemstones' musical journey will take place with Xist Music. Today, the two announced their partnership and this also certainly means that new Gemstones music will be on the way soon... and on the way to more people!
Congrats to the vastly talented Gemstones! I'm excited to see the next chapter in his career having followed him since the Gemini days. I know more soulful and powerful music and messages are on the way! In case you've been sleeping, listen to Gem's latest two releases below:
Gemstones is on a wave of new releases in recent weeks and keeps it moving with what he calls a "me venting about my experience of standing in a freezing could line for hours to purchase a pair of air jordan's that i dont need." As such, this is actually the perfect anthem for waiting in line. I wish I had this in my headphones for Black Friday shopping so here's a mental note for a couple months from now.
The record itself paints a pretty vivid visual of the scenario as Gem usually does. The "Round And Round" hook Gem sings is both simple and strong, and I am left imagining the possibilities of how it can relate to other topics too. Have to run this one back... give it listen #1 yourselves above!
Gemstones drops his second new track in as many weeks as he puts out the reflective, sometimes solemn, but overarching inspirational "Piano Keys".
This is a quick, 2 minute listen, yet "Piano Keys" is rich with depth and vivid imagery as Gem first paints a picture of a wide spectrum of instruments before then painting a picture of his faith, previous tribulations and experiences, and then being grateful for learning from them to become the man he is today. The last 40 seconds or so is my favorite part of the record as Gem bares his soul in calm and direct fashion, which coincides with an excellent additional kick in the beat. I don't want to spoil the concluding bars, but let's just say it wraps up pretty powerfully.
Lend a close ear and run it back a couple of times too. My mood and emotions were transformed and swept up into "Piano Keys", which is the sign of a song that really resonates with me. This is why we listen to music! "Piano Keys" did it for me; perhaps it will for you too.
One more Kendrick Lamar "Control" response. I promise, this one's a good one. After all, when a fire is lit under Gemstones you know you're going to hear his most intense, high-speed flow, which is one of a kind with the way he can pronounce everything clearly with his unique voice. And that's exactly what you get as Gemstones wasn't exactly impressed with Kendrick's verse, Kendrick's name-dropping and legendary comparisons, and baffled at the amount of hype it got.
My favorite part is Gemstones' flurry of questions directly to Kendrick, especially the direction Gem went with it. Keep your ears tuned above — it's 2 minutes of furious raps and just a precursor to more new music and moves to come from Gem. "Nonsense" is right up there in the Kendrick responses with Lupe's and Mickey Factz so be sure to add this one to the collection. (Dope artwork above as well.)
A second Gemstones feature in the same day?! Earlier he sang the hook on the new, introspective "KKK (Kids Killing Kids)" by Que B.I.L.L.A.H. This time we hear some rhymes from Gem in a guest verse with Yonkers rapper Limitless. The word choice by Gem in the middle of his verse is top-notch, and he delivers a stellar feature. And not to diminish Limitless as he comes with it lyrically on a track with the general sentiment of having patience through the tough times and leaning on the Lord. I resonate with this, and as a result, we have another *Tibs Fav. on a busy Tuesday of new music.
"We have just witnessed one of the greatest acts of injustice in American history but we have an ever bigger problem at hand. In inner cities all across American Trayvon is killing Trayvon, Black on black crime. If we don’t love respect and protect each other, how can we expect America to protect us against the Zimmermans of this world."
- Que B.I.L.L.A.H.
Que B sets the tone with these words above about the inspiration of this new gem, featuring a soulful Gemstones singing the hook. You can't knock the sentiment and I nod my head in agreement with how we are not respecting ourselves. The track brings awareness to the crime amongst our own people, which as you should know, is a prevalent problem here in Chicago. B.I.L.L.A.H. speaks on that from the heart and delivers some earth-shattering numbers in the process. Give this a listen with open ears above. An easy *Tibs Fav.. Now I want to hear a version with a rap verse from Gemstones in addition to Que B...
What a great track to wake up to — on the morning after the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup victory, no less. Gemstones comes back with some fresh new music, successfully taking on another Adele record and making it his own. For "God Is My Rock", Gem recites an increasingly intense set of rhymes over "Set Fire To The Rain", which possesses the piano for a very appropriate backdrop. By song's end, Gemstones draws on personal tales, touches on the violence in our city, and professes his love for God: God as his rock. You don't hear much more intensity than that stretch right there from an any artist. Some soothing vocals are a fitting end to "God Is My Rock" — an instant *TIBS FAV. and a must-download above. This one won't leave my head for the rest of the day. Hopefully this is the sign of more new music to come!
Gemstones spelled it out nice and clear on his Instagram today (@GemstonesForLife) that the next project he's dropping is entitled After. This serves as the first indication of new music on the way after last Fall's powerful and successful release, Elephant In The Room (listen/DL if you're still sleeping). This also looks like the upcoming album, Blind Elephant, is at least on hold, but maybe that project will come in the form of After. Regardless, more new music from Gem, whatever the title is, is something we could all use! I'm excited to hear what he's been working on in the lab and hope to have more details soon!