iNTELLECT "I'm Sorry"

iNTELLECT and Mitch Darrell Seek and Find the Forgiveness We All Wish For

“Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” [1 Corinthians 1:7-9]

What is it that you need? We are told not only to ask but to keep on asking and we will receive that which we ask for. Doors that are closed will open because our God is a good father. Even in our worst moments, He stands ready to forgive when we look to repent. He was prepared to endure even death on a cross if it meant that reconciliation could take place. How can we not tell Him that I’m Sorry?

“The way this song came together is a testimony of God’s faithfulness.”

On August 18, 2023, iNTELLECT and Mitch Darrell collaborate with Christian Rap legend Dre Murray to release one of the duo’s most important records to date.

“From the depth of the message in everyone’s lyrics to having a legend like Dre Murray hop on the track, this is definitely one of the more special songs I have been a part of creating.” – iNTELLECT

I’m Sorry is nothing short of straightforward hip-hop in the genre’s most traditional sense.

No hook is needed as the three masters apply their craft overtop of production from Dax Hamma. The sound bites chosen in place of a chorus tie together the song’s theme as each emcee uniquely approaches its message. Not only do the vocal stylings of iNTELLECT, Mitch Darrell, and Dre Murray support one another throughout the track, but they include just enough contrast to take I’m Sorry from being “just another song” to a true piece of art.

Every Christ follower endures seasons of struggling to balance a promised peace and ownership of the role we played in Jesus’ sacrifice. The good news is that the atonement of our sins has already taken place. We are able to move forward with confidence and truth.

I’m Sorry is a must-add to inspirational playlists. Make sure to save it now!

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Song Details

  • Title: I’m Sorry
  • Artists: iNTELLECT, Mitch Darrell
  • Release Date: August 18, 2023
  • Label: Polished Arrow Music
  • Production: Dax Hamma
  • Engineering: iNTELLECT
  • Features: Dre Murray

Chris TyK, "Good Game"

Chris TyK features Mitch Darrell on a hype, energetic record.

GG, short for “Good Game”, is not the first nerdcore + CHH fusion from Chris TyK. It will certainly not be the last.

Based on the phrase used by gamers when they win, GG is simply fun and screams victory the whole way through. If you need a victory anthem, this is it.

“I tapped Mitch for this feature because I thought he was perfect for it. He, of course, came through and slid on this thing.” – Chris TyK

Trutha, "Don't Shoot The Messenger"

Trutha releases his third single of the year Don’t Shoot The Messenger

This single is a major collaboration featuring Mitch Darrell and outr.cty, produced by ProdFway. Each artist raps about the potential backlash that truth can bring to the messenger and the importance of standing firm. Not backing down even when they shoot at the messenger.

 

JusRzd, "Get Focused"

JusRzd features Mitch Darrell & Weez The Satellite Kiid on the single Get Focused.

Get Focused is a vibe for the procrastinator in all of us. Soulful melodies combine with top-tier lyricism. A reminder for each and every one of us of how much we can accomplish if we can just simply get focused.

TLS, 'The Listening Session, Vol. 1'

TLS (The Listening Session) start 2023 with their much-anticipated mixtape.

The Listening Session, Vol. 1 showcases several emerging independent artists within Christian hip hop. It is a virtual who’s who of the indie scene including Rapzilla Freshmen Q-Flo, Prodi Da Prodigal, and Alcott. Also featured are Trutha, Mic Wise, Untidld, outr.cty, QEW, Bill B., DJLC, Mitch Darrell, Weez the Satellite Kiid, Scribe Music, Legacy, Kody Free, Cyrus Sonata, Lyriq Nawqiy, JusRzd, Leon, ADOE, and more!

See the track list below for a breakdown of the songs, artists, and producers. Let us know your favorite TLS track off the mixtape in the comments!

TLS track listing

JusRzd "Rise & Shine"

JusRzd and Mitch Darrell drop a new single together. Rise & Shine is a soundtrack to motivate people who may be caught in the monotony of life and the everyday grind.

iNTELLECT, "Supreme" featuring Mitch Darrell

iNTELLECT Shares a Declaration That There Is Only One Who Is “Supreme” On New Record

Scripture provides warning that there will come individuals who will make themselves like the Most High (see Isaiah 14). They will foolishly attempt to establish themselves above the true and living God. While they may be able to fool some, the reality is that their perceived power is nothing more than a fallacy. Every one of them will have to bow before the Supreme Lord of Lords.

With his newest single, iNTELLECT drops a clear reminder of God’s place in this world and where man ranks:

“False prophets, they make profit, while people pray to the universe as if it has the power to reverse the curse/ It’s the power within, they say, with their hearts full of pride cause judgement has been delayed”

iNTELLECT once again partners with fellow Christian hip hop artist Mitch Darrell (North Carolina) on the perfectly executed Supreme. The duo float effortlessly on top of production by Quincytones as traditional boom bap sampling captures the ear of the listener.

Supreme released to digital music retailers on September 16, 2022.

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Song Details

Title: Supreme

Artist: iNTELLECT

Release Date: September 16, 2022

Production: Quincytones

Engineering: iNTELLECT

Features: Mitch Darrell

Recently released by iNTELLECT.

iNTELLECT shares New Kung Fu remix.

In the dojo of hip hop, emcees engage in lyrical sparring sessions to not only develop their skill sets but to showcase their abilities to all challengers.

It is the drive of competition that is rooted deep within the music’s foundation. At certain moments in time, there emerge individuals destined to change the hip hop landscape and bring about a New Kung Fu of sorts. For Ohio’s iNTELLECT, a combination of steadfastness and Gospel-centric focus continues to shift the culture.

In 2021, iNTELLECT collaborated with fellow CHH artists Mitch Darrell and coreywordsmith to drop the acclaimed single New Kung Fu. The classic boom bap hits listeners like a roundhouse kick to the face. The elite bars and punches caught the attention of producer Yasad One who connected with iNTELLECT, coming with a proposal to remix the record.

On August 19, 2022, the New Kung Fu [Yasad One Remix] was released across digital music retailers.

With heavy drums and a dusty vocal sample, Yasad One gives his spin on New Kung Fu. From the beginning, the banging drums and rough vocal vibe perfectly with the rhymes of iNTELLECT, Mitch Darrell, and coreywordsmith. If you’re looking for something that is gritty with an east coast feel, this is it!

Follow iNTELLECT: Instagram | Facebook | Linktree

Song Details

Title: New Kung Fu [Yasad One Remix]

Artist: iNTELLECT

Release Date: August 19, 2022

Producer: Yasad One

Engineering: iNTELLECT

Features: Mitch Darrell, coreywordsmith

More from iNTELLECT.

The name of the game for independent artists is to increase listeners resulting in higher streams of their music. Platforms such as Spotify aid in fostering this growth.

Not all spikes in listenership are something to be excited about, unfortunately.

That is currently a lesson that many in the Christian hip-hop world are learning first-hand.

Playlisting Scam

As an artist, after countless hours pouring into a song’s creation, it is always a good feeling to receive a level of recognition for your work. In today’s music industry, where streams reign supreme (for now), landing your song on a playlist with a large number of followers is a great boost. Not only does it share your music with an audience that might not find out about you otherwise, but those streams impact your own follower numbers.

So the more playlists the better, right? Right?

Nope.

 

 

The playlist in question, Indie World, is curated by Artister.

According to Artister’s website, their platform boasts “Over 500,000+ Listeners” that generate monthly “over 10,000,000+ Organic Streams”.

The word that quickly jumps out is Organic.

Bots & More

Artister curates 18 playlists on streaming giant Spotify. They also have a whopping 10 followers on their account. Yet each of those 18 playlists has more than 98,000 followers individually. Many with 200,000+.

Are you connecting the dots?

Artister makes plenty of claims that would easily get the average artist excited:

“Artister.io is a small team of passionate Playlist curators and Music Industry experts. We tend to focus on discovering new talents, musicians, and passionate people, where we can help them to gain more engagement on their favorite Music Streaming Platforms.” – “Currently, we have over 8,000+ partners, ranging from Coffee Shops, McDonald’s restaurants, Public Events, and private lounges. Our partners tend to play the submitted music from our playlists upon receiving a new song-this way, both the partners and the musician profit.” – Artister’s “About Us” page.

The company also states that they do not use any bots or click farms to generate their streams. Instead, listeners get rewarded with in-system points when they listen to Artister playlists through their apps. Points can be redeemed for gift cards and more. The question is, is that the definition of Organic?

This set-up is classified as a “win-win” for everyone involved according to Artister. Unfortunately, not everyone (specifically artists) shares the same outlook.

Artist Input

I spoke with CHH artist Mitch Darrell about this situation that arose this week to get his insight.

FiveTwenty: When did the CHH community first notice that something weird was happening?

Mitch Darrell: For this specific scam, I personally noticed [it] about two weeks ago when a fellow artist reached out to me about being added to a big playlist that they didn’t pitch to. I then noticed it happen to me yesterday (July 19, 2022) and saw that it’d happened to a lot of my peers yesterday as well.

FT: You use the word scam, what makes you define what has happened that way?

MD: So the website states that they add random artists’ music to their huge playlists for one day, without them asking for it, to show the artists what their playlists can do numbers-wise. Afterward, if you want to remain on the playlist, you can pay them per day, week, or month. They claim to not be breaking any rules because [they are not] using bots. To me, this is a scam because: 1. they are adding artists without their knowledge or consent; 2. The numbers, while not made by bots, are unauthentic because the people who listen and follow are only doing so to be rewarded and not because they actually are fans of you or your songs; 3. I’m 99% positive that eventually the followers added this way (because you gain so much in a short period of time) appear as a red flag to Spotify and get removed down the line.

FT: In your opinion, why do you think that this company selected indie CHH artists?

MD: I personally feel like maybe they found a real CHH playlist and saw that it’s a big enough market to try to sell their services to.

FT: Can you explain the response we have seen from artists a little more and why they are frustrated?

MD: For me personally, and others I know, it’s frustrating because it both ruins the hard work you’ve put in to earn a real following and also hurts your authenticity. I was about to reach 1200 followers, something I was proud of. Now I’m at 1450 followers and I know for a fact that those extra 250 are not real supporters. Now if someone looks at my follower graph, they’ll wonder if I did something dishonest to gain followers.

FT: As an artist in this situation, what do you view as your next steps and how do you move forward from this?

MD: To be completely honest, I have no idea. The only thing that can technically be done is to reach out to Spotify and have them look into it. However, I’ve found that others have done that over the last year and nothing has been done.

FT: What should organic playlist placement look like in your opinion?

MD: Firstly, it should never promise that you’ll 100% gain a bunch of plays or followers. If they can guarantee that, then they’re most likely bots or something like this. 9 times out of 10, if you need to pay the platform, it’s probably not authentic. Typically, it should be set up where you email or send in a song and they decide whether they want to add it or not. A big playlist cycle is typically a week or two that songs stay up. Not 24 hours and not based on how much you pay them to stay on the playlist. The numbers should make sense. You will never gain 200 followers in a day unless your song gets reposted by Drake or someone.

FT: Do you have recommendations on how artists can be proactive to try and avoid similar situations?

MD: Honestly, I don’t. It’s so random and out of anyone’s control whether or not you are added to a playlist. I will say, don’t ever willingly use that platform or any platform that claims they’ll get you plays and followers for money.

Takeaways

At the end of the day, it is up to us in the community to make sure artists are supported. Not Spotify.

Sites such as Artister do and will continue to exist. It is a play to generate profit off of the hopes of independent artists. 

Artister offers package plans beginning at $49.99 for 1-week placement. They currently cap out with their Diamond Plan at $1199.99 for 2 months.

The best thing that fans and supporters can do is simple. If artists offer their music directly, purchase it from them. When it comes to streaming, create your own playlists and listen to your favorite artists from there; if not your own, make sure you follow reputable curators who have artist integrity in mind.

Here at FiveTwenty Collective, we curate playlists on both Spotify and Audiomack. We never charge an artist for placement on our playlists. There is a screening process to be selected for placement.

Spotify has taken steps in the past, including adding an algorithm Boost feature, to combat issues. However, more protection for artists may need to be put in place.

Knock Knock, by BVN, is a song that revolves around the verse Revelation 3:20:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me.”

The real knocking in the song is a call to action. He stands at the door and knocks. Will you let Him in?

Feature: Mitch Darrell