Winter Breaks 1 & 2
by Substantial

WINTER BREAKS 1
Independent Hip Hop duo Bop Alloy will release their first, holiday project on December 9, 2014. In February 2014, Bop Alloy was able to fund their 2nd LP, ‘Another Day in the Life of…’ using Kickstarter. The initial goal of the project was $7000. They more than doubled that amount in under one month and issued stretch goals, one of which included a holiday EP that would become ‘Winter Breaks’.

‘Winter Breaks’ compiles 6 sonically vintage Hip Hop tracks. Producer, Marcus D handles the live instrumentation mixes masterfully while infusing jazz, soul, and a pinch of Afrobeat samples. Lyrically, Substantial touches on the personal, social, and economical effects of the Holiday season, using thoughtful lyricism, wit, and a variety of flows to paint a different portrait of Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s.

“I wanted to do something that wasn’t a traditional Christmas/Holiday album. I celebrate Kwanzaa as well and I set out to make songs that give you a peek into this underexposed, wonderful world”, says Substantial.

“Regardless of how you celebrate, what you celebrate, and/or who you celebrate it with, this is the best time of year, and I think ‘Winter Breaks’ embodies that sentiment without the cliche “holiday raps factor”, says Marcus D. The ‘Winter Breaks’ EP is sure to be the only holiday music you’ll be playing from now through February.

WINTER BREAKS 2
As we approach what may be an exceedingly difficult holiday season for most, Bop Alloy returns with Winter Breaks 2 hoping to end an abysmal year on a high note.

The tracks on Winter Breaks 2 exude light, warmth, honesty, and hope from every pore, which is exactly what you’ve come to expect from the intercontinental jazz hip hop duo.
One of the project’s standout tracks, “What’s it Without You” aptly captures the sentiment of the year with Substantial rapping, “Rather embrace the pain than run and hide from the truth/ that’s my point of view/ hard to know what to do/ supposed to be 2020, our whole perspective is skewed/”. Pismo’s angelic vocal arrangement (which could easily be mistaken as a small choir) and T. Lucas’ emotional letter to his father and everyone who lost loved ones this year hit differently.

But as always, even in times of global crisis and uncertainty, Bop Alloy chooses to accentuate the positive on tracks like “Our Message”, “Same Energy”, and “‘Twas the Night Before”, which plays like a much cooler, (and way less rapey) jazz-club duet version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” featuring a spectacular performance from Debórah Bond reminiscent of Ella in her prime. The duo ends the album with a poignant tribute to the parents who work miracles year after year to keep the holiday spirit alive for their children no matter the sacrifices. If Bop Alloy’s Winter Breaks isn’t already part of your holiday tradition, then 2020 might be the perfect year for you to try something new.
credits
released December 3, 2021

All songs written, produced, mixed, and mastered by Substantial & Marcus D.