UPGRADE HIPHOP SIGNS TO EQUAL VISION, RELEASES MUSIC VIDEO FOR “SIDE EFFECTS”
Fist In The Air has just premiered a new video by Hudson Valley, NY emcee, Upgrade HipHop (aka Upgrade). With the premiere of “Side Effects” comes news of his signing to Equal Vision Records (Weerd Science, Circa Survive).
The label will release an expanded version of Upgrade’s 2014 independent album, Chemical Imbalance. Containing three new bonus tracks the Chemical Imbalance: Another Dose version will be released on November 13th. (Full track listing appears below)
In the video for “Side Effects” the emcee is tormented by masked persecutors, reflective of the underlying dark beat (courtesy of Mike “Ruler Of The World” Kalajian and Joe D) and the psychological state of the emcee. Lyrically it is an unflinchingly raw look into Upgrade’s lifelong battle with a panic disorder, anxiety and depression.
Watch “Side Effects” Video Premiere Here
While dwelling in various parts of upstate New York, Upgrade has been constantly developing as an emcee over the past decade. Some career highlights include sharing stages with Mac Miller, Styles P, Chris Webby, Saigon and Big Sean. Through a chance encounter he also received a big supporter in the personage of Josh Eppard (of Coheed & Cambria / Weerd Science).
Ironically as his career began to flourish his struggle with panic attacks became more pronounced. In turn, finding the right medication and correct dosage added to the burden.
Recalling that time Upgrade says “2014 was the darkest period in my life up to this point. I could hardly leave my house, I couldn’t drive any more, and I would have to have my mom or a friend drive me to my shows. Most people didn’t realize how bad I was doing. I wrote Chemical Imbalance as I was going through all of that it and it is the most honest thing I have written. I wanted people to know exactly the bullshit I have to deal with to go through the day.”
An example of this period is the album track “Further Down the Rabbit Hole” which features a guest appearance from Eppard (in his Weerd Science guise). The emcee recalls “I left my house for the first time in a month to record that track, I think you can tell in my take.”
Currently in a better place mentally and lyrically exorcised, Upgrade HipHop has filmed multiple videos for Chemical Imbalance: Another Dose (to premiere soon) and intends to tour in support of the album.
Chemical Imbalance: Another Dose Track Listing
1. “Side Effects” (Prod by Mike “Ruler Of The World” Kalajian and Joe D)
2. “Road Less Traveled” (Prod by Mike “Ruler Of The World” Kalajian and Joe D)
3. “Overdose On You” (Prod by Mike “Ruler Of The World” Kalajian and Joe D)
4. “Leave My Mark” (Prod by Escrappa and Mike “Ruler Of The World” Kalajian)
5. “Further Down the Rabbit Hole” Feat. Weerd Science
(Prod by Mike “Ruler Of The World” Kalajian)
6. “I Don’t Fit In” Feat. Heather Williams (Prod by Mike “Ruler Of The World” Kalajian and Joe D)
7. “Innocence” (Prod by Mike “Ruler Of The World” Kalajian)
8. “209” (Prod by Escrappa, Mike “Ruler Of The World” Kalajian and Joe D)
9. “New Age Love” (Prod by Mike “Ruler Of The World” Kalajian and Joe D)
10. “Joker” (Prod by Mike “Ruler Of The World” Kalajian and Joe D)
11. “Look Back and Laugh” (Prod by Lightfoot)
12. “One Last Cheers” (Prod by Mike “Ruler Of The World” Kalajian and Joe D)
13. “Noto’s Blue Period” *Bonus Track
14. “Empty Nest” *Bonus Track
15. “Padlocked” *Bonus Track