Tkay Maidza – Awake (ft. JPEGMAFIA)

Australian based rapper Tkay Maidza teams up with COLORS alum JPEGMAFIA on her hard-hitting comeback single ‘Awake’. Together with Baltimore rapper JPEGMAFIA, Maidza flexes her powerful vocals over an eerie and frenetic beat penned by Dan Farber as she raps about insomnia. The first single since her ‘Last Year Was Weird Vol. 1’ from last year, ‘Awake’ is the perfect taste of what’s to come from Tkay Maidza.

BROCKHAMPTON – IF YOU PRAY RIGHT

BROCKHAMPTON have revitalised and redefined what it is to be a “boy band” over the past year years. With four stellar projects under their belt, the supergroup are in the process of rolling out album number five, which is titled ‘Ginger’ and features previously released single ‘I Been Born Again’. On follow up single ‘IF YOU PRAY RIGHT’, which is accompanied by a futuristic Spencer Ford directed visual, the members work their magic once more with slick production and equally cool verses from the likes of Dom McLennon, Joba, Matt Champion and Merlyn Wood.

Abhi The Nomad – House of Clocks

Madras born, Austin based artist Abhi The Nomad shares the eclectic ‘House of Clocks’, taken from his forthcoming ‘Modern Trash’ album. Having lived in eight countries by the time he was twenty one, it comes as no surprise that Abhi The Nomad’s music is a globally conscious commentary on our planet’s current state. That’s exactly the case with ‘House of Clocks’, an otherwise spirited track which touches on environmental issues and how we still have a long way to go in saving the planet. Check out ‘House of Clocks’ here and be sure to keep an eye out of ‘Modern Trash’ when it drops later this year.

Yanchan – I Know (ft. Shan Vincent de Paul)

Opening with the line “I feel like a god right now” couldn’t be more apt for ‘I Know’, the latest single from Sri Lankan-Canadian artist and producer Yanchan. Fusing a fiery hip-hop beat with Carnatic nuances, ‘I Know’ is a collaboration with fellow native Shan Vincent de Paul who blitz through his powerful and hard-hitting verse with ease. Together, the pair have created a song that empowers and celebrates both the Eastern and Western influences, masterfully blending the sounds to create a seamless, powerful statement.

Makala – Radio Suicide

After last year’s brilliant ‘Ginger Juice’, Switzerland based rapper Makala has become inseparable from Varnish La Piscine who produced his highly anticipated debut album ‘Radio Suicide’. Encompassing a dirty yet sensual funk aesthetic, the two Swiss acolytes celebrate an hybrid and refreshing sound that resonates wonderfully on each track. The MC, of Congolese origin, whose name means “embers” in lingala, delivers punchy rhymes and bewitching flows on retro yet modern moods. The Superwak Clique member displays and cultivates his unique sound with ease… and it suits him well.

Chrms – Bone Soda (ft. Rae)

Influenced by Flume, Mura Masa, Odesza and Mr. Carmack; young electronic producer Chrms (pronounced Charms) has been experimenting with design, film and music since he was nine. Not subjected to any genre, his productions mainly vary from indie dream pop to lush, ethereal, bass heavy electronic music. Garnering a secure hold within the independent music scene in India, his debut EP ‘Lover Boy’ takes one through the diverse genres that have been explored by this young producer. Bone Soda ft Rae is a smooth composition infused with distinctive synth elements making for a tune one can groove to on the dance floor. The contrast of the rap and the subtlety of the production makes for the perfect balance merging two different worlds together.

Octavian – Endorphins

London based rapper, producer and BBC Sound of 2019 winner proves why he’s one of the most exciting voices around with the release of ‘Endorphins’. The twelve-track project, which follows up last year’s ‘Spaceman’ tape, is another brilliant showcase of Octavian’s unique flow and intriguing sound. With contributions from the likes of Jessie Ware, Skepta, Theophilus London, ABRA and more, ‘Endorphins’ is a trippy, melodious affair boasting the Londoner’s superb songwriting and raspy, calculated delivery.

Z.E – 74 Bars

Swedish rap sensation Z.E. opens up his banger ’74 Bars’ with the fiery line “Tar inte klubbspelningar, bara festivaler” (no more club shows, only festivals), setting the scene wonderfully for his equally explosive flow. Z.E has been topping the Swedish music charts ever since the debut a little over two years ago. With the gift of eloquently incorporating his life experiences into the rapping, Z.E has reached out to every Scandinavian music lover from the upper North to the South.

On ’74 Bars’, Z.E. looks forwards, after touring around the country at different clubs, Z.E. sets his sights on playing for bigger crowds and festivals. The past months have seen the rapper flourish with a slew of unexpected releases, where each song has it’s special signature sound. Z.E is and will always be one of the top dogs of Swedish hip hop.

Loud – Médailles

Loud, the MC from Montreal reveals a very convincing and faithful piece in the form of ‘Médalilles’ where his melancholic intonations are accompanied by sharp punchlines. Now that the excitement of the beginnings has passed, the young man seems quite overwhelmed, almost already exhausted by the world and events that now surround him. Loud returns this year with a brand new album that allows him to further serve as the ambassador of French-speaking Canadian rap status. The successor to the unmissable ‘Une année record’ is named ‘Tout ça pour ça’ and will be released on May 24th.

Prins Daniel – Houdini

‘Houdini’ is the debut album of the emerging Swedish rapper Prins Daniel (Prince Daniel). The album is a 15 track masterpiece showcasing Daniels’ lyrical prowess as the record explores a mix of political views over slick beats. Prins Daniel brings up the social structures and doesn’t shy away from wearing his heart on sleeve.

‘Citroner’ (Lemons in English), the lead single from the record delves into social structures, Daniels comments on how milennials are not being true to themselves and reaching out to please everybody without actually doing anything. It is about a digital generation saying that they have strong political views and that they care about the world, but behind those words lies a privileged person who actually doesn’t care about other people. Prins Daniel is a poetic genius. Prins Daniel is art, a living, walking and talking proof of an excellent rapper. One thing is for sure: his journey has just begun.

QSYDF – Date

After several unsuccessful attempts by close friends and family, to persuade the members of QSYDF to change their name to something a little easier to pronounce, vocalist Juano tells us in an exclusive interview the story behind those acronyms. The Q and S, on one hand, stand for Juano´s rap project “Quimika Soul”, while D and F stand for “Distrito Funk”, founded by former vocalist Sapo.

Ecuadorian musicians of current renown, were, at some point, part of one of these two projects a decade ago, when they were all just finishing high school. After graduating and moving to different countries to study, the projects dissolved and it was only 10 years later, in 2018, that these childhood friends met in their hometown and decided to merge those acclaimed childhood experiments together.Hence “Quimika Soul y Distrito Funk” (QSYDF) was born with the release of their first record together: ‘Date’.

Lots of energy and humour, intricate rhymes, funky bass slaps and jazzy dyes characterise the band’s sound, nowadays conformed by Ronald, Fercho, Christian and the above mentioned vocalists Juano and Sapo.

Latrell James – Tracphone

Boston based rapper Latrell James is a playful poet, and his latest single ‘Tracphone’ (a pay-as-you-go mobile) is the perfect example of this. Likewise, previously heard single ‘Okay’, ‘Today’ and ‘Mona Lisa Bonet’ encompass a similar aesthetic whilst maintaining an element of freshness throughout. On ‘Tracphone’, James’ lackadaisical flow and delivery circumvent the deeper messages that line his wordplay as he raps about the shape shifting landscape in his life.

Erik Lundin – Zebrapojken

‘Zebrapojken’ (Zebra Boy in English) is the debut album from Swedish/Gambian rapper Erik Lundin. He has been a part of the Swedish rap scene for over a decade, starting off by rapping in English under the name of Eboi. His first offering in his native tongue of Swedishwas in the form of an EP called ‘Suedi’ in 2015.

The record ‘Zebrapojken’ is a reference to the Swedish word zebrabarn (zebra kids) which means kids that grow up during bad circumstances: their emotional lives are striped because of the vast change of feeling happy and/or sad. The ten track album takes the listeners through a musical journey of emotions and real life scenarios as Erik gives us an insight into his life stories in an easy and melodic way.

His wizardry in writing depicts real life scenarios and emotions of vulnerability and hurt playfully combined with joy and hope of seeing the good in life as well. Erik Lundin is a true songwriter and musician who’s honesty and talent has a great impact and value on Swedish pop culture.

Prince Waly – BO Y Z

Prince Waly, who makes up half of the group Big Buddha Cheez, is a true storyteller. As he keeps saying: he was bottle-fed to American cinema, something that is ever present when listening to his music. On ‘BO Y Z’, the Montreuil artist pushes the boundaries of his music. Nineties imagery, a cinematic tone and a fantasy of the ubiquitous gangster are the three constants that define his universe. The 9-track record features contributions from various quality guests such as Tengo John, TripleGo, Loveni, Alpha Wann, Enchantée Julia and Feu! Chatterton.

Varnish La Piscine – Le Regard Qui Tue

Varnish La Piscine, rapper, producer and member of SuperWak Clique (Di-Meh, Slimka, Makala…) delivers an astounding audio-visual experience in the form of ‘Le Regard qui Tue’. Serving as the follow up to ‘Escape (F + R Prelude)’, which already demonstrated his virtuosity, the Swiss artist returns with a very conceptual project; on funky dark productions he unveils an audio book telling a B-movie-like gangster story taking place in 60’s Monaco starring Varnish’s alias Inspector Sidney Franco. He is joined by rapper Rico Tha Kid playing the journalist Angel de Jesùs and the sensual Bonnie Banane aka Gabrielle Solstice, a criminal who literally kills with her eyes. With this new record, Varnish La Piscine has released one of the most original projects of the year so far.

Aaron May – Let Go

Seventeen year-old rapper and producer Aaron May proved that he’s one of the most exciting rapper to come out of Houston with ‘Ride’, his powerful debut single from last year. On his latest offering ‘Let Go’, May lays down his clever wordplay over a jazz-inflected, self-produced beat that boasts a killer bass. With just these two singles, Aaron May has proved himself as a refreshing voice in an otherwise saturated landscape.

404 – Fearful

London outfit 404 are made up of Bathwater, Silvertongue, Eliot, Devenny and Sonny, and their debut single ‘Fearful’ is a blistering affair. A sharp commentary on modern society, the track boasts a fierce and energetic vibe whilst encompassing a raw edge through its songwriting and production. Serving as a perfect introduction to the quintet’s unique sound, ‘Fearful’ marks the first single from their forthcoming debut EP which is out next month.

Ms Proper – Wicked

Rising from the underbelly of Virginia’s dystopian suburbia, Ms Proper experiments with a unique synthesis of sweet talking R&B and filthy mouthed Trap, all at once spouting melodic insults and adlibs of forgiveness in her signature, tender vengeance. Reflected in the blend of fierce low end production and smooth chords from collaborator LA Chase, her song ‘Wicked’ is a slow wind of whispered secrets. This month she drops her latest project ‘The Aquarius Tape’ that addresses everything from old lovers across the spectrum of the zodiac to her moving to Los Angeles with nothing but $5 in her pocket and a ruthless dedication to her pursue her dreams.

Lil Supa – SERIO

Marlon Morales aka Lil Supa is a Venezuelan rapper/producer who has quickly become one of the greatest exports of Latin American hip hop. After years of groundbreaking releases, collaborations, presentations and tours around the world, Lil Supa embarks on his most ambitious project, an audiovisual album composed of thirteen video clips titled ‘SERIO’. Throughout the record Supa exchanges roles with Lou Fresco, his alter ego, who incarnates the role of the protagonist, director and writer of this masterpiece. Film, photography, design and art direction are some of the creative fields that Morales had to explore to faithfully reflect his thoughts and feelings about his career, travel and experiences in ‘SERIO’.

Aden x Asme – Favela

January 17

In a short space of time, Aden x Asme have introduced themselves into the Swedish rap community with a bang and have quickly shown why they’re one of the most exciting artists to come out of Sweden. Even though they rap in Swedish, their digital success with millions of streams on Youtube and Spotify has led them to an audience that spans the world with songs like ‘Kasse’, ‘jet ft Mo’ and ‘skiner’. They’ve worked with Afro B and Dun D (UK) along with producers like Ceefigz who’s produced for rising British artists like Fredo, Sneakbo, Yxng Bane and D Block Europe. The duo’s latest single ‘Favela’ is produced by the iconic Swedish producer Masse Salazar and encompasses the pair’s smooth flow as they work their magic across the spirited beat.