Consider yourself introduced to Baltimore based artist Neru Thee Fourth Fugee, whose latest album ‘The Almanac’ is an absolute blast from start to finish. The project serves as the follow up to 2014’s ‘Enlightenment Era’ and features previously released single ‘‘C-Spine’ which enlists the talents of rising star Deetranada. Over the course of the project’s nine tracks, Neru takes you on a kaleidoscopic journey of sounds which beautifully meld together hip-hop, rap, funk, neo-soul with psychedelic nuances thrown in for good measure.
Korean-American artist Audrey teams up with Jack Harlow on the bombastic and utterly captivating single ‘Comic Sans’ which dropped last month. Accompanied by an equally playful music video directed by Khufu Najee and Audrey Chu, the track packs quite the punch as both Audrey and Jack manoeuvre their way across the trap-inspired beat with killer flows.
Originally released in 2017, Los Angeles based trio clipping. share ‘The Deep’, alongside two previously unreleased recordings in the form of ‘Aquacode Databreaks’ (ft. Shabazz Palaces) and ‘Drownt’. Encompassing a futuristic sound, the experimental Hip-Hop group, comprised of rapper Daveed Diggs and producers William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes, work their magic across the three tracks which encompass shape-shifting sci-fi soundscapes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Intentionally acclaimed duo The Reminders offer an eclectic blend of beats born from hip-hop’s classic era with soulful vocals and funk filled bass lines, founded upon a lyrical focus toward fiercely positive, empowering poetry. Their high energy shows weave wild dance breaks with anthemic choruses and reggae drops in a unique collage of shamelessly openhearted, self expression and a diverse style that is entirely their own. Married in life as well as partners in music, The Reminders, who’re comprised of Brussels-born Big Samir and Queens-born Aja Black, purposefully share their personal stories to inspire people to transcend any separation that might exist between the artists and their audiences, reminding their listeners that we are one family. This is wonderfully embodied in their brilliant track ‘I Remember’ which is lifted from their ‘Born Champions’ album.
Chicago emcee Elton makes a profound and soulful introduction with his debut EP, “Elevated”. Sitting at 6-tracks deep, the breakout project is packed with soulful jazz-infused production and introspective lyricism, with the young newcomer’s powerful versatility making it one of 2018’s most impressive new hip-hop offerings. Featuring a slew of his peers in fellow Chicago artists Phoelix, Akenya, Blake Davis and Luke Titus, with this effort Elton has created an impressive foundation for his inevitable ascension.
Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins announced his new album by sharing powerful new banger ‘Bruce Banner’. The 27-year-old flexes his lyrical muscle as he unleashes his inner Hulk, channeling his aggression into a dense, intricate flow spat over a menacing instrumental from producers NEZ and RIO. A track packed with endless quotable bars, his declaration that “honestly, can’t nobody come for me except Kendrick” has already created a significant buzz, and will only heighten the anticipation for the release of his sophomore LP ‘Pieces Of Man’ this coming autumn.
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G.O.O.D. Music have had one hell of a month. After five consecutive weeks of dominating the hip-hop agenda with the releases of 7-song albums from hip-hop legends Pusha T, Kanye West, Kid Cudi and Nas, last weekend the label’s run finally reached its climax with Teyana Taylor’s sophomore record ‘K.T.S.E.’ (standing for Keep That Same Energy). Despite being perhaps the least hyped up of the five releases, the Harlem-born singer takes her moment in the spotlight with relish, delivering a record of slick, timeless RnB jams. Smooth soulful production comes courtesy of West and Mike Dean, who for the most part leave aside the more abrasive electronic experimentation that they have explored on the previous records, opting instead for a palette of warm keys and classic soul samples allowing Taylor to showcase her powerful vocals, exemplified on the album’s standout track ‘Rose in Harlem’.
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LA record label Top Dawg Entertainment has produced some of contemporary US hip-hop’s biggest new stars in the last few years, developing the likes of Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Isaiah Rashad and SiR. Amongst such a wealth of fresh talent, west-coast rap veteran Jay Rock has at times perhaps been overlooked; despite being one of the label’s earliest signees way back in 2005, he has thus far struggled to emulate the same level of international commercial success as his label-mates. However this is due to change with the release of his third album ‘Redemption’, a powerful, direct record that expertly fuses Rock’s roots in classic hip-hop sensibilities with the trappier contemporary sounds of the modern-day scene. In the midst of a host of stellar guest appearances from hip-hop royalty like Lamar, J. Cole, Future and Jeremih, the 33-year old Rock more than holds his own, showcasing his arsenal of slick flows and imposing delivery over a diverse range of styles, tied together by a consistent dark energy. Touching on a range of themes including religion, race and gang life in Los Angeles, ‘Redemption’ is a truly enjoyable rap album that is due to elevate Jay Rock to the status that he has perhaps long deserved.
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After the success of his 2017 debut album ‘blkswn’, St. Louis rapper Smino returns with his first single of 2018. The track sees him delivering his distinctive melodic falsetto vocals and trading slick verses with Chicago’s Mick Jenkins over a slow, bumping groove produced in collaboration with with THEMpeople. The contrast between the two lyricists style is a lethal combination, Jenkins’ smooth, laidback flow serving as the perfect complement to Smino’s unorthodox, staccato energy, skipping across pockets in the distorted beat as the infectious bassline keep the listener’s head knocking.
In 2013, Dreamville rapper Bas released Pinball, a song that hinted at his hunger for success; five years on, its sequel is a testament to how far the Queens artist has come. With his last album ‘Too High to Riot’ debuting in Billboard’s Top 50, Bas has steadily climbed up from his humble beginnings – and he isn’t stopping. Pinball II boasts punchy bars delivered with a racing flow and features the heavy vocals of LA artist Correy C.
Chicago artist Saba’s sophomore album CARE FOR ME is dedicated to his cousin John Walt who was fatally stabbed in February 2017. His discography boasts a range of diverse material, exploring a fusion of elements of hip-hop, jazz, and neo-soul; on LIFE, the production morphs from a smooth head-knocking double bass sample to darker, distorted synth sounds as the mood develops, with Saba’s melodic raps brooding over his personal struggles with grief and the hardships of life as a black man in America.