Happy Sunday everyone! Hope you’re all keeping week and safe. I feel like I’m repeating myself at this point but it has been an incredible week of music, with a plethora of releases from both the US and the UK, so I’m very excited to get into it!
On a sadder note however, I want to send my love and condolences to UK hip-hop legend Ty’s family and friends. He passed away earlier this week to Covid-19. Will be lighting one to you this weekend🕯️.
The complexity of Ka’s new solo album Descendants of Cain makes it an album to study for years to come
There’s so much I can still talk about and digest, but as far as the main themes and lyrics of this incredible album, I think I’ve done ok. Descendants of Cain is a true work of art. Lyrically Ka delves into complex themes of love, lust, the duality of man and contemporary socio-political issues while displaying his ideas through the lens of the Old Testament and the story of Cain and Abel. His unique flow, tone and delivery over soulful, ethereal production is what makes this such an incredible listening experience. Ka deserves all the praise and credits for this, and I really hope everyone listens and supports because I’m floored, for real. Read more
Little Simz’s alluring and inspiring presence on Drop 6 EP makes it a fitting follow up to GREY Area
For the past 5 years or so, London-based rapper Little Simz has blossomed to become one of the most exciting voices in the country. Her 2019 album GREY Area was an exceptional body of work that showcased the extent of her talents – a hard-hitting, introspective and unapologetically visceral project that combined soulful, bass-heavy boom-bap production with honest, heartfelt lyrics about mental health, personal growth and womanhood. It’s appeal reached far beyond the UK, elevating her status as one of the most important rappers of this generation. She is back with a short 6-track EP titled Drop 6, which to me acts as an extension of her last project. It’s a lively, engaging and soulful new project that continues the streak of hard-hitting and confident raps over rumbling, bass-heavy production. Read more
Samiyam – Reflectionz
Legendary LA producer Samiyam is back with a brand new album titled Reflectionz on Stones Throw Records. I’ve been a fan of his bass-heavy and soulful production for about a decade now, and I’m happy to see him continue to thrive musically. This album is exceptional. With incredible loops and soul samples throughout the 14 tracks on this project, he is able to capture an engaging and dynamic album full of neck-breakers. It’s definitely something to check out if you’re into the whole LA beat scene sound. Amazing work!
Daedelus – What Wands Won’t Break
LA producer Daedelus has released a brand new album titled What Wands Won’t Break. He’s one of the most eclectic musicians of the last 20 years or so, and this new album is a break away from his usual hip-hop oriented sound to something that is much more influenced by techno and house music. The thick electronic synths and basslines on the opener “Cauldron” sets the tone for the entire album, though the sound does meander from cacophonous and almost hellish to more melodic. Tracks like “Datura” and “Unyielding” are examples of the crazy and twisted electronic rhythms that create a dominant, almost aggressive energy. It’s a 23 track album that perfectly captures Daedelus’ eclectic genius, bridging the gap between wild electronic music and hip-hop. Definitely recommend you check this one out.
Oscar #Worldpeace – Sporadic
North London rapper Oscar #Worldpeace has released his highly anticipated new project Sporadic. Consisting of 9 tracks, this masterful body of work is smooth, soulful and introspective. Oscar pours his heart out on this project over soulful, lush and gorgeous instrumentation. His ability to flow effortlessly on some of these tracks makes for a captivating listen. Tracks like “Evening Time” with Knucks and Etta Bond as well as “Leave The Devil Outside” with the legendary The Streets are examples of this. The latter track is especially poignant, with a personal and inspiring story that’s truly potent and soulful, as well as an incredible verse from Mike Skinner. “No Time” is a mesmeric, jazzy and soulful track featuring the angelic voice of Demae and an intricate verse from Oscar. The features throughout also bring their own unique personalities, enriching the listening experience. House of Pharaohs member Sam Wise and Arielle’s World feature on the brilliant “Relocate,” while the groovy “Mmm” features Ragz Originale and BenjiFlow. It’s a terrific album that places Oscar #Worldpeace among one of the very best artists from the UK.
Barney Artist – Lofi Lockdown
Forest Gate musician Barney Artist has released a new mixtape titled Lofi Lockdown. It was released this Friday on his birthday (have a blessed one!) and is available for 72 hours, so I suggest you listen and buy immediately if you want to hear it. He recorded and mixed this project in a week during this lockdown, which is so impressive considering the sheer quality of it, and I beg you release it permanently on the internet. His passionate and introspective raps are as lively and captivating as ever, flowing effortlessly over incredible, soulful production. He samples his fans throughout the project talking about things they’ve been doing or feeling through lockdown, and it makes it feel intimate. Highlights include “Do What You Do” featuring Lex Amor and Ghostpoet – the mystical, enthralling tone of this track is perfect, while the production on “Skin and Your Hair” (by Shinra) is gorgeous. Barney’s raps have always been seeped in positive energies despite talking about personal and often difficult subject matters, and he combines both energies beautifully on this project. I hope people get a chance to hear this project because it’s fantastic!
Nappy Nina – 30 Bag
Brooklyn-based Oakland rapper Nappy Nina has come through with a brand new project titled 30 Bag. The talented wordsmith turned 30 on Friday, hence the title, so I wish you a very happy and healthy birthday and year ahead! The project is produced by unjust and features the usual soulful, intricate boom-bap sound prevalent on her previous two albums. Her flow and delivery is as terrific as usual, as she rhymes about life struggles and personal growth. The EP also features Stas THEE Boss, (who appears on my favourite track “When Her”), and Maassai, who both bring incredible energies, complementing Nappy Nina’s incredible poetry throughout. It’s an amazing EP that deserves all the recognition it can get!
RPBGV – Bodygizer
Multi-talented Dallas, Texas musician RPBGV has released an incredible new album titled Bodygizer. It’s a crazy, genre-bending album that combines electronic ambience with guitar-driven melodies. Throughout the 17 tracks and 56 minutes worth of music, PRBGV captures my interest from start to finish, with tracks that meander between eclectic and experimental soundscapes and smooth, soulful melodies. The bubbly electronics on “Cannies” featuring Lord Byron are incredible, while “File Island” and “Whipflash” feature some incredible acoustic guitar melodies. The meditative electronic soundscape on “St. Patrick’s Day” is another highlight, while the crazy and spiritual “Push & Pull” featuring Zeroh is another wild listening experience. The other mind-blowing track is the eight and a half minute thriller “Raider” with Ben Hixon. This one is absolutely insane. 2-step rhythms, incredible guitar leads and basslines and meditative vocals throughout. This whole album is incredible and frankly deserves a whole review on its own. RPBGV pushed crazy boundaries with this release and the more I’ve listened to it (I’m on my third listen as I’m writing this), the more I’ve come to love the nuance in sounds and the subtle melodies throughout. This is definitely one of the better albums to come out this year, and I only hope he continues to push boundaries because this album was immense from start to finish. Big up Dolfin Records too!
Odeeno – NEK070: Souleving
Naples, Italy producer Odeeno has released a brand new beat tape titled Souleving. His music has always been angelic, bringing soulful melodies through his music through incredible piano keys and subtle yet poignant beats. This project here is no different, with a melodic, colourful tone that makes for an engaging and wonderful listen. The dreamy tone on tracks such as “Alwysrember” and “Everythngpass” are truly angelic, bringing a textured sound that was able to captivate me from start to finish. Big respect to Odeeno, hope you’re staying safe and you continue growing as an artist!
HOWES3 – Moving Forward
Brighton-based jazz trio HOWES3 have released a brand new album titled Moving Forward. The 10-track album consists of soulful, piano and synth-driven melodies that are colourful in sound and tone, while bringing a dynamic, groovy and infectious sound that’s just incredible. From the piano-heavy “Moving Forward” to the slow-paced, sweet “Nonian,” the album is diverse in tempo, yet it holds the same soulful and emotive tone throughout. The funky groove of “Avenue” makes it my favourite on the album, simply for its energy, while the dynamic drumming on “Too Many Kicks” is also terrific. Overall, HOWES3 have released a stellar album full of memorable moments that I’ll definitely be returning to. Hope you’re all doing well and you continue to grow musically!
Cumulus Frisbee – Hyperion
Pennsylvania-based producer Cumulus Frisbee has released a crazy new album titled Hyperion. This is the first time I’ve heard of this talented musician and I was heavily impressed by the energy he is able to bring through idiosyncratic rhythms and sound effects. From the get-go, his music jumped out at me in a captivating and memorable way. The colourful sound effects and vocal melodies the opener “Ubiquitous” make it a riveting first track, and it’s all crazy grooves and beat arrangements from then on. The fast-paced “Cellular Folklore” is another highlight for me, a riveting groove and intricate drums throughout that make it a truly fascinating track. Slowya.roll features on “Gold Soprano,” a drum-heavy track with guitar leads and heavy basslines throughout that are truly fantastic. Overall, Cumulus Frisbee has released quite an impressive album, full of quirky sound effects and melodies, combined with hard-hitting drums and basslines that provide grooves upon grooves. Well done on this one, highly recommended!
Ka – Every Now and Then (Descendants of Cain)
Ka – Sins of the Father ft Roc Marciano (Descendants of Cain)
Ka – I Love (Mimi, Moms, Kev) (Descendants of Cain)
Samiyam – coffee (Reflectionz)
Nappy Nina – When Her ft Stas THEE BOSS (30 Bag)
Ty – Closer ft Maseo (Closer)
Little Simz – might bang, might not (Drop 6)
JPEGMAFIA – BALD! REMIX ft Denzel Curry (Single)
Caleb Giles – Diamonds (Single)
Medhane – Allegedly (Single)
Little Simz – where’s my lighter ft Alewya (Drop 6)
Oscar #Worldpeace – No Time ft Demae (Sporatic)
RPBGV – Push & Pull ft Zeroh (Bodygizer)
Cumulus Frisbee – Cellular Folklore (Hyperion)
Daedelus – Sunflower Stems (What Wands Won’t Break)
HOWES3 – Avenue (Moving Forward)
Ty – Music 2 Fly 2 (Upwards)