After another busy but productive and positive week, I’m back with a new weekly roundup, and this one features potential album of the year contenders as well as other gems I’ll be having on rotation for a while. So without further ado, let’s get into it!
Giggs’ Now Or Never is a stellar mixtape, with rhymes and beats that sound raw and captivating
With each and every release, South London legend Giggs reminds us why he’s one of the greatest to ever touch the mic in the UK. His baritone, sometimes monotonous but always engaging voice is iconic at this point, and every time he raps, I feel every word he says. On his new 16-track mixtape Now Or Never, the Peckham-born emcee keeps his crown, delivering a diverse yet cohesive and varied project, with trap and drill-influenced production that sounds both colourful and super engaging. On the mic, Giggs raps with ease, flowing effortlessly throughout and showcasing his always sharp pen. It’s a project that sounds refreshing, despite all the great music that has come out thus far this year, and that’s what makes it great. Read more
FlySiifu’s is greatness personified, with both artists reaching new creative heights
As far as collaborative albums go, this is up there with the best of the best I’ve heard, not only this year but over the last few years. It sounds like it came out a few years ago too, like it transports me to a time a few years ago when I was starting the website and all this crazy music was coming out at the time. It’s got the ability to evoke certain memories for me, and its transcendent energy is what makes this album great. Pink Siifu and Fly Anakin have released a gem, a poetic, soulful, and mesmeric new album that exceeds all expectations. FlySiifu’s is greatness personified, and both artists have reached new heights creatively with this one here. Read more
Knxwledge – HX.PRT15.8_
LA producing legend Knxwledge is back with another great beat tape titled HX.PRT15.8_. Sampling soulful classics and other incredibly lush and beautiful tracks, the Knxwledge is able to compose intricate and incredibly engaging tracks that are just so damn gorgeous. Tracks like “kwalitytime_” and “girl.” are examples of his talents as a producing, sampling the shit out of both classics. The bassline and drums on “1neilove.” are so damn heavy, and the jazzy, funky closer “you&me[brb]” shows again why he’s so good at what he does. The soundscape on that is ethereal and so damn smooth, capturing the tone and aura of his music perfectly. If you’re not familiar with Knxwledge by now then damn, WAKE UP! No but seriously, it’s a great tape as per usual and one to definitely support!
Goya Gumbani & Oliver Palfreyman – Truth Be Sold
London-based artistic geniuses Goya Gumbani and Oliver Palfreyman have come through with an incredible new collaborative project titled Truth Be Sold. Despite it being a short, 6 track project, each record on here is incredible. Oliver Palfeyman has been one of my favourite producers of the last 4-5 years, and his contribution on this tape is phenomenal. Goya Gumbani’s creative rise over the last few years has been inspiring to witness. On this project, both artists complement each other so perfectly. Oliver Palfreyman’s eclectic and meandering beats are poignant and hard-hitting, while Goya’s heartfelt verses throughout are relatable and so stellar – his flows are incredible throughout. Tracks like “Signs*”, “Fight for Love” featuring George Riley and “Ways of Mine” capture a moody, reflective vibe that sounds potent and somewhat moody. The highlight for me however is “Hither Green” featuring Elijah Maja. I kid you not, I had that track on repeat at least 5 times before finishing the project, and I’ve been listening to it now on loop pretty much. The beat is some of the craziest shit I’ve heard all year, and the way Goya flows on it is perfect for it. So yes, go support because the whole project is incredible.
Novelist – Quantum Leap
Since his first few clashes and releases all these years ago, Novelist has established himself as one of the finest figures in Grime. His 2018 debut album Novelist Guy is a phenomenal one, capturing the heart and soul of one of London’s most unique voices. He is back with a new project, this time an instrumental EP titled Quantum of Leap, and it shows the extent of Novelist’s talents as a producer and overall artist. The funky, often futuristic sound he’s able to create on tracks like “FREEDOM” and “THE SAPPHIRES” is pretty cool, but it’s the grooves and dance-heavy energy of “LUXURY LIFE” and “WE ARE ONE” that impress me the most. Basically House tracks, the London-based artist is able to extend his sound beyond just grime or hip-hop, making him an eclectic and diverse musician and one I can’t wait to hear more of.
Dan Kye – Small Moments
As Dan Kye, Jordan Rakei is able to channel his more dynamic, dance-heavy sound. Joy, Ease, Lightness introduced me to his other sound, and I was immediately drawn to the textures and dynamic energy of these tracks. Small Moments takes that energy and amplifies it by A LOT. It kicks off with the groovy and rumbling beat of “Mogeri”, a House track that is full of life and energy, setting the tone for the rest of the album. The colourful and funky “Rainbow Road” is crazy as well, while the infectious “Moving” is the perfect medicine for 2020. Its light energy is really needed, and I’m glad that the album as a whole just feels so, so light and energetic. It’s a feel-good project that is just so poignant and beautiful throughout, and i definitely think everyone should give this one a listen, because it’s a truly special album.
Sango – SHANGO
The Seattle, Washington producer Sango is back with another incredible beat tape titled SHANGO. Always taking influence from Brazilian and Caribbean music, the talented musician has come through again with a dynamic and groovy project that features some heavy and dynamic beats and grooves that perfectly capture his heavy, hard-hitting trap influenced sound. Tracks like “The Sun Rose in Togo” and “Eyes Open” are crazy tracks to me, with synth leads and melodies that add colour to the dynamic grooves. The tribal, percussive energy of tracks like “Benue State” and “Kampala Dance” are so beautiful as well, capturing this raw and infectious energy that carries itself throughout the entire project.
FarragoL – ENTREE_2：Sex For Breakfast
Taiwanese producer FarragoL has come through with a stellar new project titled ENTREE_2：Sex For Breakfast. The rhythmic and dynamic project is exceptional, with grooves upon grooves on tracks like “Water Wave” and “Disorder” are exceptional tracks and examples of his dance-oriented music. His ability to create infectious melodies with synths and vocal samples that capture this colourful, playful aesthetic that is just beautiful throughout the entire project. Tracks like “Arrows” are an example of this, while “Satisfy” end the project out with a colourful and groovy cut that perfectly captures FarragoL’s aura and talent as a musician. Go support this one!
Elijah Bank$y – FROM ME 222 YOU
New York- based musician Elijah Bank$y released this album back in September, but I somehow missed it at the time of its release. Shoutout to my pal Chewbeats who brought this to my attention. FROM ME 222 YOU is a soulful, emotive and personal hip-hop project, with stunning and utterly captivating production that sounds super soulful and textured. “SAZÓN / EVRYTHNG2ME” Produced by dylantheinfamous & Zekeultra is a gorgeous, feelgood track that sees Elijah Bank$y rhyme poignantly and flow effortlessly throughout. Other moments on the album I absolutely love are “WHATAFEELIN” featuring JODI and produced. By YL, with a stellar soul sample that captures an aura and sound that is just so gorgeous. The project as a whole is definitely worth checking out, and I’ll be having this one on repeat for a while I imagine.
_Ghostdrank – Goal World
Dallas, Texas-based producer _Ghostdrank has come through with an excellent new release titled Goal World. This is my first introduction to the talented producer, and I was immediately drawn to the eclectic, idiosyncratic beat selections that they’re able to produce. The synth leads and melodies throughout this 7-track project are truly special, with some incredibly lush and layered instrumentals that sound smooth and beautifully melodic. From the jittery and soothing “Snoozin'” to the emotive and playful “Embarkin'”. It’s the heart and soul of the music that makes it quite an incredible body of work, and I can’t wait to go back and discover more of their music now.
Giggs – Now or Never (Now or Never)
Giggs – Debonair (Now or Never)
Giggs – Straight Murder (Giggs & David) ft Dave (Now or Never)
Pink Siifu & Fly Anakin – Suitcase Special (FlySiifu’s)
Pink Siifu & Fly Anakin – Clean ft Liv.e (FlySiifu’s)
Pink Siifu & Fly Anakin – Time Up (FlySiifu’s)
Loyle Carner – Yesterday (Single)
Goya Gumbani & Oliver Palfreyman – Hither Green ft Elija Maja (Truth Be Told)
Elijah Bank$y – SAZÓN / EVRYTHNG2ME (FROM ME 222 YOU)
Your Old Droog – Pravda ft Mach-Hommy, El-P, Tha God Fahim & Black Thought (Single)
DIPS & Lo-Wu – Mirinda (Single)
Novelist – We are one (Quantum Leap)
Dan Kye – Moving (Small Moments)
Sango – Benue State (SHANGO)
KOKOROKO – Baba Ayoola (Single)