Travis $cott – Days Before Rodeo

TX rapper, producer, and songwriter Travis $cott delivers a mixtape that’s only marginally better than his previous effort, Owl Pharaoh.

Raury – Indigo Child

Raury’s Indigo Child fuses hip hop and pop-flavored indie folk in the blandest way possible.

Uncommon Nasa – New York Telephone

The latest album from New York’s Uncommon Nasa is as grimy as it is experimental and conceptual.

Armand Hammer – Furtive Movements

Armand Hammer drops a post-album EP of fan-pleasing odds ‘n’ ends.

Mick Jenkins – The Water[s]

Chicago MC Mick Jenkins drops a verbose and water-themed mixtape.

The Underachievers – Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium

Despite this being the commercial debut of this New York hip hop duo, the Underachievers are sounding a bit rougher than they did on their breakthrough tape Indigoism.

Mellowhype – INSA

Mellowhype’s latest project shows an enjoyable increase in technical skill since their last full-length affair–even if the end the result is sort of generic.

Mick Jenkins – “Jazz”

Husky-voiced Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins drops a moving and metaphorical video for his upcoming project titled The Water[s]. It’s officially out August 12th.

“Jazz” features a beautiful, minimal beat that’s guided by what I think are some gleaming vibraphone melodies. I love the way the chorus swells, and Mick’s hook is laid back, but monstrous! Like usual, his bars are thoughtful and interesting.

I can’t wait for the 12th!

Joey Bada$$ – “Big Dusty” (prod. Kirk Knight)

New York MC Joey Bada$$ brings the first single from his highly-anticipated commercial debut, B4DA$$. A lot like a song or two from his last tape, Joey is coming off aggressive on this new single, “Big Dusty.” Very aggressive! I’d go as far as to say there are moments where his flow reminds me of the late Capital STEEZ.

Aside from that, I’m not finding anything too exciting about the single. Joey’s bars are sharp as usual, but the hook is pretty underwhelming, and I can’t say that Kirk Knight’s ethereal production matches the tone of Joey’s delivery that well.

Still, I’m looking forward to seeing how big Joey does it on this new LP. I guess my biggest fear is that he’ll spend too much time in his comfort zone, which I think he does to a degree on this track. The biggest surprise this track offered was a beat change on the bridge, which was paired with a pretty ominous mantra: “Cause bitches lie, niggas lie, numbers, too.”

At this point, it’s pretty clear Joey has no intention of giving this album a commercial sound, which is fine, but he seems hesitant to take the kind of adventurous or experimental plunge his underground status allows him to.

TASO – “KingShit VIP”

Teklife producer TASO has produced one of my favorite tracks of 2014 right here, and it comes off a compilation he dropped with fellow DJs Rashad, Spinn, and Manny back in March. The hooky vocal samples and rattling trap rhythms are too amped for words. There are some nutty juke-style kick drums running throughout this thing, too.

This thing is just pure visceral, rhythmic bliss. Enjoy!

R.I.P. DJ Rashad.