The Neighbourhood – #000000 & #FFFFFF

Download: The Neighbourhood – #000000 & #FFFFFF

A producer needs a very convincing aesthetic on a mixtape in order to get cooperation from all of his collaborators. The way that every rapper on this tape steps into the atmospheric world and plays their character speaks volumes to the world’s authenticity. From Danny Brown–who turns in by far the best verse on the tape–to Casey Veggies, each artist is willing to slow their roll a bit to make sure they can put their name on this breathtakingly dark mixtape from LA-based pop rock band The Neighbourhood.

The strength behind the production lies in its ability to take sounds associated with carefree pop culture and expose the dark underworld lurking just underneath them. Horns, which have recently dominated most #1 songs, are a constant mood setter here. They creating a sense of unease as they lurch just beneath the stripped down beats on the surface. Unfortunately, the DJ introductions on here get a bit grating. Here’s to hoping there’s a DJ free version available soon, but nevertheless, the tape is worth an attentive listen.

-Garrett Cottingham

Gangsta Boo & Beatking – “Mashing”

Sadly, many folks that claim to be fans of southern hip hop, especially the deep, dark, sinister music from Three Six Mafia, tend to forget just how much Gangsta Boo helped to contribute to that signature sound. But they’ll promptly remember upon hearing the recent single from the Houston-by-way-of-Memphis vet, “Mashing”. Along with a ridiculously simple but catchy hook with Beatking and a pounding, heavy and beastly beat courtesy of Brodinski, Boo sounds fresh and new, but confident and experienced. “Mashing” is a trap record on steroids: the sound is larger than life and enormous, distinctly complemented by Boo’s cocky southern drawl-fueled bars. In an age when more and more hip hop is influenced by signature southern elements and sounds painfully redundant, Gangsta Boo, Beatking and Brodinski come through with a song that truly shows imitators how its done.

“Mashing” appears on Gangsta Boo and Beatking’s new collaborative mixtape Underground Cassette Tape Music, which you can grab here.

- Ron Grant

shangozeropoint – Nothing Is Original

You probably don’t know West Coast rapper shangozeropoint. That’s fine. Let me introduce you to him right here.

He’s got a new tape out titled Nothing Is Original, and he doesn’t really do anything that goes against that message either. He’s more of a laid-back bedroom rapper with a decent flow, some self-aware bars, and some interesting beat choices as well. While I don’t see this tape lighting anyone’s world on fire, the project’s got a fun, smooth, colorful, and pleasant vibe that I enjoy.

Thrupence – “Silk”

A new track from Thrupence that truly lives up to its name: “Silk.” This cut comes from a forthcoming mixtape that’ll be dropping this November. You can stream another track from this forthcoming project as well via Bandcamp.

If you like your electronic music smooth and string-kissed, then hop on this. Nujabes and Portico Quintet fans should be on alert right now, too!

Coin Locker Kid – Traumnovelle

Previously mentioned Coin Locker Kid has one of the most unorthodox approaches to hip hop that I’ve heard in the past few years. I didn’t love the last full-length I heard from him, but I still left puzzled by his odd rhymes, stories, and instrumentals.

There’s a clear hip hop influence running throughout his music, but electronic and experimental music guide a lot of the compositions on this new project as well. The title of this thing: Traumnovelle. It’s available now via Already Dead Tapes, and you can purchase this album via cassette here.

Those Guys – Bueno

Try out this new EP and mixtape form Ohio rap duo Those Guys, a.k.a. Jova and J.Al. Bars and grimy beats, essentially. Make sure to hit tracks like “King” first. There are a few inconspicuous cuts on here, but some dark standouts that have me looking forward to what these guys are doing next.

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.

ZelooperZ – HELP

Bruiser Brigade rapper ZelooperZ latest mixtape is absolute insanity.

Cakes Da Killa – Hunger Pangs

Cakes Da Killa‘s Hunger Pangs mixtape has arrived! Described as sounding like a fighting game and as being the “ugly older sister” of last year’s phenomenal Eulogy, this new project finds Cakes at, well, his hungriest. His flow continues to be fast, fiery, and in-your-face and his beats are still bold and bangin. The only thing to have been toned down is the lyrical content, but only ever so slightly - there isn’t a “Fuck Ya Boyfriend” on here, at least. But regardless, Cakes is still consistently clever and remains one of hip hop’s most exciting voices. Enjoy!

Mac Miller – Faces

Mac Miller comes through with an almost 90-minute project with Faces.