TX rapper, producer, and songwriter Travis $cott delivers a mixtape that’s only marginally better than his previous effort, Owl Pharaoh.
The latest album from New York’s Uncommon Nasa is as grimy as it is experimental and conceptual.
Armand Hammer drops a post-album EP of fan-pleasing odds ‘n’ ends.
Chicago MC Mick Jenkins drops a verbose and water-themed mixtape.
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’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.
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.
“Hunger of the Pine,” the lead single off alt-J’s forthcoming LP This is All Yours, was already a plenty fierce song - from its progressive, horn-adorned composition, to its prominent Miley Cyrus vocal sample, to its Hunger Games-esque music video. However, the song just got even fiercer thanks to our bold friends over at clipping., who have re-worked the song into the fourth installment of their “Story” song series (I take it the third chapter was skippable). They did a number on the track, let me tell ya – the only recognizable elements of the original are the “sleeplessly embracing” vocal cut and the horns. Damn, does Daveed sound bad-ass over that brass! But not only is “Story 4″ a glorious testament to these guys’ remixing skills, but it features what might just be their most intricate (and macabre) storytelling to date. After pieces like the first two stories and “Dominoes,” that’s saying something. Here’s hoping this gets put out on a 7″ or something!
But don’t let this overshadow alt-J’s original work, which is still a stellar tune. This Is All Yours drops September 22 via Infectious Records. Find our review of the band’s stunning 2012 debut An Awesome Wave here.
Last month, Houston-based avant-garde rapper and musician B L A C K I E announced a new studio full-length titled IMAGINE YOURSELF IN A FREE AND NATURAL WORLD. No release date yet, but this lead single “None Above” has me properly excited. The track is a crashing, kaleidoscopic wall of sound, with wailing from B L A C K I E forced to the background and just barely audible. It’s beautifully brutal. Or brutally beautiful? Whatever; it’s awesome! Check it out!