Chicago hip hop eccentric Mick Jenkins has a new single and video out titled “Roots,” which showcases the MC’s spacey flow and clever bars. While he may be too subtle and downplayed to have a legit hit, this guy will surely blow up with those who like their hip hop verses to have a story, message, concept. Enjoy!
New York rapper Cakes Da Killa comes through with a new single that’s hard-hitting, fun, and clubby. I’d say he really embraces the club atmosphere with the instrumental here–courtesy of Siyoung–and his notoriously fast and zany flow is still pretty captivating, far from stale. Scope my review for his latest mixtape, which dropped earlier this year, The Eulogy:
Detroit rapper Danny Brown drops another track from his forthcoming Old album, which is set for a release at the end of this month on Fool’s Gold. Lyrically and vocally, Danny really does sound like an older version of himself, rapping about some grimy, grimy stuff in a normal vocal register. While I like the over-the-top singles he’s been releasing lately, this is the Danny I can vibe with for a whole album–especially when he’s against a beat this thick, bass-y, and crushing!
Check a review for Danny’s XXX project below:
Donny Oh is a New York rapper with a new video and single out; plus, he’s got a new EP on the way titled Stuffed Shells. Not only is Donny’s food choice there pretty classy, but he nabbed a sweet, soulful Knxwledge beat for the track featured in the video above, too. While Donny does sound young and a bit aimless, he does come off really passionate, charismatic, and clever on some of his bars here–I also have to say the dude’s got flow, flow, flow. Watch, listen, enjoy!
CAS is a UK rapper related to the grime scene, and the MC supposedly has a full-length release in the works titled Commerical, but it has yet to receive a release date. In the mean time, check out the videos for “Walkin’” and “All Hallows’” above and below.
CAS adopts a decidedly dark aesthetic, spitting subversive lyrics and appearing as a masked figure in videos filled with disorienting images. These ingredients add up to a gimmick in many rappers, but CAS’s words seem to reflect genuine struggles. “Walkin’” in particular depicts a broken down, aimless youth who turns to alcohol to cope with listlessness, and the production fits the MC’s grim tone like a loose-fitting, rain-soaked hoodie.
With frequent Danny Brown collaborator Skywlkr providing the beat on “All Hallows’,” the song achieves a sinister boom bap status. “Walkin’” offers the true instrumental highlight, however, with a minimalistic pairing of breezy synthesizer chords and warm, easygoing bass; it takes a risk by forgoing percussion entirely, but the bass line carries enough momentum to lay a strong rhythmic foundation. While it is admirable for being so unconventional, what truly sets it apart is the way it represents the lyrical themes so well. It doesn’t force any emotion upon the listener, and rather accurately represents the acceptance CAS portrays in his lyrics: he understands that his life isn’t what he wants it to be, and now he’s just trying to figure out where to go next.
L.A. hip hop project Atomic Farmhouse is rough around the edges, but has a lotta personality to offer. Remember how I just said MF DOOM has a lotta influence on these up-and-comers? This is one of those cases, I’d say. However, that doesn’t mean it should just be swept under the rug copycat style.
“CRAB CAKE” features a pretty colorful beat with some “oooo”-ing vocal samples, there’s a sinister guitar interval that pops in around the 23-second mark, too. The whole thing sounds like it was all ripped from a 78 and thrown on top of a quickly produced beat. Grimy stuff.
The lyrics coming from what I think are two are even grimier, musing around selling some kind of nightmarish fantasy drug to people, and portraying the situation in a cartoony way. The track’s two MCs–ANTI and LAWSON VLADIMIR–are pretty young, and their voices prove it. Though I think their flows and vocals could have more character, their lyrics are playfully dark enough to make up for it, and make this a mixtape worth checking out.
Check the lyrics to this track on Rap Genius.
Download: Mayhem Lauren- Respect the Fly Shit
You don’t have to listen to Meyhem Lauren long to figure out where he’s coming from. He’s a New York MC who doesn’t exactly embrace the trendy, fashionable sounds in modern hip hop. And I’m talking about both mainstream and underground. I mean, just look at the title of this mixtape. To call your music “fly” these days seems a little old hat, doesn’t it?
But Mayhem, a lot like his right-hand man Action Bronson, brings the old, 90s-style of hip hop back with class. He brings a nice, rugged aggression, too.
Download this new tape via the link above.
Though the excitement over tracks like “212″ and “L8R,” I’ve remained pretty luke warm on rap senstation Azealia Banks. But the closer we come to the release of her new 1991 EP, the more I realize she’s got a great ear for beats. Early, early this year, she was doing her thing over a new Machinedrum track, and now she’s tearing it up over a bright and kooky instrumental conjured by Hudson Mohawke and Nick Hook with “Jumanji.”
And she’s definitely laying a tough attitude on with this one. Her flow on this track is pretty far removed from the light, comedic, and girly vocal delivery she displayed on early tracks like “212.” Progression? Dynamics? Variety? Well, we’ll see once 1991 is dropped. Word around town is Azealia Banks has a new mixtape on the way this summer as well, and, of course, her full-length debut album will be getting a release in the fall.
A new single from D.C. rapper Billy Woods. It comes from his latest album, History Will Absolve Me, which is out now on Backwoodz Studioz.
History Will Absolve me is Woods’ first solo release in eight years. It’s an incredibly raw and personal record, pulling out some of Woods’ dirtiest skeletons. “Blue Dreams” follows suit with that, but its emotions are fueled by a relationship that’s fizzling out over petty emotions. It’s one of many lyrical topics touched on with the 20-track album.
Download the track above, and check a music video for the track “Duck Hunt” below: