The Best Rap Albums of 2013 (So Far)


Well 2013 is already halfway over and I just wanted to take some time to reflect on some of the albums I reviewed and see if I still agree with the ratings. The year started off kind of slow and then picked up a lot in the last few months, with many big name artists dropping albums almost every week. There were a few big albums that dropped earlier in the year that I didn't get a chance to review (French Montana, Lil Wayne, etc), so keep that in mind when reading through. You can click on the album titles to jump over to the full track-by-track reviews of each album. In addition, make sure to check out my write-up of the Top 5 Hip-Hop Producers of 2013, So Far.

So what were the best new rap albums of 2013 (as of June 30th)? Lets start from the top...

Currensy - Showroom 2 (Single)

Currensy just dropped the sequel to the track "Showroom" off of his "The Stoned Immaculate" album. The first "Showroom" is one of my favorite Currensy tracks of all time, so I was somewhat wary about him dropping another track with the name. I had no reason to worry though. The song is smooth as hell and Currensy does his thing, as always. You can stream or download the song for free below. There's nothing better than some free new hip-hop from Currensy.

Kyle Bent - Mind Control (Video)

Kyle Bent is a 16-year-old emcee hailing from Randolph, MA who is known for always including a positive message in his songs. He recently released a video for the track "Mind Control" off of his 2012 mixtape "New Aquarian Age." The video is dope and provides a nice visual to complement the conspiracy theory and conscious lyrics of the song. The full mixtape is available as a free download via the DatPiff link below.



Killer Mike and El-P - Run the Jewels (Review)

Killer Mike and El-P - Run the Jewels (Review)

"Run the Jewels" is the latest collaboration album from Atlanta emcee Killer Mike and Brooklyn producer El-P. The album features guest appearances from Big Boi, Until the Ribbon Breaks and Prince Paul while El-P handles production duties on every track. The album was released for free on June 26, 2013.

Deltron 3030 - City Rising From The Ashes (Live Performance)

Deltron 3030, along with Juicy J, Blackalicious, Angel Haze and 100s, performed during the Converse Represent in San Francisco concert earlier this week. The shows were free with fans registering for tickets over at conversemusic.tumblr.com. Del the Funky Homosapian, Dan the Automator and Kid Koala played their latest single "City Rising From The Ashes", which is the first single from their upcoming "Deltron Event II" album. The performance was really crazy and can be viewed via the Youtube link below. Its great to hear some new music from Deltron since their self-titled debut album is amazing.



You can also download the live track for free below.

U-God featuring Styles P - Fame

U-God just released the third track from his upcoming album, "The Keynote Speaker", which is due out on July 23 via RZA's Soul Temple Music label. The track is called "Fame" and features U-God and Styles P spitting fire over a dope cinematic string instrumental. This song is definitely a Wu-Banger. Make sure you head on over to the Soul Temple Music Bandcamp page and pre-order the album after you give it a listen. Also make sure to check out the other songs that have been released from the album -  "Fire" (featuring Jackpot Scotty Wotty and Method Man) and "Heads Up" (featuring Jackpot Scotty Wotty and GZA).



Verbiage - King of Kings

Verbiage is an emcee/producer out of Maryland who has produced for rap artists such as J Hood, Young Buck, Rich Boy and Yukmouth in the past. He recently released a video for the Anom The Phenom produced single, "King of Kings," back in May of 2013. The track is off of his "Inflection Point" EP, which can be streamed or downloaded for free via the AudioMack links below. Dope shit.




A-V - Pittsburgh City Bluez (Single)

A-V returns with the final single before the release of his project "Bite The Bullet." The song is called "Pittsburgh City Bluez" and features A-V sharing the mic with other Pittsburgh artists SpaceJam Jiff, Mike Neal, and Norman Dean. The song is ill and has a nice summer vibe to it.



If you like it, make sure you check out some of his other singles such as "What Goes Around" and "Open Your 3yes".

Follow the artists on Twitter:

A-V:  @A-V
SpaceJame Jiff: @SpaceJam Jiff
Mike Neal: @MrNealHimself
Norman Dean: @RealNormanDean

Dirt Platoon - Pain (Video)

Dirt Platoon just released a new song and video for the track "Pain", which will be featured on their upcoming album due out later this year. The song features Dirt Platoon spitting bars over a soulful instrumental by DJ CLIF. These guys are some of the most consistent artists in the rap industry and always come with that hardcore, aggressive sound. Dope shit.



The Cypher Effect (Freestyle Session)

The latest rap freestyle session from The Cypher Effect just dropped yesterday. This one features R-Mean, Joe Peshi, Stacee Adamz, Mac Lucci ( DPG ), Germ Free, Young Knox and Dizaster and is hosted by DJ Lala. These cyphers are always really ill and showcase a lot of underground talent. And who doesn't love a good hip-hop freestyle session? Check out the cypher below.



Sum - Timeless Re​:​Set by Yamin Semali

Los Angeles based emcee Sum just released a remix of his track "Timeless", which was originally a Ski Beatz produced track that appeared on his most recent album "Dragon Vol. 1." The remix is by Atlanta producer/emcee Yamin Semali (more about his album here) and is titled "Timeless Re:Set by Yamin Semali." The remix will be featured on Sum's upcoming project "Dragon:RE:Imagined", which will feature remixes of the songs on the original "Dragon Vol. 1." You can stream the remix using the Bandcamp link below or listen to the original via the Youtube link. Dope shit.






SunGod - What You Want

SunGod just dropped another track from his forthcoming "Redemption" project. The track is called "What You Want" and it features SunGod rhyming over a cinematic Spanish Jose instrumental. Also be sure to check out his video for How I'm Living, which was the previous release from the project. Last I heard "Redemption" will be out August 27, 2013.

DUS - Casino (featuring Roc Marciano and DJ Kwestion) / Ambassadors (featuring Tragedy Khadafi)

DUS is a producer hailing from New Jersey who is gearing up to drop his first full length LP "Ambassadors" on June 25th. He recently released two dope singles in preparation for the albums release. The first track is called "Casino" and features Roc Marciano spitting fire over a dark, boom-bap banger while DJ Kwestion provides some ill scratching on the chorus.




The second single is called "Ambassadors" and features Queensbridge legend Tragedy Khadafi. The beat is a hypnotical jazz horn sample and Tragedy just bodies it, as always.



This is some dope new underground hip-hop music right here. Hopefully the rest of the album is this good. According to his website, DusJustBlazed.com, the album
"includes an onslaught of raw East Coast talent & lyricism. Confirmed features on the album include Killah Priest, Eloh Kush, Pryme Prolifik, Shabaam Sahdeeq, DJ Kwestion, Spit Gemz, Napoleon Da Legend, Ceazar, JoJo Pellegrino, Roc Marciano and Tragedy Khadafi."
Sounds dope. The full album drops tomorrow.

Slum Village - Evolution (Review)


"Evolution" is the seventh album by the group Slum Village, which currently consists of members T3, Young RJ and Illa J. The album features guest appearances by Havoc, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Rapper Big Pooh, Blu and others. Mostly all of the tracks on the album are produced by Young RJ, but there are a few tracks produced by other producers such as Focus and Early Mac. The album was released on June 25, 2013.

*This album was reviewed using the album stream available all over the web. I made a few minor tweaks when the retail dropped, but nothing that really changed the original score.*

The Lytics - They Told Me (Album)

The Lytics are a five-man hip-hop crew coming out of Winnipeg who released their latest album "They Told Me" back in October of 2012. The album is crazy and has a very diverse feel to it, which is something that is not very common in the rap industry.
"Recommended if you like Mos Def and A Tribe Called Quest the band have become somewhat of a musical chameleon and expanded their scope to include everything from funk-rock to Afrobeat to 60's R&B all prevalent on their latest album."
Check out the visuals for "They Said" and "Ring My Alarm" below, then head on over to iTunes or Amazon and buy the album if you like what you hear. This is the kind of new hip-hop music that I can get down with. Very dope.






SeeS - I Don't Care

CT/NY emcee SeeS (S Double E S) returns with his latest track "I Don't Care." The song is produced by Vertygo and features SeeS spittin over a laidback piano loop. You can stream or download the track for free below. Nice.

Freddie Gibbs - ESGN (Review)

Freddie Gibbs - ESGN (Review)

"ESGN (Evil Seeds Grow Naturally)" is the debut studio album from Gary, Indiana emcee Freddie Gibbs. The album features guest appearances from Jay Rock, BJ the Chicago Kid, Daz Dillinger, Spice 1 and others and production from Cardo, ID Labs, GMF and others. The album was set to be released on July 9, 2013, but ended up being released three weeks early on June 20.

Deltron 3030 - City Rising From The Ashes (Event II)

If you don't know by now, Deltron 3030 is a supergroup consisting of Hieroglyphics Del the Funky Homosapian, producer Dan the Automator and DJ Kid Koala. They released their classic self-titled first album back in 2000. Well, its now 13 years later and the group just released the first single from their second album "Deltron Event II." The track is called "City Rising From The Ashes" and its pretty good. You can stream or download the track for free below.



Fame Labs: Live At The Lab; Take II (Training Camp)

Fame Labs is gearing up for the release of their second EP, "Live At The Lab; Take II.....Training Camp", which will be out in July of 2013. The EP is fully produced by Darkim Be Allah and features tracks by Darkim Be Allah, Venge Milz and Master Kbar. Check out the full tracklisting below.

1. Back To Ghetto (Venge Milz)
2. To The Top (Darkim Be Allah)
3. Unnamed
4. Deserted Blocks (Master Kbar)
5. Invincible Sword (Darkim Be Allah)
6. Honor Amongst Villains (Darkim Be Allah)
7. Kill Or Be Killed (Venge Milz)
8. They Cops, We Black (Darkim Be Allah)

I've posted up a few of these tracks in the past, specifically "To The Top" and "Honor Amongst Villians" (both of which can be heard here). Make sure you check them out when you get a chance.

B Howe - Shadows of the Past

"Shadows of the Past" is the latest drop from Boston emcee B Howe and is the final track off his debut mixtape "Certain Ambitions". The song utilizes a Statik Selektah beat from "The Green Ghost Project", a collaboration album by Styles P & DJ Green Lantern. B Howe adds his own twist to the track production wise and lyrically.
"I been tested, I been desperate, now I make music that reflects it..."
Check it out below.

Ken-I-Produce (of 85th) - Momento (Instrumental)

Ken-I-Produce just dropped an ill new instrumental called "Momento." The track is full of ambient synths over an energetic drumline and is just beautiful.
"Good Morning, just thought I would share with you all a small token from my travels. Enjoy and stay safe NY."



Also make sure to check out 85th's dope new album, "Church Boys", which is fully produced by Ken-I-Produce.

gaVen heVy - Bosom (Single)

gaVen heVy returns with a new track, "Bosom", that will be featured on his upcoming debut EP entitled "... Dedicated to Her." The track features gaVen heVy spitting bars over a dope Marco Polo banger. The full EP will released on January 1st, 2014. For now, make sure you check out "Bosom", which can be streamed and downloaded for free below.



Mathematics (featuring Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and Method Man) - The 4 Horsemen

Mathematics, producer and D.J. for the Wu-Tang Clan, just released another song from his upcoming album "The Answer." The song is called "The 4 Horsemen" and features Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and Method Man spitting fire over a Mathematics banger. Very dope. "The Answer" will be dropping on June 25th, 2013.



Wale - The Gifted (Review)


"The Gifted" is their third album from MMG emcee Wale. The album features guest appearances from Meek Mill, Cee Lo Green, Juicy J, Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa and others as well as production by Just Blaze, Travis Scott, Wale, Sean C and LV, and others. The album was released on June 25, 2013.

U-God featuring Jackpot Scotty Wotty and Method Man - Fire

U-God just dropped a new track over on the Soul Temple Music website. The song is called "Fire" and features U-God, Jackpot Scotty Wotty and Method Man spitting flames over a dope boom-bap instrumental. Check it out below. U-God's "The Keynote Speaker" album drops on July 23rd.

Nine - It's Over Dog

New York emcee Nine just released a new track going at DMX and addressing the comparisons people make about the two of them. The song is called "It's Over Dog" and it features Nine spitting in his trademark gruff voice over the "Get At Me Dog" instrumental.You can stream the full song below or download it for free on his SoundCloud page. Dope shit.



Also make sure to check out his other recent single, "Almost Home", which was released back in February. Nine is bringing back that gritty hip-hop that the rap industry has been missing for a few years.

Kid Tsunami - The Chase (Review)


"The Chase" is the latest release from Perth, Australia beatmaker Kid Tsunami. The album features guest appearances from Sean Price, O.C., Masta Ace, El Da Sensei, Kool G Rap and others while all production is handled by Kid Tsunami himself. The album was released on June 18, 2013 via Brooklyn’s Headbop Music.

Uncharted - Rough (Single)

Uncharted, an up-and-coming 17 year old recording artist who currently resides in Atlanta, recently released the first single from his next mixtape "Perfect Disorder." The song is called "Rough" and its produced my Mike Carot. The beat is crazy and Uncharted rips it. Check it out below.



Also make sure you check out his previous project, "The Interlude: Uncharted Fortunes", which was featured on HotNewHipHop.com. You can stream or download the full album below.



Twitter: @uncharted311

Droopy and Mosé - Palace EP

Droopy and Mosé are two artists hailing from Melbourne, Australia who recently dropped their collaborative micro-EP, "Palace", on their SoundCloud page. The EP features three tracks that blend Droopy's epic instrumentals with Mosé's smooth flows. The full album can be downloaded for free via the SoundCloud link below. Don't sleep on this. The EP is incredibly dope.



Twitter: @mosemusic

King Huff - With Ease EP

King Huff is an artist from the tri-state area who produces all of his own music and who recently dropped an EP, titled "With Ease", that features a broad range of hip-hop styles.
"I grew up on soul and a wide span of music as my parents were not heavy advocates for Hip-Hop. With this upbringing I'm very open-minded and draw sounds from all elements of music and various genres."
"The EP is a brief introduction into what I want to portray into the world. It has a lot of energy and music that you can feel ranging from a conscious/deep level to even the new age "trap music". I offer my perspective on the world as well as a brief insight to what I'm going through as a 21-year old in todays world."
You can stream the full EP below. The tracklisting is as follows:
  1. Ease Through The Bullshit
  2. Go Around (Feat. HennyO)
  3. Renaissance Music
  4. She Says Prelude (George Jetson)
  5. She Says
  6. Outro



You can also check out his video for the track "Smooth Sailing", which is not a song that is featured on the EP, but will help you get a feel for his sound.



Twitter: @Kinghuff_

85th - Church Boys (Album)

85th is a group that hails from Woodhaven, New York and originally started as a large group of friends hanging out on the steps of a local church. As they grew up, 6 members started consistently creating music together and thus the long road to their latest album "Church Boys" began. The group consists of members DC, DGoD, Eleagle, 21 Quest, Matt Cronin, and Ken-I-Produce. Their album, "Church Boys", was released on May 31, 2013 and can be downloaded for free via the SoundCloud link below. The album is produced entirely by Ken-I-Produce and has a great underground boom-bap feel to it. Make sure you watch the video for the first single, "Infinity", below while you download the full album. Very dope.





Twitter: @85th_ChurchBoys

Calcei - 7 Days (Album)

"7 Days" is a collaboration album between Detroit emcee Calcei, producer Three-O and pioneering D.J., D.J. Los. This is Calcei's fourth release following "Laces in Tongues Out" (2010), "Factotum" (2012) and "Short Songs" (February 2013).
"It is a narrative about a week in a life and pays tribute to the D.J.; the trail blazer in the origins of Hip-Hop. This project is meant to be played without pause; so don't skip any tracks!"
The instrumentals, provided by Three-O, have a jazzy, organic feel to them which perfectly compliments Calcei's laid back flow and DJ Los' dope scratches. You can stream the full album via the Bandcamp link below. Gotta love underground hip-hop music.

Gensu Dean and Planet Asia - Abrasions (Review)

Gensu Dean and Planet Asia - Abrasions (cover)

"Abrasions" a collaborative album between California legend Planet Asia and producer Gensu Dean. The album features guest appearances from Twin Gambino, David Banner, Tragedy Khadafi and Gold Chain Military, among others. The album was produced entirely by Gensu Dean and was released on February 26, 2013.

Megadon, Ruste Juxx, Smif N Wessun and Sadat X - Canon (Video)

This track just kind of appeared out of nowhere yesterday on Duck Down's Youtube channel. The song is called "Canon" and features Megadon, Ruste Juxx, Smif-N-Wessun and Sadat X spitting bars over a hardcore, boom-bap beat (provided by Megadon). You can immediately tell by the line-up that its going absolute fire, which it is. Definitely make sure you check this out.

Kanye West - Yeezus (Review)

Kanye West - Yeezus (Review)

"Yeezus" is the sixth studio album from Chicago producer/emcee Kanye West. The album features guest appearances from Frank Ocean, Kid Cudi, Chief Keef and others with production by Kanye West himself, Daft Punk, RZA, S1 and others. The album was released on June 18, 2013 via Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records.

*This album was reviewed using the full album stream on SoundIsStyle.com. No changes were needed to the review when the retail dropped on June 18th.*

Kanye West - Yeezus (Album Stream)


The full album stream for Kanye West's new album, "Yeezus", is now available on FistInTheAir.com and SoundIsStyle.com, as well as a few other sites. I'm having trouble embedding it due to the huge amount of traffic the stream is experiencing. Expect my full review in the coming days. For now, check it out via the links above.

*Update*
Check out my full, track-by-track review of "Yeezus" here.

Nas - Life is Good (Review)


"Life Is Good" is the latest album released by Queensbridge legend, Nas. The album features guest appearances by Large Professor, Rick Ross, Amy Winehouse, Mary J. Blige and others and production primarily by No I.D. and Salaam Remi. It was released on July 13, 2012 on Def Jam Recordings.

Lost Dialect - Faith In You (Video)

Inglewood, CA natives Lost Dialect (Actright, J.Qwest and Mistah Redd) and producer Kromozone, who hails from Rotterdam, Netherlands dropped their collaborative project "Baggage Claim" back in April of 2013. They recently released a video for the track "Faith In You", which has a lighthearted feel and is just a perfect song for the summer. The album is really dope and can be downloaded for free at LostDialect.com. There is nothing better than free new hip-hop, especially when its this good. Make sure you check it out.



Twitter: @Lost_Dialect

Murk Daddy Flex - MDF (Instrumental Album)

Murk Daddy Flex's latest project, "MDF", was just released on his Bandcamp site a few days ago. The album features 15 banging hip-hop instrumentals that are similar in vein to Nujabes or Uyama Hiroto.
"I do everything in Audacity from cutting samples to setting up plugins to even mastering audio. All the releases (including the prior three) are available on my Bandcamp and I am currently working on a four ep compilation(one for each season with each one having a different mood) as my next project. I find myself drawing from the likes Nujabes, MF Doom, and J Dilla and I recently opened for DJ Shadow."
Very dope. You can stream the album below or head on over to his site to purchase it. The album is available as a free download if you wish, but donations are highly appreciated.



Twitter: @murkdaddyflex

Botzy - Couldn't Breathe featuring Lizzo (Video)

"Couldn't Breath" is the latest video from Minneapolis emcee Botzy. The track features The Chalice’s Lizzo and will be featured on his upcoming project "Buck Fotzy". The album will be available on July 9th, 2013 via Fake Four Distro. The song is dope and features Botzy spitting over a jazzy horn instrumental. Nice. Check it out below.



Twitter: @BuckFotzy

Rediculus featuring Aarophat - Chainsaw Chatter (Single)

Chicago producer Rediculus and West Coast MC Aarophat recently teamed up to release a new track titled "Chainsaw Chatter". The track is dope and features Aarophat spittin bars over a banging guitar-driven Rediculus instrumental. Peep it below.

GrindHouse Project - Red Sector / What It Takes (Singles)

GrindHouse Project is a collective of producers and rappers hailing from Rexdale (West-end Toronto). The group is comprised of rappers Trace Motivate and 360, with Soundwave and Astromega on the beats.
"Musical freedom and independence is a must for the artists of GrindHouse Project, from production to lyrical ability and all other aspects of the hip hop culture that comes with building a musical following without signing to a major label. Everything is done for the fans."
The group currently has two brand new singles up for free download as well as a free EP that was released late last year. The new singles are called "What It Takes" and "Red Sector" and can be streamed below.



The EP can be downloaded for free via the groups Bandcamp page. Below is the video for the track "GHP's Like", which is the third single off of the "GHP is Like" EP.



Twitter: @Grindhouse416

Tommy - Favorite Drug (Video)

Tommy is a 23 year old hip-hop artist from Collegeville, Pennsylvania (a small suburban town outside of Philadelphia), who just dropped the second single off his debut album "Keep in Touch".
"This song, "Favorite Drug", is a single off of his debut album, entitled "Keep in Touch", which is set to release this summer. The official video was filmed in various locations around Ocean City, Maryland by Tommy's production team Chiet Productions. The instrumental was created by longtime friend and producer Jim Boonie who used a sample from "What You Need" by The Weeknd to help illustrate this story."
 Very dope.



Also check out his "No Answers Freestyle" video, in which Tommy raps over Pac Div's "Anti Freeze" instrumental.



Twitter: @ilovetommyxo

Codak - Call Me A Cab (Video)

Codak is a hip-hop artist haling from Williamsburg, Brooklyn who recently released his latest video for the track "Call me A Cab", which is a summer tribute to partying in NYC. The song is available on his debut mixtape, "Closer To My Dreams", which is available for free download at www.tnbcodak.com. The video is directed by Brinez World Media and its really good. Check it out below.
 


Twitter: @TnBCoDaK

Platini - Therapy: The Mixtape

South Florida emcee Platini recently released his "Therapy" mixtape back on June 1, 2013. The full mixtape is really dope and is available as a free download via the Bandcamp link below.
"With this being his 3rd project as of this year, Platini gets real introspective on his new mixtape "Therapy". Along with his therapist "Mr. C", the artist reveals his deepest thoughts showing a bit more of himself each time."
Also make sure to check out his single, "FTW", which I posted up a few weeks back.


Twitter: @Platini_954, @Beast_Music954, @BeastModeRadio

B Howe - Twilight State of Mind

"Twilight State of Mind" is the latest drop from emcee B Howe and the second track off his upcoming project "Certain Ambitions". The track is produced by Mass Productions and its sure to have you nodding your head. The song sends a slightly different message than some other hip-hop songs:
"If you really wanna do something do it right, work hard and take advice, no success is overnight…"
Check it out below.

gaVen heVy - Crab Legs

"Crab Legs" is the latest single from 22 year old emcee gaVen heVy. The song is produced by Jake One and is a dope boom-bap banger. gaVen's upcoming EP is entitled "... dedicated to her" and he plans on releasing it January 1st, New Years. Peep the single below.



Twitter: @gaVenheVy

Statik Selektah - Extended Play (Review)


Statik Selektah - Extended Play (Review)

"Extended Play" is the latest album released by hip-hop producer Statik Selektah. The album features guest appearances from Action Bronson, Raekwon, Joey Badass, Sean Price, Mac Miller and many others. All tracks were produced by Statik Selektah, except for "Live From the Era" which was co-produced by The Alchemist. The album was released on June 18, 2013.

*This review was written using the full album stream over on NPR.com. No changes were needed when the full album dropped on June 18th.*

Wize - Session 1 (Single)

Wize is a 19 year old rapper/producer/song writer from London, UK who just dropped the track "Session 1" from his "The Guide To Summer '13" project. The song is self produced and features Wize spitting over a dope instrumental with a nice boom-bap feel. The full project will be dropping on July 1, 2013.



Twitter: @WizeTheProducer

Moss Da Beast - Take A Look (produced by BlockBeattaz)

Moss Da Beast just dropped a dope new video for his BlockBeattaz produced single "Take A Look". The track is from his "MarleySon 2" mixtape, which dropped back on 4/20 and is availabe for free download on DatPiff.
"This song wont be played in your clubs or radio but should definitely make you take a look at the MC as he grows into his own sound and meaning of what music is for him."



SunEye Divine feat. Slum Pritt - Diggin The Scene

SunEye Divine, one half of the Greensboro, North Carolina duo Tru Chemistree (the other half being emcee Slum Pritt), just dropped a new song called "Diggin The Scene". The track is from his upcoming "Chemistree Class" EP and is produced by Joe Burn Em from Virginia.
"Its really about enjoying ourselves. Digging the scene and searching for a good time. Taking a ride through the city of Greensboro with only good intentions in mind. Its just a feel good summertime groove."
Dope. Check it out below.



Twitter: @ChiefSunEye
Twitter: @SlumPritt

Mac Miller - Watching Movies With The Sound Off (Review)

Mac Miller - Watching Movies With The Sound Off (Review)

"Watching Movies With The Sound Off" is the second studio album from Rostrum Records emcee Mac Miller. The album features guest appearances from Action Bronson, Earl Sweatshirt, Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, and Jay Electronica, among others, as well as production credits by Flying Lotus, Chuck Inglish, Pharell Williams and others. Most of the production duties are handled by Mac Miller himself, however. The album was released on June 18, 2013.

*This album was reviewed using the full album stream that appeared on various websites before the albums release. No changes were needed once the full album dropped on June 18th.*

Action Bronson and Harry Fraud - Saab Stories (Review)

Action Bronson and Harry Fraud - Saab Stories (cover)

"Saab Stories" is a collaboration album between Queens emcee Action Bronson and Brooklyn producer Harry Fraud. The album features guest appearances from Wiz Khalifa, Prodigy, Raekwon and Big Body Bes and is fully produced by Harry Fraud. "Saab Stories" was released on June 11, 2013.

Vers'tyle - The Round Up (Interlude)

Vers'tyle is an emcee coming out of New Jersey who is gearing up to release his "Rogue EP" sometime in 2013. He recently dropped a video for the track "The Round Up (Interlude)", which will be featured on the EP.
"Rogue EP is the checkpoint for the young career of Vers'tyle. With an album and two mixtapes under his belt, the practice reps are over. "After Air Control dropped, my main focus was bridging the gap between my great thoughts, and the ears of music listeners." Included in that is; better production, better flow, original concepts, a better execution of ideas, and the confidence to do what ever I want."
The song is produced by ANS and its really ill. Check out the video below and then hit up Vers'tyles website for more music.



Twitter: @SoVerstyle
Website: SoVerstyle.com

J. Cole - Born Sinner (Review)


"Born Sinner" is the second album from Fayetteville, North Carolina emcee/producer J. Cole. The album features guest appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Miguel, TLC and others and is fully produced by J. Cole. The album was released on June 18, 2013.

*This album was reviewed using the stream on BornSinner.com. I added in reviews for the bonus tracks when they became available on June 18th.*

Moe Pope and Rain - Let The Right Ones In (Review)

Moe Pope and Rain - Let the Right Ones In (cover)

Moe Pope and Rain are a duo hailing from Boston, MA who dropped their latest album, "Let The Right Ones In", back on January 22, 2013. The album is "an all original sample-free release combining hip-hop, indie-rock and electronic music." It features guest appearances from Reks, John Robinson, Blacastan, Julia Easterlin, and Dua Boakye (of Bad Rabbits), among others. All production is handled by Rain unless otherwise noted.

The Sunshine - Thug/Rich/Whatever (Album)

The Sunshine is a three man hip-hop group that was formed one and half years ago at the University of Washington in Seattle. They recently dropped an album called "Thug/Rich/Whatever", which was completed via long distance since one of the members of the group currently is living in Beijing.
"After a year of recording on separate continents, the group has just dropped its second self-produced album, Thug/Rich/Whatever. Framed around the geographic divide between the rappers, the album features a diverse set of tracks with meticulous production and creative sampling. It features Bloomoon, a local Seattle rapper, on two tracks. Thug/Rich/Whatever was created by sending instrumentals, vocals, and mixes back and forth over Dropbox while using Skype and WeChat to discuss track ideas. The members of The Sunshine will be reunited for the first time in a year in the middle of June to play shows around Seattle to support their new album." 
Dope shit.


Facebook: TheSunshineSeattle
Twitter: @SunshineThugs

DayX - Keep My Cool (Single)

DayX is an independent self-efficient producer, music engineer, and songwriter from Washington DC who is gearing up to drop an EP called "DON’T WORRY" on June 9th. You can check out the first single from the EP, below. The song is called "Keep My Cool" and its really dope.
"The sound is comprised of a non-generic mix including funk, hip-hop, and soul. I also tend to overlap and break the barriers of other genres. All in all I consider my music a true art that I dedicate myself to everyday."
Make sure you also check out DayX's other works, which can be streamed via the Bandcamp link below.




Twitter: @ProducedByDAY

Bronze Nazareth - Blenders (Video)

Bronze Nazareth just dropped a new video for the self-produced track "Blenders", which will appear on his upcoming album "Food For Thought 3". The album will be a split 2 disc album along with Willie The Kid's "Living Daylights", which is entirely produced by Bronze Nazareth, and should be dropping in Fall of 2013. Head on over to the Man Bites Dog Records website to pre-order the album.

Dubwerth - J Brown for Class President (Video)

Austin, TX based artist Dubwerth just dropped a new video for the track "J. Brown for Class President" off of his upcoming mixtape "Find Your Drum Kit".
"The video is as if Quentin Tarantino took a stab at making a hip hop PSA on racism in the deep south. Shot and co-directed by Roger Torabi and produced by Tekbeatz"
Very dope. Don't sleep on this.

After checking out the video, head on over to Dubwerth's Bandcamp page to download his free album "Girls I've Dated". You should also check out Tekbeatz "Always Diggin" mixtape on his SoundCloud page.



Twitter: @Dubwerth
Twitter: @roger_CRC
Twitter: @TEKBEATZ95

BlackDroog - Pieces (Instrumental Album)

BlackDroog is a music fanatic and writer who taught himself how to make beats about a year ago. He recently dropped a few instrumental albums over on his Bandcamp page, the latest being "Pieces".
"Pieces is a collection of Experimental, Dark synth-based beats. The name came from the fact that I had a set of sounds i collected from playing with a recently purchased synth for a couple days. I tried fit each of them into the Album like a puzzle until i used them all. I know that may sound corny but i like to have some kind of concept behind all of my albums. I find it helps me keep a consistent style or sound on that particular"
His style can be described as unique, grimy, dark, and cinematic with hard hitting drums. BlackDroog cites The Rza and The Alchemist as his two biggest influence, which is evident based off the sound of his instrumentals. He is also a writer and originally started making beats as background music for animated videos (which you can check out on his Youtube page).
"BlackDroog is actually one of the characters i created and eventually decided to use as the "face" of the music. Kind of like how the group the Gorillaz did with their characters. anyway...I got hooked on the beat making and started devoting more time to that but I still get my art fix by designing all of my album covers."
BlackDroog is currently working on a Jazz-inspired sample based album and his next release will be another experimental synth based album called "Enlightenment". For now, make sure you check out his latest release, "Pieces", which can be streamed or downloaded for free below. Also make sure you peep his SoundCloud page, since he has a few other tracks posted up there.


Twitter: @TheBlackDroog

Eric Dingus - Subliminal Innocence EP

Eric Dingus is an 18-year-old producer hailing from Austin, Texas who just dropped his fourth instrumental project, the "Subliminal Innocence EP".
"Like many of my releases, the main vibe is ethereal or dreamy instrumentals," says Eric. "I wanted to show that this dreamy vibe could have variety, and work as a full length project. It was inspired by my depression, Japanese horror movies, video game soundtracks, and just the music I enjoy - hip hop and electronic music. I want people to figure out for themselves what they think the title means, and how it connects the music."
The album is dope as hell and can be downloaded for free via the SoundCloud link below or over on DatPiff. Also head on over to Eric's Bandcamp page to check out his other releases. Definitely don't sleep on this.



Twitter: @ericdingus

Sullee J feat. Nikki Taylor - RISE (Single)

Sullee J just released a new single off his upcoming mixtape, "#Vicegerent". The song is called "RISE" and features singer Nikki Taylor.
"It captures the very essence of how it feels to be an artist and the struggle it takes to 'RISE'. Sullee J states that R.I.S.E. stands for "Reflect Infinite Spiritual Energy", to keep going regardless the situation."
You can stream and download the track for free via the SoundCloud link below.



Twitter: @SulleeJ85
Twitter: @NikkiTaylorVibe

U-God - The Keynote Speaker (Album Sampler)

An album sampler for U-Gods upcoming album "The Keynote Speaker" was just released through the Soul Temple Music website.
The Keynote Speaker is the all new solo album from Wu-Tang Clan founder member U-God, his first release for The RZA's Soul Temple Imprint (The Man With The Iron Fists Soundtrack, Ghostface Killah's critically acclaimed Twelve Reasons To Die both of which featured appearances from U-God). This is the gritty street-level hip hop album U-God fans have longed to hear. The album is Executive Produced by The RZA and features stellar appearances from Method Man, The GZA, Inspectah Deck, Styles P, Elzhi of Slum Village, Kool Keith and more...
The album sounds crazy. Make sure you pre-order it over at the Soul Temple Music Bandcamp page.

Young Q - Hellen Keller (Video)

Young Q is a 17-year-old emcee originally from Battle Creek, MI but who got his start in the music scene after moving to Apex, NC. He recently released a video for the track "Hellen Keller" off of his "BAM (By All Means)" mixtape.
"The song Hellen Keller is about how when times get hard you can always close your eyes and put them headphones on and lean on music to help you get through it. "Hear No Evil, See No Evil". This is the first visual off his mixtape "BAM"."



You can download his mixtape "BAM" for free via the link below.



Twitter: @ImYoungQ

Prodigy and Alchemist - Albert Einstein (Review)


"Albert Einstein" is the second collaboration album between Queensbridge emcee Prodigy (of Mobb Deep) and producer The Alchemist. The album features guest appearances from Roc Marciano, Raekwon, Havoc, Action Bronson and Domo Genesis. All songs on the album are produced by The Alchemist.

*This album was reviewed using the edited Pandora Premiere stream of the album. No updates were necessary since there were no bonus tracks included in the digital copy I bought off Amazon*

Jason Chu - Battle Scars Remix (Video)

Los Angeles emcee Jason Chu recently released a music video for his remix of Lupe Fiascos "Battle Scars" track. The track is taken from Jason's album, "Much Love", which can be streamed below.
"This video, shot on-location in a school over the past month, addresses the topics of bullying and school violence."




Twitter: @jasonchumusic

Darkim be Allah - To the Top (Single)

Wu-Tang Clan affiliate Darkim be Allah just dropped a new track called "To the Top". The song is self-produced and is the first track I have heard from him in quite a while.
"As one half of the Group A.I.G, Darkim was signed to RZA’s Wu-Tang records where he released classic material on “The Swarm” album & produced “Twelve Jewels” from the ’97 Gravediggaz classic “The Pick, the Sickle & The Shovel”. After releasing the outstanding “God in the Ghetto” album & more; Darkim be Allah & his Fame Labs crew are back! Look out for more singles and news on upcoming projects in the 2013."
Check it out below.




*Update*
Darkim and Fame Labs have also released a ton of other tracks recently. The SoundCloud links below are for the tracks "Repay That Snitch" and "Fame Box".



And these Youtube links are for "Honor Amongst Villains" and "Deserted Blocks". Dope shit!





Also be sure to check out his tracks on ReverbNation.

Sean Price featuring Rock - I'm So High (Single)

The lead single from Sour Stacks & Hustling Jacks "The Green LP" was just released in the form of the track "I'm So High", by Boot Camp Clik generals Sean P and Rock. The song is produced by Marco Polo and its crazy. The full album was released through Six2Six Records and is available now on CD and Vinyl at Phat Beats as well as digitally via Bandcamp (link below). Check out the single and the tracklisting and then cop the full album and support real hip-hop.

1.(Intro)
2.Copywrite - Customer Always Right
3.Guilty Simpson - Bag It Up
4.MC Eiht - Smoke Sumthin
5.Sean Price feat. Rock - I'm So High
6.Masta Ace - All For Sale
7.M.I.(Constant Deviants) - Chronicle
8.Ras Kass - Smokers Story
9.Sparrow The Movement - Rehab
10.Constant Deviants - Collie Gardens
11.Constant Deviants - Kronicle (REMIX)

Produced entirely by MARCO POLO.



AG Fernandez - D.R.E.A.M. (Video)

AG Fernandez is an emcee hailing from the Bronx, NY who just dropped a video for his song "D.R.E.A.M.", which is the lead single from his D.R.E.A.M. EP (Dedication Redefines Every Aspiring Moment). The track is produced by Nales and it's really dope. You can stream or download the full EP for free via the link below. Definitely check this out.





Twitter: @AGFernandez_

Substance Abuse - Background Music (Album)

Los Angeles duo Substance Abuse (consisting of emcees Eso Tre and Subz) dropped their "Background Music" LP back in late 2012. The album is really dope and features guest appearances from KRS-One, Tash, MC Eiht, and Sadat X, among others. You can check out the track "Rear View" (which features hip-hop pioneer KRS-One) below as well as videos for "West Los" and "What It Takes". If you are feelin it, make sure you pick up the LP on iTunes or on Amazon.







King Piff - Definition / What Can I Do

King Piff recently dropped a video for the song "Definition", which is off of his upcoming album "Other Than Honorable Reloaded". The song is produced by Sev The Producer and the video was shot by Midnight Tv & Hip Hop TV.



He also recently put out a song called "What Can I Do", which is produced by Rob Luna. It appears on the "Full Breach Vol 1" mixtape (which is hosted by DJ Noize and Rob Luna) and is availavable on DatPiff, Coast2Coast, and several others).

Prodigy feat. Domo Genesis - YNT (Young and Thuggin)

The Alchemist just dropped a new video from his second collaboration album with Prodigy, titled "Albert Einstein", which will be out on June 11th. The video is for a song called "YNT (Young and Thuggin)" and features a guest appearance from Domo Genesis. The instrumental is smooth and both emcees come correct. Dope shit. Make sure you check out my review of the "Albert Einstein" album as well.

Ugly Heroes - Hero's Theme (Video)

Ugly Heroes (a group made up of Detroit producer Apollo Brown and emcees Verbal Kent and Red Pill) just dropped a video for the song "Hero's Theme", which is one of the cuts off of their self titled album that was released back in May. You can read my review of the full album here. The album is absolute fire. Make sure you check it out.

Wu-Tang Clan - Family Reunion (first single off A Better Tomorrow)

The latest single from the Wu-Tang Clans up-coming album "A Better Tomorrow" was just played on the radio. The song is called "Family Reunion" and its pretty dope. Just don't expect a "Triumph" or "Reunited". Check it out below.

*UPDATE*
The full CDQ version of the song was released on the Soul Temple Music Bandcamp page.

Lewis Parker, T.R.A.C and John Robinson - TIC TAC TOE (Video)

"TIC TAC TOE" is a collaborative song between emcees Lewis Parker, T.R.A.C. and John Robinson with production by Philly's Drumz & Llingo.
"KDP proudly introduces, Lewis Parker: UK native, SP technician, emcee extraordinaire with the golden sound. T.R.A.C: Flow artisan, boom bap blesser and Koncrete Jungle repper. John Robinson: The Linguistic surgeon, operating with scientific precision."
This is exactly how I like my hip-hop - dope boom bap beat and raw rhymes. You can pick up the song on wax at the KicDrumProducts website. Don't sleep on this!



Prodigy - Return of the Mac (Review)

Prodigy - Return of the Mac (Review)

"Return of the Mac" is a collaboration album between Queensbridge emcee Prodigy (of Mobb Deep) and one of the best producers out today, The Alchemist. The album was fully produced by Alchemist and features guest appearances from Havoc, Un Pacino, Majesty and Kokane. It was released on May 27, 2007 through E1 Music.

I decided to give this album another listen in preparation for the upcoming second collaboration album between Prodigy and Alchemist, "Albert Einstein", which will be released on June 11, 2013. Check out my full review for "Albert Einstein" here.

Scribe Tribe - It Won't Be Long (Video)

UK group Scribe Tribe have released a video for the track "It Won't Be Long" off of their debut album "G-Strings & Socks". The full album is available for purchase on the groups Bandcamp page, which can be streamed/purchased below.
"Scribe Tribe are a 4 man Hip Hop outfit from Brighton, UK, consisting of Marz, Abi D, Kendal, and Teej Adams. They have been pushing themselves hard over the past 2 years and are currently working on some new projects and material. They played alongside some big names last year including Wrecth32, Speech Debelle, Asian Dub Foundation, FlipTrix, Dirty Dyke, Jam Baxter, Phi Life Cypher, Afu Ra and many more .... "



Goody - Good Gone Bad / Ain't Nun Change (Video)

Goody, a young emcee coming out of Chicago, recently dropped a video for two of his songs - "Good Gone Bad" (featuring Mystro) / "Ain't Nun Change". Both songs were produced by The Arkitech and mixed by Classick of Classick Studios. The video is directed by Sef & Que Visuals and it's really dope.
"The song simply displays lyrical abilities that Goody has to offer, while speaking on life in Chicago."


Twitter: @Whatsgoody_
Twitter: @SefAndQue

SunGod - How I'm Living (Video)

SunGod just dropped a video for the first single from his upcoming project "Redemption", which will be released on August 27, 2013. For those of you who are not familiar with SunGod, he is one of the members of Theodore Unit and also happens to be the oldest son of the legendary Ghostface Killah. The video is for a track called "How I'm Living" and is produced by Spanish Jose. Dope shit.