In case you’ve been sleeping the past couple of years, Oddisee has been building a hell of a resume, both as producer and emcee. Over the last two years alone, he’s released two instrumental albums and one vocal album, along with producing for artists like Homeboy Sandman. Each of his albums have been carefully planned and thought out with themes. The Beauty In All is no exception, as Oddisee explores the idea that mistakes and flaws are the most important parts of life through twelve instrumental tracks.
One of the things that makes me happy about Scratched Vinyl being around for a few years now is that we’ve been around long enough to see some young artists mature and fully realize their artistic voice. YC the Cynic is such a case. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago that a few cameos were making me dig for more information on the youngster from the Bronx. Now he’s releasing his first full length album, done in collaboration with producer Frank Drake, and it’s one of the smartest albums you’ll hear this year.
Minneapolis producer Ackryte has certainly been busy this year. Two EPs and a full length album would be more than enough for most artists, but not for Ackryte. Rare Air EP makes EP number three for the year, and Ackryte shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Void Pedal is a producer from Chicago who has been releasing music for a few years now. His latest effort is sort of a re-release or expansion of what was originally an EP titled Pair of L last year, as we go from six to eleven tracks. What this means is we get more great down tempo hip hop from a very talented producer, along with a more fully realized sonic vision.
Lizzo is a young woman from Minneapolis who has quickly been making herself known, first as member of the group The Chalice, and also with the more recently formed GRRRL PRTY. For her debut solo album, she has teamed up with Doomtree producer Lazerbeak. Together, they deliver on the aptly titled Lizzobangers.
Senz Beats is a producer from Brussels who has recently relocated to Montreal. His latest effort is a beat tape compiled from music he had made in between 2004 and 2010, tied together with a sci-fi theme.
Wordlburglar, the Toronto emcee and Backburner Crew member, has made his name by crafting a playful style of hip hop with great wordplay, humor, and plenty of nerdy references. For his fourth album, he delivered a concept album based on the G.I. Joe universe. What might surprise some listeners, though, is that this album isn’t just for fans of the cartoon.
After releasing two EPs and an album last year, Homeboy Sandman hasn't slowed down at all, releasing two EPs this year. The second, All That I Hold Dear, was done in collaboration with Dallas producer M. Slago.
If you know Sole, you probably think of him as a politically charged emcee, and there’s a good chance you use a word like “outspoken” to describe him. So it make take you aback to see that the artist so prone to talking up a storm and stirring up controversy has released an instrumental record, but that’s exactly what he’s done with WHITENOISE. However, the most devoted of Sole fans would point out that he’s released instrumental material before, it’s just been several years. Either way, WHITENOISE is the most political instrumental album you’ll hear this year.
It’s been a little less than a year since New York emcee PremRock released his ambitious Tom Waits-inspired album, Mark’s Wild Years. Now he’s back with a seven-song EP done in collaboration with Czech producer Talpas, who actually inspired PremRock to put Mark’s Wild Years together.