Open Mike Eagle has been on a tear recently, releasing two of the best albums of the past two years in Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes and 4NML HSPTL, a couple of EPs, and spending plenty of time on the road. The EPs have been a way for Eagle to do some experimenting, remixing, and collaborating and delivering other songs that don’t necessarily fit on the albums. Sir Rockabye continues along these lines, delivering some delightfully strange hip hop.
Moods is a young producer from Rotterdam, and this EP marks his debut for the Rotterdam-based label Fremdtunes, who have brought us some truly excellent instrumental hip hop and electronic music over the last couple of years.
Tousaaint Morrison is a Minneapolis singer/emcee who’s been making his name the last couple of years via mixtapes done in collaboration with producer Dr. Wylie. His latest is inspired by his own experiences in teaching at Roosevelt High School, and his frustration with the racial disparity and lack of opportunity for improvement found there. For the mixtape, he transposes the location into Wisconsin, and works with Wylie to tell this tale over many well-known ‘80s songs that have been re-appropriated for the occasion.
After releasing the one-two punch of albums that were R.A.P. Music and Cancer 4 Cure last year, which saw the pairing of Brooklyn’s El-P and Atlanta’s Killer Mike, the two decided that they weren't done working together. Now officially a duo known as Run the Jewels, the two have released their self-titled debut album.
If you’re a fan of the nerdcore subgenre, you’ve no doubt come across Atlanta artist Tribe One in recent years. Unless you’ve really dug into his back catalogue, though, you might not have known that he was also part of a group called The Remnant. This is partly because they haven’t put out an album in four years, and also because they are a more “regular” hip hop group, or, not nerdcore. Actually, though, the group themselves had in effect called it quits after the last album when one of the three members moved away to California.
Elaquent is a Toronto-based producer who has been strictly been making instrumental records for several years now. His latest effort is his first release in over a year, the result of some hard work to really push himself to create an album that is complex in it’s scope. It was time well spent, as Believing is a rich and rewarding album.
The d.ark tape is the collaboration between Toronto emcee D-Sisive and producer Norman Krates of The Arkeologists, a collaboration that first happened back in 2007 which led to The Book. That, of course, is the EP which launched D-Sisive’s recording career into full swing, as he's become one of the most prolific and inventive artists in hip hop since that time. They had met up recently in the same basement where they recorded that EP to do an interview for the five-year anniversary re-release of said record.
This EP is the result of good timing between two artists who respect each other. The five songs were recorded during a short period in April when Toronto emcee Shad was able to meet up with producer/deejay (and fellow Canadian) Skratch Bastid in his studio. It might have been a short session, but one listen to the The Spring Up, and you can tell that these two made their time count.
Chee Malabar was born in India, but came to the United States when he was twelve. Having spent most of life between San Francisco and New York, Malabar is now residing in L.A. In a lot of ways, Malabar has been given the unfair burden of representation as the voice of the South Asian immigrant experience in hip hop. However, Malabar is no longer new to this game, and has learned to embrace the power in having a voice and the opportunity to say something meaningful when he’s on the mic.
Qiwu is a French producer based in Rennes. His first album, 2011’s Traveling Arriere, was an excellent introduction to a talented and interesting artist. While waiting on his next official album to drop, Qiwu has put together this collection of demos he had sitting around. Even though this collection was put together as collection of supposedly unfinished beats, we still get a great amount of quality instrumental hip hop.