2013 has been a good year for Wisconsin emcee Milo (I refuse to acknowledge his recent move to Chicago). He started off the year by making his debut for Hellfyre Club with the double EP Things That Happen At Day/Things That Happen At Night, went on tour with several of his labelmates, played SXSW, and then went on a headlining tour with Safari Al this summer, then released another EP. Just when you though he was done, he comes back with yet another EP, this time under the alias scallops hotel.
DC artists Asheru is probably best known for his work on the television show The Boondocks, including writing and performing the theme song. Hip hop fans might also know him from his work as part of the duo Unspoken Heard, along with producer Blue Black. His latest solo effort is an album that he hopes will bridge the gap between Africans and African Americans through the language of hip hop. Asheru isn’t just doing this on a theoretical level -he's closely worked with South African artists such as Hip-Hop Pantsula, spent time in the country, and absorbed the language and culture.
Back in the summer, Chicago emcee/producer Thaione Davis dropped his album, The Joys of Life & Pain. While working on that album, Davis actually recorded over forty tracks for the project, nineteen making the cut for the album. Coming from that same session, Davis now gives us fourteen more tracks with the epilogue to his project, Acknowledge Pain.
Jordan Cohen, aka Chants, is a standout talent amongst a strong scene of instrumental hip hop/electronic music in Madison. After releasing the Night After EP last year on Dutty Artz, Chants has this time teamed up with Seattle’s Hush Hush Records to release his latest full length album, I Feel Like I Feel It.
More or Les, the Toronto emcee/producer, gave us one of the most fun and interesting albums of last year in Mastication, a hip hop album tied together by a theme of food. The Backburner member has returned this fall with another themed outing, this time tapping into the Sci-Fi institution that is Dr. Who with Bigger On The Inside: A Time Traveller’s Mixtape.
Just a few months after releasing Post-Euphoria (Vol. 1), Minneapolis producer/emcee ECID comes right back with Vol. 2. Of course, this is all being done in build up to his next full-length album, which will probably come early next year. PEV2 gives a quick glimpse at the good, the bad, and the ugly that is ECID.
It’s rare that an album you’ve been anticipating for a year and a half will deliver on its promise, and a lot of recent albums from artists or groups that had been away for an extended period have disappointed. However, when it comes to Louis Logic, the wait was well worth it, because every push back Logic faced in making this album was actually a push in the right direction, even if it wasn’t clear at the time.
It’s been a short while since we got an album from Minneapolis hip hop group Wide Eyes or Chicago emcee Phillip Morris, so they did us all a favor and came together to make an EP to appease their fans. The Sick and the Dead brings together some of the best and unheralded talent from the Midwest.
Lanzo is an instrumental producer from Chicago. He hasn’t been releasing music for very long, but in the past year or so, we’ve gotten a glimpse as to what this beat maker is capable of. Deadweight.Sheep is a good place to start, giving us a soulful, downtempo mix of instrumental tracks.
Up until this year, most hip hop fans’ knowledge of Hellfyre Club was most likely limited. Maybe they knew that Open Mike Eagle’s Rappers Will Die Of Natural Causes was released on the label in 2011, or maybe they got down with the Flash Bang Grenada album that Busdriver made with Nocando. Maybe they knew that this was the label that Nocando founded in 2010. In 2013, though, things came together for Hellfyre to take the next step. Last year, Wisconsin emcee Milo was in search of a label to push his double EP Things That Happen At Day/Things That Happen At Night.