Curly Castro is a member of the Wrecking Crew out of Philadelpia, where the emcee has been making music for years. His latest solo effort, Fidel, is one of the smartest discussions of race and class you'll hear this year, making it one of the strongest albums released in 2013. He sat down with us during SXSW to talk about his work.
(Image courtesy of Adriana Salerno)
Along with DJ /rupture, Matt Shadetek founded the Dutty Artz label/production crew back in 2008 in New York. While Shadetek has kept busy touring, doing remixes, and putting mixes and compilations together, The Empire Never Ended actually only marks his second full length album of original material, his first since 2010’s Flowers.
Homeboy Sandman is one of the most special artists working in hip hop today. One of the reasons I love the Queens native, is that every time I’ve had the chance to see him perform and talk to him, he’s alwayssaying something to the effect of, “This new record? It’s my favorite thing that I’ve done so far!” When he says this, it’s not a calculated p.r. ploy - he’s just that genuinely excited and motivated to make music that people will not only enjoy, but can think about after the record is over.
The Procussions debuted ten years ago as a quartet on Rawkus Records. By 2006, the group went on hiatus. In this time apart, Mr. J Medeiros became the most prolific and well-known solo artist of the group. In 2011, there began rumblings amongst fans, stirred up by Medeiros, that there was a possibility of a new Procussions album if there was enough interest. At this point, this meant a collaboration between Stro Elliot and Medeiros (no Qq and Rez), but it’s still the first Procussions album in seven years, and I don’t think many fans will be complaining.
It’s been a minute since we heard from Detroit producer and emcee Black Milk, and even longer since he released his excellent solo album, 2010's Album of the Year. After getting really excited about what the future held for him after that release, Black Milk put out a couple of collaborations that at best sounded typical, and at worst sounded phoned in. I was just a little worried that we weren’t going to get something special and exciting from him ever again.
Japanese producer Repeat Pattern has been very busy recently, having already released a pair of albums earlier in the year, along with an EP done in collaboration with emcee Broke last December. With his latest album, he brings together a lot of the elements of these recent records.
@Peace is a young five-piece group out of Aukland, New Zealand. They made their debut in 2011, and now come back with a more focused effort for their sophomore album. Combining jazz, R&B, hip hop, disco, soul and electronic music, the group walks us through tales of heartbreak and self exploration.
Funky DL is a prolific producer and emcee from London. His last original album, NANE, came out last fall. If you're familiar with DL, you know that he loves to fill the void between original projects by coming up with fun and interesting remix and mixtape projects. His latest venture in this territory is a Nas remix album, drawing from ‘30s era jazz music to rebuild some of his favorite songs.
A.M. Breakups is a producer originally from Utica, but now residing in Brooklyn. He’s been putting out records for several years now, carving out his own niche as both an instrumentalist and his work with emcees. Most recently, he’s formed the group Cult Favorite with emcee Elucid, who have also just released and album. On this short EP, named after the headquarters for Reservoir Sound, you can get a great idea of what makes A.M. Breakups such a unique talent.
Trek Life is an emcee from the L.A. area. Hometown Foreigner marks his first release since 2010’s collaboration with Oddisee, Everything Changed Nothing. This time, he enlisted the help of up and coming L.A. producer Duke Westlake, as Trek explores the theme of trying to find his place in life.