Seattle emcee Sadistik made his Fake Four debut last year, with his album Flowers For My Father. Sadistik had long made his mark making hip hop that explored the darker side of the human existence. Using the unexpected death of his own father as inspiration for the album, along with writing a song for his friend, Eyedea, who also passed unexpectedly, gave him plenty of emotional material to draw from. With his follow up album, Ultraviolet, the music seems more rushed and unmotivated.
BPos have been going strong in the Bay Area since 2008, delivering their own brand of feel-good, positive hip hop. It’s been two years since their last release, and the group continues to expand and evolve. The most obvious change in the group is the addition of a female member, emcee Gyrl Ab’Strakt. Now with a more well-rounded perspective to what was already a thoughtful hip hop group, they come back with their strongest effort to date.
Jincallo is a producer from Los Angeles associated with the Low End Theory scene. While he might not be as well-known as other beatmakers in the area, the young artist has kept plugging away and developing his sound for a few years now. Do You Mind marks his third full-length album, and his debut for Alpha Pup Records.
While the people of Chicago have known for years now that emcee ProbCause is a talent to be reckoned with, he’s still fairly new to the rest of us. However, after releasing The Recipe Vol. 2 last year, appearing on Hologram Kizzie’s Hug Life album this spring, and performing several solo sets at SXSW this year, the word was starting to get out. With all this momentum beginning to build, ProbCause gives us what’s far and away his best work yet, WAVES.
If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing Hologram Kizzie, aka Psalm One, in the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly also come across Fluffy, her manager/hype woman/secret weapon. If you ever saw her on stage and wondered if she made music of her own, the answer is, “She does now.” After making a few guest appearances in the past year, she’s finally ready to release her debut EP as a solo artist.
Skipp Whitman is an emcee raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, who spent the last five years in New York. This past year, he set sail for Los Angeles before the release of this album. He first came to our attention here at Scratched Vinyl with his excellent third album, 5AM, released in 2012. Now he’s back with number four, and he’s ready to start a new chapter in his life.
Toronto emcee/producer Muneshine has been making music for years at this point. He’s had a busy and varied career up, working with D-Sisive on his excellent Jonestown series of albums, and collaborating with groups like Wolves and Twin Peaks. His last solo effort was 2012’s There Is Only Today, an excellent establishment of his sound as a solo artist. With his latest album, In Transit, he picks up right where he left off.
The Extremeties are the Halifax-Toronto production duo of Uncle Fester and Fresh Kils. They’ve released two full length albums at this point, with the second album serving as something of a departure from the first. This is because the project began several years ago, when Uncle Fester was given unprecedented access to CBC jazz session recordings. Their first album, The Mint Condition, featured lots of great jazz-based hip hop production because of this.
When you’re part of a crew like Backburner, the Toronto hip hop group that has a roster a mile long, it can be a little difficult to establish your own voice as a solo artist. However, this group is made up of some pretty unique personalities, and while Chokeules might not be as well-known as some of the other members, he’s certainly working on getting his own voice heard. He’s been part of Swamp Thing, which also features Timbuktu and Savilion, who have released two albums in the past two years, and he has released one solo album prior to this.
The 33 1/3 series of books is one of the more interesting series of publications, and one of great interest to most music fans. If you’re not familiar with the series, each entry takes on one album, and it’s up to the author to decide what method is best to discuss the album and why it’s significant. It can be conceptual, it can be a long interview, it can be historical – it’s up to the author of that particular volume to make it work.