Amp Live is a producer from the Bay Area, and one half of the duo Zion I. He’s been making music since the late ‘90s, but it wasn’t about until the mid-00s that he began making music as a solo artist. It started with some beat tapes and remixes, but it has slowly building since then, including some instrumental EPs. Things really picked up when he signed to Plug Research as a solo artist, and dropped the stellar Kaleidoscope Theory: The Color EP just last year. He now makes his full length debut for Plug Research with Headphone Concerto.
Alias is one of the founding members of the anticon. collective, and one of the most talented and creative producers working over the last fifteen years. He’s been relatively quiet over the past couple of years, with his last full length album coming in 2011. With Pitch Black Prism, he comes back as strong as he’s ever been.
Cormega is one of these artists that has managed to survive by reputation and reference for years, but due to all sorts of circumstances, never had the output to match. Hip hop fans knew him from his days coming up in New York in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, but all sorts of situations kept stalling his career, from legal problems to label problems. For the longest time it seemed that he was going to be more famous for feuding with Nas than making amazing hip hop records.
EVC, or Essential Vitamins Crew, out of Buffalo, have been responsible for some of the most creative hip hop in the last couple of years, and producer cove is one of the main reasons. He first came to our attention at Scratched Vinyl last summer, with the incredibly fun release, SoulFritoFunk. His latest release is a followup to an album he released in February of last year, simply titled love.gained/love.lost. It’s an ambitious project, but one he’s been building up to.
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.