Last summer, Dark Time Sunshine, the duo of emcee Onry Ozzborn and producer Zavala, released the excellent album, ANX. With the album and subsequent tour with Aesop Rock, it seems as though they finally had their breakthrough moment. While Ozzborn has been known for a while know, both as a solo artist and as part of groups like Oldominion and Grayskul before starting DTS, Zavala has remained fairly under the radar as a producer. If there's any justice, enough people will listen to this instrumental version of ANX and realize just what a special talent he is.
Common Labor is the Minneapolis duo of emcee Analyrical and emcee/producer Phingaz. The two of them have come together to create a unique sound that brings in elements of rock, blues, folk, and hip hop. Now a description like that could easily refer to a group that sounds like a hot mess, super corny, or both. The good news here is that Common Labor manage to avoid all the worst trappings of crossing over between these genres. Instead, they have made an engaging and interesting album with a style that's all their own.
Mixed Blood Majority is a new group from Minneapolis featuring emcees Crescent Moon of Kill The Vultures and Joe Horton of No Bird Sing, along with producer Lazerbeak from Doomtree. There’s not much of a back story to the group, just three artists who live in the same city who respect each other and finally got their schedules to line up so that they could make some music together. While that introduction might be a little boring, this album is far from it.
PCP is an artist that’s been working behind the scene for years in Minneapolis, whether it be as an audio engineer, video director (see Sadistik’s “Micheal”) or anything in between. With a full length debut in the works, PCP has decided to release this EP of previously recorded material to introduce himself as an instrumental hip hop artist.
If you’re a fan of independent hip hop, you know how talented the scene is in the Twin Cities. We’ve been getting a wide range of talented emcees and groups coming out of the area for years. What we haven’t really experienced yet, though, is the emergence of some great instrumental hip hop. Fortunately, Ackryte is there to lead the charge in this subgenre.
Corina Corina is a soul singer raised in the Bay Area and currently residing in Brooklyn. The Eargasm marks her full length debut. The majority of the album is produced by Willie Green, with additional production from Steel Tipped Dove, Urban Miracle, and Has-Lo.
Skipp Whitmann is an emcee and producer from Brooklyn via Brookline, MA. 5AM marks his third solo album, and it’s certainly his strongest yet, hitting on every angle.
Mattic is an American emcee that now resides in France, best known to many as a frequent collaborator to Wax Tailor albums. His latest solo effort comes courtesy of Phonosaurus Records, a new label based out of Montreal. Mattic teamed up with label mates Dirty Art Club to produce the record, who come together to make a fun and interesting album.
My first exposure to Sammus came earlier in 2012 through her guest spot on Mega Ran’s Language Art Vol. 2, when she stole the song “Love Is Not Love.” As it turns out, that was just the a hint of what she had in store for us, because 2012 is also the year that Sammus dropped her brilliant solo album, M’other Brain.
Irenic is a new artist from St. Paul, and Wisdom Teeth: The Art of Pulling Roots marks her debut album. With it, she establishes herself as a artist with a unique sound, walking the line between indie-folk and hip hop in a way that few can compare to.