Now this is an album! 25 unique tracks that blend lofi hip-hop with jazz and soul and rap. Pink Siifu did his thing here. While the Birmingham, Alabama artist has a LOT more music available, this is a fine introductory project, one that will have me browsing the remainder of his portfolio. But not until I’ve properly digested this dense, 60 minutes beaut. Shout-out GRiMM Doza, liv.e, Budgie, Pyramid Vritra. Shout-out this album. Damn.
Misery Club’s debut project Club Misery dropped last month. Featuring Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Lil’ Zubin, Fantasy Camp, Jon Simmons, Nedarb, and Foxwedding. Foxwedding really does it right with the first half of production on this EP. Handling two of the backdrops on the four song Club Misery, the final two tracks come produced by Nedarb and remain stuck up in the clouds. If you need more, the group released another single a few weeks back. Don’t sleep.
Solo artist Fantasy Camp recently let loose the seven song project How to Fix Everything. Handling production for half of the EP on his own, the emo / acoustic rap project features Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, taxpurposes, Taylor Morgan, and mertensite. Great artwork too.
It’s been almost two years since Wisconsin rapper Trapo released his 15 song project, Shade Trees, but the wait has been worth it as the MC returns with a dozen new tracks in the form of Oil Change. Jazzy and soulful with plenty of live instrumentation (these drums!), this is yet another unique release from a rapper in a league of his own.
Producers Squadda B and Badluck connect for the eleven track project Special Edition Instrumentals. The half an hour album blends cloud rap with hip-hop and synthwave. Tracks like ‘Another 6’ and ‘ABCG2’ hit the spot. If you like what you hear, be sure to grab a physical copy over at the Green Ova’s Bandcamp, which is a musical goldmine.
Rapper Key! spent a large part of 2018 teasing his collaborative album with producer Kenny Beats. The finalized album is 777, a 15 song run through of thumping intensity and electric bounce. Tracks like “Move” and “Toronto” demand to be played on loop at maximum volume. To top it off, Key! provided the visuals for the tracks “Hater” (directed by JimmyRegular) and “Kelly Price Freestyle” (shot by Miggy). The complete package makes 777 one of the most exciting hip-hop releases of 2018.
Rapper OmenXIII and producer Purpdogg joined forces to release the ten track project, Underworld. A dark and haunted auditory experience, the project is a punch in the face, a kick in the gut. Guttural and evil as hell, it’s something to play to concern your family members. Listen to this as you kidnap your enemies, as you set a car on fire, as you pregame your seance.
Rapper/producer AJ Suede will go down as one of the most prolific underground rappers. Steadily releasing cohesive and bar-heavy projects, Suede has already delivered with three EPs in the last three months. Let’s get familiar.
Most recently, we received Rain Based, which came fully produced by cloud rap icon Keyboard Kid. Five songs in length, the EP is lost in the clouds, smooth as hell, and complete with features from BB Sun and BB Rob God. Although Suede is from the East Coast, this is most assuredly a Seattle affair.
Prior to Rain Based, AJ Suede released the five song EP System of a Frown II. It came fully produced by Nedarb (just like the first volume). As a result, it’s dark, it’s haunted, it’s full of hi hats. Suede really shines on the track “Made a Difference”, which demands a quality sound system.
Before these two executively produced EPs, Suede dropped the six song Melancholy Trill II. Recorded in Seattle, it’s a unique release as it features a different producer on every track. With familiar names like BB Sun, Wolftone, and JPEGMAFIA, the project goes down as a quality first release of Suede’s 2018. With three already in the ring, we can certainly expect more as the year progresses.
Irish producer Squid Ethics is one of my favorites at the moment and his instrumental tapes never grow old. On top of having just released the EP Malheureusement, he clumped his five EPs and one album into one comprehensive playlist. Press play and float away properly for one hour exactly.
Depending on where you live, it’s still cold as hell outside. Maybe some snow on the ground. How fitting, then, to give this 20 minute beat tape Winter Batch a spin. It’s a lofi excursion traveling through streets of icicles and cups of hot cocoa.