Apr 9, 2020
75
Kenny Segal and billy woods. Kenny Segal and Hemlock Ernst. Kenny Segal and R.A.P. Ferreira. And now Kenny Segal and Serengeti. Kenny Segal is on fire of late, Ajai is the next in what is growing into an ever-more impressive series of collaborative albums with the LA-based producer's name on it.

Even if Kenny Segal's production work is an important part of the appeal of Ajai, this is very much a Serengeti project. On Ajai, the idiosyncratic Chicago emcee/poet revisits Kenny Dennis - a ... read more
Apr 8, 2020*
70
The Elephants Who Spoke by Ca$aBlanca and TITO TheCZAR is yet another one of the slew of projects inspired by the Griselda sounds that are currently flooding the Hip Hop world. Minimalistic, dark, atmospheric beats, combined with street rhymes and the evidently inevitable WSG adlib copycatting. Despite its genericness, The Elephants Who Spoke is one of the better releases of its kind, mainly because of TITO TheCZAR's dope instrumentals.

The Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2020: ... read more
Apr 7, 2020
68
Senica (Da Misfit) is an emcee from Severn, Maryland by way of Baltimore. He made a name for himself by battling on local Hip Hop station 92Q JAMS and becoming a reigning champion on its cypher series. He has worked with super producer 9th Wonder, Inspectah Deck from Wu-Tang Clan and Czarface and is a frequent collaborator with Doitall from Lords of the Underground.

Poetic Ruckus 2 is a solid album boasting top-caliber lyricism over sometimes smooth and sometimes rugged boom-bap beats, ... read more
Apr 6, 2020
70
Cotardz is a producer from São Paulo, Brazil, whose production credits include work for underground acts like Sunz Of Man, Block McClound, Nems, Goretex, Prodigal Sunn, Timbo King, and many others. For A Shot In The Dark, he recruited a huge host of relatively unknown emcees to spit bars over his traditional boom-bap beats. Cotardz manages to avoid genericness by adding an eery vibe to his beats by means of creative sampling - his instrumentals remain interesting throughout the whole ... read more
Apr 6, 2020
73
This is as underground as it gets. How many people will actually take notice of and listen to this Sean Doe The Sucio Gringo album? Due to a lack of promotion and visibility, not a lot most likely. That's unfortunate because Sean Doe Da Bastard Sun is a pretty good album - thoroughly solid 90s-centric boom-bap, with bars upon bars upon bars. Sean Doe carries most of the album himself, but there are a few well-placed features by underground spitters like Pawz One, Spit Savage, Billy NoJokes, ... read more
Apr 3, 2020
81
For the unfamiliar, Sankofa is a Fort Wayne-based emcee who collaborated with underground Hip Hop mainstays like CunninLynguists, Tonedeff, and many others, and who has dropped a bunch of great projects in the past decade - he had an especially fruitful 2019, with two excellent full-lengths and one dope EP. He doesn't let up in 2020, with what may very well be his best project to date: Glyde Drexler. (The title an obvious play on the legendary NBA All-Star Clyde Drexler).

Sankofa has a dope ... read more
Apr 3, 2020
77
Ohio-based duo Cas Metah and Blast Mega are Pow Bundy. This is another one of those albums that will not turn up in any other major Hip Hop outlet's best-of-the-year lists, because most of those outlets don't curate anymore - they only pay attention to what they are fed by major labels, so they all act like that generic mainstream trap is all there is. Real Hip Hop heads know better though, they will pay attention to quality and they will know where to find it.

Pow Bundy is an example of a ... read more
Apr 3, 2020
68
Goretex from Non-Phixion and Heavy Metal Kings is Lord Goat. Coffin Syrup consists of 23 tracks, but this is not a long album - half of the tracks here are about a minute long, so this one plays like a lot of heavy metal do: a bunch of interlude-like songs. It works out fine though, and there are some longer tracks as well to nicely even things out. Nothing especially memorable here, but this is an enjoyable project nonetheless - a satisfying dose of hard-hitting bars and beats. Fans of ... read more
Apr 3, 2020*
73
So the 'firing' of Flavor Flav from Public Enemy in February turned out to be a hoax (“a hoax that ain’t no joke") cooked up by Chuck D to show and prove that only negativity gets publicity in the poisonous mass media landscape. He has a point: 33 years of Public Enemy and rarely any mainstream media attention for all the good P.E. has done, but headlines worldwide at the first apparent major negativity surrounding the group. The media attention coming with the revelation that ... read more
Apr 2, 2020
72
Henny L.O. (1/11 of Mutant Academy) teams up with fellow Richmond, Virginia emcee Monday Night for Battle Scar Decorated. There are a lot of albums with this kind of neo-boom-bap sound around these days, Battle Scar Decorated is part of the upper echelon of its kind. Monday Night & Henny L.O. prove to have great chemistry, trading bars over a fine selection of dirty, minimalistic beats - don't sleep on Battle Scar Decorated.

The Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2020: ... read more
Mar 29, 2020
69
Toronto's Daniel Son is one of the most notable up and comers of Canadian Hip Hop, having been pretty prolific with album/mixtape releases and highly visible through lots of guest appearances ever since his debut in 2016. For Dirty Dishes, he teamed up with emcee/producer Finn. With features from Asun Eastwood, Rome Streetz, Rob Gates, DJ Grouch, Jay Royale, Raz Fresco, Rigz, Saipher Soze, and Black Nazi, Dirty Dishes is a solid neo-boom-bap album that is worthy of your attention.

The Best ... read more
Mar 29, 2020
73
Simon Phoenix is a release by Queensbridge legend Blaq Poet, produced entirely by The Blaq One. The tracklist of Simon Phoenix promises 16 tracks, but that's misleading: this is a short project at 33 minutes and 6 out of the 16 are intro/interludes/outro tracklist fillers. So we have no more than 10 real songs, but thankfully these are all pretty good. The album starts off strong with "Public Enemy", with vocal samples from Chuck D and Flavor Flavor scratched in, and doesn't let up ... read more
Mar 29, 2020
71
Classic Villians is Delaware-based emcee All Hail Y.T. 's second project, coming on the heels of his collaboration with Tone Beatz, The Spoils Of Babylon. The Spoils Of Babylon is a thoroughly enjoyable project, Classic Villians is even better. For Classic Villians, All Hail Y.T. teamed up with Inglewood emcee GeneralBackPain.

With production from Chop The Head, Ecto-84, HobGoblin, Jig In The Basement, Pad Scientist, Tars One, and Tone Beatz, and vocal contributions from Killy Shoot, Chris ... read more
Mar 28, 2020
69
Richmond, Virginia going strong. Big Kahuna OG has been responsible for a bunch of dope projects and collaborations in the 2010s, Thug Tear is another solid effort - this time with Monday Night. Both Big Kahuna OG and Monday Night have bars for days, and the beats crafted by Unlucky Bastards and Graymatter are dope as well. At 33 minutes Thug Tear is short and tight, and a little more substance to the tracklist wouldn't have been bad - but despite its brevity, this project is a keeper and an ... read more
Mar 28, 2020
71
This is one of the strongest Hip Hop albums to come from the UK this year. London-based emcee CLBRKS and Sheffield beat-maker/producer Morriarchi show off their chemistry with their first collaborative LP: Microwave Cooking 2000. Not riding the UK grime-wave, CLBRKS and Morriarchi opt for a more experimental sound - the instrumentals are smooth and chilled-out, the lyrics creative and fun.

Released on Blah Records - one of the UK's most exciting and consistent independent record labels - ... read more
Mar 27, 2020
71
Prolific Staten Island emcee Squeegie O teamed up with Netherlands-based producer P Soulosit for this From Niggaz To Godz project. According to Squeegie O himself, this album is a true definition of Hip Hop Blues: it offers a personal retrospective of his life and his music. Squeegie O's lyrical ability and his song content matches well with P Soulosit's instrumentals, the synergy between the two is evident and the alternately psychedelic and bass-thumping music enhances the vibe and emotional ... read more
Mar 27, 2020
70
Swiss producer TooBusy recruited a group of great emcees for Red Tape - the likes of Keith Murray, Edo G, Billy Danze, Rah Digga, Pacewon, Planet Asia, Reks, Blaq Poet, Ill Bill, Ruste Juxx, (and others) make appearances. Nothing especially memorable nor anything you haven't heard before on Red Tape, just a solid presentation of boom-bap tracks. What elevates this project over most others is the quality of the emcees - it's especially good to hear Rah Digga, Edo G, Keith Murray, and Reks - ... read more
Mar 27, 2020
71
On the heels of his 2019 release The Book Of Cyphaden, veteran Milwaukee emcee Taiyamo Denku releases The Darker Side Of Light - a 19-track album with guest appearances from (among others) Killah Priest, Big Shug, Che Noir, 38 Spesh, Pacewon, and Planet Asia (he's on everybody's album this year). As was the case with The Book Of Cyphaden, it is evident Taiyamo Denku knows what he is doing here - the features are well-placed and the sequencing is done just right. All songs are produced by ... read more
Mar 27, 2020
70
Syracuse rapper Stove God Crooks' debut LP Reasonable Drought is produced entirely by Roc Marciano - whose name is featured prominently here of course, as it's a mark of quality which will draw listeners to Stove God Cooks he might have not had without Roc Marci's involvement. Roc Marci re-pioneered and rejuvenated the 'mafioso' subgenre: tough-guy coke-rap street rhymes over dirty minimalistic beats. Griselda helped make this sound a whole new subgenre of itself, so now we get a whole bunch of ... read more
Mar 27, 2020
77
This is a solid Hip Hop album. Beats and bars, that's what it's all about, right? Look Into My IZE delivers on both fronts, with features from Ludacris, the late Sean Price, Talib Kweli, J-Live, Planet Asia, Punchline, Rapper Big Pooh, and señor KAOS (among others) and production from Justice League, 9th Wonder, and Swizz Beatz (among others).

4-IZE is one-half of emcee duo Ultra Beast (with señor KAOS), two Hip Hop veterans from the Atlanta region in Georgia. Look Into My IZE ... read more
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On soundworld's review of Jay Electronica - A Written Testimony
"Great review too, makes me think I was too generous ;) "
On Grafh & Dj Green Lantern - The Oracle III
"Right. Who cares what Rome Streetz says though? He can go smoke WSG's cock as much as he can, maybe he'll be thrown some Griselda crumbs. Nobody cares about a random adlib here and there, me neither. But infesting every single song they do with those adlibs like WSG and his copy cats are doing is taking it to new levels of annoyingness. If that ruins an otherwise potentially great record for me, I'll keep on saying it. It's called an opinion, it seems you're not lacking opinions yourself. Rome Streetz, you and anybody who wants to can listen to grown men go 'pow pow pow' on their records all day for all I care, but I won't. White people bitching, huh? "
On Grafh & Dj Green Lantern - The Oracle III
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