Author Archive

Katie Kate – Nation

August 24th, 2014
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One Nation, Divisible

Katie Kate studied classical music and played the flute in college, but since her days at Cornish University, she has gathered her own electronic orchestra in which she is the maestro. On her sophomore release, Nation, Katie Kate proves she is a hip hop virtuoso, crafting interesting beats, spitting fierce lyrics and singing formidable hooks. These 10 compositions start off strong but starts to fall flat after a few songs. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in Reviews

Tre Mission – Stigmata

August 16th, 2014
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Man on a Mission

At the age of 22, Toronto-born rapper Tre Mission sits in a very precarious place.  After his debut album Malmaison dropped in 2013, phrases like “Grime’s Must Watch Artist” began to circulate.  Now on his sophomore effort, Stigmata, many wonder: can Tre Mission can live up to the hype or will he be crushed under its weight? Upon first listen, its evident that Tre has learned a lot over the last few years and have developed into a more polished artist. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in Reviews

Planet Asia & TzariZM – Via Satellite

August 12th, 2014
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Too Much To Finish

Grammy award nominee Planet Asia and producer TzariZM come together like Rice Krispies and marshmallows to make us a delicious treat served up as Via Satellite. Veteran Asia brings the familiar flavor he’s notorious for while TzariZM holds everything together with some gooey beats. Don’t be deceived though; there is nothing sweet about this composition. Via Satellite contains ruthless, revenge-soaked diatribes that pull no punches. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in Reviews ,

Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty

August 10th, 2014
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Worth a Gamble

Sub Pop’s experimental hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces ups the ante on Lese Majesty. Ishmeal Butler, formerly of Digable Planets, and multi-instrumentalist Tendai Maraire rolled the dice with their debut album Black Up, and on their sophomore release the two aimed to break the house.  Filled with spacey instrumentations and solid rhymes, Less Majesty shows that they still can work miracles with the cards they are dealt. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in Reviews

K.Flay – Life as a Dog

August 1st, 2014
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A Dog, but not a B…

After ten years of releasing EPs, mix tapes and appearing on video game soundtracks, K.Flay’s official debut album Life as a Dog sees the light of day. In spite of a lengthy dispute with RCA Records, K.Flay crowd-funded this opus and released it via Bummer Picnic Records revealing an album that she wanted to make instead of losing creative control and not being satisfied with the end product. 44 minutes and 11 songs later, Life as a Dog is definitely an album its maker should be proud of. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews

Death Grips – The Powers that B (Disc 1: Niggas on the Moon)

July 17th, 2014
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Ending on a High Note

Previous to the news of their recent disbandment, Death Grips released the first disc of their double LP The Powers That B. Entitled Niggas on the Moon, Death Grips brings forth the sonic fury and raw vocals that they have captured on their previous three releases and project it at full volume. When Death Grips became the opening act for the recent Nine Inch Nails/Soundgarden tour, this industrial hip hop act’s spotlight began to shine a little bit brighter, introducing new listeners to their brand of experimental art, but in light of the recent news of their breakup Niggas on the Moon is the first half of this band’s swan song.


By William Hannan Posted in Reviews

Riff Raff – NEON iCON

July 5th, 2014
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Perhaps the Third Time Will Be the Charm…

Houston born rapper Riff Raff went out into this world with one goal: to become famous. Whether or not he’s succeeded is debatable, but you’ve got to give him credit for trying. From being on MTV’s From G’s to Gents, rapping with Andy Milonakis and Simon Rex under the moniker Three Loco and attempting to sue the creators of the movie Spring Breakers for 10 million dollars, Riff Raff sure has been keeping his name in the headlines. On his sophomore album, NEON iCON, Riff Raff serves up 14 tracks of hip hop shenanigans. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in Reviews

clipping – CLPPNG

June 20th, 2014
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Don’t Clip that Unibrow, Friend

Deep bass lines, break beats, catchy hooks and a recognizable melody are usual components of a hip hop record, but on CLPPNG by the trio clipping, these parts have been traded for minimalistic rhythms and odd clusters of noise. Rapper Daveed Diggs and producers Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson have created an album without the normal bells and whistles. Instead the bells resemble industrial alarms and the whistles are more like grinding gears. These three have an orchestra of misfit toys at their disposal, and by God, they compose some interesting symphonies. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in Reviews

Sage Francis – Copper Gone

June 9th, 2014
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Copper Feel

Sage Francis has been gifted with a silver tongue and a heart full of rage — a combination that built him a reputation as an opinionated poet who wears his heart on his sleeve. After a four-year hiatus, Sage Francis returns to the mic with Copper Gone. Since his debut album Personal Journals, Francis has used his LPs as a diary, exorcising inner demons and penning editorials on current events. Copper Gone is no exception. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in Reviews

The Roots – …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin

May 30th, 2014
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The Roots Are On Fire

The Roots are one of those bands that doesn’t really need an introduction. Even if hip hop isn’t your cup of tea, there’s a good chance you know who Questlove is. Not only are The Roots an award-winning hip hop act, they also moonlight as Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show band. On their 11th album, …And Then You Shoot your Cousin, the band continues their legacy of creating great tracks. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in Reviews