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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.

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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

Kate Tempest – Everybody Down

May 29th, 2014
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A Real Pick-You-Up

At 27, Kate Tempest has achieved more than most 20-somethings could dream of. This award-winning poet has decided to mix her rhyme skills with some break beats and electronica on her debut hip hop album Everybody Down. As a spoken word artist, Tempest is no stranger to a microphone, and her style fits naturally together with the instrumental arrangements present on this LP. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in Reviews

Atmosphere – Southsiders

May 15th, 2014
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The Continuing Tale of Slug and Ant

On Southsiders, Slug once again teams up his long time collaborator DJ/producer Ant, and together as Atmosphere they harness the power of hip hop to electrify the heavens. It has been three years since the last time this duo dropped an LP, and these 15 tracks are evident that Slug has a lot to talk about. Mixing his gift for storytelling with sermonizing on sociopolitical topics, these raps read like homilies. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in Reviews , ,

Karol Conka – Batuk Freak

May 11th, 2014
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Freak Scene

Brazilian hip hop artist Karol Conka shares her amazing talents on her debut album Batuk Freak. Produced by Brazilian native Nave, the whole album is filled with EDM beats mixed with Afro-Brazilian percussion. To say these tracks are danceable is an understatement; each instrumental is a party within itself. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in Reviews

Blueprint – Respect the Architect

May 5th, 2014
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The House that Beats Built

Rhymesayers Entertainment is home to some of the greatest hip hop artists around and Blueprint is definitely one of them. On his latest LP, Respect the Architect, Blueprint shows step by step how to construct a damn near perfect album. If Respect the Architect was a house, the beats would be the mortar that holds the lyrical bricks in place. The infrastructure of this house would be classic hip hop. And if you’re looking for the roof, you wouldn’t find it; it has been blown off by the the sheer hurricane force winds carrying these poetic messages out of Blueprints’ mouth. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews

Playdough – Gold Tips

April 28th, 2014
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Will Not Dry Out

Texas rapper Playdough, alongside DJ Sean P, has brought raw beats and slick rhymes on Gold Tips. Known for his battle rap skills, Gold Tips proves that Playdough is no stranger to the studio, either. Well-crafted verse complimented by Sean Patrick’s phenomenal turntable techniques are a deadly combo guaranteed to knock out any contender. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in Reviews