Hello everybody! Happy June! I hope you are all doing well. This past month was pretty busy for me. My semester ended last month, so that means I had finals to worry about. Somehow I passed all of my classes so yay me! Now that my semester is over I can finally focus a bit more on music. Speaking of music, I’ve got some recommendations for you all today, so let’s jump into the honorable mentions.
Song Honorable Mentions:
Chimurenga Renaissance, King Britt, and Nadine Stoddart – Zimbabwe: I got to thank the homie Mates for this song recommendation. This track is fire! As you might have guessed from the song title, this track takes heavy musical inspiration from Zimbabwe’s culture. This hip-hop track has traditional Zimbabwe sounds sprinkled throughout the track. Nadine’s singing is not only great, but she sings in her native language which adds even more to the song in my opinion. The rap verse was tight, but I just wish there was a bit more. One verse wasn’t enough for me. Overall great track! Mates came through with this recommendation.
Bungalow Collect – Tell Me Where To Go: This might be the smoothest track of the month. Bungalow Collect consists of members Apollo J, Zay Suaz, Marcus Isiah, and Rshad. Each member absolutely killed it. This group is so charismatic. I promise after the first listen you will be hooked. The rapping from both Apollo J and Rshad are FIRE! The chorus from Zay and Marcus is extremely entertaining. I love the groovy production. It somehow feels old school and new school at the same time. This song is filled with great vibes. I can’t get enough of it. PLEASE GIVE IT A LISTEN! I AM BEGGING!
DMX – Bath Salts (feat. JAY-Z & Nas): This song is a must-listen for not only New York hip hop fans, but for hip hop fans in general. Three New York rap legends on one song. JAY-Z starts things off sounding hungry over this dark and grimy beat. He didn’t come to play. This man is spitting. “Every six months, I think I need a new bucket list” is probably my favorite line off the track. With that said both Nas and DMX had great bars and quotables. When Nas said, “Ha, let’s put success to the side, I’d still be this fly if I worked at Popeye’s, That’s a whole lotta spinach, whole game full of gimmicks, Make a fool out of yourself for a post on Akademiks”, I started geeking out. The late legend, DMX, went in. This line, in particular, got me laughing, “I’m taking half, it’s just that simple Or I can start poppin’ niggas like pimples”. Even in DMX’s later years, he was still able to give entertaining verses. This song is from DMX’s posthumous album Exodus. Give it a listen, especially if you are a fan of hip hop.
EP Honorable Mentions:
Paris Texas – BOY ANONYMOUS: This fiery duo just dropped some heat on this EP. Throughout this entire project, Paris Texas delivers some crazy moments. For example, the outro of “CASINO” is fucking insane! I love how it transitions into the following track “PACK 4 DA LOW”. Paris Texas has a lot of energy when they rap. Although I prefer their in-your-face rapping, when they slow things down on songs like “AREA CODE” the outcome turns out pretty cool. What stands out the most to me is the chemistry Louie Pastel and Felix have. Everything sounded so natural. Nothing sounded forced. I can’t wait to see what they do next. This is an exciting experimental rap duo that you should keep an eye out for.
Album Honorable Mentions:
Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti: Mach-Hommy has been a fan favorite in the underground for a while now. Pray For Paris is the first project I have listened to from Mach. Although I wouldn’t say this is the best rap album of the year, I do see why he has such a dedicated fan base and has garnered the attention of JAY-Z and Drake. He is a great lyricist with several cool quotables like, “I’ll put that biscuit to your tee like it’s England”. Throughout the album Mach tributes Haiti which is where he is from. Thanks to Westside Gunn, who executive produced the album, this album has a grimy feel to it. If you are a fan of Griselda you will love this album.
CHAI – WINK: This album is the perfect example of not needing to know the language to enjoy the music. CHAI is a female Japanese band consisting of four members: Yuna, Kana, Mana, and Yuuki. Although there is some English in this album it is mostly in Japanese. I have no idea what they are saying, but the singing is so pretty. Pretty might be the best adjective to describe the album. From the singing to the production, each song is so pretty. Some standout tracks I want to mention include “PING PONG!” featuring YMCK. I love the video game-like production. “Maybe Chocolate Chips” has a great feature from Rick Wilson. He sounds a lot like JID to me. Although the closing track is only one minute long, I love the serenity “SALTY” provides. Great album! Give it a listen.
Tony Allen – There Is No End: Tony Allen is a drummer hailing from Nigeria. He, unfortunately, passed away last year, but his music lives on with this new posthumous album. There Is No End is an exciting album filled with amazing instrumentals and incredible features. Sampa The Great, Koreatown Oddity, Danny Brown, and Skepta did their thing on their respective tracks. Some of the features I didn’t know going into this album blew my mind like Zelooperz and Marlowe. I love the music off of this album, but I think the best part of the album is how Tony Allen started and ended the album. Tony Allen wanted to remind the listener that music never ends, it lives forever. I just thought this was a beautiful statement. Tony Allen’s work will definitely live forever.
Song Of The Month:
Lil Nas X – SUN GOES DOWN: I need to let the cat out of the bag. Lil Nas X’s music has been a “guilty pleasure” of mine since the release of the 7 EP. I basically love everything he has dropped and “SUN GOES DOWN” is no exception. The production on this track is pretty simple. It basically consists of some trap drums and a calm loop consistently playing in the background. It is simple but effective. Lyrically Lil Nas X is in a very vulnerable place. He basically talks about his struggle figuring out his identity growing up, his struggle with depression, and at the end, he reassures his younger self. Although I love “Montero”, I think “SUN GOES DOWN” is the best he has released this year. Dare I say, the best song he has released in his career.
EP Of The Month:
Audrey Nuna – a liquid breakfast: Audrey Nuna is such an interesting artist to me. On the surface, she seems kind of dull with her monotone delivery, but she is the complete opposite. Yes, her delivery on this EP is pretty monotone, but she can rap. Her flows can be very impressive from a technical standpoint. The combination of the monotone and impressive rapping with these dreary beats sounds so cool together. What surprised me the most is finding out she can sing. She has a nice voice. I wish she sang a bit more on this EP. Especially without autotune because she proves on “Long Year” that she doesn’t need heavy autotune. Overall I really liked the EP. I hope she will be working on an album soon.
Album Of The Month:
CZARFACE and MF DOOM – Super What?: The first time I found out CZARFACE and MF DOOM were working together I knew it was going to be awesome. They both are known for having a comic book-inspired persona. It’s a match made in heaven. Czarface Meets Metal Face was amazing and so is Super What? Although it’s predictable at this point, I absolutely love the cartoony production style and the comic book references in the lyrics. Esoteric, Inspectah Deck, MF DOOM, and the features rapped their asses off. With this album most likely being the last project MF DOOM would have his name on, I think this is a great album to end off his discography. This is exactly what I wanted from these guys. I can’t ask for more!
These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!