Musically eclectic California rapper Antwon released a couple new songs last month in anticipation of his soon-to-be-released EP Double Ecstasy. One of those songs, “Jacuzzi”, is produced by and features Lushlife, which blends well with Antwon’s sound. “Jacuzzi” can be streamed below. Antwon also has a lengthy catalog of similar sounding music available to stream or buy via his Bandcamp page.
Big Sean’s album Dark Sky Paradise is the best hip-hop album of 2015 so far. If you haven’t checked it out you’re doing yourself a disservice. Big Sean doesn’t get as much lyrical attention as some of his contemporaries but he is a definitive artist and deserves more attention than he gets, though he gets plenty. Ultimately, this is not a plug for that his newest album. Big Sean’s song “One Man Can Change The World” featuring Kanye West and John Legend from Dark Sky Paradise is an amazing song. Largely based on the teachings of his grandmother growing up, Big Sean has crafted a beautiful tribute to his grandmother, which even includes a brief interaction between the two. Sadly, his grandmother died during the production process so she never got to hear the final product. It’s heartfelt all the same.
Fresno, CA rapper Fashawn’s 2009 independently released debut album, Boy Meets World, received almost universal critical acclaim with heavy focus on his age at the time–21–and the fact that someone so young could articulate the struggle so well. Many drew comparisons to hip-hop royalty Nas and the fact that Nas was 21 when he released his near perfect hip-hop classic Illmatic. Over the past six years Fashawn has released a handful of mixtapes, a couple collaborative albums, and an EP, but his latest release, The Ecology, shows that Fashawn’s debut was not just a flash in the pan. Nas himself has taken a liking to Fashawn as Nas both appears on the album and was instrumental in signing Fashawn to independent record label Mass Appeal Records. Highlights from The Ecology include “Guess Who’s Back”, “Letter F”, “Man of the House”, and “F.T.W.” but the entire album is worth checking out. Other guest appearances on the album include Dom Kennedy, Aloe Blacc, and BJ The Chicago Kid. The Ecology can be streamed or downloaded for free via DJBooth or it can be purchased from iTunes. The video for “Guess Who’s Back is below.
Kid Cudi’s first official release since 2014’s Satellite Flight: The Journey to the Mother Moon is a song called “Love” from his forthcoming album, which he recently announced will be called Speedin’ Bullet to Heaven. Whether this will be a continuation of his Man on the Moon series has not yet been made clear. In the mean time, enjoy “Love”.
20 year old West Virginia University student Conner Troxell aka C-Trox has put out a couple high quality albums in less than a year of making his music available to the public. His newest album is available to stream or download for free from his Soundcloud page (as well as his previous album) or can be purchased via iTunes. At the end of March C-Trox also debuted a video for his song”So High” featuring Maryland rapper Marvin Divine.
Miss the old days of Wu-Tang Clan when all they did was rap over samples of 1970s soul and R&B songs (and it didn’t sound shoehorned)? The closest thing you’ll get to that now is the new collaboration between Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah and Canadian jazz instrumental hip-hop band BadBadNotGood. Since Ghostface is the only member of Wu-Tang to still closely resemble that sound, this match up made the most sense. The album is half instrumental and half performances from Ghostface Killah, with a handful of guest artists, including Danny Brown and MF Doom. The album can be purchased on cassette, CD, or vinyl via the Lex Records website, or purchased digitally on iTunes. The entire album can be streamed below.
Five years ago Charles Hamilton was on the verge of being the next big thing; magazine covers, an XXL freshman list that also included B.o.B, Wale, and Kid Cudi, and an undeniably catchy lead single. But after a series of self-admitted “bloopers”–including a video of Hamilton being socked in the face by a girl he was battle rapping–made the rounds on the internet, Hamilton disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. After a lengthy absence from the public eye, Hamilton appears to be ready for his come back. His new single “New York Raining” is below.
Up and coming rapper Jalin Roze (not Jalen Rose) from Louisville, KY has a smooth, bass heavy sound reminiscent of Celly Cel in his heyday. Roze has a great back catalog of music worth checking out and it’s all available to download for free from his Bandcamp page. His song “That’s It” can be streamed below.
Austin natives and League of Extraordinary Gz members Tuk Da Gat and S. Dot have been a strong part of the LOEGz’s domination of the Austin hip-hop scene over the past few years. The duo have a couple performances during SXSW, along with a showcase with LOEGz. Tuk Da Gat and S. Dot will be performing March 17 at Flamingo Cantina and March 21 at The Palm Door. They also have new material out with rising Austin hip-hop producer Eric Dingus. Tuk Da Gat and S. Dot’s “Raw Pt. 2″ featuring LOEGz affiliate Lil’ J and produced by Dingus can be streamed below.
Rae Sremmurd (pronounced RAY SHREM-URD) are two young guys from Tupelo, Mississippi that seemingly came out of nowhere in 2014 with two hit songs (“No Flex Zone” and “No Type”). Rae Sremmurd makes feel good party music and they are clearly having fun doing it. While it seems like Rae Sremmurd might goof around a lot, there is definitely a method to the madness. An interesting side note is that they also have a safe sex party anthem called “Safe Sex and Pay Checks”. Rae Sremmurd has one of the more energetic record and stage presences around. They have already confirmed four shows during SXSW and will most likely be performing more than that.