Apollo Brown —
Grandeur ... CD Mello Music Group, 2015. New Copy ...
A winning effort from one of the finer post-Dilla Detriot hip hop producers – gritty and soulful on the beats, brightly accented and moody on the more atmospheric touches, diverse and underground star-studded on rhymes! Guests include Oddisee, Reks, Sean Price, MOP, Evidence, OC, Wordsworth, ... read moreCD
Tightly thumping late 80s hip hop from Milk & Gizmo – a bit slept on even back in the day, but it holds up pretty damn well after all these years! Nothing too righteous on the rhyme side, nor as hardcore or profane as some the breakouts of the period, just straight ahead heavy beats and ... read moreCD
Gift Of Gab and Chief Xcel's first new Blackalicous record in a decade – and to our ears, their finest since Blazing Arrow! For longtime fans, it's so gratifying to give a first listen and hear these guys still kicking it as fresh as ever. Gab's breathless fast raps and more measured soul ... read moreCD
You guessed it. Danger Mouse and MF Doom together – and also a collaboration with the writers and voice talent of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block of programming circa the mid 00s! The dangerous duo make room for appearances by Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Space Ghost, Brak, Zorak, Harvey ... read moreCD
A nice compilation of hard-hitting hip hop from the Queens-based Hydra Entertainment roster – with Mobb Deep, Screwball, DJ Fusion, Godfather Don, E-Boogie, Dennis Kellman, Big Meal, Ghetto Professionals, The Unsociables, Nick Wiz and more! It's a very strong selection of some greatest Hydra ... read moreCD
Ghana-born singer Sena joins the ever adventurous DJ Vadim on Grow Slow – who lays down eclectic backdrops of beats for Sena's righteously soulful, expressive voice! Production wise, it's a fairly crisp, thumping, timeless hip hop soul effort from Vadim – who recently to a left turn ... read moreCD
Dr Dre —
Compton ... CD Interscope/Aftermath, 2015. New Copy ...
Dr Dre's first proper album in 15+ years, and you just know he wouldn't even bother if didn't have something solid to put there, right? Sky high expectations aside, it's a damn strong effort. Dre is in ringmaster and super-producer mode here, bringing in a diverse roster of vocal players and doing ... read moreCD
El-P and Killer Mike finally deliver a killer duo record! We knew that this one would be a win, considering how great the El-P produced RAP Music album by Killer Mike turned out to be, how versatile the El-P futuristic production vibe is and how timelessly inventive each rapper is on their own. ... read moreCD
Sharp, no nonsense, tough independent hip hop from Detroit's Finale – his first record in a few years, and he's back with sense of urgency and a skillful flow! Produced by Oddisee, who brings hard-hitting beats and a loud, direct sound – as fine a foil for the rhymes as Finale could ... read moreCD
The sequel to Future's 2011 mixtape/underground wave maker Dirty Sprite goes big – getting a quickly-arranged surprise release by Epic Records on just a few days notice in summer 2015! DS2 flips the script in a pretty big way from the preceding Epic album Honest – which was heavy with ... read moreCD
A really stunning set from Ghostface Killah – a record that has the Wu-Tang legend teaming up with soul group The Revelations – who produce the set, participate, and bring in a really wonderful old school vibe! The album's still hip hop at the core – with guest appearances from ... read moreCD
A superior sequel to Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge's Twelve Reasons To Die saga – cementing the mid teens Ghostface creative resurgence in a major way – with some of the finest production work by Younge to date! It's a stunning reminder of how sharp Ghostface can be this late in ... read moreCD
Heltah Skeltah —
Nocturnal ... CD Priority/Universal (Japan), 1996. New Copy ...
The classic debut of Heltah Skeltah! Nocturnal the best of the early Heltah Skeltah singles – really kind of up therel up there with the best the Boot Camp Clik has to offer. A geniune 90s classic – one that manages to standout strongly still, and given that the period was pretty rich ... read moreCD
J Dilla —
Dillatronic ... CD Vintage Vibez, Late 80s/1990s/2000s. New Copy ...
A killer compilation of rare Dilla instrumentals that hones in on his electronic-influenced side! It's the first time his archives have been mined with this sharp of a focus – but Dilla being the diverse cat that he was, it's STILL got a incredible stylistic sprawl! The beats are head nodding ... read moreCD
The J Dilla beats that provided the stellar backdrop for his worthy brother Illa J's rhymes – the instrumentals for the Yancey Boys album – a record that stands up very well against many of the better LPs Dilla produced in his lifetime. It could have gone wrong in a number of ways for ... read moreCD
A nice little mid 90s EP by Jemini The Gifted One – which was never originally released as far as we know, except briefly in a rare promo pressing – fleshed out here with bonus tracks! It's strong work, so we're not sure why it was bureid back in the day, but seeing as it's aged so ... read moreCD
Kendrick Lamar takes wider creative left turns than ever before on To Pimp A Butterfly – with a funk steeped production style that filters tried-and-true P Funk influences through leftfield modern beatcraft styles, inspired by cats like Madlib to Thundercat, the latter of whom is an official ... read moreCD
A legendary record from KMD – one that languished unreleased for far too long! Black Bastards has few tracks the maintain the jazzier sound of the first album, but they're mostly coming a little bit rawer, perfectly balancing their earlier style that gritty early 90s hip hop vibe. As solid as ... read moreCD
Hip hop veteran and legendary producer Large Professor still going strong – staying true to his roots in the raw, hard-hitting beatcraft of the golden age sound he helped pioneer – but sounding perfectly relevent here and now! It's always heartening to us one our heroes of a bygone era ... read moreCD
A nice progressive step for Lupe Fiasco – a rhymer who was ready to carve out his own distinctive niche from the beginning his career, and it's never been more unique than it is on Tetsuo & Youth – with diverse, though always soulfully resonant production by S1, Wiz Buchanan, DJ ... read moreCD
Bay Area mic mainstay Lyrics Born heads on down to New Orleans for Real People – with a funky live band backdrop throughout, and featuring appearances by a solid roster of New Orleans players – including Ivan Neville, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Galactic, Corey Henry of Rebirth Brass ... read moreCD
MED, Blu & Madlib —
Bad Neighbor ... CD Bang Ya Head Entertainment, 2015. New Copy ...
Tripped out hip hop from the super team of Madlib, fellow Stones Throw veteran MED and underground hero Blu – with an impressive guest roster that includes MF Doom, Aloe Blacc, Hodgy Beats, Oh No, Mayer Hawthorne, Dam-Funk, Jimetta Rose, Phonte, Frank Nitt and others! Madlib is on the beats ... read moreCD
The best yet from Oddisee! Be it a solo set or one of his group efforts with Diamond District, Oddisee has never lacked smarts or confidence, but there's assertive strengh to tracks on here that up the ante. He's really come into his own as one of the most reliable voices in independent hip hop, ... read moreCD
Fundamentally strong work from Parisian producer Onra – putting a fresh spin on bedrock 90s and hip hop and hip hop soul production influences – with a diverse roster of mic guests, including Chuck Inglish, Perrion, Do Or Die, Suzi Analogue, Doppelgagaz, Black Mick, Daz Dillinger & ... read moreCD
The still solid second album from Original Flavor – a classic level snapshot early 90s east coast rap! Most people aren't really up on Original Flavor these days, but it's pretty much where Jay-Z got his start (though he had done a few small spots on with Big Jaz prior to this). Ski, the ... read moreCD
The incredibly long awaited follow up to Petestrumentals, from legendary producer Pete Rock – and he's as fresh as ever! PR's style was never predicated on current fashion, and was always rooted in a love for both classic and obscure jazz and funk, music that also driven our own musical ... read moreCD
The mindblowing third album from Public Enemy – their second straight up masterpiece in a row – a more densely-layered effort than anything they'd down before or since! Agitprop lyricism laced with soundbite samples from myriad sources that get the point over nearly as fiecely as Chuck' ... read moreCD
Producer/beatmaker and Red Apples 45 label honcho Ray West teams up with the eternal Kool Keith – for one of the more compelling KK projects in years! Ray takes a cool approach here, laying down some mellow backdrops – slow rolling beats, gentle bits of strings and other laidback ... read moreCD
A richly textured, deeply diverse effort from UK hip hop veteran Roots Manuva! He's smartly eschewed the coming and going of passing trends all these years, and still stands out as strongly as ever on Bleeds – which rolls from moody and murky beat funk backed storytelling, to glitchy ... read moreCD
Mic mainstay Rass Kass and diverse, hugely talented producer Jack Splash team up as Semi Hendrix! Rass Kass is one of better respected MCs from the mid 90s onward, and he's sharp and focused here, and not shy about hitting on the topical concerns of the day, with a style that's strongly rooted the ... read moreCD
The never predictable, always worthwhile RJD2 teams up with ATL rhymer STS! Eclectic, soulful beats and production from RJ and distinctive rhymes with southern swagger by STS. It's solid stuff, and as much as we dig RJ's work in moody instrumental form, it's a genuine treat to hear him tailoring ... read moreCD
A strong collection of rarities and B-sides from mic mainstay Talib Kweli – always one of the more verbally dexterous MCs in the game – and given the man's brilliant, seemingly spontaneous style, it's little wonder that some really top notch material has gotten set aside over the years! ... read moreCD
Talib Kweli & 9th Wonder —
Indie 500 ... CD It's A Wonderful World Music Group, 2015. New Copy ...
A masterful joint effort from a pair of hip hop's most respected veterans – legendary rhymer Talib Kweli and innovative, gritty soul loving producer 9th Wonder! The prolific Kweli is prominent on the mic, and 9th Wonder continues to stay true to his soulful pedigree, while keeping it fresh ... read moreCD
A solid fourth album from Tyler The Creator – mixing weird blasts of sound with more straightforward headnodding beats, defiantly profane rhymes with undeniably clever ones, pairing some of the strangest background sounds in hip hop with chart bait guests like Lil Wayne and Kanye West – ... read moreCD
Rugged independent hip hop from underground Chicago classicist MC Verbal Kent – a master of clearly focused rhymes and spat with dexterous skill, be it straight forward storytelling or verbal acrobatics! VK is in as fine of form as we've ever heard him, backed by his most impressive roster of ... read moreCD
Mello Music Group compilation with tracks by Oddisee, L'Orange, Quelle Chris, Open Mike Eagle, Mr Lif & John Robinson, Has-Lo, Castle, Georgia Anne Mudrow and more! Includes "Invisible Walls" feat Oddisee, "Lost Nova" feat Mr Lif & John Robinson (produced by L'Orange), ... read moreCD