Busta Rhymes gives us a quick 5 track EP to keep fans engaged. As far as the rhymes go, you get the classic and powerful Busta Rhymes bars and voice that everyone loves. He rhymes at fast speed while sounding forceful. He’s got an impressive list of features even though the project is so short. You will hear from Swizz Beatz, Conway, Big Daddy Kane, Skillibeng, and Capella Grey. The beats on here are decent. You get a variety of different types of tracks for different audiences. The standout track is of course, “Slap” featuring Conway & Big Daddy Kane. To hear 3 legends on one track is pretty impressive, especially Big Daddy Kane. Busta Rhymes does a decent job with this one, but everyone knows we would have much rather gotten a full-length album. Let’s hope that there is one in the works.
Tom Gist and Saintville deliver a new 5 track EP for fans. As far as the bars go, Tom Gist is, and always has been, fantastic. He is wise beyond his years and spits like a true veteran, even early in his career. He really needs praise for how good of an MC he is. He is complemented nicely by the other members of Saintville as well. The beats on this album are pretty standard. I wouldn’t say there is anything that really stands out, but at the same time, there is nothing whack either. While EPs have been the method of delivery for a bit now, I’d much rather see a full length, studio produced album from Tom Gist. That is what the fans need. That aside, this was a decent job by all parties involved.
Killah Priest and producer Jordan River Banks provide us with another spoken word type poetry album. Killah Priest is always dope when it comes to bars. He is clearly not from this planet and he never runs out of visual, spiritual, and other-worldly things to say. He is a true philosopher of our time. Jordan River Banks provides a remarkably different, yet eerily fitting sound for Priest to rhyme over. The beats get weirder as the project goes on, but that is the dope thing about it. They don’t sound like other beats out there and that is what makes it dope and stand out. All in all, Killah Priest ain’t missing. He isn’t dropping whackness ever.
Kuniva from D-12 drops a brand new project that is pretty sizable at 18 tracks. On this project, he really tried to press for a traditional sounding studio album and it came out pretty good overall. He has a lot of great songs that delve into a lot of different topics and have a lot of feeling to them. Proof’s passing is definitely a key topic on a few tracks on here and it is very apparent that it will always affect D-12 to the core. It really gives you a sense of what a tragic loss it was to lose Proof. Kuniva does a fantastic job at expressing all the emotions surrounding that. He gets features from a ton of artists including Swifty McVay, Jon Connor, Mr. Porter, and more. He even gets some singers like Melanie Rutherford and Mrk SX to lend their talents to hooks. The production on here is slightly above average. There are some really good beats on here and at times, I almost feel like he was pushing for some singles on these songs. There is a lot of growth and maturity on this album. Anyone interested in D-12 and their journey in this industry should definitely check out this album.
Jus Allah releases a quick new 6 track EP for fans to ravish. It’s quick and dirty and to the point. It definitely has a Jedi Mind Tricks feel to it with both the rhymes and the beats. His unique voice and rhyme style make him easy to pick out of a pack. He has two features on this project from Mic King and D.V. Alias Khryst. The beats on here are sort of reminiscent of Jedi Mind Tricks style beats. They often have hard drums and a sped up, sung vocal sample that is quite often of a foreign nature. One of the best tracks on here is “Enchantment” as it has numerous Matrix references in it. This is really a remarkable piece of writing. All in all, Jus Allah can still bring it on his own.
A surprise album from Drake and 21 Savage popped up and then was delayed a week, but finally reached fan’s ears. On the mic, it was kind of a mixed bag between the two rappers. Coming off of Honestly, Nevermind, Drake knew he had to return with some bars for fans and he did that at times on this project. It almost seems like a bit of a redemption for Drake since the last album was so bad. Adding 21 Savage on here might not have been the best move ever since 21 isn’t good at rapping. Sure, he as some shock value bars here and there, but when you really look at it, he’s hot garbage. Drake is just so good and so talented, and he has this tendency of working with artists that are beneath him. I don’t know if he thinks he has to stay relevant with a younger crowd or what, but he takes away from his artistry and talent when he works with people beneath him. There is only one feature on this album from Travis Scott. The beats on here are pretty decent overall. I think they seem to have went with more of a modern sound instead of Drake’s last dance album. The highlight of this project is Drake’s bars on “Middle Of The Ocean.” He rhymes over an old Diplomats beat which just sounds absolutely stunning. I always love when Drake gives us bars over classic beats. You really can’t beat him when he is at his best. “Jumbotron Shit Poppin” is another decent track that deserves a shoutout. All in all, this album sounds pretty good and we hope that Drake is back on an upswing.
Sheek Louch drops a new EP just in time for Halloween with his fourth installment of his Gorillaween series. At only 6 tracks, there wasn’t much room for errors. Sheek is decent on the mic and spits some dope bars as an older artist. He still has that brazen and forward disposition that makes him a good member of The LOX. He gets features from Cory Gunz, Whispers, and more. The production on this project is pretty decent and is a little more reminiscent of the classic New York sound which is always a good thing. That desperately needs to come back. The best track on here is “Morse Code.” It is an ominous and frightening-sounding track that features Snype Life and Bucky. This is the perfect song for Halloween at this moment. All in all, not a bad look for Sheek Louch. We only wish this had been a longer project.
Frukwan from the almighty Gravediggaz crew teams up with producer Shaka Amazulu The 7th and gives us a brand new album that is very reminiscent of that classic Gravediggaz sound. Upon first hearing Frukwan rap, you almost get the vibe that you are listening to the Gravediggaz albums again. He sounds that fresh that it sounds like no time has passed. While the rhymes might not be as morbid as they used to be, it still sounds great to hear him rhyme over beats. He gets some fantastic features from Killah Priest, Holocaust, Ruste Juxx, and more. The production on here is pretty solid as well. It might not be the classic RZA production, but it’s really not too far off. All in all, this was a good listen and we definitely need the veterans to come through with albums like these.
The Griselda general Westside Gunn releases his 10th installment of his Hitler Wears Hermes series. It’s hard to believe that there have been that many chapters already because they always sound like a fresh batch right out of the oven. This latest one is no different. On the mic, WG sounds as good as he ever did. He spits high art bars over top of gritty beats. He gets some great features from Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Busta Rhymes, Benny, Rome Streetz, Blackstar, Stove God Cooks, and more. The production on here is dope as well. There are hard drums mixed with eerie vocal samples that turn into more Griselda gold. All in all, this is another dope album from the walking art piece himself, Westside Gunn.
Droog drops a short 7-track project to keep the movement rolling. This one is quick and dirty. There are no features because he really doesn’t need any. With the bars, they are clever and his flow is dope. He has slick lines scattered all throughout the tracks. They are all basically freestyles as a lot of the titles suggest. The beats on here are pretty decent as well. This is a solid project and Droog is batting pretty averagely with this one.
Che Noir drops a brand new project that is pretty consistent with her high level of talent. Although there are 9 tracks, it doesn’t feel like a long project at all. It goes by pretty quick. As a great artist always does, she leaves us wanting more. Her bars are finely-crafted and very introspective and clever. For features, she employs Ransom, Benny, 38 Spesh, and a few more. The production on here might not be as forceful and banging as it was on previous releases, but the beats are still pretty decent overall. This might not be her best album ever, but Che Noir continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the game today. She’s got the skill, the team, and the sound, to be very successful and she is demonstrating it quite well.
Tha God Fahim and Jay Nice give us a new project in which both MCs trade bars back and forth. You definitely get the vibe that “steel sharpens steel” with this one as both MCs tend to try to outdo the other and create healthy competition that pays off in the end. The bars are pretty decent overall and you can tell that both are constantly trying to heighten their skills. The production on here might be a little more laid back, but not super low tempo. They definitely check off all boxes on here and it is a good listen. All in all, they are definitely hitting for par with this release. I’d definitely like to hear more from this matchup in the future.
The Artifacts are back with a brand new album produced by Buckwild right before the untimely death of group member Tame One. Losing such a legend is always hard in hip hop and Tame One’s contributions will never be forgotten. On the mic, both Tame One and El Da Sensei both spit those classic Artifacts style raps for fans to enjoy. The complement each other rather well with the bars. The have some features from Ras Kass, AFRO, Big Joker, and more. The beats on here are straight form the B-Boy era. These are boom bap beats made for the New Jersey natives courtesy of the legendary Buckwild. He really does complement their styles very well with his production. All in all, hip hop purists and general fans should appreciate this offering.
Cormega comes back from a long hiatus to bless us with more life jewels. His new album is a breath of fresh air in the trap era that never seems to end. He brings classic New York bars and a dope flow over some dope beats. He gives us knowledge, life lessons, and hope with a great flow. He only has three features from Nas, Lloyd Banks, and Havoc. The production on here is a mix of some strong drums and mostly looped piano style beats. There is a bit more of a sense of reverence on here rather than boom bap which complements the style of Cormega. Although this is a rather quick album at about 34 minutes in length, he still shows the importance of New York rap in the game. Cormega is an MC to always be respected.
The D.I.T.C. legend A.G. drops a new album for fans to revel in. On the mic, A.G. sounds better than he ever has. His punchlines are dope and he flips words miraculously. His flow is on point and always has been. He doesn’t have any help from any other features on this project which is rare. He didn’t really need the help anyway though. The beats on here are dope. It is strictly hip-hop to the core with nice drums and clever instrumentation samples. A.G. definitely drops more than a few jewels on us with this one, so the real hip hop fans need to peep this one.
Born Sun releases a new album with some assistance from Canibus. All in all, this is a pretty decent album from beginning to end. On the mic, Born Sun sounds pretty good and gives us some sufficient lyrics. The features from Canibus are all tight. You pretty much can’t lose getting features from Canibus. You will see some other features from K-Solo, Planet Asia, Akon, and more. The beats are pretty standard throughout the project. There are definitely a few highlights though. “War Hammerz” featuring Harlem Geo has a banging beat in which both MCs rip through the beat. “Zombies” is an expertly-written and very descriptive song about zombies of course. “Omega Man” is another well-told story about travelling around in the end of the world. All in all, Born Sun and Canibus do a decent job at this album. A couple more tweaks and they probably could have been closer to a classic.
Master Builders is a group that I wasn’t too familiar with before I saw this album out. The group consists of Born Sun, Royal Crown Cartel, Ophrap, & Science. They have a Canibus feature on just about every song on here. As far as the bars, you already know what you are going to get from Canibus. He is ripping his way through verses just as he always does. The other members may not rhyme as good as him, but they hold their own on the mic and keep the project flowing along. They have one feature from Grand Puba who is of course legendary and does his thing on the project. The production on this album is pretty decent overall. The highlight of the whole project is the last track “Broken Weapons.” The beat on this song is amazing and brings out the best of the Master Builders. They all sound amazing on this beat. It was definitely dope to finish off the album with such an amazing song. All in all, this was a good listen. It might not be for everyone out there, but real hip hop heads can see the value in such a project.
A new album from SmooVth finds him teaming up with Fredro Starr for the production part of the project. On the mic, SmooVth is just as his name depicts, smooth. His bars are decent and he a good flow as always. He has 2 features from Hus Kingpin and JD Era. The beats on this album are pretty strong overall and I think that is probably the more powerful half of this project. Fredro gives us some slamming beats that are no doubt influenced by Onyx’s gritty sound. It was an interesting match up and it definitely worked. This is a good listen for the hip hop fans out there.
Bronze Nazareth delivers a new solo album for fans. I think the better half of this album is definitely the production side. The beats on here are fantastic. They have great samples and slamming drums to really get your neck snapping. He even gets assists from fellow producer Apollo Brown on some of the tracks. If you know Apollo Brown, then you already know how he operates. As far as the lyrics, Bronze Nazareth is at least hitting for par on here. These might not be the best lyrics you’ve ever heard in life, but they are at least decent. He gets assists from Killah Priest, Kurupt, Ty Farris, and more. All in all, it’s a decent album. You might not be spinning it constantly, but it’s at least good for a few play-throughs.
Lo-Life rapper Los Lauren 718 drops a brand new project called Jabs and this one has a whole lot of potential. With 9 tracks, Los Lauren shows us that he definitely has skills. On the mic, he is smooth and at times, almost sounds similar to Jay-Z vocally. Comparing to the greats is always a great look, but don’t get it twisted, Los Lauren 718 is his own man with his own style. The beats on this album really stand out as some quality production work. He really selected some great beats to rhyme over. I was definitely impressed with the production value of the tracks. All in all, Los Lauren gives us a quality piece of work that hopefully inspires more artwork to come from the Lo-Life movement.
Killah Priest releases a new project that is essentially an ode to his mother. Throughout the album, there are messages to and from his mother that serve as a backdrop in between songs. His otherworldly bars are probably best described as “space poetry.” This project definitely sounds more of a collection of poetry than an actual rap album, even though KP’s bars are top notch. On the production side of things, he trades in the boom bap beats for more piano-laden, laid-back vibes to rhyme over. All in all, if you love Killah Priest, you will probably be feeling this album as well.
Currensy drops a new project that has more of a traditional mixtape feel to it than previous releases. On this one, Currensy selects some classic bangers for beats and rhymes over them. You will definitely hear some of the best tracks over the last 20 years on here. Currensy delivers his normal laid back flow. At times, you might even hear him speed it up slightly for more up tempo beats. He has 2 features on here from Mac and Premo Ice. Overall, this one wasn’t too bad of a project. I think the beats selected are more of a highlight than the rhymes, but overall, not a bad job.
Brando Bambino teams up with Pyramid Tapes to give us a brand new project called Bandito. On the mic, Brando sounds pretty good. He has some dope lines and never seems to run out of slick wordplay. There are definitely a few times where you have to stop and go back and play again to get things down. He has a decent flow and is almost reminiscent of Evidence from the Dilated Peoples. You get some great features from underground royalty like Planet Asia, Him Lo, and Hus Kingpin. The track with him and Hus Kingpin is definitely notable as that sounds like a great matchup. The beats are dope and are very heavy on the drums which is always a great thing. There is almost an aura of regality and greatness in the music as it would be a soundtrack for a king’s entrance. All in all, not a bad job at all from Brando Bambino and Pyramid Tapes.
Onyx drops a brand new album that has more of a worldly feel than previous albums. On this one, not only do they give you their hardcore, gritty, street lyrics from their members, but they also employ foreign MCs from around the world to assist them. The rhymes are just as hard as you would expect with Sticky Fingaz sticking out the most as usual. The features they have on here aren’t really listed in the track listing which is odd, but at the same time, not many Americans may be familiar with these international MCs. The beats on here knock, but they also have a worldly vibe to them as well. This might not be your most New York sounding Onyx album, but fans should appreciate Onyx’s efforts to reach out, differentiate their sound, and try to appeal to the masses while still staying true to their core fanbase.
Snoop Dogg drops a second installment of his Metaverse: NFT Drop series. This one follows suit similarly with the first release with it’s laid back, grown and sexy vibe. On the mic, Snoop is as smooth and G as he ever was. It’s almost like the guy’s sound doesn’t age at all. He has some enormous features from the likes of Warren G, the late, great Nate Dogg, Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, and more. The beats on this album are more hip-hop, but still have a slight R&B vibe to them. You also get more of West Coast slant to them especially on songs like “Sunshine (Covid Song).” All in all, Snoop is out here still getting base hits with these albums at over 50 years old while some of these youngin’s can barely form complete sentences on the mic.