The year gets off to an impressive start with a flurry of notable releases:
Payroll Giovanni & Cardo - Big Bossin’ Vol. 2 (Def Jam Recordings)The duo set the bar high with an excellent slice of synth heavy smoothness that pays homage to 90s West Coast G-Funk.
Planet Asia - The Golden Buddha (Brick Records LLC)
The West Coast lyricist brings wisdom and diversity on his latest impressive release, further solidifying his status as one of the underground’s finest.
Evidence – Weather Or Not (Rhymesayers Entertainment, LLC.)
The Dilated People releases his third solo album which features an all-star production line-up and rhymes delivered with a confidence and clarity that few can match.
The Alchemist — Paris x La x Bruxelles Instrumentals (ALC Records)
In 2017 The Alchemist produced a series of records for overseas artists and releases the beats-sans-emcees to satisfy his loyal following of instrumental heads.
Willie The Kid - Watch The Fly (The Fly LLC)
A four-track EP that sees Willie The Kid drop vivid rhymes with his usual nonchalant elegance over mellow production.
Domo Genesis & Evidence — Aren’t U Glad You’re U (OFWGKTA)
The Odd Future artist collaborates with the aforementioned Evidence who operates in a producer capacity to create a short and sweet EP release.
Aceyalone & DJ Fat Jack — 43rd & Excellence (That Kind of Music)
The legendary Aceyalone, known for his bamboozling flow and abstract lyricism, collaborates with DJ Fat Jack to create one of the more accessible projects in his extensive catalogue.
Ankhlejohn — Lordy By Nature (UUV) (FXCK RXP)
The menacing, gritty Washington D.C. native ensures his impressive year in 2017 continues in 2018 with a dark nine-track EP which will keep heads nodding.
Ghostface Killah & Apollo Brown - The Brown Tape (Mello Music Group)
An official reissue of 2013’s release, the Detroit producer remixed Ghostface Killah’s Twelve Reasons To Die and it’s worth a listen if you missed it the first time around.
Dave East — Paranoia 2 (Def Jam Recordings / Mass Appeal Records / From The Dirt)
The Harlem rapper shows that despite his crossover appeal he remains grounded in the streets that raised him, producing a refreshing take on NY narratives.
Poisonous Diggs – Volume 84 (Gold Chain Music)
West Coast artist Killa Kali connects with prolific production duo DirtyDiggs to create a solid offering on this seven-track EP release.
Kyo Itachi – Genkidama (Shinigamie Records / Modulor)
The French-based producer brings together a who’s who of underground hip-hop and lets them wreak havoc over hard-hitting boom-bap production.
Nature – Scrap Paper (Deep Concepts Media)
Nature’s career has been littered with inconsistency. At his best he has held his own with AZ and Nas but this EP’s production feels imbalanced, preventing the underrated emcee from reaching his potential.
Royal Flush – Night Time Edition (N.A.B. Records)
Known for releasing one of hip-hop’s most underrated albums, Ghetto Millionaire, Royal Flush struggles to recapture the magic and ends up a few cards short over mediocre production on his latest release.
Ras Kass, El Gant & J57 – Jamo Gang EP (Avenida Records)
Ras Kass has remained one of hip-hop’s most impressive lyricists since he debuted in the mid-90s but this latest release suffers from characterless production from the usually more reliable J57 and feels contrived and uninspired.