(Sunday 1 May through Sunday 8 May)
Albums, mixtapes, EPs, whatever… Not all new releases! … every fresh(-ish) project I’ve listened through over the last week, whether with deep intent or in the background while I’m trying to get my head round something else.
Rated! … on first impressions so nothing to do with ‘quality’… more how enjoyable or interesting I found it, how likely I am to get back to it sometime… Everything is worthy! But time’s limited, y’knah…
- Budamunk & Jansport J: BudaSport (King Tone Records/All Attraction, No Chasin’/Jazzy Sport/P-Vine Records) | 4* |
- Casey Veggies: Since Y’all Forgot (Peas & Carrots International) | 3* |
- Czarface: Czarmageddon! (Silver Age) | 4* |
- Heem: High Art (Black Soprano Enterprises) | 3* |
- IDK: Simple (Warner Records/Clue) | 4* |
- Knucks: Alpha Place (No Days Off CC Limited) | 5* | — most especially the mindblowing “Checkmate” with Lex Amor…
- Method Man: Meth Lab 3, The Rehab (Höme) | 4* |
- MidaZ The BEAST: 84 (Midnight Society Music) | 4* |
- Mowgs: The Bare Necessities (Catalyst Music) | 4* |
- Ransom: No Rest For The Wicked (Momentum Entertainment) | 4* |
- Robb Bank$: Falconia (430 Ent Deathless) | 3* |
- Tony Bontana: Don’t Ask Me (Everything Is Perfect) | 4* |
- Tony Bontana: RU-DE (Everything Is Perfect) | 4* |
- Tony Bontana: Spiced Gold (Everything Is Perfect) | 4* |
- Ama Lou: At Least We Have This (Interscope) | 3* |
- Coco Em: Kilumi (InFiné) | 3* | — both the title track and “Winyo Nungo” are incredible. The rest… is mostly okay…
- Otoboke Beaver: Super Champon (Damnably) | 5* | — easily the greatest new rock band I’ve heard in the last decade…
- Clipse: Exclusive Audio Footage (On The Low) | 4* | — an official release! After all this time! Probably, or this might be like that case when some random uploaded Company Flow’s “Funcrusher Plus” to all the DSPs a while back, unauthorised, temporarily…
- KRS One, “Raw Hip Hop” … can’t quite believe I’m spending more than ten seconds thinking about a KRS song called “Raw Hip Hop” in 2022, but here we are. It’s exactly as you’d expect, the type of history lesson that would’ve had me yawning back in the day, no doubt. Except… this comes from his recent intriguingly titled “IMAMCRU12” album, a set where he sound’s more fiery and pissed off than he has in decades, and besides… for some reason as a middle aged man I’ve got more patience for middle aged (and old aged) people (or anyone) delivering these kind of history lessons. Dunno exactly why that might be…
- ShaSimone, “Lock Off” … as with all the best rap, an education… before today I didn’t know who Kurt Angle is, now I know he’s “one of the most decorated wrestlers of all time“. Obviously! ShaSimone’s headlocked the game like Kurt Angle, what else could he be? Seems fair enough. Not so sure about her boast she’s presidential “like Idi Amin”. Is she saying she’s a despot? I suppose in a musical context that might not be an entirely bad thing. Fun, despite the authoritarian leanings. No doubt the kind of energy Hackney needs right now.
- Shockz 1Way, “Jumpman 23” … so I was checking this out, and I’ve never heard of this guy, but I was thinking he was kind of average, and that that’s a shame because I love the beat (if only for the novelty of hearing something kind of grimey on GRM Daily). Googling his name pulled up a guy called Teefo reacting to the “Jumpman 23” video, the bit when Teefo laughs at a small kid acting hard, then gets embarassed at laughing, “he’s probably tougher than I am”, is priceless and a large part of the reason I’d never ever ever think of doing that style of video ever.
- Swift x Deepee (Smoke Boyz), “Grubby” … AKA TAFKA Section Boyz, who may or may not be as claimed “the fucking starters of this shit” but for sure seemed like a massive shock to the system back when I first heard them. They still are. Great as “Grubby” is the track itself risks being upstaged by the clip at 0:31, just as they’ve established “that’s a fed, I ain’t trusting that white man”, when we see a seven second clip of a confused white guy, with what sounds like some kind of non-English European accent, asking for what might be “fifty boxes of weed”. Too deep. I’d bet on him not being police, but what do I know?
- M1llionz X Munna Duke “10 To Da O” … kind of depressing to think the reason why UK drill appears to have translated in the motherland where so many other UK rap sub-genres failed over the last four decades might possibly be that everything’s just so bleak over here just now, the level of desperation that fuels the best street rap is way more plausible, relatable, even to those of us who miss some of the details. No doubt it’ll be interesting to see how the cultures mix or clash in the recently released half-hour vlog documenting the transatlantic collaboration between M1llionz (Birmingham, UK) and Munna Duke (Chicago, USA), for now I’ll buy the evidence of the video that an intoxicating time was had by all.
- Bobby Shmurda’s “Funk Flex #Freestyle179” proved a useful reminder of the joys of stoopid after a ponderous afternoon listening to Killah Priest.
Didn’t have time to check the album’s charts last week. Did I miss much? Well… on the Billboard 200 Detroit’s Tee Grizzley hit #116 with “Half Tee Half Beast”, one place behind Ariana Grande’s “Positions” in its 77th week on the chart. Three places below that at #119 there’s Baton Rouge’s Fredo Bang with “Two-Face Bang 2”. Can’t say I hold out a lot of hope for either of those, but know I’ll check out Tee Grizzley sooner or later for his name alone.
Confusingly we’re a week ahead in the UK, so last weeks chart featured a new entry which hit the top of this week’s Billboard 200, at #7 Pusha T‘s predictably great (but not as great as he thinks it is) “It’s Almost Dry”. Then down at a nevertheless very respectable #18 there was a welcome new entry for Bob Vylan with their gloriously electric debut album “Bob Vylan Presents The Price Of Life”.
Below Pusha on the Billboard 200 this week there’s nothing much new of note until the most probable slim pickings of “Before You Go” at #90, the debut album from 29 year old LA rapper Blxst, a guy Wikipedia tells me has been compared to Nate Dogg and Ty Dolla $ign. Maybe I need to give him a second chance. Then there’s a couple of interesting new entries way down the nether regions of the chart with the new Czarface album “Czarmageddon” at #178, and Handsome Boy Modelling School‘s 1999 debut “So… How’s Your Girl?” a surprise appearance at #198 off the back of a Record Store Day vinyl repress. A new entry, not a re-entry! Which no doubt says something interesting about how popular Handsome Boy Modelling School were back then, or how the charts have changed, or something…
Finally, on the UK Album Chart this week Future has his highest ever entry with “I Never Liked You” reaching #2, and Kehlani has her lowest new entry since she first charted in 2017, with “Blue Water Road” stalling at #97. Two more surprises! Funny how blinkered your perspective can get when you go through a phase of neglecting this kind of information, I’d have guessed Future peaked six or seven years ago and Kehlani is still on the up, the numbers tell a different story, and I know that’s not the end of it, but still. I guess there’s still a lot of people out there who still really connect with Future and check for his every move.
- Fivio Foreign Knew He Had to Get Better, So He Did While Elevating Brooklyn Drill and Developing a Kanye West Friendship Along the Way (Bianca Torres, XXL) — Interesting to see his take on the future of drill… I, for one, welcome our pop drill and reggae drill overlords… also sweet to see him saying nice things about Kanye, who I’m totally convinced is absolutely 100% genuinely for sure the “most normal” person he’s ever met.
- Sample Drill Is Taking Over New York Rap (Jordan Rose, Complex) — Yes, please. That reaction’s probably a sign of my age, as a kid I hated obvious samples, now they give me an anchor…
- ‘I’m hungry. I want to dominate’: Jack Harlow, hip-hop’s most fancied new megastar (Owen Myers, The Guardian) — …without even digesting the article, or knowing much yet about Harlow, that headline is just awful…
- The Films That Made Us: Skinnyman On ‘Made In Britain’ (Sam Davies, Complex UK)
- And then a fan’s ashes were scattered on stage! My night out with Half Man Half Biscuit’s fanatical followers (Steve Hill, The Guardian) — Scary people. But somehow awesome, also. Most interesting bit: Half Man Half Biscuit leader Nigel Blackwell’s comment on his superfans includes the cutting and somewhat ominous observation “Although statistically some of those people may have killed or carried out some dark arts, they never seem to bring that personality out on the evenings when we’re playing…”
- Young Thug Believes Men Shouldn’t Have Kids If They’re Broke (Trent Fitzgerald, XXL) — …the American Dream: sterilise poor people…
- OJ Da Juiceman Arrested On Gun & Drug Charges In Kentucky (Andy Bustard, HHDX, via LEX18) — …anyone with the genius to name themselves OJ Da Juiceman deserves lifelong immunity from the law…