Armand Hammer x The Alchemist – Haram: Strong contender for rap album of the year. Billy Woods and Elucid have been pumping out some of the most ambitious and unsettling rap music of the past decade. Alchemist dials them back just enough to keep it weird but not off-putting.
YL – Jesus Is My Homeboy: YL has that confessional, laid-back style that makes this sound like a sequel to Navy Blue’s Song Of Sage: Post Panic!
Cory Hanson – Pale Horse Rider: The Wand front-man’s latest solo effort would sit nicely next to your Kevin Morby and Sam Cohen records.
Bad Boy Chiller Crew – Full Wack No Brakes: Something I should hate on paper: some white dudes from a suburb of Leeds, rapping over early 2000s house beats. But fuck it, it’s fun, and I’m too old to pretend I’m cool. Put it on next time you go for a run.
Madlib – Sound Ancestors: If you’re going to listen to an instrumental hip-hop album, might as well be one from one of the all-time greats.
What I was listening to (besides MF DOOM) as we all mourned the passing of Daniel Dumile:
Lee Paradise – The Fink: Creepy, funky, and weird.
Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind: Given Yves Tumor’s name and visual esthetic, I assumed their music would be too weird for my liking. But it basically falls on the spectrum somewhere between Maggot Brain and Prince.
Boldy James x Real Bad Man – Real Bad Boldy: Boldy James put out 4 albums and an EP las year. This one, his last of the year, is my favorite of the bunch.
Roc Marciano – Mt. Marci: Nothing soundtracks your winter better than a classic Roc Marci album.
Pink Siifu x Fly Anakin – FlySiifu’s: The more grimy east coast street raps, the better.
Larry June’s back catalog: Enjoyed Larry June’s Keep Going EP so much that I’ve been going back through his many many older releases. Expect many Larry songs the next few months.
The 2020 songs that just missed the cut of the monthly mixes and still deserve some shine: 1) Chubby and The Gang – Chubby and The Gang Rule OK? 2) Damaged Bug – Sold America 3) Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death 4) Eddy Current Suppression Ring – All in Good Time 5) Pop Smoke – Dior (Bonus) 6) WiFiGawd, Tony Seltzer – Uncle Ben 7) 21 Savage x Metro Boomin – Glock In My Lap 8) Key Glock – 1997 9) Gucci Mane – Step Out (feat. Future and Foogiano) 10) Ini Kamoze – Trouble You Trouble Me 11) Hamilton Leithauser – ‘Til Your Ship Comes In 12) Kevin Morby – Valley 13) Mike Polizze – Marbles 14) SAULT – Wildfires 15) Ricky Reed – Real Magic 16) KAYTRANADA x GoldLink, Eight9FLY, Ari PenSmith – Vex Oh 17) Pop Smoke – For The Night (Feat. Lil Baby / DaBaby) 18) Roddy Ricch – Big Stepper 19) Curren$y – All Work feat. Young Dolph 20) Larry June – Orange Juice Wit Dom (feat. Dom Kennedy) 21) Boldy James – Detroit River Rock 22) Benny the Butcher – Burden Of Proof (no outro) 23) Black Thought – Thought vs Everybody 24) Westside Gunn – LE Djoliba feat. Cartier William 25) Ka – I Love (Mimi, Moms, Kev)
2020 Favorite Hip-Hop Albums
The Koreatown Oddity – Little Dominiques Nosebleed
Here’s what I was listening to when I learned that we have a Four Seasons (landscaping) in Raleigh:
Kevin Morby – Sundowner: The guy can do little wrong, as far as my ears are concerned. Absolutely love all his albums. Out of all the shows that got cancelled this spring/summer, his was the one that made me most upset.
Gzus Piece – SoxNDrawz: I think this dude’s been around Chicago for like a decade, but I’ve never really given a listen until now, which was a mistake. He’s got bitter old man humor and a classic taste for hard raps and soulful beats.
Larry June & Harry Fraud – Keep Going: Hip-hop yacht music.
Here’s what I was listening to on the way to Louis DeJoy’s house:
Damaged Bug – Bug on Yonkers: John Dwyer covering the songs of Michael Yonkers (yeah, me neither) ends up sounding a lot more like classic Oh Sees than the other Damaged Bug records.
What Had Happened Was podcast: I can literally listen to Open Mike Eagle interview Prince Paul all day long
A bunch of 80s dancehall music: Went on an internet deep dive and downloaded a ton of stuff, but haven’t listened to it all yet, so expect lots of dancehall on the next several monthly mixes
Plenty of other decent stuff like My Morning Jacket (Jim James still has one of the best voices in rock), Chris Crack (still the best at naming songs and albums), and Westside Gunn (still one of the best at putting out new shit every month that doesn’t suck).
Here’s what I was listening to as I watched two adults and three large dogs ride a Sea Doo:
SAULT – UNTITLED (Black Is): Their third album in the last year is their best, capturing the zeitgeist (such as it is). Imagine if Khruangabin tried to make something that felt like A Seat at the Table.