2019 has been a year of tumultuous hullabaloo and we’ve been distracted from the fact that some timeless music has been released in these first 6 months. This isn’t an over thought out list, it’s a matter of opinion and personal preference. With that being said, most of the world has some trash music taste and I’m about to put you on to some gas.
Key! – SoEmotional
This true architect of Atlanta’s sound, Key! is back just in time for Summer with his new waves called SoEmotional. The fat man’s melodic prowess bellows through your speakers melding with diverse kicks and percussion. In these seven cuts you hear classic Key! on “Miami Too Much” and “Fall Hard”, but he takes things to a new level with his island-stylings on “Why”. What makes this guy so electric is how he presents his art to the world. It’s not all in your face and constantly dropping, but when he does gift new music, the world pays attention. You’ll hear styles reminicent of his Martin Luther Key tape, but with a newer evolution as an artist. Of course, any time you get Working On Dying and Kenny Beats to slide the instrumentals over it’s gonna be a wild project. Stream SoEmotional below.
Chris Crooks & Crewsheff – Bet On Yourself
Two of Ohio’s finest, Chris Crooks and Crewsheff, run it like Payton and Kemp in ’90s with their newest effort entitled ‘Bet On Yourself”. This one is the well-needed motivation for the humid months in front of us. Crooks’ powerful tone commands attention with the slightest amount of rasp in his vocals. Sheff knows how to build with Crooks‘ voice to accent not only his wordplay, but the layering of Crewsheff’s drums is truly what makes this all pop together. Toms and various hats fill out the instrumenation allowing Chris to spazz in a glorious manner. While these piano chords get burnt into your cerebral cortex, you’ll have no choice, but to enjoy the wonders of this sample. Stay tuned for more from these two, they’re far from finished.
Oh Hi Ali – A Very Ugly Story
Other than Lil West, Delware doesn’t have an abundance of music flowing from its borders. Though, rising artist Oh Hi Ali has released one of my favorite projects this year while simultaneously putting on for his home state. A Very Ugly Story is a beautiful ode to Ali’s imperfections and insecurities. He addresses his battles with self-love but does it in a light-hearted way that his listener can relate to. The energy is thorough and he presents an ill opus full of different styles. Songs Like “Sister Sister” and “Rates” slow things down and address the shallow thoughts that plague our world on a nearly constant basis. On the other side of the coin, cuts like “Stretch” and “Medusa” provide arrogant bars with heavy bass to shake your mental foundation. Ali’s voice may bring comparisons to Mick Jenkins, but that’s about where the similarites end. I’m putting my money on this guy to do some serious work in the upcoming years. A Very Ugly Story will not let you down, give it a listen and you might even learn something about yourself.
Steve Lacy – Apollo XXI
Steve Lacy has exploded onto the scene in the past years, but now he’s getting the attention his art has deserved for the longest time. Apollo XXI is a diverse soundscape of lust painted in the sky. “Lay Me Down” and “Hate CD” are both sexy compostions to burn a few to and chill with your lover. Of course Lacy prides himself on the live-instrumentation and boy did he come to play with these 12 tracks. I feel like this album is a rebirth to psychedelic rock in our new Millenium, but with each release, a new side of Steve is blessed upon the people. If you’re a rock purist looking to have your face-melted by a killer guitar solo peep “Love 2 Fast”, but this “Outro Freestyle/4ever” is the strongest side of rap shown by Lacy on here. This project has caused me to love Lacy’s music more than ever, this should hold us all over until the next drop.
Westside Gunn – Fourth Rope
Now in the current times of music, we have our streams cluttered by mindless boasts of flooded bustdowns and polygamous opportunities. Then add some pitch-correction and you have an artist ready to annoy the shit out of you. And before we hear any nonsense about how this isn’t an album released in 2019, I’m doing the favor of putting you onto an impressive compilation of music instead of that Tik Tok weak shit. Westside Gunn and the good people at Griselda Records would like to take a different approach to modern music, and blend current wordplay over what some would call “golden era instrumentation”. Fourth Rope is a wild, good compilation to delve into before the release of Flygod Is An Awesome God. Gunn is the true Fly God and his vocabulary overflows with opulent bars about designer and his daily routines. This 21 track compilation is just what the people needed to cut through the rubbish. Plus, if you aren’t hip to this genius, now is a great opportunity to catch up on what he’s all about. (Also stream all of the Hitler Wears Hermes Series, parts 1-6). “Dean Malenko”, “Finn Balor” and “Dudley Boys” are all personal favorites because of his illustration over the elegant samples and bass. With features from Mach-Hommy, Benny The Butcher, Conway, Smoke Dza, Roc Marciano, Action Bronson and MF Doom, this collection of heat will feed your fix for wordplay.
Rossi Blue – Junkfood
Now, half of the battle is sounding sonically pleasing in today’s music spectrum and Rossi Blue’s EP Junkfood is his intoxicating introduction to the world. With production from his Material Girl counterparts like Loudy Luna and Jay Cribbs, Rossi blesses us with his smokey vocals over some serious heat. Cuts like “Field Trip” and “Feast” are meant to take you on an untamed rollercoaster of feelings. This EP is meant to give you the ugly face when you hear the distortion of the bass. His tone makes your ear recoil initially because of it’s untapped, unique feel, then it grows on you with the passing of each bar. Rossi Blue is here to stay and has some serious gas in the stash. Until the new drops, stream Junkfood below.
Lil Keed – Long Live Mexico
At first, when Keed popped off, I’m sure many thought that he was an extension of Thug’s inspiration, translated into another new artist. The loose drops were obviously hitting and paving the way for his career, but with the release of his album “Long Live Mexico” Keed’s path to superstardom is now underway. “Oh My God” as the lead single with JetsonMadeIt kicked the door open, but songs like “Snake”, “Million Dollar Mansion” and “Proud Of Me” have the potential to be huge hits. “Anbody” with Lil Duke and Gunna is a southern heater with a hypnotizing guitar riff to accompany the ride. “Pull Up” with Melly and Uzi is another magnificent collaboration to heat up the asphalt. Keed has the ability to be a huge success and this is a solid debut to the world.
Griff – Lukewarm
After running through Lukewarm once, let me tell you that I am thoroughly impressed with this kid’s musical stylings. At first, I was thinking that Griff would be another pitch-corrected artist hanging onto auto-tune for dear life. Instead, these ten tracks are a diverse compilation of harmonious wonderment. “Divine” and “Patience” with pERez are two personal favorites because of how the instrumental builds and meshes with Griff’s melodic waves. With this being the first I’ve heard from the Internet Pop crooner, there’s a lot of room to build a real catalog with his voice. Stay tuned for more from Griff, he’s making things shake.
Lucki – Freewave 3
Lucki has had an undeniable 2019 thus far and with the release of Freewave 3, he’s cementing a new path for himself with every release. To build a bridge from the underground to mainstream notoriety is a difficult task but, Lucki has done this all while staying to true to his identity. He has a way of showcasing his pain, unlike other artists. Lucki puts his insecurities in front of his fans but isn’t pushing a common sob-story. The waves are pretty dark throughout, but this is where the kid flourishes. With production that provides another channel of auditory inebriation, this lucid stroll through the mind of a young visionary should get us through the remaining months of the year. Whether you love the stories of debauchery or love his choice of percussion, Freewave 3 is just the beginning of Lucki’s reign.
Tyler, The Creator – IGOR
Tyler is already an icon at 28 and his new album IGOR continues his legacy with another refreshing opus. This is his first number one and that statement is long over due. Tyler makes it very apparent that his albums are parallel with his own personal growth and not one album is in the same atmosphere as the others. This man put Carti and Charlie Wilson on the same track for the smash “Earfquake” which is a combination I didn’t think I needed until now. Cuts like “Gone, Gone/Thank You” showcase his arranging abilities for while the vocals remind the ear of a barbershop quartet with a heavy dose of flavor. The features don’t outweigh his talent instead, they only accent what his vision was. To make Uzi unrecognizable on the intro and have voices like Solange, Cee-lo, Slowthai and Pharrell backing these songs make Tyler a front runner for that Grammy. Regardless of whether the academy is willing to recognize his greatness, Tyler, The Creator is already a living icon and we thank him for this miraculous gift.