Aside from being an accomplished musician, Cam Be is also an Emmy award-winning produced for TV, director, artist and photographer, and Summer In September taken from his 2020 album of the same name. Now accompanied by a dream-like video from director Briana Clearly, there’s more than a hint of Frank Ocean in its tender, drifting melodies and hazy vocals: a pure, innocent snapshot of a burgeoning love frozen in time, looping for eternity.
Smino & Saba’s soulful new collab is their contribution to the Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack, a new film based on the life of Black Panther head Fred Hampton and his death as a result of FBI informant William O’ Neal. The accompanying album Judas And The Black Messiah: The Inspired Album includes 22 tracks from artists like H.E.R., Nas, Hit-Boy, Black Thought, Nipsey Hussle, JAY-Z, JID, BJ The Chicago Kid, A$AP Rocky etc, etc, and – perhaps unsurprisingly given the calibre of that list – is well worth a listen.
There’s very little information out there about Burd Haus, but what I do know is: she’s from Philadelphia, she’s just released her debut album In My Sky and she makes really good music. Also, Fated Feel reminds me a lot of Yves Tumor, which can only ever be a good thing, even though it’s significantly more chill than a lot of their recent work. Possibly it’s the slightly tuned-out guitar licks or the drawling vocal delivery, but whatever, this sits somewhere between R&B, hip hop and indie rock and is highly recommended.
Kota The Friend’s wonderful 2020 album Everything really didn’t get the attention it deserves. Not that it seems to have affected his disposition, which is as sunny as ever on his latest mixtape Lyrics To GO, Vol.2, a collection of sub-2 minute tracks clocking in at an incredibly manageable 15 minutes. 200 Dollars is like everything else on there: brief and breezy with KTF’s silky smooth flows leading the way.
An artistic couple, T H R O N E is the union of Hayatheus and YVHIKV, who together craft distinctive, alternative hip-hop from their home in the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico. Clocking in at a little over a minute, Family Reunion packs a hell of a lot into such a short running time, with crackling beats and a hazily looped sample providing the bed for confidently delivered, insightful lyrics about the complexity and frustrations associated with family relationships.
JPEGMAFIA produces like he’s channel surfing at a billion miles an hour. The sheer amount of influences and styles packed into relatively short tracks can at times be a little overwhelming, but when it works, it’s some of the most creatively inspired and unpredictable music out there. SUPER TUESDAY is built around a warping, string-led ballroom sample – like The Caretaker doing woozy hip-hop – and is the last track on his new EP (confusingly titled EP!) that packs a frankly ridiculous amount of ideas into its 26 minute running time.
Alien Boy 96 is the first single to be released from Irish producer Sal Dulu’s forthcoming LP, which will be landing early next year. If you want a pretty lazy comparison, it’s a little reminiscent of The Avalanches, both in its cut-and-paste approach to the production and in the yearning, melancholic atmosphere conjured by the tapestry of samples and beats. In the press release for the single, Dulu says it’s “probably not the most representative in terms of what the album is about”, which from where I’m sitting would be a bit of a shame, as it’s really, really good.
This is taken from Biig Piig’s latest EP Oh No / Liahr and is inspired by the fact that Jess Smyth often felt like her room was where she found the most solace: the place she’d retreat to if things got a bit too much. “When I get paranoid or anxious or upset, hiding away felt like the easiest thing to do. Which is mad, because then quarantine happened and that literally was the safest place to be.” It’s definitely a lot more reflective and downbeat than a lot of her breezy hip-hop tracks, but no less engaging, with Smyth creating an atmosphere that moves from the claustrophobia of the verses to the expansive redemption of the chorus.
1Luv (Roll The Credits) arrives right at the end of Curren$y & Harry Fraud’s latest collaborative album, The Director’s Cut. Barely clocking in over two minutes, it’s almost more of an afterthought than a proper track – a super chill rolling groove, occasional strummed guitar and incredibly relaxed flows – but there’s something utterly hypnotic about it. Every time it comes one I have to flip it right back to the start. If only it was three times longer.
Nova Scotia-born and Detroit-raised producerBlack Noi$e put out his debut album OBLIVION last week on Earl Sweatshirt’s Tan Cressida label which, over the course of an extremely lean 24 minutes, is packed with some pretty punchy features, including Danny Brown, Mr. Sweatshirt himself, and my personal favourite, duendita. Glitch is moody and sinister, built from tight loops and even tighter drums, with duendita’s vocal moving from low drawl to soaring melodies absolutely effortlessly.