If there is one section of music that suffered during my race to the end of the semester, it was hip-hop. As I lament with each new Nark mixtape, it has become harder and harder to regularly find new listenable hip-hop. However, there were some enjoyable jams released over the past month or so that should be noted.
First up are hip-hop’s big guns. While they haven’t always been consistent of late, I’ll probably always at least give new Weezy, Drake and Hova tracks a listen. “Believe Me” is listed as Lil Wayne’s lead single from The Carter V, but sure sounds like a new version “Started From The Bottom”. That’s perfectly fine with me and so is the hypnotizing beat from Bo-1da. Though I despise him, DJ Khaled has the ability to compile classic rap cyphers and “They Don’t Love You No More” is a prime example. Jay-Z gets the most attention with bars directed at Drake, but even Meek Mill snaps on the haunting production.
Lil Wayne – Believe Me ft Drake
DJ Khaled – They Don’t Love You No More ft Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Rick Ross & French Montana
While Big KRIT is part of the new wave of hip-hop royalty in my eyes, KRIT certainly aired out his grievances with the entire industry on new track “Mt. Olympus”. From bashing trend jumping to the underwhelming nature of Kendrick’s “Control” verse, KRIT made sure he was heard on the bruising cut.
Big KRIT – Mt. Olympus
Speaking of “Control”, Jay Electronica kept his legend going with the quirky, spoken-word nature of “better in tune with the infinte”. While we may never see a proper album from Jay Electronica, his loose singles could make for a street album most rappers would envy.
Jay Electronica – better in tune with the infinite ft LaTonya Givens
Dilla Day is an annual Detroit event celebrating the life the late JDilla and the surviving members of Slum Village released a new-old single “Yes Yes” in memory. The group also unleashed an equally good Black Milk produced single “We On The Go”that will live on a new EP, Vintage.
Slum Village (Jay DEE, Illa J, Young RJ,T3) – Yes Yes (produced by Jay Dee)
Slum Village (T3, Baatin, Young RJ) – We On The Go ft Black Milk & Frank Nitt
One of the newcomers I’ve been most impressed with lately is Milwaukee’s IshDARR. The 17 year old rhymer slays soul sample cuts like “Ready” and “They Lost Me” with a rapid-fire flow that aligns with the nostalgic movement Joey Bada$$ has been championing.
IshDARR – Ready
IshDARR – They Lost Me
Last, but not least, if you love “real hip-hop”, you’ve no doubt dusted off your copy of Nas’ classic Illmatic in the past week. Arguably, the best hip-hop album of all time just turned 20, which makes me older than dirt. Check out Nas’ interview on NPR’s Microphone Check and stream the album on Spotify.