The last month has been all over the place. The general election is heating up with jabs coming from both sides, the weather has been both dreadful and delightful and Francesco Totti is retiring after 25 years at Roma. Aside from all this, the music has once again delivered and here are the 10 essential releases from the past month.
AMBER MARK – 3:33AM
New York’s Amber Mark dropped 3:33AM and it hasn’t attained the recognition it deserves. The soulful, jubilant voice she brings coupled with incredible production makes this one of the year’s best releases. It has summer feel throughout the debut EP due to a mix of electro, R&B and house. If this release is anything to go by, Amber Mark is definitely a name to look out for this summer, as she is destined for big things due to the quality of 3:33AM.
REJJIE SNOW – THE MOON & YOU
Internet darling Rejjie Snow’s long awaited mixtape dropped to high approval from his fanbase and he’s certainly been able to live upto the buzz he created for himself with previous release Rejovich. The Irish rapper was recently on tour and gave every audience a little teaser from it, helping to fire up the anticipation for it, and it delivered. Although it may be a bit different to that citylife sound that he, King Krule, Jesse James Solomon and co helped to create, it’s been well worth the wait for this mixtape. The collaboration with Beast Coast’s very own Joey Bada$$ is the show stealer here, and Rejjie Snow is looking even more ready to take over the game.
GUCCI MANE AND METRO BOOMIN – DROPTOPWOP
Since returning from penitentiary big Guwop has been on a mission to reclaiming his throne atop the trap game. This release definitely cemented it, whilst many say his prior releases following his jail sentence haven’t been upto par there’s no denying this is one of his best. The most in demand producer in the world right now, Metro Boomin, definitely provided Gucci with a perfect platform for him to shine with a plethora of hard beats. Features from Rick Ross, 2 Chainz and Migos’ Offset also help boost what is sure to be a trap classic.
GRAFT – ALL SORTS EP
Leeds’ own Graft drops a gem on everyone with his All Sorts EP. Straight off the bat with the first track Showaa, Graft shows his ability to be able to make a banger like no one else in Leeds right now. Representing the Phantom Boys image, Graft has been able to build up a good fanbase and at the age of 18 has the world ahead of him. All Sorts is definitely worth your time and your money. A real, grime-cum-garage sounding album and yet still so original.
T-PAIN AND LIL WAYNE – T-WAYNE
Many thought we’d never be graced with this album’s mysterious presence yet here we are, a whole 8 years since it was finished we finally have the T-Wayne album. Although it may sound out of place in today’s rap game it’s important to remember how different rap’s climate was back then. Lil Wayne and T-Pain are two veterans and they were at their prime when recording this, whilst we don’t have Tha Carter V yet, T-Wayne is able to provide us with some of the old Weezy people love especially on the track Listen To Me, it’s well worth your time.
MANGA SAINT HILAIRE AND LEWI B – OUTBURSTS FROM THE OUTSKIRTS
Roll Deep’s Manga Saint Hilaire dropped one of the best UK Rap albums in a long time. Taking it back to the old school feel that he came through with years ago he also brought out legends like Jamakabi, P Money and President T on the album. With grimy production throughout from Lewi B, it’s something definitely worth checking out as Manga shines on this album and looks to progress grime even further.
LUCKI – WATCH MY BACK
Formerly Lucki Ecks, the Chicago rapper has already carved out his name in the city’s musical history. He brings a trap and hip-hop fusion to the table; beats from names like Plu2o Nash and Clams Casino have become synonymous with his laidback flow as a reason for his success. Watch My Back is another stellar project from Lucki, Fast Car and No Wok showcase his versatility as an artist as he’s able to make chill rap or hype tracks. The mixtape from one of the most promising artists the world over is definitely worth checking out.
LETHAL BIZZLE – YOU’LL NEVER MAKE A MILLION FROM GRIME
This is worth being on the list by sheer name of the project itself. Lethal Bizzle is the posterboy for how to find success within the grime scene, being one of the founding fathers of the genre. YNMAMFG helps secure Lethal B as one of the all-time greats as he keeps helping to set the trend for the rest to follow. Million Pound Dream is the standout track, as it follows the trials and tribulations it took for him to reach that six figure mark from the ubiquitous urban sound. He went against the grain all those years ago when first emerging on the scene with More Fire Crew and continues to do just that, proving just how far grime can come.
SNOOP DOGG- NEVA LEFT
The Boss Dogg returned with his 15th album and granted us some of that old Snoop Dogg, bringing some of his 90’s cohorts along too including Method Man, KRS-One and Redman. Aside from the old names on it, new school acts BADBADNOTGOOD and Kaytranada also feature in what is an impressive Snoop release. Despite several claims from fans and critics alike that he’s fallen off in recent years, the nostalgic and interesting sound encapsulating the album help in disputing said claims.
KHADIJAH LOPEZ – PARADIGM
One of the most exciting new names in music, Khadijah Lopez has been under the radar for quite a while. Reminiscent of a female Weeknd, she also hails from Canada – Toronto to be more exact. Paradigm has a masterful blend of beats throughout and her voice especially on tracks like Every Door and Alluvit prove that she has a lot of talent and is waiting to blow. The perfect balance of raw emotion and a blissful soothing sound make this an essential listen.
With Vince Staples, Action Bronson and more set to drop projects over the next month keep your ears open for some delectable sounds coming soon.
Words by Rohan Parmar.