Another month down in 2017 brings us more turmoil and more reason for celebration. A lot has happened over the world, including the tragic passing of the ever-iconic Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington to Adam Peaty’s brilliant record-breaking run in the swimming championships. The one constant this year has continued into the last month though; the music. Yet again the month delivers a hell of a lot and these are the essential releases for the past month.
GOOD Music’s Kacy Hill has been slowly and quietly creeping her way up the game for the past few years and Like a Woman sees her only further cement her place within the GOOD Music family. An electropop-cum-R&B album that sounds like nothing I’ve heard, she’s really impressed on her debut. The titular track Like a Woman holds a similar style to a TLC or Destiny’s Child song with a soulful vibe due to some of the harmonies and even the echoes but the best part is that it’s all solo, all this talent is within her, she’s one to keep an eye on as she’ll definitely be in the spotlight sooner or later.
2CHEA THE ZOMBIE – SMOOTH TRAP AND R&B
North Carolina’s 2chea The Zombie has been under the radar for a little while and I only discovered him through listening to J.K The Reaper who also happens to feature on this record. Borrowing certain aspects from Miami’s underground trap scene as well as Memphis’ ever-rising scene, the bizarre name fits the music aptly, and makes it something quite out of the ordinary but in the best way possible. He uses autotune in some songs for example Hold Up, in the best way, the way that gifts you with nostalgia from T-Pain’s days.
21 SAVAGE – ISSA ALBUM
Many people dismissed the sheer notion of this being a good album but they were incredibly wrong. 21 Savage was able to prove a lot of the naysayers wrong with the release, with Issa Album debuting at no.2 on the Billboard charts and selling 75,000 first week. Coming a long way from his early roots he’s been able to exceed expectations built for him due to the names he came through with. But this stands out and tracks like Bank Account and 7 Minute Freestyle show just how good he can be. The production on the album is incredible too as expected with names like Metro Boomin, Southside and Zaytoven. 21 definitely proved his worth with this drop.
TYLER, THE CREATOR – SCUM FUCK / FLOWER BOY
Arguably my most anticipated release this year didn’t disappoint. I’ve been a fan of Tyler for years and wasn’t too impressed with his last record Cherry Bomb, but SFFB is something else. More like his Bastard or Goblin albums, it once again has gorgeous production mixed with Tyler’s effortlessly complex horrorcore style lyrics. Nobody can do it like Tyler and his ability to draw the listener in with everything he says is incomparable to anything else I’ve heard, he’s definitely working towards being one of the greats and songs like 911 which seem like parodies to some, are still so wonderfully crafted. The album is pieced together well and it seems to follow on the narrative that his first 3 albums helped really set up, I Ain’t Got Time is my personal favourite, with Tyler showing a new rapping style I’ve not seen from him before, mixed in with a cocky bravado and it’s something you need to hear for sure.
ALCHEMIST AND BUDGIE – THE GOOD BOOK 2
The follow-up the long awaited Good Book, legendary Alchemist teams up with British producer Budgie once again to comprise a 45 track long double CD with beats made entirely from gospel and Church samples. If you’re one of the luck 2000 to get your hands on this I’m sure it’ll be an outstanding listen. Tracks featuring Action Bronson and the late great Prodigy have dropped already so give them a listen and see what we’re missing out on.
DIALECT – LIFTING THE CURSE
Leeds’ own grime sensation Dialect has dropped one of the most interesting EP’s of the year. The defacto leader of 0113’s grime movement has been on the cusp of blowing for a while and even featured on Lord of the Mics. Lifting the Curse sees Dialect showcase his undeniable talents as well as hold his own with Saskilla on the opening track. Bun Dat has a classic grime sound to it and one of my favourite lines of the past few years “You don’t wanna get socked like Mankind”. He’s flying the flag high for the North and continues to prove his worth, charisma and talent with everything put out and this is no different, be sure to buy this and support one of the most hardworking names in music.
LANA DEL REY – LUST FOR LIFE
The modern queen of hip-hop isn’t even a hip-hop artist… per se. Lana Del Rey has been a very influential and notable figure within music since 2011, with a unique and edgy style only she’s been able to maintain. Her music would perfectly fit in any Noir type movie or TV show from the 1900s and she’s kept true to herself with Lust For Life. Summer Bummer with A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti is the highlight, the noir style fuses perfectly with Carti’s synonymous adlibs and Rocky’s laid back southern inspired hip-hop. Lana Del Rey really is here to stay.
NAV & METRO BOOMIN – PERFECT TIMING
Metro Boomin can take no losses. He never has and it seems like he never will. His production is crazy and different every single time and he seems to have a release every week. The latest is a collab tape with Indian-Canadian artist Nav who blew up after featuring on Travis Scott’s Beibs in the Trap. Nav’s slow, soft style is complimented by Metro’s futuristic trap beats to a point that some of Nav’s stuff almost has a grimey feel to it. Both of these young artists are onto big things and this collaboration could be looked back upon with much critical acclaim. I can’t pick out a favourite, you’ll have to listen and decide for yourself!
P MONEY – SNAKE EP
P Money and Dot Rotten’s beef is one of the most active beefs I’ve ever seen in all of music, the tracks back and forth have been non-stop and at the moment P Money is winning without a doubt to me. I’ve never heard a whole EP full of diss tracks, but P Money manages to stake his claim as one of the greats. Regardless of who you feel is winning the feud at the moment, you can’t deny P’s talent as he is able to flow with that duppying style or with something only he can do. Either way, check out both this EP and the whole feud for a grime treat.
DIZZEE RASCAL – RASKIT
Dizzee returned in the best way he could with Raskit. A long stretch from his last release which featured the likes of Robbie Williams, this is much more reminiscent of his earlier days and isn’t a release to sleep on. In my opinion it’s already one of the top 5 grime albums ever and solidifies his status as the best to ever do it. Every track showcases his outlandish flow and wordplay and his beats take you back to a time much simpler for grime. The standout song is The Other Side in which Dizzee goes on a much more personal vibe and name checks some people including Megaman, as well as calling out the new generation a whole. Raskit came back and claimed his throne by putting out a beautiful record 14 years after his first.
Action Bronson’s Blue Chips 7000 is finally meant to drop next month, so be sure to keep an ear out for that. Let us know if there’s anything you feel we missed off.
Words by Rohan Parmar.