We're approaching the end of March so not a bad time to start rounding up some favorites so far, or at least what's getting your attention and what you're still hoping to listen to.
I feel like it's been a bit slower but that might be because so much was released last year. Some stuff off the top that has gotten repeat listens:
Jeff Parker - Suite for Max Brown Of Montreal - Ur Fun Kota the Friend - Lyrics to Go Lagartijeando - Jallalla remixes Caetano Veloso & Ivan Sacerdote Beach Bunny - Honeymoon Caribou - Suddenly Nicolas Godin - Concrete and Glass Destroyer - Have We Met Jay Electronica - A Written Testimony Moses Sumney - Grae: Part I Nathaniel Rateliff - And It's Still Alright Philip Glass - Musical Offering The Seshen - Cyan Squarepusher - Be Up a Hello Tennis - The Swimmer Khruangbin & Leon Bridges - Texas Sun
Still been digesting a lot from last year, too -- Big Thief has been constant, for one.
1. "RE: Favorite Releases of 2020 - First Quarter" In response to Reply # 0 Sun Mar-29-20 05:40 AM by rhymesandammo
Poppy - I Disagree Stove God Cook$ - Reasonable Drought Count Bass D - CBD Lil' Wayne - Funeral Sada Baby - Skuba Sada 2 Kamaiyah - Got It Made Lil' Uzi Vert - Eternal Atake Pop Smoke - Meet The Woo 2 Soccer Mommy - Color Theory Smoke DZA - A Closed Mouth Don't Get Fed
LOVE the Poppy, Stove God & Count Bass D albums. Definitely on another level than the other albums on the list.
Pleasantly surprised with Wayne's album. Big fan but the last decade was a rough one for him. This is probably his best full length rap effort since Carter 3 or No Ceilings and miles ahead of Carter 4 and 5.
Sada Baby, Kamiyah, Uzi & Pop Smoke for the car and the gym. Corona shut that down so it will be interesting to see what music resonates with people during this time. The utility for stuff like this is definitely hindered by not being able to go outside.
Soccer Mommy made an artistic leap between this and her last album and now she *really* sounds like mid-90's female-fronted alt. rock. If that sounds good to you, check her out.
Smoke DZA, like Curren$y, is a meat-and-potatoes emcee that is pretty prolific with the releases but also rather consistent. This album isn't quite as special as the DZA and Pete Rock album from a few years back but there's a good variety of stuff on here and dare I say some stuff that wouldn't sound out of place on contemporary rap radio despite DZA never really chasing any trends on here.
Esteemed author of the celebrated, double-platinum post: "Drake - Wu-Tang Forever".
4. "RE: Favorite Releases of 2020 - First Quarter" In response to Reply # 1
>Count Bass D - CBD
Did not see this dropped - immediate listen for sure.
>Pleasantly surprised with Wayne's album. Big fan but the last >decade was a rough one for him. This is probably his best full >length rap effort since Carter 3 or No Ceilings and miles >ahead of Carter 4 and 5.
Not a Wayne stan by any means but I could tell it was his best in a while. Still wasn't quite clicking for me - a lot of lackluster beats (imo) that I couldn't quite get over. But will probably return to this a bit more this year.
>Sada Baby, Kamiyah, Uzi & Pop Smoke for the car and the gym. >Corona shut that down so it will be interesting to see what >music resonates with people during this time. The utility for >stuff like this is definitely hindered by not being able to go >outside.
Yeah - or it can even affect access. I just moved to a bit more rural spot and internet is more of a commodity. Not going into work so I can't mooch off their wifi to download stuff from Spotify or wherever. It's made the last few weeks of music listening a bit more difficult but in some ways a bit more interesting - I have to listen multiple times to things rather than just stream/download whatever is new right then and there.
>Soccer Mommy made an artistic leap between this and her last >album and now she *really* sounds like mid-90's female-fronted >alt. rock. If that sounds good to you, check her out.
I have no idea why but this is exactly the sound I am on right now. Haven't listened yet - you sold me.
>Smoke DZA, like Curren$y, is a meat-and-potatoes emcee that is >pretty prolific with the releases but also rather consistent. >This album isn't quite as special as the DZA and Pete Rock >album from a few years back but there's a good variety of >stuff on here and dare I say some stuff that wouldn't sound >out of place on contemporary rap radio despite DZA never >really chasing any trends on here.
I hadn't heard (of) Smoke until that Pete Rock album. I liked it a lot and he came off exactly as you described: a top tier "meat-and-potatoes" rapper that is very good at what he does but not much else. Still liked that enough to give this a listen soon.
albums with an asterisk are ones i would list without looking at the ratings. ratings will change with more listens. releases from january and early february have more accurate ratings. anything newer might be based on one listen.
AOTY contenders Jay Electronica - A Written Testimony 5 *Mac Miller - Circles 4.9 *Royce Da 5'9" - The Allegory 4.875 The Leonard Simpson Duo - LSD 4.8 Little Dragon - New Me, Same Us 4.8 Tame Impala - The Slow Rush 4.79 *Theophilus London - Bebey 4.6
Great/Must listen The Weeknd - After Hours 4.4 Boldy James - The Price of Tea in China 4.4 D Smoke - Black Habits 4.3 Son Little - aloha 4.25 Madlib & Oh No - The Professionals 4.25
Worth checking out Childish Gambino - 3.15.20 4.2 Jadakiss - Ignatius 4.18 Stretch and Bobbito - No Requests 4.15 Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats - UNLOCKED 4.1 Phantogram - Ceremony 4.1 Curren$y & Fendi P - Smokin' Potnas 4.1 070 Shake - Modus Vivendi 4.0 Jhene Aiko - Chilombo 4.0 Smoke Dza - A Closed Mouth Don't Get Fed 4.0 J Hus - Big Conspiracy 4
More of EPs than albums KOTA the Friend - Lyrics to Go, Vol. 1 4.85 Khruangbin & Leon Bridges - Texas Sun 4.75 Tech N9ne - ENTERFEAR Level 2 EP 4.375
3. "RE: Favorite Releases of 2020 - First Quarter" In response to Reply # 0
Most plays so far...
Uptown X.O.- Culture over Corporate Khruangbin & Leon Bridges- Texas Sun Tame Impala- The Slow Rush Real Estate- The Main Thing Phantogram- Ceremony Jadakiss- Ignatius CJ Fly- Rudebwoy The Weeknd- After Hours Little Dragon- New Me, Same Us
Albums I need to give some more spins...
T3- Mr. Fantastic Tiye Phoenix- The Master's Program Theophilus London- Bebey The Leonard Simpson Duo- LSD Tennis- Swimmer Niia- II Royce 5'9"- The Allegory Tycho- Simulcast Soccer Mommy- Color Theory Jose James- NBNE2 Four Tet- Sixteen Oceans Yumi Zouma- Truth or Consequences Clear Soul Forces- Forceswithyou Jay Electronica- AWT MC Eiht- Official 80's Babies- Unlearn Waxahatchee- Saint Cloud Orion Sun- Hold Space For Me
5. "RE: Favorite Releases of 2020 - First Quarter" In response to Reply # 0
Mark Lomax, II - The 400 Years Suite Khruangbin & Leon Bridges - Texas Sun The Heliocentrics - Infinity of Now Moses Boyd - Dark Matter Jay Electronica - A Written Testimony Gil Scott-Heron - We’re New Again (a Reimagining by Makaya McCraven) Alfa Mist - On My Ones Shabaka and the Ancestors - We Are Sent Here By History Jeff Parker - Suite for Max Brown Kamaal Williams - Live at Dekmantel Festival Roscoe Mitchell - Distant Radio Transmission Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad - Jazz is Dead 001 Irreversible Entanglements - Who Sent You? Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela - Rejoice Schlippenbach/Narvesen Duo - Liminal Field Svetlost - Jazz (to the working class)
Honorable mention: Illuminati Congo released a few records this quarter (mostly EP’s length records and collabs), they are all worth checking out.
R.A.P. Ferriera - Purple Moonlight Pages: I love this record. This is something that I believe will be a cult classic in the future, in the vein of records like Freestyle Fellowship's Innercity Griots, which is a clear influence. Basically, it's amazing jazzy esoteric rap. This artist formerly went by the moniker of Milo and this is his best work.
Keiyaa - Forever, Ya Girl: A somewhat lo-fi and off-kilter neo-soul debut that has absolutely floored me over the past few days. Gorgeous voice, fantastic beats and great sequencing.
ShrapKnel - ShrapKnel: Anyone who likes Cannibal Ox should listen to this immediately. Elucid is one of my favorite rappers at the moment, but his production is also great. It's left-field, dark apocalyptic sounding stuff. Both of the rappers, Curly Castro and PremRock are dope as hell.
Tricot - 真っ黒 (Makkuro): This is a band that I'm convinced can't release anything bad. Japanese math-rock. This is probably their best album yet. Their songs are complex instrumentally but very catchy/easy to listen to in my opinion.
Makaya McCraven/Gil Scott Heron - We're New Again: A Reimagining by Makaya McCraven: I never heard the Gil Scott Heron original of this record, and now I'm scared to because this remix by Makaya McCraven is so beautiful. Heron sounds at home surrounded by all these beautiful jazzy sounds
Irreversible Entanglements - Who Sent You?: Jazz Poetry. While I don't like this as much as the band's debut, this is still a great record. The rhythm section in particular is extremely strong here and the poet (Moor Mother) is great as per usual.
I'm heavily anticipating new albums by: Fiona Apple, Armand Hammer, Vijay Iyer Trio (Linda May Han Oh, Tyshawn Sorey), Gerald Clayton (recently signed to blue note), Pink Siifu - Negro (April 9), Thundercat (this Friday I think) and whatever Cecile McLorin Salvant, Mary Halvorson and Tomas Fujiwara do this year assuming they do something (each of them have said on social media that they have plans of some sort)
9. "Love these two, so I better check out the rest of your list:" In response to Reply # 6
>R.A.P. Ferriera - Purple Moonlight Pages: I love this record. >This is something that I believe will be a cult classic in the >future, in the vein of records like Freestyle Fellowship's >Innercity Griots, which is a clear influence. Basically, it's >amazing jazzy esoteric rap. This artist formerly went by the >moniker of Milo and this is his best work.
>>Makaya McCraven/Gil Scott Heron - We're New Again: A >Reimagining by Makaya McCraven: I never heard the Gil Scott >Heron original of this record, and now I'm scared to because >this remix by Makaya McCraven is so beautiful. Heron sounds at >home surrounded by all these beautiful jazzy sounds
---- I check for: Serengeti, Zeroh, Open Mike Eagle, Jeremiah Jae, Moka Only.
17. "RE: Ovrkast" In response to Reply # 16 Sat Apr-04-20 03:11 AM by Kosa12
> >is a better rapper than I think you give him credit for, but >you have excellent taste man. > >I mean, I get your point in your review. I just think Mavi is >a special rapper- that's a tough comparison. > >I might give Overkast the edge over Navy, but I'd have to >think about it. Either way that whole movement is dope. > >You like/check the new Medhane stuff? > >https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhHGGp0oIKA > > >If I missed it, my bad...
I haven't heard the new Medhane yet. I'd pick Navy over Ovrkast, for now at least. Navy's writing his harder emotionally IMO. Of course I'm saying this with pretty limited exposure to both emcees. Navy already has moments that have absolutely blown me away - like his feature on Earl's "The Mint".
shout out to those of you who post in these year after year. i always find some gems thanks to the recommendations here.
I haven't been dedicating enough time to really digging deep into albums but here are a few I've enjoyed that I haven't seen mentioned yet
King Krule - Man Alive! : definitely mood music and not much of a change from The OOZ, but some standout songs and I'm guessing this will be a grower on me like his last one.
Charlotte Dos Santos - Harvest Time : short EP but I'm glad to hear anything new from her at this point. really enjoyed Red Clay a few years back and this is a nice tease. hopefully she's got a full length coming soon
Disclosure - Ecstasy : short EP from this popular electronic duo but an interesting direction they went.
Sir Michael Rocks - Broken Windows of Opportunity : always liked this rapper and feel like he's been real slept on the past few years. this album didn't blow me away and I like some of his past work better, but it was a step up from his last album and has some good songs.
On top of those, some of what y'all mentioned that I would recommend as well:
Kota the Friend - Lyrics To Go Vol 1. and out of his singles Her was my favorite Moses Sumney - Grae vol. 1 Destroyer - Have We Met Mac Miller - Circles Theophilus London - Bebey Boldy James - The Price of Tea In China R.A.P. Ferriera - Purple Moonlight Pages (sometimes he's like a caricature of himself, but I like Milo and he did his thing here)
15. "An incomplete list, in no order:" In response to Reply # 0
Albums: Jay Electronica - A Written Testimony Boldy James & The Alchemist - The Price of Tea in China Him-Lo - SLAPYAGODDAMNFACEOFF 4IZE - Look Into My Ize The Leonard Simpson Duo - LSD ShrapKnel - s/t CJ Fly - Rudebwoy Dueling Experts - s/t A-Plus & The Architect - Free Dope Tame Impala - Slow Rush Vic Spencer - Psychological Cheat Sheet Elaquent - Forever Is a Pretty Long Time Curren$y & DJ Fresh - The Tonite Show Daniel Son & Finn - Dirty Dishes Estee Nack & Grubby Pawz - I Wanna Fuck Jada Fire Big Ghost - Carpe Noctem Tha God Fahim - Lost Kingz Spectacular Diagnostics - Raw Unkwn Extra Prolific - Like It's Supposed to Be Enemy Radio - Loud Is Not Enough Stove Top Crooks - Reasonable Drought Clear Soul Forces - Forces With You Che Noir - Juno
(still haven't heard Royce's The Allegory and Jada's album yet)
Count Bass D - CBD Conway - LuLu Dillon & Batsauce - Self Medicated DJ Chong Wizard - The Mind Stone Lu Chin Chen - Lu Turnz Jamal Gasol - Jamal Gasol is the Future $auce Heist, Ty Da Dale, and Mega Ran - Get Money, Teach Babies Nowah the Flood - Harbingers of Death Crimeapple - Jaguar On Palisade Planet Asia & DirtyDiggs - Artic Plus Degres Phil Da Agony & DirtyDiggs - Stready Strains Sampler Big Twins & DirtyDiggs - Queensbridge DirtyDiggs - Pineapple Fried Rice Ankhlejohn - Mahamurda Tone Liv & Amir Dialect - Missing Llame Page BodyBagBen & Ca$ablanca - Fire On the Waters Marv One - Until Flee Lord - Pray For the Evil
19. "A couple of my favs." In response to Reply # 0
Tycho - Simulcast (apparently everyone hated the vocals on Weather....so this was just the instrumental version...not sure if people dislike vocals in general...or the vocalist herself tho Saint Sinner? Hopefully Tycho tries again w/vocalists....maybe people we've heard of would be a good idea)
Phantogram - Ceremony (one of my favs find the balance between all out sadness and hope. I think this is their best album, but the there's no big hit on it)
Khruangbin & Leon Bridges - Texas Sun (definitely gonna play this for my "I only know radio stuff" friends, it just makes you feel good, and ends long before you get tired of it)
Hasley - Manic (she threw a couple radio hits off the album, the only guest is on an interlude in BTS and makes every song sad & vengeful)
20. "RE: Favorite Releases of 2020 - First Quarter" In response to Reply # 0
The Professionals – The Professionals Ultraísta - Sister Men With Secrets - Psycho Romance & Other Spooky Ballads Katie Gately - Loom HAAi - Systems Up Windows Down Tame Impala - The Slow Rush Destroyer - Have We Met knxwledge – 1988 Caribou - Suddenly Metal Preyers - Metal Preyers Cold Beat - Mother
**************************************** Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs and Hawks
"Dude just seems like he's been chosen for some reason. Maybe he did a backspin for Oprah or something." micMajestic