It’s not that Kanye is back. The man hasn’t left since 2004, the year of College Dropout. Wait, that’s not right. Maybe that point was Talib’s classic track “Get By” from 2002. Wait. I think I’m wrong again. We all first met Kanye with “Izzo (H.O.V.A.) in 2001. This is the guy who bragged about doing “five beats a day for three summers.” Since we lost James Brown (RIP) he might be the hardest working man in the business. Because of him, stocks in croissants are up 500%. For real.
It’s not that Kanye’s back. It’s that different attitude, brass bull balls swinging in a brand new style. Audacious, unfiltered, and focused, Yeezus dropped on Tuesday, June 20th.
Lord Quas. The Unseen. The Bad Character. More than just Madlib’s alter-ego, Quasimoto is a rap legend. His 2000 debut The Unseen had ridiculous production and some of the funniest one liners this side of Cam’ron. His 2005 release, The Further Adventures of Lord Quas, provided fans with 26+ tracks (and some absolute bangers) to keep fans chomping at the bit. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear a sleazy alien coming down from space to hang with Madlib?
Say what you will, but nobody in the rap game is gaining more stock per minute than A$AP Rocky. I can’t say he’s the most skilled or even the most dynamic. He may never have the inimitable street poetry of Kendrick Lamar, the flashy boss mentality of Rick Ross, but let’s face it, this cat will work with anybody. From Clams Casino to Big Boi to Skrillex and even working with Adidas, everyone is fair game for Rocky. LongLiveA$AP has been out for six months and it can’t leave the radio. It’s that smooth flow with a screwed voice. Toss in every heavy hitter in the game and the record is an undeniable classic.
Different Sleep. A delightfully ambiguous name for a complex project out of Chicago. Known mostly for his work in trance, house, and downtempo, there is something relaxing about Rafa Alvarez’s mellow and hypnotic techniques. Last years Infinite EP displayed how fast he could take speedy house to dreamlike abandon. Since then, fans have had to wait for a new single top drop. Like this one.
Stuart Howard’s music feels accessible and removed all at once. Known more popularly as Lapalux, the Essex based producer has melded perfectly into Brainfeeder’s world of ambient, bass-filled downtempo stylings. We featured his music last year on Anon’s excellent mixtape. Unlike some of his contemporaries, the music of Lapalux never completely rests or relaxes. His songs swell with feeling only to enervate, emotional residue accumulating long after the song has ended.