This week’s steez you can hear is all about shining a light on some artists you may have never heard of . Recently I’ve been making it a priority to not only listen to new artists but check out full albums by them as well. The art of making an entire album is something that I think is getting lost in the current state of Rap and Hip Hop. For most artists, it’s all about making a hot single and living off that for awhile. The artists I picked for this steez volume all made (and continue to make) phenomenal full length projects that I think deserve some shine. I realize most of these albums came out months if not years ago but part of discovering new music is timing and I think I’ve found all these artists at the right time for me personally. I have tried to keep myself open and receptive to new projects and I hope this post inspires you to listen to some as well. As usual, I’ll do my breakdown of the tracks below but I’ll also link the album that introduced me to each artist at well. Enjoy…
Playlist for the week of September 23, 2019:
- INTRO by DaBaby: The newest single by DaBaby comes at a moment when he is at his highest peak professionally. Fresh off a J.Cole/Dreamville feature, a Post Malone feature and the Panini remix with Lil Nas X; DaBaby is blowing the fuck up. In addition to his commercial success, his albums and mixtapes are really where it’s at and it’s where he made himself into a household name in such a short amount of time.
- project to check: Baby on Baby
- Whiskey and Push-Ups by Open Mike Eagle, Closed Session and Boathouse: I fell in love with OME after listening to Brick Body Kids (linked below). His flow is effortless, humorous and he might be the most clever rapper in the game right now. This new single is much of the same as we catch OME “deep in my language bag” and I couldn’t be happier about it.
- project to check: Brick Body Kids Still Daydream
- Time Ain’t Enough by MIKE: MIKE is definitely an acquired taste. He’s unorthodox and sometimes you can’t even hear or understand what he’s saying but that’s what makes his rhymes so potent. His project Black Soap (linked below) is what I’ve been listening to most often. “Time Ain’t Enough” off that project hits me right in the feels. The lyrics are incredibly real and relevant to anyone who’s gone through a breakup: “Yeah, I know that time heals// But my mind still think about you all the time”
- project to check: Black Soap
- Bagels by Kota the Friend and Lizzy Ashliegh: Kota is a guy you’d like to hang out with (probably why he calls himself “the Friend”). He tells it like it is and that’s evident on his latest album, FOTO (linked below). I like “Bagels” because it’s such an honest representation of what looking for love is like in today’s modern age of dating apps and social media. Lines like “You could leave if you want// But am I chasing you? No// If someone making you smile// Then that is where you should go” cut right to the heart.
- project to check: FOTO
- Visions by Villain Park: Now these guys are probably my favorite discovery of the last month or so. Villain Park specializes in hard-hitting, west coast Hip Hop. The whole album below is phenomenal. It’s great for driving, for working out and for really anything with which you need some extra energy. These guys just bring it and I can’t wait to see what they come up with in the future. I picked “Visions” for this playlist but really I could have picked any song on the album because they’re all good.
- project to check: The Recipe
- Deeper Than Rap by URBVN ARCHITECTS NYC: I hate to compare these guys to anyone as I do think they’re making unique music but the feeling I get listening to these guys is similar to early Pro Era mixtapes. Each track sweats and bleeds New York swag and you can hear it in every grimy verse and beat. They have more recent projects but I’ve been listening to their first one, Growing Pains (linked below) most frequently.
- project to check: Growing Pains
- LIFE by Saba: Saba is as real as it gets. The project linked below is his response to the murder of his cousin and the track “LIFE” also deals heavily with that subject matter. It’s a heavy listen but it’s one of honest expression and heartache. Give the whole thing a listen when you have time.
- project to check: CARE FOR ME
author’s note: Thanks for checking out my writeup and playlist. I hope I inspired some of you to take a listen to these artists and the great work they are putting forth. Check out these bonus videos below for a deeper dive…