New(ish) Hip Hop

I listed my best hip hop of 2022 in the ‘best tunes of the year’ thread and made a YouTube playlist and it went down quite well. I had a look around the forum and found a Hip Hop albums thread. It was nostalgia heavy. I think a lot of people who loved hip hop in the 80s, 90s or 00s moved on to other things and maybe only dip their toes in it from time to time.

Hip Hop was the springboard for me to explore other music and over the last 30 years I’ve been into loads of other scenes and bought the records, but it was always alongside hip hop, not instead of.

Anyway, thought I’d make this thread as somewhere to post about more recent hip hop. To start, I’ll do a rundown of some of my favourite artists and releases from various years because I never miss an opportunity to make a good list.

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Best Hip Hop of 2020. Mostly two tracks from each artist or project with a few looseys thrown in as well.

Black Thought - Ghetto Boys and Girls / Fuel

Crimeapple - Garfield / Too Close

Count Bass D - Nobody / Someone Wonderful As You

Elzhi - Ferndale / Jason

Napoleon Da Legend - God Is In Us / Chikara

Small Professor - Feelin Like The Man / Word To UGK

Billie Essco - Promo Pic / Escargot

Jay Electronica - Ghost of Soulja Slim / A.P.I.D.T.A.

ElCamino - Tears In A Bucket / Valentino Quarantine

R.A. The Rugged Man - E.K.N.Y.

Horror City - Hustle Game

Boldy James & The Alchemist - Run-Ins / Speed Demon Freestyle

Casual - 20 Layer Player / High Pressure Content

Skyzoo - A Song For Fathers

The Alchemist feat WSG, Conway & SchoolboyQ - Fork In The Pot

Curren$y & Harry Fraud - Gold and Chrome / Offloading

Busta Rhymes - Don’t Go feat Q-Tip / Best I Can feat Rapsody

Westside Gunn - 327 feat Joey Bada$$, Tyler The Creator & Billie Essco / Ishkabibble’s feat Black Thought

Sonnyjim - Funny Colour Foreign / Belgravia

UFO Fev - Don Pedro/Coca Blessings

Run The Jewels - Ooh La La

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I never pass up the opportunity to recommend Run The Jewels to anyone even remotely interested in beats and hip-hop. Killer Mike and El-P are Run The Jewels. Killer Mike and El-P both handle vocal duty, while El-P handles most (if not all) beat/instrumental production. They’ve both been in the game for 25-ish years or more at this point, but in my eyes, hit their stride when RTJ was formed in the 2010’s. Immense lyricism and heavy, heavy instrumentals.

On a similar tip, I recommend Danny Brown. Vocally speaking, there’s a lot of Cypress Hill and House Of Pain energy, with maybe a little bit of Public Enemy on the rare occasion. He’s a somewhat newer act that definitely reminds me less of the modern era and more of vintage hip-hop and rap.

Another too, is Freddie Gibbs. Lyrical fare is maybe slightly more typical of the last 20 years, but the voice and flow is definitely vintage in nature. His collaborations with Madlib and The Alchemist are also feasts for the ears in terms of beats/instrumentals.

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Thanks for this man it’s just what I need. I regularly hear new hip hop tunes that I think are ace but I never follow up and listen to more of them, largely due to time constraints and getting distracted by other tunes I’m more likely to play. The fact I’m so out of the loop on modern hip hop definitely plays a part aswell.

Faintwaves, funnily enough I went down a def jux rabbit hole one night last week and ended listening to cannibal ox, forgot how good el-p’s beats were on the cold vein. I’ll defo get onto run the jewels this week

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All solid recommends. RTJ4 was released in 2020 and I’ve missed it off my playlist (fixed). They were actually supported by Danny Brown when they toured here the time before last. Did you see them? They’re brilliant live.

My favourite podcasts ever are Open Mike Eagle’s ‘What Had Happened Was…’ Each season is a deep dive into a single person’s life in Hip Hop. 12 full length episodes. Season 1 was Prince Paul and is highly recommended. Season 2 was El-P. He’s been the underground rapper, the producer, the label head - with the rise and fall of Def Jux, and now he’s got RTJ, this commercially successful group. Worth checking out or cherry-picking the episodes that interest you.

I love Freddie Gibbs too. Piñata is one of the best records of the last 10 years. Madlib is my fave and it’s probably his best work.

Here’s a track I love from his 2015 album:

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This is really useful, I love decent hip hop but like many I’ve fallen into the trap of barely listening to anything post 2000…something that makes my eyes roll when others do it. Will give these an exploration.

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new Little Simz album dropped - the master Inflo on the boards

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I was never massive on hip hop at any stage, despite enjoying it; now as then I just stumble across it rather than dig for it but here’s some recent stuff I’ve enjoyed:

Although a genre ambiguous listen and probably more spoken-word than hip hop the Moor Mother LP is just staggering:

Yungmorpheus always hits the spot, although I have a feeling he’s inching slowly more mainstream

All the UK & Global mutations are endless fascinating and now looking the US in the eye, no longer apeing but innovating:

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most live rap is just blokes shouting… i feel i want to point out that the thing in their hand is a microphone which means they don’t have to shout… all flow and style goes out the window live. such a shame.

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‘Some’ live rap is blokes shouting. Definitely not ‘most’. I saw Wiki again last week in Manchester and he’s immense. My favourite emcee to see live. Never disappoints.

The support act from Manchester was great too. I’ve forgotten his name. Definitely no shouting.

All the Hip Hop I’ve been to this year has been excellent. Run The Jewels. Freddie Gibbs. Action Bronson.

Great live. Loads of energy. Charismatic on stage. No shouting.

I hate when emcees shout - as you say - it’s unnecessary and it ruins the performance, but I think my reply is a ‘hard disagree’.

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Great post. I know some of the names, but I haven’t checked any of this music before. Right up my strasse.

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Yeah! RTJ4 was really cool. But I love everything from RTJ2 onward so I’m biased. RTJ1 was alright but it’s just been aces ever since. That’s definitely why I mentioned Danny, they’ve collaborated with him a couple times, so that’s why I sort of associate them. Really cool that he toured with them, don’t think I knew that but it makes sense.

I have seen RTJ but it was a while ago, January 2017 I think? It was a great show. Frequent collaborator gangsta boo was present, which was neat to see her contribution live and direct rather than through playback.

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So one of my favourite emcees is Your Old Droog. He’s brilliant with wordplay. Since his debut EP in 2014 there’s been a steady stream of releases and he’s been remarkably consistent. He’s an in-demand guest on loads of other projects and his main collaborators are The God Fahim and Mach-Hommy.

I’ll link some highlights and I’ve made a best-of YouTube playlist again.

Witch in the Kitchen - Episode 1 (Your Old Droog + Edan) - YouTube

Live in the kitchen with Edan rocking ZZ Top doubles.

You got to let this one play to check out Heem’s verse too.

A train-themed love story over a classic break. What’s not to like?

Droog x Hommy x DOOM. Heavyweight.

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If you liked those, here’s my playlist:

30-odd tracks featuring production from Madlib, Count Bass D, Muggs, Edan, Apollo Brown etc etc.

I’ve picked the best of the Droog/Fahim/Mach-Hommy collabs.

There’s even a Nu-Shooz sampling track about Times Square.

Plus there’s three late-era DOOM appearances, which are all belters.

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One of my favourite artists is Count Bass D. He’s a musician & beatmaker & rapper based in Atlanta. He released his debut on a major label in 1994 and resurfaced in the early ‘00s, notably working with MF DOOM, and blogging most days about his life as a family man and musician, which pre-social media was really the first time I’d had that sort of insight into a musician’s everyday life. His 2002 LP, Dwight Spitz, is his best-known work (and it’s an amazing album). He’s self-released or independently released a lot of his music since then and he has free rein to be experimental - releasing albums of instrumentals - with plenty of synthesiser funk, gospel samples and slow jams. He’s not shy about crooning either. As an emcee he raps about life, family, and making music. He’s down-to-earth and funny. Just one of those dudes who is the living embodiment of everything good about Hip Hop. Other career highlights for me are Begborrowsteal (2003), Act Your Waist Size (2006) and CBD (2020) and the brilliant EPs and 12s he releases, often collaborating with other producers and emcees - DJ Pocket, J. Rawls, DJ Crucial, Retrogott, Snoop Dogg etc.

Here’s a few TP-forum-friendly jams that people might enjoy and I’ll put my extended playlist in my next post.

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