This is the toughest arena to choose because this is the era of the quick hitter (which I like). Projects with 5-9 tracks seem to dominate the indie hip hop scene. And that’s how I am defining this category, 5 to 9 tracks constitutes extended play, anything more, you have an album, anything less, you have a maxi single. So let’s get it moving on this very competitive category. Here are my Top Five extended plays for 2021.
I am not sure how many people have heard this project as it hasn’t been released on major DSPs. So it may be a hidden jewel. Slim One has showcased amazing production talent time and again, and from the main attraction to the interludes he crafts some brilliant music. Likewise Daniel Son, has been a stalwart emcee for a few years now, bodying everything in sight. These two proved to be a formidable duo in 2021 and worth the extra effort to hear this joint.
AM Early Morning and Nightstalker put together a true vibe with their recent EP, L.N.E.M III. From the jump you get this smokey jazz club vibe injected with all the hip hop elements we come to love. I think the artists did an incredible job giving these tracks a dope consistency in sound throughout while keeping the listener engaged. It’s jazzy, it’s bluesy, and it can at times be sobering. But the bottom line is it’s unique and a sure shot listen for years to come.
This is the shortest endeavor on this list, but Spit Gemz has a tendency to deliver alot of lyricism and talent in any given amount of time. And he delivers with such intensity you just can’t ignore him. He commands that attention. With joints like Shoot The Fair One and Maury’s Wigs he drops more gems here than most can in a full length album.
Wounded Buffalo Beats – Wounded
This represents the sole, ‘production based’ EP on this list. And Wounded made it for good reason! This joint knocks from start to finish. It’s ridiculous in it’s quality of dope production, guest emcees, and quality bars. When all of the aforementioned are taken into account, you have one of the dopest projects in 2021. Favorite tracks? I think they are all five of five to be honest. Each as dope as the next. But The Victor by Ruste Juxx is truly insane.
Ransom steals the show in the extended play category with his tribute to the seven deadly sins. By now everyone knows that his talent level is ridiculous. He has surpassed so many bars (literally) and as an artist he seemingly has no ceiling. And here he takes on each sin, and gives it depth and personality like no one else could. This project is my favorite as it is more tightly woven than any project this year. My favorite sins? Gluttony and Wrath.