2018: Best EPs

So here is a list of my favorite EPs from 2018.   I easily could have extended this list to 25 projects and been really comfortable about that.  However, I really wanted to showcase what I consider to be the best projects in a year where there was so much greatness to consider.  In the end, there were no votes, judges, or etcetera.  This was simply a matter of personal preference.  I hope you enjoy these projects as much as I did.

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Single You Out: PremRock – Fetanyl (ft. billy woods x Vekked)

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We’ve talked about it before, but let’s make mention of it again:  PremRock is clearly an innovator when it comes to making hip hop music.  His lyricism is slick, crafty, and has a tendency to get those synapses firing in that brain of yours.

His new project with Fresh Kils, Poet’s Payday, is an extension of the previous comment.  This project again illustrates that creativity that we all love.  Fresh Kils  cooks up a delicious avant garde production, while billy woods adds his own innovations via a complimentary sixteen.

I am sure that hip hop lovers of all ilks will love this track and the project as a whole.

Single You Out: Dr. Quandary – The Boy Who Went To War (ft. Premrock and Elder Orange)

Here’s the lead single from Dr. Quandary’s forthcoming album, Jukebox Buddah. It features the ever-praiseworthy Premrock and Elder Orange who is on the chorus. The production from Quandary is pretty damn sophisticated with the layers of guitar samples. Very intricate, yet a slick listen.

You should enjoy this! The album drops on October 27th.

Single You Out: Career Crooks – Newlywed (ft. Dewey Bryan, MaLLy, and PremRock)

Career Crooks is Zilla Rocca and Small Professor and they brought along a few friends for this latest music journey.   Dewey Bryan, MaLLy, and PremRock all get busy alongside Rocca on the mic.

This cut has so much exceptional going on with it.  The track from Professor is funky yet understated which makes it the perfect canvas for these audio lessons.  The way the chorus is worked around the emcees verses makes this track have even more of an impact.  Each emcee shows unique prowess and styling yet compliment the other.

The new album, Good Luck With That, drops on Friday.  Are you down?

Worth Revisiting: PremRock – Juliet Has Survived

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You know there is so much music being cranked out on a daily basis that I am going to take a step back and appreciate some of my favorite projects from years passed.  And PremRock’s 2014 album, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, is an album that I constantly find myself coming back to.   He is just such a distinctive emcee in the way he approaches his writing and music in general.  He taps on emotion and borders on the abstract at times, which keeps the listener engaged in ways other artists simply aren’t capable of.    There are many great tracks on this album, but the one I want you to latch onto for the moment is Juliet Has Survived.

As always, if you enjoy the track, please empty a few coffers into the man’s hand and purchase his art.

 

Single You Out: Premrock – Lens (ft. Chris Quelle)

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Premrock once again smites convention with his latest Quelle Chris produced track, Lens.   The rhythm has a jazz type vibe to it, with a lot of cymbal being featured instead of relying on the snare.  It sounds much like, Premrock creates his own rhythm and cadence that the beat follows, instead of vice versa.

It’s just another example of what makes Premrock unique.  His album, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, will grace us on April 15th.

Single You Out: Premrock x Zilla Rocca x Mad Dukez – FaSho FaSho (Willie Green Remix)

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Fasho Fasho! Remix is a fun track to get the night on the town started correctly.  It features two members of the HHD A-Team, Premrock and Zilla Rocca along with Mad Dukez (who I am not sure if I have heard before).  Of course we have the ever creative Willie Green on the boards.  Is it wrong for me to think of the hip hop version of  A Night At The Roxbury when I hear this?  It probably is, but that would be a fun video to make.   Ladies beware!

Artist Spotlight: PremRock

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I am pretty excited…no, let me rephrase, I am very excited to bring you some thoughts from one of the most creative emcees in the game, PremRock.

I have been listening to him for a couple of years now and in an ideal world, I would have connected with him at SXSW a couple of weeks ago.  But that was not in the cards.  Still, I wanted to pick his brain about, his art, his friends, and his perspective.  What I got in reply was well thought out introspection.

I encourage you to read the interview, check the video freestyle (it’s amazing) and make sure you cop all of his music.  If you love creativity in your hip hop, you are going to be an instant fan of PremRock.

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Top 10 Albums (2012)

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#1 – (Apollo The GreatHennessy Diaries) –  I know what you are saying right now…”What is he thinking?”   But you probably haven’t even heard this album.  I have listened to it at least 10 times in preparation for this list and I have come to the same conclusion every single time.  It is the best.  Now I haven’t even had the time to review the album in it’s entirety but I hope this accolade prompts you to listen to it.  This is going to sound like large praise indeed, but listening to this was similar to listening to Illmatic.  Now before you get your panties in a bunch…I said like.

This is a great album.  The beats are incredible and Apollo the Great is a superb lyricist.  There is not one skippable track on the entire project.  It is great from the alpha to the omega.  Above The Sky, Liquor Talk, and Bad Ones are all some of my personal favorites off of this joint.  Each joint is well done but the flow of this album is on point as well,   It’s an extremely fluid release

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#2 – (OddiseePeople Hear What They See) – This album dropped in June and for no apparent reason I listened to it and moved on.  But upon revisiting this project, I too can see it’s brilliance.  Many people know Oddisee as the producer but people are getting more and more exposure to his lyricism.  He’s very introspective and delivers powerful performance after powerful performance.

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#3 (PremRockMark’s Wild Years) – Man, for two years running Premrock has cracked this list.  I guess that should come as not surprise as he is probably the most innovative artist on this list.   I mean combining Tom Waits and Hip Hop is no easy feat in my mind but he brought so much life and vibrancy to hip hop with this release.  I hope people will give this album a chance in their rotation.  I think you will enjoy.  Premrock gives the term ‘artist’ all the more credibility in hip hop culture.

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#4 (Ruste Juxx x The Arcitype –  VIC) –  I had never heard of The Arcitype prior to this release and for shame on me.  This gentleman gave Ruste Juxx the perfect auditory canvas for his verbals.   VIC not only knocks to a higher rhythm, but Ruste Juxx showed incredible versatility making this joint shine bright for 2012.

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#5 (SwerveThe Barrelhouse)  Here’s another one you all might be shaking your heads at, but I will not back down from this choice.  The Barrelhouse is silky smooth and Swerve just has “it”.  His lyricism, flow, and the ability to morph a turn of phrase really separates him from the pack to me.  I am determined to get this man’s name more shine in 2013 because his 2012 was criminally slept upon.   The highest caliber of emcee.

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#6 (Apollo Brown x OC – Trophies) – I know the majority will have this higher on their lists.  It’s a great album.  Everything Apollo Brown is touching these days appears to be golden.  But truthfully, when was the last time you heard OC come off like this? He sounds tight on the mic device.  This album is loaded with dope tracks and a must have in your stash.

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#7 (MaLLy x The Sundance KidThe Last Great) –  This is a great emcee and producer combo!  I felt like this project took forever to come out.  I was asking and anticipating and it finally arrived.  When it did, it did not disappoint in the least.  MaLLy doesn’t just rock mics…he commands them!  He just has incredible presence.  The Sundance Kid also is gifted behind the boards creating interesting blends of boom-bap and synth.  Check this!

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#8 (LocksmithLabyrinth) –  Some of you forgot about this one, didn’t you?  Locksmith is tenacious with his spit game and filled with angst.  This is another album that is loaded with great tracks. My two favorites are Illuminati and Little Bunny Rabbit.

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#9 (Reks x NumonicsRebelutionary) – This is an artistic union that any fan or blog should be able to get behind.  Reks (in my mind) already has one classic album under his belt with, Grey Hairs.  Numonics has been cranking out some of the dopest production in the last couple of years.  The two sound really great together.   This album knocks hard and has edgy lyricism for the masses.

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#10 (LRoneousLgorithms) – LRoneous has been the epitome of consistency.  Last years’ Notes Of The Righteous Outlaw really caught my attention and Lgorithms just holds that captive audience and builds upon it.  He is one of the finest wordsmiths doing it right now and deserved to be recognized as much.  Lots of great cuts on this but perhaps none greater than his dedication to Mike Dream.