Now that we're a third of the way through 2019 (wow,) I'm bringing you my Top 15 favorite Hip Hop projects that have dropped thus far this year. Drop any ones I missed in the comments!
15. VA - Victims of Rhyme: Rifleman brings an all star lineup of the Cali underground together for this compilation. Dope appearances from Rifleman, Myka 9, Megabusive, Nocando, Jizzm, Puzoozoo Watt, Medusa, Abstract Rude, Acid Reign, Otherwize, Meen Green, Pterradacto, Ganjah K, Avatar, Mister CR and more! LISTEN.
14. Mattr. - Not Smiling Anymore: These are apparently left-overs that never got fully finished. They don't sound like it. Peep if you enjoy melancholy melodic electronic Hip Hop instrumentation. LISTEN.
13. Carnage The Executioner - Ravenous: No idea why Carnage still hasn't officially dropped this! While the brute energy from some previous Carnage projects is missing here, the song concepts and straight rapping is more than impressive. Drop this soon!
12. Blockhead - Free Sweatpants: This will please both the boom bap heads and the more avant-garde fans through Block's great cinematic production. Nearly all the vocal guests deliver, but Blockhead is the true star of the show behind the boards. LISTEN.
11. Pistol McFly - Snack Run: His return full-length was a bit of a let-down, but this precursor EP is awesome. Great laid back flows over some fun soulful and atmospheric production. LISTEN.
10. Kay The Aquanaut & Maki - Earth Station 7: A very impressive concept album displaying both Kay's love and hate for the state of society. Maki crafts the perfect spacey beats to back Kay's vocal performance as well. LISTEN.
9. Goldshards - Jade: Easily the best thing that Reverse Live has ever made. The man spits, and even more importantly song-writes, wonderfully over Cemetery Chips' mashup of soulful and trappy beats. LISTEN.
8. Malibu Ken - Malibu Ken: While I was hoping for a bit better synth work on here, it's hard to deny Aesop's incredible rapping. He continues with his more approachable (relatively speaking) song-writing and I think the songs are made all the better because of it. LISTEN.
7. Claud Six - Vignettish: Starting last year, Lucas Dix produced and rapped over a sub-1 minute song each week and uploaded it to IG. This projects collects those tracks and damn are they good. There's a variety of styles and sounds, and Dix pulls nearly all of them off with ease. LISTEN.
6. Graves33 - Anatomy: Peep my review of this project for more in depth thoughts, but this album screams everything I love about Pacific Northwest Hip Hop. It looks like it might be Graves' last project for a while (as he focuses on other art endeavors.) Luckily, it's more than enough to hold us over. LISTEN.
5. SB The Moor - SPIRIT REALM.FINAL: SB throws noise, industrial, trap, pop punk, goth, R&B, bubblegum pop, and other sounds into a pot and comes out, surprisingly, with a very good body of work. You can tell these songs are very personal in nature, yet things rarely get esoteric. LISTEN.
4. Rain - Nervous Hvnd Instrumentals: I truly think that Rain and Onry Ozzborn can reach the level of quality that Dark Time Sunshine has reached. They are both incredible at what they do and sound even better together. So happy we got these instrumentals. LISTEN.
3. Juice WRLD - Death Race For Love: Some people who don't know me too well are initially surprised that I not only listen to a lot of "mainstream" (whatever that means these days) music, but also enjoy some of said music more than a lot of "indie" stuff. We have such a case here. Juice WRLD's sophomore release lacks some of the lyrical subtlety of his first outing, but the more bombastic pop sounds work almost as well for him. LISTEN.
2. Hurricane Party - LOSER ILL L3WD1N: I'm very happy that Dimxsk put me onto this. I haven't been super into Bleubird's more recent attempts at Florida rap, but this album combines the bassy FL sounds, Rick's take on indie pop rock, and some grand hooks extremely well. I can't wait for the full album. LISTEN.
1. Ceschi & Factor Chandelier - Sad, Fat Luck: You can read our track by track review, but this album is an experience. Each and every song only gets better with time, and the end product is truly something special. LISTEN.