A lot of good hip hop derivatives out of France lately.
My top 5 albums of the year (no particular order)
TY -A Work of Heart
“You won’t ever hear an empty song from me” is one of the bars from TY’s fifth album, and it couldn’t be truer. If you want songs about guns, drugs, big booty bitches and owning 5 Bentleys then this ain’t the album for you… however if you want socially conscious, relatable, and (TY’s trademark) fun and uplifting lyrics over masterfully produced beats then look no further than this work of art from one of the UK’s best (and largely underrated) rappers of the '00s.
Even better is that there’s even an accompanying “instrumental only” version to complement the main cut, well worth a listen to as well!
Kamasi Washington -Heaven & Earth
Pretty much the most innovative jazz artist around today. Kamasi is back with this concept album (the “Heaven” side and the “Earth” side) His true skill shines through as he implements some crazy ass combos, classic jazz fused with quirky anomalies such as the theme from “Fist of Fury”, Carole King’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, and an astounding reworking of The Five Stairstep’s “Ooh Child” (one of my favourite songs of all time) Obviously this is a jazz album and it’s a long listen, especially when added with bonus EP “The Choice” -most of the 21 tracks come in at roughly 8-9 mins long or more, but stick with it and you will be rewarded with an incredible sonic experience that gets better with each listen.
Seedy Jeezus -Polaris Oblique
Hard and heavy 70’s stoner rock for 2018. These guys “go” for the retro sound, but they’re so on point it’s scary… I’m suspicious they don’t have a time machine! They play like a melting pot of all of your favourite 70’s hard/psychedelic/prog rock bands. Big heavy Iommi-esque riffs -ethereal, ambient Gilmour style chords and fast paced gallops that Mr. Harris himself would be proud of.
Rock on… man.
JP Bimeni & The Black Belts -Free Me
Ya know, if you don’t bombard these immigrants with tear gas, racism and xenophobia, these “foreigner types” can actually surprise you by… oh, I don’t know, actually contributing wonderfully towards society and culture and maybe, just maybe making one of the best British soul albums in years! Well that’s exactly what “immigrant” JP has done here, backed up by the amazing Black Belts, this album is a reflection of this remarkable young man’s life story, heartbreaking in places, life affirming in others. His vocals are incredible, I’ve heard some compare him to a young Otis Reading, and it’s definitely there, but I hear more Al Green myself -either way, if you like that classic 60’s soul sound, be sure to check this one out.
The Nextmen vs Gentleman’s Dub Club -Pound for Pound
One of the UK’s finest hip-hop producing duos (The Nextmen) team up with of one of the UK’s finest Dub crews (Gentleman’s Dub Club) to bring one the finest rap & reggae influenced Brit albums in recent memory. Lashings of bass heavy dub, ska, soul and funk throughout compliment vocals by the likes of Gardna, Chali 2na (Jurassic 5 legend) Eva Lazarus, Hollie Cook, & Parly B among others.
An album that deserves to be heard on a fully fledged sound system… the type of speakers that leave cracks in your plasterboard!
Yazmin Lacey -When the Sun Dips 90 Degrees EP
Beautiful, smoky soul vocals from one of the UK’s most talented up and comers on the neo-jazz scene. Singing over insanely smooth beats, you’ll find yourself daydreaming of lazy, hazy heatwaves and former summertime lovers.
Another 3-4 songs for a fully fledged album and this would definitely have been in my top 5.
AJ Ghent -The Neo Blues Project
Debut album from one of the most promising contemporary youngsters in blues. It basically does exactly what it says on the tin… incorporating fresh soul, funk and rock into traditional 12 bars to create a familiar yet undoubtedly new (neo) blues sound. AJ’s wickedly evil fuzz guitar evokes obvious comparisons with elder statesmen like Gary Clark Jr. -but this kid clearly has a unique style of his own, definitely got a bright future ahead of him.
Can’t forget my usual #throwbackthursday…
The radio strikes back (again)
Bad from Michael Jackson, because it’s soooo BAD!!
It’s criminal how underrated he is. The only rapper I know of who can spit a verse in reverse.
That entire song is pretty much underrated rappers (except Busta Rhymes)
I can enjoy some chop, though it’s sometimes hard for me to keep up with so thanks posting the lyrics.