CRASHprez + knowsthetime - I'ma Die Anyway

It seems like just yesterday that I was going to see a freshman at the University of Wisconsin who performed under the name of CRASHprez open up for all of the hip hop shows in town. While he had plenty of potential in those days, it was even more fun to see him mature and come into his own during my time in Madison. That growth lead to the excellent 2015 album, more perfect.

The Other Guys - Autumn in Analog

The Other Guys are a production duo from D.C. that have worked with everyone from Tanya Morgan to Substantial, as well as plenty of releases just as a duo. Back in 2016, they released an album called Life in Analog, which was full of soulful beats meant to represent the daily grind. They returned to a similar aesthetic this summer when they announced the start of a seasonal series by releasing Summer in Analog.

1520 - Mosquito Fly & Starships

1520 is the collaboration between MC Nomadic Poet of the Legendary Planets Crew and producer Drematic XL, both veterans of the London underground hip hop scene. As students of hip hop might catch on, the name of the group comes from the address of the apartment building on Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx where Kool Herc and his sister, Cindy Campbell, threw a party that is largely acknowledged as the birth of hip hop.

Royal Air Moon - Derrière la nuit

Royal Air Moon is a producer from Nantes, France, who up until this point was relatively new and unknown, with just one release to his name, Hush. Fortunately, though, it was heard by the fine people at The French Touch Connection, who are now teaming up with him to release his latest EP, Derrière la nuit. Derrière la nuit isn’t an EP that will blow you away at the beginning, but as you continue to listen to it, you’ll begin to hear what TFTC must have heard when they listened to Hush.

Trademarc - Blood Meridian

Trademarc is an artist and person who has had quite the journey to this point. Back in 2005, he made a collaborative album with his cousin, John Cena, You Can’t See Me, which was a great success and led to his involvement in the WWE for the next couple of years. He then formed the group East Coast Avengers with Esoteric and DC The Midi Alien, who then found some notoriety from their single “Kill Bill O’Reilly” back in 2008.

Mega Ran - AGES, Vol. 1

Mega Ran has been going strong all decade long, constantly touring, and releasing a million different projects over the years, from concept albums to mixtapes and collaborations, along with the traditional EPs and LPs as well. It’s only in this context that 2019 seemed like a lighter year for Ran, despite the fact that he released a collaborative album with MC Lars earlier this year. And it’s not like he hasn’t been playing shows and working on other projects (including a Black Materia re-release coming next year), we just haven’t seen the end result yet.

Chris Orrick & The Lasso - I Read That I Was Dead

Back in October of last year, Lando Chill released an album produced by The Lasso, Black Ego. Besides being a brilliant piece of art, this album symbolized the end of an era for the two, as they both moved out of Tuscon. Chill moved on to Los Angeles, and Lasso moved back to Michigan. Then this spring, Lasso released his solo debut for Mello Music Group, The Sound of Lasso, which was an excellent instrumental album, and marked a new era for the artist.

Erthling. - Infloresco

Erthling. is a producer/emcee from Birmingham that has been part of groups like 729, Pen Pals, and New Ancients and produced for artists such as Mel.Crozby, Richard Daniel, Kennie Blk, just to name a few. As an artist, he’s been as creative as he’s been prolific, which is part of how he’s been able to make such a big mark on the Birmingham hip hop scene in only about the last five years or so.

Haz & Miloux - Blonde

New Zealand artists Haz and Miloux didn’t intend to work with each other, but sometimes the universe conspires to get like-minded individuals together. In this case, vocalist Miloux had been pretty adamant that she was only going to sing over her own production, and Haz had never worked with a female vocalist in his career. As it so happened, producer Haz got involved in a remix project of an earlier Miloux EP, and Miloux liked it so much that she got in contact with him, he sent her beats…and now we have their first EP as a duo, Blonde.

C.Shreve the Professor - Grown

C.Shreve The Professor is an emcee from Asheville and part of the group Free The Optimus. He’s been going strong both as a solo artist and as part of the group all decade long. His last solo effort, Lost Love Found, came out a little over a year ago. Now he comes back with one of his strongest efforts to date, Grown. As you might imagine, this album is not only about being a veteran in this rap game, but just being grown in general.