DJ Cosm - Natural Within

DJ Cosm is best known as one half of the Calgary hip hop duo Dragon Fli Empire alongside emcee Teekay. The group made their return after a seven year-hiatus last year when they dropped their album, Banff Avenue. With that checked off their list, that meant it was finally time for DJ Cosm to drop a follow-up to his 2011 solo debut, Time and Space, which he does with Natural Within.

Scott thrILL - thrILLmatic

Scott thrILL is a producer from Los Angeles that has been making music for over ten years at this point. Most recently, he released an instrumental collection called Pinz & Needlz Collection back in November. Now, he’s ready to start 2021 with his fourth solo album, thrILLmatic. Sometimes you don’t need anything necessarily new, you just need something done really well. And that’s exactly what thrILL is doing with thrILLmatic. He’s not reinventing the instrumental hip hop album, he’s just giving you an incredibly solid breakbeat-driven collection of tracks that come together to create a sum that’s bigger than it’s parts.

Skipp Whitman & Animalmilk - Struggle Raps

Skipp Whitman is an emcee originally from Brookline, Massachusetts, but is now based Los Angeles. Just this past May, he released an EP reflecting on his new home, Hermosa. Now he’s back to what he does best by pairing up with producer Animalmilk to release the full-length album, Struggle Raps. Animalmilk is not a producer that I was familiar with going into this project, and he’s not easily found online, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

Charity Marsh & Mark V. Campbell - We Still Here: Hip Hop North of the 49th Parallel

Charity Marsh is Director of the Interactive Media and Performance Labs and associate professor in Interdisciplinary Studies and Creative Technologies in the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance at the University of Regina. Mark V. Campbell is assistant professor in the Department of Arts, Culture, and Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough. They have come together to present an edited collection to present an overview of Canadian hip hop with We Still Here: Hip Hop North of the 49th Parallel.

Mayer Hawthorne - Rare Changes

Mayer Hawthorne got started as a solo artist when he released his debut album for Stones Throw, A Strange Arrangement, back in 2009. Since 2015, though, you’re more likely to find him working as part of the duo Tuxedo alongside producer Jake One. However, over the past year and some change, he’s been releasing a series of singles as a solo artist. They have now been collected for your convenience as Rare Changes.

Two Weeks Notice - A Calm, Measured Response (Extended Play)

Five years ago, we got the first album from Two Weeks Notice, the duo consisting of Mikhal kHill and Tribe One. They had toured extensively together, and the partnership was born out of a desire to collaborate on the road, but when it came time to record the album, they threw everything out the window and wrote and recorded everything in two weeks while simultaneously booking a tour. Over the years since then, they’ve been working on stuff together here and there, but real life and other projects kept the next release from coming to fruition.

Top Twenty of 2020

2020 has been a hell of a year, to say the least. Among other things, the COVID pandemic shut down the concert industry, and many venues were forced to shut their door, including the beloved Dive Bar & Lounge in Austin, where for the last eight years Scratched Vinyl and Hip Hop Hooray had thrown our annual SXSW showcase. Artists were forced to be creative, and many turned to the internet to find the next best thing, streaming live concerts on a myriad of platforms.

Moor Mother & billy woods - BRASS

Back in June of this year, Armand Hammer (billy woods and ELUCID) released an album by the name of Shrines. Philly artist Moor Mother made an appearance on the track “Ramses II,” which then led to the collaboration between her and woods on the track “Furies” for the Adult Swim singles series in July. What most people didn’t know at the time was that these two kept the train rolling, and they now release a full-length album as a duo, BRASS.

Ethos - The City Wants You Alone

Ethos is an artist from Birmingham that used to perform under the name Lovelight the Messenger. Now, after a couple of years of silence, he has emerged under this new name with a brand new project that will firmly re-establish his presence, The City Wants You Alone. On paper, The City Wants You Alone might not seem like much – just an eight-song release snuck in at the end of the year.

Virgil Wolfe - Epoch

Freecember rolls along, that magical time of when Fake Four puts out shorter free projects from some lesser known artists in the hopes of exposing them to a bigger audience. So far this year we’ve heard from Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice and Anthony Maintain. Now we get a project from Virgil Wolfe, Epoch. Virgil Wolfe is an emcee originally based in Savannah, but now calls Austin home, and who also works as part of the Bear Tooth Collective.