Sole & DJ Pain 1 - No God Nor Country

Sole has been making hip hop consistently for over two decades now. Five years ago, he first teamed up with Madison producer DJ Pain 1 to make an album called Death Drive, and then followed that up in 2016 with Nihilismo. Since that time, Sole has undergone some major life changes, including moving from Denver to Maine and starting a family. While his collaborative relationship with Pain 1 went on hold, his solo career didn’t skip a beat, with two self-produced solo albums, with Let Them Eat Sand coming out last year and Destituent landing just this February.

DJ Shadow - Our Pathetic Age

DJ Shadow is a pioneering producer, mostly known for his groundbreaking instrumental work in the ‘90s. Since that time, the Bay Area artist has released a variety of different projects. His most recent effort came in 2016, when he released The Mountain Will Fall, an album that was mostly instrumental, but contained the breakout single “Nobody Speak,” with Run the Jewels. Now, he comes back with his most ambitious project in years, Our Pathetic Age.

Mark Katz - Build: The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World

Mark Katz is Professor of Music at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, best known for his previous two books, Capturing Sound and Groove Music. Since publishing Groove Music in 2012, Katz went on to develop a cultural diplomacy program through the U.S. Department of State called Next Level. He now presents his experiences with that program and a larger look at cultural diplomacy in his latest book, Build: The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World.

Kathy Iandoli - God Save the Queens: The Essential History of Women in Hip-Hop

Kathy Iandoli is a veteran music journalist, having written for publications such as Vibe, XXL, and The Source, and edited for and While there have been plenty of books about hip hop written over the years, there hasn’t been any real effort to chronicle the history of women’s contributions to the music. Iandoli noticed this, decided to do something about it, and now presents God Save the Queens: The Essential History of Women in Hip-Hop.

One Be Lo - The Looma (Part 1-5)

One Be Lo is the Pontiac emcee/producer who we know as one half of the group Binary Star, but he’s also had a stellar and prolific solo career as well, going back to the early ‘00s. Last year, Binary Star gave us an ambitious double album, LIGHTY/EARS APART, which was full of live instrumentation and guest artists, with One Be Lo steering the ship and building this sci-fi hip hop universe.

Blockhead - BUBBLE BATH

Blockhead is a producer from New York that has been going strong for about two decades now, collaborating with everyone from Aesop Rock to Illogic to billy woods, along with some widely acclaimed instrumental work as well, namely his five-album run on Ninja Tune from 2004-2012. Since that time, Blockhead has been working more with emcees and pushing himself to try some different types of instrumental projects, to varying degrees of success.

F.Virtue - Millennial Love in WWIII

F.Virtue is an emcee from New York who garnered some attention with the digital release on Fake Four of the 2013 album, We Are Not The Shame. In 2016, there was a series of singles released through Paper Magazine and an EP released in response to the shooting at Pulse in Orlando, but we’ve still been waiting for that proper follow up to that last album. Now the wait is finally over with Millennial Love in WWIII.

JSOUL - Neutronic Suite

JSOUL is a vocalist/producer from Baltimore who has been releasing for over a decade. His most recent release came in 2016, when he teamed up with emcee Wordsworth to produce the album Blame It On The Music. Now he comes back with an ambitious solo album, his first released on his own label, BSMP, Neutronic Suite. Neutronic Suite is a concept album that is supposed to represent JSOUL’s journey from vocalist to producer.

Ill Embassy x Tonsofun x Wormwood - Reptile Brain EP

Back in April of 2018, Missoula emcees Wormwood and Tonsofun teamed up with the production team known as Ill Embassy to make an album called Speak Nay Scream. As it happens when you record an album, there were a lot of songs that were recorded but scrapped in the process. Now, about a year-and-a-half later, the artists let the rest of the material sit, and figured out which of those discarded songs stuck in their brains and might be worthy of rescuing.

Mister - RELISH (The Completion)

Back in December of 2016, Detroit emcee Mister released a compilation of odds and ends called Ketchup (An Introduction). That was followed up in January 2018 with Mustard (A Continuation). Now, the trilogy of random singles collections is complete, as he now releases Relish (The Completion). Back in the day a release like this would probably have been called a B-sides and rarities comp, but what you need to know is that Relish is a collection of material from the recent past that Mister worked on that you might have overlooked.