A.M.Breakups - Architecture 3 | Hubris

A.M. Breakups is a producer from Brooklyn who has worked as part of groups like Cult Favorite and We Are Not For Them, as well as working as a solo artist. Last May, A.M. Breakups released a collection of instrumental tracks called Architecture 1 | Babel. Not only was the collection enjoyable, it also held the promise of more collections to come. Well, we didn’t have to wait much longer, since it’s less than a year later and we’re already up to volume 3, Architecture 3 I Hubris.

Renee Dion - Sonic Chocolate

Columbus vocalist/producer Renee Dion first made a splash about five years ago, when she collaborated with producer Jon Rogers to deliver the album Moonlight. Her most recent release was her self-produced album, Haven, which came out in 2017. She now comes back with a surprise EP, Sonic Chocolate. If I was going to describe this EP in one word, it would be smooth. Dion uses a mix of synthesizers, bass, and drum machines to create an ‘80s-influenced style of R&B, one that sounds a little bit West Coast in its overall style, but is kept on a much more intimate level, never getting too loud or funky.

Magna Carda - Ladee

Magna Carda is a group out of Austin that has been going strong for the better part of this decade. Starting with 2014’s Van Geaux, they’ve been on a steady roll of really creative and soulful hip hop albums. We last heard from them in December of 2017, when they released their Coffee Table Talk Vol. One EP. Now they come back with a new EP for Valentine’s Day, Ladee.

Cody Cody Jones Follow Your Heart and You'll End Up Alone

Cody Cody Jones is an emcee from Pittsburgh who used to perform under the name Stillborn Identity. We last heard from him just about a year ago when he released Year of the Dog. Rap of the Month. Now he follows that up with his ambitious project, Follow Your Heart And You’ll End Up Alone. For this project, Jones enlisted the help of several producers, including Proseed, ialive, C Money Burns, Naedon, Eric Yeschke, Vegas Gold, Joey Smooth, Jumbled, and himself.

Mr Hong Midnight

Mr. Hong first came on our radar back in 2015, when he released his debut EP, Colors. Since that time, the San Francisco producer has given us some truly beautiful EPs, essentially created as time permitted as he graduated from college and worked his day job. His last release came in May of 2018, when he gave us One Year Later. Now, after all this time, we finally get a full-length album from him, midnight.

Ozay Moore the Between Time Ep

Just about a year ago, we got excellent album called In The Wake of O from Lansing artist Ozay Moore. The artist formerly known as Othello re-asserted himself with the album after a twenty year career that has seen its ups and downs, and seemed to mark a new chapter in his career. Now, while we wait for the proper follow-up to that album, we get a collection of rarities called The Between Time EP.

Tornup x Arkatype You Will Never Understand (The State of Soul)

Tornup is a young artist from Fort Worth who has been making music for a few years now. His last album, Utopian Vanguard, which came out in 2016, was an ambitious sci-fi concept album about a futuristic society. Now, after taking some time, he’s come back with an even more ambitious album made with producer Arkatype, You Will Never Understand (The State of Soul). The concept behind You Will Never Understand (The State of Soul) is that it’s comprised of a bunch of short songs, with each one telling the narrative of a different Black person’s experience with the prison-industrial complex.

Mute Speaker Radio Bokor Volume 2

Mute Speaker is a producer originally from Brighton, now based in Cambodia, best known for his collaborations with emcee Gajah. They released their latest album together, Vent, just this past September. However, it’s an earlier solo project that’s most relevant here. Back in 2014, Mute Speaker released an album called Radio Bokor, which was composed using samples from Cambodian music’s Golden Age, 1960-1975. Now, five years later, he finally follows things up with Radio Bokor – Volume 2.

Five Steez & Mordecai Love N Art

Five Steez is an emcee from Kingston, Jamaica, who has been releasing music for the better part of this decade. In 2016, he teamed up with producer Mordecai to release an EP called HeatRockz. Now, they’ve come back together to release a full length album, Love N Art. Five Steez might be from Jamaica, but don’t expect him to sound anything like dub, reggae, dancehall, or anything else associated with the island, or to rhyme in patois or with a heavy accent.

Bru Lei FeBRUary

Year: 2019 Reviewed by: Chi Chi Bru Lei is an emcee originally from Columbus, but now based in Sacramento. The last time we heard from him was back in September of 2017, when he released his first album in years, Selfie. Now he returns with a new EP, feBRUary. feBRUary is an interesting EP from a few different angles. One is that there is loose concept to the EP about being stuck in the month of February, taking inspiration from the movie Groundhog Day.