Sankofa - Multitudes Vol. 1

Fort Wayne artist Sankofa had an extremely busy 2022, with The Sonny Vaccaro Years, Never Easy, and VLTR KMBT all coming from October to the end of the year. It only makes sense then that he takes a couple of months off before coming back with a new collection of songs, Multitudes Vol. 1. If you’ve followed Sankofa’s career, you know that he is an artist that is big on collaboration, often working with producers and other emcees on specific projects to make music with certain sounds or themes that tie everything together.

small professor - let's go inside my astral plane II

small professor is a producer from Philadelphia who has been releasing music for about fifteen years. In recent years, he’s made albums with AJ Suede, Vic Spencer, and Curly Castro, just to name a few. The entire time he’s been working, he’s also been dropping all sorts of beat tapes and other instrumental projects as well, including his “Jawn” series. Back in February of 2020, he dropped a project called let’s go inside my astral plane.

Equipto - Equinox

Equipto has been a staple of the Bay Area hip hop scene since the late ‘90s, and over the years he’s worked with artists like Dregs One, Andre Nickitina, Opio, White Mic, and The Architect, just to name a few. His most recent album came just last year, when he teamed up with Brycon to make Can’t Stay Perched All the Time. Now he’s back with a new solo EP, Equinox.

H. Samy Alim, Jeff Chang, and Casey Wong - Freedom Moves: Hip Hop Knowledges, Pedagogies, and Futures

Jeff Chang is a writer best known for his book Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. H. Samy Alim directs the Hip Hop Initiative at UCLA, and is the author of Neva Again: Hip Hop Art, Activism, and Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Casey Philip Wong is Assistant Professor at Georgia State University, and author of the forthcoming Pray You Catch Me: A Critical Feminist and Ethnographic Study of Love as Pedagogy and Politics for Social Justice.

Low Leaf - MiCRODOSE

Low Leaf is an vocalist/composer/producer/harpist/keyboardist from Los Angeles who has been releasing music for a little over a decade now. In that time, she’s had a number of releases come out on Fresh Selects, but her last release, which came in 2019, was an album for Fat Beats’ Baker’s Dozen series. Now she is back with a new project, MiCRODOSE. Much like many of her other projects, MiCRODOSE finds Low Leaf handling all of the production, while also including live harp and keys, along with providing the vocals, making it a true one-woman show.

DJ Muggs - Notes & Tones

DJ Muggs is of course the legendary deejay and producer from Cypress Hill. Recently, he and Egon teamed up with California’s Broc Cellars and its winemaker Chris Brockway for Notes & Tones: Deep natural wine meets deep jazz and rap samples on vinyl. While I can’t speak to the wine, we can speak to DJ Muggs resulting instrumental album, Notes & Tones. To make this album, DJ Muggs and Egon sourced and cleared the catalog of one Sun Ra.

Cunabear & Steel Tipped Dove - Steel Tipped Bear Claws 2: Phantasmagoria

Cunabear is an artist originally from Richmond, Virginia, but now based in Savannah, Georgia. He’s been releasing music since the mid-2010s, and is a founder of the BearTooth Collective. In March of 2021, Cunabear teamed up with producer Steel Tipped Dove to release the album, STEEL-TIPPED BEAR’S CLAW! It went so well, they decided to run it back, now dropping their second album as a duo, Steel Tipped Bear Claws 2: Phantasmagoria.

Thorts - It Could Be Worse

Thorts is an emcee from Bunbury, Australia, who has been releasing music since the mid-2000s. He’s shown no signs of slowing down, either, with recent projects with Jack Vaul, Joel Simeus, Whatever Cecil, and DJ Silence. Just last November, he teamed up with Unsung for The Unsung Thorts EP. Now he’s back with a collection of unreleased material, It Could Be Worse. It Could Be Worse is a collection of songs from 2019-2023 that for whatever reason didn’t end up with a home.

Rav - LEAP

Rav is an artist born in the Soviet Union but these days he calls Los Angeles home. He is also one-third of the Exociety collective, alongside Kill Bill and Scuare. He contributed to the group album, deception falls, which came out last year, but it’s been three years since his last solo project, I’m On To Me. As it turns out, Rav has been going through some challenges and setbacks during this time period, including getting his laptop stolen, which contained the majority of his new album on it.

Will Hagle - Madvillainy

Will Hagle is a writer originally from Champaign, Illinois, but now residing in Los Angeles. He is most well known as a staff writer at Passion of the Weiss. He has now taken the step of contributing to Bloomsbury’s 33 1⁄3 series of books with Madvillainy. Madvillainy, the 2004 release from MF DOOM and Madlib, is an album that is held in high esteem by hip hop heads, elevated by the fact that the two artists involved loved to surround themselves in mystery, myth, and multiple personas.