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.

Basshead Jazz - Sidea Grits

In May of last year, I went to the Lobotomix showcase in Birmingham. Headlining the bill that night was a new group called Basshead Jazz out of Mobile. I had seen one of the members perform solo before, but besides that I knew very little of what to expect. By the end of the night, due to their absolutely electric set, everyone in attendance had become their biggest fans, me included.

Elyzr - Jazz Cabbage

There’s not a lot of biographical information available on Elyzr, but I can tell you that the multi-instrumentalist/producer/vocalist is from Baldwin Park, California. I can also tell you that this is his debut LP, Jazz Cabbage. While the back story to the album and the artist might remain a little bit of a mystery, what it always boils down to is how enjoyable the album is to listen to, and on that count Jazz Cabbage is a success.

Klassy - Dirty Cortez

Beatrock Music has brought us a lot of great music over the years, from LA to the Bay, including Bambu, Rocky Rivera, and Ruby Ibarra, just to name a few. One name you might not be familiar with yet is Klassy, although she did make a guest appearance on Ruby Ibarra’s “Us,” from her album CIRCA91. Now you have a chance to get to know the Los Angeles emcee really well, as she drops her EP, Dirty Cortez.

Kadesh Flow - Otaku Moods

Last March, we got an EP from Kansas City emcee/trombonist Kadesh Flow titled Room Service, which marked a new phase in his career as a full-time musician. Since that time, he’s been touring, worked on some collaborative projects, and has been working on a new solo album. With the new album still to come, he now tides us over with an EP called Otaku Moods. For Otaku Moods, Kadesh Flow works with producers Atlas, The Xtraordinairs, 1Bounce, D.