Malibu Ken - Malibu Ken

Malibu Ken is the pairing of Aesop Rock and Tobacco. The two artists initially met about ten years ago when they toured together. They had always floated the idea that they should work together, but things just didn’t line up until now. Three years after Aesop Rock’s Impossible Kid and Tobacco’s Sweatbox Dynasty, the duo now presents their self-titled debut album. Tobacco is a private and quirky musician, but his music has drawn in a lot of fans over the years due to the ways he’s able to coax interesting sounds and beats out of old analog synthesizers and drum machines and turn them into these eerie sci-fi-sounding beats.

Lex the Lexicon Artist - A Mob Psycho 100 EP

Lex the Lexicon Artist is an emcee from the Bay Area who made a splash last June, when she released her debut album, Raging Ego. She starts off 2019 on a slightly different note, releasing an anime-inspired EP, Special: A Mob Psycho 100 EP. When an artist makes a project like this, it can generally go one of two ways. In one direction, it can be very myopic and only appeal to hardcore fans of the source material, because the payoff comes in the references.

K.Raydio - 1:11

K.Raydio is a vocalist from the Twin Cities who is most notable for her collaborations with Psymun and O-D. It’s been a couple of years since her last project, but she enters 2019 by releasing 1:11, the first in a series of demo EPs, self-produced and recorded. While K.Raydio established herself as a vocalist a while ago, this is really our first introduction to K.Raydio the beatmaker, and it’s a good one.

Kay the Aquanaut & Maki - Earth Station 7

Kay the Aquanaut is an emcee from Saskatoon, best known for his work with producers Factor Chandelier and Maki. Just last year, he released an album with Maki called Yeah, Riot! He now starts off 2019 by teaming up with Maki for their third album together, Earth Station 7. Depending on where you know Kay from, and which albums you’ve listened to, you might think of him as a big personality, one that can really rock the crowd and entertain the masses.

Ialive - Don't Do Nothing

Ialive is an emcee/producer from Philadelphia. We last heard from him in October of 2017, when he released a collaborative album with Height Keech called Timewave Zero. He now comes back with a new self-produced album, Don’t Do Nothing. Don’t Do Nothing is an interesting album for a few different reasons, but the thing that hit me first when listening to this album was the production. Ialive has been producing for years, for himself and artists like kidDEAD, and doing a great job of putting together these underground beats.

Fort Ancient Records - Fort Ancient Airlines: Seattle

Fort Ancient Records is a collective out of Cincinnati consisting of Homage CVG, Phonopage, Waldo From Cincinnati, Dren AD, and Samuel Steezmore. They’ve been putting out music for a couple of years now, but last year they developed a series of releases called Fort Ancient Airlines. The idea is that they all contribute to a short collection of instrumental tracks tied to the theme of a certain city, and they pull in a guest artist to serve as your pilot for the flight.

Chris Conde - Growing Up Gay

Chris Conde is an emcee from San Antonio who has been performing for over a decade. Despite all of his experience, we haven’t gotten a solo album from him until just now. He takes a major step forward as he now drops that album, Growing Up Gay. As you might have inferred from the title of the album, Growing Up Gay is a deeply personal affair, dealing with Conde’s journey to learn to accept himself as he is, battling with demons like alcoholism and drug abuse along the way.

Blossom & Wookie - Fingers

Blossom is a producer from Poland who has previously put out music on such labels as DLoaw & Co., Project Mooncircle, and Dusted Wax Kingdom, just to name a few. His last release came two years ago, when he dropped the album Where Are You Hiding? Now he’s come back with a new EP that sees him teaming up with a guitar player, also from Poland, who performs under the name Wookie.

Blockhead - Free Sweatpants

Blockhead is a New York producer who has been making music for years, first gaining notoriety for his work with Aesop Rock, then establishing himself as a solo artist with a series of strong instrumental albums on Ninja Tunes. Most recently, he released a solo instrumental album called Funeral Balloons, which came out in September of 2017. Now he comes back with a different type of solo album in Free Sweatpants.

MexStep - Resistor

MexStep is best known as one third of the San Antonio/Austin hip hop group Third Root. While the group is right in the middle of their Trill Pedagogy series of EP releases, MexStep decided to release a solo album, Resistor. If you’re familiar with Third Root, you won’t be surprised by the sound of Resistor. This is because he’s working with producer Adrian Quesada, who has also produced all of Third Root’s latest releases.