Chris Keys - Detour

Chris Keys is a producer from Oakland, best known for working with such artists as Georgia Anne Muldrow, Declaime, and Quelle Chris. His last solo effort came just this past May, when he dropped a short project called Balance. Now he comes back with a much bigger release, Detour. Instrumental producer releases are a tricky field to navigate, and Detour is no exception. It walks the line between full length album and beat tape, with twenty-eight tracks in the one to two-minute range, all coming together to provide a full listening experience.

C.Shreve The Professor - Lost Love Found

Ashville emcee C.Shreve the Professor is part of the collective known as Free the Optimus, but he’s been focusing a lot on his solo material recently. Just last December, we got the second of two solo releases he put out last year we he dropped Daddy Love to Rap. Now he’s come back once again with a new album called Lost Love Found. Lost Love Found is a pretty easy album to get to know.

Third Root - Trill Pedagogy: Summer Semester

Two years ago, the San Antonio trio known as Third Root made a splash when they dropped their album, Libertad. Now, after touring and promoting that album like crazy, it’s finally time for Mexican StepGrandfather, Easy Lee, and DJ Chicken George to release their next project. We get the first in a series of three EPs, called Trill Pedagogy: Summer Semester. On their last album, Libertad, the group worked with a talented producer named Adrian Quesada.

Vanderslice - The Best Album Money Can Buy

Vanderslice is a producer from Pennsylvania who has been releasing music for over five years now. Over the years, he’s released instrumental projects based on gospel, and he’s collaborated with Dallas producer Rob Viktum. For his latest project, he goes in on the guest spots, presenting The Best Album Money Can Buy. The impression given is that the title is being a little sarcastic, while also hoping to be true, because Vanderslice seems to have gone through a lot of trouble to get some big names on this album.

Fort Ancient Records - Fort Ancient Airlines: Kansas City

In May of this year, Cincinnati collective Fort Ancient Records launched a new beat tape series called Fort Ancient Airlines, with the idea that each tape would be a short trip to a new city. We’ve already traveled to Rochester and Long Beach, but now they’re taking us to Kansas City. The collective, made up of producers Homage CVG, Waldo From Cincinnati, Prospek, Dren AD, and Stockboy, have been working together for a while now.

J'Von - orange suit

J’Von is an emcee/vocalist/producer from Seattle, probably best known for his work with Minneapolis producer Ackryte a few years back. His last project was a solo EP released last fall called yellow suit. He now follows that up with another EP, orange suit. On this EP, J’Von does absolutely everything, from producing to recording to mixing to singing, with the exception of the bass line on one song, which is played by someone named grady.

Swarvy - Anti-Anxiety

Swarvy is a producer originally from Philadelphia, but now based in Los Angeles. He’s been putting out various different musical projects for over five years now, such as Bop, his project based on “failure,” which came out last year. His latest effort is an album titled Anti-Anxiety. Anti-Anxiety might look like a full-length album, but the way it plays out feels more like a mixtape. By mixtape, I don’t mean unofficial album – I mean it plays like a collection of short snippets of different beats, cut and pasted together, with a few guest hopping on here and there to add a little bit of flavor.

Msia Kibona Clark - Hip-Hop in Africa: Prophets of the City and Dustyfoot Philosophers

Msia Kibona Clark is an Associate Professor of African Studies at Howard University. She has been photographing and writing about hip hop in Africa since 2009. Now, the culmination of a lot of her hard work is now presented in the form of the book, Hip-Hop in Africa: Prophets of the City and Dustyfoot Philosophers. Hip hop has been a global phenomenon for some time, and its roots in Africa go back into the eighties, so there’s a lot to unpack in a book like Hip-Hop in Africa.

TwoDaystoAlaska - TwoDaystoAlaska

TwoDaystoAlaska is not a well-known name, in large part because the producer has not made a lot of information available to the public. However, the producer originally from the UK, now residing in Berlin, has contributed to a few Cult Classic compilations over the years. Now, seven years after this debut album was first hinted at, we finally get the self-titled album. TwoDaystoAlaska might have taken the long way to get here, but the good news is that now that their debut album is finally here, it’s a very mature-sounding album.

Kaidi Tatham - It's a World Before You

Kaidi Tatham is a producer and multi-instrumentalist from London best known for his work as part of the collective Bugz in the Attic. Just this past year he released two solo instrumental EPs. Now he comes back with a full-length album, It’s a World Before You. It doesn’t take too long into this album to get a feel for what Kaidi Tatham is throwing down, which is just tons of smooth, jazzy grooves that sound straight out of the ‘70s that will get you dancing.