J.Lately - Winnebago

J.Lately is a Bay Area emcee who has been going strong over the last six or seven years, touring, releasing solo music, and recording with Deuce Eclipse. We last heard from him in August of last year, when he released Campfire EP. Now he’s back with a full-length album, Winnebago. With the majority of the album produced by long time collaborator Space Cadet, along with a couple of tracks from Trey C, you can rest assured that you’re getting song after song full of warm, full bass and laid back West Coast R&B/hip hop.

Cloudchord & Oatmello - Birds

Cloudchord is an Austin-based guitarist/producer who has been making music for years. He first came on our radar when he collaborated with Chicago emcee ProbCause on an EP, Moonflower, which came out last October. Now he’s teamed up with Portland producer Oatmello to release a new EP, Birds. There’s no secret formula to what makes this EP work – just beautiful, chill beats and gorgeous, subtle jazz guitar. I’m not familiar enough with the nuances of either artists’ production techniques to parse out who contributed what, other than knowing that Cloudchord has the tasty guitar licks.

Yelir - The Unemployment Office

Yelir is a producer from The Bay who is part of the Children of Funk collective. He’s been releasing music for nearly a decade now, with his latest project, You Asked For It, coming out three years ago. Now he’s back with a new full-length album, The Unemployment Office. Looking at the cover to The Unemployment Office, it appears to be making a statement about the lack of employment opportunities for musicians during the pandemic, along with the lack of a safety net for gigging independent musicians.

Weighn Beats - It's Just a Business

Weighn Beats is a producer from Boise that has been going strong for years now, working along the way with emcees like Andy O. and Oso Negro, and as part of groups like Les Fortunate. The whole time, he’s also maintained a solo career, with his latest project, Hip-Hopumentary 2, coming in December of 2019. Now he’s back with a new solo album, It’s Just a Business. The title for this album doesn’t immediately announce the theme of the project.

Flupke - IOAHI

Flupke is a producer from Strasbourg, France. You may or may not know him by his given name, Jérémie Revel, which he uses as a multi-instrumentalist in the funk group The Fat Badgers. Flupke, however, is a fairly young project that only released a couple of tracks before now. IOAHI now comes out on Black Milk Music as his debut EP. While Revel does make music as part of The Fat Badgers, do’t expect Flupke to sound anything like that.

trog'low - Midnight Calisthenics

trog’low might not be a name you recognize, but the Toronto producer has been releasing music for ten years now, slowly catching ears and earning the respect of those that have come across his music. Most recently, he participated in Ian Urbina’s Outlaw Ocean project, contributing the EP Kaifū. Now he’s teamed up with Los Angeles label Cold Busted to release his latest album, Midnight Calisthenics. When you do something really well, you don’t always have to do something new.

Perseph One - Zenith

Perspeh One is an emcee/producer from Houston that has been making progressive hip hop for over a decade. She came on a lot of people’s radar back in 2016, when she released The Machine Mammal EP as part of Fake Four’s Freecember series. Included among those who took notice was the D/FW label El Gran E Records, who now team up with her to release her latest project, Zenith. Houston is well known for its contribution to hip hop culture and history, and so a lot of people think of a particular sound when they think of the city, probably chopped and screwed, or at least some gangsta raps of some kind.

Armand Hammer & The Alchemist - Haram

Armand Hammer is the duo of ELUCID and billy woods, two of New York’s sharpest and most progressive artists over the last decade plus. Their first album as a duo, Race Music, came out in the fall of 2013. Since that time, they’ve been balancing solo careers and other collaborations with Armand Hammer. 2020 was an especially busy year for the two, with each artist releasing different collaborative albums, but also with their Armand Hammer album, Shrines.

Progeny - Waterfruit

Progeny is a producer originally from San Antonio but now based in Seattle. Over the years, he’s worked with groups like Chisme, hERON, and Ghost Palace, as well as collaborating with artists like Soultru. He’s also maintained a solo career the whole time, most recently giving us an instrumental EP called Wet Dreams on Valentine’s Day of last year. Now he’s back with a new instrumental EP, Waterfruit. The beats for Waterfruit were made by Progeny at the onset of the pandemic last year, as he watched his day job turn into a ghost town and leave him with a sense of isolation.

Batsauce - Wolf's Clothing

Batsauce is a producer originally from Jacksonville but now based in Berlin. He has been collaborating with artists and releasing solo material for years, but he’s showing absolutely no signs of slowing down. A month after delivering an album with emcee Qwazaar, Stoned Giant, he’s already back with a solo album, Wolf’s Clothing. Batsauce has given us a lot of different looks over the years, but for Wolf’s Clothing, he goes back to one of his earliest loves – jazz.