Elaquent - Bedtime Stories II

Elaquent is a producer from Toronto that has been releasing music for about fifteen years now. His most recent project was a collaboration with two other producers, BoomBaptist and Juicy the Emissary, on the album Komfort Food. Back in August of last summer, however, as the pandemic was raging, Elaquent found himself dealing with depression, stress, and insomnia. Like any musician would, he dealt with all of this by making some late night beats and released an EP called Bedtime Stories.

Mother Nature and Boathouse - SZNZ

The Chicago duo of T.R.U.T.H. and Klevah Knox, better known as Mother Nature, have been making waves in their local hip hop scene since dropping their debut self-titled album in 2016. Last we heard from them was in May of last year, when they dropped the album Portalz. Now they are back with a new mixtape with producer Boathouse, SZNZ. The first thing that hit me when listening to SZNZ was the energy of this project.

Chris Conde - Engulfed in the Marvelous Decay

Chris Conde is an artist from San Antonio who has been making music for years, but only released their debut album in 2019 when they dropped Growing Up Gay. That release was followed up by Conde Digital, an EP released as part of Fake Four’s Freecember series of releases at the end of 2019. Now Conde is back with a new full-length album, Engulfed in the Marvelous Decay. Sophomore albums are always a tricky endeavor, if only because you spend your whole life trying to make that first album, and so you put everything you’ve got into it, and then everyone expects you to turn right around and do it again, but make it better and different, but not too different.

Thorts & DJ Silence - When the Wind Changed

Thorts is an emcee from Bunbury, Australia who has been putting out music for years, often in the form of short collaborative projects. In the past year, he’s worked with people like German producer Smokey131 and Swedish producer Joel Siméus. For his latest project, he’s now paired up with a longtime friend and producer from Perth, DJ Silence to release an EP called When the Wind Changed. One of the nice things about how Thorts works is that with each collaboration, he’s finding a producer that will push something different out of him as an emcee.

Anna Wise - Gently Powerful, Live (As If It Were Forever)

Anna Wise is a Brooklyn-based artist who first came up in the late ‘00s as part the group Sonnymoon before branching out as a solo artist in the mid-2010s. In 2019, Wise released her first full-length solo album, As If It Were Forever. In February of 2020, Wise was in Los Angeles for a residency done in partnership with Gxrlschool called Re/Birth, where she rearranged much of the material for her album.

Alan Doyle - Fourtitude

Alan Doyle is an artist from Tulsa, Oklahoma who has been putting out music for about a decade now. His last release was an EP called Obscurity, which came out in 2017. Over the past year, though, Doyle had been teasing us with a series of singles. Now the payoff is here in a brand new full-length album, Fourtitude. For this album, Doyle is getting production from DJ I-Cue, Skanka, RXG7RKINT, Casey Bennett, KPLEZ, as well as producing a few tracks himself.

Akil Pratt & K1NG ELJAY - Perfect Timing

Birmingham emcee/producer K1NG ELJAY has been going hard these last six years, pumping out excellent solo albums like K1NG. and working with artists like DJ Swole or D Gut on different projects. Just last year, we got the excellent collaboration with Inkline by the name of Kintsugi. Now he’s back with a new project and collaborator, teaming up with emcee/producer Akil Pratt to drop Perfect Timing. Akil Pratt and K1NG ELJAY went into this project with the idea to do a Standing 8, where Pratt would handle the production duties and both artists would hop on the mic and knockout a quick eight songs without overthinking things and taking too much time fretting over the little details that could delay the album.

Moderator - Midnight Madness

Moderator is a producer from Αθήνα, Greece, who has been releasing music for nearly a decade now. He really made the jump to the next tier on the international scene when he made his Cult Classics debut in 2014 with Escape. Since that time, he’s given us some truly enjoyable instrumental albums that have further solidified his status as a producer. He most recent project came two years ago, when he gave us the enigmatic The Mosiacs.

Clover Hope - The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop

Clover Hope is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn that has written for everyone from Vibe to ESPN The Magazine to The Village Voice. For her first book, she sought to give us an overview of all the women who have contributed to hip hop over the years with The Motherlode: 100 Women Who Made Hip-Hop. There have been other attempts at putting together a history of women in hip hop, but Hope’s book stands apart in a couple of ways.

Scuare - Phenomenal

Scuare is a Brazilian American artist born in Oklahoma, but he has been based in Austin for years now. If you’ve been to our SXSW showcases, there is a good chance you saw him performing either as a solo artist or alongside no1mportant. He’s certainly been keeping busy performing and working on different projects, such as last year’s EP with KB and Rav, Skin. With all he’s done in recent years, though, it’s actually been eight years since his last full-length solo album, Alphabet Soup.