Danny Brown - uknowhatimsayin¿
Danny Brown’s fifth studio LP uknowhatimsayin¿ drops at an intriguing point in the rapper’s career. After breaking out with his second album XXX, consolidating fame with the follow-up Old and then blowing the game wide open through 2016’s landmark Atrocity Exhibition, Brown’s status as king of the underground feels assured these days. The question as he surveys his domain, is; what next? Brown’s answer is to make his most focused record yet. A svelte eleven tracks - short when compared to the sprawling opuses of his past - uknowhatimsayin¿ is a more thoughtful affair than anything Brown has previously released. Gone are the tales of all-night benders yammered with cartoonish intensity over beats that sound like an EDM rave in hell. Instead Brown comes off as considered and in control, his flows spun out with poise and eloquence.
Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
It's no surprise that Kendrick has become a symbol ('Alright' was being chanted by protestors all over the world) not only for those fans who actually grew up at the same time as him, going through the same struggles and issues at similar ages, but also for everyone else who genuinely and truly appreciates rap. DAMN. has some many layers to it, and every listen provides new glimpses into Kendrick's mind(s), and what makes it so approachable is that one can decide how deep to go into it, because Kendrick doesn't have time to diss other rappers anymore or tell fans how to listen to his music - he is putting it out there, how he wants it, when he wants, with who he wants to (DAMN. contains collabs with U2 and Rihanna, but no sign of Top Dawg Entertainment fellow rappers) - ultimately just saying what matters to him.
Wiki - Oofie
We don’t appreciate Wiki enough. The former Ratking fellow has long been one of hip-hop’s premier street-rats, picking bars of scuffed-up poetry out from between his chipped teeth. He maintains the vibe on Oofie, the second LP he has released since leaving Ratking and flying solo. While some flows here evidence an artist a little longer in the tooth, and a few of the beats lean closer to the more digital sounds of his former crew Secret Circle, Oofie is still a masterly demonstration of how to make nu-skool hip-hop with old-skool sensibilities. Lil Ugly Mane, Princess Nokia and Your Old Droog are among the features.