From our readers and contributors 🙂
Homeboy Sandman & Edan – The Gut
Queens, New York’s Homeboy Sandman has become a Stones Throw Records mainstay, and even though he has been dropping fly solo albums every one to two years faithfully since his debut the in 2007, he may be even better when paired up with other dope lyricists. His three Nourishment (Second Helping) projects with Aesop Rock have shown that friendly competition drives his bars to new heights. Lice So, when it announced that Homeboy was doing a full-length LP with true school triple threat, Edan, it seemed like the perfect synergy. The MC/DJ/producer known as “The Humble Magnificent” has not released a proper studio album in over a decade, so for many Heads, this project has been highly anticipated. The first video single off the joint album, “#NeverUseTheInternetAgain,” was not only humorous, but a critical look at the state of human interaction in 2018.
Malibu Ken, Acid King
The first single from the collaborative project from Aesop Rock and TOBACCO under the group name Malibu Ken. This song recounts the story of Ricky Kasso, who killed his friend Gary Lauwers in Northport, New York in 1984. Much of the intrigue concerning the infamous killings came from Ricky Kasso’s obsession with witchcraft, satanism, and the occult, including rumors that he would, as stated here, sacrifice living animals, forfeiting (sacrificing) a cat to the devil with his friends. The subject matter is deep, and rapper Aesop Rock ends the song with his own personal takeaway: “It’s starting to feel like a nice night, hold close to the highs and the white light, hold close to the good you are drawn to, these woods were grown to disarm you.”
Nujabes, Spiritual State
“Nujabes is one of those artists that left such a strong impression on his listeners and created such an important legacy that he will never be forgotten. His music will still be celebrated for decades to come and many producers will continue to be inspired by the late genius, in the same way as they are with J. Dilla, who was similarly discreet and mysterious, becoming a sort of icon after his untimely death… In addition to the spiritual and poetic dimensions of the project, Spiritual State also contains Nujabes’ trademark peaceful and soothing sound that should help you reflect on your life and meditate, but also a more melancholic and nostalgic tone that is infused in all of his music.“ – The Word is Bond
A Tribe Called Red, R.E.D. ft Yasiin Bey, Narcy
A Tribe Called Red is an indigenous Canadian DJ collective. The group describes their music as a “modern gateway into urban and contemporary indigenous culture and experience, celebrating all its layers and complexity.” They seek to promote “inclusivity, empathy, and acceptance among all races and genders in the name of social justice.” “R.E.D,” a remarkable collaboration between Yasiin Bey and an Iraqi-Canadian MC known as Narcy. The track also features the drum crew, Black Bear, which gives the music the collective’s signature “pow wow” sound.
Thought Riot, Sketches of Undying Will
Thought Riot was an American hardcore punk band from California’s Central Valley. The band lyrics focused on progressive political ideas. The writings of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche are cited and often paraphrased in the band’s lyrics. Predominantly anchored by the inspiring theme that we can affect change in the world if we remain informed of the issues and work together, Thought Riot are one of the few politically-charged punk bands that doesn’t solely concentrate on the negative. Although they sing about troubling world issues, they seem to approach the topics with a positive angle, and in turn, a refreshing glimmer of hope is often evident in their work.
“As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.” -Hunter Thompson