The Needle Drop

alternative hip hop

Wanlov the Kubolor - "We Didn't" ft. Open Mike Eagle

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It's been ten years since Wanlov the Kubolor a.k.a. The African Gypsy dropped his debut album Green Card, and to commemorate this, he has come through with Orange Card - Fruitopian Raps, probably the most ambitious installment of his color card series so far. It's already out via Ghanaian label Pidgen Music, but above you can hear a highlight featuring none other than Open Mike Eagle.

THEESatisfaction - "Recognition"

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Feel free to add this to your growing list of music to look forward to in 2015: Alternative hip hop and R&B duo THEESatisfaction have a new album on the way titled EarthEE. Like their last LP, awE naturalE, this record will be released via Sub Pop Records, and will most likely feature the kind of intergalactic soul featured on the track embedded above, "Recognition"

The panoramic rhythms, chants, and deep space synths on this cut are alluring and intoxicating. Despite the gentle demeanor of the music here, it's hard not to get whipped up in the song's ecstasy. Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White seem are sounding more ambitious here, and seem to be creating music for another dimension entirely.

Of course, it's not surprising to hear the vocals of Palaceer Lazaro hanging in the background as well, and I'm looking forward to any other appearances he might mack on this forthcoming record, too.

Look for EarthEE on February 24th.

Cakes Da Killa - Hunger Pangs

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https://soundcloud.com/cakesdakilla/sets/hunger-pangs Cakes Da Killa's Hunger Pangs mixtape has arrived! Described as sounding like a fighting game and as being the "ugly older sister" of last year's phenomenal Eulogy, this new project finds Cakes at, well, his hungriest. His flow continues to be fast, fiery, and in-your-face and his beats are still bold and bangin. The only thing to have been toned down is the lyrical content, but only ever so slightly - there isn't a "Fuck Ya Boyfriend" on here, at least. But regardless, Cakes is still consistently clever and remains one of hip hop's most exciting voices. Enjoy!

#$ - Hash Money

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Previously mentioned hip hop duo #$ has just put out its first project on Smokers Cough Records, the eight-track-long mini-album Hash Money. It's a breezy listen, clocking in a little short of the half hour mark, but it showcases everything that makes its two members so great. New Jersey MC GDP is a clever and charismatic wordsmith and Space Jesus' production style is definitely his own - I'll go with the above Bandcamp page's "electro hip-hop bass" description of his beats. The twosome ultimately pack a lot into Hash Money, resulting in a decidedly short-winded but substantial listen. Enjoy!

Parker - "Ganghis Khan"

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkA7Ztb7KmY Parker (a.k.a. Dumbfoundead) put out a new album last year called Old Boy Jon that you should totally check out if you want to hear one of alternative hip hop's most charismatic and forceful voices. The LP's penultimate track and highlight, "Ganghis Khan," recently received a video and it's properly bonkers. Parker et al.'s performances are off-the-wall and are aided by hilarious VFX courtesy of David Wright-Spaner. Strap yourself in, press play and enjoy!