The Needle Drop


Hypercolor - Self-Titled

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Hypercolor is a NYC trio making its self-titled debut on "downtown" figurehead John Zorn's Tzadik imprint later this month. Unsurprisingly, the threesome comprised of guitarist Eyal Maoz, bassist James Ilgenfritz, and drummer Lukas Ligeti (all of whom are accomplished composers and improvisers) delivers the label's trademark brand of controlled improvisation. However, the band's deceptively simple setup proves to be another welcome take on Zorn's "game piece" mentality; the result a work of spastic jazz-rock that courts entropy for the entirety of its playtime. This act is aptly named - Hypercolor will likely be among the most vibrant  blasts of rock music this year.

Look out for this thing, due to drop 15 January via Tzadik.

Your Old Droog - "Hoodie Weather" ft. Prodigy

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Your Old Droog! This dude's a brooklyn rapper who's been making the rounds on the Internet since this past summer, and his hype was based mostly off of the rumor that he was Nas. People were even upping the pitch of tracks on his lone EP just to try to prove to themselves that this was true. Now, I understand why people were feeling this way; I mean, he does sound a lot like Nas. Even my dude Apathy was fooled.

But now that this whole mess has been put to rest, Droog is just another rapper from New York. However, that's no reason to count him out--especially after the release of the song embedded above. Not only does this song boast a stellar feature from Prodigy of Mobb Deep, but Droog hits upon a song topic that's close to the heart of anyone from the North East: hoodie weather.

With leaves changing and temperatures dropping, "Hoodie Weather" is the perfect soundtrack for the fall. With his deep, grime-caked voice, Droog pens a sluggishly blissful hook that can go toe-to-toe with some of hip hop's most classic summer anthems. Lyrically, Droog is on point, and addresses everything from germophobia to friends.

All I can say right now is keep it up, and I'm looking forward to whatever's dropping next. Despite the disappointment I'm sure some felt after realizing Droog wasn't Nas, the fact that he can write such a great tune and get a nod from a vet like Prodigy is proof enough he's worthy of our attention for at least a little longer.

Armand Hammer - "Shark Fin Soup"

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Armand Hammer is the collaborative project of NYC-based MCs Elucid and Billy Woods. Above, check out the hard-hitting "Shark Fin Soup," a Messiah Musik-produced boom-bap cut from the duo's new mixtape Half Measures, which can be streamed in full here.

But Elucid and Billy Woods weren't about ready to stop there--Armand Hammer's debut LP is already on the way! Race Music is due out October 22 via Backwoodz Studioz.

Flatbush Zombies - BetterOffDEAD


Aside from a few unnecessary tracks that could have been a lot better with some more fleshing out, the new Flatbush Zombies tape is incredibly solid, grimy, cunning, and hilarious. Instrumentally, vocally, and lyrically, these three Flatbush natives bring plenty of thrills and personality.

Watch Nicolas Jaar's Boiler Room NYC DJ Set

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Throughout an excellent debut LP and a handful of stellar EPs, Nicolas Jaar has proven himself worthy in a number of roles throughout the past few years: a producer with fine attention to detail, a justifiably patient songwriter, and a seductive singer. His skills extend to a live context as well, revealing him to be a coherent and focused DJ. This particular talent manifests itself in this set Jaar recently performed in NYC for Boiler Room, which marks the first time he has contributed to the established underground music show.

Over the course of the set's 45 minutes, Jaar pulls together a series of minimal yet hypnotic microhouse grooves which are peppered with interjections from static-infused radio samples. Especially admirable is the way he never loses sight of his aesthetic, maintaining the smooth and seductive vibe which defines his studio material. A subtle approach to the tension-and-release technique also proves rewarding, with Jaar refusing to allow the bass to remain prominent for extended stretches of time, which allows for a stimulating sense of dynamic. The set is consistently understated, but also passionate and vitalizing, hopping from idea to idea with enlivening finesse.

Check a review of Jaar's Space Is Only Noise below:

Smoke DZA- The Hustlers Catalog

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"To Whom It May Concern" MP3

"The World" MP3

"Gotta Get Paid" feat. Big K.R.I.T. MP3

New York MC Smoke DZA just dropped a new mixtape, the Hustlers Catalog. He's a stoner and he's not apologetic about it. Some might even criticize him for running a few too many laps around the subject.

His latest tape has a great balance of subjects, though. Kush is on the menu, but so is success, fame, money, and struggle. He's got a sharp sense of humor, too; however, that's not surprising since his last tape was titled George Kush Da Button.

Dudes like Big Sant, Big K.R.I.T., and Devin The Dude drop by for features. Plus, there are some great beat choices. Download the whole tape at