Three weeks in a row and three albums by four of my favorite hip-hop artists. Each of the albums are from completely different spheres of hip-hop, so there’s plenty for the narrow minded listener to disagree with me! Good month for things I like.
Thieves Banquet by Akala
The first album has already been released, it’s from the sphere of British hip-hop. Akala is probably the best and most educated pure lyricists out there, at the very least among the socially conscious rappers. I’ve already given this album a few spins and have enjoyed it so far. Akala has headed towards playing with a live band on his last two releases, which is both good and bad. I’ll have a lot more to write about this album soon.
Thieves Banquet was released on June 11th, 2013. Below is the title track and gives a good idea about what Akala is all about.
Yeezus by Kanye West
The next album I can hardly wait for is Ye’s new album Yeezus. Kanye West isn’t always the most articulate in his rhymes or his public persona but he always reaches a higher plateau artistically. Somehow he covers ground in the abstract as an artist which is what makes his work genius in a way you wouldn’t know if you only gave a passing listen to his music or were only exposed to the TMZ version of Kanye.
Run the Jewels by El-P and Killer Mike
The third highly anticipated album coming out in June comes from the semi-underground internet fueled sphere of hip-hop. Run the Jewels by Killer Mike and El-P is an album that has all of us music geeks squirming in our chairs. Killer Mike lyrically is actually a little bit of a mix between Kanye and Akala. Socially conscious rhymes with a pop sensibility is the name of the game for Killer Mike. It’s unfortunate that most people still only remember him from a so-so Outkast song.
El-P is one of the most talented dual producer/rappers ever. As for production he’s perpetually on my top five all-time list. I love his beats. Rapping wise he can be hit or miss. He’s one of my favorite when his flow is tight to the beat, however the songs I didn’t care for on Cancer 4 the Cure were the ones he had a sort of narrating/spoken word flow. Either way he’s great and I know all three of these albums will be great.
El-P and Killer Mike’s album Run the Jewels will be available for free on June 26th, 2013 for download all over the freakin’ internet.