Nabi Francis ft. Jabariiznatturnup – ‘Avocado’

Themba Mkhatshwa aka Nabi Francis is a record producer, percussionist and songwriter born and raised in Baltimore.

Francis enjoys working with other artist and is a frequent collaborator Solight productions and APH (Always Proper Height) – and for new single ‘Avocado’he’s teamed up with  Jabariiznatturnup. ‘Avocado’ is woozy, warm and dreamy as hushed vocals and rich wordplay melodically tumbles over a lush, alluring groove of pillowy soft beats and seductive synths. A wonderfully entrancing backdrop for this captivating storytelling, sophisticated similes and metaphors, and complex rhymes. Not only a quality emcee, but a skilled vocalist as well, capable of crooning melodic verses as well as well as potent rhymes, all delivered with measured nonchalance that resonates and lets the lyrics seep in.

Check out ‘Avocado’ below – it is marvellous, trust me.

Clear Soul Forces – ‘Chip$’

Detroit hip hop collective, Clear Soul Forces are preparing to release their fifth and unfortunately final album Forceswithyou on March 13.

Formed in 2009, the hip-hop quartet made their name with a classic combo of head-nodding, shuffling percussion with subtle and melodic instrumental touches. Ahead of their final hurrah, they have shared hypnotising and bouncy lead single ‘Chip$’ to whet our appetites. Clear Soul Forces hit the ground running as each rapper unleashes his own style and cadence, attacking the beat with slick wordplay crammed tight with colourful pop-culture references. Like most of their work, ‘Chip$’ finds a balance between contemporary creativity and nostalgia – it is irresistible, and will have you coming back for repeated listens. A slick, hypnotic and perfectly executed introduction to the new record.

Listen to ‘Chip$’ below and keep an eye out for Forceswithyou when it is released on March 13.

Daddy Who – ‘Milky Way’

Daddy Who is a German beatmaker and producer with a flair for instrumental hip hop & lo-fi sounds.

Taking inspiration from producers such as Madlib, J-Dilla, DJ Premier, 9th Wonder & Daringer, ’90s era hip hop looms rather large here but his skills, personality and ear for melody shine through to forge his own sound. This alchemy is demonstrated with abundance on ‘Milky Way’, the lead single lifted from his latest LP Who Is Who, released a mere two weeks ago. ‘Milky Way’ is a hypnotising bout of production wizardry, with plenty of swagger, strut and funky allure. Introduced by a slew of old-time vocal samples, the deep bassline and dusty beats provide the meat for this swaggering, groove heavy jam. This swagger through a dusty haze is illuminated by cascading 8-bit style glitchy electronics and dripping melody – hypnotising instrumental hip hop of the highest calibre.

Check out  ‘Milky Way’ below and if that is to your liking, check out Who Is Who here.

Prisoner of Mars – ‘Cityscapes’

Prisoner of Mars is the brainchild of Phil Galloni & Cameron Ljungkull. The duo, originally from the Midwest, met in Los Angeles and began writing together, bonding over their eclectic music tastes.

The result of this collaborative instrumental/experimental project came to be known as Prisoner of Mars. Borrowing its name from 90s avant-pop group Stereolab, the project takes inspiration from across a broad musical spectrum – from 90s hip hop, to 70s soul, 80s pop, and 90s underground avant pop – with a vision to create a unique soundscape that stands apart from the assembly-line pop production of the 21st century. There vision is most certainly realised on their brand new single, ‘Cityscapes’.

Adding the talent of Alex Kyhn (bass, Macy Gray) and Ian Wurfl (drums/percussion), they eek out a perfect blend of organic and synthetic sounds. ‘Cityscapes’ is a smooth, lavish and carefully weaved blend of mellow hip hop and trip hop grooves – peppered with brass above and a muffled, dreamy bassline running beneath it; this is a breezy, easy on the ears slice of fresh, jazzy hip-hop seduction. A warm aural feast of silky smooth vibes and lush allure – marvellous stuff.

Listen to ‘Cityscapes’ below – it is lifted from their forthcoming EP Dream Cell, out April 7, 2020.

Mykel Hawk – ‘The Flows I Know’

Mykel Hawk is a DIY artist in the truest sense of the word; he produces every beat, writes every lyric, records and engineers every song, designs his cover art and creates his own video and multimedia.

We were introduced to his prodigious talents late last year with stylish, slick and swaggering single ’33 1/3′ and with new single ‘The Flows I Know’, Hawk has lost none of the pep from his step. Nor has it lost any of the predecessors allure as it swaggers along a funk-filled stomping, shape throwing groove as a fizzing synthline bubbles away beneath meandering, super smooth and melodic vocal delivery all engulfed in cascading frazzled electronics. It is such an addictive tune, bristling with energy and attitude, it will have you headed straight for repeated listens.

Listen to ‘The Flows I Know’ below – it and ’33 1/3′ feature on Mykel Hawk’s new record which you can listen to here

Snowy feat. Jason Williamson – ‘EFFED’

Nottingham MC Snowy has joined forces with fellow Notts luminary Jason Williamson of Sleaford Mods for huge, banging single ‘EFFED’.

Out via Dummy’s DMY Recordings, the pair deliver their two fingered state of the nation address; taking to task the privatisation of the NHS, the government’s immigration policy and the Windrush scandal and depicting the dismal decay being foisted upon the UK via Tory austerity. It is raw, impassioned and delivered with veracity over huge grimey guttural beats produced by Lenkem. It is an angry, dangerous and brutal cut, an absolute beast of track as the pair verbally spar with one another. It is just simply a huge tune – and the message is on point too.

Tune in below: 

Cracker Jon & Violentlyill – ‘It’s Delicious’

UK Rapper Cracker Jon and Irish Hip Hop producer Violentlyill have teamed up for a new single ‘It’s Delicious’.

Fittingly, Cracker Jon explores his own Irish roots as he spits out raspy bars over some heavy boom bap beats via Violentlyill. Cracker Jons fiery delivery is phenomenal and matched and enhanced by Violentlyill’s seductive beatwork and skilfully layered production, that while comprised of many intricate layers never sounds cluttered, instead illuminating the wordplay and giving it room to breathe. An infectious, catchy and swaggering jam, it is just a superb tune from start to finish.

Give it a spin below – ‘It’s Delicious’ – does exactly what it says on the tin.

Gang Starr – ‘Bad Name’

Back in September, we got the first new track from Gang Starr in 16 years, ‘Family And Loyalty’. A few weeks ago, this was followed a whole new Gang Starr album called One Of The Best Yet. DJ Premier started working on the record in September 2017, and comes almost a decade after Guru’s death in 2010.

While the circumstances of the album’s creation remain a point of contention, it is a little strange but very good to hear the duo back together again – a rather unexpected surprise. The album, while not to the level of say Daily Operation and Hard to Earn (two of my all time favourite records), is a nice tribute to, and reminder of, how great Gang Starr were. IMO there is never a bad time to share anything Gang Starr related, with that in mind, we have latest single ‘Bad Name’. Backed by Premier’s trademark production and iconic scratch choruses, without missing a beat, Guru bemoans the lack or real hip hop talents, as he spits: “Word to God, if Big and ‘Pac were still here/ Some of these weirdos wouldn’t act so cavalier”.

It is undeniably great to hear the two artists together again, check out ‘Bad Name’ below:

Mykel Hawk – ’33 1/3′

Mykel Hawk is a DIY artist in the truest sense of the word; he produces every beat, writes every lyric, records and engineers every song, designs his cover art and creates his own video and multimedia.

From this ethos Mykel Hawk crafts slick, smooth and seductive hip hop jams as evidenced by single ’33 1/3′. It is classy jam with plenty of swagger and breezy, feel-good vibes as smooth vocals deliver effortlessly flowing wordplay over a seductive beat that’s got more bounce than Zebedee. Written about escape everyday pressures by going back to your happy place; for Mykel Hawk it harks back to his younger days, discovering music and spinning records – definitely a relatable feeling, for myself and many of you. ’33 1/3′ is a real gem; an infectious and melodic head nodding groover with heartfelt and nostalgic vibes for simpler times.

Check out ’33 1/3′ below:


JLA – ‘No Strangers ft. JustJames’

JLA is a rapper born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, heavily influenced by ‘90s-‘00s music growing up – something born out on his debut single ‘No Strangers’.

Teaming up with JustJames, ‘No Strangers’ is a feelgood, super infectious and sunny hip hop tune. It is a seductive Boom-Bap tune, with JLA’s flair for storytelling and vivid lyricisms destined to whisk you away to formative days of youth. It is filled with joyous sense of nostalgia as bop along a gently swaggering groove amid flutters of bright keys and soulful vibes. In short, this is just a great tune and one you should get acquainted with asap.

Listen to ‘No Strangers ft. JustJames’ below now: