Gang Starr – ‘Family and Loyalty’ ft. J.Cole

Gang Starr, the legendary hip hop duo consisting of the late Guru and DJ Premier, have returned with a first new single in 16 years, and first music since Guru’s passing in 2010.

The track, ‘Family and Loyalty’, features posthumous vocals from Guru and verses from J. Cole. Dripping with golden-era nostalgia; a mellow old-school hip-hop beat and of course rhymes from the late Guru and slick, pristine production as you would expect from Premier.

To say this came as a surprise is an understatement – it came seemingly out of nowhere – and it is a little strange but of the good variety, it just not something that was ever expected. Gang Starr will always be of huge importance to me, not only are Daily Operation and Hard to Earn two of my all time favourite records but Gang Starr introduced me to hip hop as a whole.

If that wasn’t enough, rumours are swirling about an entire LP but hey, that’s for another day – for now, check out ‘Family and Loyalty’ and video below:

JAK – ‘Imagination’

JAK is a collective ensemble of creativity driven by a motley crew of music lovers from somewhere amid the great expanse of the US.

As for a backstory, well, that’s it. While JAK might be tight lipped on info, there is plenty to be said about their debut single ‘Imagination’. For one, it is a blistering bout of seductive, swaggering and wholly irresistible hip hop. It struts its wares built on a low-toned synthesiser hook and bed of buzzy, bass-heavy electro as droning and whooshing synths fizz around the slick, rapid-fire lyrical delivery, that zips along with mechanised rhythm and precision, perfectly complimenting the beatwork (which is very Afrika Bambaataa, Kraftwerk inspired). ‘Imagination’ is a hell of an introduction.

Listen to ‘Imagination’ below:

Trap – ‘I Want Moor’

Trap is a rapper / emcee from Long Beach, CA whose music explores a whole array of topics and themes, social commentary and cultural criticism but backed and complemented by sublime and seductive grooves and beats.

On his new single, ‘I Want Moor’, the latest lifted from recently released record, Young Basquiat 3: Lost Vibes, Trap brings out the revolutionary raps. There is a weight to his vocals, speaking with authority, an authority that makes you pay attention, his vision is delivered clearly and concisely, without ever sounding preachy or pretentious. His measured and melodic delivery adds lyrical depth and musical allure, it doesn’t miss a beat and the production, supplied by Chicago’s Jerrod Hinton, is of supreme quality. The beat is rooted in the blues, partially due to sampling Nina Simone but also because of its pace and general vibe. It is a heavyweight tune, and one that’s been on constant rotation the past month.

Check ‘I Want Moor’ below and you can listen to Young Basquiat 3: Lost Vibes here.

MARTH – ‘Golden Hour’

MARTH is a multi-Instrumental producer/composer from Netherlands who’s sound is born from a preference for Future Beats with hip hop, electronica and jazz influences.

Utilising a mix of electronic and live instruments, with an emphasis on trumpet, MARTH creates a chilled sound brimming with positivity and natural rhythm, and latest single ‘Golden Hour’ is a perfect case in point. Inspired by a painting from Van Gogh, it a trumpet focused chilled three-minutes. A laid-back groove slides along lulling you into this relaxing world, making your mind susceptible the serene mixture of soulful electronics, 90s chill, jazzy vibes with an added hip-hop pulse, and funky, brazen beat beneath. It is quite wistful and thought provoking, set to a scene of serenity, leaving you refreshed, relaxed and chilled.

Tune in below:

Freddie Joachim – ‘Serenade’

Instrumental Hip-Hop producer Freddie Joachim breezes his way into our lives with sublime new single ‘Serenade’.

‘Serenade’ is the second single lifted from the upcoming LP Beyond The Sea of Trees, penned for release via Jakarta Records before the end of May 2019

‘Serenade’ marks Joachim out as a beat maker supreme. Dusty hip hop drums, rich jazzy chords and lush flecks of guitar breezily coalesce for an easy on the ear, slice of fresh and soulful instrumental hip hop. ‘Serenade’ is filled with charm, warmth and mellow vibes, it meanders with flowing sense of freedom and aloof escapism. All in all, it is a lush, elegant and utterly hypnotising single.

Tune into ‘Serenade’ below:

Diabolic & Vanderslice – ‘Think of That’

Emcee Diabolic and producer Vanderslice have joined forces for a new album called Collusion, which was released over the weekend on April 13, coinciding with Record Store Day.

Leading the charge to the shelves, the duo shared new single ‘Think Of That’ as a little taste of what’s ahead, and the pair have come out swinging. ‘Think Of That’ provides a strong dose of hard-hitting hip hop with tough bars over a mellow backdrop comprised of a rugged riff and haunting vocal sample. Propelled forward by hard beats, Diabolic goes on a verbal rampage clearing all in his path and the chemistry between these two artists is clear for all to see. The combined forces of sharp lyricism and neck snapping production; is compelling and radiates an aura of threat and danger.

You can listen to ‘Think of That’ below and make sure and keep an eye out for the album too.

The Urban Renewal Project – ‘Shake Those Hips’

The Urban Renewal Project is a sixteen-piece hip-hop collective (yes, sixteen!) based in Los Angeles.

Their sound can be loosely defined as hip-hop, but in reality their sound seamlessly blurs the boundaries between soul, funk, jazz, and hip-hop – utilising the old adage of power in numbers, they boast a big band horn section, singers and three MCs among their ranks. And like that, strutting its funky wares is new single ‘Shake Those Hips’, offering us an opportunity to fully realise the complete, irresistible power of the ensemble’s vibrant sound.

This is slick, grooving and funky slice of infectious hip hop; ‘Shake Those Hips’ is insanely catchy, extremely addictive and pretty brilliant. It is a syrupy brew; big, brassy and funk-fuelled hip-hop. Swaggering along with an irresistible groove, huge blasts of brass, infectious bars from three MCs and more horns than a randy goat – we’re treated to a fun-filled barrel-roll through positive vibes just begging to be danced to.

This is one of the most thrilling singes of 2019 thus far and one sure to leave an indelible mark on your soul.

‘Shake Those Hips’ is the lead single from their forthcoming EP titled Love Glory Duty Death, expected later in 2019. Listen to the single below:

Hugo Monster – ‘Can’t Believe In Miracles’

Hugo Monster is a rapper and hip hop artist from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Now, while he has been serving up hip hop tunes for a few years across the water, with a slew or releases to his name, new single ‘Can’t Believe In Miracles’ is our first encounter. Not only is it a fine opening introduction, but ‘Can’t Believe In Miracles’ marks Hugo Monster as a master for crafting classy, breezy and elegant hip hop tunes. A hazy glow sprouts from an irresistible soft wave of hypnotising jazzy vibes and warm, crackling beats, shimmering like a heat haze of scorching summer’s day. This beguiling, washed-out textured haze of dreaminess shifts seductively, slowly undulating and providing a perfect backdrop for Hugo Monster’s authoritative but laid-back brogue, and devilishly silky lyrical flow. Laid-back and grooving, it is irresistible and distinctive, and you will be powerless to resist nodding along to.

Check out ‘Can’t Believe In Miracles’ below:

Just Geo – ‘Stick To My Guns’

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London Producer & DJ Just Geo has joined forces with fellow Londoner, rapper and songwriter, Warrs McFreeman for latest single ‘Stick To My Guns’.

With Just Geo drawing influences from a broad array of sounds, from old school Garage to retro video game soundtracks and Warrs McFreeman noted for a willingness to explore and experiment, while maintaining a distinctive Grime influenced sound – ‘Stick To My Guns’ is a perfectly paired union. Gritty yet melodic, ‘Stick To My Guns’ struts alone a flurry of tough, taught quickfire beats interspersed with samples and siren blasts. Its tempo is matched by on point vocals from McFreeman; slick wordplay served with a rat-a-tat-tat energy and delivered with precision. Gritty, edgy and taught, yet melodic Grime that is passionate, perfectly packaged and delivered.

Listen to ‘Stick To My Guns’ below:

YTK – ‘Slackface’

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Following a slew of slick singles, Baltimore-based hip hop artist YTK, released his debut EP Berea last week.

This six track EP is led by single ‘Slackface’ and establishes YTK as a master of crafting classy, breezy and majestic hip hop tunes. ‘Slackface’s’ hazy glow sprouts from an irresistible soft wave of hypnotising synths, intertwining clever rhymes over festively jazzy beats. This beguiling, washed-out textured haze of dreaminess shifts seductively beneath, as subtle as shifting sands, providing a perfect backdrop from YTK laying down his nonchalant flow. Laid-back and chilled, YTK’s sound is irresistible and distinctive, and you can’t help nodding along to. Fill your boots!

Listen to ‘Slackface’ below and the entire EP, Berea is here too.