Albums that the artist releases for free.
Mac is Back. Pittsburgh emcee Mac Miller's third studio album "GO:OD AM" has been out for about a month, so it's about time we give it what it deserves. Mac is here to prove that he is at the top of his game, in a good place mentally, and is ready to take on the world once again. What do we think of the album? well ... remember Kendrick's "Control" verse where he called out the rappers he felt were the biggest threats in the game? Let's just say he knew what he was talking about when he included Mac in that call out list.
The homie A-Fos (of A-Fos & The Rude Youth) just dropped the 14-track Clean Your Room Already, a pay-what-you-want debut solo project after the group's Trying To Be Better. Crafted around a series of interludes focusing on relating to the world, relating to others, and surrendering to the present, the album follows A-Fos through an introverted struggle, wrestling with regret and unanswered questions, before leading to a revelation of acceptance and closure (that's my best Freud impression, anyway). It's a London affair, with guest features from familiar names like Casper, Kehmak, and Kyle Kanevil, as well as others including Nathan Bain and Olivia Borkosky. A couple early favourites are "Don't Slip" and "Spot of Grey" featuring Joel Denny, "Back in the Day" featuring Nathan Bain, and "Breathe" featuring Olivia Borkosky (and some fantastic production from Zlender). It's a long time coming, too -- I remember hearing snippets of the album around this time last year. It's good to finally see it come to light, and in any case, it was worth the wait. Listen to the album below.
When it comes to the future of Canadian hip-hop, there's plenty to look forward to, but there are a handful of emcees who I'm really excited about. Hamilton's T.Y. is one of those emcees. After first seeing him perform at The Come Up Show's 7th Anniversary, I was floored by his live show and became an instant fan, eager for the next project I could dig into. That was April of last year. After all this time (and a few noteworthy releases along the way), the wait is over. T.Y. and Chef Byer (who, it should be mentioned, is right up there as one of the best beatmakers in Canada) have collaborated to create The Beautiful Exchange (shouts to Complex on the premiere). I've been more than excited to take this in -- and, I'll add, curious to see whether it would live up to what I thought it could be, as my previous experience of T.Y. had been a pretty small sample size. I've decided to do something a little different this time around and share my first-take impressions of the album. What you'll read are my live reactions, and while they may not be comprehensive, I hope they'll provide a glimpse into what this album has to offer. Stream the album and read the first-take track-by-track breakdown after the jump.
Anticipated for months, Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experimental have finally released their album SURF. Comprised of Chicago musicians Chance The Rapper, Nate Fox, Peter Cottontale, JP Floyd, Donnie Trumpet, and Greg Landfair the band successfully concentrates an array of influences into an amazing, feel good, timeless sound. Originating back in 2013 with Chance The Rapper's second mixtape Acid Rap, individuals in the band such as Peter Cottontale and Nate Fox produced the majority of the project and soon became his tour band, with the addition of the talented Donnie Trumpet called The Social Experiment. Gelling well as a band, the group embarked on an ambitious new album that has lived up to the expectations. Collaborating with upcoming and established artists like Big Sean, J.Cole, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, D.R.A.M., Quavo of Migos, Jeremih, King Louie, BJ The Chicago Kid, Noname Gypsy, Saba, and Joey Purp, SURF creates an eclectic, warm, playful, gentle, and inspiring instrumentation that is relatable for all ages. A prominent influence that really standouts and gives them their signature sound, is the Chicago adaption of having a rich history in the Blues, Jazz, Soul, and Gospel music. The perfect blend of the four genres produces a nostalgic mood for the listener combined with a uplifting dance driven rhythms that gives a reminiscent feel of Stevie Wonder's classic album Songs In The Key Of Life. Truly a landmark album in the Hip Hop genre, SURF's overall production is courageous, experimental, brilliant, universal, sentimental, and innovative that also touches base with various social topics. A rarity in today's aggressive industry, The Social Experiment demonstrate what results when great musicians concentrate on the true vision and deliver a project solely about the music. After multiple listens, SURF is undoubtedly a masterpiece. Whether Chance and The Social Experiment will continue to make more music together in the future is unknown, however the strength of theses 16 songs are so powerful it will maintain an honourable legacy for the group that will continue to inspire for decades to come. Some of my favourite tracks from the album: Miracle, Warm Enough, Nothing Came To Me, Windows, Familiar, Go, Something Came To Me, Pass the Vibes. Want to share some your favourite tracks? Feel free to comment in the section below.