CONFZ - Lay Down

CONFZ returns for his first release of 2014, this time with a loosie that will not be featured on his upcoming album. The song is called "Lay Down" and features the London emcee kicking some rhymes over a spaced-out FVDED and Hekmah instrumental.

MORGAN - Focused (Video) and Open Letter (Video)

Washington, D.C. hip-hop artist MORGAN is back again, this time dropping off two new videos that are actually tracks featured on entirely different mixtapes. The first video is for the track "Focused",  in which MORGAN "intrusively showcases her confident grit and lyrical bravado in one packed-with-a-punch verse." The song is a cut off of her "B.S.N.W.H. (BullSh!t Nobody Wana Hear)" project, which I believe came out back in 2012.

The second video is for the song "Open Letter", which "gives viewers an anecdote to latch on to, mixed a taste of MORGAN's highly-lauded storytelling skills." The song was featured on her "LRC (Little Red Corvette)" mixtape, which can be downloaded along with "B.S.N.W.H." over on her website.

Jason Anthony - Tax Free Volume 3 (Welfare Edition)

Jason Anthony (formerly Jay Sinificance) is back again with his latest project, "Tax Free Volume 3 (Welfare Edition)", which features the West Chester, PA emcee sharing some tracks that he recorded after returning home from being away for 2 years.
"The subject is more about my struggles and things I've delt with and other struggles in general we are all faced with."
The project is made up of four tracks and can be peeped below.

1. Access Card Ballin
2. How We End (Demo)
3. The Long Distance Runner
4. I'm On (Feature verse from Lady Dakween's "DaKween State Of Mind")

C.Shreve the Professor - Orbits

C.Shreve the Professor comes through with the latest video from his "Professing Vol. 2" album, this time for the track "Orbits." The song is produced by British sound engineer iLe Flottante and its dope, featuring a laid-back boom-bap instrumental for the North Carolina to kick some ill rhymes over. Check out both the video as well as the full album below.

Black Knights - Medieval Chamber (Review)

"Medieval Chamber" is the latest album from West Coast Wu-Tang Clan affiliates Black Knights, which is comprised of emcees The Rugged Monk and Crisis The Sharpshooter. The album features no real guest appearances and is produced entirely by John Frusciante, formerly of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was released on January 14th, 2014 via Record Collection.

Tee Swain - ReIntroduce Myself (Video)

Tee Swain is a 22-year-old emcee hailing from Chicago who is gearing up to release his "ReIntroduce Myself" mixtape sometime later this spring. For now, the BETTAMusicGroup leader comes through with a video for the first single and title track of the mixtape, which was shot by BriVsBri and is simply Tee's way of saying that he is here and there's nothing you can do about it. Dope shit. Peep it below.

Fab Soares - Live From The Underground (Video)

London emcee Fab Soares, who is part of UK's Midnight Collective movement, comes through with his single/debut music video "Live From The Underground", which "just simply represents me tunneling my emotions through a very dark period of my life and is also a metaphor." The song is dope as hell and has a great 90's vibe to it that I'm really diggin'. In addition, Fab Soares was kind enough to share another track of his, "Literature", which features the UK emcee demonstrating his lyrical skill over a head nodding instrumental. Dope shit. Peep both tracks below.

Allen Poe - Pocket Full Of Ohms (Album)

Allen Poe, who is 1/3 of Frankfort, Kentucky's hip hop crew Basement Up, released his free album "Pocket Full Of Ohms" back on January 8th and its dope as hell. The album features appearances from Von Pea, yU, Sheisty Khrist, Emma Shaheen, Basement Up and others as well as production from J57, Nemo Achida, Foreign Allegiance, Brock Berrigan, Cody Jordan, Lofidel and ILL CLINTON and others. 
"Pocket Full Of Ohms, clearly a play on UGK's classic Pocket Full of Stones, is a record that attempts to account for my coming of age in what many consider hip hop's golden age (the 90's) and how hip hop influenced me as a person." 
The album is really ill the whole way through, with Allen Poe spitting fire over a variety of "golden era"-inspired instrumentals. Check out the full album below.

Hubert Hayes - Jazzmatic (Video)

Columbus, OH emcee Hubert Hayes comes through with the latest single from his upcoming "Dopeness" project, which will be dropping some time this winter. The song is called "Jazzmatic" and features Hubert kicking some rhymes over a head nodding, piano-based Marv Beats instrumental. I'm really feelin' the classic boom-bap vibe of this track. Dope.

Alchemist and Evidence - Lord Steppington (Review)

"Lord Steppington" is a collaboration album between Dilated Peoples emcee Evidence and my favorite producer of 2013, The Alchemist. The album features guest appearances from Roc Marciano, Action Bronson, Styles P, Domo Genesis, Rakaa Iriscience and others and is fully produced by Evidence and Alchemist themselves, with Al handling all but one of the tracks. It was released on January 21, 2014 via Rhymesayers Entertainment.

Foul Play Feat. Heltah Skeltah - That's How It Be (Boo Yah)

Now this is dope. DJ OGee recently posted up another lost gem from the 90's to his SoundCloud page and its absolute fire. The song is called "That's How It Be (Boo Yah)" and is by Foul Play, who were on DuckDown back in the 90's but never really ended up putting out much material. The track is produced by O.Gee himself, features guest appearances from Rock and Ruck of Heltah Skeltah, and was recorded at D&D Studio NYC back in late 1995. It's always great to revisit that classic, grimy BCC sound when these unreleased tracks finally see the light of day. Peep it below.

Young Planet - Thought Police (Video)

Brooklyn based hip-hop duo Young Planet (comprised of rapper Cidida and producer Eibol) come through with the second single off of their debut album "New Fast Automatic." The video is for the song "Thought Police" and features appearances from Brown Bag Allstars own J57 and Koncept and was directed by Alex F. Ghassan. Young Planet's sound is a balance of intricate lyrics with cinematic arrangements on top of hard hitting drums, mixing everything form technological manipulation to live instrumentation. "New Fast Automatic" is slated for release in late January 2014.

Warren Wint - Opening Act (Video)

New York, NY emcee Warren Wint recently released a video for his song "Opening Act", which is taken from his upcoming project "The Reset." The song is dope and features Warren spitting some nice bars over a laid-back Mark Sundermeyer instrumental.
"Opening Act" is the introduction to the MC's project summarizing what he feels to be an honest re-start in his career."
I'm feelin' this. Dope shit.

Ron Cohen and Stanley Gurvich - Give Up On You (Video)

Israeli duo Ron Cohen & Stanley Gurvich come through with their first single that features English vocals and its quite good. The song is called "Give Up On You" and features Ron Cohen kicking some heartfelt rhymes over a smooth Stanley Gurvich instrumental. Everything about the song was done by Ron Cohen & Stanley Gurvich themselves, from the writing to producing to filming (even the acting).
"We dont really have anything going for us other than the love of hip-hop and music and we hope to reach an audience that might enjoy our endevours."
Very nice.

Mute Speaker - Take Yourself Apart (Album)

Brighton, UK producer Mute Speaker released his latest album, "Take Yourself Apart", back on January 1, 2014 and its quite dope. The album features appearances from Chris Clarke, J-Thorn, Gajah, Express Fresh, BeOND, Capsize, Gel Roc and Pause and is fully produced by Mute Speaker himself.
"My intentions of making a proper hip hop album with lots of guest featuring MC's finally began to come together toward the end of 2013," says Mute Speaker about the project. "I was lucky enough to meet LA MC Malkovich whilst travelling in southeast Asia, which led to some great new introductions - most noticably Chris Clarke, who appears on seven tracks on the album. After becoming a little tired of the current 'beat scene', it was always my plan to try and take the music back to what I enjoy the most - dusty,  heavy sample based boom bap beats - although there's always room for a little experimentation along the way."    
Dope shit. Peep it below.

Step Brothers (Alchemist and Evidence) - Mums in the Garage (feat. Action Bronson)

Alchemist and Evidence (of Dilated Peoples) just released another track from their upcoming "Lord Steppington" collaboration album, which is due out January 21, 2014 on Rhymesayers Entertainment. The song is called "Mums in The Garage" and features Ev and Al sharing the mic with Action Bronson as all three emcees kick some ill rhymes over a crazy, head nodding instrumental. Dope shit. I'm definitely looking forward to this album.

Curtessy and The Militia - Emcee (Video)

South Central emcee Curtessy and Johannesburg-based producer The Militia released their debut album "Expectations" back in late 2013 and it was quite ill. The duo just dropped a new video for the unofficial third single off the project for the song "Emcee", which just happens to be one of my favorite tracks off of the album. Peep the video, as well as the full album, below. Don't sleep on this.

Philly Chase feat. Dj DestrucShawn - Take It Back (Video)

Philly Chase is an emcee hailing from Philadelphia who recently dropped a video for his track "Take It Back", which is a select cut from his "Unpopular" mixtape. The song is fire and features Philly attempting to "bring us back to the era of lyricism" over a head nodding Digital Beatz instrumental. I haven't had a chance to check out the full mixtape yet, but if this song is any indication of the sound he is bringing then I definitely need to give it a listen. Peep the video below and then head on over to Philly Chase's website to download the full tape.

The Doppelgangaz - Holla x2 (Video)

New York duo The Doppelgangaz are back, this time with the first single from their upcoming album "Peace Kehd." The video is for the song "Holla x2", which features Matter Ov Fact and EP doing their thing over a banging instrumental. The groups last album, "Hark", was one of the better albums of 2013, so I'm definitely looking forward to hearing what else these guys have in store for us with this latest project. If this single is anything to go by, then the album is going to be flames. "Peace Kehd" is set to drop on February 18th.

ethemadassassin - Elements (Video)

Hip-hop veteran ethemadassassin returns with the second video single from his third album, "Soul on Fire" (which you can read my full review of here). The song features ethemadassassin going in over a Gav Beats produced instrumental that is full of electric guitars, organs and hard-hitting drums. Peep it below.

Jason Anthony - Phree Society

Jason Anthony (formerly Jay Sinificance) returns with his latest track, "Phree Society", which features the West Chester, PA emcee kicking some socially conscious rhymes over an electronic Evian Christ instrumental. His "Renovations" project is set to be out on May 13th over on

KVBeats featuring Rashad - You Know the Rules (Single)

Danish vinyl enthusiast and producer KVBeats just released the first single from his upcoming EP "The Breadwinner", which will feature guest appearances from Torae, Pacewon, Chaundon, Little Vic and others. The song is called "You Know the Rules" and features Rashad (of Rashad & Confidence) kicking some ill rhymes over a head nodding piano loop while DJ Rob Swift provides the cuts on the chorus. Dope shit. "The Breadwinner" is scheduled to drop February 18th on Ill Adrenaline Records.

Fredro Starr and Audible Doctor - Made In The Streets (Review)

Fredro Starr and Audible Doctor - Made In The Streets

"Made In The Streets" is a collaborative album between Onyx's Fredro Starr and Brown Bag AllStars producer, Audible Doctor. The album features guest appearances from Makempay, Mike Raw, DJ Nelson and Philly Swain and is produced entirely by Audible Doctor himself. It was released on December 25, 2013 via Mad Money.

E-Hoody - Hoody Season

E-Hoody is an emcee raised in Laurelton, Queens, New York who is now residing in Atlanta and who also happens to be the CEO of Street Prophets Entertainment Corp. He dropped an album titled "Hoody Season" back in December of 2013 and I've heard some really good things about it. Unfortunately I've only really had a chance to check out a few of the tracks from the LP, but they have all been ill, with E-Hoody doing his thing over a variety of instrumentals. You can check out the first single from the album, "Hip-Hop The Revolution", and make sure to pick up the album if you are feelin it.

Moss Da Beast - SoulMate (Review)

Moss Da Beast - SoulMate (Review)

"SoulMate" is the latest mixtape from Nashville by way of Chicago emcee Moss Da Beast. The mixtape features guest appearances from ST 2 Lettaz, Yella Tha OG, Truey Lewis and others as well as production from Bandplay, BlockBeattaz, Mac Reid and others. It was released on January 8, 2014 over on

Jabee - Dreams (Video)

Oklahoma City emcee Jabee comes through with a video for his track "Dreams", which is the latest single from his new album "Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt." The song is ill and features Jabee doing his thing over a head-nodding Cadence instrumental. Check out the video below and also make sure to check out the full album as well, which features production from El-P and Halo as well as features from Taylor McKenzie, Sean C. Johnson, Frank Black, Doughbreezy, Carlitta Durand, Cameron Neal and Cali rapper Murs, who has released the album on his label 3:16.

DUS - "The Fifth Element" and "Lazarus" (Singles)

New Jersey hip-hop producer DUS recently released two new singles from his first studio album, "Ambassadors", which happened to make its way onto my "Best Rap Albums of 2013" list. The first song is called "The Fifth Element" and features Shabaam Sahdeeq, Pryme Prolifik and Eloh Kush kicking some dope bars over a somewhat repetitive instrumental. In my review I stated that this song was pretty good, but that there were much better on the album and I still stand by that.

The second single is an Eloh Kush solo track called "Lazarus", which was one of the standout tracks on the album for me. The beat is ominous and Eloh Kush destroys it. Very dope.

Amari Mar - DaGodMustBKrazy (Album)

Brooklyn emcee Amari Mar stopped through to drop off his second mixtape, "DaGodMustBKrazy", which is the followup to his 2012 project "Too Many Cooks Spoil The Broth."
"DaGodMustBKrazy is inspired by the original title of the 1980s movie The Gods Must be Crazy. If you know about the movie or watched it, i took the concept of the movie and applied it in hip hop form where basically im coming out of nowhere and dropping "jewels" giving lyrics and substance and its up to the listener how they wanna apply my music to their everyday life."
The tape is dope and features Amari Mar kicking some ill rhymes over a variety of head-nodding instrumentals. Check out the videos for "DaGodMustBKrazy" and "Like I Don't Care", as well as the full album, below.

Weastside Vista - Crack Music and Blessed Bastard (Videos)

Weastside Vista is a collective of artists hailing from all different areas of America, with Dope Mikey repping Salisbury MD, Von Geezus coming out of both Colorado and California, and LouXsir hailing from Philly and DC. Dope Mikey recently dropped a video for his song "Crack Music", which features the Maryland emcee spitting ill rhymes over a head-nodding instrumental.

The second video is for the track "Ble$$ed Ba$tard", which is by LouXsir. This song is much darker than the other, with LouXsir kicking some potent bars over an ominous instrumental.

I'm feelin' both these tracks and hope to hear more from Weastside Vista in the future.

Sean Price and M-Phazes - Land of the Crooks (Review)

Sean Price and M-Phazes - Land of the Crooks

"Land of the Crooks" is a collaboration EP between Boot Camp Clik/Heltah Skeltah emcee Sean Price and Melbourne, Australia producer M-Phazes. The EP features guest appearances from Roc Marciano, Guilty Simpson, Billy Danze (of M.O.P.), Maffew Ragazino and others and also features production from Small Professor, but mostly all tracks are produced by M-Phazes himself. The EP was released on December 17, 2013 via Coalmine Records.

Merc Versus (of Bedlam Brethren) and Falling Down (Killarmy producer) - The Suffering Soul EP

Indiana emcee Merc Versus teams up with Killarmy producer Falling Down to deliver "The Suffering Soul EP", which is entirely produced by Falling Down himself. The duo recently released a video for the lead-off single, "Shemhamphorasch", which is dope as hell and is a good indication of how the rest of the album sounds. Check out the video and tracklist below.

1) Intro
2) Suffering Soul
3) King of Beasts
4) Shemhamphorasch
5) Silent Voices
6) Spread Love
7) The Pendulum
8) Ghost in the Shell
9) The Accuser

Walt Sicknin' - Philly Wreckin' Stuff (Video)

Hunting Park, Philadelphia emcee Walt Sicknin' comes through with a video his latest track, "Philly Wreckin' Stuff." The track is ill and features Walt kicking some raw rhymes over a head nodding Drumz & Llingo instrumental. The song is a cut off of his "Where's Walt Yo?" EP, which you can pick up over on the KicDrum Products website. Very nice.

The Best Rap Albums of 2013

So 2013 is already over and I just wanted to go through and highlight some of my favorite rap and hip-hop albums of the year. Below are my top 25 albums, in no specific order other than alphabetic, that got the most play from me throughout the year. Did I miss a few? Sure. I didn't get a chance to review every album that I heard and also didn't get to hear everything I wanted too. But, of the ones I did hear, these are my favorites.