Great news everybody, Hip Hop is fine! Actually, that is not new news, it has never been in danger of ceasing to exist or losing its purity or whatever over-dramatic claims that have been made by paranoid purists, overzealous fans, or, the worst, fake purists. No doubt, since it’s inception Hip Hop has had much opposition, from every angle imaginable, and as Hip Hop has grown exponentially in popularity the ratio to Super Dope to Really wack has noticeably shifted. However, like always when confronted with these challenges, in those moments Hip Hop proved to be resilient and 9.78 times out of 10 the Culture came out stronger and/or had a breakthrough because of those adversities.
I’ve been noticing a rise in quality over the last few years and 2012 definitely showed a significant increase in music I was excited about and that I eagerly purchased; limited edition vinyl, special CD packaging, the occasional digital only release, and sometimes just great normal packaged items. Truthfully, a lot of my listening time was spent on more 60s/70s Funk/Soul and 80s/90s Hip Hop reissues than I can even remember, but there was a wealth of new music/artists that really impressed as well. Here’s a list of some things that I don’t hear enough people talking about. This is NOT a best of list. It’s NOT even a “all my favorites” list. It’s merely a list of music that I really enjoyed that I wish more people enjoyed or at least were aware that it was available to be enjoyed. However, many of those would be on a favorites list If did do one, but it doesn’t include a lot of great album, which were awesome and/or quite enjoyable that I feel people largely are aware of, such as Brother Ali, Homeboy Sandman, EL P, Killer Mike, P.O.S, Aesop Rock, Murs & 9th Wonder, MaLLy, Big Quarters, Big K.R.I.T, Rapsody, etc…
Albums/Projects You Should Hear If You Didn’t:
Self Jupiter + Kenny Segal-The Kleenrz
I Self Devine-The Sound Of Low Class Amerika + The Culture Series Mixtapes 1-4 (Rhymesayers)
Aux Arms (Masai Bey + L.I.F.E Long)-Guardians Of The Gate
Jorun Bombay: I had no intention of doing additional info on any of these, but this gentleman is a special case. Jorun Bombay is the most impressive new musical discover I made this year. However, he isn’t new on the scene, I’m just late to the party. As a a part of the Halifax, Canada scene he’s been making moves since at least the 90s. Lately he’s been doing some mind-blowing work in reinterpreting and/or invoking the essence of the Hip Hop’s past. Check his “Rock The Discotek” Mix series on Bandcamp or his brain-melting Unreleased Instrumentals Reconstructions and Remixes on his Youtube. A few months ago I stated of goal of obtaining everything he has recorded and that is one of my New Years Resolutions if I ever had one…
I know I'm missing some artists/projects that should be on the list, if there is something you think I should hear, based on my taste above, let me know!