Why (Still) So Serious?

Following on from my previous exploration of some of Aesop Rock’s wonderfully varied choices of subject matter, and the subsequent comments and albums that have offered up even more material, I have decided to delve once more into one of the more intriguing back catalogues in hip hop. Last time my picks included doomed fantasy romances and canine-led rescue attempts, while this time round topics range from forced vegetable consumption to the ever-looming spectre of back pain.

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Off World Vehicle (Stream)

If you’re a regular visitor to the blog then you might have seen a video from Lunar C and Hashfinger make an appearance last month. The track was the first offering from their newly formed duo, Off World Vehicle, which comes off the back of years worth of sporadic collaborations. Those collaborations have proved to be some of Lunar’s strongest work to date, including their 2020 joint effort, Pink Lagoon. Off World Vehicle takes things a step further though and establishes them as a bona fide duo, with their titular debut EP seeing its release last week. Seven tracks in total, all forged in the best of what both artists have to offer in their respective areas of expertise. You can check out a YouTube playlist of the EP below, while streams are also available on the usual platforms.

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Lt Headtrip: Steinway (Stream)

This week we were treated to the release of the new album from Lt Headtrip, following on from a couple of very enticing singles. Steinway serves as an ode to Headtrip’s home, studio and general safehouse for the orbiting artists that have played a part in WATKK’s story to date. Many of those same artists make up the guestlist on the album, with features from the likes of Googie, Duncecap, Samurai Banana and Gruff Lion. I’m not sure if this is the last we’ll hear from the label this year, but if it is then it’s a fitting finale for an exceptionally strong 12 months. Steinway is available to stream below, while downloads are available via Bandcamp.

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Fatboi Sharif x noface: The Hybrid

Another visual glimpse inside the minds of Fatboi Sharif and noface, as they unveil the latest video from Preaching in Havana. The Hybrid once again pairs Sharif’s warped flows – complete with a suitably disturbing bunny mask – and noface’s slightly unnerving production – driven by frantic piano keys – to create a further minute of sonic intrigue. Preaching in Havana is out now via PTP.

miles cooke: Oprah

I’m still playing catch up with some of the year’s releases, including this track from miles cooke, which came out at the start of last month. As if the song itself wasn’t enough to make me a fan, the video features miles walking the streets carrying a houseplant, thus combining two of my favourite things – walking and plants. Oprah is lifted from the album, i used to feel things, which is out now and signifies another win for the WATKK gang.

MIKE, Wiki & The Alchemist: One More

From the East Coast to the West Coast here, as we are blessed us with some much welcome new MIKE material. One More sees the NY-based rapper joining forces with fellow local talent, Wiki, as the pair get to work over some exultant production from Alchemist. The track is one of a trio of songs the three artists have released in conjunction with Tommy Hilfiger and Patta as part of their new campaign. The video for One More is available to watch above, while streams and downloads are up at all the usual platforms. The other two singles can be found here.

Lt Headtrip ft. Googie: Out My Damn Mind

More music from the Karma Kids camp, as Lt Headtrip readies the troops for a new self-produced album. Enlisting the help of Googie on the first single, Out My Damn Mind, the resulting track is a heady blend of vocals from two equally imposing flows. The rest of the album is set to feature a bumper cast of support from the likes of Samurai Banana, Duncecap and Gruff Lion. It’s due out on 29 November, with pre-orders available now via WATKK.

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SHIRT: I Turned Myself Into Myself (Stream)

Very happy to see the new album from SHIRT materialise today. In the wake of the preceding singles, I Turned Myself Into Myself continues to reach the same heights and provides SHIRT with a commanding Mello Music debut. Honesty in abundance, with the perfect accompaniment from Jack Splash’s production, the album is another important release in a year already brimming over with essential rap records. Listen for yourself below, then head to Bandcamp to secure a digital or physical copy.

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Dabbla x alllone: Bad Tuesday (Stream)

After a particularly strong introduction to the Potent Funk roster, Austrian production team, alllone, return to the fore with their full debut, Bad Tuesday. The EP features five tracks that veer into the more alternative areas of rap, with Dabbla’s meticulous flows helping to keep the vibe alive, as well as a very welcome injection from Illaman on Mountain Goat. You can check out the full EP below, with downloads available direct from Potent Funk.

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Guilty Simpson: Easy

Following on from my first post of the week and sticking with the theme of consistency, a new Guilty Simpson project is looming on the horizon. This latest caper will see the Detroit veteran team up with Uncommon Nasa, who is behind the beats on the whole album, with the two of them dropping this first little sample of their goods last week. No release date or further details on the album as yet, but stay tuned.

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