phiik & Lungs: Don Quixote + LP Stream

A fresh cut from one of my newly appointed favourite crews, as phiik and Lungs reunite for Another Planet 4. To get us in the mood for the album’s arrival, last week saw the release of a video for Don Quixote, which features production from LoneSword and visuals from Duncecap. Elsewhere on AP4 we’re treated to guest spots from Fatboi Sharif, Wavy Bagels and AKAI SOLO, as well as 17 tracks worth of precision raps from phiik and Lungs. Another Planet 4 is out now via Break All Records.

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Slim’s Pickings 2022 Pt. 1

For those of you unaware, I recently published a list of my top 10 favourite hip hop and RnB albums in The Wire Magazine, as part of their end of year review issue. It was a tough list to compile because 2022 contained a multitude of stellar releases, many of which deserved further praise.
Guilt quickly set in after I’d submitted the list to my editor, not because I felt like I’d made a mistake with any of my choices, but because I wish I had been given the time and space to write about the bevy of other favourites that had been in rotation over the last 12 months. So now I’m going to attempt to summarise those remaining projects and give them the shine they deserve. But first my original list and the accompanying blurb, for those of you who missed it the first time round. I should also mention that I fucked up with the Little Simz pick. I had it in my head that SIMBI came out in early 2022, but in fact it was late 2021. I blame my own sketchy-at-best memory and the fact that her MOBO win came so late in the year. Anyway…

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AKAI SOLO: Demonslayer + LP Stream

Backwoodz Studioz promised us a bountiful year at the start of 2022 and that’s exactly what they have delivered, culminating (possibly?) with the release of AKAI SOLO’s debut album on the label. SOLO has been steadily building a reputation as one of the foremost artists of the era, thanks to a string of solo records and collaborations that have emerged over the last few years.
His latest, Spirit Roaming, is the direct evolution of that ascent as he officially joins the ranks of a label that perfectly matches his own trajectory. There are many familiar names among the production credits, with August Fanon, Roper Williams, Theravada and Messiah Musik among the sonic craftsmen who have all lent their skills to the record, helping to create what is arguably the Brooklyn MC’s strongest work to date.
The first video from the album was released in conjunction with the main drop and features production from regular collaborator, iblss, who has been behind a few of my favourite beats over the span of SOLO’s career. You can check the video out above, with a preview of the full album available below. Check out Bandcamp to fulfil your digital and physical wish list.

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phiik x duro: Chainlink (Stream)

New music to savour from phiik, thanks to a fresh collaboration with Duro which landed today. Plenty of intricate rhymes to wade through, all delivered with a precision flow that manages to pack a punch into every bar without ever sounding overdone. Duro’s production is as equally compelling throughout, creating the perfect balance for phiik’s energy on the mic. Decent features too, thanks to verses from AKAI SOLO, Obijuan and Lungs. The EP is available to sample below, with downloads found over on Bandcamp.

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AKAI SOLO: Body Feeling (Stream)

As we wait patiently for the arrival of the new album from AKAI SOLO, the Brooklyn MC has blessed us with this vitalising amuse bouche in the interim. Body Feeling emerged last week and offers up six tracks from one of my favourite voices currently circulating on the NY rap scene and beyond. The EP features production from some familiar names, including Child Actor, Nicholas Craven and Preservation. You can peruse the project for yourself below, then hit up Bandcamp for downloads and full credits. The full album is due for release on Backwoodz Studioz later this year.

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AKAI SOLO: Color of Conquerors

I’ve been a bit slower of late with highlighting artists you should be checking for, and AKAI SOLO is definitely not the newest kid on the block, but he is someone you should all be listening to right now. His latest video, for the track Color of Conquerors, is pretty much all you need to hear for that statement to be true, with further inspection of the album it’s lifted from being the evidence that solidifies the claim. He’s part of the sprawling network of NY rappers who have been edging closer and closer to each other over the last few years, as documented in Okayplayer’s recent piece, which features an interview with AKAI SOLO, in which he provides more insight into the burgeoning scene in the city. Colors of Conquerors is produced by iblss and is taken from Ride Alone, Fly Together.

Amani & King Vision Ultra: An Unknown Infinite (Stream)

Given how much music I post on here, you would be surprised to know how much of the stuff I listen to doesn’t actually make it on here. No reasons other than my own failure to post them, but I’m going to try to rectify that, as some of these projects make for essential listening. Take this latest from King Vision Ultra, as we find him teaming up with Amani, to bring us An Unknown Infinite. It’s the latest release from the forever valuable, PTP outfit (fka Purple Tape Pedigree), and it maintains the same levels of quality control as its predecessors, adding another jewel to the PTP crown. King Vision is the main producer, along with strong contributions from Ahwlee, Nick Hakim and D00F. There are also some excellent features from ELUCID – who lends his inimitable tone to Scrapes (a personal high point) – maassai, AKAI SOLO and Suede Jury. Listen for yourself below and then head to Bandcamp to cop a VERY limited edition cassette. Continue reading “Amani & King Vision Ultra: An Unknown Infinite (Stream)”