Armand Hammer ft. KeiyaA: Charms

I’ve been a bit slack with the blog recently, so much so that I totally missed this video from the new Armand Hammer album, which arrived at the start of the month. As with the RTJ album that dropped in the same week, Shrines is arguably the duo’s best work to date, as you will hear on the lead single, Charms. It features some soothing vocal work from KeiyaA on the hook and a blissfully superb beat from Child Actor; one of many gems in yet another crown for woods and ELUCID. Shrines is out now on Backwoodz Studioz.

Blockhead: Free Sweatpants (Stream)

Blockhead has been a favourite producer of mine ever since I first heard his work with Aesop Rock on Labor Days. Over the years he has maintained a steady stream of solid solo releases – Music by Cavelight and Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book, being two personal favourites – as well as some excellent production credits for some equally excellent rappers. The one thing I have always wanted to hear from him though was a production album, featuring loads of good MCs rapping their asses off, which is exactly what the New York producer delivered today.
Following on from last year’s Funeral Balloons – his debut release on his new label home, Backwoodz Studioz – Free Sweatpants merges quintessential Blockhead instrumentals, with plenty of strong features from a whole host of talented writers. As if it’s not enough having Tree, Hemlock Ernst, Aesop Rock, Armand Hammer, Homeboy Sandman, Vic Spencer and Marq Spekt involved, Blockhead kicks off the album with a track featuring Open Mike Eagle, billy woods AND Breeze Brewin. The result is as good as you would hope for and more. I spent years waiting for this album to happen and I am happy to be able to say it has surpassed all my expectations. Free Sweatpants is available to stream in full below and you find downloads over on Bandcamp. Continue reading “Blockhead: Free Sweatpants (Stream)”

Armand Hammer: Paraffin (Short Film)

A short but alluring film was gifted to us over Christmas, with a focus on one of 2019’s strongest releases – Paraffin by Armand Hammer. ELUCID and billy woods scored another critical success with their fourth release, rightly finding themselves in amongst the multiple end of year lists and best of categories that surfaced recently. This film, made by someone known only as Joseph, features a heady brew of live excerpts and behind the scenes footage, spliced with some almost Lynchian cut scenes. It’s basically the ideal accompaniment for the album. Paraffin is out now on Backwoodz Studioz.

Zilla Rocca: Future Former Rapper (Stream)

Good to see the long-awaited solo album from Zilla Rocca has finally been given life. Future Former Rapper is the culmination of a career which spans 13 years, all of them as a totally independent artist – which is no mean feat given how many fellow independents have been swallowed up or broken beyond repair during that same period.
The album is the perfect showcase for the talents that have kept Zilla afloat through those years and finds him accompanied by some of the artists that he has been associated with during that same time frame.
Guest spots are held by the likes of Armand Hammer, Serengeti and fellow Wrecking Crew representative, Curly Castro, as well as a bunch of high-end production credits from Steel Tipped Dove, Messiah Musik, Disco Vietnam and Small Pro. Future Former Rapper is ready to stream below, with downloads available via Bandcamp. Continue reading “Zilla Rocca: Future Former Rapper (Stream)”

Zilla Rocca ft. Armand Hammer: Favors Are Bad News

Pleased to see the arrival of the lead single from Zilla Rocca’s long-awaited Future Former Rapper album. For Favors Are Bad News, the Philly artist has drafted in Armand Hammer aka billy woods and ELUCID, who are riding high off their recently released and rightfully acclaimed Paraffin project. This is Zilla’s debut on POW Recordings, the label attached to Passion of the Weiss, where Zilla is a regular contributor. Favors Are Bad News is produced by Disco Vietnam and you can listen to it below. Stay tuned for more news on the album coming soon. Continue reading “Zilla Rocca ft. Armand Hammer: Favors Are Bad News”

Armand Hammer: Paraffin (Stream)

At long last the latest album from Armand Hammer is now available for your streaming pleasure. Originally released by Backwoodz Studioz on a limited vinyl only run, last week saw its arrival in digital form. The pairing of billy woods and ELUCID is always a cause for celebration, with Paraffin continuing in the same vein as its predecessors, delivering an album brimming over with lyricism that will leave you still finding gems on your umpteenth listen. The production boasts some great names, with Messiah Musik, Ohbliv, August Fanon, Willie Green, Kenny Segal and ELUCID himself all providing suitable backdrops for the tracks to unfold on. There is also a lone, yet particularly strong feature from Sketch185. Paraffin is available to stream below, with downloads available via Bandcamp. Continue reading “Armand Hammer: Paraffin (Stream)”

Armand Hammer: Vindaloo

Armand Hammer were responsible for one of last year’s greatest releases and now they look set to continue the run with a brand new project. Paraffin was announced by Backwoodz Studioz this week, with a vinyl release scheduled for 10 July. Vindaloo, the lead single, was unveiled yesterday and features production from Messiah Musik. Production on the full project comes from various names, including Small Pro, August Fanon and Ohbliv. You can stream the track below and pre-orders for the vinyl are available now. Continue reading “Armand Hammer: Vindaloo”

Armand Hammer: Barbarians / Overseas

A fresh double header from Armand Hammer, as they release a dual video for two tracks from last year’s highly acclaimed Rome album. Barbarians and Overseas contain some of my favourite bars from the year (“New Testament God seeming like a no-show/Cross lowered from an icon to just a logo” anyone?), never mind from the album itself, which is why it’s been good to see the new video being championed by the likes of Earl Sweatshirt, who proclaimed on Twitter that he was spinning it back for a fifth time. The tracks were produced by JPEGMAFIA and August Fanon respectively, and the video was made by Joseph. Rome is out now via Backwoodz Studioz.