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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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.

ELUCID: Spellling + LP Stream

Having teased us with the promise of another 12 month bounty of stellar projects at the start of the year, Backwoodz continue to keep to their word with the release of the latest album from ELUCID. I Told Bessie landed last week and helped to further carve out ELUCID’s niche as one of the most captivating artists of a generation. Wielding his voice as a weapon, the Armand Hammer MC wades through production picks from the likes of Child Actor, Sebb Bash, August Fanon, The Lasso and The Alchemist. There is also a strong supporting cast of vocalists, including billy woods, Quelle Chris and Pink Siifu. You can watch the video for the lead single, Spellling, above and then head to Bandcamp to grab a copy of the full album.

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Armand Hammer & The Alchemist: Robert Moses / God’s Feet

Two for one from Armand Hammer and The Alchemist, as they round off another successful year with a double drop of videos. Robert Moses and God’s Feet are both taken from the trio’s universally acclaimed album, Haram, and the films were directed by regular collaborator, Joseph. Keep an eye out for a split second of Bristol footage in the Robert Moses video. Haram is out now via Backwoodz Studioz.

The Alchemist ft. MIKE: Lossless + EP News

Last week The Alchemist continued the successes of his This Thing of Ours EP, with a follow up project that formed the second part of the series. The latest EP carries on the tradition of uplifting the voices of the moment, thanks to some superb features from Bruiser Brigade, Zelooperz, Mavi, MIKE and Vince Staples. There is also a new video for the MIKE track, Lossless, which you can watch above. The remainder of the EP can be heard at all your favourite spots.

The Alchemist ft. Mavi: Miracle Baby

The Alchemist looks set to continue the joys of This Things of Ours Vol. 1, with the second instalment from the series. According to Alc, while the first release was set in the daytime, this new EP will be a distinctly nighttime sound, as demonstrated on the first single. On Miracle Baby, the producer has drafted in Mavi, who delivers a particularly engrossing feature, setting the scene for the rest of the EP. This Thing of Ours Vol. 2 is due for release on 8 October.

Armand Hammer & The Alchemist ft. KAYANA: Black Sunlight (Video)

Another glorious video from Armand Hammer and The Alchemist, this time for the KAYANA assisted track, Black Sunlight. The video continues the psychedelic animation vibes of Stonefruit and features, in no particular order or preference, woods as an astronaut, Alchemist as a airline pilot and ELUCID looking very happy in a monster truck. The drawings and animation were created by Shane Ingersoll. Haram is out now on Backwoodz Studioz.