2016 got off to a great start and the onslaught of fantastic releases hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Here I’ll be looking at all of the releases from April-June 2016 (and a few that I’d missed from the months prior) that I think are worth checking out.
I know this round up is ridiculously late, it was nearly finished in July but then I moved house and our internet provider took over a month to get everything sorted. There were too many releases that deserve to be mentioned so I felt I still had to put this article up.
As always I’ve listed the albums with a short description, a link to buy/download and a link to listen on YouTube where possible.
You can listen to all the tracks on a YouTube playlist here.
3rd Eye Magic – Abracadabra
Charles Hamilton temporarily puts down the mic and gets behind the boards to produce a mixtape for MC C.Young. I really enjoy Hamilton’s beats here, they’re soulful but lo fi and rugged while C.Young has an entertaining style with some clever lyrics.
6Blocc – Deadly Dubs 4
Seriously heavy dub / jungle / footwork madness from a masterful producer.
600breezy – Breezo George Gervin (Iceman Edition)
Pure trap music with some great bangers.
9th Wonder – Zion
Super producer 9th Wonder continues to bring the soul with this beat tape.
A.CHAL – Welcome To GAZI
Moody, electronic hip-hop with strong trap and R&B influences.
AD & Sorry Jaynari – By The Way
West Coast gangsta that really slaps.
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
The golden child of backpack rap brings his super lyrical style to great effect.
Alex Wiley – Tangerine Dream
I haven’t been a massive of Alex Wiley previously but I was very impressed with this release. He has a great flow that switches from rapid fire to smooth and uplifting.
Aloe Blacc & Rhettmatic – Blaccmatic
We all know Aloe Blacc now for his fantastic singing voice and catchy soul songs but it seems he had this little gem hidden away the whole time. Recorded around 2004 with producer / DJ Rhettmetic, Aloe Blacc shows his versatility as he raps and sings over some great soulful, funky beats.
Antwon – Double Ecstasy
It’s hard to know what you’re going to get with a new Antwon release but it’s always a treat. On this EP he creates this twisted, down beat, club infused sound with unsettling synth sounds and bumping percussion.
Apathy – Handshakes With Snakes
Underground hip-hop with thoughtful lyrics and boom bap beats.
A$AP Ferg – Always Strive And Prosper
A$AP Mob’s second biggest player take his music in a different direction with his second album. Ferg seems to be going for a more accessible sound on this release, losing a lot of the darkness of his first album and bringing more party vibes. I’m not enjoying this as much as ‘Trap Lord’ but there are some superb bangers in here.
Audio Push – The Stone Junction
Audio Push have been one of the most exciting young acts in hip-hop over the last couple of years and they proceed to improve on this EP. The vibe here is a lot heavier than their work from last year but it really suits them. The duo sound extremely hungry over these dark, bass heavy beats.
AyOh – III EP
This is the second beat tape I’ve heard from this guy and I’m loving it. Dreamy, soulful instrumentals with more complexities than many other producers on the scene.
Azizi Gibson – A New Life
Spaced out and macabre trap infused hip-hop.
BADBADNOTGOOD – IV
Young jazz fusion band who strike a spot on balance between accomplished musicianship and funky grooves.
Bankroll Mafia – Bankroll Mafia
Atlanta super crew mixtape featuring T.I., Young Thug, Shad Da God, Peewee Longway and MPA Duke. A sublime example of the current Atlanta scene with plenty of high energy tunes.
Beatking – Club God 5
Trap mixtape with some top notch beats.
Birdman & Jacquees – Lost At Sea
Rich Gang members with a nice EP of smooth, bass heavy tap.
Bishop Nehru – Magic 19
Bishop Nehru takes a step away from the boom bap beats he usually raps on and rides some interesting trap style beats.
Black Milk & Nat Turner – The Rebellion Sessions
Producer / rapper extraordinaire Black Milk teams up with Nat Turner to create a pleasing instrumental album of raw funk and jazz vibes.
Blended Babies – 6
Gritty blend of hip-hop, funk and rock.
Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
Spaced out and retro elctro soul.
Blueprint – Vigilante Genesis
Underground MC Blueprint puts fellow back packer veteran Aesop Rock behind the boards to produce this solid EP. The two work together excellently delivering eloquent raps and dark instrumentals.
Bodega BAMZ – All Eyez Off Me
Grimey New York style hip-hop.
Bones – Useless
Genre defying rapper Bones continues to progress with another inspired mixtape. The usual melancholy trap and cloud rap vibes are here but there’s some real aggression present here as well that make this tape stand out.
Boosie Badazz – Bleek Mode (Thug In Peace Lil Bleek)
Solid trap mixtape.
Brockhampton – All American Trash
Young collective with a variety of styles spanning boom bap, trap and R&B.
BSN Posse – #UOAI EP
Frantic European footwork.
Bugzy Malone – Facing Time
UK MC Bugzy drops a great EP that’s equal parts grime and hip-hop.
Burberry Perry – Burberry Perry EP
Burberry Perry put in a lot of work on Lil Yachty’s catchy but very divisive mixtape Lil’ Boat. Now he’s stepping out with his own EP while keeping the same vibe going. A lot of people are hating this new movement in hip-hop but I’m loving it because this EP is pure fun, catchy autotune hooks, childlike riffs and crisp percussion.
C.Robin – Goofy Tunes
Booming 808 bass and warped auto tune vocals with a bit of a Sad Boys vibe going on.
Casey Veggies – Customized Greatly 4: The Return Of The Boy
Solid mixtape from young MC Casey Veggies. This guy is definitely showing some progression and the use of some interesting beats make this an enjoyable listen.
Chance The Rapper – Colouring Book
It’s been a long wait since Chance’s very popular second mixtape Acid Rap and although I don’t think Colouring Book is quite on the same level it’s still a fantastic collection of tracks. This tape oozes positivity and gets you hooked straight away with how infectious a lot of the songs are, the perfect soundtrack for summer.
Chevy Woods – The Freemix
Nice trap tape with some savage beats and killer flows.
Chiedu Oraka – Not Ya Average Spitting 1.5
My home town Hull, U.K. has never had the biggest or best hip-hop scene. There has been some talent but more often than not they’ve concentrated too much on emulating the U.S. style and taken a lot of influence from 90s hip-hop. This is why Chiedu Oraka is refreshing, his Hull accent comes through strong and he’s looking to the future with more complex flows and high energy. This mixtape is a good introduction to Oraka as he’s starting to truly refine his flow and proves this over some classic beats.
Chris Crack – Troll Till They Fold
Chicago MC affiliated with MC Tree and the soul trap movement delivers some hard bars over beautifully simple soul beats.
Chuck Inglish & Blended Babies – Ev Zepplin
Ex Cool Kids member Chuck Inglish teams up with producers Blended Babies on this lush release mixing classic West Coast hip-hop with psychedelic rock vibes.
Clipping – Wriggle
Noise rap group bringing more of their abrasive, wall of sound hip-hop.
Conway – 50 Round Drum
Grimey East Coast underground rap tape.
Curren$y – Bourbon Street Secrets (with Purps), Revolver (with Sledgren), The Legend Of Harvard Blue and Stoned On Ocean
Curren$y has been unstoppable this year putting out a constant stream of releases. He’s been working with a number of producers, all bringing their own vibe in to the mix while Curren$y keeps it smooth as always.
Download Bourbon Street Secrets For Free
Download The Legend Of Harvard Blue For Free
Download Stoned On Ocean For Free
D.I.T.C. – D.I.T.C. Studios
East Coast legends prove they’ve still got it on this sturdy boom bap album.
Dälek – Asphalt For Eden
Before the days of Death Grips and Clipping, before the term noise rap was even coined, there was Dälek. I remember hearing the group for the first time in 2007 and being mesmerised by the use of droning tones, the type I was more used to hearing in experimental rock music. The group went on a hiatus but are back and as good as ever with this storming barrage of intense instrumentals and vivid raps.
Dawn Richards – Infrared
Deep and intricate neo soul.
De La Soul – For Your Pain & Suffering
Hip-hop legends give us a little taster to tide us over until their long awaited album which was released in the last month.
Deante Hitchcock – GOOD
Hip-hop with electronic beats and some smooth flows.
Death Grips – Bottomless Pit
Hectic and aggressive experimental hip-hop.
Deniro Farrar – Mind Of A Gemini
Some time has passed since I’d heard anything from Deniro Farrar and it’s great to have a batch of fresh music from him. This release has a shift in vibes from his previous work and sounds sublime. Farrar raps with a confidence and wisdom that is unusual for someone as young as him and the new chilled out, jazzy beats that he’s using make for a superb set of tracks.
Desiigner – New English
The guy who got huge off one track finally gives us a taste of what else he has to offer. This release feels a bit incomplete but there are some very high energy tracks to get you hyped.
Die Antwoord – Suck On This
The bizarre South Africans return with a collection of tracks more listenable than their usual material. They’re still insane but there are a few bangers in here.
Doctor Flake – Six
Progressive and atmospheric instrumental hip-hop.
dom.o.b – 3 Years Late
A wonderful selection of jazz and soul beats are a great back drop for dom.o.b’s smooth flows. This guy deserves to get a lot more attention, I’ve heard a lot of unknown rappers on Bandcamp but dom.o.b has to be one of my favourites, his soothing raps put me straight in to a good mood.
Don Mykel – GOD Mykel The Last Martyr
Underground hip-hip featuring some hard beats and well-thought out raps.
Drake – Views
I’m sure most people know about this album by now, far from his strongest work but still has some decent commercial tunes.
The Egyptian Lover – 1983 – 1988
Stones Throw reissue a collection of classic tracks from the electro pioneer.
Elucid – Save Yourself
Lyrically dense and poetic underground hip-hop.
DJ Esco – Project E.T. (Esco Terrestrial)
This might as well be a Future mixtape as he’s featuring on the majority of the tracks. It’s more of the same from Future but this is far from a bad thing as I’m a big fan of his sound. I don’t think this is quite on the level of Monster or 56 Nights but it has enough bangers to put it on the same level as Evol and Purple Reign which were released earlier this year.
Ethereal – Look At Me
Ethereal of the Awful Records crew gives us an unsettling and macabre EP with lo fi beats and monotone, rambling flows.
Faces Of Def – Hustle Grind Hard
Solid boom bap release.
Famous Dex – Heartbreak Kid
Fat Jon – Tephlon Funk The Free Tape
Beautiful soul based instrumental hip-hop.
Fat Nick – When The Lean Runs Out
New age trap with off kilter beats.
Fat Trel – SDMG 2
Fifty Grand – Summoning Key
Eery, 808 laced instrumental hip-hop.
Fki 1st – First Time For Everything Pt. 1
Producer who’s worked with the likes of Ilovemakonnen and Post Malone drops his own EP of wonky R&B.
Flume – Skin
Electronica full of chunky synths and some stellar guest appearences.
Frank Nitt – Asphalt Runways
Detroit MC best known for his work with J Dilla brings the funk on his latest hip-hop release.
Freeway – Free Will
The name Freeway doesn’t come up anywhere near as much as it used to but he still has that intense, high energy flow.
DJ Fresh & Mistah FAB – The Tonite Show Pt.3
Another solid edition of ‘The Tonite Show’ with Bay Area MC Mistah FAB.
Frisco – System Killer
While Skepta has been making waves all over the world with ‘Konnichiwa’ his label mate Frisco dropped my favourite UK release of the year so far. I’m really loving the Swindle produced tracks on here, those funky beats mixed with Frisco’s grime bars is an amazing combination. The whole album is very consistent and feels a lot more coherent than many other grime releases that feel more like some tracks thrown together rather than proper albums.
Fusion – Rough Kutz & Abstractions, Brave New World, Summer Series V.2 and Pumped EP
Independent label putting out more quality footwork tunes.
The Game – Streets Of Compton
West Coast hip-hop.
Genius & Felipe – A Eastside Story
Gold Panda – Good Luck And Do Your Best
Beautiful electronica with an East Asian vibe. The slow progression and build up in these tracks makes them really stand out, just when you think the track has climaxed it takes it up another level.
Grafh – Pain Killers Reloaded
Hip-hop mixtape with some great beats and hard tracks.
Grand Puba – Black From The Future
Rap veteran of Brand Nubian fame returns with a strong collection of tracks. Puba has taken the best of his old style and updated it to make something that still sounds fresh.
Green Ova South – Kome Ryde With Us
Main Attrakionz MC Squadda B teams up with Pepperboy and Young God (from production team Black Sky Blue Death) to make an amazingly soulful and spacey album. The lush, mellow beats are the perfect back drop for the Squadda B and Pepperboy’s laid back vocals.
GxFR (Westside Gunn, Conway & Mach-Hommy) – Don’t Get Scared Now
Atmospheric EP packed with vivid raps telling stories of organised crime and druglords over some stripped back Wu-Tang-esque instrumentals.
Hak – June
Ex-member of Ratking with his first solo release. More synth lead and less hectic than his previous work the aforementioned group but still with some of that experimental vibe.
Havoc & The Alchemist – The Silent Partner
Prodigy’s album with Alchemist was one of my favourite releases of 2013 so I was really hyped to hear that Havov, the other half of Mobb Deep, was working on his own album with the expert producer. As expected this is a superb LP packed with luscious, cinematic beats and that trademark New York flow.
Homeboy Sandman – Kindness For Weakness
I’d put Homeboy Sandman in the top 10 MCs in the world right now. He has many different flows that he performs flawlessly over any beat he chooses, his lyrics range from profound to hilarious and he has a personality that shines through on any track. The beats on here are funky and soulful with some strange rhythms that let Homeboy show off his rapping ability.
Hoodrich Pablo Juan – Designer Drugz 2
Horseshoe Gang – Anti-Trap Music
Hardcore underground hip-hop. These guys have amazing flows and really bring it on these tracks.
Ill Bill – Septagram
Underground hip-hop veteran and former member of Non Phixion returns with what I think is his strongest release since “What’s Wrong With Bill?”.
Illa Ghee – Illa Matic
Mixtape from one of New York’s lesser known MCs. Illa Ghee has a heavy rap style and makes some classic East Coast hip-hop.
Ivy Sole – Eden
One of the freshest sounding albums of 2016 so far. Super smooth, soulful instrumentals backed with crisp percussion. Ivy Sole has a hypnotising delivery, her voice is so soothing, this LP is simply a joy to listen to.
J $tash – Hood Rich
Fun trap mixtape with some real bangers.
J Dilla – The Diary
A collection of solid tracks from the J Dilla vaults.
Jam Tidy – Jam Tidy EP
High energy band from Birmingham UK who fuse hip-hop, reggae, ska and gypsy music in to one fluid style. It sounds like a strange bunch of influences but it really works and makes for serious party music.
James Blake – The Colour In Anything
Ambient and melancholy album from an expert in electronic music.
Jeremiah Jetpack – Rip Wasabi
Colourful and fun hip-hop mixtape.
Jerreau – Never How You Plan
Fly Union member drops a strong mixtape featuring fantastic production. The melodic and bass heavy beats brought me to this release but Jerreau’s stellar raps kept me listening.
Jigmastas – Resurgence
Boom bap album.
Jim Jones – The Kitchen
New York gangsta rap.
Jody Breeze – No Promo
Joey Purp – iiiDrops
Deep and fluid hip-hop from the young Chicago MC.
John Robinson – Water The Plants EP
Instrumental boom bap EP.
J SOUL – Jane 2 Miami
Catchy trap R&B EP.
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J-Zone – Fish-N-Grits
J-Zone may be the most underrated artist in hip-hop and that is no exaggeration. This guy’s earlier releases were the soundtrack to much of my teenage years and it makes me so happy to have him back making music. Fish-N-Grits sees J-Zone evolve even further as his subject matter matures and he covers a variety of subjects from the modern rap scene to hipsters in New York. I’m loving the beats on this album, he has really perfected the live drums he’s started using and incorporated his signature complexity that made albums like “$ick Of Bein’ Rich” so superb.
K.A.A.N. – Uncommon Knowledge
This was the first I’ve heard from K.A.A.N. and I’m already hooked. His flow reminds me of guys like Fu Schnickens and Daz EFX, it’s fast as hell but fluid at the time and mixed with the chilled, jazzy beats this is a great EP.
Kaytranada – 99.9%
Colourful electronic music with a good cast of guest appearances.
Kevlaar 7 – A Beautiful Soul
Sturdy boom bap mixtape.
Key – Before I Scream
Atlanta trap rapper with an interesting edge.
Key Nyata – Dad Of The Year
Spaced out trap mixtape.
Khary – Intern Aquarium
New school boom bap album.
Killer Bee – Alone
Vibrant instrumental hip-hop.
King Harris – Nightmare On Wolff St
Dope hip-hop album delivers a variety of vibes, from trap style bangers to more soulful, mellow tunes.
The Kleenrz – Season Two
Underground MC Self Jupiter collaborates with forward thinking producer Kenny Segal. The raps are complex and at times verge on spoken word style while the beats are intricate but groovy. Featuring guest verses from the likes of Myka 9 and Busdriver, if you like those two you’ll love this album.
Kojaque – Sunday Roast
I don’t know of many Irish rappers and I know of even fewer who rap with a proper Irish accent. It’s a shame because Kojaque shows just how good that Irish voice sounds over moody boom bap beats.
Kokane – Kokane King Of G-Funk
G-Funk legend Kokane delivers are collection of catchy G-Funk tunes.
Kool A.D. – All Love and Kool A.D. Is Dead
Kool A.D. has really been pumping out a lot of music recently and he shows no signs of stopping. ‘All Love’ sees Kool A.D. trying out some auto tune over big trap beats. It’s ‘Kool A.D. Is Dead’ that really interests me though as there isn’t much rapping on here, instead we have psychedelic instrumentals and weird vocal tracks, I’d like to hear more of this style from the ex-member of Das Racist.
Kweku Collins – Nat Love
R&B / hip-hop blend with complex beats.
LA The Darkman – La Luminati
Lady Leshurr – Queen’s Speech EP
Grime MC Lady Leshurr has gone viral with music videos for her ‘Queen’s Speech’ series, this EP collects all of those catchy punchline filled tracks.
Larry June – Larry
Le$ – Techno Violet
Jet Life member with an interesting mixtape with really long, progressive tracks and influences varying from 80s electro pop to chilled out soul.
Lil Duke – Uber
Infectious trap mixtape from Young Thug affiliate.
Lil Uzi Vert – Lil Uzi vs The World
One of this year’s XXL Freshman with a solid mixtape of moody trap with some heavy beats.
Lil West – Indigo 2
Dark trap EP.
Lotto Savage – Don Slaughter
Lucki Eck$ – Son Of Sam
Chicago is home to some really exciting, boundary pushing hip-hop right now and Lucki Eck$ is a big part of that. ‘Son Of Sam’ is even darker and more drugged up than Lucki’s previous releases and I’m loving it.
Luu Breeze – Something In The Shade
Solid hip-hop mixtape with trap and R&B vibes.
Madeintyo – You Are Forgiven EP
Madeintyo came out of nowhere with his track ‘Uber Everywhere’ which gained a lot of popularity very quickly. This two part EP continues in the same vibe of fun, catchy trap tunes.
Mark Battles – Before The Deal
Indiana MC who often collaborates with Dizzy Wright drops a well rounded album with well thought out lyrics and a great collection of beats that fit the range of vibes.
Masta Ace – The Falling Season
Hip-hop legend and expert storyteller returns with another superb concept album. This time Ace relives his high school years while giving us some brilliant boom bap littered with cinematic skits that tie everything together.
Maxo Kream – The Persona Tape
Maxo got a lot of people talking last year when he dropped his ‘Maxo 187’ tape and although I liked it I thought the beats let him down a little bit. That is definitely not a problem here, the beats are heavy and full sounding, tracks like ‘Choppers’ and ‘Big Worm’ are so evil they’re almost scary. Maxo has improved on the mic too with some crazy flows that fit the nasty beats perfectly.
Mayer Hawthorne – Man About Town
Mayer Hawthorne brings us the summer vibes as he mixes funk, soul, R&B and even a little bit of reggae. You can’t help but smile when you listen to this album.
MED – Bang Ya Head 4
West Coast veteran delivers a sturdy hip-hop EP.
The Mekanix – Under The Hood
Classic Bay Area vibes.
Meyhem Lauren – Piatto D’Oro
Pure filthy New York hip-hop with features from Roc Marciano and Action Bronson.
Michael Christmas – Baggy Eyes EP
Michael Christmas got me intrigued with his album ‘What A Weird Day’ but I’m really loving this EP even more. The beats have my head nodding and Michael’s flow seems effortless but he goes hard at times to keep things interesting.
Miles Davis & Robert Glasper – Everything’s Beautiful
Jazz pianist re-works and samples some classic Miles Davis while a cast of excellent vocalists add their own melodies on this soundtrack to the biopic released earlier this year.
theMind – Summer Camp
Forward thinking R&B with interesting beats.
Mistah F.A.B. – Son Of A Pimp Pt. 2
Bay Area hip-hop album.
Montana Of 300 – Fire In The Church
Great trap mixtape with a stellar selection of beats.
Mr Lif – Don’t Look Down
Underground hip-hop leviathan Mr Lif has been on a bit of a hiatus in recent years but returned with everything we would want from him. This album is classic Lif but still sounds fresh and futuristic. It’s also great to have an Edan beat on the track ‘Whizdom’, it’s been years since I’ve heard new material from that guy and I’ve definitely missed him.
Neroche – Roadside Oddities
Eery instrumental hip-hop with sublime use of obscure percussion sounds.
Nessly – Still Finessin’
New wave trap mixtape with bass heavy beats and good use of auto tune.
Night Lovell – Red Teenage Melody
Melodic trap mixtape.
Noveliss – Mic Swordz
Clear Soul Forces member with an excellent boom bap EP.
Oddisee – The Odd Tape
Producer/rapper Oddisee drops an instrumental tape packed with intricate, jazzy beats.
OG Maco – 7FRVR and OG Maco 2 Episode 1 The Duke Of Summer
OG Maco isn’t quitting his constant stream of releases and although I don’t think he’s quite hit the heights of the OG Maco EP again, there are definitely a lot of great tracks here. I especially enjoy ‘The Duke Of Summer’ which has a raw vibe and some wonky beats.
Onry Ozzborn – Duo
Underground MC releases a fascinating album where he brings in a different guest on every track. The features on here are very varied, from Homeboy Sandman to Kimya Dawson, but there’s a dark atmosphere that ties it all together.
P Money – Thank You EP
One of my favourite grime MCs with a nice little free EP.
The Palmer Squares – Planet Of The Shapes
Vibrant hip-hop album from Chicago.
Paul Wall & Baby Bash – The Legalizers: Legalize or Die Vol.1
Stoned out Texas hip-hop.
Peewee Longway – Money, Pounds Ammunition 3
Planet Asia & DJ Concept – Seventy Nine
Mellow and soulful West Coast hip-hop
Planet Jane – Serial Experiments Jane
Spacey hip-hop beats with some unique drum patterns and solid guest vocals.
Polish Juke – Polish Juke Split Series Vol. 2
Heavy bass and chaotic drums in this EP from the Polish juke scene.
Pollari – Sonya and Hi, Kevin!
I’m really loving this new style of playful trap that Lil Yachty recently popularised and Pollari has been making some great music in a similar, but slightly more understated way. Pollari uses a lot of auto-tune effectively, creating catchy melodies without going too over the top. The beats are what make this music stand out, intricate and uplifting, these are great tunes to vibe too.
Pouya – Underground Underdog
Abrasive and hard hitting underground hip-hop.
Problem – Hotels 2 The Lobby & Hotels 2 The Master Suite
West Coast gangsta rap.
Progress – Back To Reality
Solid hip-hop mixtape with strong, fresh sounding production and high energy raps.
DJ Quik & Problem – Rosecrans EP
West Coast legend DJ Quik teams up with fellow California artist Problem for some superb West Coast gangsta rap.
Ralo & Young Scooter – Dream Team
Ransom – History Of Violence
New York gangsta rap featuring soulful beats and hard raps.
DJ Rashad – Afterlife
Compilation of unreleased collaborative tracks between the late DJ Rashad and other members of the Teklife crew.
Ras Kass – Refresher Course
West Coast veteran puts out a mixtape of previously released tracks that work as a great catch up for anyone wanting to get in to one of hip-hop’s underrated lyricists.
Reese LAFLARE – Before The Universe
Revivolution – Kotas ‘n’ Caviar
South African hip-hop with fantastic, unique sounding beats.
Rexx Life Raj – Father Figure
Rich The Kid – Rich Forever Music & Trap Talk
Rich The Kid drops a solid mixtape and a collection of trap bangers from the Rich Forever Music crew.
Riff Raff – Peach Panther
Fun, trap music that doesn’t take itself seriously.
River Tiber – Indigo
Spacey R&B vibes making use of some futuristic beats.
Rocko – Wordplay 2
Royce Da 5’9” – Trust The Shooter & Layers
An album for the hip-hop purist. Complex rhymes, accomplished flows and strong lyrics.
Sathia Sai Baba – The Misadventures Of A Druggy
Very short but good EP of trippy hip-hop.
Sauce Walka – Holy Sauce
High energy trap mixtape.
SBTRKT – Save Yourself
Scotty ATL – Home Sick
Shad Da God – Free The Goat
DJ Shadow – The Mountain Will Fall
The legendary DJ Shadow gets dark and complex on this synth heavy album.
ShaqIsDope – Black Frames
Gloomy and understated beats that compliment the excellent raps from ShaqIsDope.
Sir Michael Rocks – Part 2
Sir Michael Rocks continues to progress, dropping unique and charismatic flows over some funky, futuristic beats.
Skepta – Konnichiwa
The biggest name in grime since Dizzee Rascal drops his long awaited album. Plenty of classic grime tunes on here but also the sound of Skepta moving in to other styles of rap.
Skippa Da Flippa – I’m Havin’ 2
Skizzy Mars – Alone Together
Smoke DZA – Ringside 4 and George Kush Da Button (Don’t Pass Trump The Blunt)
Smoke DZA is putting out a lot of high quality music this year. ‘George Kush Da Button (Don’t Pass Trump The Blunt)’ is almost definitely the best mixtape name of the year and is particularly good musically too, packed full of fresh sounding, uncut boom bap.
Snak The Ripper – From The Dirt
Heavy underground rap from Vancouver.
Snoop Dogg – Coolaid
Hip-hop legend taking it back to his roots with some brilliant G-Funk vibes.
Soulja Boy – Better Late Than Never
Spark Master Tape – Silhouette Of A Sunkken City
Pitched down vocals and progressive beats with trap vibes.
Spliff – 989
Suff Daddy – Birdsongs
Soulful and jazzy instrumental hip-hop.
Sylvan LaCue – Far From Familiar
MC formerly known as QuESt drops a well rounded album with dramatic beats and solid vocals that switch between rapping and singing.
Taso – Cold Heat Vol. 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8
Latest releases in the Cold Heat series from Teklife footwork producer Taso.
Tate Kobang – Since We’re Here
Young rapper signed to 300 with a decent trap mixtape.
TEAMSESH – youarealltoblame
Bones and his crew give us a large collection of tracks to show us what they’re all capable of. Many of the tracks on this are instrumentals with deep bass and gloomy riffs, interesting enough to carry themselves without the need for vocals.
Tellem Hawk – What A Rush!!!
Combining footwork and jungle for a frantic but catchy set of tunes.
Terrace Martin – Velvet Portraits
Producer Terrace Martin has worked with some big names including Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes. Here he gives us some amazing funk, soul and jazz vibes.
Tim Gent – Rumor Has It
Tim Gent has been increasingly impressive the last couple of years with his smooth style and impeccable beat selection. Following on from the fantastic ‘For The Love EP’ released earlier this year the Tennessee rapper joins with producer RMUR for a soulful and bass heavy collection of tracks.
Trae Tha Truth – Another 48 Hours
Texas hip-hop mixtape.
Trapo – She
Floaty grooves from this funky MC.
Trouble – Skoobzilla
Serious trap mixtape packed with heavy beats and hard raps.
Truck North – Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
Boom bap mixtape to get your head nodding.
True Masterz & Da Shogunz – Rap Buddhaz
90s vibes a plenty from this Dutch boom bap crew,
Tunji Ige – Missed Calls
Synth driven, plodding beats make the perfect accompaniment for Tunji’s melodic vocals and meandering flows.
Ty Money – Cinco De Money 2
Ugly Heroes – Everything In Between
MCs Verbal Kent and Red Pill team up with producer Apollo Brown once again for some heavy boom bap. Well-thought out raps and great story telling are matched by Brown’s signature knock out soul beats.
The Underachievers – It Happened In Flatbush
The Underachievers get angry and intense on this mixtape and I’m digging it. I’ve always enjoyed these guys but thought they needed to pick up the energy a bit and they’ve definitely done that on these tracks.
Various Artists – Smoke Till I’m Dead
Treejay and DJ Clockwork drop another smoked out mixtape for 420 featuring Mac Miller and Dave East amongst other lesser known MCs.
Various Artists – JUKEしようや Barren Illusion ~ Remember Hiroki Yamamura ~ Vol.1
Japanese musicians do footwork and juke very well, it’s a frantic, futuristic genre and these guys know exactly how to make the best of it. Give this a listen to get a feel for what these producers have to offer then go and discover more.
Verbal Kent & !llMind – Weight Of Your World
MC Verbal Kent collaborates with producer !llMind for a nice, free boom bap EP.
Vic Mensa – There’s A Lot Going On
Young Chicago MC is hungry on this EP with vivid lyrics and dark, electronic beats.
Vybz Kartel – King Of The Dancehall
Dancehall legend Vybz Kartel doing a Gucci Mane and dropping more heat from behind bars.
Watercolor Werewolf – AM Nights & LA Fear
Funky, lo-fi electro beats.
Wifisfuneral – Black Heart Revenge
New age trap with boom bap vibes coming in at times.
YC The Cynic – The Farewell Tape
A compilation of previously released tracks to mark the event of YC changing his name to Kemba.
YG – Still Brazy
The best West Coast gangsta album of recent years. Chunky, synth heavy beats and strong lyrics make this a must hear for any fans of that Compton sound.
Yoni & Geti – Testarossa
Experimental rapper Serengeti teams up with WHY?’s Yoni Wolf to bring us a dazzling album that drifts between hip-hop and acoustic indie rock.
Young Chop – King Chop
Young Dolph – Bosses & Shooters
Young Roc – 717
Short mixtape with some great stripped back soulful trap beats.
Young Scooter – Street Lottery 3
4 thoughts on “Mook Life Music Round Up: Quarter 2 2016”
I really appreciate your hard work here. As someone who claims they follow hip-hop, I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t heard over half of these releases. Thanks man.
I’m glad you enjoy it. I put an unnatural amount of effort in to finding new stuff so don’t be ashamed. It makes it worth the effort to know people appreciate it.
This is great work. A suggestion if you don’t mind would be maybe highlighting the must-listens, unfortunately it’s hard to find the time to get through all of them!
Will you be doing any more lists for 2016? I look forward to them
I’m glad you liked it, makes all the work I put in feel worthwhile. I’ve thought about it but I feel like some people might disagree with my taste and it could put them off, I try to be as factual as I can. I’ll give it a go with my first one in 2017, see how it goes.
Yes, I have one coming out mid December which will cover July-November, it’s a pretty huge list so far. I’ll also have a top 40 of the year coming in January so that will give you a good selection of the best from all the round up articles of this year.