1: Blu & Nottz Titans In The Flesh 12" with ten tracks (Coalmine)
2: A$AP Ferg Always Strive & Prosper LP (RCA)
3: Analog Brothers Pimp To Eat LP reissue (Mello Music Group)
4: Bahamadia Kollage LP (Capitol)
5: Damu The Fudgemonk Untitled V1 7" (Redefinition/Fat Beats)
Future Pick: Atmosphere Fishing Blues LP (Rhymesayers Ent.) release date 8/12/16 but pre-order now
It's mid-summer 2016 and hip-hop is in full on creative mode with a slew of new releases including the top five vinyl releases (LP, 12" and 7") above that include such new releases as Blu & Nottz and reissues such as the 1996 Bahamadia repress of Kollage, and the Analog Brothers (feat. alter egos of Kool Keith and Ice-T). There are also some incredibly innovative new hip-hop music videos out there these days such as the top five that follow below. And right now all over the US there's a rich variety of hip-hop shows and tours to choose from. For example in the Bay Area in the week ahead coming through town will be EPMD at Public Works on Thursday as part of their Strictly Business 30 Year Anniversary Tour in which they'll perform that 1988 album (28 year anniversary?) in full as well as dipping into their treasure trove of golden era hits from other albums including Unfinished Business. Associated with the latter part of that same throwback era, and on that same night but across the Bridge over in Oakland will be The Artifacts and Ed O.G. Unlike EPMD however they'll be playing newer as well as older material. With San Francisco emcee supertalent Z-Man as well as Karen Less, Mike Fish & The Monolyth, Unlearn The World, and Bottled Water also on the bill, the show takes place at Shadow Ultra Lounge/Level 13 located at 341 13th street Oakland, CA. 9pm 21+ $12 at door. Meanwhile for a taste of some of hip-hop's modern progressive sounds that, at times embrace alt rock, I recommend the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on Saturday (July 23) with Yoni & Geti. Yoni & Geti is the duo comprised of brilliant Chicago emcee Serengeti and WHY? frontman Yoni Wolf who he's been down with a good few years. Wolf co-produced Serengeti's Family & Friends album for Anticon in 2011. In May of this year the two released their collaborative album Testarossa on Joyful Noise (also avail on vinyl). This current US tour, which will end a week later (July 30th) in Denver, CO at the Larimer Lounge, is in support of that new album.