Hip Hop

Kindness For Weakness (CD)

With his third album on Stones Throw, Homeboy Sandman makes b-boy needle scratches, ancient funky rhythms, loops and drum breaks feel wackier and more fun than what a major label artist can do with a dozen producers and a million-dollar studio. Kindness for Weakness is a direct reference to his mantra "mistaking kindness for weakness is a weakness I need to have more kindness for" and just gives you an idea of the personal depth of his album. Directly addressing the stereotypes expected from MCs, societal insecurities, religion and injustices in the world, Homeboy Sandman is particularly scathing in a 2016 in which everything around you feels like it's crumbling. While tracks like "God" and "Eyes" are darker and more direct about his politics and emotions, the real album highlight might be the single "Talking (Bleep)" with it's '50s sci-fi beat and a classic flow that just cuts so cleanly, jumping from topic to topic so that it barely giving you enough time to breathe. Culling from the elite team of Stones Throw producers like Jonwayne, RJD2 and Edan, the album drips with library-sound weirdness and mysterious P-funk that sounds like it was delivered straight from outer space to be blasted directly into your ears.

Read more
The Impossible Kid (CD)

Indie-rapper Aesop Rock opens up about his personal life, going deep on topics like depression, family, and the turbulent years that led him to leave San Francisco to live in a barn out in the woods, where he recorded the foundations of this album.

Read more
1983-1988 (CD)

He of relentless hi-hats, campy Egyptian lore and robot voices comes at us in this non-stop party of a compilation. “EGYPT IS THE PLACE TO BE!!” Yes! “PYRAMIDS ARE OH SO SHINY!” If you say so! Who cares? We’re listening to king of the 808 Egyptian Lover and our sarcophaguses won’t stop shaking. Freaky Afroretrofuturistic electro jams from one of hip hop’s originators that rock from the tomb to the outer limits.

Read more
PeteStrumentals 2 (CD)
Everything you’d expect from a Pete Rock album. Instant classic. Read more
Link Up & Suede [EP] (CD)

Singer Anderson .Paak partners with producer Knxledge for this delicious EP that takes vintage soul samples, chews them up and spits out recombinant future-leaning R&B. Don’t sleep on Anderson .Paak’s excellent Malibu either!

Read more
Time? Astonishing! (CD)
L'Orange & Kool Keith set out to make something absurd, yet traditional. The album is a loose tale of a time traveler who moves forward through time, settling in the future and living as he would normally. The album seems to imply that adventure is only a step away, but never seems to reach that point. Read more
Detroit's Son (CD)
Personally my favorite hip hop album this year. Every single person that I’ve played this for freaks out and buys it immediately. You should do the same. I’m a sucker for a gritty baritone. Throw some tense yet hypnotic beats in and I’m good for days. This is a no brainier. Read more
The Doc 2 / 2.5 [Collector's Edition] (CD)

With Dr. Dre back at the production helm and Game sounding more energized than he has in years, The Documentary 2 indeed lives up to the first volume, which was a West Coast rap classic. With killer guest spots from Drake and Kendrick Lamar, Game sails on some throwback vibes while rapping circles around his young followers.

Read more
The Chronic [Remastered] (CD)

Before he was more often known as a producer, Dr. Dre unleashed this gangsta rap classic. 1992’s The Chronic solidified Dre’s position in the public spotlight. His raps about sex, drugs, violence, and the politics of South Central Los Angeles are unforgetable, but it’s the melding of hip-hop, jazz, funk, and soul that makes this album a classic.

Read more
Aa (CD)

Baauer’s long awaited debut album sets out to change contemporary American dance music. Aa is a record that could only be made by a kid born in New York inspired by rap and dance music culture, traveling the globe sampling and processing found sounds.

Read more