Hip Hop

Clouds (The Mixtape) (CD)

Rapper NF follows up October 2020's emotional single "CHASING_(DEMO)" with CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE), featuring guest turns from Hopsin and Tech N9ne. The slow-building title track's lyrics reflect a highly relatable frustration with the pandemic: "Hanging onto songs this long is daunting...You doing all right? / Your year really sucked / Yeah that's what I figured." Wryly introspective, rapid-fire lyrics - deliberately void of expletives - are accompanied here by restrained beats and dramatic pulses of synths or strings. CLOUDS is a strong set of tightly constructed, accessible rap with a pop flair.

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Alfredo (CD)

Rapper Freddie Gibbs and producer The Alchemist collaborated together on the new project, Alfredo, which also features Tyler, The Creator, Benny the Butcher, Rick Ross, and Conway the Machine. Alfredo is the duo's second collaboration together following their 2018 tape with Curren$y, Fetti, and was nominated for Best Rap Album.

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Black Habits (CD)

Black Habits is the debut album from Inglewood, CA rapper D Smoke, who won Netflix's Rhythm + Flow music competition show in 2019. Black Habits features guest appearances by Snoop Dogg, Jill Scott, Ari Lennox, and SiR, among others, and was nominated for two Grammy awards for Best Rap Album and Best New Artist.

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Visions Of Bodies Being Burned (CD)

Clipping. returns with Visions Of Bodies Being Burned, a smart, abrasive descent into musical dystopia. Rapper Daveed Diggs is at his most relentless here, channeling horror movie imagery into the real life horrors of the present day while the rest of the crew provides a heady blend of punk rock, trap, and industrial. Equally head-banging and disconcerting, Clipping. proves once more to be at the top of their game. At first listen, Visions is a brutal fever dream, but listen deeper and you’ll see that Diggs is firmly in control of the darkness at all times.

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Beastie Boys Music (CD)

Following up Spike Jonze's Beastie Boys Story documentary, which was inspired by the Beastie Boys Book by Ad-Rock and Mike D, comes Beastie Boys Music, a 20-song greatest hits collection. The wide-ranging tracklist pulls from Licensed to Ill (1986) and Paul's Boutique (1989) to To The 5 Boroughs (2004) and Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (2011), excluding only their 2007 instrumental album The Mix-Up. One-upping the group's Solid Gold Hits back in 2005, this is the best collection for celebrating everybody's favorite rap/rockers and their considerable legacy.

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Only For Dolphins (CD)

Action Bronson’s Only for Dolphins features clever wordplay, lush production, a take-no-prisoners attitude, and plenty of self-deprecating humor. (Also, lots of dolphins noises!) Sweeping strings add a cinematic quality to “Vega,” laidback grooves give a summer vibe to “Latin Grammys,” Middle Eastern beats add intrigue to “Mongolia.” Retro soul and R&B vibes give the rest of the album a timelessly cool feel, even as Bronson’s jokey asides and stylings inspire the occasional chuckle. If Only for Dolphins is any indication of how they’re vibing underwater, fans will want to jump right in.

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