The self-titled debut album from Phoenix rap trio, Injury Reserve, made up of producer Parker Corey and rappers Stepa J. Groggs and Ritchie With a T, and featuring guest artists Aminé, Rico Nasty, DRAM, and Freddie Gibbs, focuses on bridging the gap between experimental and accessible. After recording their debut mixtape in a dentist’s office (entitled Live from the Dentist Office), the group has had an interesting journey from playing house shows to being played on Beats 1 Radio by Ebro.
After releasing two critically acclaimed albums in the span of 10 months (TA13OO and ZUU, respectively), Denzel Curry starts off 2020 with a menacing and concise full length produced entirely by Kenny Beats. Unlocked is the product of a manic 3 day studio session following Denzel recording for an episode of Kenny's YouTube show, The Cave. The project finds the two mining sounds outside of what prompted their respective rises in recent years. While Denzel pulls influence from various members of The Wu-Tang Clan, Kenny taps into a sound inspired by the holy trinity of Madlib, Dilla & MF Doom. Despite these classic influences, Unlocked sounds like something completel y new and sees Denzel setting the tone for a new decade once again just as he and Raider Klan at the outset of the 2010's. Unlocked will also arrive with a half live action, half stop-animation companion film featuring every song from the project.
MP3 Album: $13.49 Download
For over 20 years, Atmosphere have pursued the underbelly of what it means to be human with a rabid curiosity. Ant’s dusky production has provided the pulse for Slug’s evolving and matter-of-fact pen. As Slug transitioned from throwing-up-in-the-backseat-raps to holding-hands-when-you-cross-the-street-raps, Ant has grown to be a master of crate digging and unearthing the humanity of a drum loop. Thriving at the intersection of guttural and self-effacing, Atmosphere will go down as some of America’s best archivists. On Whenever, the duo continue to move in lockstep. Within the minutiae lie clues they’re still struggling with mortality and the need to protect emotional energy, as on previous releases, but there’s a quiet romanticism now, with Slug sounding—reluctantly—in love with life. And no other producer can pull truths out of a rapper like Ant fishes the blues out of Slug. Be it the twinkle of “Bde Maka Ska” leading into twanging guitars, or the anxious skitter of “Lovely,” Slug finds obvious comfort in working with Ant. “Postal Lady” recounts the simplicity of Slug’s life over warm and enveloping production, while “Romance” recalls God Loves Ugly with its undulating glitches, as if we crawled through Ant’s drum machine. It’s clear the pair’s harmony is reaching new peaks. These aren’t dad-raps, these aren’t anti-establishment-raps, and these aren’t chasing-old-fire-raps. Even at its darkest (“You’re Gonna Go”) Whenever houses blessed-to-be-alive-raps. The album breathes in the way only Slug and Ant could summon a collective breath. On Whenever, the duo inhale panic and exhale greatness.
MP3 Album: $11.49 Download
To the 5 Boroughs is the sixth studio album by the Beastie Boys. The album was released on June 15, 2004 internationally, and debuted #1 on the Billboard 200. Featuring the singles Ch-Check It Out, Triple Trouble, Right Right Now Now, and An Open Letter To NYC. Pressed on Limited Edition 180-Gram Blue Vinyl.
MP3 Album: $10.99 Download