Sophie by Lostribe
Sophie may be the first full project from Lostribe in nearly six years, however it’s evident this Sacramento duo are slowly but surely recognizing their talents within Hip Hop. The album fuses Rap, Glitch-Hop and Experimental Dubstep courtesy of Producer JustLuv, all the while showcasing emcee Agustus ThElefant’s penchant for lyricism that covers personal struggles (“Getting Back”), relationships (“Breakup Song”) and finding empowerment in your actions (“Live Like A Rebel”). With a handful of notable guest features scattered throughout (Talib Kweli, Gift of Gab, Casual), Sophie brings a fresh new take on how Hip Hop can sound from the West Coast.
Monumental II by Uptown XO
Though Diamond District has yet to follow up their much-acclaimed 2009 debut In The Ruff, each individual member has steadily been building up their solo catalog for the time being. Cue Monumental II (listen here ), Uptown XO’s latest project that focuses on the life and times of this D.C. native. From the Go-Go club scene (“Clappas”) to inner city conflicts (“Don’t Stop,” “Write A Song”) to an overall scope of the nation’s capital (“DC State Of Mind”), XO covers the highs and lows of his hometown while AB The Producer adds smooth backdrops to support his narratives. While a bit lengthy on time, Monumental II positions itself as XO’s best release to date.
From Babylon To Timbuk2 By Timbo King
Considering Timbo King has been waiting since the early '90s to release a ‘debut’ album, From Babylon To Timbuk2 fittingly features a raw East Coast vibe reminiscent of Hip Hop’s golden era. Heavy production on “War Dance” and “Tombstone” knock accordingly, while records like “Show Us The Way,” “Youth” and “The Autobiography of Timothy Drayton” provide thought-provoking material from the longtime Wu-Tang Clan affiliate. True, Timbo King has made headway with groups like Royal Fam and Black Market Militia in the past. However, From Babylon To Timbuk2 is proof he can carry his own weight musically, a notion that hopefully will speed up the process for his next release.
Best Kept Secret By Soopafly
On his third solo album Best Kept Secret, rapper/producing veteran Soopafly gives the listener a strong dose of California’s finest without the seeds. Whether he’s boasting (“All This Game,” “Ahead Of Ours”), coasting (“G-Funk Martian”) or just laid back in the aroma (“When I’m Smokin”), Soopafly charismatically demonstrates why he became a fixture on the scene via Tha Dogg Pound and Dubb Union. Best Kept Secret may not turn many heads lyrically; however, it’s a potent reminder that Soopafly’s impeccable style is something few can replicate.
Rapping With Paul White By Paul White
You can never go wrong with features from the likes of Homeboy Sandman, Guilty Simpson and Danny Brown, yet it’s clear on Paul White’s latest effort Rapping With Paul White that the star of the show undoubtedly becomes the London producer. Blending a melting pot of Eastern Asian influence, Euro-bounce and bold samples with a Hip Hop sensibility, White delivers a project that is as dynamic as it is entertaining. If Rapping With Paul White is an indication of his transition into stateside rap circles, consider his name one to look out for in the near future.