Following up the rear, if you have read much from me in the past, you know I’m always kinda on my own thing. My love in hip hop anymore is the golden age shit (’86-’95, we’ll argue why I think those are the years later), obscure 80′s and 90′s rap, and of course quality new hip hop. That usually consists of cats that are hungry, trying to make a name for themselves more than the artists that are complacent and more concerned with what the label tells them or what they might think the internet wants. I enjoy pushing quality music that needs that extra exposure. I’ve always enjoyed digging and shying away from the obvious, which is why I was excited when Eric hit us up with this idea. I’m not sure if this is who I think will be the next 30 or I think DESERVES and HOPES is the next 30. Enough of the yappin’ it’s time to make it happin’ (yeah, I was never an MC). -Trav
Upcoming Album: “Family & Music”
Coming straight outta SoCal, Castor Pollux is an MC I’ve been bumping fairly non stop since discovering his album with Ariano, In Name of The Father, then his Guts & Garbage: A Collection of Shit, both which dropped last year. With his production crew, Dysposable Heroes, Castor brings an array of topics and moods to his songs. He can go from dark, depressing topics such as shady friends on “Half Friend” to a party feeling, happy-go-lucky vibe of “Tres Hermanos”, it only shows Castor’s diversity musically and lyrically. His gruff, from the pit of his stomach vocal tone only adds to the richness that are his lyrics. He can paint a picture as well any MC as he slays MCs, tells tales of the darkness or just kicking lyrics, once again it’s his lyrical diversity coupled with his wicked voice and vocals that just have me checking for anything this cat decides to put out. As a cat that is always working on something, we are sure to see more from him in the upcoming year, with a rumored album titled Family & Music, and also showing up with many of his cohort’s projects. As part of the Gutter Water Music family, you’ll often find him collaborating with other artists such as Oddity, MSNGRS Crew, Annihilate 76, Iota Arcane, Jen Raye and others. A little sampler can be found on the Gutter Water Summer Soulstice, which features two Castor Pollux tracks.
Upcoming Album: Studies In Hunger
Coming out of the ATL, Dillon Maurer runs with a group of cats that I’ve longed trumpeted their talent in Paten Locke, Daisey and Batsauce, otherwise known as The Smile Rays. It was through them that I was introduced to Dillon, a cat that is long on humor and short on any bullshit hip hop stereotypes. He was featured on The Smile Rays track, “It’s A New Day,” which is featured on their Party Place LP. He then released a mixtape, Southern Scramble, which introduces the world to his quirky humor, his obsession with food, and his good musical taste as a lot of it features music he is digging, in true DJ stylee. Dillon probably won’t win any MC battles, but that’s not what makes him an entertaining artist, it’s his sense of humor, something that he uses to his advantage to get his point across and something that is sorely lacking in today’s hip hop atmosphere. His upcoming album, Studies In Hunger, that is dropping next month features all vocals from Dillon himself and beats and cuts provided by Therapy aka Paten Locke. It’s that combination that makes this album one that I’m anxious to hear.
Dillon’s upcoming album with Paten Locke titled “Studies in Hunger” to be released 12/8/09 on Domination Recordings.
Dillion – Hot Mess: (Download Track)
“Studies of Hunger” features Dillon on vocals with Paten Locke (aka Therapy of The Smile Rays & The AB’s) on the beats and cuts. Plus guest shots from Chuck D, , Akrobatik, Stacy Epps, , Lady Daisey, H20 (of Mass Influence) and Willie Evans Jr.
Upcoming Album: Fresh Heir
Can you really pile a bunch of expectation(s) on an MC based off of one single track? It’s happened before in the past, before the internet sometimes one track is all you had to base much on an artist. I wouldn’t say I’m basing all my eagerness, excitement and expectations based on one song from the Atlanta by the way of Massachusetts MC known as Arablak, but the track gives me a reason to be excited. The song in question is “The Deed”, which is in the running for track of the year in my year end list. It has that intense energy that evokes the desire to throw a bar stool across a dance floor and bust up tables that is usually reserved for tracks such as Pharahoe Monch’s “Simon Says” or other equally adrenaline pumping tracks. It’s both the beat and ‘Blak’s commanding presence on the mic that cultivates to a chorus that most classic tracks posses. All that should qualify as enough to put some big expectations out on Arablak. But I’m not claiming him as the next raw MC to deliver the goods based on that song alone. Nope, I’m placing my lofty expectations on him based on that song AND the other stuff I’ve been lucky enough to hear. Coming out of the Social Lights Sounds crew, Arablak isn’t new at doing this, far from it, but it’s about time this dude blew the figgidy fuck up and I think 2010 is the year he does that.
Upcoming Album: “In Case I Don’t Make It”
After dropping a couple of great EPs (F*ck Has Day and Small Metal Objects) the past couple years and a booming remix project earlier this year (You Can Live Thru Anything If Magic Made It), the Illdelphia MC Has-Lo is set to come on the scene with his debut album, In Case I Don’t Make It. It’s no secret I’ve been a fan of this cat’s music for the past two years, based off his effortless flow that seems to just glide over a track. It’s this flow that is perfect for his often serious topics of just how fucked up this life can be or he can bring some good ‘ole fashioned battle rhymes, choose your poison. Has also has that sense of humor factor going for him as well, although sometimes it can be masked in a dry and sarcastic tone, such as that found on the title track of the F*ck Has Day EP. Rhymes that are both intelligent and funny? Who would have thought it? It should also be noted that Has is a dual threat, offering the heat both in the vocal variety and on the boards. His production is reminiscent of that dusty, dirty, boom bap type of feel, the sound that is comparable to RZA or the Beatminerz in their prime. The vastly talented artist is set to make his mark in the upcoming year, nothing but intricate rhymes and slammin in production is on the deck.
Upcoming Album: Blac-Sabbath
The Blacastan story is an interesting one, one which I’ll let him tell in a future interview. Blac has been making some noise the past couple years, most notably his “Life of a Tape” track that made some noise around the blogger scene and got some love on WYDU. He also released a mixtape in ’07, Me Against The Radio, which was overseen by his fellow Connecticut citizens and hip hop legends, Dooley-O and Stezo. I’ve had a problem with a lot of east coast “dunn” music, mainly because I can only deal with the subject of murder, drugs, and life on the streets so much and usually the beats sound the same on every song. Now I’m not saying this is the only thing Blac raps about (check “Life of a Tape”), but he does cover some of that subject matter and he does it in a fresh, innovative way. I’m all for tales from the street when they have originality and Blac brings that. Give this cat some quality beats and his MC skills will do the rest. Armed with an unique voice that only makes his flow sound even better as he just attacks a track. Old school flava with a new school twist, if this guy doesn’t make a BIG name for himself in the Twenty ten, then I don’t know if I’ll have any faith left in the game.