At the end of each month we curate a collection of must listens to keep you in the loop. Ranging from rappers in the Emerald Isle to boundary pushing, experimental producers and everything in between, we’ve got you sorted.
This month sees a host of political anthems in opposition to the various ways racism manifests across the world, whether that be police brutality or microaggressions.
Sim Simma‘s Breezy Ideygoke dropped ‘Black Dubh’, a thumping cut that assesses Ireland’s relationship with racism, Jorja Smith came through with a cover of a St. Germain classic and your new favourite rap supergroup got apocalyptic.
Fehdah – Day In Shock
Creating Afro-futuristic hits has become Fehdah‘s bread and butter.
‘Day In Shock’ is the latest pulsating single that carefully balances cosmic production and otherworldly melodies.
With so many different influences in her work, it’d be easy for the final product to sound overcrowded, but careful weighted layers on ‘Day In Shock’ complement each other in what is a rich and vibrant cut.
Noname – Song 33
Despite later admitting her regret at the release of the song, Noname responded to J. Cole’s ‘Snow On Tha Bluff‘ with one minute and ten seconds of bars over Madlib production.
Noname reasserted her position as one of hip hop’s most vital voices and wasted no time in making clear what is at stake.
Spillage Village – End Of Daze
Everybody loves a good super-group. Problem is often they don’t work out. Too many egos, different agendas and clashes in sound.
Thank god for Spillage Village.
Made up of J.I.D, EARTHGANG, 6LACK, Mereba, Hollywood JB, JurdanBryant and Benji, you can tell that genuine friendship is the glue that holds this group together. Ahead of their new album they’ve put their heads together for apocalyptic banger ‘End Of Daze’.
Jorja Smith – Rose Rouge
Legendary jazz label Blue Notes Records’ is releasing ‘Blue Note Re:imagined’ on September 25 and it will see the likes of Alfa Mist, Poppy Ajudha, Jordan Rakei, Nubya Garcia and more cover previous releases.
Ahead of the new release British rising soul star Jorja Smith had her take on St. Germain’s ‘Rose Rouge’. Featuring live instrumentation it’s a strong showing from one of the UK’s most talented voices.
Jehnova – All In
Nuxsense spitter Jehnova has always marched to the beat of his own drum and his latest cut captures the essence of his artistry. Despite the relentless pace of the instrumental, he keeps his own steady pace and never lets the beat run away from him, reeling it like an obedient pet.
There’s a psychedelic twinkle throughout that complements his assured lyricism in a similar vein to the work of Beast Coast’s The Underachievers.
One of the most confident hip hop tracks to come out of Ireland this year.
Breezy Ideygoke – Black Dubh
Following a slew of performances, radio premieres and other bits confirming that he has been killing the game Breezy Ideygoke dropped ‘Black Dubh’ to continue his rich vein of form.
‘Black Dubh’ is a sharp and raw commentary on the current state of the world and Breezy hones in on the injustices in Ireland, pointing towards the inhumane system of Direct Provision.
The beat selection is on point and brings an added sense of urgency to the calls to action. Without doubt one of Ireland’s most important voices.
Kahlil Blu – DOG
Harlem’s Kahlil Blu has contributed to New York’s bustling underground scene with production credits for the likes of Medhane and MAVI.
His style ranges from dusty, 808 heavy instrumentals to bold, bedroom-pop leaning production. His genre-defying new album ‘DOG’ highlights both the diversity of his approach and his ability to slalom between melodic rapping and straight-up singing.
It’s a thoroughly independent record with only a handful of features and cover art designed by Kahlil himself. There’s noticeable nods to Knxwledge‘s style with short tracks that feature abrupt transitions.
For fans of Lil Uzi Vert, Earl Sweatshirt, Medhane, Divine Council & Knxwledge.
Terrace Martin, Denzel Curry, Kamasi Washington, G Perico, Daylyt – PIG FEET
Terrace Martin’s influence is stamped all over the last decade’s greatest political album – Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’.
He joined forces with Denzel Curry, Kamasi Washington, G Perico and Daylyt to create ‘PIG FEET’. Using imagery and footage from protests across America to share their pain, anger and refusal to back down, they’ve created an uptempo track reflecting the urgency of action needed in the world now.
Rae Khalil – FORTHEWORLD
If you have checked out Netflix’s ‘Rhythm and Flow’, you may recognise former contestant Rae Khalil.
Having garnered co-signs from Anderson .Paak and Chance the Rapper, she’s also noted her grandfather was one of the first black music writers for the New York Times, which given her musicality and songwriting abilities is no surprise.
Her album ‘FORTHEWORLD’ blends shades of west coast g-funk, head-nodding RnB whilst inviting the likes of The Free Nationals to what feels like a guilt-free jam session on ‘ALLSTAR’.
Arlo Parks – Creep
Generally I’d say classic tracks are best left untouched. When I think of how many artists have botched some of my favourite anthems I was sceptical coming into Arlo Parks cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’, despite my awareness of her jaw-dropping talent.
I’m sorry I ever doubted you Arlo.
Her cover of ‘Creep’ is safe bet to silence a busy mind, the kind of rendition that hits the pause button when you need it most. Light a candle, pour some herbal tea and soothe your soul.
Lil Baby – The Bigger Picture
When the world needed clarity Lil Baby set the mumbling style to one side and made his voice loud and clear.
‘The Bigger Picture’ s arguably his most emphatic song, that has dissolved any lingering doubts of his lyrical ability.
There’s an anger in his soul that’s met with conviction in his delivery, leaving a feeling that ‘The Bigger Picture’ is a protest anthem for the ages.
Anderson .Paak – Lockdown
Anderson .Paak returned with a new song named ‘Lockdown’ last week that wrestles with ongoing police brutality in a global pandemic.
There’s cameos in the new visuals from TDE’s Jay Rock and SiR as well as The Internet’s Syd, Andra Day and Dominic Fike.
The video ends by paying respect to a number of black men and women that have lost their lives at the hands of police officers in America. There’s a note at the end of the video stating that a donation was made to various groups fighting injustice and all cast and crew salaries were donated to three different movements.
Photo: Anderson .Paak Twitter.