Veteran UK emcee Ric Branson follows-up his well-received album “The Technician” (released earlier this year) with this seven-track serving of quality homegrown Hip-Hop.
Featuring production from Giallo Point, Micall Parknsun and long-time collaborator A.H. Fly, Branson mixes social observations with street-level semantics throughout, drawing on his artistic foundations as a member of North London’s Universal Soldiers in the late-90s / early-2000s, whilst reflecting on his present day position in both life and the rap game with a heavy dose of rugged intellect.
Squeegie O ft. Jamil Honesty – “Harbor Kidz” (@Squeegie_0 / 2019)
The two Staten Island-raised emcees trade sharp rhymes over mellow-yet-raw P Souloist production on this dope track off Squeegie’s forthcoming album “F.N.T.G”.
The idea of a live band making Hip-Hop is nothing new, but it is a concept that takes real skill to execute effectively and with memorable results. At the top end of the scale, groups like The Roots and the UK’s Mouse Outfit have consistently released incredible music based around the live band format. But when done badly, the end product can sound limp and bland, lacking the thump and grit many Hip-Hop fans demand.
Based on this new “Studies In Grey” EP, it would appear that Canadian band Super Duty Tough Work are definitely masters of their craft, balancing head-nodding beats and nimble rhymes with smooth instrumentation, incorporating jazzy keys, lively bass and punctuating horns.
staHHr – “Chest Piece” (@staHHr / 2019)
The talented Atlanta-based emcee weaves fluid flows around dope, rolling beats produced by Brooklyn’s Finsta (of Finsta Bundy fame) on this quality single.
Skyzoo & Pete Rock ft. Westside Gunn, Conway, Benny The Butcher & Elzhi – “Eastern Conference All-Stars” (@MelloMusicGroup / 2019)
Brooklyn’s Skyzoo invites some heavyweight guests to flex their lyrical skills over sublime Pete Rock production on this huge posse cut off the forthcoming album “Retropolitan”.
Ukraine-based producer KLIM beats drops a quality new instrumental project, packed with warm, melodic samples and crisp, speaker-knocking drums.
Dark, brooding beats from the Washington D.C. / Shaap Records representative.