Breeze Brewin – “Hindsight” (Album)

Breeze Brewin’s history in hip-hop runs as deep as his incredible skill set. There are levels upon levels to his talents, whether he’s penning mind-bending lyrics or crafting head-nodding instrumentals. And over the past 25 years, he’s proven his skills as a member of the Juggaknots and the Indelible MC’s, and as a collaborator on classics including Prince Paul’s A Prince Among Thieves. And with the release of Hindsight, the NYC artist steps out on his own with a thrilling solo album packed with highlights that show off just how gifted he truly is. Hindsight captures the magic of what happens when an artist sticks with what they love and shares it with the rest of the world. The 13 tracks epitomize why Breeze has been such an essential voice since he entered the scene. The album is available now through all digital retailers and streaming platforms through Breeze’s own Matic Records imprint via Fat Beats Records with CD and vinyl copies of the LP due out for pre-order shortly.

Reallyhiiim & Puzzle – “The Crux” (Album)

Syracuse, NY’s Reallyhiiim just dropped the full-length album “The Crux,” executive produced by Puzzle of The Diggers.

The project boasts an impressive guest list including: Willie The Kid, Planet Asia, Raz Fresco, Pounds, Fly Anakin, Estee Nack, Al Divino, Maf, B.A. Badd, Adonis, Koncept Jackson, 448 Brad, Lord Juco, Falcon Outlaw and introducing PT.

The project is available digitally and in limited CD format (only 50 made) here!

Th1rt3en – “A Magnificent Day for an Exorcism” (Album Review)

Th1rt3en is an East Coast hip hop trio consisting of Marcus Machado on guitar, Daru Jones on drums & Pharoahe Monch on the mic. The trio have been working together for a little over a year now but with Joe Biden being inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States earlier this week, it’s only right for them to come together for their full-length debut.

Things kick off with “Cult 45”, where Monch takes a well-written dig at the Trump administration over a dingy boom bap beat from Nottz. The next song “Triskaidekaphobia” gets on the horrorcore tip over a bloodcurdling instrumental from Monch himself alongside Parks of The Joe Budden Podcast while “The Magician” compares himself to such over a rap rock beat. The song “666 (3-6 Word Stories)” is a unexpected & decent recreation of the Black Sabbath joint “Hand of Doom” while the track “Goat’s Head” reminds listeners of his lyrical prowess over a beat with a crunchy ass guitar line.

The song “Scarecrow” talks about being on the yellow brick road over an anarchic instrumental from Shylow while the track “Fight” talks about racial injustice over a rock/boom bap fusion. The song “Racist” compares the skinheads to Satanists over an infernal beat while the track “Oxygen” talks about needing this woman in his life over a supernatural instrumental from Marco Polo.

The song “Kill ‘Em All Again” talks about those who can’t see the bigger picture over an impassioned beat while “The Exorcist” makes numerous references to the apocalypse & Medusa over yet another boom bap/rock fusion. The penultimate track “Amnesia” expresses his desire to hold this woman in his arms over a more unwinding instrumental & then the albums ends with “Kill Kill Kill”, where Monch talks about losing his mind some fast drumming along with a guitar & a organ.

When artists make an album stylistically departing from their signature sound, it can turn out 50/50. However, Th1rt3en knocks it out of the park. Not only do Marcus & Daru do a good job with the live instrumentation, but Pharoahe Monch comes through with some of his most political lyrics yet reflecting on all the hardships we faced in 2020.

Score: 9/10

Dixon Hill – “Holodeck Beats: Program 3” (Album)

Las Vegas producer Dixon Hill’s new instrumental album, ‘Holodeck Beats: Program 3,’ beautifully captures the feeling of isolation while also being a treasure trove of head-nodding beats. Hill’s humility as an artist is admirable, especially at a time when ego-tripping is at an all time high. But he’d probably be the first one to tell you otherwise, because he’s simply interested in creating and sharing music that he hopes his audience will connect with. It’s a mindset he’s had since he started playing music in his teens, and he continues it today after pushing through hardships (he lived in his car for a time) and working with his heroes such as Guilty Simpson on their ’19 released collab LP,  Actus Reus. And with Holodeck Beats: Program 3, Hill is continuing an instrumental series that just gets better with each release. There’s just so much to love and dig into with Program 3, and it’s only the first bit of new material we can expect from Hill this year. As he tells us, he’s working on two collaborative albums—one with AG of DITC, the other with Noveliss of Clear Soul Forces—and he has plans to dip into other music genres. Until then, immerse yourself in the sounds of “Holodeck Beats: Program 3” which is available now via Fat Beats.

Dangy Omen X – “Citizens Band Radio” (EP)

Check out this new EP “Citizens Band Radio“, by rising underground artist Dangy Omen X.  It’s a “driving while black” themed EP centering on the perspective of a black trucker in the American countryside, highlighting the maxi-single “Trucker Bounce.”  Make sure to follow him on Instagram @xcaliberdaomen.

Son of Tony – “Son On A Sunday” (Album Review)

Son of Tony is a Buffalo-born MC. Over the past few years, he’s released a series of projects, including “The Son and His Father Tape 2” and “Tshaft3 Sunset”. To kick the new year off, he’s dropped a brand new album, “Son on a Sunday”. With features from industry titans like Skyzoo and Mickey Factz, will Tony be able to make his best album yet?

What separates Son of Tony from most rappers in the underground scene is his relentless demeanor. From the banging intro “Energy” to the climactic outro “Iron Heart,” the passion in his vocals nearly force you to love him. Rounding out his stylistic grit, the Buffalo spitters songwriting is both passionate and relevant to the current issues millions face today. Whether it’s the prideful “All Mine” or the traumatizing “Fore Thought,” the knowledge embedded in these stories truly deems Tony the title of street prophet. Out of all these moments, “Wet Stones” with Tish Hyman I found to be one of the most memorable of the group with its memorable hook and lighter-toned themes. On the note of collaborations, Son’s guests keep this experience every changing and exciting, which is emphasized by Mickey Factz on “Comicon,” Ren Thomas on “Zoo,” and especially the legendary New York MC Skyzoo on the projects ultimate highpoint, “Snd”. Overall, the show-stealing features and Son of Tony’s well-equipped skillset set this record apart from 95% of his rivals. 

Behind the boards, theres a soundtrack that embodies both the fierce and glamourous sides of hip hop. Best seen on “Comicon,” the beautiful vocal sample is chopped up and tampered by with an array of effects to create something much more haunting than any of Tony’s older material. On top of this, the soundtrack is rounded out with other standouts like the piano-based “No Mercy” and hard-hitting “Iron Heart”. While none of these tracks are doing anything to break the sonic boundaries hip hop has been stuck in recently, each beat spices things up with an interesting sample choice. On top of all this, the soundscapes’ best quality is that it masterfully matches the skilled MC’s gifted demeanor holding this entire journey together, which is certainly a pro. Going down the line, each one of these moments can be broken down for the sonic beauty they withhold, but with the knowledge of their core, each instrumental twist and turn will be more enjoyable when listening. 

In conclusion, “Son on a Sunday” is hands down Son of Tony’s magnum opus, and it may just be the best underground record of 2020. His lyricism is super refined, and between his potent songwriting and well-fitted production job, there’s so much to enjoy here. As Buffalo continues to grow into rap’s new hot zone, I’m sure Son of Tony will get the recognition or being one of the top guys in the entire city!

Rating: 9/10

Highlights: Lyricsm, Subject Matter, Production

Destruct – “Dreamstate” (Album)

Starting off the new year right, Rising Los Angeles, CA based emcee Destruct is campaigning his latest 13-track album titled “Dreamstate“, featuring Gajah, Silvandgold, Deltron Blac and more! This project is also available on Bandcamp.  Make sure to follow him on Instagram @destructmusic.