It’s Christmas!! Season to guzzle down gaudy coloured cocktails that taste of shampoo on an empty stomach, pay five times the normal price for a taxi, five times the normal price to get into a club, and experience five times the size of a normal hangover every single morning for the next twelve days.
Or, alternatively. Stay home, pour yourself a glass of Hennessey, put your headphones
No Name Gypsy (ft Saba): An Open Apology
This time last year, I named No Name Gypsy, alongside Mick Jenkins, as names to watch out for in 2015. Pleased to see that things have really happened for Mick Jenkins (just call me Nostradamus) but it’s a shame that so little attention has been given to his fellow Chicagoan. You can definitely hear the kinship with Jenkins, and Chance the Rapper in her delivery: understated tone, complex and dense structures. It’s short, but insidious. You’ll keep coming back to this one. Honestly can’t see what the Saba verse adds to this, other than to point up just how good she is.
Lij: Drown Me Out
This is on a similarly restrained production tip as NoName’s track: sometimes less really is more. Don’t know anything much about Lij apart from the very brief bio on his bandcamp page – only 19 years of age and from New Zealand. Like Bishop Nehru, the confident delivery and conscious lyricism belies his years. This is one of the tracks on the EP Attention Metropolitan available as a free download on Bandcamp. Could have picked any of them, the whole release is highly recommended.
Freddie Gibbs and Black Thought: Extradite
Not a fan of Freddie Gibbs as a rule, but any track featuring Black Thought was always going to be worth a listen, and this will blow you apart. Just when you thought nothing more could be gained by sampling Nautilus again (this is the 248th occasion if the internet’s to be believed) Mikhail twists the familiar into something futuristic and menacing, a suitable cushion for the grit in the vocals. It’s by far and away the stand out track on Gibbs’ Shadow of a Doubt.