There’s nothing like some good hip-hop to provide the soundtrack to a memorable summer. And as the weather has gotten hotter, so has the music from some of our favorite New England artists. Here are a few new projects that should be in heavy rotation at your cookouts for the remainder of the season.
The summer got off to a roaring start thanks to the current best rapper in Connecticut (no disrespect to Webby or Apathy) and the legendary Boston-bred DJ/Producer Statik Selektah. The duo teamed up to bring us a 10-track album called “Yuck!” on the official first day of the season (6/21). The result was one of the best hip-hop albums of the year.
Khary is an extremely creative, innovative, and weird (he said it himself) rapper from Providence, RI. He takes pride in his energetic live performances and authentic musical creations, and he’s just released his fifth project since his debut EP in 2016. It’s called “THIS” and it’s beautiful. My personal favorite track is “Elmer’s”.
Portland, Maine has developed quite the hip-hop scene in recent years thanks to weekly Rap Nights at Aura and artists like Ill By Instinct, Sarah Violette, Shane Reis, Andre Hicks, Shang-High, Brzowski, Dylan Raw, and B. Aull establishing a name for themselves. B. Aull has spent the past few years perfecting his craft both in the studio and on stage, and his new EP “Collage” is a culmination of all of his hard work.
Boston hip-hop mainstay Ea$y Money has been providing us with bars for nearly two decades now, running alongside Termanology as a prominent member of Term’s ST. da Squad. The emcee’s latest project dropped on June 28th, and is produced entirely by fellow Lawrence, MA native ShortFyuz, who is fresh off of producing Reks’ “Order In Chaos” LP last year.
Chicopee, MA’s Austin Fair has been making waves ever since his debut “Everlasting” in 2017. On June 29th, he released his most polished body of work thus far when he gave us “Hippodrome”. I first heard about Austin from his appearance on “Max Out” by SuperSmashBroz last year and I’m happy to be officially on the bandwagon. This album has plenty of replay value from top to bottom.
If you weren’t already placing Lord Ju alongside BIA, Dutch ReBelle, Red Shaydez, Oompa, Brandie Blaze and every other female rapper currently dominating the Boston scene, you will be after hearing her debut album “Boss Talk, Vol. 1”. She’s a natural born entertainer and her music is only getting better with each drop. The opening track “Hello” will have you hooked from the start, and the rest won’t disappoint. Perfect album to turn up to all summer.
With all of his success over the past few years due to his singles, commercial jingles, and unforgettable live performances, it’s hard to believe Latrell James hadn’t released a full project since his debut album “Twelve” back in 2015. After scrapping an entire album that was set to be released last year, and then playing it in front of a select group of friends and supporters before putting it to rest for good, James released his EP “Still” on July 9th.
Millyz is from Cambridge, but you wouldn’t be wrong to call him the hottest rapper in Boston right now. His show at Brighton Music Hall on July 26th sold out within days, he’s been known to sit courtside at Celtics games with hip-hop legend and friend/frequent collaborator Jadakiss, and his new album “Blanco II” just racked up a million streams in its first week. Only 15 months after releasing “Blanco” and 11 months after “Saints & Sinners” with Statik Selektah, this latest offering is undoubtedly Millyz’ most impressive project to date. Following the success of lead singles “Strawberry Goya”, “The Prom”, and “Thum Thru” featuring Brockton’s Dtheflyest, “Blanco II” brought us a flawless collaboration with top-tier lyricist Dave East, a brutally honest yet beautiful self-reflective memoir in “Talking to Strangers”, and an overall display of his undeniable growth as an artist. Every track is fire.
Now that Token is 20, SeeFour has taken the crown as the best teenage rapper in Massachusetts. The then 17 year-old Brockton emcee wasn’t kidding when he told us that “the world and the music industry need to get ready for SeeFour” before releasing his phenomenal debut album “Mature” last November. He wasted no time getting back to work as he linked up with Boston producer Jouls Juliano to put together “The Red Line” EP, which just came out on July 12th. All six songs are quality and “Wave Ride” should find its way onto quite a few summer playlists.
Here are some other notable albums that have been released this summer, plus a few from the spring that should still be getting plays:
“Wanted In Guam” – J Spin (Favorite album of the spring)
“Highest Lows” – D.French
“From The East” – Darius Heywood & Rauxy Woodro
“Imperfect Timing” – Dezmond Dane
“The Theorist” – Learic & SkySplitterInk
“Black Friday” – Yo Daddy Doe
“Split Versonalities” – FreshcoBarz
“Mission Hill” – Hero
“Big Benti” – VonSuave
“Rap Dylan” – Dylan Reese
”Life Of Cam Meekins” Series – Cam Meekins
“Street But Sweet” – Jesenia
“Hazmats” – Don Def, Magmuzzle, The Supervisor
“I’m Baby” – Mick Beth
“Temperate Climates” – SoBe
“Swiss Watches Plastic Cups” – Bugsy H.
“Casa” – Noel Pancho
“Glo & Will” – Glocho
“Lyfe or Def” – JuneLyfe
“Talk To Me” – Griz Gusto
“Stages Of Grief” – Mack Harrison
“Top Mover” – E Jake
“Femme” – Lily Rayne
“Sorry, I’m Trash” – Shane Reis & George Foisy
“Degeneration” – Baylen & Sub Q
“Bourbon Barrel Bordello” – I.N.F
“Conn(is)” – Connis
“Corny Lightskin” – Mozado
“Modern Life” – Vixxle
“Vibe Ville” – Obi The Voicegod & Hollow The Void
“A Reason For Departure” – Eyenine & The Lonely Ghosts
“Satellites” – J’You
“The Iron Throne Of Microphones” – Purpose
“The Black Tone EP” – Freddie Black & Tone Spliff
“E.I.E See” – Yatt Bully
And here are some spring/summer singles that I currently have in heavy rotation:
”Feel Like Cole” – Oompa
“IOU” – Justin Clancy
“Devil’s Grin” – Sarah Violette
“No Smoke” – Kingfrom98
“Perfect” – Cousin Stizz ft. City Girls
“How It Goes” – Shang-High
“Fly Away” – Jwu ft. Hanz
“Targets” – Avenue
”High Off You” – S-Ko
“Hangman” – CA$O
“Playin’” – Dutch Rebelle
“Fool’s Gold!” – Garrett Merk
“Isis” – Joyner Lucas ft. Logic
“Pollen” – Heath240
“Bout My Business” – Red Shaydez
“Safe” – Tre Michaels
“Need Who?” – Prince Smooth
“Shoot Higher” – Cash Gotti
“Last Life” – JZAC
“Keith Sweat” – Gio Dee
“In The Sun” – The Hashassins
“Last Word” – Busy Bars ft. Reks
“Interview” – Chase Murphy
“Strange Love” – C-Dot 416
“Vintage Like Lee” – Vintage Lee ft. MadeInTYO
“Paintings” – Tim Nihan
”Jordan” – CD Rose ft. Tre Michaels
“Only” – Apex Hadez ft. June Marie
“Jump Start” – M-Dot & Revalation
“My Cup” – BigBreadJRock
“All Out” – Mike Wing
“No Time” – Malia The Model
“Jockey Freestyle” – Tashawn Taylor
“Count” – POMAGRANITE
“Run It” – Token
“It’s About Time” – Spose & Cam Groves ft. Bensbeendead.
Just about all of this music can be found on my “2019 In New England” playlist on Spotify, so follow along and help these artists get the spins they deserve. Cousin Stizz, Token, Oompa, Joyner Lucas, meetVoutside, Chase Murphy, POMAGRANITE, Spose & Cam Groves, W.O.K.E. (Lateb/Oblivious/Jon Glass), Reks, Dezmond Dane, and Jiles have all announced albums or EP’s dropping in the near future, so it doesn’t appear that the summer will be cooling down anytime soon. Stay tuned.