Just like the title says, these are some of the albums I've had a chance to listen to lately. I included, not a review, but a brief description of each.
Sage Francis - Sick Of Wasting... - Sage is a really talented, but underrated lyricist ranging from the political to introspective to ridiculous - but, all delivered with lyrical depth. Honestly, I don't really listen to him that much either. He's the kind of MC you really have to be in the mood for. Good stuff here though.
Fashawn - Boy Meets World - This album is a must listen. Newcomer Fashawn (you may have come across some mixtapes) offers a really solid debut full of well thought out material and real life experiences - not some made up alter-ego shit. Listening to this will leave you amazed that he's only 20 years old. It's a really personal album. Produced in it's entirety by Exile (that's enough reason to listen right there) this is quickly becoming one of my favorite albums of the year.
Royce Da 5'9" - Street Hop - My expectations were extremely high for this one from Royce, but I'm a little let down. It wasn't the undeniable classic I was hoping for. Not to say that Royce didn't deliver at all. He's definitely one of the best MCs out today and proves it on here, but after a couple of weak songs, and several good ones that I've heard already (don't release a four-song EP if you're just gonna slap those on the album - we'll wait), Street Hop left me wanting more - and not in a good way.
Cormega - Born & Raised - If you like Mega, you'll like this. This is a great album full of what you'd expect from him. Production by everyone you could want. Preemo, Pete Rock, Large Pro, Khrysis, Havoc, Nottz, and more. Songs that are raw and hardcore, but full of substance at the same time. Plus a final track featuring a handful of legends. Don't sleep on this one.
Tab-One - The Tabloids - Member of NC's Kooley High, this album is definitely worth checking out.
Amen - Queens Boulevard - As some of you can tell from the title this is Entourage-related. I believe this is the second of a three part series. I have the first, but I can't remember what it's called right now. Anyway, Amen can rhyme, and this album has some quality material. A producer going by the name of Johnny Drama is a bit much, but whatever. The music's good.
Download The Right Thing - This is a nice collection of what Duck Down Records has been up to recently. Listen to this with tracks from most of the BCC, Marco Polo & Torae, Kidz In The Hall, Skyzoo, Blue Scholars, and more and see why the label's resurgance has been a blessing to hip hop. P!
Diamond District - The Diamond Exchange Mixtape - The LP will drop soon, but this is a pre-album mixtape. I don't remember hearing anything about this group effort before I came across this collection, but the group consists of Oddisee, XO, and YU.
Camp Lo - Another Heist - While they'll probably never create something of the same caliber as Uptown Saturday Night, this is a welcome change from their last couple of releases (that mixtape included). I'm liking this one a lot.
Krayzie Bone Presents: The Bum Keef G - It's nice to hear the Bone members once in a while, and 4 of 5 are featured prominently on this album (Flesh=Yes; Bizzy=No). Aside from that, the album was mehh.
People Under The Stairs - Carried Away - Some new music from one of the funnest groups in hip hop. Not much to say specifically after 1.5 listens, but it makes me think that I should probably be listening to these guys more often. "Trippin' At The Disco" is on repeat in my ipod...And the video is classic. I'll post it later if I remember. If not, just YouTube it.
Ares - A Red Eye Smokin' - Detroit continues offering up good hip hop with this album from MCs Slautah and Alius Pnukkl.
Mr. J. Medeiros - Friends Enemies Apples Apples - From the seemingly most productive member of The Procussions, this is another album of great songs by Mr. J. If you're not familar with him, you'll be glad you gave him a chance.