As soon as a billion white critics start bawling about something being the greatest hip-hop album of the year I'm instantly sus. What they mean is that it's the best hip-hop album THEY GOT SENT this year and that for the rest of the year they're going to sit on their fat asses slapping themselves on their backs for their 'eclectisism' while never investigating hip-hop in any deeper sense. I actually find 'To Pimp A Butterfly' kind of exhausting, over-egged, frequently just plain dull. 'King Kunta' is emblematic of this — a groove whose datedness and easy placement makes it familiar but eventually kind of boring. What always lifts Lamar's music above the mediocre is his rhyming and his voice, always compelling and in small doses, pleasingly somewhere between gruffness and grace. Hope this does dent the UK charts, cos love the idea of hearing Radio 1 DJs attempting to wrap their tongues around the title. An inevitable hit.
'The Good Fight' is Oddisee's soon-come album and 'That's Love' is the lead single off it. You can almost feel summer being beckoned forth in the grooves, the undulating Roy Ayers suppleness, the squashy Hammond organ, the bubbly Stevie-style keyboards, the insistence of the repetition. O himself drops some beautifully measured, fearlessly honest rhymes about the myriad insanities and torturous self-flaggelation of love and its aftermath. A hip-hop track about love that actually leaves you, through sheer dint of charm and warmth, feeling unfeasibly warmed up, even in England. Superb.
"They just want a nice little place in the south/with no poor folks so they're phasing them out" — fantastic anti-gentrification anti-hipster rant-rap from Croydon's Revorg Records, a precise nailing of the problems and injustice of a city being turned into a playpark for the wealthy and a damning indictment of exactly what Bojo, David Cameron and his confederacy of c**ts are doing to one of the greatest cities on the planet. Big Toast's 'The Wedding Fund LP' is out now. Do the man a favour and help him get dahn the aisle and play this loud at anyone you can. Superb.
Brimming with dub rave atmosphere, Jozef K has hooked up with Winter Son for this outing on Skint, having met in the very bowels of Berghain. Invest in it.