Young Braised - Life Is Good

Cool, collected urban music from Vancouver artist Young Braised. The very clever ‘Life is Good’ shows the rapper (Jaymes Bowman irl) in fine form with its buoyant, celebratory spirit. From his much acclaimed 1080p tape from last summer, 'Japanese Tendencies'. Amazing video treatment here by Will Wilkinson and Strawberry Jacuzzi.

Also, a very good opportunity to revisit the first single from the album— the timeless, exotic ballad 'Murakami'. Mr. Braised is set to perform at New Forms Festival on Thursday September 18. He’ll take the stage alongside visual artist Soledad Muñoz at 11:30pm, right before Stones Throw legend Madlib!

M.E.S.H. - Imperial Sewers

PAN 52. Rising Berlin producer M.E.S.H. signals the latest intruiging direction for Bill Kouligas’ vaunted PAN imprint. ’Imperial Sewers’ is a suave exercise in patient, grime-influenced hip hop. Menacing synth stabs play off ghostly vocal undertones and slinky hihats to create a tense but oddly relaxing mood. Could definitely see this one on labels such as Fade To Mind and Keysound, but it somehow fits nicely within the PAN canon. From the Scythians EP, out June 6th.

Thrust - Do You Understand? (Scam Remix)

This dusty boom bap classic was released back in 1996 on Toronto label Knowledge of Self. The city was home to one of the most underrated mid 90’s hip hop scenes, with artists such as Citizen Kane and Thrust garnering considerable attention within the American underground at the time. Thrust, with his Pharoah Monch esque cadence and wordplay was one of the most skilled Canadian MCs of that era. Most of the vinyl releases from the time are currently quite rare.

One of the most legendary albums of all time was released 20 years ago today. Not much more can be said that hasn’t been said before about Illmatic. The brief 39 minutes are all perfect. For some further reading, check out this great new documentary 'Illmatic at 20', here. Also check out some nice words on the album from MC Serch of 3rd Bass, and this great piece by El-P. A reflective Record Store Day Saturday.

Gang Starr - Mass Appeal

The Hard to Earn LP turns 20 this week. The fourth Gang Starr album, it signalled a cleaner, darker direction for DJ Premier, while Guru was at the top of his game. ‘Mass Appeal’ is a legendary track.  Originally released March 8, 1994 on EMI subsidiary Chrysalis Records.

Dally Auston - Save It

Love this. That first drop is impossibly laid back, demanding a listen at full volume. Dally Auston is a member of the SaveMoney collective, outta the westside of Chicago, along with Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. Amazing string-heavy production from the hilariously named Smoko Ono. From the Westside EP, available for free DL here.

Isaiah Rashad - Soliloquy

A nod to golden age hip-hop here from recent Top Dawg signee Isaiah Rashad. He sounds hungry on this track, coming in with an impassioned verse that spans its entirety. The beat here goes hard as well. From Civilia Demo, released last week on TDE. Love the grainy textures in this black and white vid as well.

Schoolboy Q - Man Of The Year

This track knocks. Q sounds great on top of amazing production from Nez & Rio. Love those subtle panned hi-hats. And this video is just a great time. Its also surprisingly lacking in sleaziness. Everyones just havin’ fun somewhere nice. The Oxymoron LP drops February 25 on TDE/Interscope. Confirmed guests include Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown, Raekwon and more.

Travi$ Scott - Upper Echelon [Rook Milo Remix]

Rook Milo’s 'Bleached' single, on the ASL Singles Club blew our minds last year. Its chunky house stabs and batshit crazy breakdown made it a really memorable track. It was no surprise that the track was played by everyone from Ryan Hemsworth to DJ Slow. This new remix is just so cold though, highlighting the Vancouver producer’s versatility. Be sure to cop the free download.

Waavy break up beats from “The Ninetys”, available in January. A theme song for the angsty. Hood up, Head phones on. Play this on repeat repeat… it wont help!