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!

 

A$AP Mob - Trillmatic (feat. A$AP Nast & Method Man)

This massive track sounds like a lost Brand Nubian joint. And Meth just kills his verse! Loving the hockey jerseys in this throwback video, reminiscent of those classic Boot Camp Clik clips. Members of Joey Bada$$’ Pro Era crew are not happy with this track, calling it ‘style jackin’ shit’. But its a weak argument really, because whose tracks feature Method Man?

Gorgeous Children, falling somewhere between the raw menace of the Raider Klan camp and the hazed out cloud rap weirdness of Main Attrakionz. The ICE mixtape dropped yesterday on Jacques Greene’s VASE label. Interesting direction here. Will be watching what comes next for VASE.

Full DL of the mixtape here.

'Splash up next to your special someone' with this smooth as butter joint from Nick Wisdom. From ASL004, the latest release from Vancouver label ASL Singles Club. In just a couple short months these dudes are really making moves with these effective two track releases. 

Grab the free DL of this release, along with B-side ‘Snoopin’, here.

Ninja Tune, having an banner year, after great albums from FaltyDL and Machinedrum, has inked tipped Sacramento producer Lee Bannon. This track is the first taste from his debut LP, Alternate/Endings, due December 9. It sums up his style well, with seamless transitions between hip hop and jungle styles. Free DL as well.

And if you havent checked out his amazing free EP from earlier this month, Place/Crusher, don’t sleep

The NSDE OUTSDE EP dropped today on the label of Michigan crew AGO. The entire album is produced by Sango, so naturally its a must. Waldo’s skills behind the mic are very apparent though. Both are also Soulection affiliates. Download the EP for free here««

Impossibly smooth new release on Soulection. Lay back to the Elevated LP by Iamnobodi outta Germany, now available today. Feel good vibes.

Huge track. Just announced as the newest addition to the TDE roster, outta Tennessee, Isaiah Rashad kills this track. That flute. That hook.

Check out the video here.

Confident lofi hip hop from the rapper Young Braised. From the Japanese Tendencies EP, out today on the already amazing 1080p label. Mastered in Vancouver’s Mood Hut, this release is a very important one for the city. The album is entirely produced by Terio outta Japan.

Check out the whole release here.