Statik Selektah-Extended Play (Full Album Stream)

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With an incredible number of collaborations, joint albums, productions for other artists and much more under his belt, one of hip-hop’s hardest working men is gearing up to release his 5th solo studio album next Tuesday (18th).

It’s been fun watching Statik’s reputation grow from a bubbling-under producer to one of hip-hop’s premiere acts behind the boards, and it appears most of the genre feel the same way; features are beyond plentiful here, with appearances from Raekwon, Joey Bada$$, Black Thought, Talib Kweli, Blu, Joell Ortiz, Mac Miller, Flatbush Zombies, Bun B, Prodigy, Action Bronson and many, many more in what is a fantastically-stacked lineup. Of course, there are several producers/DJs who tend to get a slew of guest spots on their albums (Khaled, Drama etc.) but given their tendency to hire predominantly mainstream or ‘pop rappers’, it’s refreshing to get Statik projects that are generally full to the brim with MCs that do the genre justice. Stream the full project over at NPR below, and be sure to support next week if you’re a fan.

Statik Selektah-Extended Play (Album Stream)

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ANTHM and Blu-A Handful of Dust (EP)

anthm-handful-of-dust
With his relentless releases in recent weeks, ANTHM’s built up quite the storm for this EP, and with the production helmed solely by Blu (as GODLeeBarnes) there’s familiarity included to help further that buzz.

We’ve already caught two of the tracks from this name-your-price EP (yes, the miserly among you can get it for free), both of which have demonstrated not only the diversity in Blu’s offerings, but the versatility of ANTHM. The latter is something his more long-term fans are certainly accustomed to, and hopefully this works as a platform to project that quality out to a wider audience. In any case, this is likely to be 7 tracks of good, diverse hip-hop, available to stream and/or download below.

ANTHM and Blu-A Handful of Dust EP

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ANTHM-Debbie

anthm debbie
I picked this as my second release to celebrate my sister on her birthday. She turns 11 today. Anyone who has ever been close to me knows that we have a special relationship. It runs deep. I hope this record remains as timeless in her life as our bond will be. Happy birthday, Debbie.

ANTHM has been relentless these past few weeks, and follows up the first release from Handful of Dust rapidly with this strong effort. A much more bouncy and upbeat track too, with Blu’s production comprising uplifting keys, quick and sharp percussion and a sprinkling of additional samples and effects for a deep production that’s enjoyable on many levels. It’s every bit as summery as Nina, but clearly comes from a much different, more positive angle that suits ANTHM down to the ground: he’s regularly demonstrated his range of flows, and here his quick flow keeps pace with this vibrant production. It’s a solid performance throughout, capped off nicely by his vocalised hook section, which makes for a smooth and necessary break from those relentless raps. Another good all-rounder, and that EP’s shaping up very well.

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ANTHM-Nina

anthm-handful-of-dust
He’s been on a tear with remixes in recent weeks, and finally lets loose some brand new original work. Taken from his highly-anticipated Handful of Dust EP, released on 4th March and set to be entirely produced by Blu, a prospect with much potential given their previous success when working together on the Joy & Pain EP.

The backdrop is trademark Blu: soft, summery melodies and crisp percussion combines for a warm, mellow production with an easygoing quality that makes it instantly replayable. ANTHM rides along that drum line nicely with a slick, sharply-delivered flow that once again packs in those ambitious, relatable and desire-laden raps, which themselves contain a few smart tricks and memorable lines. A strong release ahead of the EP.

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Pac Div-Cross Trainers ft. Kendrick Lamar and Blu


The trio’s GMB album is due on 27th November, and whilst the releases so far have been of a consistently good quality, there’s no doubt that adding fellow West Coasters Kendrick and Blu to the lineup will really turn heads.

In keeping with their more aggressive approach on this album, there’s crunching production on this one that gives their raps much more intensity, and makes for a nice departure from the more laidback beats we usually associate with all of the acts on here. The boom-bap percussion complements the Div’s cadences extremely well, whilst Blu’s dulcet tones contrast rather nicely with it to create a distinctively underground rap sound, and Kendrick’s high-paced flow rides the production slightly differently to the rest for a final touch of diversity. A variety of performances and results, and they combine for a very replayable track that bodes well ahead of GMB.

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Danny Brown-Change


Danny has one of the most endearing personalities in hip-hop, and he’s no slouch on the mic either. With a beat helmed by Blu and Mainframe (under the guise of Johnson & Jonson), he’s ably supported by laidback melodies, harmonious synths and a soft percussion line that combine for a gentle, relaxing production. Danny adjusts appropriately, dialling back the energy for a smoothed-out performance of his own that’s idly cool in the confident brags of the verses, and even more easygoing for the work on the hook. It all amounts to a very likeable slice of chillout hip-hop, and one that nicely sets up his upcoming Danny Johnson album (produced entirely by Blu and Mainframe).

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Blu & Exile @ Cargo - Thursday 4th October


Since crashing into Hip-Hop consciousness with the instant classic ‘Below The Heavens’ Blu has been one of the underground names on everybody’s lips. As prolific as he is talented he already boasts as many as ten full length albums and just as many mixtapes releases since his 2007 debut including this years ‘NoYork’ which had been penciled to be his major label debut.

To mark the September release of their second collaborative full length album ‘Give Me My Flowers’ Blu & produced extraordinaire Exile, who met through fellow collaborator Aloe Blacc, perform London together for the very first time.

Date: Thursday 4th October, 8pm-midnight
Venue: Cargo, Rivington Street, London EC2 3AY (Old Street Tube)
Tickets: £10 Advance // £15 on door

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Theophilus London, Blu and Jesse Boykins III-Life of A Lover


A collabo to set the ‘modern-day’ underground heads (I really don’t want to use the word hipster!) off, this is undoubtedly a collection of some of the best young acts around.

Theophilus and Blu come through with two great verses on this track, with Theophilus definitely impressing with one of his strongest verses to date. Huge fan of this soulful, vintage jazz-inspired beat, with the prominent horn melody blending effortlessly with the hip-hop sensibility in the percussion. Boykins comes through with a typically smooth hook, rolling out some whispery vocals to strengthen the soul aspect of the track.

Theophilus London-Life of a Lover Remix ft. Blu and Jesse Boykins III

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