ROUNDUP: The Frozen Sounds of 2019


2019, as expected, has been off to a busy, competitive start. This is good news for pretty much everyone.

GOOD WTHR dropped their latest single on New Years Day, which saw a number of local releases drop. It’s a bright, bluesy banger with a real nice pocket and, of course, a catchy hook. This duo keeps getting more musical as their catalog expands, and it’s been a treat to watch. That beat is courtesy of German producer Whatson, who’s been working with the AZT fam for many years now. Here’s to many more.

Up next, brand new Asah Mack. This young spitter is spooky consistent, and “Winter” is another dose of pure energy. His beat selection remains impeccable — seriously, his whole SoundCloud is a feat of quality control. (I could do another Rap Coach riff about how important this approach is, but we all know that song by now, right?) Whatever he’s got in the works, it’s going to be formidable. Catch him at Sidebar on Feb. 15th.

Dolla Day just released a new one-off, “Vice Bity Vibes,” and even with the rough sound quality, I loved it. This is a ferocious performance and some nicely cut bars. Dolla Day is a promising talent, and I’m hopeful to see big things in 2019. He’s also a core part of the St. Albans Wave I keep warning you about — it might not sound serious, bud, but it will be. There’s a lot of talent up there, and it’s a very different flavor from the BTV scene.

Hermit samurai master XP has been on a quietly prolific run in recent years, cranking out tightly produced singles. His engineering skills have improved considerably since the early home studio days, and whenever his next LP drops, it’s going to be some top notch product. “Forgiven” is a deeply personal cut and one hell of a ride. “Every second I waste could be another record I make.” Saying that this dude is an elite writer is redundant at this point. All Hail.

Whenever mountain prophet and small farmer Humble drops a new project, it’s generally a surprise attack. His latest LP, Humble X Old Gold, was no exception, manifesting on New Years Day outta nowhere. As with his previous projects, it’s definitely got a home studio feel, but he’s also definitely one of the sharpest songwriters in the state, and this project is full of gems. “Where does that leave me?,” a short, funky, old-school joyride alongside accomplice Jarv, is one of my favorites.

Speaking of the jazzy, refined 802 producer Old Gold, he’s the first winner of a beat contest that’s running over at the Vermont Hip-Hop Artists Collective group on Zuckerborg. (There’s another one going right now - deadline is Jan. 28th.) Organized by Beat Theory Crew member Flip Physics, the contest got a ton of impressive submissions, and choosing a winner was damn hard.

The Vermont hip hop production scene is strong, and growing stronger. Rappers, there is no excuse for wack beats in 2019.

Justin Boland