Five (Dope) New Albums I Missed

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In 2018, I took the summer off from doing weekly coverage and damn, was that a mistake. Last year was the first time that so much happened during those beautiful months I spent in the river that I was was stuck playing catch-up for the rest of the year. (And if you reckon I never came close to catching up, I’d be inclined to agree.)

In 2019, things are moving even faster. We’re more than a month out from Summer Solstice and there’s been a flood of newsworthy releases since mud season. Here’s a roundup featuring five of my favorites. There’s a lot more to cover, but for now, give these puppies a spin.

Selfish Presley - No Sleep

We were promised a wavy, vibed-out artistic statement and No Sleep delivers the goods. Selfish Presley is in his own wide open lane here, and his production game is better than ever. The album is short, sharply cut, and packed with ideas. Props to the director.

Pro - After Dinner, Before Dawn

Out of nowhere, Pro dropped his debut solo album on BTV hip hop label Equal Eyes Records, and it’s the crown jewel of their catalog so far. This is a marathon of bangers from a lifelong fan and full time rap dad. Pro is one third of The Aztext, one of the 802’s most successful rap groups. He brings along an all-star cast of characters for this LP, including Konflik, Framework, Fattie B, and of course, AZT fam Kin and Tha Truth. This is a grand slam touchdown, a home run from half court.

Learic and Skysplitterink - The Theorist

The other Aztext emcee has been equally busy this year. Learic is already known for tight, cerebral concept tracks, but The Theorist represents a whole new level. It’s also proof he’s continuing to grow as an artist, even after a long career underground. The album is a continuous narrative, framed like a film, and the production is huge. If you need to read more, here’s my full review. Cheers.

Teece Luvv - Sunday Flow Practice Vol. 1

This is my personal favorite album of 2019 so far. It’s an off-hand, throwback good time, with few fucks given. It’s also all bars — creative, funny, musical bars. Teece Luvv really killed this set. Jarv does aight here, too. Speaking of Maiden Voyage, they should make ol’ Nahte Renmus do a Sunday Flow Practice series next. Then drop that self-produced group album. Whalam.

Dokowala - Hot Waves - Second Volume

St. Albans artist Dokowala dropped another smooth set of live-chopped, jazzy instrumental work, just in time to start bumping it with the windows open and the grill warming up. Hot Waves is quick but extremely cohesive, and Dokowala has taken the same smart approach with his releases so far: find a vibe and nail it to the barn wall. His next expedition will be just as tasty, and just as different.

Flip Physics - From The Archives: Volume 1

Or maybe six picks: as a bonus chaser, the Flip Physics compilation From The Archives, Volume 1 is an old school tour of a BTV beat head’s personal stash. Flip Physics has been a hustling hard for the local scene, from his constant collaboration work to his moderation of the regular Sample Challenge contests over at the Vermont Hip-Hop Artists Collective. Volume 1 has proven to be a great soundtrack for spring cleaning — highly recommended.

In closing, shouts to Big Homie Wes. If you haven’t checked out his February EP / movie Contraband, fix that.

Justin Boland