Another limited edition slab of vinyl in various colours and again with only about 500 being made, this is an essential slice of genius from one of the most exciting MCs in the game right now. 'Hitler Wears Hermes 4' will have been tickling your naughty bits since November last year so you'll know what a gnarly, gritty, lush yet lurid thrill 'The Almighty' is. Westside is a king at rapping over beatless tracks — here the whole is held together with some pulsing widescreen jazz hints and whispers, John Barry-esque strings and reverbed soul peals adding to the sense of claustraphobic desperation. Startling hardcore, keeping it unreal like all the best hardcore does. Essential.
The new Gatecrasherz album 'Uninvited' is an absolute fucking blast: Big Toast, Gee Bag, Jack Diggs, Oliver Sudden and DJ Downstroke coming together to create a funky riot of beats and rhymes that is gonna push all the way through summer to be a major soundtrack to 2017. This track showcases exactly what's so addictive about it — frabjous variety in both the sounds and the rhyming (every verse is totally different and ANY rapper who can rap "tzatziki" with "freaky" is a genius in my book), raw and finessed energy streaming from every single spit syllable and rolling break. Acquaint yourselves immediately and then get the album.
"I hope you enjoy the formaldehyde in your chocolate brownie." The first drop from the forthcoming 'Passport' EP points to great things as ever from the Split Prophets stable, here helped by blazing cameos from Datkid and JMan and choice scratches from Simiah. Illinformed on the mix and a hypnotic and spellbinding head-nodder emerges akin in its supra-stoned oddity to Morriarchi/Trellion but animated by a sense of menace and propulsion that's unique — like autopilot stoned driving in a car that becomes increasingly driverless as you approach the realisation you have not destination. A heavy, heavy track.
Hus Kingpin & Smoovth
'Colours Of A Butterfly'
The label's Austrian but the duo are from Hempstead, Long Island, and they paid blazing tribute to Prodigy's classic 'HNIC' set with their own 'Hempstead Niggas In Charge' album in November last year. Similar to Westside Gunn, Conway and the whole Griselda gang in that they're reanimating '90s East Coast tropes and sounds, but a whole lot less harsh, more subtle, more measured. 'Colours Of A Butterfly' is for me the highlight, a strange almost Turkish psyche-groove over which little is added bar HK and Smoovth's compelling rhymes of bereavement and hopelessness. Essential.
Sonnyjim Feat. Quelle Chris
For the the stone-cold red-hot highlight of the stunning 'Mud In My Malbec' set. A gorgeous soulful backing, flickered over with exquisite touches of 70s soul/funk texture, Sonny as ever both icey and simmering with tension, Quelle Chris delivering a fantastic cameo on a track that uncannily matches the kind of sweet soulfulness he conjures on his new album. Fantastic stuff as ever from Sonnyjim - I'm getting kind of tired of calling him underrated, he should be MAJORLY rated by anyone into rap music. If you don't know get to know immediately.
'Heart Shaped U'
HappyPPL are Lee Scott and Trellion so you can imagine precisely what this sounds like — FUCKED UP. Mindblowing wide-screen synths burning out over slo-mo shattering grooves, hilarity ensuing inbetween every other Trelly line. From a soon-drop new Cult Mountain project called 'Things To Do In Happy Land When Ur Dead' that you KNOW is going to be one of 2017's essentials. Get it down your neck in dribbly lysergic quaffs, you waster.
Stinkin Slumrok X Morriarchi
Morriarchi is creating some of the most spellbinding productions in all UK music right now and this is one of the highlights from his incredible 'Morrstinkin' set. Amazing verses from Bisk and Slumrok suit the wasted vibe perfectly — Bisk perfecting those moves between stoned-wonder and comedown-aggression, the whole track coming on like that moment at 6am when the back of your eyeballs starts itching and the peripheries of your vision get lit with reverse-lightning. Come on—- we've all been there right? Drink deep from this brackish brew.
Leaf Dog's first solo release in six years serves as a tasty preview of his long-awaited 'Dyslexic Disciple' album. Only 500 copies of the limited 7" vinyl so get on it (HF swear down there will be no repressings!) if it's not too late. LD's typically engrossing throughout both the lead-off track and 'Today' on the flip but the real joy of 'My Scene' is the production by Naive — slathered with a plethora of New Orleans/Kingston horns and bumping with confidence and hints of summer parties. A little shot of sunshine you should get a fix of soon as. Welcome back, Dog.
DA FLYY HOOLIGAN
Holy fuck the Bad Company production on this is downright fucking DANK — like smeared orange neon encrusting on cobblestones, a sound that could come from nowhere but the UK, slow-motioning somewhere between dub and hip-hop, the delay-drenched ragga vox and rudebwoy hollers swirling into the tracks centre and getting swallowed by the blackhole beat. Stunning. From the latest 'FLPM' set — man this is making me hold tight for the 'SCUM' LP that drops soon. No, not cheery. No music should be cheery right now.