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Singles - Hip Hop & Trap - Issue 549

The Age Of L.U.N.A

Boom (feat. Zangwu)

NA

9.0
Holy hell — how have I avoided Age Of L.U.N.A for so long? Scratch that, WHY have I avoided Age Of L.U.N.A for so long? I'm an idiot — this it utterly ace, a leak from their new tape that kicks off in a welter of wibble and bloopy madness, then streamlines itself into a raw stomping Dilla-style thrum of wonder, Butch Arkas and Kyote Noir swapping lines that recall everything that can be awesome and fresh about London rap music when it's delivered with such uncut ferocity and strength. The mixtape this comes from, 'Live Under No Authority' is now available for nowt from a broadband connection near you and should be downloaded as soon as humanly possible. Essential.

Stinkin Slumrok

'Dinner's Ready'

Blah Records

8.5
It was the Reklews production credit that demanded I investigate this (if you haven't heard his productions for Fliptrix and Lee Scott, do so immediately), and man am I glad I did. SS spits some brilliant lines here but it's R's work behind the desk that really drags you into the maelstrom and won't let go, a diseased futurist smear of sound and vision recalling no-one else bar maybe Strange U/Cult Mountain. Like them, this is music that utterly refutes both the reductive retroism of US rap and 99% of the drek that passes for British music. Stupendously good — hold tight for the 'Don Pong' album from Slumrok and keep your ears pinned to anything bearing the Reklews imprint.

Your Old Droog

'Kinison EP'

Droog Recordings

7.5
Ukranian-American man of mystery follows up on the intrigue caused by last year's self-titled album (which a lot of people thought was by Nas under a pseudonym) with this long-playing EP, presumably (judging by the samples) inspired and fired by Sam Kinison, comedy maverick and total legend. Lots to get stuck into here — intriguing samples and a production style seemingly uninfluenced by anything else currently going on in rap. Like last year's first transmissions, you can tie this in with Action Bronson and a generally retrograde vibe (and disgust with the present) in rap — all of which would be counter-intuitive and unforgiveable if the results weren't so compelling. Highlights — the taut spooked funk of 'Homicide' and DJ Skizz' squelchy 'Sasquatch In A UFO'. Find it on Soundcloud and drink deep.

Prhyme

'Mode'

Shady/Interscope

8.0
From the 'Southpaw' OST, and the first new Phryme we've heard since 2014. I was as hyped for this as I was when I was a kid and you heard rumbles that Gang Starr or Jeru were going to drop something new. You'll be glad to hear not a lot's changed since that superb self-titled debut — gnarly Primo beats, Adrian Younge lacing the whole with swathes of gorgeously detailed grainy strings and jazz, Logic and Royce swapping killer lines, and some scratches from Primo that are just so exquisitely timed and frabjous that three minutes is way too short to fully enjoy it. Until a new album drops, keep hitting rewind on this little beauty. Superb.

Golden Rules feat. Yasmin Bey

'Never Die '

Lex Recordings

9.0
Just utterly exquisite. Golden Rules' just-dropped LP on Lex, 'Golden Ticket' will be palmed off as a leftfield contribution to this year's greatest hip-hop but really what I hear is a massive congruity here with Outkast at their trippiest (I can't be the only one who hears Andre 3000 in Eric Biddiness' voice). Absolutely no reason on earth why this shouldn't be huge — a gorgeous summery sprawl of a track, lit up with a dub sense of space and intrigue, and put together in a unique spirit, one that aims for beauty and transcendence and that will always speak clearly to anyone for whom hip-hop has performed a crucially psychedelic role, a druggy, delighted, dazed and unconfused shaft of sunlight into our grey days. Soundtrack to a summer we never got. Make it happen every time you press play.

Papoose

'The Club'

Honorable Records

8.5
Nice to hear Pap finally getting some worthwhile productions behind his undeniable flow. Haven't got round to 'You Can't Stop Destiny' (the new album) yet but if this is any pointer, should be doozie. Massively amused though by some listeners' reactions to this Premo monster, a prevailing motif being that they can't understand why his voice is 'drowned out' on this track. That's Premo, you dumb motherfuckers! That's the way his production WORKS! We're now dealing with a generation of hip-hop fans whose primary access to hip-hop (datpiff/playlists/Youtube) have taught them that a hip-hop track is one in which the VOICE dominates and bullies everything else. Hoping the new Papoose can set them straight that it's when that voice is in divine congress/holy WAR with the production that hip-hop truly occurs! Great track, get it.