Cameron Butler – Voyage To Ataraxia (2017)
I started paying attention to Cameron Butler last year, when he released his loose single, Fight The Funk. Since then, he has shown tremendous growth, not only as a rapper but as a producer, songwriter, and mixing engineer. He’s a prime example of how well DIY can work if you put in the man hours. He wears many hats, but his execution is always clean. VTA is a solid album from front to back. His versatility shines bright, going from psychedelic tracks like Brain – which is one of the best intros I’ve heard this year – to the Caribbean-infused Green. Then you have joints like Mastermind which make you feel like you time traveled back to the early 2000’s when The Neptunes were at their peak. If you dug Tyler The Creator’s new album, give this one a spin; The carefree, feel good vibes are heavy here.
Roc Marciano – Rosebudd’s Revenge (2017)
Roc Marciano’s been moving in the game since 1999 when was affiliated with Busta Rhymes and Flipmode. After years of building a catalog of solo work and an admirable cult following, he provides another solid album with Rosebudd’s Revenge. It’s Roc Marci at his best and most familiar; cinematic soul samples and luxury raps – real pimp shit. Some of my favorite tracks are Move Dope, Marksmen with his Metal Clergy brother Ka, and the Knxwledge-laced No Smoke with Knowledge the Pirate. Marci makes plenty of references to cats who got the game twisted. You know, rappers who want to be pimps, and druggies who think they are drug dealers.
Fly Anakin – People Like Us (2017)
Fly Anakin is a member of rap collective Mutant Academy and based out of Richmond, VA. His flow is distinct and nostalgic; He sounds like that dude who’s ready to wash everybody in a park cypher. There’s a lot of energy and raw talent on People Like Us. With effortless precision, he floats on smokey production from Ohbliv and TUAMIE.
Skyzoo – Peddler Themes (2017)
Brooklyn’s very own Skyzoo drops his new EP. As expected, he brings his high-level pen game, which many feel is refreshing in a climate where catchy hooks overshadow lyricism. My favorite tracks on this one are the !llmind produced Finesse Everything with its slick Jay-Z, Nas and Raekwon samples and ’95 Bad Boy Logo laced by the talented TUAMIE. Let this one tide you over until Celebration Of Us.