Alternative Hip-Hop

Artist: 
Prof
Label: 
Rhymesayers Entertainment

Minnesota rapper Prof has been around since the early 2000’s.  Over the span of his career, Prof has released three studio albums, with his third being the recently released Pookie Baby. Pookie Baby Is interesting, but it never really hooked me throughout my multiple listens. There were a few stand out tracks like “Light Work” and “Time Bomb” which sound like your classic 2018 rap songs, but most of this album really just didn’t do it for me. My main criticism with this album is some of the tracks just come off as edgy and immature.

Sounds Like: 
Cecil Otter
Sounds Like: 
Sims
Name: 
Mike Chase
Date Reviewed: 
04/27/2018
Artist: 
Danny Watts
Label: 
Authors / The Order Label

Black Boy Meets World is Huston rapper Danny Watts first studio album. Ex Costco employee, Watts decided he was meant for bigger things and didn’t want to be stocking shelves forever. He took to sound cloud, met a few other rappers, moved to L.A., and the rest is history.  Black Boy Meets World is extremely well done and deserves way more attention than its getting. Watts has only been in the game for about two years and I feel as if he is already mastering the dark/alternative hip- hop genre.

Sounds Like: 
Ameer Vann
Sounds Like: 
Tyler, the Creator
Name: 
Mike Chase
Date Reviewed: 
04/18/2018
Artist: 
Jaden Smith
Label: 
MSFTS Music

The debut album from, the man, the myth, the legend, Jaden Smith is exactly what you would expect it to be. Just like the creator of the album, "Syre" is eccentric, thought-provoking, and dynamic in style. The album focuses on philosophical topics such as the creation of man, hope, individuality, and many other topics. While some tracks such as the BLUE series are eccentric, complete with delicate piano singing from Willow, other tracks like "Breakfast" are hip-hop.

Sounds Like: 
Kevin Abstract - both are alt. rappers but Abstract is less genre fluid as this album
Sounds Like: 
A$AP Rocky - both know how to work a hook but, once again, less hip-hop influence as A$AP
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
12/05/2017
Artist: 
Komplex Kai
Label: 
KK Entertainment LLC

Komplex Kai's "Do Right" is an album that goes harder than I expected. If you dig classic hype jams like DMX and hooks that you can chant along to, then this album is the right fit for you. "On The Map" really emphasizes how he's from the Northwest. While the song is repetitive and doesn't really have any shifts, the hook of the song is pretty good and it's easy to get the words right. However, the constant beep led to my boyfriend and I joking about how it sounded like a microwave that wouldn't stop going off.

Sounds Like: 
Knowmads - Similar rap style as Wilson
Sounds Like: 
DMX - On the harder tracks
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
02/19/2017
Artist: 
Injury Reserve
Label: 
Las Fuegas

Floss is the sophomore album of Tempe hip-hop trio Injury Reserve. This record was my introduction to the group and I really wasn't sure what to expect when I first heard it. Little did I know this record ended up being one of my favorites of 2016, as well as one of the records I listened to the most. This is an incredibly refreshing take on modern hip-hop. From the loud catchy bangers such as "Oh Shit!!!" and "All This Money" to the softer, more emotional tracks such as "Keep on Slippin", this record is all around breathtaking.

Sounds Like: 
Run The Jewels
Sounds Like: 
Shabazz Palaces
Name: 
Brandon Serrano
Date Reviewed: 
02/08/2017
Artist: 
Run The Jewels
Label: 
Mass Appeal

2100 (feat.

Sounds Like: 
Killer Mike
Sounds Like: 
El-P
Name: 
Brandon Serrano
Date Reviewed: 
11/30/2016
Artist: 
B.o.B
Label: 
Self Produced

Don't be surprised if B.o.B disappears sometime soon because the Illuminati is certainly out to get him after releasing his mixtape A.I.R. B.o.B releases his inner musings as to what he believes is wrong with the world today, such as corruption, censorship, and what really is "the truth." With incredibly fast and intense raps and Kid Cudi-esque vocals with varying beats, hooks, and styles, A.I.R shocked me with how it kept my attention and didn't make me laugh at some of the drastic ideas he has.

Sounds Like: 
Juicy J - flow is similar
Sounds Like: 
Kid Cudi - only for the ballad tunes like "Negative Space"
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
10/25/2016
Artist: 
Oxymorrons
Label: 
Tommy Boy Entertainment

Oxymorrons surprised me not only with the artist name as aforementioned, but also how the album name Complex but Basic struck me as a perfect way to reveal who they are without saying too much. Bold from the first song to the last, Oxymorrons utilizes garage band type rock and melds it with sing-song type choruses followed by dope rhymes that seems to work extraordinarily.

Sounds Like: 
Macklemore
Sounds Like: 
Black Keys
Sounds Like: 
Kid Cudi
Name: 
Maximilian Serventi
Date Reviewed: 
10/12/2016
Artist: 
Banks & Steelz
Label: 
Warner Bros. Records

Banks & Steelz is the unlikely collaboration between Interpol frontman Paul Banks, and RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan. The two demonstrate a solid chemistry in their songwriting and production throughout the record. More than anything, this sounds like an album that they both had a lot of fun making. They clearly enjoy writing and performing together and both put a lot into this project. The music in the album is an unusual mix of Interpol's post-punk indie sound, and old-school Hip Hop from RZA. Boom bap drum beats lay under guitars and synthesizers while RZA raps and Banks sings.

Sounds Like: 
Blackroc
Sounds Like: 
Big Grams
Name: 
Alex Siegel
Date Reviewed: 
09/14/2016
Artist: 
Open Mike Eagle & Paul White
Label: 
Mello Music Group

Open Mike Eagle’s second collaborative album, this time with London musician/producer Paul White, continues Eagle’s intellectually challenging and emotionally nuanced style of rap in novel tandem with White’s layered, sample-rich psychedelia, making it an excellent listen. Dark Comedy remains my favorite of Open Mike Eagle’s releases, though; his comic aspect is downplayed in this release in favor of more personal, serious lyrics (hence the album title, apparently).

Sounds Like: 
Aesop Rock
Sounds Like: 
Busdriver
Name: 
Leo Hamerlynck
Date Reviewed: 
04/06/2016
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