It’s always a pleasure to feature Boston locals in this column, especially when they release a project as ambitious as Latrell James’ Twelve.
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New Jersey rhymer Foster hasn’t been seen since he dropped “Destiny” back in 2013. His last album, Bay Parkway, came three years ago, and the artist then known as Vibes was supposed to follow up with King’s Highway later that year. Even though it’s a couple years overdue, King’s Highway has finally released, giving a glimpse of the magnetism the twentysomething rapper showed before stepping away from the mic.
You may recognize Chicago rapper Towkio from the cover of this week’s RedEye, but if you’re not the kind of Bostonian that routinely checks out the alt weeklies of other metropolitan cities, you might’ve mixed the rising talent out of Chance the Rapper’s SaveMoney crew.
Four years ago, 21-year-old Jazz Cartier was basically the Asher Roth of New England prep school rap. The Indian Mountain alumnus blipped the blogosphere with his mixtape Losing Elizabeth, which he put together while studying at Connecticut’s Avon Old Farms. Marauding in Paradise, Cartier’s long-awaited followup eschews that sophomoric aesthetic for a tempestuous and ambitious new style dubbed “cinematic trap music.”
Kev Decor bills his new mixtape LV BN BRK as a project, which seems to be accurate. It’s mostly a collection of singles (“4$”, “BANG”, and “Cuckoo” have all been released independently) and scraps hobbled together under an album cover, but that’s fitting considering the multitude of styles Decor experiments with over the course of the album
Seattle headlines Broke Beats for the second week in a row, but this time it’s an emcee we find gazing skyward.
Houston’s Mayalino is different.
He’s a rare coke rapper that can flash his drug money and weight on wax and not sound tired. He works well within the milieu of a drug-running industry fatcat all the while taking his Rick Ross ambitions to new corners of style and finesse. The breakout-ready rhymer’s Mayalino EP finally arrived this week after a lengthy delay, but Mayalino makes it worth the wait, lacing all nine tracks with confident, listenable brags, making his tape much more clever than the industry standard.
Kentucky’s Tinashe is only 22 years old, but the prolific songstress has been in showbiz since she was three years old, finally reaching her deserved acclaim in 2012 after dropping a pair of mixtapes recorded in her bedroom.
Nineteen-year-old Chicago emcee/producer Frank Leone has been hovering outside the indie rap radar for a while, and with EnterWILD, his latest mixtape, Leone stamps his Google-averse name directly on the planet.
Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot are the twosome who make up Atalanta gone rap group EarthGang. The duo, who draw apt comparisons to LA psych-rap pioneers Pharcyde, released their followup EP Torba this week, and it’s a statement all in its own.