Last month we introduced you to our latest series, Off The Grid, in which we showcase 5 projects from artists that are doing major things on an independent level.
This month we continue working towards our goal of broadening the horizons of Strange Music fans and highlighting dope hip hop all at the same time with 5 more projects that deserve your attention!
So plug those headphones in, maybe roll one up, and get ready to go off the grid.
BadBadNotGood – III
Standout Tracks: “Can’t Leave The Night”, “Hedron”
What happens when 3 young classically trained jazz musicians bond over a shared love of MF Doom and Odd Future?
You get one of the most exciting, imaginative groups in music today. What started as a few jazz re-interpretations of Tyler, The Creator tracks has blossomed into a promising career for three dudes from Toronto that are using their excellent taste in hip hop to craft hypnotic and surprisingly tough modern jazz that seems more appropriate within the context of a Wu Tang show than a jazz club.
On their third release, the Toronto-based trio continues to blur the lines between hip hop, jazz, and electronica and convert unsuspecting hip hop heads into full-blown jazz nerds.
Open Mike Eagle – Dark Comedy
Standout Tracks: “Qualifiers”, “Doug Stamper” Ft. Hannibal Burress
If Childish Gambino is hip hop’s Charles Bukowski, then Open Mike Eagle is it’s Kurt Vonnegut.
Open Mike Eagle has managed to peel the layers of hip hop back one by one until all that is left is emotive, humor-wrapped honesty over great music.
If you’re looking for the next Migos, you should probably keep browsing, but if you want hip hop that makes you laugh, ponder, and feel generally more comfortable about your weird thought process, you’ve found your new favorite album.
Count Bass D – Handshake Vs Dap [Beat Tape]
Standout Tracks: “That’s Off”, “Adrenaline”
This project technically came out a couple months back, but Count Bass D recently re-released this awesome tape on Never Normal Records, so that’s the perfect excuse to cover it.
Firstly, I feel the need to point out that Count Bass D is criminally slept-on as both a producer and an emcee. If you’ve never listened to his seminal work Dwight Spitz, you’re straight up doing your ears a disservice.
On this project, Count continues to expand upon his unique brand of sample driven hip hop with a refreshing amount of live instrumentation, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s entirely capable of dropping fire lyrics on top of his already head-bob-inducing instrumentals.
Amerigo Gazaway – Yasiin Gaye Side 2: The Return
Standout Tracks: Literally every one of them.
I could give y’all some verbose write up on why this project is awesome, or I could just tell you that Amerigo Gazaway is the master of the mashup and has combined Mos Def vocals with Marvin Gaye in a seamless perfection that does both parties plenty of justice, and it will have you bobbing your head the entire time you’re listening to it. Get this now.
[UPDATE]: Well shit, Amerigo went ahead and dropped ANOTHER mashup gem, in which he pits James Brown against the likes of Bob Marley, Mobb Deep, Fela Kuti and more. Grab it HERE.
Your Old Droog – S/T
Standout Tracks: “Loosey In The Store With Pennies”, “Gunsmoke Cologne”
When this mixtape dropped a couple weeks back with little to no context, the internet exploded with rumors of the ultimate Nas troll.
Honestly, I don’t give two shits if this is Nas’ alter ego or if it actually is a young Russian kid from Brooklyn, this mixtape is ILL. The production is eclectic and bangin’ as hell, and as far as the lyrical content goes, let’s just say the Nas comparisons are completely justified.
All internet hype aside, if you dig lyrical east coast hip hop, this shit is for you, period.
- Which project was your favorite?
- Were you already bumping any of these?
- Who did we miss?
Give us a shout in the comments section below!