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This Month's Mixtapes/albums

Young Fathers - DEAD

After a year signed to Anticon Young Fathers have blasted onto radios and laptop speakers. Almost everything written about them follows the 'They're Scottish WTF' party-line, but there's much more to them and their new album, Dead, than that. So what are they? The start to Low sounds more like a Youthmovies track than anything hip-hop and are those didgeridoos on Just Another Bullet? They are a blur. They carry on from the infamous collection of Anticon releases which precede them. Unsettling basslines squirm around like whale song on 'Get Up' and 'MMMH MMMH' and ethereal synths descend like a mist upon the tracks to twist and blend with reverb-doused vocals. But even with the pedigree backing them Young Fathers don't lay down and settle for 'left-field hip-hop'. 'I Am Not Your Boy' is a haunting love-lost pop song and Paying is a creeping, eerie and fierce play with R&B. As a group they have produced an incredibly emotive album, as all parts combine for the good of the whole, twisting and turning together and against one another.

Shy Glizzy - Young Jefe

DC's pompous star Shy Glizzy unleashed his latest mixtape this month. Hosted by DJ Bigga Rankin the tape, which boasts 18 tracks, showcases Glizzy's grill slurring delivery attacking slow, low-pass synth productions from the likes of Cardo, Will A Fool, Zaytoven and Nito Beats. Not taking itself too seriously the tape plays up to the ideal trap gangsta, interrupted by 'Call From Cannon' laughing at 'mobile gangsters' and 'social media gangsters' with Bigga Rankin in the background mocking folk calling themselves 'bawses'. Not to mention the insane cartoon track 'Catch A Body' in which flutes and children show effects paint rainbows and sunny pastures all over the mixtape (although the track is pertinently ended with 'GLIZZY GANG BITCH!'). He switches up his hoarse delivery on tracks like 'Free Tha Gang' and 'I'm A Star', letting R&B-esque vocals glide over the tracks, but for the most part this is a big beast of a mixtape, bragging and aggressive.

ScHoolboy Q - Oxymoron

Spectating through ScHoolboy's hazed eyes Oxymoron acts as a picture-book to describe snapshots of his life: from his childhood in Hoover Street to his position as Man Of The Year. Displaying his versatility he slopes through straight up gangster rap and slurred drank rap via dark Tyler beats and the dub inspired Collard Greens. You get the feeling that this is a carefully built record. Though there are some straight up beat tunes like 'Break The Bank', you also get tracks like 'Prescription/Oxymoron' and 'Hell Of A Night' which follow more nuanced narratives through Q's delivery and playful production. Opening with his daughter's 'my daddy a gangsta' the first three tracks bounce in hard and are followed up by the more self-conscious middle section of the record. Tyler then balls in with a bare-bass growling track, punctuated by a descending dystopian siren injecting a darkness he does so well. The finale is helped by the fact that the two tracks have been out for a short while, and by the fact that they're great. 'Break The Bank''s hook and the bouncing, lolling 'Man Of The Year' just leave you wanting more.

In Other News

De La Soul Give Away Their Entire Back Catalogue

Yeah, that's right. For Valentine's Day the plugs gave away their whole catalogue for free download. "It's been too long where our fans haven't had access to everything. This is our way of showing them how much we love them." You guiz! Sadly, it was only up for 25 hours, but we can still pump Potholes on the pod.

Dudley Perkins (aka Declaime) - 'Lung Specialist' Video

Dudley Perkins under the alias of Dr Stokely dropped an ace record on us last November and the promo follow up has now left us with this ace video. Acid drenched the animation echoes the tracks tribute to what Dr. Stokely does well... you can guess what.

L'Orange Signs 3 Record Deal With Mellow Music Group!

What excellent news. The North Carolinian producer come out at various points over the next 2 years L'Orange will bless us with prohibition era samples and vinyl crackle productions and as a teaser of what's to come he dropped The Lost Nova featuring Mr. Lif and John Robinson. Microwave music.

Murkage (Feat. Bipolar Sunshine) - 'LA PLAGE' (Live Session)

Bombing in last summer with La Plage, Murkage shattered UK hip-hop's conservative trends. The Manchester collective have suped up their track with a live outfit and released this live video. It's ace, they're ace, you're ace.

Elder Blossoms - Nehruvian 'DOOM'?

DOOM was featured in yet another mini-documentary (maybe he should sack them off and actually put out some records?) with his disciple Bishop Nehru, with whom he's releasing a new project very soon... apparently. In lieu of this, here's the 17-year-old Rockland County kid playing about with DOOM's instrumental Elder Blossoms.

The Honourable Mention

Shout outs to Big Body Bes. I want a mixtape of your braggadocio nonsense ASAP.