St. Paul Slim and Last Triumph
As a preview for his latest album Personal Holiday
, St. Paul Slim recently dropped a 7-track teaser for free on Bandcamp. Produced entirely by studio-wizard duo Last Triumph
, the album has an atmosphere all its own thanks to a mixture of traditional and experimental techniques, and Slim brings his firebrand lyricism to a new level with added attention to vocal harmonies and organic reverberation.
With help from Grammy-award winning producer Rahki Smith, up-and-comer Gaines is hoping to make a big splash on the local scene with his album "The Night Crawler". After making a name for himself in cyphers and radio appearances, the aspirational rapper puts a strong foot forward in making a name for himself with this new record.
Originally from Chicago, Longshot made the move to Minneapolis recently and has begun to embed himself in the local scene, as evidenced by the track "Now" which features production from Doomtree beatmaker Lazerbeak and a guest verse from Desdamona. With a prominent article in the Star Tribune
, a killer performance at the last Soundset
and a track with famed producer Jake One
already under his wing, the powerful MC is well on his way to making a lasting imprint on the scene.
Zac HB & Kristoff Krane (Team Shells)
The relatively young collective that falls under the umbrella known as Team Shells is an amalgam of 5 members who each contribute a number of things to this eclectic project. As producer Shells lays tracks and MINDCONTROL provides guitar lines throughout, Zack HB rhymes about heady topics, here with fellow introspective MC Kristoff Krane. The album as a whole features contributions and guidance from members Eclipse and The Beast, as well as numerous guests including Kanser, Muja Messiah, and Sketch the Cataclysm. Difficult to explain but a joy to explore, this album is an ambitious and experimental approach to hip-hop.
Charlie Future's album features art inspired by Back To The Future, which is apt considering the rapper's penchant for a tight throwback style of rap with an ear for modern beats and attitude. Charlie goes into detail about his daily life on this track, laying out his struggles and his hopes for a better outlook on his situation, and his confidence carries him through this and the rest of the song's duration.
The long-awaited Diamond Life mixtape dropped on Dat Piff last week to fanfare from Rocky Diamond's 26K+ followers on Twitter, pushing the Northsider's rising star even further. Filled to the brim with swag and boastful energy, the mixtape sounds unique from a lot of Minnesota releases, and features appearances from Philadelphia's Freeway and DJ Capcom.
If the combination of 808 and tabla doesn't immediately pique your interest, there's a good chance some element of Crunchy Kids' live-band rap will capture you. The four-piece combines jazzy song structures with electronic elements and charismatic rap vocals that combine with a fresh final product.
The cover of North Minneapolis' BdotCroc's latest free album is a picture of her as a child, which according to her bio is about when she began rapping. Most of her beat choices are soulful and downtempo but she manages to bring a fire to every track on this varied album.
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