I Self Devine should need no introduction, but since his last album was 2005's Self Destruction, his latest onslaught of output may be the first music that some latecomer listeners know about. His epic 4-part "Culture Series" ought to put everybody up on one of Minnesota's key hip-hop architects, with free mixtapes coming out every month in anticipation of I Self's sophomore record The Sounds of Low Class America, out May 8th on Rhymesayers Entertainment. "Mecca" is taken from LA State of Mind, the first mixtape in the series, recounting tales from the rapper's early days on the West Coast.
Gearing up for his latest release Martyr Music on February 24th, Knox got together with Headshots veteran Mr. Gene Poole and Long DOE mainstay Mike the Martyr and put out this featured track "Breathe". The video features some Southside notables like Slug and Big Wiz, co-signing what stands to be a powerful record.
Serving as a quick intermediate project between official albums, duo O-Lay & Diatonic decided to release the mixtape "Meanwhile" while working towards their next full-length Safe Travels. "Why Now" is a smooth track that questions the unfortunate side to burgeoning fame.
Another member of the diverse collection of younger-generation rappers know as Rapfam, Irenic leans toward the ambient side of experimental hip-hop. Her flow sinks into the floating beat on "Dali Lama Blues" to create a deep and left-field final product.
Reeves begins "Locals Only" with a flagrant and adversarial spoken intro, followed up by stating he's the "best rapper", that he manages to back up with a rabid and uncompromising flow once the beat kicks in. Definitely not stopping at calling out names, Reeves uses this hookless track to shit on anyone trying for his lane, and leaves us with a distinct impression of his skills.
Once rocking under the name Extreme, DisputeOne is a Twin Cities native that has been on the scene since the early days and continues to drop jewels. He recently released two tracks from his full project Back By Popular Demand as a free download, featuring "Asinine", which finds the former Headshot rapper spitting over a Big Jess beat.
GAHEDiNDIE's brand of noise-rap put a new face on hardcore rap. The blistering production, complete with guitar feedback, peaked drums and all distorted everything, gives the already raw raps an extra push towards the sonically confrontational. If you're into dark and challenging rap music, the free album "Sana Sana" might be for you.
Rob-1 faces life's struggle head-on in his lyrics with his latest album Writin' About A Hard Life, but manages to keep things uplifting and optimistic. Using tribulations for inspiration, Rob-1 uses hip-hop as a way to express himself and keep his head up.