DamnIngrid

Rapper/singer Ingrid’s H-Town bounce isn’t your typical ride. Though she was once a neighbor to the Knowles family, it was never a relationship she expected to get anything out of, according to her recent interview for Elle. However, her influence on Bey’s more recent music can be heard ever since she was asked to collaborate on 2013’s Beyoncé, which eventually turned into her signing to the diva’s Parkwood Entertainment imprint.

“Double Pedigree” is a great introduction into the mind of the artist and what I imagine she wants to make available to young listeners who want and need powerful voices to ring out in hip-hop with something of substance to say behind the bravado and beats. Starting with Dutch Rebelle and now with Ingrid, Front-Free is really looking at upcoming female MCs to set the trend and make rap an open forum for powerful young women who also get busy on the mic, because male or female…bars matter…but most importantly, women have been an integral part of hip-hop culture from the beginning and unfortunately, they face an uphill battle toeing the line between being taken seriously and being asked to portray certain images that may not be what they’re about. Big salute to women on the mic.

BlackThoughtStyles9th

I gotta admit I was not prepared for new Thought music today, but here we are. When you throw in a feature from Styles P and production by 9th Wonder…

Shia2

I’ve come to the realization…for like the millionth time…that Black Thought is quite easily top five dead or alive, which is a tremendous feat for someone who’s technically never released a solo album. While I believe there’s something to be said for an artist putting together a solo LP before certain kudos can be given to them as a solo MC, but I think Thought qualifies as a special case. Styles is no slouch either on this and no disrespect to him, but this one Thought verse could have been followed by 9th letting the beat ride out and I’d still be one satisfied citizen. Enjoy. This takes it back to what it was like when MCs actually spit bars worth rewinding to hear again, all while making the ugliest face imaginable.

the-silent-partner

Two of the greatest producers in hip-hop history (and certainly two names on my personal short list) link up for The Silent Partner, a collaborative album set to drop May 20th. “Maintain” is the first joint to be released from it and sounds exactly how you would expect these two to sound sans Prodigy. Cormega, Method Man and P are set to appear elsewhere on the project, however. Enjoy.

RiffRaff

Riff Raff’s been a polarizing figure in the hip-hop community but for those who “get it”, he’s also the satirical figure hip-hop needed to spoof the vapid trap rap trend before it even really blew up. Maybe you didn’t see Riff’s spoof of MTV Cribs where he takes you through a very basic one-bedroom apartment telling obvious lies about the various items he comes across, but from this, it’s clear that the guy is in on the joke and if you’re not…you’re just gonna be mad or confused or both. I’d take a bugged out, creative, and probably intentionally ignorant Riff Raff record any day just for the lols over the Young Thug gibberish he and the people who like his stuff take seriously. The spoof only gets more funny the more his original act seems to coincide with the face that the mainstream rap world puts on the culture. Funny to ya’ boy.

Spice1_McEiht

I’ll listen to nearly anyone over an Alchemist production, but throw in two golden state legends and I’m all ears. Though it’s easy to forget given his frequent collaborators, Alc himself is a Los Angeles native and this record just bleeds Cali from the opening. West up!

asap-ferg-let-it-bang-600x400

A$AP Ferg channels 90s Wu-Tang on this latest record off of his upcoming Always Strive And Prosper LP. Though I wasn’t at all impressed with Schoolboy Q’s last album, I was pleasantly surprised by his verse here. As for Ferg himself, I think he’s a unique and clever MC who’s well on his way to surpassing his A$AP cohorts by leaps and bounds creatively. I’m here for the come-up.

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