Alchemist in 2016.

The quality of rap music in a given year can be measured in Alchemist releases. His 2016 output in 2016 so far includes an album with Havoc, a pair of 7-inch singles featuring West Coast legends ands scions, a stylish period drama with Curren$y, and some fine loosies with Meyhem Lauren..

Ca$h Out – Kitchens & Choppas 2.

Kitchens & Choppas 2 is a sequel to probably my favorite album of 2014. It’s an economical eight songs with threadbare beats and Ca$h Out’s distinctive quavering, pimpish delivery. Calling the sound sparse is like calling money green. The stove, the strippers, and the scale float in endless space. It’s..

Johnny Cinco – Trap Religious, Mixtape.

Atlanta’s Johnny Cinco goes exotic with his beat selection on his newest mixtape, Trap Religious, especially on the first two tracks. “Virtual Trapping” uses the sound palette of a dystopian sci-fi flick. Cinco still sounds like he grew up on dancehall until graduating to lean and Gucci Mane tapes, so Trap Religious takes..

Maxo Kream – Maxo 187.

Maxo Kream of Houston delivers the year’s first great gangster rap album and serves fiends and 90s babies alike with street shit and Nickelodeon/wrestling references. If you want it without DJ drops, hit up iTunes/Spotify/etc. Sphere: Related Content

Raekwon – We Wanna Thank You, Mixtape.

Amid years of fruitless attempts to regain New York hip-hop’s former glory, luddites’ endeavors to reinstate “real” hip-hop, and embarrassing overtures by yesterday’s greats — most recently, the Wu-Tang Clan’s painful and perverse new album — amid all of that, Raekwon alone seems to have noticed that the provenance of every golden..

Salva – Peacemaker.

L.A. by way of Chicago producer Salva went and got all your favorite rappers for his mixtape. Download it at his website and listen to choice cuts featuring Freddie Gibbs, Kurupt, E-40, and Schoolboy Q below. Sphere: Related Content

Denmark Vessey – Don’t Drink The Kool Aid.

Shout out to rappers who aren’t friends with Gwyneth Paltrow. Don’t Drink The Kool Aid was one of my favorite rap albums of 2013 for its casual vibe. It’s like the kids banging on the desks grew up and got jobs, but kept the same fun, scrappy approach to rap but now..