Meth voice – ‘Month two, coming with that fire too, Raw Side putting flames into your timeline – Suuuu’. We are back at it again with the monthly recap of all things banging in the world of hip hop releases for February 2020. Just like January, there has been some SUPER solid joints delivered, so scroll on, keep reading and get ready to add to your playlists.

Dueling Experts – Dueling Experts

This was a fantastic find by my Raw Side partner in crime Jammin and it’s a wicked album. Dueling Experts are comprised of Verbal Kent (Ugly Heroes) and Recognize Ali so you know it’s going to be real. As soon as you press play and hear that raw, record playing sound – you know you’re in for something special. Check here for the FULL REVIEW of one of the releases of the year so far.

Son of Saturn – Abracadabra

This nice little 6 track EP snuck through at the end of January so I figured I’d give it some love here. It’s a very laid back, lo-fi, esoteric kind of vibe and feel with deep lyrics and introspective thoughts. And I like it. A nice change of pace, something you need to be in the mood for, but certainly a quality release.

Filth the Enabler – Worst Rapper Ever

This is a fun little four track listen. Canadian emcee Filth the Enabler doesn’t take himself too seriously and it results in some clever tracks. Clean production, well put together songs – bump it! Part 2 is coming soon!

Mayhem of EMS & Reckonize Real – Audio Murals

What a fantastic collaboration by two very talented personalities in the game. Mayhem & Reckonize Real aren’t strangers to each other having collab’d before, but this full length feature is tight. Mayhem’s ability to flow so smooth, while delivering hard lines is on show and Reck lays the foundations with solid production throughout.

Nolto, Dada Banks, Trill Monroe – Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome EP

A tasty little sample that I caught after checking the Filth the Enabler feature (and Filth tells me they have more collabo’s in the barrel!) and it’s a solid listen. Crafty production, and real lyrics & stories told. Spin it.

Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats – Unlocked

Always left guessing as to what Denzel will appear on each record which is a relatively unique gift – especially when most of his material is fire. This time around, it’s a lot more 90’s old school boom bap than his usual stuff and I really dig it. He spits hard bars over hard beats and his lyrics matter. Very, very good release and it had me wishing it was 3 or 4 tracks longer.

The God Fahim – Lost Kingz

Another release from the prolific emcee / producer out of the ATL and once again it’s a sonic journey. Melodic, lo-fi beats, while God spits his unique style of street poetry and thoughtful lyrics. It’s a short release, but it’s a solid outing with a handful of real highlights (see Vinnie Paz feature on ‘Scarlett Murder’ and it’s haunting strings).

Big Kahuna OG & Monday Night – Thug Tear

Man this is a ‘meaty’ offering. Both emcees are in their element on this and the production is heavy too! You know when you put an album on, emcees are spittin, the beats are banging and you can just ‘feel’ the audio substance? That’s this. Listen & indulge.

Boldy James & Alchemist – The Price of Tea in China

Oh Alch….. I’ll put my bias aside but when you hear some of Alchemists early stuff and how banging it was, now to this slow ass, lo-fi, minimalist stuff – I just think it’s a waste. In saying that, if this low key vibe stuff is your thing, then Boldy & Alch bring out the best in each other and work really nicely in collaboration.

D Smoke – Black Habits

Netflix’s ‘Rhythm + Flow’ champion has been making noise since he showcased his ability to flat out spit bars and deliver poignant social commentary over sick west coast beats. Well, he continues on that path with ‘Black Habits’ which is a killer album. He harnesses his ‘Kendrick’ influence and brings the Inglewood right to your ear drums. Also features Snoop Dogg which is a special treat. Brilliant follow up to the 2019 Inglewood High EP.

Pro the Leader – Aspirational Regret

Clever lyrics, delivered over quality boom bap beats but different enough to keep you listening…. that sums up this release. Pro the Leader from American Poets 2099 & Armor of Gods, gives us a hip hop record that sits right in the sweet spot of the golden age of rap. Sick features, brilliant beats – one of the better releases this year. No regrets here – it’s dope AF.

Skanks – New Word Order

If you like that minimalist, easy listening, laid back flow…. look elsewhere! This is a true kick you in the teeth hip hop release and you’d expect nothing less from Skanks. It’s hardbody, boom bap, with some killer content and as always, delivered with a vengeance. Bump it loud!

VDon – Black Mass

If you knew what you were getting with Skanks, you know to expect the opposite with VDon. ‘Black Mass’ is another solid outing for VDon as he sits in his element of dark, gloomy, understated beats and then gets quality underground emcees to shine on them. Features from Eto, Smoke DZA, Elcamino, 38 Spesh, Da$h, Willie the Kid, Adonis, Dark Lo, Rigz, Sauce Heist, Dave East, D Polo, and Kadeem make it pop. 30 mins of really nice material and a very complete offering.

Big Ghost Ltd – Carpe Noctem

Missed this release in the January recap as it’s not on Spotify etc so you gotta dig and get this bad boy, but it’s worth it. Sweet production, varied but still with a gritty Griselda-esque sound but that’s what’s selling popping right now…. Then, you add some of the best of the best underground emcees like Rome Streetz, Estee Nack, Rigz, Mooch, Rahiem Supreme, Recognize Ali, Asun Eastwood, Crimeapple, Lukey Cage, and Ty Farris – well, you know what’s coming. Solid offering, lyrics outweigh the production though.

Vinnie Paz – As Above, So Below

This is a banger, not just in terms of the beats, but the lyrical shotgun that keeps shooting off in your face…. This is Vinnie at his best and I can’t get enough of it. Dope production too, with three of the best on the boards. Check out my FULL REVIEW here – you don’t want to miss that.

Che Noir & 38 Spesh – Juno

Short, sharp and as always on point as this FULL REVIEW states, this 10 track release hits hard and fast. Che is easily one of the best if not THE best female emcee in the game and when she pairs up with Spesh who is just a talented MF, the results are awesome. Make sure you check this out and give it a few spins to ensure you actually heard everything Che is spitting.

Gee Dubs & Prezy – The Honors Class

The Queens emcee and producer Gee Dubs just keeps delivering first class hip hop, original style, not bending to trends but rather just giving listeners hip hop in its realest and rawest form. Sick beats, boom bap, nice keys and clever wordplay and lyrical ability on show. This is a MUST COP, one of the best of 2020.

Big Mon & K-Otix – No Rules

This is unlike most Houston styled hip hop I’ve ever heard. There are no real gangster tales, no chopped and screwed and no ‘strip club’ anthems. What we get is half an hour of back to the basics, boom bap, almost NY style rap – and it’s quality. Make sure you don’t miss this one.

Thorough – King Articulate

If you caught Thorough’s ‘Cassette Tape Malfunction’ last year (complete with brilliant boom bap soundscape and sick album art) then you’ll love this new joint. Still spittin’ barzzzz galore over silky smooth and polished boom bap production and with a couple of first class features with Illa Ghee and Sadat X, this will be one of your favourite releases of 2020.

Flash & Lightfoot – Flashlight

Hard beats, tough rhymes, gritty boom bap – it’s like being transported back to the 1990’s with this sick release from N.B.S’s Flash. The old school vibes never date, minimal but stand out features from Planet Asia, the other half of N.B.S V-Knuckles and a dope femcee feature from Red Shaydez who crushes it.

Kool G Rap – Genius of Rap Part 2

On the back of the first installment in January, we are treated to more old school street tunes from one of the best ever in Kool G Rap. ‘Genius of Rap Part 2’ is quality – hard hitting boom bap, with sick features. I don’t even have to tell you to cop this one – it’s a must.

Royce Da 5’9 – The Allegory

Worth the wait, this is more than just an album, this is an audio journey and it’s a really enjoyable one. Music for the mind, not just the ears and Royce is as authentic as it comes. Check the full review for an in-depth analysis of this joint.

Sean Strange – No Hermano

Entirely produced by Sean himself and ‘no features’ – this is a pretty dope album that instantly transports you back to the underground boom bap NY rap scene of the ‘golden era’ or ‘old gutter shit’ as the track ‘Hondo’ announces. Short but substantial, nice little album with one of the album covers of the year!

Big Twins & DirtyDiggs – Queensbridge EP

This is a quality little release, even if the production – whilst fire – is a little slow and minimalist for this boom bap head. But the fact is, these guys all complement each other really well and therefore we get a well-crafted EP. Verbally and lyrically, it’s one of the best Big Twins offerings and the DirtyDiggs beat choice sets it off nicely.

Capone – Capone Bone 2

We’ve been blessed with some solid music coming out of NY for decades now, and most recently we’ve seen some East Coast cats bless us with some grimy street tunes – something Capone knows a little bit about. His CNN partner N.O.R.E appears a LOT and the energy is as fluid and exciting as ever. Other great features make this a really solid album on boom bap street tales.

Elcamino & 38 Spesh – Martyr’s Prayer

This is waaaay too short, especially for a banger like this. 38 Spesh is incredible and has a way of creating his signature sound in a unique way time after time. Elcamino has that same Buffalo flow that Griselda are scorching the earth with – but with a more ‘boom bap’ style production, the songs have an added layer of awesome.

Ea$y Money & Loman – When I Feel Like

This is a little jewel that I uncovered this month and has stayed in solid rotation since. It’s 6 tracks, pure bars, on point production from Billy Loman and it’s a banging little EP. Ea$y Money’s flow is timeless and effortless and he spits accordingly, keeping your attention and head nodding. The Chilla Jones feature ‘Mike & Pip’ is a highlight as the two rhyme like a Jordan / Pippen combo – the back and forth is fun and engaging.

Focus the Truth – Immortal

A January release that only hit Spotify mid-Feb, Focus the Truth drops ‘Immortal’ and as you expect it showcases solid lyrical assassination over haunting yet hard street production. Solid features from Tony Yayo on ‘Northside to Southside’ and Styles P on ‘We All In’ are highlights, but ‘Days of Our Lives’ is my favourite cut. A really solid spin.

Supremacy – Shadow Hills

Firstly, apologies on slipping and not giving this the love it deserves in the January post – but now that I’ve got around to it, let’s cut to the chase. THIS. IS. FLAMES. If it wasn’t only 7 tracks and 20 mins long, this would be rocketing towards the top of the Album of the Year list and sitting alongside the likes of Ruste Juxx, Vinnie Paz, Dueling Experts etc. Rec Ali, Blaq Poet and Journalist 103 have helped deliver a perfect album / EP. Get it now.

Flee Lord & Mephux – Pray for the Evil

Mephux with this one. See what I did there?!!! This is dope and the production from Mephux is awesome. Hard, interesting, creative and then Flee Lord over the top demolishing the beats lyrically with his hard, gruff, street flow. We even get a TASTY feature from Conway the Machine who is just golden right now. 7 tracks so it’s short, but makes mad impact.

Planet Asia & 38 Spesh – Trust the Chain

In his latest offering, Fresno emcee Planet Asia delivers a refreshing reminder that he’s one of the best in the game. The modern landscape has shorter attention spans, and this clocks in at 30 mins to appeal to this trend. For me, that’s the only flaw in the release. PA spits lyrical over fantastic boom bap, orchestral and varied production from 38 Spesh who’s one of the best in the game right now. This is banging.

The Jacka – Murder Weapon

It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years since former Mob Figaz rapper The Jacka was fatally shot in Oakland, but his legacy does live on through this West Coast Bay Area release. And they’ve done a bang up job of keeping it real on this posthumous offering – it’s true to Jacka’s flow and style and because of that, it’s a hit. Reminiscent and still relevant.

JK1 the Supernova – Kill Yourselfie The EP, Vol. 1

What a tight little release that was a pleasing listen. Got that boom bap style production, with eerie strings, hard horns, sick scratches and more. It’s a well put together EP. JK1 has a unique, gruff yet cruisey flow and gives listeners an audio picture through his street themed material. He does it so authentically and effortlessly, it’s the essence of hip hop. Well worth the listen.

Crooked Shadows – Volume 1 EP

My homie Jammin already got to this one and gave you a real and honest account of this little gem of an EP from UK hip hop duo Crooked Shadows. Read the full review here, but for my short version….. it’s different, it’s dope and you need to check it out.

NEMS – Bamboo

You don’t need me to tell you, but anything from NEMS is flames. The dude is one of the best in the game right now and not only does he work hard, he flows hard. Much like Raekwon and Redman last month, Gorilla NEMS gives us a short three track EP that just bangs. It’s such a tease, but it’s also a guilty pleasure. Bamboo, is a boom bap banger. FYL.

So there you have it, another month full of BANGING ASS HIP HOP for you all. If you missed the January edition, be sure to CLICK HERE and you can catch up on some of the dopeness that dropped earlier in 2020 as well.

About The Author

By Brutus Maximus

Founder of Raw Side Hip Hop. Been rocking with the hip hop culture for over 30 years. Love the creativity, authenticity of the art and the culture as a whole. Shout out to the real ones making and supporting true hip hip and the artists who make it!