Gangsta rap has taken something of a backseat in recent years, thanks to the rise of mumble rap and other sub-genres of the hip hop world. Strong A.R.M works hard to reignite that spark. His voice stands immensely tall on this record, the verses reach out thanks to a spacious and lightly synth-washed backdrop, so your focus is on the words – the journey, the bars, the calm yet intentional delivery.

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The verses lay out detail and personality, a performance that meanders and is consistently expressive and interesting. At these moments, the soundscape connects more strongly, seeing the track suddenly feel like a genuine hit from yesteryear – a mid-album D12 or Outkast track, but with a fresh identity and intention.

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Brooklyn Bri impresses in an instant with this single. The track talks openly of not falling victim to the industry – take control of your shit; don’t be a ‘stupid’ rapper – Bri’s lyrics thereafter follow a similar-minded pathway of individuality and self-awareness.

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Sometimes simplicity is key, and Warm Blizzard has this down to a tee on his latest release. Love Me Now fills the room for merely a minute and a half, but really that’s all that’s needed to let this smooth beat and entrancing melody weave their way into your mind. 

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Eric Abel’s creativity, talent and passion fuse beautifully on this latest release. Two Young Kids showcases the rising star at his strongest yet, pouring soulful vocals and poetic, reflective lyricism into the mix by means of a gorgeously genuine and capable leading voice.

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Expect to stand back in awe at the sheer weight of contrast on this impressive new project from Anubis. Take the opening track GraveSites as a fitting example – an ambient and dreamlike backdrop floats through in stark juxtaposition with the pace and poetic complexity of the rap flow.

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