Exploring topics like poverty, Black consciousness, burgeoning love, and mortality, Jahshua Smith's latest album, They Don't Love You Like That, encapsulates some of the most difficult moments in his life.
UK rap phenom Stormzy has a lot to say on his sophomore album. From career milestones to addressing grime beefs, to expressing the precarious position he finds himself in as a spokesperson for a generation of black British youth, Stormzy makes his case for king.
Versatile drummer Terri Lyne Carrington leads a date that sums up the jazz of the decade, from hip-hop influenced political songs to freely improvised instrumental music supplemented by orchestral composition.
Following Stormzy's run up the charts, 2019 proved to be a banner year for British hip-hop with a trio of masterpieces. America's myriad hip-hop scenes delivered the goods, and African rap gave us many stellar releases.
Brooke Candy's Sexorcism suggests a genuine, Freudian fixation on extreme pleasure and how it can be downright terrifying -- the shame and fear, the abjection and filth, the unpredictable transfers of power.
The Book of Traps and Lessons reveals Kate Tempest's disdain with contemporary society while also envisioning a future where it all can be changed. With a flair for hip-hop laced with Marxism, the album is poetic artistry.
Enlisting the production prowess of Timbaland, Wili Hendrix, and Missy Elliott herself, Iconology is both a signifier of Missy's role in contemporary popular music while ushering in a welcomed opportunity to #throwitback.
Breakup albums have a rare power; they mark the moment when an image-conscious artist is suddenly compelled to let his guard down. Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks and Tyler the Creator's IGOR are similar in their vulnerability.
On any given day, you may see Kate Tempest working as a poet. Or maybe a playwright. Or a spoken-word artist with hip-hop connections. As she celebrates the release of her third album, she reflects on where her place is in Britain's powerful cultural moment.
For the man behind some of the most memorable hip-hop productions of the last few decades, a new challenge hits Daniel M. Nakamura in the form of coming up with the emotional soundtrack for the stellar new teen comedy film Booksmart.