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.
Chris Schwartz's memoir on founding Ruffhouse Records attempts to be many things but doesn't fully deliver on any of them, making for a conventionally-structured memoir that often reads as slapdash and dry.
Through a discerning balance of Nekfeu's competitive rap instincts and the contemporary trend of embracing grief in sixteens, Les étoiles vagabondes excels as a multifaceted, exhilarating and ultimately inspired body of hip-hop.