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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.
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.
Southern Houston rappers put a twist on old blues musicians' mix of cough syrup and booze and stirred it up into a more dangerous concoction. Here are 10 rappers who took the brew from their double-cups and dropped the purple drank / sizzurp / Texas tea / "lean" into their lyrics to mixed effect.
Kathy Iandoli's personable history, God Save the Queens, shows how women in rap face up to the battles.
On Azeem's Craft Classic, listeners get a window into an odd, shape-shifting pandemonium, in which the view on display is a sort of glamorous anarchy.
Roy Christopher's dense book-length essay, Dead Precedents, takes much of what is now axiomatic about hip-hop and reminds us how revolutionary its innovations and practices really were.
Few rappers have been brave enough to try what Sayyid has been doing for years; his hip-hop suffers brutal and fantastic experiments of Asimov-proportions.
Hoodrat offers the warmer and gentler side to rapper Brian Marc's overall art, where the rhythms are bouncier and the grooves edge closer to electropop.
The US-born rapper's at once expert and offhanded rhymes exude the kind of charm that has made Mattic a notable artist in his adopted home of France.
Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud's Girls I Got 'Em Locked exuded the right amount of urban flair, boyishly sly humour, and club appeal when it was released back in 1988.
Bridging disparate influences like Portishead and Das EFX in his multifarious hip-hop, Porter Ray waxes poetically about the troubles in own his life and in the world around him in this interview.
"Natural born liberal consumer of music", Jarrel Lowman (aka L.A.Z), talks about his EP, No Paperwork, a mixture of hip-hop, smoking jazz, and calloused-fingered blues.
A host of artists have carved out a niche in the interplanetary margins that now rest in hip-hop culture. Some call it an expansion on Afrofuturist philosophies; others simply a long-time propensity for the science-fiction genre.
From murky '70s soul and Afro-Brazilian jazz to the rhythms of Africa, Australian rapper N'fa Jones explores all reaches of sound to expand his eclectic hip-hop.
Libretto's hip-hop is a ghettoblasting fusion of grinding funk, heavily strolling beats and club-noir rhymes delivered with cool clarity.
Although delivered as a plea, Saba's message on Care For Me is necessarily uplifting and therapeutic.
Unsurprisingly, Lil Pump's divergence from accepted social norms generates anger, but for similar reasons, he inspires his followers to mad devotion, as did Zarathustra. Nietzsche would have been delighted.
Bishop Nehru is a technically gifted rapper, and his talents shine brightest when the BPM gets highest.
On Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B combines the uncompromising confidence of "Bodak Yellow" with just enough pop appeal to create a no-filler collection that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact.
Zion I lyricist Zumbi offers PopMatters an overview of his body of work and discusses what he brings to hip-hop as a creative individual.
Despite Chuck Strangers' excellent production, his arguments in the old vs. new debate, however accurate they may be, are preached to the choir and do very little to inspire change.
Azeem returns to his roots of poetry to deliver Vision Teller, a collection of spoken word pieces that hum with the silk-spun lyricism of a speakeasy street poet.
Electricity and simplicity are the two prime characteristics which drive Kid Sensation's debut.
The hip-hop story is more exciting to follow than a lot of primetime TV as it changes and adapts, telling stories of so-called "minorities". These are the ten albums that we think tell the biggest stories of 2017's hip-hop scene.