October may be the most packed month for new Twin Cities hip-hop this year, as Atmosphere, Four Fists, and Finding Novyon are all set to release new albums. But recent weeks have offered plenty of gems too. Find 10 of them below.
Atmosphere -- “Make It All Better Again”
Label: Rhymesayers Entertainment
On “Make It All Better Again,” a non-album single released ahead of Atmosphere’s upcoming ninth album, Mi Vida Local!, Slug conversationally raps about two romantically involved characters over an Ant beat built on acoustic guitar. So: It’s familiar stuff for those who have continued to follow the duo in recent years, but Slug’s empathetic lyricism gets the job done. Mi Vida Local! comes out October 5 via Rhymesayers.
Cashinova -- “Ever Since”
Label: Stophouse Group
Cashinova has already shown his affinity for spacey, minimalistic beats like the Cookiez track of “Ever Since.” And once he starts rapping here, it’s easy to tell he’s in his zone. Fresh off his performance at Prof Outdoors 5, Cash is readying his anticipated album Big Dragon.
Four Fists -- “Dork Court”
Label: Doomtree Records
P.O.S and Astronautalis’ upcoming debut album as Four Fists is fast approaching, and following “Nobody’s Biz” and “G.D.F.R” earlier this summer, the alt-rap frenzy “Dork Court” is more proof that the two MCs form one of the Twin Cities’ most complementary duos. More than on those two previous songs, P.O.S and Astronautalis simply sound like they’re having a ton of fun together here. 6666 is due out October 12.
Jdown - “Dubai”
I may not hear every single new rap song to come out of the Twin Cities, but I keep up with established artists’ new material and also give chances to rappers who are just getting started. Jdown is a newcomer who falls into the latter category, and “Dubai” is enough to make me want to check out any upcoming music he releases. It’s the catchiest song out of the 10 in this space, as Jdown rides a melodic, post-Future flow.
Psymun ft. Dem Atlas and Chester Watson -- “Night Owl”
Label: Gauzy Records
Rhymesayers’ youngest artist, Dem Atlas, bent genres and tapped into his alt-rock tendencies on both of his new solo singles, “Tomorrow Party” and “Gratitude.” On “Night Owl,” his cameo from producer Psymun’s new Tape, also featuring North Miami’s Chester Watson, Dem recaptures the looser, straight-ahead indie-rap energy that made his MF Dem mixtape so strong two years ago.
Soda Supreme -- “Back to the Point”
Album: Art for Sale
Label: Gold House 78/Camp Sound Records
With the distinct feel of an outro track, the shortest and last song on Soda Supreme’s latest project is also its most reflective and sincere moment.
Sole2dotz -- “Somedays..”
While more confident elsewhere on the record, Minneapolis’ Sole2Dotz allows himself to get introspective and honest on this lyrical highlight from his entirely Tek-produced new album, Misfit.
Taylor J -- “Jumanji”
Label: Scenious Entertainment
Taylor J knows the streets, and he knows the rap game too, as evidenced by his cross-country musical journey and rolodex of collaborators. On this airy, diffuse new single, produced by Amp on the Track, the St. Paul native remembers when he was down bad and the grind it took for him to elevate. Sample lyric: “Taylor don’t need no influence, I’m rappin’ my own sound / And I was booking my own flights, touched down, and was wrappin’ my own pounds.”
Tia Jones -- “Confident”
St. Paul’s Tia Jones is a fairly new face I mainly know from her run of MinnesotaColdTv-made videos this year. On this thunderous trap banger, she brings attitude and energy that reminds me of recent Gucci Mane signee Asian Doll.