10 Slept-On Albums From the First Half of 2016

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Allan Kingdom – Northern Limits

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As soon as 2016 began as a calendar year and the year was just learning to walk, Minnesota’s Allan Kingdom struck and said “you’re the man of the house now”. This album was bigger than anyone’s New Years resolution and all those new gym memberships combined; well at least to me and his other fans.

The album came as quite a surprise as Allan only announced it a few days prior and there was not one single that had been released from the album. So going into my first listen, this was all new material and that makes an album listening experience a whole lot better, at least for me. His combination of melody and raps hit its current apex on this project, taking a huge leap from his last project Future Memoirs. Since that project released, a lot went on including working with Kanye but he didn’t let the pressure phase him and that progression shined through on Northern Lights. – Trixx


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Rome Fortune – Jerome Raheem Fortune

Rome Fortune 1

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Rome Fortune released his proper debut album Jerome Raheem Fortune via Fools Gold earlier this year and it seemed to have gone under the radar. The ATL based Soundcloud artist has always been like a Ditto in terms of being able to go over any type of production and that is showcased across this album.

You won’t find mind-bending lyrics across this album, but you will find interesting yet sometimes overly-deep storytelling, wide-ranging production and high levels of energy. There’s a lot going on through the album but Rome always seems to keep your attention on him throughout the commotion. The album has a little bit of everything for everybody and you will surely get a great look into the life of Rome Fortune. – malbin


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Torae – Entitled

Torae Entitled

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There’s definitely a divide in hip hop. There’s various subgenres but there’s one big divide and the two sides are that of the new school sound and old school. A lot of things fit into the new school but there’s the constant travesty of certain emcees being thrown under the “dust” label, just because their sound resembles that of the golden era more than that of the new school. That stubborn attitude of too many fans has led Torae to be slept on but let me tell you that his latest album Entitled is music you need in your life.

There’s music for every mood and quite honestly, Torae’s often can fit into multiple realms. This album has its fun moments, its smooth moments and of course those thought provoking bars as well. But the constant theme is the hard hitting sound that’ll keep your head moving like a bobblehead in an earthquake. – Trixx


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Kweku Collins – Nat Love

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Kweku Collins has released some noteworthy projects since signing to Closed Sessions but his ‘debut album’ Nat Love is the project that is helping propel him to a new world. Largely self-produced, the project is filled with eclectic production that is matched with unorthodox deliveries that come together perfectly.

Kweku’s development has been ridiculous. Although musically it is not fair to compare the two, Kweku is filling the space left by Kid Cudi in the music industry. The alternative hip-hop listeners are slowly getting hip to Kweku and his stock is rising. Kweku is truly one of the brightest up and coming alt-hip-hop artists in the game right now and Nat Love showcases that perfectly. – malbin


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J. Stone – Neighborhood Watch

J Stone Neighborhood watch

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Nipsey Hussle protege and All Money In signee J. Stone dropped off his third project in March and it is his most complete, concise, and strongest to date. 2014’s 25 /8 No Breaks showcased Stone’s west coast flair and unorthodox vocal delivery, but he took it a step forward with Neighborhood Watch, inviting a-list producers like Mike & Keys, Mike Free, DJ Mustard and more to deliver him some banging LA production. Along with members of the All Money In label, Stone brought on friends like Jay 305, Freddie Gibbs, Fat Trel & more for feature verses. From the lady songs like “Flex” to the storytelling tracks like “I’m Really From the Hood”, to the bangers like “Late Night”, this project has a little of everything. Anybody into Nipsey Hussle will find this project a great listen. – Mitch


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