Don’t Sleep Records is a record label with roots in Portland, Maine and Newport News, Virginia. Started in 2015 as a collaboration between Virginia emcee Awon and New England-based producer Phoniks the label specializes in jazz and soul-infused Hip Hop and limited-edition vinyl releases. Drawing inspiration from mid-90’s jazz hop pioneers like De La Soul, Digable Planets and A Tribe Called Quest the duo of Awon & Phoniks has released a steady stream of head-nodding albums and EP’s over the past 5 years, both working together as a duo and with other collaborators such as Tiff The Gift, Anti-Lilly and Dephlow.
Original Demos & Unreleased Tracks is one of the best (if not THE best) compilations of the year, 100% pure Hip Hop. The project features every member of the Don’t Sleep Records roster and offers over an hour of dope Hip Hop that thankfully hasn’t been left unreleased. This label is one of those outfits that are keeping real Hip Hop alive, heads need to stop sleeping on Don’t Sleep Records. 86/100
Also, be sure to check out Underdogs – the new documentary on Don’t Sleep Records, now streamable on Netflix.