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list Jun 4 2024 Written by

Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2024 – Honorable Mentions

Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2024 – Honorable Mentions

We sift through a mountain of Hip Hop from 2024 to create our top 60 albums list, but that leaves some strong projects waiting in the wings. Enter our “Best Hip Hop Albums of 2024: Honorable Mentions.” These albums may have missed the top tier but there are plenty on this list that deserve a place in your headphones. From classic boom-bap to underground and from genre-bending experiments to more mainstream sounds, this collection offers something for every Hip Hop fan. Dive in and discover hidden gems you might have missed – you won’t be disappointed.

Here’s what almost made our best-of list, presented in order of release:

Tha Dogg Pound - W.A.W.G. (We All We Got)

West Coast veterans Daz Dillinger and Kurupt reunite under the DPG banner for Legacy, an album featuring Snoop Dogg and the Eastsidaz. The result is a mixed bag, offering a trip down memory lane with uneven execution.

Fans of classic DPG will find moments to appreciate. Daz and Kurupt come with their undeniable chemistry, their flows interlocking on tracks like back in the day. The return of collaborator Butch Cassidy adds another layer of nostalgia. Some songs are catchy, sticking with you long after the music stops. The album struggles to recapture the raw energy of DPG’s golden era though. The production and rapping lack the punch of their earlier g-funk anthems. Those yearning for the fire of their mid-90s days might be disappointed by the softer edge.

Legacy is ultimately a nostalgic listen with mixed results. Some may find themselves enjoying the reunion and catchy moments, others might miss the bite of DPG’s classic sound. We think it’s an OK listen, but ultimately one that will be quickly forgotten.

Release date: May 31, 2024. 

Tru Trilla - XVI: Return Of The Gods

New Jersey MC Tru Trilla, a veteran with ties to Naughty by Nature, Lords of the Underground, and 050 Boyz, unleashes a lyrical barrage with XVI: Return of the Gods. This long-awaited follow-up to 2020’s God of Barz lives up to the expectations, boasting a nice cast of guest features, including established names like N.B.S., Ruste Juxx, and Skyzoo, alongside rising talents. The production is solid, with diverse beats ranging from raucous funk to rugged boom-bap courtesy of producers like Tone Spliff and Jamal Nueve.

Tru Trilla remains a potent voice, tackling social issues and personal struggles with his trademark bravado. From the fierce energy of “No Joking Around” featuring N.B.S. and Recognize Ali to the introspective “Respectfully” with Justo the MC and NapsNDreds, “XVI” showcases the full spectrum of Tru Trilla’s talent. XVI: Return of the Gods is a celebration of lyrical prowess, a must-listen for fans of raw 90s-centric Hip Hop.

Release date: May 31, 2024. 

Dave East, Mike & Keys - APT 6E

From 2010 to 2016, Dave East called apartment 6E in Queens’ Ravenswood Houses his home. Now, APT 6E serves as a nostalgic soundtrack, a walk down memory lane for the rapper. East reconnected with producer duo Mike & Keys for the entire project and even brought in some familiar faces for guest spots – Shaggy, Buddy, Kurupt, and Stacy Barthe all lend a hand. While we feel Dave East never really recaptured the lightning in a bottle of his earliest work, APT 6E feels like a big step back in the right direction. It’s a strong effort, brimming with nostalgia and fresh sounds that paint a vivid picture of his past.

Release date: May 31, 2024. 

Cella Dwellas & Taiyamo Denku - Talk Nice

German producer Bofaatbeatz reunites with his frequent collaborator Taiyamo Denku, with 90s Hip Hop duo Cella Dwellas for Talk Nice. It’s a solid, middle-of-the-road Hip Hop album with some definite high points. There are dope beats and clever wordplay scattered throughout, but some tracks fall flat. Still worth a spin for fans of traditional Hip Hop looking for some new sounds.

Release date: May 28, 2024.

Brotha Lynch Hung - Season Of Da Siccness 2: Kevlar

Spawning nightmares since the dawn of horrorcore, Bay Area legend Brotha Lynch Hung unleashes Season Of Da Siccness 2: Kevlar. A follow-up to his landmark 1996 debut Season Of Da Siccness: The Resurrection, Kevlar aims to recapture that dark magic. While the album’s wordplay and wit don’t quite pierce as deeply as the original, and the guest features miss the mark, Kevlar remains a solid offering that celebrates Brotha Lynch Hung’s legacy.

Release date: May 28, 2024.

The Quarter Inch Kings & Che Uno - Sun Of May

Toronto production duo The Quarter Inch Kings (Verbs & TymE) return with Sun Of May, a project featuring the Spanglish rhymes of rapper Che Uno. Sun Of May builds and improves on their 2019 collaboration Revolution Speed. The production shines, offering diverse sounds that match Che Uno’s lyrical style. While Che Uno delivers solid bars, his flow might struggle to hold listeners’ attention for a full LP. Thankfully, the album features guest spots from established names like Lord Juco, Al Divino, and Estee Nack, adding variety and fresh perspectives to the project.

Overall, Sun Of May is a strong effort. The Quarter Inch Kings deliver some of their best beats yet, and the guest features add a welcome change of pace. This collaboration is a solid listen for fans of soulful Hip Hop with a Spanglish twist.

Release date: May 25, 2024.

People Without Shoes - Selective Ingreenients

Bronx-born emcee People Without Shoes brings the heat with Selective Ingreenients. This album is pure, unadulterated Hip Hop – dope rhymes laced with ‘green’ wordplay, bumping over classic-sounding boom-bap beats. It’s a nostalgia trip for fans of that golden-era 90s sound, offering a taste of banging authentic Hip Hop.

Release date: May 24, 2024.

RLX & Buck Dudley - Reloj

Clocking in at a tight 31 minutes, Reloj might be (too) short, but it packs a punch. Buck Dudley lays down atmospheric beats that set the mood, while RLX and guest rappers Crimeapple and Brown13 drop bars that hit hard. Despite its brevity, Reloj is a strong and satisfying project.

Release date: May 24, 2024. 

Double Life - The Path

Remember Double Life? The duo of L*Roneous and Gennessee made waves back in the Golden Age when their debut single “Revolutions” (1997) caught fire, getting spins on stations like WKCR and The World Famous Wake Up Show. Now they are back with their The Path LP. This album stays true to their Golden Age roots, offering a sound that feels familiar yet fresh. Kind of generic maybe, but a fun listen nonetheless.

Release date: May 23, 2024.

Juicy J - Mental Trillness 2

Three Six Mafia co-founder Juicy J takes listeners on a rollercoaster ride through his latest tape, Mental Trillness 2. The Tenessee rapper reflects on personal growth and the struggles that come with newfound wealth. Tracks hint at an introspective side, exploring the idea that “Trillness” is about realness, acknowledging the stresses of both poverty and riches.

However, the ride isn’t always smooth. The first half is so-so, with basic beats and uninspired rapping from Juicy J himself. The energy picks up considerably in the latter half, featuring strong guest appearances and a more focused Juicy J. Despite some inconsistencies, Mental Trillness 2 showcases Juicy J’s signature style. While a few lyrics fall flat and flows occasionally falter, there are moments of dopeness that remind listeners of his skill.

Ultimately, Mental Trillness 2 is a solid Juicy J tape. It delivers the expected dose of trillness, with a glimpse of personal growth and a noticeable improvement in the album’s second half.

Release date: May 21, 2024.

Struggle Mike - Honor

Black Soprano Family hits us with Struggle Mike’s Honor, a 33-minute barrage of underground boom-bap. The beats by DJ Shay, Roar X, and DJ Benoit knock hard, but it’s nothing you haven’t heard before. The same story with the rhymes – veterans like Jeru the Damaja, Planet Asia, Benny the Butcher, and Eto drop fire, but the content is like what we usually hear in this corner of underground Hip Hop. Here’s the thing: Struggle Mike’s Honor isn’t a miss, far from it. The production’s tight, and the guest spots are undeniably strong. Fans of modern underground boom-bap with dope bars will dig this album, even if it’s a short listen that plays it safe on the sonic side.

Release date: May 17, 2024. 

Heem B$F - Bars & Noble

Buffalo rapper Heem delivers a solid sophomore album with Bars & Noble. The beats knock, with a mix of classic boom bap, soulful samples, and some trap influences. Guest appearances from labelmates Benny the Butcher and Conway the Machine add star power, while Heem shines with his own charismatic flow. This is a solid effort that keeps the momentum going for Black Soprano Family Records.

Release date: May 17, 2024. 

Courtney Bell - Microdose

Courtney Bell, the 29-year-old Detroit lyricist, has explored themes of consciousness, spirituality, and street life across two self-released albums. After a period of introspection following a major label departure and personal losses, his latest offering, Microdose, presents a refreshed artist. Collaborations with artists like Royce da 5’9″ and Black Thought add depth to the project, touching on themes of self-discovery and resilience. Tracks like “West Side” and “Issues” highlight Courtney’s talent and emotional range, while features from Conway The Machine and others contribute to the introspective narrative. With Microdose, Courtney Bell delivers a solid album.

Release date: May 17, 2024. 

Freak Tha Monsta - The D.O.P.E. Book

Just like a sniper relying on their D.O.P.E. book (Data On Previous Engagements), Freak Tha Monsta leverages his years of experience on D.O.P.E. Book. His skills as both producer and MC are finely honed, with beats and rhymes that reflect a deep understanding of the craft. High-caliber production paired with Freak Tha Monsta’s masterful wordplay, ensures every track hits the mark. Features from Daniel Son, Tone Spliff, Four Elements & Beyond, Recognize Ali, DJ TMB, Miggs Sonny, DJ C.S.P., and DJ Akil add extra flavor.

Release date: May 17, 2024. 

Ghostface Killah - Set The Tone (Guns & Roses)

New York legend Ghostface Killah returns with his 16th solo album, Set The Tone (Guns & Roses), his first on Mass Appeal Records. Ghostface is a Wu-Tang Clan mainstay known for delivering consistent quality, as evidenced by classics like Ironman (1996), Supreme Clientele (2000), Fishscale (2006), and Twelve Reasons To Die (2013). His 2019 effort Ghostface Killahs was a rare misstep. Set The Tone should have rectified that, but unfortunately, it failed painfully.

The ‘Guns’ part of the album starts promisingly enough, with a couple of hard-hitting songs. Tracks like “6 Minutes,” “Pair Of Hammers,” and “Scar Tissue” offer glimpses of the brilliance we expect. Another standout is “Champion Sound”, a track that pays homage to the classic Boogie Down Productions song “The Bridge Is Over” with its similar beat and vibe. The rest of the album fails to leave a (positive) lasting impression.

In fact, the ‘Roses’ side of the album, characterized by a lifeless R&B fusion, takes a sharp turn for the worse. The unfunny skits fall flat, and most features, besides veterans like Method Man, Nas, and a surprisingly strong showing from Kanye West, fail to impress. Overall production is mediocre at best, and the hooks generally suck. The second half drags the album down considerably, with some of the weakest material in Ghostface’s career.

While included here out of respect for Ghostface’s legacy, Set The Tone (Guns & Roses) ultimately disappoints. There are a few bright spots, but the forgettable second half and for the most part lackluster execution make it one of Ghostface’s weaker efforts.

Release date: May 10, 2024. 

Dan-e-o - Vigilante

Toronto’s Dan-e-o unleashes social fury on Vigilante, his 6th album. A blend of razor-sharp lyrics and social commentary, it critiques everything from gun violence to racism. Inspired by “Dexter” and “Death Note,” Dan-e-o aims to metaphorically “kill” negativity. Vigilante delivers his signature punchlines while pushing boundaries as his most provocative project to date. He calls out figures like Kanye West, Donald Trump, and Candace Owens, alongside societal ills like Fox News and police brutality. The soundscape is heavy boom-bap, perfectly tailored for head-nodding. Production comes from Toronto’s Big Sproxx and Charisma (of Monolith), with a guest beat by Japan’s S-KY THE COOKINJAX. Featuring Masta Ace (among others) and a confident Dan-e-o declaring these his best songs ever, Vigilante definitely is a potent listen.

Release date: May 10, 2024. 

Money Mogly & Rasmus Beats - Its All Down Hill From Here

Miami rapper Money Mogly dives headfirst into the dark underbelly of Hip Hop with It’s All Down Hill From Here. This collaboration with producer Rasmus Beats delivers a solid album, perfect for fans of gritty underground boom-bap.

Release date: May 7, 2024. 

O Finess & 2Wo Offishall - Whores Antidote

Clocking in at a brisk 31 minutes, Whores Antidote might leave you wanting more. However, what it lacks in length the album makes up for in impact. Each of the ten tracks is a banger, brimming with attitude. Producer 2Wo Offishall lays down some seriously knocking beats, providing the perfect platform for O Finess’ smooth street raps to shine. O Finess proves he has the presence to carry an album, and even alongside established names like Shabazz Palaces and The Musalini, he holds his own with confidence.

Release date: May 7, 2024. 

OT The Real - Pale Horse

OT delivers straight fire on Pale Horse. His rapping is dope, with a gruff voice that grabs you and lyrics that keep things interesting. His occasional singing might not be our cup of tea, but it doesn’t detract from the overall experience. Pale Horse boasts dark, killer beats that perfectly complement OT’s flow, making it a consistent album with zero filler.

Release date: May 3, 2024. 

Slum Village - F.U.N.

After a nearly decade-long hiatus, Slum Village (now a duo of T3 and Young RJ) bursts back onto the scene with F.U.N. This aptly titled album lives up to its name, offering vibrant instrumentals heavily influenced by old disco sounds. The infectious beats complement the bars, making for a fun and engaging listen. Clocking in at a concise 32 minutes, some might find it a bit short after such a long wait. However, what F.U.N. lacks in quantity, it makes up for in enjoyment. F.U.N. is a welcome return for Slum Village.

Release date: May 3, 2024. 

Spice 1 - Platinum O.G. 2

Hayward, California veteran Spice 1 returns with his 15th studio album, Platinum O.G. 2. A pioneer in Bay Area gangsta rap, Spice 1 cemented his legacy with his first six albums in the 1990s, most notably the 1993 gangsta rap classic 187 He Wrote.

Following his solid 2019 release Platinum O.G., Spice 1 arguably delivers his strongest offering in over two decades with Platinum O.G. 2. This is largely thanks to the cohesive production by N.O. Joe, who crafted a unified soundscape for the entire album. While the extensive guest list (including heavyweights like CL Smooth, DJ Premier, Snoop Dogg, and MC Eiht) might give it a compilation feel, each feature adds value. Names like Treach, K-Rino, Conway the Machine, MC Eiht, Devin the Dude, KXNG Crooked, B-Legit, Domino, Rick Ross, and a posthumous appearance by Bushwick Bill further solidify the project’s strength. Educational interludes by Sway Calloway add another layer of depth.

Overall, Platinum O.G. 2 is a dope album that showcases a veteran artist still at the top of his game. It’s a must-listen for West Coast Hip Hop fans and a testament to Spice 1’s enduring legacy.

Release date: May 3, 2024. 

Rook Director & SB the Wavegod - Keep It Rolling

Rook Director and producer SB the Wavegod team up for a smooth little project titled Keep It Rolling. SB crafted a selection of chilled-out beats that serve as the perfect canvas for Rook Director and guest appearances from Apathy, Dizzy Wright, and Reuben Vincent to show off their lyrical talents.

Release date: May 3, 2024.

Pro Dillinger & Sean Kelly - Reasonable Dirt

At a mere 31 minutes there’s not enough content here to leave a lasting impression, but Pro Dillinger rarely disappoints and he doesn’t disappoint with Reasonable Dirt. Sean Kelly’s beats are on the generic side, but they are atmospheric and go well with Pro Dillinger’s gruff flow.

Release date: April 30, 2024.

Sole & DJ Pain 1 - Vault 1312

Sole, a founding member of the influential avant-garde Hip Hop collective Anticon (known for projects like Selling Live Water and Sole And The Skyrider Band), returns with Vault 1312, his fifth collaboration with DJ Pain 1 (following 2022’s Post-American Studies). As with all of Sole’s work, this album caters to a specific audience that appreciates his activistic views and unconventional rapping style. Vault 1312 showcases Sole’s strengths: sharp lyrics tackling thought-provoking, current topics, delivered over DJ Pain 1’s slightly left-field but surprisingly accessible instrumentals. While unlikely to attract new fans, this album is a must-listen for die-hard Sole followers.

Release date: April 26, 2024. 

Classified - Luke's View

Canadian Hip Hop veteran Classified delivers a powerful return with his album Luke’s View. The project showcases his trademark lyrical prowess over a selection of smooth, summer-infused beats. We’re not too crazy about the hooks on some of the songs here, but that’s a minor complaint about an otherwise strong album. Followers of Classified’s work will already be diving into Luke’s View, but newcomers are also in for a treat. This one offers insightful lyricism with a laid-back throwback vibe.

Release date: April 26, 2024. 

Termanology & NasteeLuvzYou - Time is Currency

The standout feature of this Termanology project is its impressive guest roster. Icons like Kool G Rap, Ras Kass, Lil Fame, and Masta Ace appear, alongside other talented artists. However, NasteeLuvzYou’s middel-of-the-road production falls somewhat flat, lacking memorability. Termanology, known for his steady output, showcases his skill as a rapper, but this particular project comes across more as a compilation album with all the guest rappers. While there are a couple of standout tracks worth transferring to another playlist, the majority here may fade from memory.

Release date: April 26, 2024. 

Nascent - Don’t Grow Up Too Soon

Chicago’s Nascent hits the mark with Don’t Grow Up Too Soon. While it leans a bit more mainstream than our usual preference, make no mistake: this is a well-produced album that transcends the generic Hip Hop mold. Easy-listening melodic beats and thoughtful content make it a smooth listen. Guest appearances from artists like Ab-Soul, Saba, Maxo Kream, and Paul Wall elevate Nascent’s vocals, adding another layer of appeal. Even for those who typically shy away from mainstream fare, Don’t Grow Up Too Soon is worth a spin.

Release date: April 24, 2024. 

Skrewtape & IceRocks - Shoebox Sonata

IceRocks provides the beats, while Skrewtape delivers the bars, joined by guests like Benny the Butcher and Flee Lord. The melodic boom-bap production may seem straightforward, but there is something special to IceRock’s unique touch that distinguishes it from other underground releases. Skrewtape’s gritty voice effortlessly rides over the beats, resulting in a satisfying listening experience.

Release date: April 21, 2024.

Matt Maddox - Year Of The Ox

Beats by Camoflauge Monk, DJ DRK, Nohokai, Dark Arts, SamToo, ChefBoyz, and bars by Matt Maddox along with rhymes and cuts & scratches by guests Ruste Juxx, Copywrite, Spit Gemz, Tone Spliff, DJ TMB, Nohokai, Earl Hazard, and Breedsworld make for a dope underground boom-bap project. Kind of generic maybe, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Release date: April 20, 2024.

Substance810 & Observe - The Lion's Share 3: Pride Of The Lion

Substance810 and Observe are artists we’ve been following for a while, Substance810 always comes with strong content, and Observe Since 98 is a dope producer. For The Lion’s Share 3: Pride Of The Lion Observe’s beats are more straightforward boom-bap than on some of his other works (even if his knack for incorporating obscure samples is evident here too), but they work for Substance810’s bars. The album boasts a strong guest list featuring Ty Farris, Ferris Blusa, Marv Won, D-Styles, Josiah the Gift, and DJ Grazzhoppa. Clocking in at 16 tracks and 46 minutes, The Lion’s Share 3 delivers a solid dose of underground Hip Hop with plenty of value for its runtime.

Release date: April 20, 2024. 

Bless Picasso - The Rillest In The Room

Bless Picasso, a rapper, producer, and entrepreneur from Portsmouth, Virginia, draws inspiration from the golden era of Hip Hop, inspired by the sounds of legends like Kool G Rap and Nas. His latest project, The Rillest In The Room, might be short, but it packs a punch. Boasting features from Hip Hop heavyweights like Elzhi, Kool G Rap, and Conway the Machine, alongside beat production by Buckwild, Oh No, Evidence, Khrysis, and Bronze Nazareth, this is a must-listen for fans of 90s-centric underground rap.

Release date: April 19, 2024.

Kooley High & Tuamie - All Infinite

North Carolina’s Kooley High is a five-person crew comprised of two emcees (Charlie Smarts & Tab-One), two producers (Sinopsis & Foolery), and DJ Ill Digitz that has carved a distinct sound by blending soulful but head-knocking drums with smooth flows. All Infinite expands the group’s sonic palette. Teaming up with producer Tuamie, they created a rich musical tapestry uplifting listeners with positive vibes – imagine tight scratches, soulful beats, and insightful lyrics exploring infinity and boundless energy. All Infinite blends classic and modern Hip Hop, balancing retrospective and forward-thinking. Nothing here really stands out, but there are no misses either – this is a solid LP.

Release date: April 19, 2024. 

Swank & King Draft - Vice City

Despite being released on 9th Wonder’s Jamla label and boasting production from heavyweights like 9th Wonder himself and Krysis, Swank & King Draft’s latest album seems destined to be overlooked, much like their previous releases. That’s a shame because their entire discography is pretty strong. This record adds extra flavor to its soulful production with guest appearances from Sweata, Reuben Vincent, and Shawn Stockman. The whole project –the beats and rhymes – is quality and deserves a listen.

Release date: April 19, 2024. 

Double A.B. & Git Beats - Lungs Of Mahalia

New York’s conceptual rap veteran Double A.B. joins forces with producer Git Beats for a strong project titled Lungs of Mahalia. The album title pays homage to the legendary gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, whose influence is felt in A.B.’s divinely inspired raps delivered over Git’s soulful and slightly unconventional production. However, the content strays far from gospel themes. A.B. navigates the realities of NYC street life, culminating with “Justice,” a scathing protest anthem that closes the album. The guest features are a who’s who of independent Hip Hop, with Eto, Homeboy Sandman, The Musalini, Prince Po, A-Plus, and Young Zee dropping killer verses over Git’s dope instrumentals.

Release date: April 19, 2024.

NugLife - NUGLIFE 2024

Hailing from Koreatown, LA (with Bay Area influences), NugLife is a producer and rapper who blends gritty cityscapes with smooth soul samples, throwing in original guitar, keyboard, and some avant-garde elements for good measure. This sonic recipe is on full display in his NugLife 2024.

While NugLife holds his own on the mic, the true star of the show here is the production. Across the 17 tracks (clocking in at 49 minutes), NugLife keeps things fresh with his diverse instrumentals. The extensive guest list boasts heavy hitters like Boldy James and Planet Asia, who add extra spice to the LP. If you’re looking for a West Coast soundscape with a twist, NugLife 2024 is worth a spin.

Release date: April 18, 2024. 

Sankofa - Impossible Bottle Service

“Imagine waking up to an email. Inside that email was a link. Clicking that link leads to a folder. Inside that folder were 80 beats. Impossible Bottle Service is the result of the best of surprises-an unexpected opportunity to build with a master craftsman. Yes, it is true, Sankofa spent his rap budget sending his sons to summer camp, during which time he wrote and recorded Impossible Bottle Service.”

Sankofa’s release schedule is crazy. Impossible Bottle Service is his fourth release of 2024, and it’s another dope project. Straightforward boom-bap, but all the beats and bars are fire, you really can’t go wrong with Sankofa.

Release date: April 15, 2024.

Codenine & Chronic Tone - C​À​IRDEAS

CÀIRDEAS is a solid underground project that delivers dope boom-bap vibes. Producer Chronic Tone and rapper Codenine team up for a cohesive listen, but an unfortunate rollout strategy might bury this gem amidst similar releases. However, for those seeking it out, CÀIRDEAS is worth a spin. It delivers the goods for fans of gritty, sample-based sounds of underground Hip Hop.

Release date: April 12, 2024. 

B.A.R.S. Murre - Jewelry Store Shootouts

New Jersey emcee B.A.R.S. Murre steps back into the spotlight after a four-year hiatus. Jewelry Store Shootouts, his fifth full-length album, has been a long time coming. Ten of the album’s 17 tracks were released as singles over the past two and a half years, building anticipation for this project. Jewelry Store Shootouts is a clear evolution from Murre’s previous work. A decade in the game has sharpened his lyrical skills, and the chilled-out production is more polished than ever. The guest list is diverse, featuring names like Benny the Butcher, Armani Caesar, and Elcamino. This crew adds layers of flavor, perfectly complementing Murre’s introduction to a wider underground audience.

Release date: April 12, 2024.

Skanks The Rap Martyr & Gstats - Martin & Malcom

Brooklyn’s Skanks the Rap Martyr, a veteran of the underground scene with a prolific solo career and co-founder of the Bankai Fam supergroup, teams up with GStats of One Click Bang for a project that lives up to their reputations.

Martin & Malcom offers pure, unadulterated hardcore Hip Hop. Skanks delivers the hard bars we’ve come to expect, spitting rhymes over head-nodding boom-bap beats laced with sharp cuts and scratches. The guest list boasts a who’s who of underground spitters, including Ruste Juxx, Milez Grimez, Poison Pen, and Kenyatta Black. Producers like Frost Gamble and J. Sands provide the beats for these lyrical veterans.

If you’re looking for something smooth and polished, look elsewhere. But if you crave raw, hard-hitting boom bap with undeniable lyrical prowess, Skanks the Rap Martyr and GStats have crafted the album for you.

Release date: April 8, 2024.

AKTHESAVIOR & sagun - u r not alone

Fresh off a string of singles, Brooklyn rapper AKTHESAVIOR and Nepalese lo-fi producer sagun join forces on u r not alone. This cross-continental collaboration blends AKTHESAVIOR’s sharp wordplay with sagun’s signature lo-fi soundscapes.

sagun crafts the entire sonic canvas, building atmospheric loops for AK’s bars to flow over. The album kicks off with a focused five-track run, including “Dear World,” “Issues,” “Humble” featuring Pink Siifu, “Tetsuo’s Ways” with Mick Jenkins, and the powerful “No Scars.”

Additional collaborations elevate the project further, with features from Erick The Architect, A$AP Twelvyy, Jaws of Love (Kelcey Ayer of Local Natives), and Azizi Gibson. Overall, u r not alone is a solid listen, delivering smooth rapping over a bed of dreamy lo-fi production. It’s a perfect fit for fans of the genre, while those seeking a more hard-hitting Hip Hop experience might find it a little mellow.

Release date: April 5, 2024. 

The Band Of The Hawk - There Is No Tomorrow

Comprised of Noah Archangel, King aka Yeaux Majesty, Ash Ra aka Houey Freeman (fka Ashtonomics), P.Ey3, Grynd Seazon, and Juskwam, The Band of the Hawk dives headfirst into the grimy, soulful sounds of classic Wu-Tang on their latest project. Fully produced by Noah Archangel, the album goes for an authentic 90s RZA feel. Features by Wu-Tang Clan veterans Ghostface Killah, Cappadonna, Inspectah Deck, Killah Priest, and Masta Killa further solidify the album’s Wu-Tang connection. But the guest list doesn’t stop there. Kool G Rap and Mobb Deep’s Havoc add their bars, ensuring the album delivers a potent dose of hardcore Hip Hop throughout.

Release date: April 3, 2024. 

Steph Simon - The Tulsa King: Everything The Light Touches

Steph Simon is a rapper from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who has been influenced by gospel artists and iconic figures like Notorious B.I.G., OutKast, and UGK. He finds a connection between the current creative energy in Tulsa and the historical vibrancy that defined Black Wall Street, infusing his music with a sense of nostalgia. The Tulsa King: Everything The Light Touches offers mainstream appeal with smooth production and melodic hooks, but will also appeal to fans of 90s Southern Hip Hop. Clocking in at 42 minutes with 12 tracks, Steph Simon delivers a fully realized project that shows he has something to say.

Release date: April 1, 2024. 

Pep Love - Acres Of Diamonds

Souls of Mischief and Hieroglyphics member Pep Love’s solo career has never quite matched the heights of his early group work. However, Acres of Diamonds is a strong contender for his best effort since his 2001 debut Ascension. While it lacks anything truly memorable, the album’s chilled-out beats and Pep Love’s entertaining bars make it a worthwhile listen.

Release date: March 29, 2024. 

Cappadonna & Iron Shiek - The Man With The Iron Darts

Wu-Tang Clan rapper Cappadonna has a spotty solo career. None of his solo releases have left much impact, and while The Man With The Iron Darts won’t win him any awards either, it’s arguably his strongest effort since his 1998 debut The Pillage. This collaboration with producer Iron Shiek feels like a project Cappadonna invested real effort in, starkly contrasting to most of his recent forgettable at best outings. High-profile features from Onyx, Planet Asia, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, Killah Priest, and Sadat X add extra flavor, making The Man With The Iron Darts a surprisingly strong showing for Cappadonna.

Release date: March 28, 2024.

G-Mo Skee & Stu Bangas - Filth City

Hailing from Richmond, California, rapper G-Mo Skee is renowned for infusing horror, humor, and unabashedly raunchy content into his razor-sharp bars, honed through years of underground rap battles. As a member of the Infantry Gang crew, he pioneered a style he dubs “Filth.” For his fourth full-length LP, and his first since returning to Majik Ninja Entertainment, G-Mo Skee teams up with Boston producer Stu Bangas. Known for his hard-hitting boom-bap beats, Stu Bangas delivers once again with straightforward but impactful production. G-Mo Skee’s gritty delivery and uncompromising bars may not appeal to everyone, but fans of that raw, underground hardcore sound will find plenty of satisfaction in Filth City.

Release date: March 25, 2024.

Flee Lord & Crisis - Full Court Press

Full Court Press comes hot on the heels of Flee Lord and Crisis’s April 2023 collaboration, 2-3 Zone, presenting yet another display of strong underground Hip Hop. While it might be overshadowed by the abundance of similar releases flooding the scene, akin to 2-3 Zone, it is definitely deserving of a listen.

Release date: March 22, 2024.

Future & Metro Boomin - We Don't Trust You

In We Don’t Trust You, Metro Boomin continues his streak of quality production. While not trap enthusiasts, we usually dig Metro’s production, and with his work on this album, it’s no different. The beats on We Don’t Trust You hit hard, maintaining a consistent dark vibe with some unexpected twists. Future’s performance is alright, although his flow can feel repetitive, and his content is lightweight. Kendrick Lamar’s appearance on the album’s standout track “Like That” (over the beat of Rodney O and Joe Cooley’s iconic “Everlasting Bass” song) steals the show with his sharp delivery and clever bars, sparking controversy with his dissing of Drake and J. Cole. Towards the hour-long album’s end, there’s a noticeable drag, lacking the momentum and variety found earlier. Overall, We Don’t Trust You is a solid effort, a trap album that’s more than listenable, mainly thanks to Metro Boomin’s magic touch.

Release date: March 22, 2024.

Mega Ran & Jermiside - The Lure Of Light

After nearly a decade of frequent tag-teaming in the studio, Mega Ran, also known as Random, and Jermiside are teaming up to drop a 12-track collaboration. Mature and thoughtful bars over easy-listening but enjoyable beats – this is a solid project.

Release date: March 22, 2024.

Locksmith - No Atheists In Foxholes

N.A.I.F. (No Atheists In Foxholes) is the new album from Richmond, CA rapper Locksmith. This project features vocal contributions from a diverse lineup including Ransom, Slaine, Jon Connor, Snak the Ripper, Rexx Life Raj, Jane Handcock, Ekoh, Joznez, Chris Webby, Iamsu!, P-Lo, DaBoii, Slimmy B, Adrian Truth, Wrekonize, Sa-Roc, and Rebecca Nobel, along with just a diverse mix of producers. While diversity often is a strength, in this case, it results in a somewhat mixed bag. Locksmith’s skill as a rapper shines through, but the album’s underground appeal with hard-hitting beats and bars clashes with its flatter, more mainstream instrumentals and hooks. Consequently, No Atheists in Foxholes may seem aimed at everyone but risks being overlooked by all. Nevertheless, Locksmith’s insightful lyrics and superior flow provide enough incentive to give this album a few listens.

Release date: March 15, 2024.  

The Musalini & John Dutch - Gentlemen Of Leisure 2

Gentlemen Of Leisure 2 is The Musalini’s second release of 2024, following up on the initial Gentlemen Of Leisure which dropped in March 2023. Once again, we’re treated to John Dutch’s slick instrumentals, accompanied by The Musalini’s trademark fly pimp style. The beats take center stage here, making for an overall dope project.

Release date: March 12, 2024.

Estee Nack & Futurewave - Stone Temple Pyrex

Prolific Tragic Allies member Estee Nack always delivers raw underground content, and teaming up with producer Futurewave ensures quality. While Futurewave’s post-boom-bap production can feel repetitive at times, it effectively sets the tone for fans of Roc Marci and Griselda-style street rap.

Release date: March 12, 2024.

Clypto - Loopzilla

Loopzilla is one among a plethora of producer albums flooding the scene nowadays. What sets it apart are Clypto’s beats, which offer a flavor distinct from the sea of similar-sounding releases. Featuring lyrical contributions from Tre Eiht, Realio Sparkzwell, Squeegie O, WateRR, Ca$ablanca, Supreme Cerebral, Illah, Payso Jackson, Phil V, Silent Snipers, Miskeen Haleem, Postman L, Brian Bars Burns, IamGAWD, Definite Mass, O Finess, Yasin, and Napoleon Da Legend, the album delivers decent vocals, although nothing particularly memorable. Ultimately, the real draw here lies in the instrumentals.

Release date: March 8, 2024.

Ben Buck, Jamar Equality & Nick Cruz - Low Brow Purists

Low Brow Purists delivers a concise 33-minute dose of underground boom-bap, packed with dope bars courtesy of Ben Buck, Jamar Equality, and Nick Cruz, complemented by guest appearances from Daniel Son, Pro Zay, Lou from Paradise, Termanology, D.Dot Elles, and Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire. The gritty beats, crafted by Camoflauge Monk, Small Professor, Argov, Shadowboxin’, Wiardon, Nephew Hesh, Multi Tracker, and Ben Buck himself, set the perfect backdrop. Low Brow Purists may blend in with similar projects in today’s Hip Hop landscape, but the beats and bars’ overall quality lifts it way above the average fare.

Release date: March 1, 2024. 

Nef - The Gentleman's Board

NYC-based producer Nef curated an impressive roster of emcees for The Gentleman’s Board, featuring rhymers like Rasheed Chappell, Rome Streetz, The Musalini, Termanology, Wais P, Bobby J From Rockaway, Passport Rav, XP the Marxman, and UFO Fev. This compact project packs a punch with its combination of sharp lyricism and smooth instrumentals. Drenched in dope bars and beats, The Gentleman’s Board may lack truly memorable moments, but it remains consistently engaging.

Release date: March 1, 2024. 

Maestro Fresh Wes - Rap Prime Minister

Canadian Hip Hop pioneer Maestro Fresh Wes unleashes a mammoth 92-minute album with Rap Prime Minister. While the sheer volume embodies his dedication, it becomes a double-edged sword.

Rap Prime Minister is a mixed bag. Some tracks, marred by weak hooks or jarringly modern production, feel out of place. However, there are undeniable gems like “Somewhere Down The Line” and “Coach Fresh”, bangers that throw it back to the golden age of the 90s. The album boasts guest appearances from Hip Hop icons like Kool G Rap, Kool Keith, Planet Asia, and Ras Kass, adding pockets of brilliance throughout.

Ultimately, the excessive length drowns out the strong content. While there’s a solid 45-minute album buried within, the surplus of mediocre tracks makes Rap Prime Minister a challenging listen.

Release date: March 1, 2024. 

LEX & Buck - Real Estate

Beats by Buck, bars from LEX, with vocal contributions from Shabaam Sahdeeq, Eff Yoo, Blue Legacy, Aye Wun, Apokalips the Archangel, and Kesper, plus cuts from Debonair P, DJ M-1, and Tone Spliff. Real Estate offers nothing you haven’t heard before but with its solid rhyming and easy-listening boom-bap beats this is an enjoyable front-to-back listen.

Release date: February 26, 2024. 

Ghetts - On Purpose, With Purpose

Ghetts has consistently delivered strong music throughout his career, and with On Purpose, With Purpose, he solidifies his reputation as one of the UK’s premier artists. With a discography boasting three full-length albums and a collection of mixtapes, Ghetts returns with his most vulnerable and introspective effort to date. While his trademark bombastic flows and high-energy beats shine through, especially on standout tracks like “Mount Rushmore” (featuring Kano and Wretch 32), Ghetts also showcases a newfound explorative streak. R&B, gospel, soul, Afrobeats, and amapiano all find their place in the mix, adding depth and dimension to his sound.

In On Purpose, With Purpose, Ghetts’ storytelling reaches new levels of rawness, offering listeners an intimate glimpse into his life and experiences. The album, clocking in at a substantial 64 minutes, maintains a mainstream-friendly appeal, but even for listeners like us who do not care much for mainstream rap, the positives will far outweigh any negatives. The production is tight, seamlessly blending various musical influences, while Ghetts’ vivid lyricism and flawless flow demonstrate his prowess as an artist at the top of his game.

Release date: February 23, 2024.

Chevy Woods - 1998

Chevy Woods, once a hypeman for fellow Pittsburgh native Wiz Khalifa, steps into his own with 1998, a project that builds upon and surpasses his previous mixtapes, which are of mixed quality at best. 1998 features smooth beats that are easy on the ears, paired with Woods’ bars and flows that are equally enjoyable. The album may not break new ground, but it’s undeniably solid and it hits the mark.

Release date: February 23, 2024.

Pushing Buttons - Full Level

Classic boom-bap sound in a fresh dress for 2024. Agent Dan and Mr. Mile teamed up, linked their MPCs, chopped stacks of records, and pushed buttons to create some unique muffled and bassy, but full and warm soundscapes. The result is 14 straight banging beats featuring a variety of dope international MCs (Juice Crew icon Craig G most prominent among them) and polished with tight scratched hooks. Perfect for listeners looking for a 90s-centric boom-bap fix.

Release date: February 20, 2024.

O The Great & Machacha - SxUND GvRDEN

Any project bearing the name of Danish producer Machacha is an automatic must-listen for us. He consistently delivers polished yet dark beats that bring out the best in the emcees fortunate enough to collaborate with him. In this instance, O The Great takes center stage, delivering entertaining bars over kick-ass instrumentals. While this project follows a typical format for the early 2020s—clocking in at a too-short 34 minutes and sharing similarities with much of today’s underground rap— this is a must-listen nonetheless, if only because of Machacha’s involvement.

Release date: February 19, 2024. 

Jon Connor - III

Flint, Michigan’s Jon Connor comes through post-Aftermath with III, his most potent studio offering yet. Yeah, it’s overlong with a weaker back-end, the skits can feel unnecessary and, let’s face it, sometimes annoying, and Connor’s preaching moments might not vibe with everyone. But overall, III delivers as a solid rap album. It might be catered towards mainstream tastes, but Hip Hop purists out there will likely find something to enjoy too.

Release date: February 16, 2024.

DJ Moves - Pam Grier's Step Kids

With Pam Grier’s Step Kids, DJ Moves builds upon and enhances his 2022 project, Pam Grier’s Kids. While the legendary actress Pam Grier may not have children of her own, if you grew up watching her films, you were undoubtedly raised on Pam. Similarly, Canadian DJ Moves has been a stalwart in the rap game for over 30 years, influencing numerous artists with his beats and cuts. The platinum-selling DJ and producer has assembled a lineup of emcees, including LXVNDR, Blaq Poet, Tachichi, Ghettosocks, and more, to craft a 12-track boom-bap fest that’s worth a listen.

Release date: February 16, 2024.

DJ Symphony - It's Bigger Than Music

Knowing this album contains songs like “Anti Mumble Rap,” “Real Hip-Hop” (released as singles in 2019 and 2020, respectively), and “Bring Back Hip Hop,” you can already anticipate the vibe of this album. DJ Symphony, renowned as the tour DJ for the GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, steps into the limelight with It’s Bigger Than Music, marking his debut producer’s album following a series of mixtapes. For this endeavor, he’s brought on board esteemed lyricists such as Sadat X, Beanie Sigel, Jeru the Damaja, Psycho Les, Ghostface Killah, Capone, Chino XL, Ras Kass, Killah Priest, and others, to lace his boom-ap beats and sharp cuts & scratches with dope bars. Though it is somewhat on the generic side, It’s Bigger Than Music is a solid homage to the ’90s era of Hip Hop, making it essential listening for all Hip Hop traditionalists out there.

Release date: February 14, 2024.

Kanye West & Ty Dolla $ign - VULTURES 1

In the wacky world of Kanye West, where expectations ride high on every release, Vultures 1 falls flat, failing to leave a lasting impression. Teaming up with Ty Dolla $ign, the project strives for coherence but ultimately delivers little to remember. Kanye’s signature traits—megalomania, heartbreak, and self-obsession—have fueled his past works, but here they struggle to find expression. Instead, the album feels loud and shiny, yet strangely vacant, squandering potential gems amid degrading lyrics and messy mixes.

While Ty Dolla $ign and guests like Freddie Gibbs and Playboy Carti inject occasional brightness, Kanye’s verses sink into emptiness and depression, leaving listeners yearning for substance. Apart from some catchy moments, the music itself often feels like a failed attempt to recapture former glory, lacking the innovation and excitement of The College Dropout (2004), Late Registration (2005), Graduation (2007), My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010), and Yeezus (2013).

Vultures 1 borrows elements from relatively recent albums like The Life Of Pablo (2016) and Donda (2021) but fails to elevate them, resulting in a lackluster and unnecessary addition to Kanye’s catalog. Comparisons to these previous releases highlight the album’s shortcomings. TLOP and especially Donda had their flaws, but they still showcased flashes of brilliance and genuine creativity, managing to convey a sense of personal and artistic vulnerability that Vultures 1 sorely lacks.

Ultimately, Vultures 1 feels like a missed opportunity—an album that fails to justify its existence. With cringe lyrics, uninspired production, and a forgettable overall vibe, it’s a disappointing entry in Kanye’s discography.

Release date: February 10, 2024.

Rhymefest - James & Nikki: A Conversation

Chicago rapper Rhymefest burst onto the scene with his debut album Blue Collar in 2006. Notably, he co-wrote Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks,” which earned him a Grammy for Best Rap Song at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards. While Blue Collar showed promise, Rhymefest struggled to build upon its success.

His latest project, James & Nikki: A Conversation, continues this trend. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the album, it also lacks the standout moments that would make it memorable. Rhymefest pays tribute to iconic Black writers James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni, transforming an iconic conversation between the two into a full-length musical composition. The concept is intriguing, offering a poignant commentary on contemporary society.

However, the execution falls short in some aspects. Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, the project lacks substance, and the instrumentals, though easy listening, border on blandness. That said, Rhymefest’s skill as a wordsmith and lyricist shines through, and the guest features hold their own. Yet, despite these strengths, the album leaves a lingering sense that something is missing, preventing it from reaching its full potential.

Release date: February 9, 2024.

1999 WRITE THE FUTURE - hella (˃̣̣̥╭╮˂̣̣̥) ✧ ♡ ‧º·˚

The anticipated debut album hella (˃̣̣̥╭╮˂̣̣̥) ✧ ♡ ‧º·˚ from the 88rising collective 1999 WRITE THE FUTURE is stacked with an all-star lineup. Featuring heavy hitters like Pos of De La Soul, Souls of Mischief, Del the Funkee Homosapien, Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine, Busta Rhymes, Rick Ross, Ghostface Killah, BADBADNOTGOOD, and more, this 24-track project is set to make waves. Drawing from the nostalgia of 88rising leader Sean Miyashiro’s Northern California roots, the album’s playful stylization in both its title and song names captures the essence of the region. With a diverse blend of Hip Hop, jazz, R&B, and funk, hella is a genre-defying concoction that’s sure to resonate with music listeners across the board.

Release date: February 9, 2024.


UK rapper/producer Tesla’s Ghost dives into the abyss with AUTOMATIC WRITING, an album whose sound mirrors its stark cover art. Expect some of the year’s darkest and eeriest beats, coupled with Tesla’s signature flow. This isn’t everybody, but fans of the underground’s darker corners will find much to savor.

Release date: February 9, 2024.

The Bad Seed - Everything Means Nothing Vol​.​1

Production from renowned beatsmiths like Nottz, Reckonize Real,  Snowgoons, and JR Swiftz (among others), and guest bars from a host of underground spitters help make for another strong outing from NYC underground emcee The Bad Seed.

Release date: February 6, 2024. 

Bozack Morris - The Toronto Tape

Toronto producer Bozack Morris has crafted a collection of banging boom-bap beats for The Toronto Tape, setting the stage for a lineup of skilled emcees including Daniel Son, Raz Fresco, Asun Eastwood, and Lord Juco to shine. While there may be nothing groundbreaking here, the project delivers solid, raw underground Hip Hop from start to finish.

Release date: February 2, 2024. 

Forever Pavot & XP The Marxman - Forever XP

Forever Pavot, a multi-genre producer hailing from Paris, France, joins forces with Los Angeles rapper, producer, and street activist XP The Marxman for Forever XP, and their collaboration proves to be a potent one. Forever Pavot’s beats, fused with live instrumentation, complement XP’s raspy voice and smooth flows seamlessly. With plenty of replay value, this is a project worth diving into.

Release date: February 2, 2024.

Analog Suspects - The Ripple Effect

Hailing from Virginia, Analog Suspects is a duo comprising emcee Noah-O and producer DJ Mentos. Their second album, The Ripple Effect, unfolds as a complete musical experience, boasting 18 tracks and a 55-minute runtime. Noteworthy features from the likes of Pro Dillinger, Lord Goat (Goretex), Born Unique, and Napoleon Da Legend (among many others) inject weight into this straightforward yet undeniably dope Hip Hop album.

Release date: January 27, 2024. 

IAMGAWD & Clypto - Bloodstained Suede II

IAMGAWD, the gritty wordsmith from the Chicago underground, reunites with California producer Clypto for the sequel, Bloodstained Suede II, and it’s a welcomed return. Clypto’s production brings lush, opulent loops, perfect canvasses for IAMGAWD’s menacing yet fluid flow. The project is packed with razor-sharp lyricism, delivered with IAMGAWD’s undeniable flair.

Release date: January 26, 2024.

Vic Spencer x Original Super Legend - Be Double Clip Tight

Prolific Chicago-based emcee Vic Spencer rarely disappoints, and Be Double Clip Tight is another solid addition to his ever-expanding catalog. We prefer his Spencer For Higher and Psychological Cheat Sheet series, but this project is worth a listen as well.

Release date: January 19, 2024.

Hus Kingpin & 9th Wonder - The Supergoat

Strong performances by New York underground veteran Hus Kingpin and guests Roscoe P Coldchain, The Musalini, SmooVth, Sweata, and Fredro Starr, over stylish instrumentals crafted by iconic producer 9th Wonder. Too short at a mere 31 minutes, but a must-listen anyway. Up there with Cocaine Beach (2017), End Of A Decade (2020), and PORTISHUS (2021) as one of Hus Kingpin’s best projects to date.

Release date: January 15, 2024.

June Marx - Flamekeeper

June Marx, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and an independent artist hailing from Brooklyn, New York, presents Flame Keeper, a self-released and self-produced album. This release adds another strong chapter to Marx’s extensive catalog. With 23 full-length tracks, Flame Keeper takes listeners on an entertaining sonic adventure characterized by Marx’s clever wordplay over his own atmospheric instrumentals.

Release date: January 15, 2024.

OLDBOY & Sekwence - Good Guys Don't Wear White

Greensboro native and producer OLDBOY joins forces with Alabama rapper Sekwence for their collaborative LP, Good Guys Don’t Wear White. Sekwence’s distinctive hoarse voice, marked by an extreme rasp, might not be the easiest to listen to. Fortunately, the project’s appeal is largely carried by OLDBOY’s dope instrumentals. Additionally, guest appearances from rappers like Blu and Sleep Sinatra inject much-needed variation. Despite its shortcomings, Good Guys Don’t Wear White is well worth a listen.

Release date: January 12, 2024. 

Vino La Mano - No Quarter

Ending a brief hiatus, Vino La Mano, a Black Soprano Family artist from Corpus Christi, Texas, makes a comeback with No Quarter, produced by The Soul Monsters. While the polished beats and streetwise raps offering a slice of life may lean towards the generic, No Quarter holds enough appeal to merit a spin or two.

Release date: January 12, 2024. 

Clever 1 & Lord Beatjitzu - Master Sip, Legendary Teacher of Bruce Lo, Da First Drunken

“Introducing Master Sip, Legendary Teacher Of Bruce Lo, Da First Drunken. It is illuminating one of the many chambers of their Drunken Fly Chi style, the martial arts mind states of Clever 1 and Lord Beatjitzu combining as the “Fly Chi School Of Da Drunken Artz”. The duo pops the listener in the face with vicious, bloody Nunchuck Lyrics over high-velocity, swift kick-in-the-chest production. With these seasoned masters of their perspective arts, they form a powerful, unstoppable combo and truly take no prisoners in this Action-Packed sophomore foray. It’s a pure Saturday morning Kung Fu sound theater where Wing Chun enters the world of Drunken Fist on Wax. Beware as you enter the Dojo and watch your step!”

The combination of bars by Clever 1 and beats by Lord Beatjitzu results in an interesting little underground project. At mere seconds over 30 minutes, it merits inclusion here, but it can hardly be called a proper full-length album, of course. Still, worth the time of anybody who can’t get enough of that raw underground Hip Hop sound.

Release date: January 12, 2024. 

21 Savage - american dream

Although not typically inclined towards trap and pop-rap, 21 Savage’s i am > i was (2018) and Savage Mode II (2020) deserved our appreciation when they dropped. His latest venture, american dream, offers a decent listen with lively melodies, solid production, and even some listen-worthy bars. Tracks like “letter to my brudda” and “dark days” add depth, while harder-hitting tunes like “redrum” stand out. The middle section falters here and there with dumb lyrics and weaker tracks like “pop ur sh*t”. Metro Boomin’s production is on the ‘safe’ side, but the beats consistently hit, and 21 Savage maintains his status as one of the better-skilled rappers in this trap generation. While not surpassing i am > i was and Savage Mode IIamerican dream is a decent addition to 21 Savage’s catalog and the trap genre.

Release date: January 12, 2024. 

Kid Cudi - INSANO

Kid Cudi serves up a passable pop-rap experience with INSANO. Although it doesn’t come close to reaching the heights of his standout MOTM series, especially the first two, it manages to hold its own. The album, however, stretches itself thin with excess length, lacking the depth expected and featuring some noticeable filler and throwaway tracks. Cudi’s potential as a compelling and unique artist occasionally surfaces, but on INSANO, he seems overly focused on connecting with the mainstream trap audience instead of showcasing his expressive and artistic best. Despite its drawbacks, Kid Cudi’s distinctive touch still shines through in moments on this project.

Release date: January 12, 2024.

iLL Sugi x Pruven - Black Pyramid

Bronx-by-way-of-Connecticut emcee Pruven delivers thought-provoking lyrics over a selection of fire beats crafted by producer iLL Sug. Pruven has been grinding as an independent artist for some time, with a collection of dope projects under his belt. Be sure to explore other full-lengths like 1st Words: Earn Everything (2010), Designed Growth Destiny (2013), Reach Surroundings (2017), and our personal favorite, Clandestine Rituals (2020), if you enjoy this one.

Pruven’s lyrical style blends elements of Killah Priest and billy woods, making him a must-listen for fans of either artist. While Black Pyramid may not be his best work, it’s still well worth your time and attention.

Release date: January 7, 2024.

Bumpy Knuckles & OG Jazzo - Level Up

Bumpy Knuckles & OG Jazzo - Level Up

Active in the game since the mid-80s, Freddie Foxxx, also known as Bumpy Knuckles, is a Hip Hop icon. His tale in Hip Hop goes back to 1986 when Foxxx was set to meet with Eric B., who was on the lookout for a rapper to team up with. Foxxx missed the meeting, leading Eric B. to join forces with an emcee named Rakim, forming the iconic duo Eric B. and Rakim. Despite not succeeding in building a discography that fully reflects his status, Freddie Foxxx’s unwavering skill and authenticity have earned him lasting respect in the industry.

His collaboration with Jazzo in 2024 underscores that Bumpy Knuckles is still a relevant force. The straightforward boom-bap beats, rooted in the ’90s, provide a perfect backdrop for Bumpy Knuckles’ gritty flows and bars. Level Up is a dope little project, the main drawback being its brevity at just over 30 minutes.

Release date: January 7, 2024.

Magno Garcia - La Gloria Sea

Boston-based rapper Magno Garcia’s La Gloria Sea offers a dark, underground boom-bap listen across 18 solid tracks. Throughout the album, Garcia explores profound, God-related themes, viewing his craft as a divine gift and a means to share deep insights. With guest rhymes from Lord Juco, Sleep Sinatra, General Backpain, Chuck Chan, Deuce Henessy, Killy Shoot, and Stoop Rebel Murda, La Gloria Sea serves as a guide through life’s complexities, encouraging self-reflection, while providing an enjoyable head-nodding Hip Hop vibe.

Release date: January 5, 2024.

Sankofa & Tali Rodriguez - 12 Crows On A Wire

12 Crows On A Wire is a collaboration between prolific Indiana-based rapper Sankofa and producer Tali Rodriguez. Together they cooked up a potent brew of banging beats and unrelenting bars. Sankofa always comes with quality Hip Hop, 12 Crows On A Wire is not an exception.

Release date: January 4, 2024. 

The Musalini & 9th Wonder - Uptown Bandits 2

Uptown Bandits 2 marks yet another strong addition to The Musalini’s discography, but it also treads familiar territory. Since his debut in 2019, The Musalini has been on a prolific streak, consistently releasing projects that showcase his flair for pimped-out rhymes and beats to match. In this latest installment, the production duties once again fall into the capable hands of Jamla’s boss 9th Wonder. While it may follow The Musalini’s tried-and-tested formula, the familiarity of his style doesn’t take away from the overall solid experience that Uptown Bandits 2 brings to the table.

Release date: January 4, 2024.

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One response to “Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2024 – Honorable Mentions”

  1. David Bright says:

    Bva the dam builder is a great album also rbx hibernation shivers not deserve a mention ?

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