So you've gotten over Yeezus, or at least gotten over talking about Yeezus. Same. What to slap now? Weeell, there's the mellow boom-bap and left-field weirdity of LA MC zeroh and his Bred release, or Yessir Whatever, the new collection of odds and ends from the always-entertaining Quasimoto. Mac Miller's dope Watching Movies with the Sound Off (featuring cats like Flying Lotus, Earl Sweatshirt, and Ab-Soul) is making surprised new fans out of his former haters, self included. Even still, hearing somebody rap about fentanyl is unnerving—get off that brush.
That said, Freddie Gibbs's ESGN will satisfy your cravings for the finest in gangsta shit. There's also an ignorantly aggressive new song from Future called "Shit," and if you do fuck with his Auto-Tuned voice-crack, you'll love the newest cats from 1017 Brick Squad—the duo known as the Migos, who made a tawdry splash with their YRN tape and the brilliant stupidity of their flu-catchy song "Versace." Maybe you hate "Versace" and the BasedGod's latest scripture, 100% Gutta, too, and post on social media wondering "when real hiphop/music is coming back," while you actively watch 106th & Park, browse WorldStarHipHop, and argue with people in real life about their level of anticipation for Jay-Z's next album. Don't despair: J. Cole's Born Sinner album was made just for you. Now, I actually don't mind Cole—unlike Wale, the Patron Saint of Rewarded Mediocrity—however, Cole's album does sport a beat from the OG Jake One, so feel free to pay for it. You should also be up on that Ketchup tape from LA's "ratchet music" architect DJ Mustard, as a couple songs feature Seattle's ace Royce the Choice, who easily steals the show on the album's closer, "Midnight Run." Maybe you're the kind of listener who can appreciate all these facets of the ever-expanding hiphop continuum, plus more. If so, say hi the next time you see me in the wind, 'cause you're my kind of folks.
Now let's have some focus somewhat closer to home—well, Tacoma, at least. You might remember me talking up Havi, who made an impression off the top as part of the group the Realest. His Purple & Gold mixtape, though it drew little press (even though that tape's titular "Black & Yellow" cover made it into daytime KUBE play), was a release way more thorough and assured than it had any reason to be. His new album, Self Portrait, is no different and should rightfully be gaining him fans up and down this coast and beyond. Havi's lyrics and flow, voice (he employs singing quite a bit), and production (courtesy hisdamnself) are all pro. His content is of the inspirational/self-examining everyman variety, though far more soulfully served than the average practitioner. He lets beats breathe, and his narratives display a rock-solid—if some-times conservative—perspective that imbues his stories of relationships and self- determination with some rare emotional subtlety. Havi's Portrait is worth your support simply off the strength of "I'm on It," an anthem that stomps mud holes between counties Pierce and King. Break!