Everyone is saying it. When I listen to podcasts, talk to artists, and definitely when I pay attention to what people are talking about - 2017 is going to be a very good year for the Arizona Hip Hop scene. There's just too much talent out here to ignore. Plus, we got artists who have strong momentum. Futuristic, Mega Ran, RoQy TyRaid, and Injury Reserve, to name a few, all had huge years in one aspect or another. This hopefully will carry over into this 2017 and help spread the good word of Arizona Hip Hop dopeness!
So in thinking about the year that will be 2017, here are a few albums I'm looking forward to hearing. Now, I know there are a lot more artists working on albums but these are the ones I've seen specifically mentioned on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Side note - rappers, please could you help out the fans, blogs, and podcasts by getting a Facebook artist page or a Twitter or a website or something to promote your music. It can be quite difficult following your personal page and keeping track of what you got coming. Thanks!
Teek Hall & Charlie Mumbles - The Living Daylights
Former Wax Society emcee is teaming up with super, super, SUPER dope producer Charlie Mumbles. If this cover and that team-up are any indication, then we should be in store for an album that is pushing into the Top 10 at the end of 2017.
Lamar Crushin - 92
This comes out in like two days, and it can't be any sooner. Any one who listens to me rant about Arizona Hip Hop knows Johnny Cage was one of my favorite releases in 2016. Lamar should definitely be Crushin' in early 2017 with this release.
Mr. Miranda - Daves World
Bars. I can't wait to hear the dope verses and intelligent lyrics Mr. Miranda brings forth. He's not disappointed yet. No reason to believe he'll start now considering how long he's been working on this one.
Blaze Rock - Things Left Unsaid
Blaze Rock is another dope lyricist that barely gets any shine. And this is another cover that wows me. (Take note - rapper taking up almost all the image, dope looking beard, part of face covered, all means I'll be impressed - haha). For real though, Oh Lord is a dope first single off this album.
Blaine Coffee - S.O.T.A. 2.0
When you talk State of the Artz, you're talking so much talent. It all starts with Blaine Coffee as the ringleader bringing together some of Arizona's dopest hip hop artists. I feel like he's Willy Wonka sitting in his studio just concocting delicious lyrical delicacies. This should be an All-Star affair.
Prophetiko - Prophzilla
Prophetiko is monster on the mic. He's like a swingman in basketball who can play on the ball, off the ball, D, and shoot threes or take it to the rim. Prophetiko is capable of doing it all - being humorous, serious, and braggadocious (what does that mean - hahaha). It's because of his overall skills that many claim he's one of the dopest emcees in AZ. This is another album that I know he's hard at work on and thus soon enough, we will be able to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Slogan - A Tribute to Experience
I'm pretty sure this was already put out on the interwebz. It's like he leaked his own album, ha! For real though, all the effort Slogan has put into his live show tells me this is going to be a sick album. Like Bird Flu era sick with the capability of spreading far and wide quickly. He's such a smart, thought-provoking guy that this will be on repeat all year long as I look for hidden lyrical gems. Plus the title tells me everything I need to know.
Cruise & Loh - Untitled
Lowkey - I turn up to Cruise and Loh's music on the regular. And Loh is underrated as a rapper. Every time he spits he has a line or verse that turns up somewhere else. Cruise is all style. This should yield at least a couple tracks that have parties going wild.
Benjamin Fly & Charlie Mumbles - Chopped Soul II
My favorite album of 2016...repeated. Nuff' said.
Cash Lansky - The Cool Table
I like how Marley's gearing up anticipation. We all have our own Cool Table. This could be the album we all discuss when sitting at said cool table. [Edit: an earlier draft of this said it Marley B. who was releasing The Cool Table. We like Marley B. and probably should've included him because a Golden Artist Group posting says he and Ripdee will be releasing something. But we're dummies, in multiple respects.]
Jae Tilt - Years Later LP
Another one of Tucson's all-stars. I'm very curious to see what he can do on this full release.
DeLa Preme - Skrrrtified
Super dope live show. Also was on Johnny Cage. Plus DeLa exudes that fun energy. The Rise of the Black Lion was another top 10 album in 2016. This man is only evolving. With that title and his leveling up, this could be the one that blows dude up.
Unorthodocks - Untitled
Super lyrical miracle, with an East Coast state of mind. Unorthodocks has been building anticipation as someone who everyone regularly says has bars. Since seeing him live, myy curiosity has been piqued with what he can do on a full album.
Cuz'n It - Untitled
The same goes for Cuz'n It. Although I have not seen him live, rappers (who are generally pretty good judges of this stuff), says he has bars. Waiting for this one with my hands together cause I like that super lyrical stuff. A lot.
Black One - Project Equinox | Breaking Infinity
So Project Equinox is a multimedia project. Breaking Infinity is an album being released in the Fall. Tell me no more - Black One knows how to be a complete package. He puts all the various artistic pieces (music, video, promotions, shows) together to brand himself. Furthermore, I feel like he knows how to build anticipation for a record. He's been slowly rolling out snippets and building it up with random posts here and there. Count me as someone who's very curious to hear what he has coming.
Mouse Powell - Untitled
Mouse is hands down one of my favorite, and longest known of, local rappers. When I got word he was in the studio, I immediately knew whatever was released would be something I'm checking. These Are the Goodtimes and Where It's Cloudy are two my favorite AZ releases of all time. So a new release should be all good.
Tok Sik - The '94 Project
The Products of Infamy architect is releasing his first solo album and it has a lot of promise. The stuff he's been involved in whether it's been with POI or Halee Cole have yielded some good fruit. The first single, YDGTS, is a little different sounding but I have no doubt that Tok Sik boom bap sound and creativity will be present.
Slator Blacc | 31 Masses | Lord Ra - BFR | Untitled | StyHpy
These are three albums that I know will be tough. 31 Masses is Lord Ra and Slator's group. These cousins make solid rap music that appeals to the younger heads and would appeal to the older guys because of the substance of their lyrics. And did I mention Lord Ra is only 15. Together they have a couple dope joints but see what I'm talking about by checking Slator Blacc's Palace track (also a video on Youtube).
Colfax - Untitled
Colfax came on the FloCast and said he'll come out with a new album this year. I....can't.....wait. To this day, like Jay-Z's bars, I'm still finding lyrics I missed that are smart and creative. This dude is wise beyond his 20 years and his music showcases that youthful optimism with an older, experienced mans scrutiny of his surroundings. If he can make this next album his It Was Written to Mile State of Mind's (first album) Illmatic then watch out.