2021, while a year low on album releases, seems to have been picking up considerably in preparation for what is looking to be a vaccinated summer. Multiple music festivals have dropped dates and lineups, and artists across all genres have unveiled tour dates for late 2021 and beyond. May is the first month to feature a plethora of anticipated releases, but it’s actually been an even better month for the underground; see for yourself.
Boogotti Kasino – “On God”
I’ve been listening to more Native American hip-hop recently. Boogotti is someone I’ve had my eye on for a bit. He was recommended to me a while ago by a Native American Reddit user on r/hiphopheads. I listened to some of his projects from a couple of years back and was thoroughly unimpressed. His flows, beats, and mixes were all pretty subpar. That all changes with “On God”, where Boogotti finds a rhythm. It may sound like ‘basic’ trap, but I see a Boogotti in control of his voice, and determined to spit his truth. I think this is one of the better trap releases of 2021.
Sons of Kemet – “Black to the Future”
The singles leading up to this album were… aimless, at best. I found myself disappointed because the artwork and SoK’s general vibe gives me heavy Album-Of-The-Year energy, and I was praying that the final product would come through, even if the singles felt like empty jazz recycling. Spoiler alert: it came through. This is a really well-done jazz record, with enough ingenuity to keep you on your toes all the way through. There’s not a single point where I really feel bored—it’s so concise that it grabs your attention and keeps you grooving with the improvisational brass and percussion. And the spoken word passages are highly enjoyable as well. It’s an afrofuturistic musical odyssey of deliciously velvety proportions.
Squid – “Bright Green Field”
For two years now, ever since that “Town Centre” EP dropped, I’ve been eagerly anticipating a rock classic from the band Squid. Now, the singles leading up to this release were somewhat… off the wall. Not to say I didn’t enjoy them, but outside of the context of the LP, I couldn’t really understand their sonic direction. But this album, man… it’s a trip. It’s more than I ever could’ve bargained for. The riffs, the vocals, the grooves…. just all come together to make every track, even the ones that stretch far past the average runtime, hit like a rickety rickety bullet train to the skull. I absolutely love this album.