The industry is preparing for a busy end-of-year push. But that didn't stop a number of rap acts from releasing albums this week. Included in the list are Yelawolf, 9th Wonder and Apollo Brown & Guilty Simpson. (Not all rappers are releasing though; some are delaying; see Lil Wayne's I'm Not A Human Being II Pushed Back.)
Yelawolf linked with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker for a five-song EP titled Psycho White. And although it was just released earlier this week, the duo is already hinting at the possibility of recording a sequel and coming together for a few Warped Tour dates. Two of the songs feature singer-songwriter Tim Armstrong, known early in his career as Lint. Give a listen to Funky Sh*t, which is Yelawolf's favorite song on the EP; and watch him put a little Marshall Mathers in his rhymes on Director's Cut.
Producer 9th Wonder came together with New York rapper Buckshot—known by many for his affiliation with super group Boot Camp Clik and the trio Black Moon—to create The Solution. This is the third album from the two; they previously collaborated on 2005's Chemistry and 2008's The Formula. Fans are once again greeted by a fine selection of boom-bap beats from 9th, and Buckshot shows no signs of slowing down with his old school lyricism. The best of the bunch is "What I Gotta Say." Confident in the product, Duck Down Records has offered the entire project as a stream for fans to hear before they purchase.
Clearly, this is the week to release collaborative albums. Detroit-based producer Apollo Brown joined with rapper Guilty Simpson to release the LP Dice Game. It came out in digital format last week, but the physical copies just became available Tuesday. The pair set out to create a hardcore rap album, boasting their 16-track project is void of club or radio friendly songs. The finished product features only two guests, Torae and Planet Asia. Give "Reputation" a listen for the two at their best.
Several modern-day emcees claim to hail from a different era in attempts to distinguish their work from pop and rap's testy marriage, but often it's little more than words. Roc Mariciano would be one of the exceptions. The New York MC's lyricism shines bright on this project, although fans may have to re-train themselves to block out the noise and even the sound of Marciano's own laidback voice to get to the words and the thoughts behind them. But it's well worth the trouble—give "76" a listen for proof.
The mixtape game is also alive and well. Ras Kass released his mixtape The Barmageddon this week. Earlier this month, Plies dropped On Trial 2 and Soulja Boy released Young & Flexin'.
(A little behind? Catch up on last week's Top Rap Releases (Nov. 6).)