Monday, October 12, 2009

Free Hip Hop Albums

It isn't radical to post an album for free online anymore. It's risky, but more and more, it is becoming the best way to get your name out there. In an environment where the music industry seems to care more about profit and selling ringtones to tweens than enabling artists to create art, it seems more and more artists are forging a name for themselves and posting albums online.

The problem is, most of it really sucks. These two albums don't. You should check them out.

Debaser - Back to Work

Debaser is Sapient and Ethic from the mighty Sandpeople crew from Portland. Sapient just might be the hardest working emcee/producer in Hip Hop. This is the second of three albums he's giving away in as many months. That's on top of a solo album, a Sandpeople EP, and an upcoming collaboration with Luckyiam from the Living Legends.

The album features guest appearances by the aforementioned Luckyiam, Illmaculate (Sandpeople), Rasco (from Cali Agents), and Phat Kat, but the real stars of the album are Debaser themselves. Fantastic wordplay and banging production. It's easy to see how hungry these two are. Listening to the album makes you hope they break through, there aren't many who deserve it more.

The Slew - 100%

Here's the story, Kid Koala and Dynomite D were set to produce the soundtrack to a movie. The movie never happened. Never will. The two enlisted the help of the rhythm section of Wolfmother to perform the album on a one off tour. 100% is a psych-rock infused journey to an alternate reality. DJs are guitar wielding rock stars, disembodied voices of blues singers drop knowledge, and nothing is quite what it seems.

Strangely enough, it's one of Kid Koala's most accessible albums to date. They gave away the album so people would have more fun at the live shows, which have now ended. But don't think this is a live-only experience. 100% is one of the most original recordings I've heard in a long, long time.

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