Some personal favorites that I’ve been consistently listening to throughout August.
From St. Louis, Missouri, rapper/singer Smino cultivates a striking, unique sound through his music. I’ve been following him since he released his EP blkjuptr, and his latest release of album blkswn is in the running to be one of my favorite projects of 2017. Check out Mass Appeal’s documentary on Smino, Day Zero, here!
2. Ravyn Lenae
Chicago-based singer Ravyn Lenae has a dreamy, soft-yet-powerful voice that soothes the soul. Since I heard her EP Moon Shoes in August of 2016, she’s been a go-to artist for me. Her latest EP release, Midnight Moonlight, is perfect for late-night listening, complete with nuanced lyrical work and cohesive production. Smino actually recently put a verse on her popular track “Spice” from this EP– definitely a great collaboration that’s worth a listen (or several).
Powerful Chicago rapper Joey Purp creates compelling stories through strong beats and fervent delivery. His most recent mixtape release, iiiDrops, features vocals and jazz samples that radiate warmth along with vague turmoil and nostalgia.
I’ve said it before and will continue to say it– this man has a voice. After seeing him at San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music & Art Festival, Jacob Banks has become a staple in my morning playlists. Read the piece I wrote for Lithium Magazine about him here!
5. Joseph Chilliams
After hearing his verses on Noname’s Telefone and Saba’s Bucket List Project, this Chicago-based rapper has been clear on my music radar and Twitter feed. He released his debut mixtape, Henry Church, just a couple days ago– with his genuine delivery and consistently interesting production, this album is definitely worth giving a listen.