Thoughts From The Rap Nest
I want to wish everyone all the best in 2023. I hope you are able to achieve all he things you want to and have the best year!
2022 was a banner year for hip hop releases. I am going to do something a little different this week and use this weeks TFRN to recap my favourite releases I picked up this past year. There is no real order and since it was the 2022 I am going to select 22 releases that I picked up this year. They may or may nit have been released this year but it may hav been the year they shipped or were repressed etc. I know I profiled all of these throughout the year but I wanted to do a recap and maybe shed some new insights on these releases and why they stood out amongst all the other super dope releases that I picked up in 2022.
Rove - If Not Now
There is not much more I can say about this release that I have not already said. I even sent out a bonus TFTRN issue on the release day of this release. One thing that I can add is it has withstood the test of time so far and I enjoy going back and listening to it often. I love when the homies put their heart and soul into their art and it pays off. I can’t wait to see what 2023 bring for Rove in his sophomore release that I am sure will leave the sophomore jinx in the dust. This was one of as few records on this list that I was able to contribute to artistically with some cuts which is extra dope to me!
Pip Skid - A Really Nice Day
Easily the best and my favourite Peanuts and Corn Records release over the past 5 years. Pip shows us he is as white and clever as he ever was on this one with poignant moments of For how awesome this release was I could’t possibly be any more disappointed in the format off its release. I am okay with CD’s and I am okay with with only releasing things on one physical format. I am nit okay with the single card cover with in a plastic slip case. I hate slime line releases. I want a jewel case or digipack released CD. I know I am not alone in this as most I have talked to in this regard feel the same way, I guess it is only slightly better than no physical at all and even that is a slim margin. Oh well you can;’t have it all and I hope 20023 brings some better quality physical products from P&C.
Turn The Gun - Perpetual Survival and P.S. Redux
This album was so good it got two releases this year. The original is still my favourite probably only as I heard it first but The Gumeshoe Strut of reimaging the album and giving it a really dope new feel. a Turn the Gun reunion in 2022 was also one of my most favourite things to happen this year. I kind of thought the group/project was dead but I couldn’t be happier to see the group reimerge. Ally is probably my favourite song of 2022. I also was really stoked to be a part of this release adding some cuts to a few songs.
Buck 65 - King of Drums
Another suprise release as I thought Buck 65 was pretty much done making rap records. King of Drums is a perfect reintroduction of Buck 65 as a hip hop fanatic to the world. You can tell this is the record he wished he made years ago and it is the the perfect record to reiintroduce himself to the world with. I love all the beats and samples and the fact that he loved up to the moniker King of Drums on this releases. The only downside is the Vinyl is taking a while to press and ship so who knows this may show up again on 2023 list. I was able to snag a Tape and Cd thanks to Rove sending me a text that he dropped it the night before he said he was going to. I got hit a few times by people on Discogs asking to buy my CD but I decline every time. I am excited for more Buck 65 this year.
sign one - The Mighty Highs & the Lowly Lows
This was probably my most anticipated album going into 2022 and it mos def lived up to my exceptions. This album is full of heart and that comes out in sign’s perfectly crafted songs. This is another perfect example of a self produced rap record. sign knows what beats he sounds the best on and he created a whole album of the. I was super honoured when he reached out fro me to do some cuts one True Winter. There are so many great songs. I really feel like this one flew under the radar a bit in 2022. If that was the case for you I highly recommend giving it a listen. This is a perfect album in every sense of the word.
Pro-V - Canadian Heritage Vol. 1
This was wild card release that I saw on Instagram one day and that I learned too late that I had missed out on it. Then another day on Instagram I saw it was available on Beat Street Records so I ordered it immediately. You are in luck if you missed out on it as it has got a second pressing. This tape is such a throwback to the mid to late 90’s and features so many classic Canadian rap songs from what I call the Much Music candian rap video era. As I menitioned previlosy this year it comes with a little book profiling all the records used on this mixtape and with some added tidbits and trivia. This was such a nice surprise and I am so happy it exists. It is so good that I just played it one day on Third Verse front to back and sat back and dreamed about what it would be like on the other end as a listener experiencing this mixtape for the first time. Thinking about that feeling gives me goosebumps.
The Dereliks - Broken Cyphers the Anthology
I lost my mind when I saw this dropped. A 4 x LP drop from one of my favourite rap groups of all time featuring all their classics and some bonus remixes and tracks. This record was truly made for me. This is West Coast underground perfection from the true heyday of West Coast underground rap. It was with every penny and I am so happy I will get to listen to these classics songs in this anthology set fro years to come.
Staplemouth and Th’ Mole - Estuary
A series heater from the homies at Weird Rap. This is a perfect team up of rapper and producer and they created a certified classic that will go down in the annals of indie rap history as a seminal work of the early 21st Century. I really hope they do a follow up in 2023.
Paten Locke - Americancer
This quickly emerged as one of my top 5 favourite records upon its releases and continued throughout the year to stay there for me. Every time I mention this I have to give props top Id Obelus for turning me back on to Paten Locke. I had kind of lost touch with his music but in 2021 I got back on it. It is incredible to think that he made this record while facing his own mortality and created one of the most cohesive dope records of the past 10 years. It is also heartbreaking that he passed before it was released. I believe he was one more posthumous release left and I hope we see it in 2023. I am not sure if I am ready for it and ready to say good by to him once again. Seriously if you slept on this record go listen to it right now and buy it if youy uy physical music.
Aj Seude - Metatron’s Cube
What started the year with the worst packaging of all year in its cassette release form ended the year with a super dope vinyl releases of this record. In what was a super breakout year for the Suede Gawd in 2022, I am so excited to hear what he has in store for 2023. I heard a couple tracks he did with two of my favourite Saskatoon producers last week in the rap nest and there are rumours of an expanded project with one of those producers. I really hope this leads to an AJ Seude show in Saskatoon in 2023. I am sure 2023 will be another banner year for the Seude Gawd.
The Difference Machine - Unmaksing The Spirit Fakers
I have to give credit and props to the almighty Id Obelus once again for putting me onto The Difference Machine. This album is os enjoyable front to back and it is really something that deserves rio listened to in it entirety. That I what I like most about it. I also like the uniqueness in production that is rooted in psychedelic music. Being different and unique in 2022 is incredibly hard while still being incredibly dope is next level.
Factor Chandelier - Time Invested II
20 years after the release of Time Invested, Factor hits it out of the park with this one. A culmination of that that 20 years of hard work and progression as a producer. So many great songs on this one. I am super excited for what Factor has in store for 2023 as the previews and sneak peaks he has played for me are incredible! It is a I also think this is my favourite artwork on an album in 2023. Shouts to the homie 319Heads on killing this one. I love all animals.
Serengeti - Kaleidoscope III
Beautiful is the best way to describe this album. It is a beautiful in every sense of the word. This is just such a nice record to listen to front to back and get lost in. It is everything the previous Kaleidoscope releases were and a whole lot more. It is actually Geti King perfection.
Rob Sonic - Latrinalia
The record that almost wasn't. I missed the initial portal of this record and was sort of bummed but it was pricey so I was sort of okay with it. The year went on and Rob Sonic continually shared his frustrations with the manufacturing of this release and I think those frustrations led to him losing excitement in this release and downplaying it when it finally arrived, I saw he posted on twitter that it was going ti be aviible ontgeh following Saturday so I made a mental note to go check it. I hope nit would be a much more reasonable price and it was like half the price it originally sold for so I instantly copped it. it is so damn good. The best mc producer combo out there right now.
Tough Dumplin - Foundation For Better Lyrics
Another left field release in 2022. I didn't think I would hear an album from Tough Dumploimn in 2022 and I really didn’t think it would be in my top five. This record is the ultimate throwback to my favourite era of Toronto rap and it is just flat out incredible. The beats are so good and I love all the stories that Toiught Dumplin rhymes about. This was a priciey record but It has been well worth it and not a day goes by that I regret copping it. I sc hoped it from Beat Street Records and combined it with another couple releases and saved on shipping so that was nice bonus. I really really really really hope 2023 brings another Tough Dumplin project.
Id Obelus - Place Pieces
I don’t think this record even gets a pressing albeit a press on demand pressing, but still a pressing if I don’t enthusiastically ask Id Obelus to putt up for sale. I am so happy he did and although this is more of a collector release for the the homies and super fans I am so happy that it exists. There are 8 incredible tracks on here that I love listyekng too. I really really really hope 2023 brings us more Id Obelus, I know of one project that is coming but I hopew there are more and more feature appearances. Homie, I know you read this but you have to take some time form causing it at the record releasing game and make more music in 2023. I know I am not the only one who feels this way.
Sole & Dj Pain1 - Post American Studies
This is Sole’s best album tho date. I know Bottle of humans this and Live From Rome that, but trust me when I say this is his best work to date. I really think he has perfected his ability to rap super complex and political narratives in aestehthjically pleasing manner that is both enjoyable and thought provoking. It isn truly the best formula much like Pip Skid has always done in this regard I think Sole has finally perfected it. The second best song behind TTG- Ally, The Collapsing 20’s will stand the test of time and be regarded as one off the best works of of early 21st Century rap like Ally and Rob Crooks' - Combat Liberalism. If you have been sleeping on Sole the past few years go check this one out as you will not be disappointed.
Ambeez & Uncle Fester - Enjoy
This is probably the biggest surprise to appear on this list, well to me anyways. I like both Uncle Festers and Ambeez’s previous works. I just wasn’t expecting a record that would resonate so much with me. This is simply just a good rap record. It knows its lane and it sticks to it to perfection. I am really happy I scooped this and Finish Line featuring Moka Only is the jam!
I super slept on this record when it initllay was released. I honestly assumed it was an instrumental record and I didn’t even bother checking it out. It was not until Audio Recon announced they were giving it the vinyl treatment that I went and checked it out on the streams and I was both shocked there was rapping on it and just how good it was. I am super happy to have this in my collection and I am excited to see if this leads to any further releases from Odd Nosdam of Jel and Audio Recon in the future.
Homeboy Sandman - There In Spirt
Wordburglar - Burgonomic
Another sure shot from the Burglar himself. This one features the most creative posse cut that I have ever heard. Seriously go check out Wanna Be Ion My Posse Cut? right now. I assure you will not be disappointed. Again Burgie comes with the perfect amount of nostalgia and does it in an authentic way and much like Sole has perfected the balance and is continually producing his best work with each release.
Zuckell & Roughneck Jihad - Bay City Quiet Pills EP
What more can I really say about the Roughneck Jihad, he has mastered the art of mc and dj combo. He always has the best turntablists and cuts his records. His voice nd rhyme style, and cadence are the best. He is basically just undefeated in the game of hip hop! I love how prolific he is and how many projects he always has own the go. I am sure 2023 will produce a few more heaters like this one. This is defineltoy the sleeper album on my list and will probably fly under a lot of radars.
Thank you again for all of your kind words and messages regrading this newsletter, I really enjoyed all the engagement except the person that message me I think week one about my use of the word literally and decided to give me a grammar lesson. This is rap, no need for that. Anyways it is all good. I sincerely do appreciate all of you that take time out of your week to read this. It means more to me then you will ever know. Rap is still the best music. I am excited for what 2023 will bring in new music Shout out to all the homies and Thank you and extra props to UGSMAG, Audio Recon, Pen Thief Records, Styles Make Fights, Third Verse and You Know The Rules! Issue 3 of UGSMAG coming in February so stay tuned!
P.S. Epic I know you probably don’t read this anymore but on the off chance you are lurking please apologise to sign one already so we can all move forward in 2023.