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It hurts to know that all the music in the world is impossible to consume. October, touting some of the year’s most highly anticipated moments in the long awaited debut from Sheck Wes, and a sophomore effort from Khalid, was exaggerated proof of the realization. To listener’s delight, beneath the fold of major releases hid some of the year’s most pleasant surprises, only making the selections for this go round of Monthly Mixtape that much more difficult. Perhaps unspoken, the collective push to drop gems as the calendar wanes came around in full fashion, gracing the world’s ears with new heat from the likes of Brent Faiyaz, Jerry Paper, Jean Deaux, Teo and so many others. Here’s what we loved:
On their glistening self titled debut, Southern rap troop Kryptonyte makes daydreams of chrome spokes and candy painted slabs a sonic reality. Comprised of Dallas and Birmingham based artists Liv.e, Lord Byron, Pink Siifu, and Ben Hixon, the group revives vintage sound, hinging with Outkast and Three 6 Mafia sensibilities, sloshy tempo and slurred verses. “Love,” sees the group exchanging verses over bouncy-smooth production.
“Freelance,” is the first single from Oakland-based designer and singer-songwriter Toro Y Moi’s upcoming album due for release in January. Equally as spacious as last year’s BooBoo, Toro abandons his downtempo dulcet for a skippy dance-style song, similar to past explorations found throughout his side project, Les Sins. Needless to say, it’s hard to go wrong when making songs about socks and sandals.
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Returning with the follow-up to his 2016 album, The Healing Component, Mick Jenkins delivers hazy revelations on Pieces of a Man. Taking inspiration from the late Gil Scott Heron, the record incorporates Mick at his most introspective with melodic poetry and 808 ridden Jazz-soul beats. “Grace and Mercy,” is as flashy as Jenkins gets on the project, floating over the beat with unleashed braggadocio.
“Dracula,” is the biting follow-up single to London artist Bakar’s debut album, Badkid, released in May. Bakar’s eclecticism allows him the room to experiment with a wide run of styles, tapping punk, rap, and indie aesthetic all at once. Released on Halloween, Dracula is as fun as it is moshpit-inducing.
The last time we heard from the Brooklyn based future soul outfit Phony Ppl was three years ago when their 2015 project, Yesterday’s Tomorrow, gave us airy odes like “Why iii Love the Moon,” and “End of the niGht.” Now, they’re back with an equally savvy offering in mo’za-ik. Throughout 11 tracks, Phony Ppl paints pictures with words and matches vivid songwriting with powerfully groovy sonic. “The Colours,” is amongst the album’s slowest burning and most beautifully written.
Check out the rest of our favorites from October in the playlist below:
Onaje is a Junior Journalism & African and African Diaspora studies major from Houston, Texas. He believes that the best kind of writer is a rapper and his work has appeared on NPR, The Daily Dot, Austin Monthly Magazine, and Orange Magazine.