This August was full high-quality releases. There were several really good albums that didn’t make this month’s list, a testament to how well hip-hop collectively closed out an already amazing summer music. There were high-prile ferings from Missy, Rick Ross, and Young Thug, as well as albums from Rapsody and Little Brother which are some the best we’ll get all year. Up and comers BROCKHAMPTON and Cousin Stizz also released strong projects. Here’s the list, in no order:
Little Brother — May the Lord Watch
Little Brother has had fans waiting for a followup to Getback for over 13 years — and their return was well worth the wait. The NC act (sans producer 9th Wonder) sounded as good as ever throughout the 15-track album, reexploring their formula relatable, introspective music over soulful, hypnotic production from the likes Justus League peer Khrysis and Black Milk, who shone on “Picture This.” The album unmistakably delivered their classic sound in an updated fashion. Phonte and Pooh embrace their position as rap veterans on the project, delivering timely songs like “Work Through Me” and “Sittin Alone” where they explore being past the age DM-sliding and clubbing, where sometimes “you would rather be at home watchin’ Flip or Flop,” as Phonte hilariously noted.
Rapsody — Eve
With all the fuss being made about women who rap, it’s fitting that Rapsody delivers an instantly beloved ode to femininity. The North Carolina rapper’s latest effort is a soulful, artfully-balanced depiction womanhood. She celebrates poets like “Maya,” models like “Tyra,” and athletes like “Serena.” She drops an ode to the paper chase on “Oprah” with Leikeli47, and affirms being a “runaway sis’ with a boss attitude and a black name” on “Michelle,” where the former First Lady gets saluted right along with “Felicia, and Ayesha, and Keisha, and Shaniqua.” The 16-track album shifts tones, soundscapes, and energy, properly fulfilling her desire to create an album showing women “are not a monolith.”
Murs & 9th Wonder — The Iliad is Dead and the Odyssey is Over
9th Wonder wasn’t on Little Brother’s May the Lord Watch — but he still handled the soundscape an amazing album this August. The legendary North Carolinian linked with fellow producers The Soul Council and longtime collaborator Murs for The Iliad Is Dead And The Odyssey Is Over, their seventh and reportedly final collaboration album. The men picked up with they left f with another 12-track fering dense, thought-provoking lyricism over soulful production. He goes back and forth with Rapsody on “High Noon,” and weaves an incredible story infidelity on “Sin,” which ends with a twist that shows why Murs is so highly respected.