1. J. Monty – Level 54
Christian Rapper J. Monty is one of Rapzilla’s Freshman Class of 2015 and has released the Level 54 mixtape as an introduction to a much larger audience. The focus here seems to be J. Monty’s lyrical skills as two of the tracks exist solely to give J. Monty space to spit one hundred bars. The personal indulgence is entertaining and doesn’t become dulling.
Standout Track: “100 Bars”
2. Purity Ring – Another Eternity
Purity Ring’s debut album got a lot of attention, and deservedly, but from an interesting individual: rapper Danny Brown. The trip-hop electronic group produce another beautiful album with a heavy dose of hip-hop beats covered by beautiful female vocals. In retrospect, Purity Ring might have been responsible for getting my hooked on the subdued electronic music with female vocalists (Ellie Goulding, Lorde, ODEZA, Banks, and everyone else).
Standout Track: “bodyache”
3. Action Bronson – Mr. Wonderful
Sometimes a rapper’s staying power is determined by their personality. More charistmatic personalities that outshine their musical talents often come and go quickly. Action Bronson has a lot to prove in order to keep himself in the business: he’s a 31-year-old white chef (with the body type to match) from Queens complete with a big, red beard. He sounds strikingly similar to Ghostface Killah, but worse comparisons could be made. His mixtapes have delivered a lot of comedy and here he continues with his fun personality. The professional shine of a debut album is a little distracting, but when Bronson gets to rap, it’s hard not to listen again and again.
Standout Track: “Baby Blue featuring Chance the Rapper”
4. Death Grips – Jenny Death
Here’s a snippet of lyrics from Jenny Death: “Spit on you, spit on me/ All we know spit must be us/ Spit fits us, we spit and sniff/ We sniff and clutch each other’s fate/ I don’t care about real life, I don’t care about real life.” So, there ya go.
Standout Track: “On GP”
Favorite Music Video of the Month: