Best of September

A long awaited follow up from a hip hop legend, new projects from two of Chicago’s most promising rappers and a sophomore effort from an esteemed punk infused indie pop band— and those are only a few of the projects that wowed us in September. We took the beginning of October to digest all the new tunes and we are back with our favorite projects from last month.

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Aru Otoko No Densetsu - Foodman


There is no producer out there today with as much raw imagination as Yokohama, Japan’s Foodman. He made a name for himself by spending years crafting boundary-pushing footwork, but on his latest album he has broken through that boundary entirely and created something truly difficult to classify. Much of the album is spent exploring minimalist experiments and wonky sample-based beats, but his wild productions shine brightest on the album when tempered by vocalists. “Clock,” featuring vocals from Korean-born Japanese musician Machina, is a gorgeous ballad revolving around a cascade of fluid percussion that can serve as a perfect point of entry into the bizarre world that Foodman has lovingly crafted. - Peter Melero

Tha Carter V - Lil Wayne


Tha Carter IV was released 7 years ago, so Weezy fans have been patiently waiting for the next installment in his legendary Carter saga. The New Orleans MC is your rappers favorite rapper, and did not disappoint with his latest album. On “Dedicate,” Wayne’s alter ego, or homie raps to him, “You tatted’ your face and changed the culture.”  Lil Wayne clearly made tremendous waves in hip-hop during an extremely influential period, which was the last two decades - Taylor Camelio


Joey Purp returns with a sharp and eloquent album that breaks boundaries of traditional rap songs while maintaining Purp’s recognized lyrical fluency and keenness. Purp’s voice grapples every beat and produces incredibly delivery through every song. He tackles the world and addresses his previous struggles reflecting on his childhood in Chicago while complementing his serious material (“24k Gold/Sanctified”) with catchy pop trap beats  (“Fessional/Diamonds Dancing”). He expands himself to stretch through any obstacle and beats, his talent is revealed in his ability to produce such a diverse range of rap styles perfectly while still maintaining his unique voice that carries every song. The album is jam-packed with great hidden hits and also features artists such as Ravyne Lenae, RZA, and Cdot Honcho. - Amelia Stern

Room 25 - Noname


On her sophomore album, Noname raps about her newfound 20-something wisdom, exploring her new identity with more vigor and maturity than ever before. Noname incorporates a darker, more contemplative jazz sound in this album, even including strings; this new development is a welcome departure from the delicate, childish style we all learned to love from her previous album, Telefone. Read the full review of the album here. - Juliana Byers

Iridescence - BROCKHAMPTON


After a few unclear months of delays and name changes, BROCKHAMPTON released their first new project since Ameer Vann was given the boot from the unorthodox boyband. The album definitely is a departure from the Saturation Trilogy. The production is more experimental, paired with heavy vocal distortion on nearly every track. Lyrically and sonically, some of their playfulness has been substituted with sobering realism and while this is different, it is not unwelcome. The 14-member boyband has not lost what makes them special. As always, they approached the project with such a dynamic energy that is impossible not to get drawn into. - Aaliyah Weathers

Kero Kero Bonito - Time ‘n’ Place


Time ‘n’ Place, the sophomore album from British indie-pop band, Kero Kero Bonito, is an ambitious sonic departure from the bubbly, care-free attitude of their previous work. This change in direction, noticeably darker and much more raw and visceral, was largely influenced by life-changing events in the band members’ lives. There is a prevalent punk energy that drives the album, with a satisfying balance of serene and furtive moments (“Time Today”) and angsty bangers (“Only Acting”, “Flyway”). Although Time ‘n’ Place maintains the cutesy lyrical charm of the band’s previous work, singer Sarah Bonito takes a more introspective approach to her lyrics, tackling themes such as mental illness, death and identity on songs that at first seem to be simply about taking a trip to the junkyard (“Dump”) or a quick rest stop break during a road trip (“Rest Stop”). Time ‘n’ Place is a natural evolution for Kero Kero Bonito that shows substantial artistic growth and ambition. - Max Schwartz

Square Up - Zack Fox & Kenny Beats


Not a full project, but Comedian Zack Fox and Producer Kenny Beats released a single based off Fox’s viral “Square Up” dance challenge. The challenge looks as it sounds with the dance move involving throwing hands. The single approaches trap music from a satirical lens with its bits and ad-libs while also providing clever wordplay. I look forward to seeing the future of Fox’s musical ambitions. - Alec Castillo

Superclean, Vol. II - The Marías


Superclean Vol. II by The Marias was finally released after a long wait at the end of September. With only five tracks released, they have already captivated a great audience with this new masterpiece. This album follows the same harmonious wave as Vol. I, however, this second volume can be described as having a more surreal jazzy-pop vibe. “Cariño” is one of the hits from this album; the subtle and serene vocals of this song plus the instrumental atmosphere really make you feel like you're tangled up in a dreamy-creative state. On the other hand, “Ruthless” has a more smooth melody but the lyrics are as strong and emotional as the other tracks. The Marias never cease to impress me with their delicacy and good intuition to make music. - Cinthya Franco

Happy Camper - Summer Salt


Summer Salt’s first album, Happy Camper, is the perfect album to listen to while you’re in the middle of midterms, longing for much simpler summer days. The airy, tropical guitar riffs accompanied by vocalist’s Matt Terry’s borderline doo-wop inflections sculpt this album into auditory sunshine. If you need to be transported to an idyllic season of surfing, summer love, and adolescent adventure that you may or may have never experienced, give Happy Camper a listen. - Sarah Braddock

Blog Staff