Hip-Hop and the holidays have been linked together since Kurtis Blow was “Christmas Rappin’” and Run-DMC told you about “Christmas in Hollis.” Carrying on the tradition of providing the soundtrack for end-of-the-year festivities, several artists have released projects just in time for the end of 2017. Let’s take a look at some of the best of these releases…
You Can’t Beat New York City at Christmas Time
This decade, Killa Cam is better known for his hilarious social media presence than his music, but The Program proves that Cam is still one of the most entertaining MC’S in the game. With 15 tracks and minimal guests, the album is a little long for anybody but die hard Cam’ron fanatics, but most of the cuts are filled with the kind of witty wordplay, unique sense of humor and Harlem Swagger that has kept Cam relevant since the mid-90’s and when he reconnects with classic Dip Set era producers like Just Blaze and Heatmakerz, the results are absolutely stellar.
If you only have time for one song: “Kiss Myself” (produced by Just Blaze)
Fabolous & Jadakiss – Friday on Elm Street
Fabolous (aka Freddy) unites with Jadakiss (aka Jason) for a full length project (12 songs) loosely based on the horror movie personas in the title. While this project won’t resonate with fans of Trap Muzik or Mumble Rap, it is a dream come true for fans of metaphor and punchline filled classic New York Hip-Hop.
With the exception of one attempt at appealing to the current commercial climate (“Stand Up” featuring Future) the album is filled with classic East Coast beats and the two legendary MC’s trying to out rap each other in one of the best displays of pure lyricism of 2017.
If you only have time for one song: “Theme Music”
Visiting Family Down South for the Holidays
Arguably the most consistent rap artist of the 2010’s (2 great albums and a quality mixtape almost every year) Mississippi’s Big KRIT continues his streak with this double album. This is his first independent album since leaving Def Jam and over the course of 20+ songs KRIT details the trials and tribulations of trying to stay true to his artistic vision while working for a major corporation. Overall, the tone is more somber than his past projects, but once again the King Remembered In Time proves that Southern Hip-Hop can be thoughtful, personal and introspective when done by the right artist.
If you only have time for one song: “Price of Fame”
CyHi The Prynce has been affiliated with some heavy hitters like Def Jam and Kanye West, but has not released a full length album until now. “No Dope on Sundays” proves that Cyhi’s high profile connections are well-deserved. The album features a thinking man’s perspective on the typical “Dirty South” topics of drug sales, car culture, strip clubs, night life, etc. and with quality beats and guest verses by A-Listers like Travis Scott, Pusha T and Kanye West this album should definitely push Cyhi’s career to the next level.
If you only have time for one song: “No Dope on Sundays.”
All I Want For Christmas is Some Underground Hip-Hop
Jersey Shore Hip-Hop veteran Solo For Dolo ends 2017 with the release of his long awaited album “Last Call For Apathy.” The album features fourteen cuts of mostly-self produced underground bangers on cuts like “Don’t Rap!”, “Boom Session” featuring the legendary El Da Sensei and “Body Squaaad” featuring up-and-coming MC Ren Thomas. “Last Call For Apathy” is a great representative of Jersey’s vibrant underground scene and proof that the Garden State is turning out solid traditional Hip-Hop that’s a great alternative to what’s currently on the radio.
If you only have time for one song: “Powdered Toazt Man”
Bonus: Solo For Dolo is also releasing the project on CD, Cassette Tape and Clear Vinyl which will make a great stocking stuffer for the underground Hip-Hop head in your life.
Joe College and his Civilized Savage movement had a big 2017 including sold out shows, successful merchandise releases, podcast appearances and several well received music videos. Joe puts the cherry on top of the year with this four track appetizer to what looks like a big 2018 for the rapper and his crew.
If you only have time for one song: “Ball Player”
The holidays can be stressful – traffic, crowded stores, credit card debt, ugly sweater parties, family obligations, the list goes on – putting some of these records in your rotation will at least give you a decent soundtrack to close 2017 on a high note.