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The trilogy is complete. CunninLynguists put out the final part of their Rose Azura Njano series. Like many, I thought after The Rose EP and The Azura EP we would hear a Njano EP, but it turns out Deacon the Villain, Kno, and Natti surprised us by releasing their first full album in six years.
I first found out about Seattle rapper Grieves when he put out his first Rhymesayers album, Together/Apart, in 2011. The same year I saw him live in Hamburg with fellow Rhymesayers artists Atmosphere, Evidence, Blueprint, and Brother Ali. His second album on the label came out three years later, and, in August, he finally released his fifth album, and third with Rhymesayers Entertainment, Running Wild.
This spring, one of my favorite hip hop groups CunninLynguists finally came out with a new EP, “The Rose EP” which I wrote about here. It’s part of a series of three EPs, and the second part was released in late July containing another three tracks.
Brother Ali has been one of my favorite rappers ever since “Shadows on the Sun” came out. I was immediately hooked on the subject matter, rhymes, and flow, and, of course, Ant's (of Atmosphere) production.
It's been two and a half years since we last heard a release from one of my favorite hip hop groups CunninLynguists, but they finally came out with a new EP. The Rose EP contains three tracks, which might be considered short even for an EP. However, as per usual, CunninLynguists put out a piece of art that is perfectly on point from the concept itself, to the lyrics, the artwork, and the production. As far as I‘m concerned, a three-track CunninLynguists EP is worth significantly more than a double album from many other so-called artists.
Last month, A Tribe Called Quest released their sixth and final studio album after the passing of Phife Dawg earlier this year. As far as chart positions go, it’s also their most successful album, topping the US billboard charts, peaking at number 3 on the Canadian charts, and securing top 20 and top 30 positions in New Zealand and the UK.
18 years ago, Lauryn Hill published her first, and, to date, only, studio album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It is one of the most influential hip hop albums of all time and had a significant impact, particularly on young women in the late 1990s to early 2000s. It was also the first hip hop album that won a Grammy for “Album of the Year.” The album had everything: a great sound, meaningful lyrics, Lauryn Hill’s outstanding voice, visually beautiful music videos. It put a strong emphasis on seeking knowledge and women’s empowerment, African American women, in particular. The album is one of a few truly timeless records and is just as relevant today as it was almost 20 years ago.
I got into hip hop when I was about 13 years old. At that time, it was quite rare for someone living in a medium sized town in the north of Germany to listen to rap music. Germany did have a hip hop scene, but, naturally, it was concentrated in large cities.
Half Bulgarian Turk, half German living life as an expat in Greece.