Thursday, May 22, 2014

5 Extremely Underrated Hip-Hop Albums

Hip-Hop albums seem to be among the easiest albums to make, especially if artists are doing nothing more than finding random beats, and rapping over them. This simplicity generates hundreds of thousands of everyday people releasing hip-hop albums every year, all with a common goal of turning a few heads. While this mass production of "simple albums" runs the internet, there are a few albums by very talented artists that seem to go overlooked in the indie hip-hop community. This short list will highlight five albums that are incredible projects, yet remain unheard by the majority of people. A few of these albums may look familiar to some, while to others, not so much. Hopefully, this list will encourage you to listen to these great projects, and even spread the word about them. After looking at the list, be sure comment your thoughts!

Released in 2010, The Good Sun is a true testament to what lyrical hip-hop is all about. Homeboy Sandman may be the most well-known unknown artist there is and this album was nothing short of spectacular. The deep imagery, the up tempo bangers, the conscious rhymes, this album simply had it all. Why did this album go so underrated then? Partially because this was the album that took Sandman to the next level, and often times the path one travels to get to where they are now is forgotten. Another cause could be that people were still warming up to his style. He features an extremely lyrical and thoughtful track in "Angels With Dirty Faces" while also having a fun and calm song on this album in "Mean Mug." For whatever reason, The Good Sun did not, and still has not received the full respect it deserves, and for that, it winds up at number five on this list. 

Though Heaven's Computer has been reviewed on this site previously, that still does not make up for the fact that this Mello Music Group release has gone so quiet since it's debut in late 2012. 7even Thirty stepped out, and did something that very few artists would do, he made a concept album with an actual story line, which featured characteristics you may only find in books or movies. Things such as character development, and monologues were present in Heaven's Computer, as it told the story of Max Redrum, an outer space alien sent to destroy Earth, only to fall victim to one of the worlds most powerful elements; love. This album is a unique project that didn't quite reach as many people as it should. This, however, was no shock as in the initial review I wrote " I fear that... Heaven's Computer will fly extremely under the radar, and too few people will not be able to hear how good this album really is." Hopefully 7even's next project is even half as good as this one, and people come around to his diverse, spaced out style.

The only album released within the last year to be featured on this list, Teeko & B. Bravo Present: Tempo Dreams Vol.2 was one of the funkiest hip-hop albums released. The bass heavy beats come from the two bay area DJ/Producers, Teeko and B. Bravo who enlisted the help of a few artists two add their vocals to their eccentric beats. Black Spade made a guest appearance on one of the albums best tracks "Came Too Far" and in terms of innovation, Tempo Dreams Vol.2 was as good as it gets. All the up side in the world still didn't help the albums cause, as it still winds up on this list. The underrating of this particular project is simply because Teeko and B. Bravo aren't common names in the underground hip-hop world. This sad but true fact is what's keeping this gem hidden. This album will give you a new look on hip-hop.

More Jelly, the follow up album to P.SO and 8thW1's critically acclaimed Suicide by Jellyfish. More Jelly features great hip-hop, plain and simple. The AOK Collective squad left their mark all over this album with features from Homeboy Sandman, Fresh Daily, Senor Kaos and more. This project has a Jazz influence mixed in with a dash of Pop, creating a truly unique style. Then again, if you know anything about P.SO, then you know originality is something he never lacks. P.SO is one of the coolest emcees around, no questions asked. He makes comic book references, speaks with a certain bluntness (on certain tracks) that you can't help but enjoy. He has been putting out great music for a while now and unfortunately, he still seems to come just short of nudging into the next level. His projects have only gotten better, however, More Jelly stands out among the rest of his catalog for keeping the same unconventional sound as its predecessor did, only improving his lyrics and using better production. P.SO is the kind of guy that everyone should be listening to, let's hope that one day, everyone does listen to him, he deserves it. 

The number one extremely underrated hip-hop album goes to Brooklyknight by the Brooklyn-knight himself, Sene. When Sene is brought up, a Blu refrerence is short to follow, mainly because the two worked so heavily together, and evidently rubbed off on each other's styles. While Blu is featured on one track, that is not what made this album, what made this album was the sheer originality in the music. It wasn't exactly what you would consider common hip-hop, as it had elements of various genres layered in it's foundation. Sene blew listeners away with his storytelling ability displayed on Brooklyknight. One of the most talked about tracks on the album is "Music Man", the outro, and it is widely talked about because it shows that Sene has the ability to make truly incredible music. Brooklyknight pushed boundaries and was such a mix of styles that as a whole, is one as good as it gets for aberrant hip-hop. Not one specific reason as to why this album didn't take off within the underground/indie community. It had everything a great album needs, just din't seem to click with the masses. Sene is still out making music that differs from the norm, though nothing has duplicated the greatness Brooklyknight presented.

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Created in 2013, The Under-Cover Album Review strives to bring the world quality music, by quality artists. This motto will continue to be our foundation as we move forward in time.

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