PRINT December 2015


Talib Kweli

NIKO IS, 2015. Photo: Todd Cooper.

1 NIKO IS, BRUTUS (Javotti Media) Born in Rio but raised in Florida, NIKO IS is the most exciting MC I’ve heard in a long time. He dropped a brilliant and sonically diverse debut album this year.

2 KENDRICK LAMAR, TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope) Kendrick returned to the industry, new dreads tucked under a nondescript cap, with an unapologetically black piece of hip-hop perfection.

3 RUN THE JEWELS, RUN THE JEWELS 2 (Mass Appeal) I love what the partnership of Killer Mike and El-P does for music, for race relations, for knowledge, and for rachetness. Any album that boasts appearances by Boots Riley, Zach de la Rocha, and Gangsta Boo needs to be on everyone’s list.

4 JESSICA CARE MOORE, “THIS IS A BUS WITH WINGS” VIDEO This is a poignant poem by a legendary writer, accompanied by a great animated video on YouTube. Jessica’s innovative first album, Black Tea:

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