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Music Staff Picks: The Best Releases of April

billy woods – Aethiopes On Aethiopes, billy woods reestablishes his strengths as a storyteller, with help from producer Preservation’s experimentally jazzy beats. By now, woods has cemented himself as one of hip hop’s greatest writers, and his brooding yet clever introspection sounds especially powerful over Preservation’s musical backdropping. Samples of pianos will twinkle across some tracks, and pound discordantly on others, while electric guitars ring and horns blow. By the time the harmonica enters the equation, the beats here are unparalleled. It is an enveloping atmosphere completed by excellent percussion, which moves between hand drums, full kits, and shuffling jangles … Continued

Review: Chiddy Bang – Breakfast

By Keith Evanson Hip-hop duo, Chiddy Bang, have taken their underground hype into the mainstream. After nonstop touring, mixtape releases, and record label signings, they have now settled down to release an official album. Band members, Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege and Noah “Xaphoon” Jones Beresin, use a successful formula to stimulate the ears of as many listeners as possible. Combining elements of hip-hop, electronica, and indie, they have displayed how versatile rap music can be. Xaphoon Jones shows a lot promise as a producer, there is no doubt about that. He has made a lot of interesting choices in the samples … Continued

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