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June is Black Music Month, and for good reason. This is the month that Summer begins and labels rush out to have the album that defines the hottest months of the year on stores shelves once school lets out. This year, it seemed like the entire Rap music industry decided to turn June 18th into the day they felt brave enough to release some records.

The indie Hip-Hop community doesn’t need to pick a particular day to release quality music other than a Tuesday (although let the record show that Statik Selektah announced his album Extended Play was dropping on June 18th first). In Yeezus’ name. AMEN.

“While You Were Sleeping” comes in handy as we inform you of all the quality indie and underground Rap projects that tend to go unheralded and under promoted without a huge marketing and promotions budget at their disposals. The first three Tuesdays of June featured 10 quality projects; among them are new releases from the likes of producers Madlib (as Quasimoto) House Shoes, Alchemist (with Prodigy of Mobb Deep), Statik Selektah, Harry Fraud (with Action Bronson), Knxwledge, Lord Finesse, K-Def (with DaCapo as The Article), Ka$h (of The Soul Council and JAMLA Records) and The White Mandingos (Daryl Jennifer of Bad Brains, Sacha Jenkins SHR & MURS).

Feel free to go back and review my previous picks for the first five months of Hip-Hop releases in 2013. We are now halfway through 2013. Time sure flies, doesn’t it?  It never stands stillThere’s no Superman to make time go into reverse, either. Which reminds, me. I STILL haven’t seen Man Of Steel yet.

Here’s what you all may have missed, while you were sleeping…


House Shoes – Let It Go (The Beat Tape Version) (Insect Records) 6.4.2013

House Shoes dropped his debut album Let It Go on Tres Records in 2012 along with the instrumentals. Now he’s back with extra instrumentals all mixed into a continuous beat tape. You can find Let It Go (The Beat Tape Version) on Fat Beats where it sold out in under 3 days or you can hit up both Insect Records and Fat Beats and request it until they print more and release it digitally both on Bandcamp and iTunes. If the people request it, it will be made available. Just look at what happened with Apollo Brown x Ghostface Killah’s cassette only remix project The Brown Tape. Demand it and they will supply…


Lord Finesse – Funky Man: The Prequel (Slice-Of-Spice/Underboss) 6.4.2013

This project was released last year as a limited edition Japan only double LP limited to 1000 copies. Very few of them were made available for purchase due to pre-orders and overwhelming demand meaning we never even smelled it stateside. Slice-Of-Spice in association with Lord Finesse’s Underboss Entertainment teamed together to release Funky Man: The Prequel in North America. It contains rare demos and unreleased versions of tracks that would later comprise the classic Return Of The Funky Man LP. Cop it from Fat Beats, UGHH or This particular release is limited to only 600 copies so don’t sleep…


Knxwledge- Anthology (Leaving Records/Stones Throw) 6.11.2013

Unless you haven’t been paying ANY attention to the burgeoning beat culture over the past 5 or so years then you’d be familiar with Philadelphia’s Knxwledge. He’s released several projects in the past (Klouds, Skrawberries & Buttrskotch) and provided production for MCs such as Shawn Jackson, Co$$ & Blu . He’s also released a ton of projects on Bandcamp leading to this compilation loaded with 53 of his best slaps called Anthology. You can cop it either on double cassette or digitally directly from Stones Throw. Knxwledge reigns supreme over nearly everyone.

Photo: Terry Richardson


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