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We have now officially reached the halfway point of 2013. Last week made us all relatively busy as Kanye West and J.Cole had people rushing to the store to buy their albums. This week didn’t feature a big event on the same level unless you count everyone going on and on about the TRACKLISTING of Jay-Z’s upcoming Magna Carta Holy Grail project via Samsung. But I digress…

“While You Were Sleeping” is a feature that comes in handy as we shed light on many of the quality indie and underground Rap projects that go unheralded and under promoted without significant marketing and promotions budgets at their disposals. The final week of June provided us with yet another 10 quality projects from a diverse group of artists including El-P & Killer Mike (as Run The Jewels), the latest incarnation of Slum Village, Evidence (of Dilated Peoples & Step Brothers), Toronto MC Tona (with Rich Kidd), beatsmiths Elaquent and Ta-Ku, producer Kyo Itachi (with Dirt Platoon), Wrekonize (of MAYDAY!) and UK producer Metabeats.

Now take this opportunity to go back and familiarize yourself with my previous picks for the first six months of Hip-Hop releases thus far in 2013. This particular installment takes us over the halfway point. Time sure flies, doesn’t it?  It never stands stillThere’s no Superman to make time go into reverse, either. Which is fine by me because the future looks bright and promising judging by July’s equally loaded release schedule where artists like Pusha T hope to put numbers on the (Bill)board.

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


Wrekonize (of ¡MAYDAY!) – The War Within (Strange Music) 6.4/25.2013

Wrekonize is the lead MC of the Hip-Hop band ¡MAYDAY! and this is his debut solo release on Tech N9ne’s Strange Music label The War Within. Wrekonize’s aggressive delivery and top flight lyricism combined with his ability to write compelling songs carries this album. The War Within features production from K-Salaam & Beatnick, SteetRunner, Infamous, Miami Beat Wave, Seven, WillPower, Plex Luthor & Gianni Ca$h (of ¡MAYDAY!) and others. Guest appearances come courtesy of Posdnous (De La Soul), Bun B, Crooked I, Tech N9ne & Bernz. You can stream & buy it via or cop it from iTunes, Amazon or UGHH.


Tona x Rich Kidd – Silverspring Crescent (1st Floor Music Group/District Entertainment) 6.18.2013

The Toronto homie Tona teamed up with producer Rich Kidd to craft his new 12 track project Silverspring Crescent. The bars come fast and furiously over Rich Kidd’s virtuoso production work. The only feature comes courtesy of vocalist Richie Hennessey and Tona shows that he can more than carry an entire project on his own which is more than I can say for some major label artists *cough!* French Montana *cough!*. This project is just more proof that we need to stop sleeping on Canada. You can cop Silverspring Crescent via iTunes, Amazon or you can stream & purchase it direct from


Kid Tsunami – The Chase (The Orchard/Fat Beats/Headbop Music) 6.18.2013

Hip-Hop producer Kid Tsunami hails from Perth, Australia but his MPC skills make him internationally known. His eye opening debut project The Chase spread from Australian Hip-Hop label Obese Records across the oceans to grasp the attention of Brooklyn’s Headbop Music. From there it gained physical and vinyl distribution from The Orchard and Fat Beats. Once The Chase hit Bandcamp and the beats reached ears stateside it began to spread and people asked “Who is this cat and where did he come from?” while most people were still arguing about J.Cole vs. Kanye West.

The list of guests on The Chase will make you raise The People’s Eyebrow: KRS One, Kool Kieth, Kool G Rap, Craig G, Chubb Rock, Percee P, Sadat X, OC, AG, Masta Ace, Sean Price, Bahamadia, El Da Sensei, J-Live, Thirstin Howl The 3rd, Pharaoahe Monch, Prince Po, Jeru Tha Damaja, Buckshot & Yesh. This is one of the surprise releases of the year alongside P-Money’s Gratitude. You can cop The Chase from iTunes, Amazon or stream and purchase it directly from Kid Tsu’s Bandcamp. Don’t sleep on it!


Photo: Spin

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