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The onset of September signifies many things. The temperature steadily drops, the sun becomes scarcer, the seasons begin to change and with it all comes a brand new wave of independent and underground Rap releases to listen to. Which means picking the next 10 independent and underground Hip-Hop/Rap releases featured on this particular edition of “While You Were Sleeping.” 

Believe me, there was an abundance of music available to pick the best from these past two Tuesdays.

“While You Were Sleeping” exists to showcase quality indie and underground Hip-Hop/Rap releases that are regularly overlooked, under promoted or downright ignored by most supposed “Rap” or “Hip-Hop” sites. This is mostly attributed to a significant marketing and promotions budget at the disposal of the individual artists or their independent labels but much of it can be chalked up to general lack of interest on the part of mainstream Rap sites and publications because they don’t think independent or underground Rap deserves any attention because it isn’t “relevant” to them. I disagree. I maintain that excellence is always relevant. But I digress…

How this works is 10 indie/underground projects from the first two weeks of September appear in this installment and at the end of the month we post another 10 selections for a total of 20 albums a month. This week’s post features the return of the legendary DJ/producer/MC J-Zone, Exile, LMNO with Evidence, Planet Asia, Damu The Fudgemunk, Brother Ali with Jake One, German production supergroup Betty Ford Boys featuring Suff Daddy, Brenk Sinatra and Dexter, international producer Klaus Layer, YC The Cynic and more.

If you missed the previous eight full months of “While You Were Sleeping” you can just click here and feel free to revisit the previous WYWS installments at your own leisure. Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way? Let’s get down to business.

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


J-Zone – Peter Pan Syndrome (Old Maid Entertainment) 9.3/10.2013

Renowned producer/rapper J-Zone returns to the fold in grand fashion with his first new album in almost a decade called Peter Pan Syndrome.  This album is made specifically for oldheads in their mid to late 30’s that still pursue their dreams and passions rather than cave to the mounting pressure to “grow up” and enter the “real world”.  If you read J-Zone’s excellent book “Root For The Villain” then you have a fair idea of the various subjects he addressed in his album, dating in your 30’s, working a day job, race relations, gentrification and much more.

Every topic resulted in another song that was perfectly sequenced and made to attain the optimum listening experience within the flow of the album. You had the instrumentals placed in the perfect spots in the project as are the guest appearances from Al-Shid, Celph Titled, Has-Lo and Breeze Brewin. Even the Chief Chinchilla appearances help to push the album’s overall feel and pace. The final verdict? This is without question one of the best Hip-Hop albums of 2013. You can purchase Peter Pan Syndrome from iTunes, Amazon, UGHH or hit up J-Zone’s Bandcamp page to stream and cop it. Don’t sleep on it.


Damu The Fudgemunk – Spur Momento Trailer EP (Redefinition) 9.3.2013

Damu The Fudgemunk has been a staple of the underground Hip Hop scene for years as a member of Panacea and half of Y Society. He has racked up quite an impressive resume of releases to date released via Redefinition Records (Overtime, Spare Time, Supply For Demand & How It Should Sound Vols 1 & 2). His 100+ beat magnum opus Spur Momento looks like it will finally be released in 2014 but in the meantime Damu releases the Spur Momento Trailer EP to whet our appetities for the full project. Damu’s latest release is available for purchase via iTunes, Amazon, Fat Beats & UGHH or you have the option of streaming it and purchasing it from Damu’s Bandcamp.


Exile – Zip Disks & Floppies (Dirty Science) 9.3.2013

Exile (Dirty Science, Radio & 4TRK Mind) is a world renowned master of the MPC 2000XL. If you’ve ever see his live show or heard his legendary back catalog of work as a part of Emanon or his production work for everyone from Blame One and Blu to Jurassic 5, Ghostface Killah, Mobb Deep, Big Sean or Snoop Dogg then you’re already well aware of this fact. The thing is, Exile’s days of using the MPC2000XL are drawing to a close. Don’t be sad though as his loss is our collective gain and he decided to release an album consisting of 13 raw slaps he made and saved on his MPC over the years for our aural pleasure. You can pick up Zip Disks & Floppies via iTunes, Amazon, Fat Beats & UGHH.


Photo: J-Zone

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