For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

Apokalips The Archangel delivers a new SEASRA23 produced joint from his “Underdog Of the Year” mixtape. Check out “Everything I Love” below.

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Checking in with the underground is like entering a restaurant where the waitress always smiles & the service is top notch. Tonight we’re preparing a four course meal…and guess what’s on the menu?…Insomniac’s Weekly Hip Hop Top Ten! So pull up a chair and break bread with your fellow diners. The tracks are baked to perfection. Now it’s time to dig in!

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1) WESTSIDE GUNN + CONWAY + BENNY = Brilliance! The BLACK SOPRANO FAMILY took us through dark territory while simultaneously bragging about their opulent lifestyle on the gritty street masterpiece, “Tom Ford Socks.” It might seem like it’s easy being top dog, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Running from the Feds, beatdowns, and the occasional shoot out are all par for the course. The Family describe it all in perfect detail. We see how those Griselda Boys maneuver!

2) Clear Soul Forces have been delivering underground heat from the very beginning…and now another lyrical powerhouse from the phenomenal Hip Hop collective steps out on his own to “Represent!” L.A.Z. showcases his masterful flow over a track provided by Tokyo’s DJ Mitsu The Beats and demonstrates what dropping bars is all about! GOT SKILLS? Yep. He has ’em in abundance. It’s the first taste from his forthcoming “No Paperwork” EP & the perfect launch pad to get fans excited!

3) VEE SKEENO had the entire office shook last Monday ALONG with legions of fans when he announced his retirement. Luckily he changed his mind because the underground wouldn’t be the same without Vintage Veez’s magnificence on the mic brightening up the day. The Sun Sidran produced “Vincent Van Goat” is yet another gem in the jewel case of high-level hits from the CT spitter. As Sun’s hypnotic backdrop opens up our ears to new musical possibilities, Vee rides high above any negativity with confident, majestic rhymes that illustrate his power & potency in the booth. Vee may not realize it yet, but he IS a lyrical genius. Unfortunately geniuses suffer the most turmoil. Ride the pain out to claim your birthright as one of the GREATS. Put your trust in God. It’ll all work out.

4) DANIEL SON fed fans a steaming bowl of “Porridge” that made listeners come back for seconds and thirds! PhybaOptikz cooked up the triumphant soundscape for the “Drama Ave” cut that contained heavy ingredients of funk and Boom Bap. The soulful, spirited track works best when played at full blast. That way you can truly appreciate the mountain-moving bass and rich lines like, “In school I got poor marks/ I used to daydream about Porsche drops.” Oh yeah, it’s gettin’ hot in the kitchen…but we can stand the heat!!!

5) DJ JOE BODEGA enlisted an all-star line up for the first single from his forthcoming “4 Elements” album that included The Cella Dwellas’ UG, legendary late lyricist, SEAN PRICE & Brand Nubian power spitter, SADAT X. “Mentally Decapitated” is prime Boom Bap real estate for any true Hip Hop Head looking to buy! This is underground heaven on earth. Bringin’ Da Ruckus no doubt!

6) No disrespect to Jay & Bey, but EL AY & RECOGNIZE ALI are the REAL “Bonnie & Clyde.” #TheWinners First Lady brings soulful melodies and BARS to this stunning track originally released(minus vocals)on her “Elstrumentals” LP, while Recognize Ali adds a bold, sinister delivery to the proceedings that perfectly complement the already outstanding track. We need more tag team audio excitement from these two. The power’s in the music & a track like this is hard to beat!

7) Oh yeah, DANIEL SON’s got two bangers on the list! While PhybaOptikz did the honors on “Porridge,” another Crate Divizion production master served up the apex of sonic desserts with “Rum Cake.” Vic Grimes provides the aural backdrop for the Brown Bag Money’s lyrical showcase that takes us on a violent & turbulent highway to hell where crime prevails and prison sentences can be shortened with the assistance of lawyers who speak Yiddish. Colorful. Vivid. Descriptive. Daniel Son & Vic Grimes run the streets while ruling over the charts!

8) MARVELOUS MAG & SHABAAM SAHDEEQ prove to be an unstoppable team as they hit listeners with a daring new cut from the forthcoming “God’s Coins” project. “Maneuver” showcases the magic merger of melodies and bars delivered by an underground giant & “The East Coast Nate Dogg.” German Turntablist, Chinch 33, also plays a major role in the sonic spectacle with impressive skills on the 1 & 2’s. Put aside your problems and listen to the masters at work. You’re guaranteed a good time!

9) The Compound Gold Project has another Magnum sized hit with BEANIE SIGEL & JADAKISS’ new joint, “Dinero.” It’s a cut filled with raw energy delivered by legendary emcees who know EXACTLY what they’re doing! Rough, rugged & thorough. Now go out & get that money!

10) You know you’re in good hands when true legends close out the list.The always welcome DE LA SOUL bring it home with “Royalty Capes.” The track, featuring poetry from Gina Loring, possesses a triumphant vibe befitting the genre-bending Hip Hop masterminds. Silky grooves, Boom Bap beats, complex lyricism, and their ever-present sense of humor. It’s A-class material from the ultra-talented trio. We’re ready for more!

Well that’s it for this week. Catch ya next time and…DON”T SLEEP!

– Kevin Keith

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We need some raw ish to set our day off right…So there’s only one emcee to turn to…Big Twins! This DJ WoooL laced banger has been floating around for a few weeks, but we’re always in the mood to revisit the “Grimey One!” Check it out below…

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Smino drops a Monte Booker produced joint featuring Jean Deaux & Phoelix. Listen as they serve ya up some “Kajun!”

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Daz Dillinger is lettin’ everybody know who pioneered the plush life of a Hip Hop star on his latest release, “Rich N Famous.” Check it out below!

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