The Downrock Records Featured Track #CrateGreats

The Downrock Records Hip Hop Album of 2023

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Downrock Records Arcade Hip Hop Album of 2023 - The Album To End All Alien Abductions by King Kashmere & Alecs DeLarge #CrateGreats


            I wouldn't consider myself a music journalist of any kind.  I'm not a critic or an analyzer or a debater, I just consider myself a fan of good music.  So, I write this with a little bit of trepidation.  Not out of fear of whatever hip-hop nerd is going to come at me with their take on what THE true album of the year is but out of awareness that I might not be able to match the expectation of my thoughts of what the album of 2024 will be.

            I like a lot of hip-hop songs, but I don't love a lot of hip-hop albums.  Not at all because they're bad or anything like that but mostly because I just don't really recall how good a lot of them are as time goes by.  Naturally, there are only a few albums that really resonate with me over time, and I'm sure, it's the same for every fan of music on the planet there ever was.

            I'm not really looking for anything particular from an album of this type of status.  I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to my hip-hop entertainment.  When it comes to the music side, a track or an album has to be doing fresh shit for me to be impressed.  That's what usually gets me.  Was the music doing something fresh, new, and interesting while still being accessible to my most basic hip-hop instincts being dirty beats and rhymes?  Simple, but memorable beats and rhymes.  Timeless beats and rhymes.   If those questions are answered, it's not hard for me to apply #CrateGreats status to a track or an album.  

            I don't wanna simplify the significance of the impact of this album by just relegating it to the list of music that satisfies my ear canal though.  This album was amazing to experience and that's also a rare thing to happen to me nowadays, and that's no slag to the quality of hip-hop albums coming out nowadays.  I'm not the angry old head on the porch shaking my fist at the youth of today and shit like that.  Fuck that.  My personal motto is "Into Fresh Things" for a reason.  I'm constantly searching for new shit in every aspect of creativity.  

            This album solidifies what I was surmising a few years ago when I first heard music from High Focus Records.  The UK is most def, putting out the best hip hop on the planet at the moment.  It's a movement that's only on the precipice of its actualization but, it's very apparent.  It's bare and exciting and scary all at once.  There are a lot of places outside of the US doing hip-hop their "own way" but to do it authentically, and better than anything coming out of the birthplace of the music, is a signal of the shift to a world that's truly shrinking to a scene and not locations and resources.  It's free and wide open.  And although it was inevitable that such a thing would happen, it was still somewhat unfathomable to most.  Well, here we are now.

Simon Thompson.



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