Best of Global Hip Hop 2013

Published On March 9, 2014 | By Greg | Cuba, Egypt, Features, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Netherlands, News, Palestine, Spain, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia

Sorting through hundreds of global hip hop releases of any given year is an arduous task. You want to be thorough, and always ask, did I miss something? Most definitely, I am sure there is another top 10 out there that we were never even exposed to. Of course, half the fun of following international hip hop is the digging to find new music and new artists. And so, here is our list of the Best albums of Global Hip-Hop for 2013.

by Greg Schick (World Hip Hop Market)

1364721123_NEW_UHURU_fourWanaitwa Uhuru – Freedom Ain’t F.R.E.E. (Tanzania) – Tanzania has a great tradition of amazing MCs – from X-Plastaz to Krukid – but this group really surprised me. Wanaitwa Uhuru consists of 7 dope MCs (pH, Jibwa, Jesse, Big T, Sima, Mukimala and Ching) plus beat producer Killy. Their album gave me the same feeling as when I first heard Black Moon – you remember, right? When Buckshot starts killing it over those ill, grimey beats? And here’s these brothers doing it, flipping effortlessly between English and Kiswahili, for 13 tracks, not a weak song in the lot.

melodee_cookingsoul_tapedeckMC Melodee & Cookin’ Soul – My Tape Deck (Netherlands/Spain) – Cookin’ Soul is a production duo out of Spain who specialize in the boom bap style, they really flip that classic sound. Teaming up with the incomparable MC Melodee from Netherlands, they created My Tape Deck, a real homage to the golden age. It’s a feel good, take you back album in all the best ways.

khat-thalethStronghold Sound – Khat Thaleth (Various/Arab) – Producer Dub Snakkr is becoming something of a specialist in taking urban music  and combining it with artists from one region to make astounding compilations (check out his Sembeh Ma Fa Fe series). For Khat Thaleth, Snakkr gathered artists from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Iraq. The result is a beautiful portrait of hip hop and local sounds with amazing lyricists.
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cubassCuban Hip-Hop All Stars & Zero Plastica – CuBass (Cuba/Italy) – Our second outstanding compilation of the year came courtesy of Italian political hip hop crew Zero Plastica. They made several trips to Cuba to record and perform with the wealth of talented underground MCs there. The Cuban culture drips from these tracks. Bello! Hermoso!

karolconkaKarol Conka – Batuk Freak (Brazil) –  In Brazil’s thriving hip hop scene, there is a lot to take in. Karol Conka instantly stands out, though, with some ridiculously catchy and unique musical arrangements. Her topics cover issues related to Afro-Brazilians and women in particular. The music is fast paced, modern and danceable. Super dope and conscious, what a combination!

TEMPLATES_RIGESA 865.cdrRael – Ainda Bem Que Eu Segui as Batidas Meu Coracao (Brazil) – Another entry this year from Brazil, we are huge fans of Rael (de Rima). Rael has evolved into more singing (and rapping) as well as his extensive use of live bands (and acoustic instruments). He’s also collaborated with American beatmaking team Beatnik & K-Salaam with the end result is banging and soulful.

humanistHumanist – Au Delà De Nos Différences (Burkina Faso) – I was lucky enough to see Humanist perform three times during his trip to the USA in the Spring of 2013. His music is moving, his energy is high. I admire his work with children in Burkina Faso as well as his “United Africa” platform. Humanist splits his time between Burkina Faso and France, where he is gaining more buzz as a performer and champion of Africa.

W139Hache ST – Zafra (Dominican Rep) – Hache St is part of the Quilomboarte collective of artists, based out of the US but with roots in many Spanish speaking countries. The jazzy beats remind us of Native Tongues while the topics of his songs (if you speak Spanish) are serious, looking at society and how it treats brown and black skinned people. All the while, HacheST is dropping knowledge while his smooth slow hypnotizes you.

boikuttBoikutt – Hayawan Nateq (Palestine) – Originally part of the group Ramallah Underground, Boikutt is based in West Bank, Palestine. Boikitt is rally like not other sound that we heard this year. The instrumentation and samples, representing sounds native to his area, is far from boom bap – it could be called experimental. Boikutt’s Arabic flow is tight and staccato – an instrument in it’s own right.

Honorable Mention:

Shad – Flying Colours (Canada)
Rebel Diaz – Radical Dilemma (USA/Chile)
Zaiid – Tamaduni Muzik Mixtape, Vol. 1 (Tanzania)

And here are the picks from our friends from around the world:

Umar Alim Al-Junaid (Philadelphia – Promoter/Linguist)

Karol Conka – Batuk Freak (Brazil)
Ikol Santiago – Iguacas (Puerto Rico)
Hache ST – Zafra (Dominican Rep)
Mondo Marcia & Bassie Maestro – Vieni a prenderci (Italy)
Hordatoj – The Beat Tape (Chile)
Rael – Ainda Bem Que Eu Segui as Batidas Meu Coracao (Brazil)
Sexion D’Assaut – L’Apogee (France)
Marcelo D2 – Nada pode me Parar (Brazil)

Juan Data (Los Angeles – DJ/Publicist)

Mala Juntera – Cracks (Spain)
Stronghold Sound – Khat Thaleth EP (Arab compilation)
Hache ST – Zafra (Dominican Rep)
Cookin Bananas (Spain)

Jorgito Finken (Germany – host of Globalastroliner radio)
Dumbfoundead – Old Boy Jon (Knocksteady) (USA/Korea)
Boogat – El Dorado Sunset (Distribution Select) (Canada)
M.I.A. – Matangi (Interscope) (UK/Sri Lanka)
m-flo – NEVEN (Rhythm Zone) (Japan)
Looptroop Rockers – Mitt Hjärta Är En Bomb (DvsG) (Sweden)
MC Melodee & Cookin Soul – My Tape Deck (Jakarta) (Netherlands)
P.H. Fat – Happiness Machines (PHFAT Corp) (South Africa)
Deltron 3030 – Event II (Caroline) (USA)
Drehmoment – Pffh. Die Vorhut (not on label) (Germany)
John Robinson & Kyo Itachi –  The Path of Mastery (Shinigamie) (USA/France)

websites of the GAL-Radio Show:

Christian Teisnes (Norway – Radio host)
Don Martin – En Gang Romsågutt, Alltid Romsåsgutt (Norway)
Lars Vaular – 1001 Hjem (Norway)
Yoguttene – PULYoguttene 1 & 2 + DSANT 1 & 2 (Norway)

Anna Oravcova (Czech Republic – Radio Host/Academic)
Prago Union – Vážná hudba
Rest – Střepy
DJ Fatte – Soundtrack
Honza Peroutka – Klukovina
Boyband – Best of
Vladimir 518 (pioneer, member of PHS) – Idiot

Trishes (Austria – Producer/Radio Host)
Monobrother – Unguru (Austria)
Gerard – Blausicht (Austria)
Betty Ford Boys (Brek Sinatra [Austria], Dexter & Suff Daddy [Germany])

The Last Skeptik (UK – producer/DJ/publicist)
Darq E Freaker (UK)
Paul White – Watch the Ants EP (with Sean Price and Homeboy Sandman)
Itsnate (UK)
Lunar C – Good Times and Dead Brain Cells (UK)
Isaac Danquah – Eclectic Perspective EP (UK)

Seth Markle – (Tanzania – Trinity College Professor)
Nikki Mbishi – Malcolm XI (Tanzania)
Zaiid – Tamaduni Muzik Mixtape, Vol. 1 (Tanzania)
Wanaitwa Uhuru – Freedom Ain’t Free (Tanzania)

Eve Hyman – (World Hip Hop Market contributor)
Zuzuka Poderosa – Carioca Bass (Brazil/USA)
Malkovich – Great Expectations
Stromae – Racine Carrée (Belgium)

Fabio Nalin (Italy/China – World Hip Hop Market contributor)
Purple Soul – W.T.F. (China)

Gaston ‘Cenzi’ Gabarro (Chile – Producer/Designer/MC)
Búfalo Dit – El Hijo De La Gran Búfala
Bronko Yotte – Con eso te digo todo

Andrew “Hazard” Hickey – (Australia – Writer/Traveler)
Horrorshow – King Amongst Many (Australia)
Fluent Form – Fluseason (Australia)
Seth Sentry – This Was Tomorrow (Australia)
Few Kings – The Feeling Ain’t Fair (Zimbabwe)
Richter – Symbiose (Germany)

Crisp Eaters (UK – IBMCs)
Kid Tsunami – The Chase (headbop)
Ntan & Blabbermouf – start from scratch
Anik of Dark Circle presents Cryptochrome (defcon)
Aslan Presents– French Legion
Aslan Presents – Latin Quarterz
Kista – grand emperium EP
Shoda Ish – Foxp2
Taskforce –MFTC 5
IBMCs Worldwide Remixes EPs 3&4
M9 – Magna Carta

Magee McIlvaine (Washington DC – Nomadic Wax Creative Director)
El-P & Killer Mike – Run the Jewels (USA)
Bambu – One Rifle Per Family & Son of A Gun (Philippines/USA)
Bat Haillons Blin-D – Resistants (Senegal)
Bells Atlas – Bells Atlas
DJ 2-Tone Jones – Shaolin Jazz: The 37th Chamber
Homeboy Sandman – First of a living breed (2012)
IAM – Arts Martiens (2011)
Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid Maad City (USA)
Oddisee – the beauty in all (
Oddisee – tangible dream
Open Mike Eagle – 4NML HSPTL (2012) (USA)
Rael- Ainda Bem Que Segul As Batidas do Meu Coracao (Brazil)
Soul Position- 8,000,000 stories (throwback album)
Typical Cats- 3 (2012)
Vox Sambou – Dyasporafriken (Haiti)
Hache ST – Zafra (Donimincan Republic)
L’Orange & Stik Figa- The City Under The City
The Narcicyst – We are the Medium EP (Iraq/Canada)

Naboth Rizla (Zimbabwe – Writer/WHHM contributor)
Bizzle BadBoy – Ambitions Journal
Outspoken – Uncool and Overrated (Disk One): God Before Anything (Disk Two) (Zimbabwe)
UNWTO 2013 Mixtape by and
Zubz – Dragon Lion Full Circle (South Africa)
Mac – Bheka Thina Jo EP
Kwanfire Asaph – SKY Music