5 Essential Albums For Summer ‘17

In a time where it seems like 20 albums release every other day, it is easy to get caught up in what trends on your timeline. It’s hard to sort through what’s new, what’s good, and what is a complete waste of time. Here are 5 releases that will fuel your summer and might even get you your “summer body” without even trying.

  1. Jacques Greene- “Feel Infinite”
cover art for Jacques Greene’s debut done by Hassan Rahim

Montreal- based House producer Jacques Greene has delivered a strong debut album (released on indie label LuckyMe Records) that will most certainly get you moving. This dance record that was made for the club will hypnotize you with its gentle synths and groovy, comforting basslines. Supported by various vocal samples bathed in reverb, this albums gives you everything you could ask for. Greene adds his signature warmth that you’re used to from previous EPs such as “Another Girl” , “Concealer” so that you could also appreciate the album after a long day of work or date night with your partner. Highlights from Feel Infinite include “I Won’t Judge”; a beautiful growing track with an intoxicating vocal lead, and 909 drums that might put you in a smaller jean size by the time the track ends. “Real Time” — a record that will take control over your hips with the drum’s perfect swing reinforced with a funky bassline and angelic synths. Other notable tracks such as “ Afterglow” and “You Can’t Deny” will lead you to a land of euphoria and drop you off to the hopeful closer “You See All My Light” This release is excellently executed and a fitting choice to soundtrack your summer. Look out for Jacques online for tour dates and future releases.

2. Vince Staples- “ Big Fish Theory”

cover of Staple’s second full-length album

You may already be familiar with Long Beach’s own Vince Staples from his often inspiring interviews online, but now he’s back with the rap album tailor-made for the summer breeze and family cookouts. On Staples’ sophomore full-length album (released on Def Jam Records) both new and loyal listeners get what they expect and hints of a fresh sound unlike most rap music you hear today. The articulate artist tackles the struggles of knowing he is capable of great achievements but being stuck inside the metaphorical fish tank that he did not choose to be in. The concept of the album is on display from the very first track “Crabs in a Bucket”- a track that elaborates on the phrase common among African-Americans and our tendencies to pull each other from escaping the “bucket” or rather the neighborhoods that they come from, or dilemmas we face. The timing of this album is perfect for those wondering what life is like for black people in today’s America. Although the album’s theme is somewhat dark and reflective, Vince does not let the California sound go unnoticed, being heard throughout several ambitious and groovy tracks such as “Big Fish”- a fun, motivating poolside record. In “745” we get Vince courting a woman over a dream-like synth, sharp hi-hats, and a thick bassline to move around the floor with your special someone. In what may be album’s greatest surprise: “Yeah Right” we’re given an aggressive heavy hitter produced by the well know Flume and PC Music’s SOPHIE and a mean guest verse from rap’s current ruler Kendrick Lamar. Vince stays consistent on this album while delivering a new look on the rap game with help on production from Jimmy Edgar, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and more from artists you don’t typically hear in hip-hop today. On “Big Fish Theory” Vince Staples will keep you cool through this scorching heat should you choose to follow him on his journey.

3. Rich the Kid, Famous Dex, Jay Critch- “Rich Forever 3”

the trio returns for the third installment

In the third installment of the Rich Forever series,(distributed by 300 Entertainment) 3 of the leaders of the underground rap scene return for a solid upbeat mixtape to keep your blood flowing. This rap album will surprise you with its clean production followed by the trio’s flows oozing in braggadocio and swagger. The tape is highlighted by tracks “Pardon Me”- a survivors anthem that has the trio celebrating their success. “Read About It”- another track following the theme of overcoming their less than fortunate past lives which coasts over a smooth 808 and bubbly bells. Then there’s “Moon Walkin”- a track lead by a hook comparing their cash flow to the skills of 2017 NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant. And lastly-a personal favorite, “Rich Forever Way Outro” is the perfectly crafted closer to the consistent theme of making it from rags to riches. The final track revisits the bells that you could star gaze to, backed by bass that will give your party a pulse. The trio of Rich the Kid, Jay Critch, and Famous Dex (who recently received some instagram love from Erykah Badu) aren’t well known for being lyricists, but they more than get the point across that the summer of 2017 is an amazing time to be alive, thus making this tape a must listen this season.

4. Future- “FUTURE”

Future returns in style with hit after hit

If you saw this coming, sorry, but you are no prophet. No list matters if Future isn’t on it. In the first of two albums Future released(by Epic Records)a week apart we are getting Future at his best. Somehow still riding an incredible several year run, listeners get spoiled yet again with hit after hit. “FUTURE” is the artists’ hard hitting, trunk shaking album that can simultaneously play as the soundtrack to your workout at the gym, a night at the club, a house party, or even a picnic if you’d like. The moody “Super Trapper” paints the picture of the late nights in the trap, while the fast-paced, chirping “Zoom” lets us know Future does not plan on ever slowing down. In an album flooded with bangers, Future brings it down to earth with a minimal production mainly consisting of a couple piano notes, and a mellow bassline on the overlooked “Might As Well”. On this record Future brings out the usual suspects Metro Boomin, Zaytoven, Southside, Tarentino, and more for production. If there is anything proves with this album, it’s that he is on the top of his game and he is here to stay.

5. Sinjin Hawke- “First Opus”

The Kanye West collaborator debuts with a bang

You may be unfamiliar with the name Sinjin Hawke, but you definitely know his sound. The New Jersey born electronic producer caught your ear with co-production on the fan favorite “Wolves” from last year’s “The Life of Pablo” by the one and only Kanye West, but here he is with his long-awaited debut full-length album titled “First Opus”(released on Fractal Fantasy). Accompanied by an interactive website Sinjin continues to impress with his instrumental production that has been loved since his early EPs. In Hawke’s debut, he creates an environment that makes you feel like you’re in a palace made of crystals and rare gems. This brilliant piece of art is sculpted with precious melodic vocals,monitor exploding 808s, dramatic soundscapes, and precise percussion. Note worthy tracks such as “Don’t Lose Yourself To This”, “Divination”, and “Snow Blind” all have this remarkable ability to make you feel like you’re in a Thor movie with its regal sound design and warrior-like trumpets. This album oddly fits both in a strobe light-heavy club and a viking’s funeral. Sinjin officially and firmly places himself among electronic music’s top dogs with his sonically innovative style and flawless execution. Put “First Opus” on your summer playlist and take a glorious trip.

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