Top picks from Adult Swim’s free albums:
From African Swim:
1. “When We Rock (Leaders)” by Prokid
This song has tremendous energy. It really gets me excited and it was the perfect song to start the album. The beat is interesting because it stays true to the roots of its style by using a rock loop as the basis. The chorus is also the perfect break from the verses to keep them both sounding fresh each time they come up.
2. “NO More” by Drencko
When I put this song on, I can’t help but smile. The hook makes me want to hear the rest of the song because it blends so well into the beat that its hard to turn off. The variation between the artists’ vocal styles in the song is also very good because it keeps the song interesting while retaining the original feeling of the song.
3. “Muthaland” by Jozi
This song could become really popular if it got some air time. It is a great song to dance to and it’s fun to sing along with. The sing-a-long qualities along with the feel good vibe of the song make it a great one for bonding.
From Definitive Swim:
4. “Smithereens” by El-P
El-P is one of the best things to come out of Def Jux and this song is the perfect example of his rapping abilities mixed with his production skills. The intro is nothing short of dramatic and it builds the song up for the epic bars that El-P is about to lay down.
5. “Brothaz Remix” by Mr. Life and Cannibal Ox
This is my favorite song from this album. Lyrics such as “I aim like Dick Cheney / Don’t play me” and “The CIAs got cameras in ya food / Soon they’ll be ready to download you!” are what really sell it for me. The bass in the beat is abrasive and repetitive but it provides a sound basis for Lif and Ox to drop some knowledge.
6. “Blood Boy” by Cage
Cage is a Midwestern rapper who gets picked on by Eminem—probably because he feels threatened by how much skill Cage has. If he would write some catchier music he would be Eminem’s biggest contender.
From Ghostly Swim:
7. “Carlos Walter Wendy Stanley” by The Chap
This certainly is one of the weirdest songs I have ever heard. The same base is used for the entire song but the individual sounds that they add in for different people’s parts are compelling and always keep you guessing.
8. “Ithaca” by Cepia
This possibly Afrika Bambata inspired song can be totally relaxing while still keeping you on edge. This song has some moments that are very sobering. If you listen with headphones in, for a little bit the world makes complete sense. Then it slowly transitions back into the strange mixed up sounds from before reminding you the world is a strange and mixed up place.
9. “R+S” by Matthew Dear
Matthew Dear sure knows how to make you feel uncomfortable when listening to a song with full bass on. It was hard to pick this song against others such as “Light Powered” by Deastro or “Triple Chrome Dipped” by Michna but the lyrics of this song really win me over due to how little sense they make. I really recommend this whole album when it comes down to it. I’d say that if you like this song, you would like the rest of it (for the most part).
From Worldwide Renewal:
10. “Go That Route” Kovas
This song yells at you with its beat even while Kovas is whispering the chorus. One thing I like about it is that it doesn’t follow the traditional pattern of most hip-hop songs: it often cuts the beat off at arbitrary times for emphasis on certain words.
11. “Hollywood” by Hollywood Holt
Hollywood Holt is one of my favorite rappers from Chicago and it makes me glad to see him on this album getting some publicity. He may come off as cocky sometimes, (especially in this song) but he does have some idea of what he is talking about. It would be hard for someone to deny that he has serious skills when it comes to rapping about how awesome he is.