Published Sep 19, 2014In celebration of their 11 year history as a hip hop blog revered across the Net for its free-thinking ways, Ian Steaman and Different Kitchen have put together a characteristically eclectic anniversary compilation of tracks from up-and-coming artists spanning the U.S. and Canada. Centrist soul beats get their fair share of shine in the diverse mix, with the style well represented by Joel's rundown of everyday American struggles on "Make It In America" and in the straight-talk love letter pleas of Noah Vinson's "Ex." Things take a progressive left in the welcomed adventurism of Keita Juma's "YRWEONTHISBEACH?" as the MC's minimalist flow and the cut's stripped-down and inverted drum pattern bring a new perspective to the table.
King Reign and Saukrates also eschew the sample approach in favour of a more rootsy bass and hand drum combo for another record high point on the albeit less divergent "The Book," while Brendan Philip turns in one of the collection's few non-hip hop tracks with his drifting, digitized love ballad "Look." For those who haven't been up on the blog, this compilation serves as an inviting primer for the types of sounds that move founder Steaman, while offering another revelatory glimpse at a few notable Canadian artists who are still buzzing just below the radar (Different Kitchen)