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Rap roundup : Roc Marciano, Action Bronson, Heems

Roc Marciano - Reloaded

It’s been a good week for hip hop, with a new commercial release from Roc Marciano and two of the best free mixtapes of the year appearing online. Marciano is a New York rapper who started out in the ’90s as an auxiliary member of Busta Rhymes’ Flipmode Squad, and Reloaded (out now on Decon) is the follow-up to his well-received 2010 solo debut Marcberg. Matching mind-bending free-associative gangsta-pimp chat (“Thick pitbull jaw-lock/ I’m a warlock/ My lines go for ten a pop like orange tops/ Fuck you niggas with a horse’s cock“) to gritty, minimal production – driven by dusty jazz and soul loops and Roc’s deadpan flow rather than its barely-there beats – Reloaded positions Marciano alongside the likes of Kool G. Rap, Mobb Deep and Ghostface Killah as a major new player in the story of tough-talking Big Apple rap. Listen to “76” below.

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Marciano also guests on the new free mixtape from fellow New Yorker Action Bronson, available to download now via Noisey.com. Produced entirely by The Alchemist, Rare Chandeliers is a more psychedelic affair musically than Bronson’s equally excellent Party Supplies collaboration (Blue Chips) from earlier this year, but lyrically it’s more of the same, with the former gourmet chef rapping again about food and sex and getting high; which is OK, as he seems to know his shit on all three counts.

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Download Heems' 'Wild Water Kingdom' Mixtape

Another rapper puuting out his second mixtape of the year this week is Das Racist’s Himanshu “Heems” Suri, whose Wild Water Kingdom has finally dropped after the original release date was scuppered by Hurricane Sandy. With production from Keyboard Kid, Mike Finito, Beautiful Lou, Harry Fraud and more, and contributions from members of his Greedhead label – LE1F, Lakutis and Safe – it’s a reliably varied ride, taking in cloud-rap, pop, electro, Bollywood, reggae and even an Echo & The Bunnymen sample. Listen to the Lushlife-produced “Soup Boys” below, and download the whole thing here.

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About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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