Don't Sleep: Necessary Notables
Indie LP: Arms & Hammers
Headliner: Strong Arm Steady
Key Cameos: Talib Kweli, KRS-One, Marsha Ambrosius, Too Short and Kurupt
Essential Info: While everyone is waiting on whether Detox will or won't drop April 20, Brooklyn rapper-turned-CEO Talib Kweli has another suggestion for heads looking to fill their Cali rap fix: Strong Arm Steady's Arms & Hammers.
"I'mma go ahead and say this is the best album coming out of the West Coast, in my opinion, since The Chronic," Kweli told Mixtape Daily. "And people might be mad at me for that, because I'm not the West Coast, so I'm apologizing in advance if they think I don't know what I'm talking about. But I wouldn't say that if I truly didn't mean that."
The Blacksmith Records boss inked the three-man act to his label a few years ago, but he said he's not biased when it comes to their forthcoming project, due February 22. He pointed to the veteran collective's range as an example of their talents.
"They're not easily qualified or put in a box," he said. "Are they gangsta rap? People see Mitchy Slick doing his gangsta-rap thing. Are they underground rap people? They did the Stoney Jackson album with Madlib. People don't know their history."
For the set, they recruited producers like DJ Khalil, Nottz and Jellyroll, and the album features collaborations with KRS-One, among others.
According to Kweli, though, the three solo artists came together this time to make a project that was truly the sum of their talents.
"They're powerful artists in their own right, and they came together to make this great album," Kweli said.
For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.