Alkaline — TOP PRIZE
Five years after the release of his groundbreaking debut New Level Unlocked, Alkaline delivers his sophomore album. The Kingston icon doesn’t disappoint, delivering a project of buoyant, melodic dancehall free of features and filler. Leading off with the celebratory title track, TOP PRIZE balances sensual dance floor riddims and lyrics about hard-fought success with sunny ease.
Taleban Dooda — Fallen Angel
Over the last few years, East Tampa rapper Taleban Dooda has positioned himself as his city’s leading candidate to break out of its regional bubble. Excelling at both pained street ballads and bouncy, upbeat melodies, Taleban’s high vocals and songwriting talents lend him a more pop-ready sound than some of his melodic crooner peers. Fallen Angel is his debut album for Rostrum Records and features Yung Bleu, OMB Peezy, and more in addition to breakout singles “Tru Colors,” “Dis Dooda,” and “Chosen.”
Big Jade — Pressure
Big Jade’s debut album doesn’t leave much room for quiet reflection. Pressure, out via Alamo Records, is pure adrenaline and charisma as the Beaumont native stakes her claim as one of Texas’ best rappers, rattling off searing bars over high-energy beats and interpolations of classics by The Game, T.I., and David Banner. Houston gravitational force and mentor BeatKing produces seven of 10 tracks and features along with Erica Banks and OMB Bloodbath. Big Jade is here to stay.
Paris Texas — BOY ANONYMOUS
Paris Texas are from Compton. The duo, made up of Louie Pastel and Felix, emerged earlier this year with genre-blending single “HEAVY METAL,” and their first project, an eight-track EP named BOY ANONYMOUS, proves they are only getting started. They can rap but never lock into a style or flow for long, and their debut bounces around moods with a mix of alternative rap and rock sounds.
CRYS — Juntos
Cuban singer-songwriter CRYS is a rising name in pop. Singing in both Spanish and English, the bilingual Miami native blends her R&B and Gospel influences over breezy, polished production. Her debut album Juntos (or Together) is a short-but-sweet eight tracks about faith, togetherness, and motivation.