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5 must-hear Minnesota hip-hop tracks: 3/15/17

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There’s a near-constant stream of quality music coming from the Minnesota rap scene.

We’ve taken it upon ourselves to pick a few highlights from the past week in new releases and videos.

Here are 5 that are definitely worth your time.

Parables of Neptune - "Better"

Lady Midnight and Afrokeys recently dropped another collaborative effort as the duo Parables of Neptune. "Better" finds a textured groove that highlights Afrokeys' deft touch with layers of live guitar, bass, drums, and cello. Plus, there's Lady Midnight's humbly affecting voice. The "May 1, 2017" release date in the description suggests future sounds from the charismatic pair delivering a timeless R&B vibe.

Radio Ahlee - "S T A T I C"

Roaming the State Fair Midway as onlookers gawk and superimposed animations gleam, Radio Ahlee directs himself rapping the jittering "S T A T I C" with just a hint of fantastical flourish. His gesturing conjures up flashes of symbolic imagery as his understated energy draws a crowd, an appropriate visual approximation of the rapper's subtle kineticism which serves as the song's inspiration.

Allan Kingdom - "Know About It"

Allan Kingdom announced his new album LINES, due out April 7, with the release of the trippy video for lead single "Know About It." Director Cole Bennett, who has an eye for colorful, spaced-out glitch visuals with videos for Famous Dex and Warhol.ss, has concocted a vibrant video that focuses on Kingdom's individual energy as he glows, floats through the cosmos, and dances in silhouette. Continuing on a theme of his individual trajectory, Kingdom raps about making moves off his iPhone as he visually stands separate from the rest of the universe.

Budah Tye - OG SLAPS Vol. 1 

This smooth instrumental project from Minneapolis hip-hop legend Budah Tye, the first volume of the OG SLAPS series, collects some of the producer's best work for a sonically pleasing listen. With a graceful ear for infectious funk samples, deep bass, and distinctive drum sounds, Budah Tye brings the heat on what is hopefully a continuing series of quality beat work.

Nazeem and Spencer Joles - "Lake St."

Nazeem and Spencer Joles music combines sung melodies and vivacious raps for a powerful sound moving in a variety of directions. Shortly after releasing the upbeat tribute to the good life in the video for "Intro" from their last project The Album, the duo dropped their first preview from the upcoming Years Of Obscurity EP with a dark, brutal, and grotesque video for "Lake St." Expect ritualistic blood-drinking and bouts of violence. The song maintains the duo's humbly expressive vibe while taking turns in moodier directions.

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