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5 must-hear Minnesota hip-hop tracks: 4/12/17

This week: Greg Grease, Talia Knight, and more.

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

This week we have Greg Grease, Talia Knight, Poliça, CRAM, and C.M.J.

Greg Grease -"Migraine"

Greg Grease seeks an ease to stressors and distractions on his latest single, "Migraine." Over an intricate and dynamic beat collaboration between Psymun, ZULUZULUU bandmate Trelly Mo, and Grease himself, the rapper brings smoothness to the sauntering synths and bracing bass. He throws in sung hooks and claustrophobic crosstalk to highlight the causes and solutions to the headaches life throws his way.

Talia Knight - "heartBeat"

Producer Talia Knight's latest beat floats and stutters and hypnotizes. Stemming out from the chill vibe of her 2015 instrumental project Nocturnal, this one-off track is a standout that highlights her many strengths.

Poliça feat. Spank Rock - "Still Counts" 

Whether or not a Poliça song belongs on this list was a debate I had with myself, but this preview from the eminent synth-pop group's new double A-side 7” Lipstick Stains / Still Counts features the Baltimore rapper and vocalist Spank Rock. So it, uh, still counts (I'm so very, very sorry). The special Record Store Day release displays their particular murky electronic bounce at its funkiest, and the collaboration (recorded in town when Spank Rock was on tour) reveals a unique groove. It utilizes the rapper's playfully strange lyricism and slinky vocals melds with the gritty glitz of the instrumentals and Channy's intoxicating hook.

CRAM - "Animalistic"

An exercise in agitated brevity, the CRAM crew seethe with a confrontational tumult in their latest video for "Animalistic" from their recent release, EAT ASS EP. With lyrics responding to a home robbery that cost producer Shrimpnose some of his valuables, the song is teeming with bitterness. Obscured by darkness, smoke, and MS Paint flashes, rappers Jaylap and Tyy P affix aggression in their voicing, aided by the wobbling bass and tense percussion.

C.M.J. - "Silence Into Sound"

Christopher Michael Jensen has put in some real time and work over the past several years to make a name for himself in the local scene. He's secured opening slots for artists like Gift Of Gab, R.A. the Rugged Man, Cage, and Slick Rick, for instance. His passion culminates in his latest album, A New Age, due out April 26 with a release show that night at Honey. The Blamsiss beat accents C.M.J.'s flow with horns and strings that add an emotive air.

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