Best Soul Albums/EPs of 2020 (Cril’s Picks)

This list took a little while to come up with as I didn't check for RnB and Soul releases as much as I did Hip Hop this year but this is what I came up with. All of these projects offer something special in terms of the soul sound that I certainly vibe with.

1. Teyana Taylor - The Album
2. Monique Brooks Roberts - Free
3. Terrace Martin, 9th Wonder, Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper - Dinner Party EP
4. Lianne La Havas - Lianne La Havas
5. Sault - Untitled (Rise)
6. Jeff Bradshaw - Stronger
7. Seba Kapstaad - Konke
8. Pip Millet - Lost In June EP
9. Kirby - Sis. EP
10. Unknown Wav. - Destiny (Unreleased EP)
11. Joya Mooi - Blossom Carefully EP
12. Alecia Renece - Play Vol. 1 EP
13. Thundercat - It Is What It Is
14. Cleo Sol - Rose In The Dark
15. Chloe and Halle - Ungodly Hour
16. Georgia Anne Muldrow (Jyoti) - Mama You Can Bet!
17. Ego Ella Mae - Honey For Wounds
18. Sassy Black - i Be Bae EP
19. Liv.E - Couldn't Wait To Tell You
20. Salaam Remi - Black On Purpose
21. Cee Lo Green - Cee Lo Green Is Thomas Calloway
22. Tiffany Paige and John Robinson - That Magic
23. Eric Roberson - Hear From Here
24. Victoria Monet - Jaguar
25. Ryan Shaw - Imagining Marvin
26. Carlitta Durand - Kismet Green
27. Syleena Johnson - Woman
28. Lindsey Webster - A Woman Like Me
29. Demae - Life Works Out...Usually
30. Larry Graham - Chillin'

Honorable Mentions: (In No Particular Order)

Bilal - Voyage 19 EP

Mahalia - Isolation Tapes EP

Meenoosha - Airs About Hair Vol. 1

1968 - LSD (Love, Soul & Devotion)

Kim Cage Riley - Family Friends and Favors

RIP to MF DOOM!

RIP to My Favorite Hip Hop Emcee of ALL TIME. You made Hip Hop so exciting for me! I relaunced Out Da Box TV in 2009 because of you. Everytime a new record from you came out it made my day brighter. I would jump around my house and be so excited. If anyone knows me well they know how much MF DOOM's music meant to me. Its really sad to hear the news but I knew it would happen some day. I just didn't know how I would take it. I cried immediately as I found out the news. Thank you Daniel Dumile. May the benevolent ancestors receive you with open arms. My sincere condolences go out to your family and close friends. RIP "Daniel Dumile" MF DOOM

Creative and Conscious Hip Hop Mix (December 2020)

On December 29th, 2020, Host Cril of Out Da Box presented a 5 hour long music mix live on Mixcloud, playing NEW "Creative and Conscious" Hip Hop tracks mainly released in the months of November and December 2020.  Mix features new music from Drew Dave, D.C. Cortez, Bop Alloy, Duo Live, Your Old Droog, Phonte, Mach-Hommy, El-P, Tha God Fahim, Mickey Factz, Rasheed Chappell and Buckwild, Moor Mother, Billy Woods, Big Tone, Nico.Wav, Tha Joint, Gang Starr, Trevor J and Loop.Holes, Crosslakes, Hubbs, Passport Rav, Spectac and Amiri, Che Noir, John Robinson, AJ Suede, Mr. Lif and Stu Bangas, Sojourn, Sxnt Chris, MF DOOM, Roving Jewel, Killah Priest, Vel The Wonder, Ray Foges, Senor Kaos, Pappy Natson and Arthur MGZ, Quanstar, J. Sands, Kev Brown and J Scienide, Navy Blue, Yasiin Bey,  More Or Les, Raashan Ahmad and Rita J, Flying Lotus, Kid Abstrakt, X.O., Roc Marciano, Dray Yard and Haleem The GodBrother, Rel McCoy, Defcee, Pruven, Pink Siifu and Fly Anakin, Tobe Nwigwe, Black Thought, Royce Da 5'9', KRS-One, Cambatta, Chuck Strangers, Ka, Illingsworth, Benny The Butcher, Eloh Kush, Jahbaton, One Be Lo, Scienze, Russ, Neak,  Boog Brown and more.  Listen to Brand New Mix below or directly at our Out Da Box Radio's  Mixcloud page

Best Hip Hop Albums of 2020 (Cril’s Picks)

This was honestly the most difficult "Best Albums of the year list" for me to compile because there was so much music I was checking for this year. The order from 1 thru 15 is pretty much a solid order but from 16 on it's not really a particular order. Hope this list is inspirational to you. My focus this year was hip hop releases that were either "creative or conscious" in their lyrical approach. Also keep in mind that there were over 90 dope albums/EPs in this creative and conscious category that I had to narrow down to get to these 27 listed 

1. Jay Electronica - A Written Testimony
2. Homeboy Sandman - Don't Feed The Monster
5. MosEL - Everybody Lying
6. Mickey Factz - Warped Collages
7. Che Noir & Apollo Brown - As God Intended
10. One Be Lo - B.A.B.Y 
11. Reks - T.H.I.N.G.S
12. Skyzoo - Milestones EP
13. Cambatta - Lunar Solar Duality
14. Midaz the Beast - Where The Sidewalk Ends
15. Royce Da 5'9" - The Allegory
16. Lyric Jones - Closer Than They Appear
17. Bustah Rhymes - ELE 2
18. CJ Fly - Rudebwoy
19. Squeegieo - FNTG
20. Sareem Poems & Newselph - The Art Of Living
21. Quelle Chris - Innoncent Country 2
22. Stic - Workout 2
23. Craig G - The Fragile Ego
24. Cas Metah and Blast Mega - Pow Bundy
25. Brittney Carter - As I Am
26. Arrested Development - Don't Fight Your Demons
27. ILL Scholars - ILL Scholars

Out Da Box Talks Episode 57 (Brittney Carter Interview)

In our final artist interview of 2020, host Cril talks with  Southside Chicago Emcee "Brittney Carter" about her debut LP "AS I AM", her motivation to start a music career, the success of her early social media freestyle videos, rhyming over soulful boom bap beats, collaborating with producer "Scud One" and vocalist "Oliv Blu", her love  for reading and much more.  Listen below or at this link

Out Da Box Talks Episode 57 (MosEL Interview)

In this episode of Out Da Box Talks, host Cril talks with Detroit Emcee/Producer "MosEL" on his early inspirations to pursue music, growing up in a musical family with "Quelle Chris" being his brother, his latest 2 Albums "Everybody Lying" and "Protect Your Peace", music creativity, overcoming fear, fatherhood love, the strength of music and much more.  Very insightful interview from a very talented artist. Take a listen below or at this link

Out Da Box Talks Episode 55 (Mickey Factz Interview)

In this Episode 55 of Out Da Box Talks, host Cril talks with NYC Emcee "Mickey Factz" on his amazing New Album "Warped Collages", as well as the thought provoking themes and lyrics on the LP including becoming a new Father, Financial Empowerment, Creative Lyrics, Respect for Women and more.  This interview is lasts a little shorter in duration that our usual Out Da Box Talks interviews but its packed with some valuable insight about the album "Warped Collages" which will certainly be including in my top album of the year lists for 2020. Look for a youtube show from Out Da Box Talks this month expressing out Top Albums and EPs of the year soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the interview! Listen below or at this link

Out Da Box Talks – Episode 54 (Hezekiah Interview)

In this Episode of Out Da Box Talks Host Cril talks in depth with Emcee, Producer, Singer "Hezekiah" on his vast career experiences as an artist as well as the inspiration and meaning behind his latest Album "The Universe Does Not Reward Fear".  We talk about everything from his beginnings as an artist to to his growth in the music biz, him overcoming a brain aneurysm, getting back to his career and looking at life differently.  One of the significant topics that comes up prominently on the new album is that of "Forgiveness" and the importance of it, and we delve in to this topic thoughtfully in the interview.  Hezekiah also talks about his experiences being mistaken for the famous Gospel Artist "Hezekiah Walker" and share stories about his experience with developing the Beat Society "Event Series" back in the early 2000's and the variety of artists he was able to build a successful relationship with. We talk about some of his earlier collaboration work with other artists like "Ishe, Chief Kamachi and Lady Alma", and Hez also talks about his comradare with other philly artists and the benefit it has brought to him in his music career.  He also talks about bringing his music to yoga sessions and more.  This is a very in depth interview so I hope you are able to listen through it all and gain some valuable insight on what Hezekiah represent as an Artist and Quality contribution to Music Today.  Listen below or at this link

Out Da Box Talks Episode 53 – One Be Lo Interview

In this Episode of Out Da Box Talks, Host Cril talks in depth with Talented Michigan Emcee "One Be Lo" on his earliest experiences pursuing Hip Hop, the development of the group/movement "Binary Star", and his inspiration and experience moving to the country of Egypt.  He also talks in depth about his conceptual approach to his albums, as well as themes and lyrics expressed on his highly anticipated LP out now, entitled "B.A.B.Y. Being A Black Youth".  We even talk a bit about his recent EP "C-Section" and tap into some of the lyrics and meaning behind the project.  This interview was one of the longest interviews I've done for Out Da Box Talks but I believe it's well worth the listen, as it features a truly creative and talented Artist of our time.  Take the time to listen when you can. Listen below or at this link

Out Da Box Talks Episode 52 (Lyric Jones Interview)

In this Episode of Out Da Box Talks, Host Cril talks in depth with native Boston Emcee/Singer, Producer "Lyric Jones" about her journey and development as an artist, growing to a place of getting appreciation for her music, collaborating with Phonte of "Little Brother" as executive producer on her latest Album "Closer Than They Appear", the meaning behind the title of the project and more.  Lyric even takes time to break down a  number of lyrics displayed  on the album as well as the significance behind some of the concepts on the project.  She also takes time to speak about her 2019 project "Ga$ Money" produced by Nameless, her recent NPR Tiny Desk home performance and gives insight into reasons why black men and women sometimes have conflict in understanding and respecting each other.  The interview definitely goes in depth and has more content as it clocks in about almost 2 hours.  I certainly hope that this listen is an insightful one.  Listen below or at this link