Agent J’s five favourite hip hop albums of the year

Whether keeping us informed with the Battlestar Mancunia crew on Reform Radio or through articles in Bonafide magazine, Jamie Groovement aka Agent J always has his finger on hip hop’s pulse. Ahead of The Mouse Outfit’s show at Band on the Wall on Tuesday, where you’ll catch Agent J behind the decks throughout the night, we asked him to talk us through five of his favourite rap and hip hop records of the year.

Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition

‘British producer Paul White has grown from strength to strength over the years, and to hear him shine like this, empowered by one of the most forward thinking and individual rappers in the game, is a beautiful thing. Paul’s behind ten of the album’s 16 tracks, and can turn a Delia Derbyshire lament into fully fledged Detroit rave up. Danny’s at the top of his game too, lyrics twisting and turning over beats like Planet Earth 2’s baby gecko ran away from the snakes. I chatted to him about his British influences a while back.’

Mongrels – Attack The Monolith

‘Sheffield power duo Kid Acne (well known for painting walls) and Benjamin (Finders Keepers) team up with NY’s Sebash for an album full of zombie, werewolf, Crystal Maze and Ulysses 31-referencing leftfield raps. In my Bonafide review I called it the ‘punk Adventure Time of hip-hop that’s missing from your life’ – it is.’

DJ Shadow – The Mountain Will Fall

‘Band on the Wall played host to Introducing playing Shadow’s first album Endtroducing live recently, which was mind blowing. Twenty years later, The Mountain Will Fall continues to champion Josh Davis’ wide ranging and open minded approach to the genre. The Sideshow is the outstanding traditional hip hop track here, but Shadow embraces a heavy jazz influence with his Matthew Halsall collaboration Ashes To Oceans. Read my interview with Shadow here

Tall Black Guy – Let’s Take A Trip

‘Tall Black Guy makes the most soulful boom bap out there, usually in the form of a new remix or beat released online. To be able to dive into a second full album of the man’s warm and welcoming genius is an unparallelled pleasure. Melodious, soulful, essential.’

Paper Tiger – Blast Off

‘A uniquely British twist on electronic hip hop courtesy of this live band / production outfit, sputtering fire with tongue firmly in cheek. Resident lyricist Raphael Attar is joined by Shafiq Husayn and Pyramid Vritra for frankly cosmic shenanigans.’