Foci - The Achievement Gap
After many years of performing on stages from Los Angeles and Atlanta to New York while also maintaining and cultivating musicians from his city, Pasadena, CA emcee Foci has finally released his debut album, The Achievement Gap. While topics of the current state of Hip Hop, companionship and community are addressed, the core of the album is Foci illustrating very personal stories about his experiences as a former teacher in a very questionable American education system that also ultimately played a part in the murder of his best friend. Coming from a time where originality and honesty mattered in music, Foci never compromises his unique style of rhyming and maintains a strong foundation with soulful production by Diverse, Jansport J, and more. The issues discussed in The Achievement Gap successfully marry Foci’s two worlds of music and education and, despite being laid off for speaking against the ills of the system, allows him to continue to educate the masses in a more universal medium.
Homeboy Sandman - “Couple Bars”
Not your traditional love song, Stones Throw artist Homeboy Sandman showcases his mastery of the English language (and in extension, macking skills) with “Couple Bars”. The title of the song is clearly an understatement as the wordy lyricist uses what seems to be an infinite barrage of rhyme schemes to woo a fine Latina joint pictured in the video. “Couple Bars” is off Sandman’s latest release First Of A Living Breed.
Keorapetse Kgotsitsile (Earl Sweatshirt’s Grandfather)
According to The New Yorker’s very personal article about the missing OFWGKTA member, he (Earl Sweatshirt) is either the son or the grandson of one of South Africa’s most celebrated poets & political activists, Keorapetse Kgotsitsile. This is a piece he performed at a poetry festival in Berlin in 2009. This takes Taco’s statement about Earl looking like an African poet to a whole new level.