We don't write a lot about hip-hop on WLFY even though it's one of Hank's favorite genres and an art form I was obsessed with in the 90's/early 2000's. Maybe I need to see a hip-hop psychologist to outline exactly what it is I look for in a hip-hop track, but whatever those factors are, they've been absent for the last few years aside from Shabazz Palaces. If I'm self-diagnosing, what I look for is a calm/steady flow, beats informed by jazz structures or samples, and a resistance to egotism or pop culture references. The last factor is hard to find due to how hip-hop has evolved and the fact that both mentioned above were present at the creation of hip-hop. I know it's hypocritical to ask an art form to not be something that it was founded upon, and while it exists in a lot of the hip-hop albums I love, it doesn't hit the listener over the head or use those two topics as a crutch for the whole album.
With J. Nolan's five track EP, The Archetypes, I'm immediately transported to one of my favorite records of all time, Tribe Called Quest's The Low End Theory. Nice jazz hooks are complimented by Nolan's relentless, yet smooth flow. On our track of the day, "Tonight's The Night" the flow goes on and on with little break, doubling over itself every few lines to result in one of the better tracks I've heard this year.