These days, it's more surprising to hear of someone actually paying for an album than it is to hear about an artist giving their work away for free. This shouldn't diminish the amount of work it takes for guys like Sapient and Luck-One to bring us their albums free of charge. If you like the music, go see these guys live or buy another album. Local music—and local hip-hop in particular—deserves more support.
Sapient's Gunfeathers (that still sounds like a hectic Japanese shooting game to me) finds the Sandpeople MC issuing what is hypothetically a reworking of his 2010 record Barrels for Feathers, but what is for all intensive purposes an entirely new disc with some old verses on it. The amount of work Sape puts into a remix (he prefers to call them "redux") is pretty staggering, something especially evident on reworked tracks like the pychedelic "Clouds Clear Redux" and the weirdly baroque "Diamond Snares Redux." Most of these tracks are unrecognizable until the hooks swoop in. Seems like Sape took the lessons he learned on last year's producer showcase, Tusks!, and applied it to this reworking. It's an impressively diverse set of beats and the resulting record sounds more ambitious on headphones than the Twitter description might suggest. Warning for dads: The newly string-sectioned "Stronger" is probably a bit of a tear-jerker.
Luck-One's Beautiful Music Part 2 is, to these ears, the best record Luck has recorded to date. More on that when I review it next month (timed to Luck's release show), but now that you can hear it all for yourself, you absolutely should. I'm just going to say it: I don't think this guy is ever going to get a foot out of hip-hop. It's that Godfather III syndrome: Just when he thought he was out...we pull him back in.