This year has had some incredible musical highlights. MGMT’s bounce-back album “Little Dark Age” was fantastic and was long worth the wait. Camila Cabello’s solo debut album solidified her as one of the next breakout stars in music. “Black Panther: The Album” was filled with hits and proved just how impactful music can be when a community works together to create a piece of art.
But the year is far from over and there is a ton of new music yet to be released. Here are five albums to look forward to in March.
1. Sango – “In the Comfort Of”
Sango is a producer who’s worked with Tinashe, Smino, Bryson Tiller and Xavier Omär. This short list of artists should provide an indication of his style of production: soulful, R&B influences with elements of neo-jazz.
He’s released a number of projects via his Bandcamp page, but only one official LP in 2013 entitled, “North.” The time spent in between his two official releases has allowed the producer to work freely and craft his sound.
Two singles have currently been released. “Dance For Blessings” is an audio-kaleidoscope instrumental with African and Latin influences and “Sweet Holy Honey” features frequent Sango-collaborator, Xavier Omär. It’s a beautiful track with an always incredible vocal performance by Omär.
In addition to the singles released, Sango also collaborated with director Jon-Sal to create a short film for the project.
In an interview with Pigeons & Planes, Sango described the film as a “[film] about the youth of South End, Seattle and how we must protect them from harm. They have a future ahead of them and it’s important we highlight that. We have to make sure we uplift them even when they don’t want to accept the reality of growing up. South End forever.”
“In the Comfort Of” will be released everywhere on March 16 and is available for pre-order now.
2. Bishop Nehru – “Elevators I & II”
Bishop Nehru has been extremely prolific in his short career; he’s released a full-length project every year since 2013. His mixtapes have caught the attention of notable figures in the music industry, resulting in him opening up for the Wu-Tang Clan on their 20th Anniversary European tour and signing with Nas’ label, Mass Appeal Records.
His first mixtape, “Nehruvia,” was a remix album of sorts. Bishop rapped over beats from previously released tracks by iconic producers — Madlib, MF DOOM, J Dilla and DJ Premier — with the addition of occasional, self-provided vocal samples from Tupac, Kanye West and MF DOOM interviews.
This was a clear homage to his influences and the messages in his choice of samples let the listener know what kind of artist Bishop aspires to be: genuine, true to himself and hardworking.
Bishop released “Nehruvia” at only 16 years old and, through the selection of his production, cadence and level of comfort on the mic, gives off the strong impression he’s an old soul.
His latest project, “Elevators (Act I & II),” looks to be another promising collaboration. Co-produced by past collaborator DOOM and R&B/dance producer Kaytranada, the two released singles, “Rooftops” and “Up, Up & Away,” that offer a clear indication of what to expect from the project: a contrast between DOOM’s dark, jazzy boom-bap and soft melodies with layers of texture by Kaytranada.
The chemistry between DOOM and Bishop is unquestionable, and Kaytranada is one of the most distinctive producers in music right now, so this could very well be Bishop’s breakout album into the mainstream world.
“Elevators (Act I & II)” will be released everywhere on March 16 and is available for pre-order now.
3. Snoop Dogg – “Bible of Love”
Snoop Dogg needs no introduction and, like the title and message of his 2017 last album, “Neva Left,” indicates, he never left — he’s still here making great music.
However, his latest project, “Bible of Love,” is definitely a step in a direction fans have never seen the iconic rapper make before: gospel. The double album’s tracklist boasts a full 32 tracks, which is exceptionally long for an album of any genre.
The majority of the singles that have been released are promising, but they seem to be more gospel-based and less Snoop-based. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it is an interesting decision made by the rapper. “Blessing Me Again” is a track that blends the two genres perfectly, with a guest appearance from gospel singer Rance Allen.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Snoop Dogg described the album as being “all about love from start to finish. That’s the way you change the world, by putting love in it.” Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of gospel, this record will mark an important moment in Snoop’s career.
“Bible of Love” will be released everywhere on March 16 and is available for pre-order now.
4. Murs – “A Strange Journey Into the Unimaginable”
Murs is a highly accredited underground rapper with decades worth of music under his belt. His newest project is a collaboration album with producer Michael “Seven” Summers who offers a fresh, cohesive sound to his honest lyrics.
The hook on the album’s single, “Powerful,” is a message to the new generation of artists that he feels are putting out dishonest music with no care for the actual craft, only focusing on picking up a check: “Get your money, but just let the rappers rap / Rappers act like rappers but they still singing / Autotune and making music with no meaning.”
This is a common argument made towards newer rappers and not one that I necessarily agree with wholeheartedly, but I understand the sentiment. When you consider how Murs has been grinding for years to make a living doing what he loves, it’s not hard to see where he’s coming from and that makes his message all the more powerful.
“Melancholy” is a heartfelt track with Murs speaking about his depression and recent struggles he’s faced in his life. It’s a therapeutic listen and it must’ve been therapeutic to record.
“A Strange Journey Into the Unimaginable” will be released everywhere on March 16 and is available for pre-order now.
5. MF DOOM & Czarface – “Czarface Meets Metal Face!”
MF DOOM is one of hip-hop’s most original acts and Czarface is one of hip-hop’s few supergroups, composed of underground duo 7L & Esoteric and Wu-Tang Clan’s Inspectah Deck. Together, they offer a sound most audiences aren’t used to hearing: gritty, raw and villainy.
DOOM has been relatively prolific since his last official release in 2014 — NehruvianDOOM — with over a dozen features on tracks by artists such as Atmosphere, The Avalanches and Busta Rhymes.
In terms of another full-length project, fluctuating rumors of his highly anticipated collaboration album with Ghostface Killah, “DOOMSTARKS,” being released soon have kept fans on their toes, despite the fact that the album was announced close to five years ago.
In a recent interview, DOOM collaborator Madlib announced a sequel to their classic album, “Madvilliany,” was almost finished, but it’s still unclear whether or not it will ever be released.
In 2017, he surprised his large fan base by announcing a collaboration with Adult Swim to release 15 previously unreleased songs over the course of 15 weeks. Unfortunately, the project named “The Missing Notebook Rhymes” was cancelled after only seven of the tracks were released.
After years of rumors and abandoned projects, the sudden news of DOOM releasing another full-length collaboration album seemed too good to be true, but the album’s lead single, “Nautical Depth,” reminded listeners of why a DOOM project is worth waiting for.
The punchlines are wicked but delivered smoothly and the trio of DOOM, Inspectah Deck and Esoteric function as a three-headed dragon spitting fire upon its listeners.
“Czarface meets Metal Face!” will be released everywhere on March 30 and it is available for pre-order now.