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There isn’t much soul left in Hip Hop. Aside from the Curren$ys, J.Coles, and Kendrick Lamars of the game, very few artists are continuing to stay true to an aspect of rap that used to monopolize the genre. Most new rap music concentrates more on ad-libs and bass-heavy production and has let the more complex attributes of song crafting fall to the wayside. Maryland artist Al Hostile is refusing to let this trend take hold of his own sound. With his third mixtape Smile Always, Al Hostile showcases that Hip Hop hasn’t completely lost its groove in the new generation.

This seasoned member of the 800 collective, continues to create his own lane with this project and has begun to showcase a new side of his talent, his vocal ability. Between the singing and chopped up soul samples, Smile Always is reminiscent of some of the late 2000s great rap albums that still get play today. The project rings with themes stemming from Hostile’s own life experiences as an artists still working to make his name known. The struggle and perseverance can be felt with each track making this a very personal album. Featuring production from Chase Smith, Jaylen!, rMell, and Trill800, this projects’s overall groove may not be the best for the club, but it has a track for almost ever other occasion. Al Hostile shows very much promise as a multifaceted artist. His ability to tell stories, deliver one liners, and harmonize over his own lyrics show that he has the potential to have a long and colorful career in music. Make sure to keep an eye and an ear out for the name Al Hostile over the next few years, there are big things in this young man’s future and a very little chance that he will disappoint.