Recently released Mandala Vol 1 & 2 is a compilation put out by indie “Intelligent” Hip-Hop label Mello Music Group (MMG). Featured emcees on Mandala Vol 1 & 2 include Oddisee, Mr. Lif, John Robinson, Has-Lo, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Miz Korona, Quelle Chris, T. Calmese, Nick Speed, Open Mike Eagle, yU, Tim Hicks, Charlie Ross, Milo, Castle, Akil The MC, Blueprint, Fredro Starr, Stik Figa, Rapper Big Pooh, Verbal Kent, Yarbrough, DJ Eclipse, Gensu Dean, Murs, Muhsinah, Ugly Heroes, Howard Lloyd, Wise Intelligent, Has-Lo, Jamall Bufford, Blacastan, Red Pill, Verbal Kent, and Def Dee. Production on Mandala Vol 1 & 2 is handled by Oddisee, L’Orange, Duke Westlake, Quelle Chris, Has-Lo, Jeremiah Jae, yU, Castle, Slimkat78, Dudley Perkins, Apollo Brown, Audible Doctor, Gensu Dean, 14KT, Def Dee, and Georgia Anne Muldrow. This is MMG’s fourth compilation release, the others being Mental Liberation, Helpless Dreamer, and Self Sacrifice. Mandala Vol 1 is subtitled Polysonic Flows, and Mandala Vol 2 is subtitled Today’s Mathematics.
The sounds on Mandala Vol 1 & 2 is a mixture of jazzy, electronic, downtempo, psych, bass banging, L.A. beat styles, sampled loops, and hard hitting drum beats. Emcees on Mandala Vol 1 & 2 bring the braggadocios battle rap energy but also entertain emotional, thought provoking introspection and observations. Listening to this compilation reminds me of my experiences listening to old Rawkus Sound bombing and Lyricist Lounge compilations, capturing the cutting edge sounds of the underground, indie Hip-Hop of those times (90s to mid 2000s). Definitely worth adding this to your rotation.
Mello Music Group Mandala Vol 1, Polysonic Flows (Spotify preview)
Mello Music Group Mandala Vol 2, Today’s Mathematics (Spotify preview)