Release Date: July 13
Label: Iron Works

As art forms mature, it's cool to watch how their broadened horizons allow for new phenomena. Like this: As hip-hop approaches its 35th birthday, a 40-year old fireman from Brownsville, Brooklyn has just made his second straight minor-masterpiece of a rap album. Last year, Ka's Grief Pedigree gave fans of no-frills New York street rap a most-welcome surprise. Dark, brooding, thoughtful and exquisitely crafted, the album harkened to nothing so much as classic, mid-’90s Mobb Deep. Produced, once again, solely by Ka's own hand, The Night's Gambit builds on that success. Expanding his pallette, slightly, with some brighter musical notes, he doesn't sacrifice an ounce of gravitas. This is rap at its most chilling and hypnotic. —Dave Bry