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10 Free MP3 Albums Exploring Shades of a Genre [Sound Sunday July 3rd]

Tina Sieber 03-07-2011

Let Sound Sunday into your ears!


This Sunday I want to explore the often neglected sides of a very artistic and diverse musical genre with you. When people hear Hip Hop, they typically think of Rap, “the beat-driven rhymes of an often improvisatory nature.” For many (including myself) Rap is a turn off. But Hip Hop has evolved and expanded into sub-genres and flavors that do perfectly well without Rap. This is the other side of Hip Hop, the instrumental, beats,  soul, ambient, electronic, dubstep, trip hop, and drum’n’bass side, which I want to give you a taste of today.

Feel free to post your feedback in the comments or send me an email [tina at makeuseof dot com].

Word Is Bond – Hope for Tomorrow

Genre: beats, piano, instrumental, charity

From the album description: “Hope For Tomorrow is our humble idea to make a difference. We are reaching out to YOU to support our efforts in providing help for those struggling in the aftermath. Our friends at Kevin Nottingham have come on board to assist in the release of a charity album. We are grateful to be in a position to use the talents of some of the undergrounds most respected hip-hop artists. It is our hope that this project will continue to garner attention for the people of Japan and raise some much needed funds.

Hope for Tomorrow is a free download from Bandcamp.


Loud Mouth – Loud Mouth Compilation Volume 2 [No Longer Available]

Genre: ambient, electronica, dubstep, techno

From Loud Mouth’s blog: “Sam has been a DJ for the past 8 years and has been performing since 2006. He began with a regular night in the Harbour Bar in Bray [Ireland] playing a mashup of everything and anything from 80’s to rock to electronic. He later became more involved in the electronic music scene which was his original inspiration to become a DJ. He plays regularly in clubs throughout Dublin (…)

Loud Mouth Compilation Volume 2 is a free download from Bandcamp.

Keith Charles – Before Common Era

Genre: drum’n’bass, neo hip hop, soul, electronica


Before Common Era is Keith Charles’ debut album. The Emcee from Atlanta, also known as Spacebar, embeds soft Rap lyrics in a bed of neo-soul beats. The music flows. This is how he explains his nickname: “Since I can remember, everyone has called me ‘Keithcharles’ and there was no space in between. They ran it together, so every time someone would ask me what is my last name, because they thought “Keith Charles” was my first, I told them “Spacebar”. It just kind of stuck to separate the words.

Before Common Era is a free download from Bandcamp.

Vanilla – High Life

Genre: experimental, instrumental, beat tape, soul

Vanilla is a UK-based producer. On High Life he samples soul hip hop, inspired by Dilla, Madlib, and Onra.


Dainumo, Jeesh, P SUS – 3 Flavors of 8bit

Genre: trip hop, electronic, game music, pogo

The album 8 Flavors of 8bit is a collaboration between Dainumo, Jeesh, and P SUS. They have used sound bits from several video games, such as Super Mario Bros. or Pacman.

3 Flavors of 8bit is a name your price download from Bandcamp.

Master Class – Compilation Album

Genre: instrumental, turntablism, beats, electronica, jazz, lo-fi, trip hop


Master Class is an artist from Seoul, South Korea. From his Facebook profile: “Master Class started listening to Hip-Hop music when he was 10, and when he turned 15, he started to make his own music. ‘Master Class’ started with simple mixing to more delicate and complex mixes. Master Class also studied the theory of music and his albums, that Master Class had been collecting ever since he was a child, helped him to do the ‘Cut and Paste’ work after he bought his MPC.

Master Class’ Compilation Album is a name your price download from Bandcamp.

So Crates & Sour Beats – Hippie Sabotage Volume 2

Genre: electronic, instrumental, beat tape

Hippie Sabotage is a musical project of SoCrates and Sour Beats, occasionally complimented by Chase Moore. From the album introduction on Rebellious Reflection: “This album displays a variety of styles that showcase this groups excessive talents. Vol. 2 is much more mature than the last release, it’s not just a journey, it’s a roller coaster ride of ahead of it’s time music with a little bit of flavor for any and every person out there.

Hippie Sabotage Volume 2 is a free download from Bandcamp.

SOS Smooth – Truth Hurts

Genre: alternative

SOS or ‘Sound of Style’ Smooth is a Hop Hop artist from New York. Also check out his Twitter stream.

Truth Hurts is a free download from Bandcamp.

Finalsecond – Articulate

Genre: experimental, alternative, soul

From his Homepage: “Musician first, Hip hop artist second, this classically trained pianist and folk guitarist rhymes and sings over soulful and organic productions. The music entertains but there is a clear emphasis on lyricism. The over all style is textured with musical influences from many genres, the end result; a colorful blend of Hip hop and soul which lends its self to easy listening.

Articulate is a free download from Finalsecond’s Homepage.

Various Artists – Best Of Breitband Vol.3

Genre: electronic, downtempo, compilation

Best Of Breitband Vol.3 is not actually a hip hop album. It’s a selection of songs that were featured in the programme ‘Breitband’ on Deutschlandradio Kultur, a German radio station focusing on culture. This compilation also contains pop, rock, contemporary classical, and funk pieces. This is to cheer up all of those who didn’t find anything to enjoy in the hip hop centric selection above.

Best Of Breitband Vol.3 is a free download from the Free Music Archive.

New to Sound Sunday? Past editions of Sound Sunday are available here.

Feel free to get in touch with me [tina at makeuseof dot com] to share free material, suggestions, and feedback or simply add your comments below.

Related topics: Indie Music, Music Album, Sound Sunday.

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  1. Hippiesabotage
    July 17, 2011 at 1:22 am

    [Broken Link Removed] -Vol. 2 By Hippie Sabotage

    • Tina
      July 17, 2011 at 1:43 am

      Thanks a ton for sharing the MediaFire link for that album!

  2. frogchronot
    July 8, 2011 at 4:42 am

    SoCrates and Sour Beats isn't free :( Oh well, I'll pay for it anyways. Thanks for another great Sunday, even though I'm a bit late this week.

    • Tina
      July 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      Unfortunately, this album turned pay almost right after this edition of Sound Sunday went live. They probably exceeded the 250 free downloads. MakeUseOf sends quite some traffic to these free albums.