Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment's eagerly anticipated debut, Surf, is an album 2015 needed.
Trumpet, aka Nico Segal, fronts the collective, which features Chance the Rapper among others, and released this feel-good assembly of heartfelt tracks for free on US iTunes.
A varied yet cohesive play, the record blends Trumpet's jazzy instrumental interludes on Nothing Came to Me with self-empowering rap tracks such as Wanna Be Cool.
The vibrant, raw sound mixes soul, jazz, funk and rock with a blend of trumpets, piano, drums and finger snaps. The sophisticated down-tempo soul vibe on Caretaker contrasts well with the marching band stomp of Sunday Candy.
A star-studded list of collaborators includes R&B legend Erykah Badu and rap heavyweights Big Sean and J. Cole. Busta Rhymes' supersonic speed verse on the upbeat Slip Side is a particular highlight.
Surf is still available for free from Datpiff and Audiomack.
The quality of this album makes me wonder why I've ever paid for mediocre albums; this is the direction hip hop should be heading.