David Dallas The Rose Tint

Being the recipient of the "Best Hip-Hop Album" award at 2010's New Zealand Music Awards for his debut album, Something Awesome, is one of the highlights for this Auckland native, who has surely enjoyed the last year, which culminated in his recent signing to Duck Down and the subsequent release of his free sophomore disc, The Rose Tint. With an extremely chilled-out aesthetic in full force, Dallas lays back in the cut, spitting hazy bars over blunted beats with some help from the likes of underrated up-and-comer Freddie Gibbs ("Caught in a Daze") and Duck Down general Buckshot ("Ain't Coming Down"). While most of the tracks do tend to get lost amongst each other, tunes such as "'Til Tomorrow," with its guitar- and organ-drenched funk, help break the mould. If this effort is any indication, there's no doubt this kid has a rosy future and has most definitely put NZ on the rap map. (Duck Down)