Listen to “The Ritual,” a new track from Philly rapper Aquil (listening party on Friday at Sanctuary Wholistic Arts Gallery)

We could tell Aquil was a forward-thinking MC when an insanely great hiphop show at Silk City this summer put him on our radar. His mix of adventurous production, thoughtful rhymes and massive catchiness continues on “The Ritual,” the first single we’re hearing from his Land of Synth LP, being released this winter. The track has the symphonic drama of a Mobb Deep cut, but comes alive with punchy beats a la Erik B and Rakim and and philosophizing on par with KRS-ONE. “This is what we call God-hop,” the refrain goes, but it’s evident listening that he’s not being preachy, religious or boastful, but rather introspective. Aquil will preview the entire Land of Synth LP in a listening party at Sanctuary Wholistic Arts Gallery this Friday, November 16; more information (and an RSVP for the show) here.