YG proves "My Krazy Life" wasn't a fluke on the almost equally-satisfying "Still Brazy."
Two years ago, My Krazy Life surprised everyone. It was a debut album made by someone whose biggest claim to fame was novelty club smash "Toot It And Boot It," but somehow, it had the scope and consistency of a select few L.A. classics-- The Chronic, Doggystyle, and more recently, good kid, m.A.A.d city.
Last summer, in what seemed like an oddly coordinated effort, hip hop listeners began solidifying the first-string lineup for the next generation of trap stars. Migos had been around the block, Kevin Gates was well on his way to a huge debut album, and hell, even Young Thug was enough of an established star that he no longer seemed as foreign as he used to.
It's pretty strange to think that Vic Mensa's new EP, There's Alot Going On, is his first project in three years. Since 2013, when he broke into public consciousness, first with an appearance on Chance The Rapper's "Cocoa Butter Kisses," then with his own Innanetape, Vic's status has continued to rise at a rate uncommon for a guy with one tape and a few loosies to his name.
“SEVERE WEATHER ALERT: A storm is expected to hit between 6:00pm – 7:30pm. For your safety, please seek shelter in your vehicles.” Thus began Summer Jam 2016.
The current landscape of streaming equivalent-inclusive sales numbers and streaming corporation-backed releases has considerably muddled our perception of commercial success in hip hop this year.
As we learned last year with "White Iverson," then "Too Young," Post Malone is really good at writing and delivering hooks. He's got a way of sounding so effortless yet impassioned-- the way his voice suddenly rises and then abruptly cuts words short, takes melodies to unexpected places-- it's nothing short of refreshing in a trap scene now so awash with half-assed singing performances.
Save for a cluster of Chance The Rapper's most dedicated fans, I imagine that everyone has considered him corny at least once.
In the spoken word interlude that follows Konnichiwa's third track, "Corn On The Curb," North London MC Chip attempts to cheer up a tired and confused-sounding Skepta, at one point saying, "We ain't seen nothing like this happen before.
Born and raised in the county of Dade, Denzel Curry has rapidly emerged as one of hip hop's most promising young talents. 21 years old, he has already released three projects: his thrilling debut Nostalgic 64, his wavy, slightly uncomfortable double EP 32 Zel / Planet Shrooms, and his most recent album, the explosive Imperial.
It felt like the hot takes on VIEWS started coming in before the album even dropped.
Situated on the corner of 44th Street and Broadway in Times Square, Playstation Theater hosted the second stop of the “Hitunes” Tour on Monday night. I am 25 and I was probably the oldest person who journeyed to the theater (capacity: 2,100) to see Young Thug perform the Thugger songbook front-to-back.
The credits on Beyoncé's new album Lemonade read like an oddly-selected history of pop, R&B, and rock music, with modern indie names like Ezra Koenig and Animal Collective sitting alongside titanic legends like OutKast, Led Zeppelin, and Isaac Hayes.
Regardless of your opinion of T.I., you have to admit that the majority of the music on his Hustle Gang tapes fell somewhere between uneven at best, and total jumbled mess at worst.
There are three rappers who blew up in the early 2010s that I've always grouped together in my head, though they do hail from different corners of the country and are some of the most enigmatic artists currently working in hip hop. The categorization's based mostly on first impressions, which is unfair, but also on realizing that those impressions were wrong.
For someone who's been in the game since 1999, Royce Da 5'9" has had a hard time getting his full life story down on wax. His first five albums were more than enough to show his considerable rapping abilities, but were recorded when he was still a precariously functioning alcoholic, known to down a liter and a half of Patron per day.
Last year's Dark Sky Paradise was a big step up for Big Sean. He culled his finest crop of beats yet, finessed natural-sounding collabs out of some of the biggest artists around, and most importantly, finally let go of his goofiest lyrical impulses in favor of more mature songwriting that still didn't sacrifice any of his characteristic charm.
Somewhere along the way, mainstream R&B's relationship with sex changed. It's still a central theme in the vast majority of the genre, but the offhand, casual way in which it's usually referenced these days stands in sharp contrast with the reverence it was awarded up until the mid-2000s.
The first two installments of Young Thug's Slime Season series arrived a little over a month apart last fall, providing a good display of both Thugger's speed in the studio and his versatility.
B-sides, bonus tracks, and outtakes are usually released to show us the sides of artists that we don't get on their standard commercial projects.
Of all of Lil Wayne's post-Hot Boys frequent collaborators, 2 Chainz was the best choice to tap for a joint album. Who else fits so effortlessly alongside him? Like Father Like Son is certainly an underrated relic of the past, but you'd be hard-pressed to convince anyone that Birdman could ever hang with Weezy lyrically, at any point in either of their careers.
You may find it hard to believe that Macklemore was once a ramshamble everyman. But it’s true. Ever since he dropped his debut album The Language of My World in 2005, Macklemore has presented himself as an earnest, funny, knucklehead regular white kid from beautiful, rainy, blunt-tastic Seattle. (Full disclosure: I am also a white guy from Seattle.)
More so than any rapping ability, swagginess, or A&R masterminding, the ability to collaborate with a wide range of artists and dabble in various sounds without once straying from his distinct vocal style has been French Montana's greatest strength.
Around the time the Graduation came out, I developed a philosophy for media consumption that I called the “Kanye rule.” Its premise was simple: judge art only for the contents within, not for the extraneous actions of the artist.
It’s safe to say that all eyes are on Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman, better known as Majid Jordan, for one reason: Drake. After signing the R&B duo to OVO Sound, the record label he co-founded with producer Noah “40” Shebib and Oliver El-Khatib, Drizzy took Majid Jordan from virtual unknowns to producers of a double platinum, #1 song real quick.
In some ways, Future’s in the most difficult position in hip hop right now. After a year-long, nearly unimpeachable run, everyone expects nothing but brilliance.
Post Malone and Fetty Wap have joined forces for the “Welcome to the Zoo” tour, a 7-week, 22-date sweep across the United States that seeks to capitalize on the various attributes they both happen to possess: a knack for melody, a mega-hit, an exotic hair style, and a strong following within the 15-25 female demographic.
As time continues to edge its way further, a rapper's career seems to warp underneath the passing moments. For some, greater success or second stages have come to them only after years of hard work. Others have stagnated, or maybe the years have just caught up to the reality of their talent.
In a hip hop climate that's almost unhealthily focused on trending topics and followers, no one has committed to and excelled in catering to short attention spans like Future and Young Thug.
Rihanna entered the music industry on an entirely unprecedented run, delivering seven albums that cracked the top ten, as well as 20 top ten singles, all within seven years. She released one album per year and was a mainstay on the radio, with each new single popping up just as the last was waning in popularity.
In a sea of melodic Southern rappers defined by their contradictions, Kevin Gates easily stands out as the most extreme.