"No Ceilings 2" has its fair share of fun moments, but they're too few and far between to save it from its many problems.
The rap game is an unforgiving place, all too often. Plenty of talents come and go, getting lost in the shuffle, when there are literally dozens of rappers coming up and burning out in the blink of an eye. Especially in the Los Angeles scene, where a certified talent can have a stellar year but have a hell of a time trying to break on the national circuit.
Something about the current configuration of the major label industry has proven particularly unfair for R&B auteurs. The-Dream has only managed to sputter out inconsistent EPs since his critically adored, commercially underperforming Love (Hate, Vs. Money, and King) trilogy. A similar outcome for Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange has seemingly forced its creator into hermitage.
As someone who's put out quite a bit of music as a solo artist but will always be better known as a label head and mogul, Diddy seems to use his albums as showrooms for his expansive rolodex and impeccable taste.
If traditional "bangers" are what you're looking for, 2015 Young Thug is not your go-to guy. You'd be better off trying some of his other locations, like 1017 Thug or I Came From Nothing 3. Maybe even take a trip on up to Black Portland if you feel so inclined.
In DJ Khaled's eyes, he's the hip hop version of George Clooney in "Ocean's 11": a wily veteran with the connections and know-how necessary to bring together a formidable team of specialists.
Big K.R.I.T. keeps busy, man.
“Love is all we need.” This lyric off the opening track “All We Need” could summarize the message Raury is trying to convey with his music. Like Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, and John Lennon before him, Raury wants to see the world become a better place.
When listening to the two nearly 80-minute-long discs that The Game has released in the past week, it doesn't take long to realize that they're both very good albums. The Documentaries 2 and 2.5 both have high-profile guests who deliver, excellent tributes to Compton, and surprising arrays of beats, which is more than you'd expect from a whopping two and a half hours
Having recently gotten a release date for his debut album after months of uncertainty, Ty Dolla $ign has all the reason in the world to celebrate. Free TC arrives next month, but before we get the full-length tackling the weighty subject of his brother's wrongful incarceration, Ty's surprised us with 24 minutes of escapist jams.
The Game is a man of contradictions. His long-awaited follow-up to 2005's The Documentary begins with the Compton rapper hopping out of his car to bust some heads, and ends with a cheery hook sung by will.i.am and Fergie that sounds like it belongs in a Mary Kate & Ashley movie set in Los Angeles.
Is there anything more startling than hearing a 19 year old kid saying that he doesn't fear death because he's "happy for all the years [he] got to see"? Lil Herb's still around 57 years shy of the average male life expectancy in the U.S., but you don't need to be a super-sleuth to figure out why optimism isn't his strong suit. Hell, you barely even have to listen to his music.
Ever since Casey Veggies stepped onto the rap scene back in 2007, he's been stuck in the middle. Despite his diehard fans and devout supporters who may rank him higher out of bias, in the eyes of the larger hip-hop listenership, Veggies has always been placed in a middle tier, stuck in a sort of hip-hop limbo, neither advancing nor retreating.
In the past year, Willie Maxwell, best known to the world as the one-eyed rapper Fetty Wap, has had one of the most monumental rises in rap in the past few years. Despite being a relative newcomer, the Patterson, NJ-based rapper's debut single "Trap Queen" has become a phenomenal smash hit, the kind that most rappers don't achieve in the ever-segmented radio of the 21st century.
In terms of rappers from different area codes that join forces for a mixtape, Drake and Future are one of the strangest pairs we've seen in a minute.
Young Thug is easily one of, if not the most, interesting artist in hip-hop at this moment. The Atlanta born rapper has been all over the hip-hop headlines these past 12 months, for a variety of reasons; some good and some not so good. The latter referring to his oddly constructed "beefs" with the likes of Lil Wayne, The Game, Rich Homie Quan and most recently Plies.
During a recent interview with Larry King, Mac Miller stated that GO:OD AM -- his major label debut under Warner Bros. -- was intended to be a departure from the "darker and sad" vibes of his previous record, Watching Movies with the Sound Off. GOD:DAMN. Mac was right on the money.
Would you believe that Jay Rock has been signed to Top Dawg Entertainment for ten years? They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and apparently TDE wasn’t either, because Anthony Tiffith and his group of MCs have been hacking at this hip hop thing for a while now.
Where were you when you first heard K Camp? Was it years ago, when his guest feature on Sy Ari Da Kid's “Popular” made him a hook artist worth keeping tabs on? Did it happen at the beginning of last year when his anthems “Money Baby” and “Cut Her Off” were dominating radios and leaving air pockets of bass around the cars that blasted them?
Despite his notoriety as a pioneer of Southern rap music and lyrical depth, Scarface remains low-key with his legendary status. And reasonably so. There’s a lot going on in the mind of the 44-year-old Geto Boy.
Rick Ross is a work horse. Despite legal troubles, the Maybach Music boss just released a seventeen-track mixtape to hold us over until his next official project. Mind you, Ross released a #1 overall album last year in Mastermind, along with a #2 rap release in Hood Billionaire. He's been having a quiet year musically, but that all changed this past Thursday when he dropped Black Dollar.
Travi$ Scott has been the figure of some controversy for a myriad of reasons. Number one, he appears to have a reputation for being a dick, but that's actually not anything new to rap. He's also been known to bite styles, which is yet another familiar trope. But, perhaps above all, is the fact that both Grand Hustle and G.O.O.D.
There has been no artist in our culture that has had a more storied four years than The Weeknd. The Scarborough, Canada native currently sits in a pop music position that he probably never had imagined himself in. When House Of Balloons dropped in March of 2011, no one knew who or what The Weeknd was.
Breakout Chicago emcee Mick Jenkins raps, “With perfect pitch, I’m screaming free my niggas/ polished and purposeful, he’s producing pristine pictures.” These rhymes-- which open “P’s & Q’s,” the eighth track off Jenkins’ latest effort, Wave[s]-- encapsulate both the ethos of this nine track EP, and one of its major shortcomings.
At this point in the Trap-A-Velli mixtape series (and this point in the unkillable career of 2 Chainz) we definitely know what to expect from any new releases.