Though there are a few more cringeworthy lyrics and a bit less cohesion than usual for Drake, "VIEWS" is still an album that only he could make.
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.
Gerald Gillum, stage name G-Eazy, is trending right now. It’s easy to assume the emcee is riding white rapper fame to the top of the charts, but the man has been grinding for years. He released six mixtapes and three studio albums before the massive success of When It’s Dark Out, so he’s no tourist in the rap game.
Wale is most commonly thought of as The Untouchable Maybach Empire's black sheep-- the "Seinfeld"-loving, backpack blog rapper whose position among the rest of his hard-headed labelmates is perhaps best illustrated by the contrast between him and the squad's other DMV representative, Fat Trel. But Mr.
The inaugural Yams Day got off to an inauspicious start, as a shortage of security guards led to a bottleneck at the entrance to Manhattan's Terminal 5, thus forcing thousands of eager fans to wait outside the venue for an hour or more, in a temperature that can only be described as cold-as-balls.
2015 was the year of the sprawling L.A. album, with Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and The Game all releasing projects steeped in the city's musical history and constructed in collaborative sessions with its talents, new and old.
In the 1990s, jazz-influenced rap was much more abundant than it is today. A Tribe Called Quest were sampling the classics, Gang Starr were churning out albums that did the same, and the likes of De La Soul and Digable Planets were also melting the music of yesteryear with the sound of the future.
Listening to Chris Brown records is a bit more involved an activity than ingesting your average pop album. Listeners are required to constantly do mental arithmetic, weighing variables like catchiness and artistic merit to determine if their need to listen > the knowledge that Chris Brown has done some heinous things and your listens are enabling him, albeit in a very small way.
Sometimes, first reactions are wildly off the mark, and that was the case with me upon hearing the first few leaks from Pusha T's Darkest Before Dawn. Regardless of the production or other lyrics on "Untouchable" and "M.F.T.R.," I couldn't shake the fact that Pusha Ton was still rapping about cocaine.
As one of the most significant rappers of the past decade, for better or worse, Kid Cudi's stamp on the genre has been inescapable. I mean, lets face it, Kanye's last 3 albums have not only featured that man in some right, but they've also had Cudi's fingerprints all over.
Rick Ross has made a career off directly opposing the idea of rap as reality, painting gangster tales with strokes so broad and bold that the final product seemed exaggerated even before we learned of his past as a corrections officer.