Review: Big Sean's "Dark Sky Paradise"

Critics are always fighting conflicting urges. On the one hand, there's the need to be objective and evaluate each work on its own merits. On the other, there's the desire to fit each new release...

  • Review: Big Sean's "Dark Sky Paradise"
    38,839 Views
    33 Likes139 Dislikes
    Critics are always fighting conflicting urges. On the one hand, there's the need to be objective and evaluate each work on its own merits. On the other, there's the desire to fit each new release from an artist into an over-arcing career narrative. The trick is to find a balance between the two. This is especially hard to do with Big Sean, largely because his story so far has been one of success...
  • Review: Joey Fatt's "Ill Street Blues"
    1,930 Views
    3 Likes
    Straight out of Long Beach, CA, Joey Fatts is the epitome of a rapper from the streets. He tells his story of being raised in the same neighborhood that was home to hip hop legends Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg on Ill Streets Blues. Similar to them, he is able to inspire and motivate with lyrics that detail the hard work, dedication, and heart necessary to make it out of the streets. In recent...
  • Review: Juicy J's "Blue Dream & Lean 2"
    9,487 Views
    6 Likes9 Dislikes
    In the era of Yeezus Christ and King Kendrick, it's easy to fall into the mindset that every hip-hop album should be an experiment in pushing hip-hop forward. Every track should ooze with idealism and what's new. This feeling goes double for mixtapes. Freed from the binds of needing to make something that is commercially viable, rappers are able to let their wildest experiments roam. If fans...
  • Review: Drake's "If You're Reading This It's Too Late"
    117,828 Views
    120 Likes21 Dislikes
    When Drake released his newest mixtape, If You're Reading This It's Too Late, a few days ago, it took the internet by storm. Falling in line with Jay Z, Kanye and Beyoncé before him, he dropped it almost completely out of the blue, with no real warning. The internet went into a frenzy over the release, and a large portion of the response was relating to the question, "is this an...
  • Review: Kid Ink's "Full Speed"
    14,277 Views
    18 Likes52 Dislikes
    Last year in March, Kid Ink reached a big milestone for a new artist: his single “Show Me” featuring Chris Brown went double Platinum. From grinding as an independent rapper to becoming a major label draw with his RCA debut, My Own Lane, Ink has proven worthy of the title "radio hitmaker." “Show Me” took over the rap game in 2014 that the response allowed him to...
  • Review: Lil Wayne's "Sorry 4 The Wait 2"
    63,863 Views
    41 Likes51 Dislikes
    Every rapper that can be considered in the G.O.A.T. debate eventually hits a wall.  This drop-off point comes for everyone and leads their stans to add qualifiers to their respective "best all time" arguments, "Of course, I'm talking about Jay-Z from Reasonable Doubt to Black Album, Eminem pre-Encore, etc."  Weezy's GOAT argument comes with  more qualifiers than just about any other....
  • Review: Lupe Fiasco's "Tetsuo & Youth"
    27,931 Views
    61 Likes3 Dislikes
    Lupe Fiasco has been in a battle with Atlantic records for what seems to be forever. We all know about his discontent with Lasers and on his mixtape Friend of the People he made it clear that he wanted off the label. He did not get his wish before this album dropped, and that almost prevented us from hearing this album entirely. Lupe has done interviews in which he says the album would...
  • Review: Joey Bada$$' "B4.DA.$$"
    29,167 Views
    58 Likes3 Dislikes
    Joey Bada$$ is a young Brooklyn emcee who was influenced by those who came before him from his region, the same way most young rappers from any region show clear influence from those who came before them in their region. As rappers from other regions have begun to dwarf New York rappers in popularity and New York rappers have begun taking more influence from other regions, some have viewed...
  • Review: Rae Sremmurd's "SremmLife"
    38,150 Views
    48 Likes28 Dislikes
    2014 may be remembered as one of the weakest years for rap in recent memory, but there were, however, some definite highlights, especially when it came to newcomers. Bobby Shmurda had one of last year’s biggest rap records, DeJ Loaf had one of last year’s most remixed rap records and Young Thug was one of last year’s most talked about rap artists (even if for all of the wrong reasons). And...
  • Review: Fabolous' "The Young OG Project"
    30,546 Views
    26 Likes66 Dislikes
    Fabolous has always done a solid job at blending in with his environment. Whether he’s cutting with DJ Clue and The Neptunes in 2001 or jiving with Rich Homie Quan in 2015, he’s done a phenomenal job at adapting to change and staying relevant, something that is easier said than done. That being said, if you’re adapting to trends, you probably aren’t the one...
  • Review: Kevin Gates' "Luca Brasi 2"
    23,214 Views
    35 Likes5 Dislikes
    The first Luca Brasi Story, released last February, put Kevin Gates on the map. Soon after, he quietly inked a partnership with Atlantic and a management deal with Young Money. He put out another excellent mixtape, Stranger Than Fiction, months later, and he’s had a similar 2014 in terms of output: two mixtapes, both excellent. Though he was one of twelve XXL Freshmen this year, Gates is no...
  • Review: Ludacris' "Burning Bridges"
    24,214 Views
    21 Likes5 Dislikes
    Ludacris is a veteran in the game. Lyrics, beats, hit songs, a unique style; over his 10-plus year career he has obviously shown why he has been one of the most respected and successful stars in hip hop.  But before, during, and after listening to his new digital only EP Burning Bridges - released exclusively through Google Play (for free, at that) - the listener is forced to wonder "do I...
  • Review: D'Angelo's "Black Messiah"
    11,284 Views
    20 Likes2 Dislikes
    After 14 years of waiting, D’Angelo’s surprise album Black Messiah had every right to be the R&B/Soul equivalent of Guns & Roses' Chinese Democracy - a creaky mess that was done no favors by the weight of fan expectations. But that’s not what happened. It might be blasphemy (no pun intended), but Black Messiah is actually better than D’Angelo’s 2000...
  • Review: Nicki Minaj's "The Pinkprint"
    28,472 Views
    54 Likes39 Dislikes
    After a few listens to Nicki Minaj's latest album, The Pinkprint, it is pretty clear that, to a certain extent, she does pay attention to critics. Her last album, 2012's Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, was universally panned in reviews for being disjointed, gimmicky and lackluster, among other things. There aren’t many traces of the over-the-top theatrics that were sprinkled all throughout her...
  • Review: J. Cole's "2014 Forest Hills Drive"
    103,676 Views
    167 Likes22 Dislikes
    J. Cole has come a long way from rapping about how to get up off the sideline. Three albums in, with 2014 Forest Hills Drive, the “God” is home. The Fayetteville, North Carolina native composed an honest, nostalgic album without any apologies. Cole typically plays it safe, straddling the fence of a conscious rapper who can still create commercial hits and enjoy a good romp...
  • Review: Royce da 5’9" and DJ Premier’s "PRhyme"
    12,071 Views
    35 Likes1 Dislikes
    When Royce da 5’9” and DJ Premier announced that they’d be making an entire project together, hip-hop heads everywhere got excited. Premier is a legendary figure in hip-hop and Royce is widely revered for his ability to spit quality bars. With three years having passed since Royce’s last project, he’s still managed to remain active with work related to...
Password must be at least 6 characters.