Review: D'Angelo's "Black Messiah"

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...

  • Review: D'Angelo's "Black Messiah"
    9,113 Views
    18 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"
    24,218 Views
    52 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"
    79,653 Views
    155 Likes21 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"
    10,040 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...
  • Review: Ghostface Killah's "36 Seasons"
    4,094 Views
    11 Likes1 Dislikes
    Ghostface Killah’s new LP 36 Seasons comes to us just one week after the release of Wu-Tang Clan’s A Better Tomorrow. While the latter LP received lukewarm reviews due to questionably experimental tracks, 36 Seasons is the exact opposite. It is concise and precise, using that classic Wu sound to march along an incredible story line while The Revelations provide the production. The...
  • Review: Shady Records "Shady XV"
    17,278 Views
    23 Likes5 Dislikes
    Fifteen years of Shady Records represents an unusual time for rap music, transitioning out of the shiny suit era and into a bubble featuring new names. Aside from D12 and Obie Trice releases, the label’s existence was mostly tied to Eminem signing a certain Queens MC. 2011 proves a critical year with the reformation of Bad Meets Evil with friend Royce da 5’9”, and the signings of...
  • Review: Wu-Tang Clan's "A Better Tomorrow"
    14,335 Views
    18 Likes8 Dislikes
    It's been seven years since the Wu-Tang Clan released their last proper album, 8 Diagrams, but of course, that doesn’t mean the members of rap’s greatest clan have been prepping for an early retirement. Not by a long shot.  Since 8 Diagrams, there have been a number of efforts from Clan members, most notably records by Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and Method Man. While the three...
  • Review: Rick Ross' "Hood Billionaire"
    30,714 Views
    23 Likes32 Dislikes
    Releasing two full length albums in one year is a rare feat most rappers will never accomplish, but in a sense, it's really nothing new for Rick Ross, who yesterday released Hood Billionaire, his second solo album of the year. The rapper has been dropping albums, along with mixtapes that have been considered to be as good as albums, within months of each other for years now. His latest album,...
  • Review: Big K.R.I.T.'s "Cadillactica"
    18,033 Views
    58 Likes1 Dislikes
    A weird thing happens when an artist gets signed to a major label. It seems, no matter how talented they are, no matter how much their fans are willing to support, debut albums almost always come up short. There have been exceptions, of course. (Logic's Under Pressure being the most recent example.) But, more often than not, the curse of a major label signing is very real. Perhaps no record...
  • Review: Migos' "Rich Nigga Timeline"
    15,077 Views
    20 Likes9 Dislikes
    For some reason or another, my timeline has recently been bombarded with a ton of Tweets and Instagram posts claiming that the Migos are better than The Beatles. As most logical rap fans can attest, there are definitely better ways to champion the trio as leaders of this new school in rap than to compare them with arguably the greatest group in the history of popular music. But as outrageous as...
  • Review: Bobby Shmurda's "Shmurda She Wrote" EP
    22,904 Views
    20 Likes7 Dislikes
    The most interesting hip-hop event of the year has been the meteoric rise of Bobby Shmurda, brought on with the Jahlil Beats-produced “Hot Nigga,” the most surprising single in recent history. The accompanying, and now-ubiquitous, Shmoney Dance, choreography actually invented in 2013, has taken over all media mediums, to include white bread TV anchors jamming out. Less than a year ago, the...
  • Review: Teyana Taylor's "VII"
    8,322 Views
    17 Likes1 Dislikes
    We first heard from the young Harlemite in 2008 when she released her first single, “Google Me,” from her debut project, a mixtape titled From a Planet Called Harlem. The Jazze Pha-produced single sank low on the Billboard charts and left Teyana Taylor with something to prove. Before her musical debut, Taylor was featured on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16,” showcasing her...
  • Review: Joe Budden's "Some Love Lost"
    16,674 Views
    34 Likes3 Dislikes
    Ladies and gentlemen, Joe Budden is back in Mood Muzik form. Early last year Joe released No Love Lost, which packaged club and radio songs along with some more personal tracks. That album left many of his longtime fans wanting more of the intimate feel they get from his darker projects. Almost two years later and Joey is back to documenting his turmoil in a way that only he can. Joe Budden is an...
  • Review: Theophilus London's "Vibes"
    12,590 Views
    7 Likes5 Dislikes
    Who is Theophilus London, anyways? The Brooklyn-based, Trinidad-born 27-year old isn't really an MC, but he doesn't really sing all the time either. He cares about The Smiths more than he cares about Gang Starr and for some reason all of this attracts the likes of Kanye West to take on the roll of executive producer on his newest album Vibes.  He's released a few mixtapes and a...
  • Review: Future's "Monster"
    13,231 Views
    24 Likes17 Dislikes
    Part of Future’s appeal lies in a musically indefinable existence. While both Pluto (and the 3D version) and Honest became somewhat of a set template for artists like Travi$ Scott, Future himself is a blend of the past, some not so distant. Given his early tutelage under first cousin Rico Wade, of Organized Noize, whom Future credits with “masterminding” his sound, the...
  • Review: Stalley's "Ohio"
    17,867 Views
    32 Likes11 Dislikes
    Rick Ross and the Maybach Music Group have taken their time with Stalley. Signed in 2011, the same year as Meek Mill and Wale (who were almost immediately launched in to mainstream eyes), the MC is just getting a proper debut album released. Born Kyle Myricks, Stalley's career revolves largely around his homestate. Ohio isn't known for hip-hop culture, or any strong form of culture for that...
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