• Review: Bishop Nehru & MF DOOM's "NehruvianDOOM"
    11,620 Views
    16 Likes6 Dislikes
    In superhero literature, it's not uncommon for an aging master like Bruce Wayne to find himself a protégé. Often arriving at our hero's lowest point -- after the death in the family or, perhaps, a critical injury -- this stranger inspires the hero to get back to doing what he does best: fighting crime and selling a ton of movie theater tickets. No matter how much he...
  • Review: Tinashe's "Aquarius"
    14,772 Views
    21 Likes2 Dislikes
    It's funny how music comes full circle. Tinashe was just eight years old when Aaliyah Haughton tragically died in a plane crash, causing the music world to mourn and R&B to be reconstructed in her wake.  Since then, though, R&B has gone through a lot. There has been your Jagged Edge's and your Ne-Yo's, fusing pop hooks with soulful voices and sexual flare. However, I believe the...
  • Review: SBTRKT "Wonder Where We Land"
    7,354 Views
    6 Likes3 Dislikes
    SBTRKT took the world by storm with his first LP. Released at the base of the alternative R&B explosion, the album perfectly blended dance music and soul, even catching the eye of Drake and inspiring him to drop a verse on "Wildfire," which in turn became more popular than the original (but that's every day for Drake). How will SBTRKT's second album stack up to the first one? Let's...
  • Review: Joell Ortiz's House Slippers
    10,896 Views
    18 Likes3 Dislikes
    Joell Ortiz changed this album’s title from Yaowa, basically because this is him at his most comfortable. In Hip Hop, getting too comfortable can sometimes lead to a decline in effort due to loss of hunger. Anyone familiar with Joell Ortiz would probably find it hard to imagine him not putting effort into a project, comfortable or not. Joell is always known for remarkable lyricism and...
  • Review: Chris Brown's  "X" Album
    36,166 Views
    42 Likes10 Dislikes
    Sometimes one song can set the precedence for an album’s entirety and Chris Brown’s opening title-track, X does just that. The Diplo-produced, hip-hop/EDM comprised record symbolizes Brown’s back and forth attempt at being an R&B, hip-hop, pop and dance music star.The song starts off slow and then builds up to an uptempo dance record filled with egotistical lyrics. The...
  • Review: Rittz's "Next To Nothing"
    8,280 Views
    28 Likes1 Dislikes
    It's no secret that hip-hop at large is lacking in original content. If the music isn't about money, it's about sex; if it's not about sex, it's about who's the hardest (no pun intended); if not who's hardest, it's about hip-hop itself. It's in this musical landscape that a label like Tech N9ne's Strange Music is needed the most. A collective of some of the most bizarre (read: interesting) voices...
  • Review: Jhene Aiko's "Souled Out"
    19,128 Views
    25 Likes1 Dislikes
    There’s something admirable about truly stepping out on your own, as your own person. You’re leaving behind that helping hand, that “co-sign,” and pursing your dreams, able to stand without the crutch. Los Angeles native Jhene Aiko has gained the support of numerous high-level, high-visibility artists, such as Drake, Childish Gambino, No-ID (producer and label boss at...
  • Review: Jeezy's "Seen It All: The Autobiography"
    20,881 Views
    48 Likes7 Dislikes
    Every meaningful artist takes a step back at some point in their career to dwell on their achievements and tribulations in an attempt to make sense of everything that’s happened. JAY Z accomplished this feat on wax with The Black Album. Kanye did the same on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as did Nas on Life Is Good. By sheer force of will, Jeezy has risen...
  • Review: Ty Dolla $ign's "$ign Language"
    13,945 Views
    24 Likes11 Dislikes
    First things first, there's a few things you'll need to effectively set the mood for this one. $ign Language isn't a middle of the afternoon at your office listen, as we quickly learned. Fast forward to a little later at your crib, where you've presumably acquired the 40's of malt, a pile of your favorite strain, and two to three bad bitches that will really make this mixtape ring true. Now...
  • Review: G-Unit's "The Beauty of Independence"
    39,668 Views
    66 Likes14 Dislikes
    After he proved he was a bankable rapper, 50 Cent started his own imprint and made G-Unit his first priority. For a while Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck and Fiddy were consistently putting out quality music that fed the streets. But all good things must come to an end. In the Unit's case, the general fell out with first Young Buck and kicked him out of the group. This was already after Cali...
  • Review: Travi$ Scott's "Days Before Rodeo"
    22,739 Views
    71 Likes6 Dislikes
    The most gratifying events in music are the moments where you can literally hear the construction in the artist’s mind, the building onto the promise of greatness. While not a guarantee, Days Before Rodeo provides the listener with the glimpses of the incredible, long-ranging capabilities of Travi$ Scott. Scott has been bubbling from below, as both an MC and as a notable producer,...
  • Review: Wiz Khalifa's "Blacc Hollywood"
    41,231 Views
    37 Likes29 Dislikes
    We all know the story with Wiz and his albums, it's a tale as old as time. He goes super, extra hard on his mixtapes to shut up the critics who talked bad about his albums, only to make some of the same mistakes on the next album. It's a vicious cycle, that we're only escaping gradually, in baby steps. Rolling Papers was what the label wanted Wiz to be, and he acknowledged and atoned for...
  • Review: DJ Mustard "10 Summers"
    18,120 Views
    20 Likes7 Dislikes
    Dijon McFarlane, aka DJ Mustard, is a Los Angeles born and raised producer of seemingly all of the most important tracks you’ve heard over the past year. While that statement is obvious hyperbole, his influence on the rap stratosphere is not, and cannot be overstated. When you have producers jack what you’ve made hot, for another artist (cough, Iggy Azalea), with no shame, it means...
  • Review: Sir Michael Rocks "BANCO"
    11,563 Views
    16 Likes2 Dislikes
    As a member of the Cool Kids, Sir Michael Rocks helped pioneer the current “cool kid” rap and fashion swag, since borrowed by a number of your favorite artists. They were the next big thing, even featured in a nationally aired Rhapsody commercial, with future star Sara Bareilles. Unfortunately for the duo, the steam from their almost certain runaway train to stardom ran out halfway...
  • Review: PARTYNEXTDOOR "PARTYNEXTDOOR TWO"
    28,148 Views
    26 Likes8 Dislikes
    PARTYNEXTDOOR is Canadian rising star Jahron Brathwaite, formerly a producer of soft, sunny R&B with EDM inflections. His first wide release under the new name represented a new label situation, through signing with Drake’s OVO Sound, and a fully realized change in sound and lyrical content. Taking a sexually aggressive tone, with dark, bass heavy atmospheres, PARTYNEXTDOOR combines it...
  • Review: Common "Nobody's Smiling"
    13,798 Views
    8 Likes6 Dislikes
    A mostly levelheaded veteran who’s open about his distant relationship with Chicago, Common is the only 30-plus rapper who could’ve made a Nobody’s Smiling. And this goes beyond the conscious label or being a representative of “real hip-hop.” Common’s best works have been guided by a sense of empathy whether it’s through his famous personification of...
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