Miguel strikes R&B gold once again with "WILDHEART", managing to try out new sounds while making them his own.
Miguel is an R&B artist that not many will argue against. After bursting onto the music scene in 2010 with his debut single and album "All I Want Is You", Miguel has been a casually unstoppable force in music, with hits like "Sure Thing," "Adore," "Quickie," and features like "Lotus Flower Bomb" and "Good Lovin" keeping Miguel in the back of our minds and at the top of our playlists.
We're noticing a pattern here.
To say that the dawn of drill feels like yesterday would be generous at best. It's been roughly three years since Chicago's rap explosion took the world by storm, and now it feels like you're sifting through the rubble. So many promising talents have struggled to live up to the hype, gotten lost in the blogosphere, or become unrecognizable.
Lucki Eck$ is one of the more interesting figures in today's rap scene. He may not have a "Trap Queen" under his belt, but with a unique sound, a few solid mixtapes, and no shortage of music videos, the 19-year-old rapper has built an image that his devoted fanbase can't get enough of.
In recent history, there’s been a few kinds of rap albums: the long ones and the short ones, those with lots of features and those kept rather personal. A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, and The Social Experiment went with longer listens peppered with tons of flavor from their friends and collaborators.
Immediately following Touchdown 2 Cause Hell’s introductory “Get Em Boosie”-- the aptly titled dizzying turn up track that unleashes Boosie Badazz loose on the rap game once again-- the bellows of an approaching storm crackles with doom. It’s an ominous sound byte, seeing as Lil Boosie has acted as the chief ambassador of Post-Katrina Louisiana gangster rap.
After a long wait, SURF is finally here. The debut LP from The Social Experiment (aka SOX) is billed as Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment despite the fact that the band’s biggest star is obviously Chance The Rapper. The album features, although they aren’t listed on the iTunes version of the free album, the likes of J.
On Dizzy Wright's second studio album The Growing Process, the 24-year old rapper makes an attempt at honing in his focus as an artist by establishing a moral constitution for his music to adhere to until further notice. For the most part, this is goal is met by the young upstart.
A$AP Rocky’s relatively short career in the rap game has been one filled with high praise. His debut mixtape, Live.Love.A$AP, received exponential buzz solely off the strength of “Purple Swag,” and it was more so off the strength of the visual, which went viral (visuals have become a key component to Rocky’s career).
Seriously, is there a more versatile rap star than Snoop Dogg? Name another rapper who has done full albums of reggae, funk and rap over the last 5 years alone. Or an MC who’s released music on Death Row, No Limit, Star Trak, Mad Decent, and Stones Throw. Or one who’s released albums with Wiz Khalifa, toured with Korn, and acted alongside Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
Tech N9ne, who has accrued nearly three decades in the rap-game, has made a career out of dancing between the mainstream and underground universes. Admired by his fans for his consistency and his abstract approach to the genre, the Missouri MC's cocktail of freakshow world mixed with club-worthy finesse is something that has become expected out of each N9ne discography installment.
It’s tough to get 100 percent behind the Wu-Tang Clan these days. No one can deny their influence and run of classic records in the 90s, but drama, stylistic confusion, and album delays have plagued the crew for the past half-decade.
After Yelawolf’s first major-label album Radioactive proved to be, well, just that; and failed to meet the standards set by his 2010 mixtape Trunk Muzik, it felt as though - with his second effort Love Story - an explanation or apology was due. He seemingly traded in his trademark mud-coated country roots for pop-pandering.
Everything about The Barter 6 is enigmatic.Firstly there's its author, Young Thug. The septum-pierced, face-tattooed Atlantian emcee seemingly came out of nowhere just a few years ago, quickly earning endorsements from the likes of Kanye West, Drake, Gucci Mane, and an apparent apprenticeship with Birdman.
In line with the recent (and awesome) trend of surprise albums, Tyler, the Creator announced Cherry Bomb just a few days prior to its April 13th digital release. The album’s single, “Fucking Young,” along with its attached snippet of the record's opening track, “Deathcamp,” showed a Tyler who is wearing his N.E.R.D.
After a near-decade of hustling, Curren$y has finally landed his prominent role in the rap scene. It wasn’t easy work, but anyone who has watched the New Orleans-native go from Lil Wayne’s sidekick to stoner rap’s most consistent contributor will tell you that much.
Seven years after Wale released his blazing Mixtape About Nothing, he’s released The Album About Nothing. His alternative hip hop style has come a long way in the time since; he’s inked a deal with Rick Ross, had a #2 album with Ambition, and a #1 album with The Gifted.
In many ways, the early 2000s belonged to Ludacris. Within that time, the rapper was able to cross multiple platforms, making palatable music for varying tastes tinged with his trademark Dirty South sound. He would drop cheeky hit after cheeky hit, with a self serious flow delivered through a cheshire grin - and we all loved him for it.
T-Pain dropped his new mixtape at the end of last week. After keeping busy with three mixtapes and four studio records in less than a decade, T-Pain went dark with no releases since 2012, until now.
Earl Sweatshirt’s I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Get Outside is a short and moody album. It also happens to be a very focused, quality listen, and possibly the best output we’ve received from the California native. Through bummed-out stoned raps and shoegazing beats, Earl proves to be one of the most talented, albeit depressed, rappers in the game.
Action Bronson’s new album is a bid to be considered the funniest man in hip hop. A week after Kendrick Lamar’s album has the entire culture debating race, politics, and society, Mr. Wonderful reminds us that sometimes rap can also be about wicked-funny punch lines and ridiculous one-liners as much as it can attempt to impact culture itself.
"Playing with your parts hopping in and out the friendzone..." Father really ain’t shit, y'all. He went on tour, dropped this chill ass 12-track album appropriately titled Who's Gonna Get Fucked First? on the interwebs last week, and did not run any of this by me...'cause we were totes besties back in two years from now.
After 2013’s wildly successful good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick Lamar had an opportunity that very few artists ever receive. For his third album, he could have continued to make tracks like the wavy “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”, the hook-laden “Fuckin’ Problem", or the festival-banging “m.A.A.d city”, and still had a top-selling album.
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.
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 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.
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.
Last year in March, Kid Ink reached a big milestone for a new artist: his single “Show Me” featuring Chris Brown went double Platinum.
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."
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.