On the dark and moody, Metro Boomin’ assisted, Monster, Future displays himself first as an artist with a tremendous ear for production, and as a “loose cannon,” fraught with troubling paranoia.
Game doesn't quite get the respect he deserves. Sometimes things like his habitual name dropping and controversy divert attention from the fact that he has been one of the most consistent rappers over the last decade.
You can feel Cozz's hunger when listening to his music. It's easy to understand why J. Cole would want the youngster out of LA on his Dreamville/Interscope Label. Cozz has the lyrical trappings of a rapstar in the making.
The evolutions of Donald Glover and Childish Gambino appeared mutually exclusive until recently, with the masses not completely sold on either. Glover was either "that guy from that show,” or “Troy!!!!” The Gambino character was viewed as a playful, non-threatening side project, by fans of Glover’s work, and other rappers.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First things first, there's a few things you'll need to effectively set the mood for this one. $ign Language isn't a middle of the afternoon at your office listen, as we quickly learned. Fast forward to a little later at your crib, where you've presumably acquired the 40's of malt, a pile of your favorite strain, and two to three bad bitches that will really make this mixtape ring true.
After he proved he was a bankable rapper, 50 Cent started his own imprint and made G-Unit his first priority. For a while Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck and Fiddy were consistently putting out quality music that fed the streets. But all good things must come to an end. In the Unit's case, the general fell out with first Young Buck and kicked him out of the group.
The most gratifying events in music are the moments where you can literally hear the construction in the artist’s mind, the building onto the promise of greatness. While not a guarantee, Days Before Rodeo provides the listener with the glimpses of the incredible, long-ranging capabilities of Travi$ Scott.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The North Carolina-born and Georgia raised singer-songwriter and producer set out to pay homage to hip hop and his Southern roots on the follow up to his 2013 album, IV Play. Sonically, more like the follow up to his first free release, 1977, which was released under his government name, Terius Nash in 2011 and rereleased by Def Jam for commercial sale the following year.
B.o.B. is one of those artist that currently stands in a grey area: he's attained mainstream success thanks to catchy tunes, but he's also a seasoned rapper, and finds himself balancing between full-out pop music and more hardened hip-hop. So who are his main fans, the picky hip-hop heads or the avid radio listeners? On No Genre 2 he makes a plea for both.
The average man thinks about sex between one and 388 times per day; Trey Songz isn’t your average man. In his nine years of making music, the twenty-nine-year-old has made it abundantly clear that sex is pretty much all he thinks about. One might even say he invented it. In a way, Songz's one-dimensionality is a gift and curse.
Ab-Soul is a complex artist. The Carson, California native and Top Dawg Entertainment signee has overcome a number of major tribulations throughout the course of his life. And while all artists experience ups-and-downs that become points of growth for them as people while shaping the music they create, Ab-Soul's ups-and-downs are unique to most.
Today marks the culmination of the strangest rap career genesis this country’s ever seen, one that has included an MTV reality show, a hip-hop trio name Three Loco, OG Ron C, a Harmony Korine film, a slew of investigative articles and perhaps most importantly, about as much hate as the internet can muster.