Review: G-Unit's "The Beauty of Independence"

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...

  • Review: G-Unit's "The Beauty of Independence"
    39,961 Views
    69 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"
    23,167 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"
    41,508 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"
    18,252 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"
    11,620 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"
    28,404 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"
    13,982 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...
  • Review: The-Dream's "Royalty: The Prequel" EP
    4,865 Views
    8 Likes3 Dislikes
    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. Royalty: The Prequel is...
  • Review: B.o.B.'s "No Genre 2"
    10,973 Views
    18 Likes5 Dislikes
    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.  Three years, two albums and two...
  • Review: Trey Songz's "Trigga"
    20,670 Views
    29 Likes16 Dislikes
    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. On one hand, when you’re recording the same song for...
  • Review: Ab-Soul's "These Days..."
    38,692 Views
    59 Likes16 Dislikes
    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. On his deeply moving, autobiographical track "Book...
  • Review: RiFF RAFF's "NEON iCON"
    23,658 Views
    31 Likes23 Dislikes
    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. The career in question is that of RiFF RAFF, AKA Jody Highroller, Jody Three Moons,...
  • Review: 50 Cent's "Animal Ambition"
    37,751 Views
    67 Likes25 Dislikes
    On Animal Ambition, 50 Cent returns to the old street-ready sound that made him a household name back in 2003. Unfortunately, a lot has changed in hip-hop since 50’s debut. With the rise of Kanye West (or more particularly 808s & Heartbreak), the genre has become more emotive—more artistically diverse and interesting. Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Kid CuDi and even Future to an extent...
  • Review: Gucci Mane's "Brick Factory Vol. 1"
    13,908 Views
    37 Likes2 Dislikes
    Even while behind bars, Gucci Mane has proved that he can produce quality music no matter where he is. His newest mixtape, also available on iTunes, Brick Factory Vol.1, is assumed as one of several compilations to follow, and the series is off to an impressive start. Featuring work with both old and new collaborators, some of whom fall under his label 1017 Brick Squad Records, Gucci...
  • Review: Wiz Khalifa's "28 Grams"
    41,501 Views
    35 Likes41 Dislikes
    Like any Wiz project, there will be a wide variety of opinions on 28 Grams, ranging from exuberant praise to vitriolic disdain. This variance in opinion is common for Young Khalifa, as Wiz has been riding the same strange roller coaster as Weezy the last few years, delivering excellent mixtape projects like Taylor Allderdice and Cabin Fever 2 while disappointing most with his retail...
  • Review: Slaughterhouse's "House Rules"
    16,239 Views
    21 Likes1 Dislikes
    In the hip-hop industry, there are four kinds of artists: those who have crossover appeal, those who don’t, those who choose not to, and those who shouldn’t. Slaughterhouse, as a collective and as solo members, simply shouldn’t. Crooked, Royce, Budden and Ortiz could be raking in commercials deals right now, dropping radio hits with Bruno Mars and releasing studio albums once a...
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