Last Friday, the Pro Era crew finished off ProEra Week on a major high giving us a banging mixtape, "Secc$ Tap.e 2".
If the first Starvation mixtape proved to be a metaphor for Ace Hood’s unmitigated hunger for the level of super stardom usually reserved for rappers like his friend, Lil Wayne, then Starvation 3 makes Ace Hood sound as hungry as ever, except this time around, the production values are a lot better.
Kid Ink may have suddenly rose to popularity with the 2012 catchy hit “Time of Your Life” but the California rapper has been at it longer than that. Releasing his first mixtape in 2010, Kid Ink, real name Brian Collins, gained a slew of fans with his laid-back style and blend of singing and rapping.
In a way, Coke Boys 4 is exactly what was expected. Plenty of features, varied production, and a heavy supply of trunk bangers make this a typical French Montana project. This time around, OTF rapper Lil Durk was notably involved after recently joining forces with the Coke Boy family. Even with Durk's contributions, however, the mixtape lacks originality.
Keeping Gucci Mane out of the headlines is no easy task. Once again he’s back, although this time with the release of his digital album The State Vs. Radric Davis II: The Caged Bird Sings. While the rapper is surrounded by mounting legal problems, he's nonetheless found the time to keep his fans fed with this Christmas day release.
In November, Atlanta rapper Trinidad James caused a firestorm with comments he made while performing in Brooklyn, New York City. After multiple rappers (most notably Maino) called him out for stating that ATL rappers run NYC musically, the Def Jam signee finally admitted he chose the wrong venue.
Bobby Ray is often cited as one of today’s underrated rappers. In the past, his hip hop game has come under fire for infusing pop and rock into his music. He’s also been dubbed a “sell-out” many a time, for creating radio winners. On Underground Luxury, he fights the critics bringing more of a hip hop feel.
More than two years ago Rockie Fresh and Casey Veggies teamed up for the first time together on “Duckin N Dodgin,” which winded up on Fresh’s The Otherside Redux. The song pitted the two up and coming rappers together and although they were from different time zones, the chemistry between the two was obvious. Fast-forward to the present.
Beyonce beat the system with the unexpected drop of her fifth, self-titled album, which shocked the internet, the media and music fans alike. Although B's team had recently told us to expect an album soon, (Ne-Yo almost ruined the surprise as well), no one suspected it would happen this soon.
Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes' new 28-track mixtape The Abstract & The Dragon plays like a documentary that any serious hip-hop head would enjoy - with its numerous remixes and skits, it's a welcome throwback to the traditional mixtape format.
There has been a heavy influx of modern and neo r'n'b in the past few years, but R. Kelly will always remain an important figure in what we now consider “old school r'n'b”.
Tyga has been a very busy man. After banking more than a few racks after his massively successful 2011 strip club banger "Rack City", Tyga (aka Michael Ray Nguyen-Stevenson) has showed no signs of slowing down.
Originality is a rarity in modern hip-hop, and when an experimental album comes along, it tends to polarize listeners initially. Take Kanye West's new album Yeezus, for example. Its minimalism, raw emotion and amalgamation of genres was difficult for many diehard fans to stomach at first (not to mention the left-field visuals).
Rich Homie Quan dominated the summer with his smash single “Type of Way.” The song made its way onto the Billboard chart and helped catapult the Atlanta rapper’s career (and bank account) into a new stratosphere.
To say Hopsin's third album is long overdue is like saying FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina was slightly delayed. It's been three years since he dropped his critically acclaimed sophomore album Raw. Since then, he's toured the country extensively and landed a spot on XXL's 2013 Freshman list.
Signing to T.I.'s Grand Hustle label has been a stroke of good fortune for Trae Tha Truth. The Houston rapper's career has unfortunately been plagued by the loss of some his closest friends, shootings and controversy with radio executives. Despite this, he's continued to make music and does a commendable job on this new 20-track tape.
Chris Brown's new X-Files EP features six brand new tracks that didn't make the final cut for his highly anticipated yet perpetually delayed album X. Although the singer has attempted to distance himself from the media lens and his missteps outside of entertaining, for many listeners, the line between his personal life and his music will remain forever blurred.
“I am the struggle. I am the hustle. I am the city. I’m the pot in the kitchen.” Yo Gotti raps on the title track of his latest album, I Am. The self-proclaimed king of Memphis has been involved in the trap game for a while now, and he has much to share, telling stories through out his new album, I Am. Gotti‘s strong southern influence is clearly shown throughout the 13-track project.
Stunning. If Jhene Aiko wasn't already a household name, she ought to be by now. The 25-year-old singer has appeared on numerous hip-hop tracks throughout the year, most notably Drake's "From Time", J. Cole's "Sparks Will Fly", and Big Sean’s radio smash "Beware". Sail Out* is Jhene’s first major label EP, and what a debut it is.
The Marshall Mathers LP dropped in 2000 and became the fastest selling solo album of all time, influencing a whole generation of artists with its unique and in-depth look into the bizarre world of Eminem. The album was sandwiched in between Slim Shady LP and The Eminem Show – two other classic albums that are every bit as influential today as they were a decade ago.
Action Bronson is not your typical rapper. The portly fire-flame gourmet chef turned rapper with a shock of curly red beard, whose father is an Albanian immigrant and mother is a Jewish New Yorker, looks nothing like his peers. Sharpening his lyrical skills with several mixtapes, Bronson dropped his major label debut EP Saaab Stories a few months ago.
Lloyd Banks' pedigree as an ill emcee speaks for itself at this point. During G-Unit’s active days, Banks was widely considered the best pure spitter in the group. Very little has changed in that regard; if anything Banks' career since the early 2000s has distinguished him as one of the most technically savvy rappers out. F.N.O. (Failure's No Option) only makes it easier to argue the case.
DJ Khaled has been behind some of the hottest records of the last few years and if there's one thing he's made consistently clear it's that he has a winning formula for hits. This is also his greatest fault. It's never been so clear how one dimensional DJ Khaled's music really is than here on Suffering From Success, the DJ's seventh studio album.
Get Home Safely, Dom Kennedy’s second studio album and follow up to last year's Yellow Album, demonstrates Dom Kennedy’s unique ability to weave highly accessible stories into his lyrics without compromising intelligibility. Actually, it’s not a trait unique to him. Artists like Slick Rick, Snoop and Nas are known for this same technique.
"They want that old Sosa… for what doe?" Well, for good reason. Chief Keef ran into some icebergs with Bang Pt. 2, and the ship continues to sink. The same qualities that were present on his last mixtape reappear on Almighty So. Poor mixing and sloppy delivery continue to cloud the highlights. Thankfully the beats were banging, or else this mixtape would have been a lot worse.
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