Finally dropping the long-awaited "Dream.ZONE.Achieve", Smoke DZA proves that he can do anything he sets his mind to.
Smoke DZA fans have seen the Harlem rapper’s growth from his last few projects. He went from hard-hitting straight-laced lyrics in George Kush Da Button to a street storyteller in Rugby Thompson. Back with the long awaited and highly anticipated Dream.ZONE.Achieve, DZA sets out to prove that he has a lot more to talk about than just marijuana.
After his recent split with Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records and Interscope on March 19, King Los has stepped it up quickly and released his latest mixtape, Zero Gravity II. He had first signed with the label back in 2005.
With Waka Flocka Flame’s newest album set to come out later this year, the Atlanta rapper has released a mixtape to hold us all over in the meantime. The tape, Re-Up features all-star collabs and on-point production.
March has been a damn good month for Baton Rouge hip-hop, and for fans of the genre as a whole. The release of Kevin Gates' highly anticipated mixtape By Any Means comes just weeks after southern icon and fellow Louisiana native Boosie was released from prison.
On paper, stone cold gangster Freddie Gibbs and alt-hop producer Madlib have little in common. But after releasing several highly enjoyable EPs beginning in 2011, it quickly became apparent that the duo were capable of vibing off one another.
YG first popped up on the radar with the 2009 song "Toot It And Boot It" featuring Ty Dolla $ign. While he was locked up serving a six-month sentence for a parole violation stemming from a home invasion, the Compton native saw the song steadily climb the Billboard charts. Once YG was released, he had several label options, eventually signing with Def Jam.
Since the release of We Are Young Money in 2009, Nicki Minaj has risen from femme fatale on the rise after dropping the excellent Beam Me Up Scotty to ubiquitous representative of aggressive femininity. Drake, once Lil Wayne’s fresh-faced protégé, is now the biggest crossover success in hip-hop — not just Young Money.
In the last two years between his last album and now, Rick Ross has been through a lot, including surviving a targeted hit on his life. Critics bashed God Forgives, I Don’t and many wondered if Ross had peaked too soon and lost his touch. After numerous setbacks and delays, the bawse is back with his sixth album to prove that he’s a man with nine lives and a rapper with hits for days.
It’s official: Pharrell Williams is back. With the recent success of songs like “Get Lucky”, “Blurred Lines” and his newest Oscar-nominated single “Happy”, Pharrell has reclaimed his spot in the R&B royal family and is killing it. Not that he was ever really gone, since he’s been co-producing for other artists throughout.
Migos’ style is something like a basketball point guard. The person at the position doesn’t need to master every aspect of the game and probably won’t — rebounding just isn’t his thing. But the person’s shortcomings are hidden by how exceedingly good he is or has to be in a few other skills, whether it’s ball handling or calling plays.
When we last heard from CyHi the Prynce, he was cruising around college campuses with his Ivy League: Kick Back mixtape early last year. Now, ready to show us what he’s learned, he takes us back to school with Hystori: Black History Project. His most socially conscious body of work yet, CyHi gives us a history lesson throughout the project.
Although none of his albums have really been critical hits, Kid Cudi’s main appeal is using outside, atypical influences and sounds to articulate some sort of emotional journey into the tortured soul.
An important facet of memorable groups throughout hip-hop history is chemistry: the dynamics every member brings to the table is an essential part of a group's success. Black Hippy's rise to the top has been so prevalent and quick because each of their four main members - Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar - each bring something radically different to what the crew represents.
With Chief Keef, King L, Lil Reese and Lil Durk signing to major labels in 2013, Chicago's drill scene saw all of its major stars graduating to more commercial successes, leaving vacancies in the underground mixtape scene that the genre was born from.
This tape has been something that Pro Era fans have no doubt been waiting patiently for after their last releases were back in 2012. The Secc$ Tap.e 2 does nothing but feed the hunger of fans and add to the weight that has fallen onto the crew’s shoulders as it proves that the Beast Coast Movement is in full force.
Only a handful of artists release as much content as Curren$y does. Some can match the quantity, but none can top the quality. Spitta Andretti is known for releasing album-quality mixtapes at a constant rate, giving fans all they can digest. 2013’s New Jet City was one of the hottest mixtapes of the year, and his latest offering The Drive In Theatre doesn’t disappoint either.
For Vado, Sinatra represents much more than just another one of the several tapes he has dropped over the past few years. The smooth flowing Harlem representer is in the midst of a crucial part of his rap career. The Dipset affiliate went from NYC --> MIA to link up with DJ Khaled and in 2013 he signed with Khaled's We the Best label.
With this month’s release of his compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers, it’s clear that 29 is J. Cole’s lucky number. The recording artist and producer turned 29 this year, on the 29th of January, and on that same day tweeted publicly to announce the launch of his label Dreamville, partnering with Interscope Records.
Isaiah Rashad’s debut EP, Cilvia Demo, is very easily among the most captivating mainstream debut projects from a new artist since the likes of J. Cole, Drake or even label mate Kendrick Lamar.
With the recent release of his EP Beach House, Ty Dolla $ign has been on our radar for a while. The West Coast rapper, responsible for producing and writing the hit “Toot It And Boot It” for YG, has since made a name for himself through two successful mixtapes, Beach House and Beach House 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”.