Following up with the success of his debut album, Big Sean sets out to prove he deserves a spot next to some of the greatest with his sophomore album "Hall of Fame."
It’s been a long road to the top for Big Sean. Back in 2005 after hearing Kanye West was going to be at a local radio station in Detroit for an interview, Big Sean headed down there to chance fate. Two years later he signed with G.O.O.D. Music but it wasn’t until 2011 that his debut album Finally Famous would hit the shelves.
Among Odd Future’s colorful cast, Earl Sweatshirt is almost reserved. Almost.
Earlier this year, hip-hop bible XXL Magazine featured rappers A$AP Rocky and French Montana on its cover declaring New York rap is back. While the focus of the game has shifted to other parts of the country in the past several years or so, there are some native New York emcees that are doing their part to rep their city.
2012’s Don’t Be S.A.F.E. flew under the radar for the hip-hop masses. Aside from smash hits “Female$ Welcomed” and “All Gold Everything”, nobody quite knew the true identity of Trinidad James. Many eyebrows were raised when James inked a deal with Def Jam worth $2 million. Skeptics argued that he would be a one-hit wonder, and fail to live up to expectations.
After months of anticipation, Chief Keef finally released Bang Pt. 2 on his 18th birthday, August 15th. Bang Pt. 2 is Sosa’s first project following the release of his major-label debut album Finally Rich, and much has happened since that time.
July 30th approached quickly for Soulja Boy. Originally announced as an album, Life After Fame arrived at its release date with little to no hype. Instead of pushing the album back, the “Crank That” rapper delivered a nineteen-track mixtape with zero features. Recent singles “We Ready” and “Ridin’ Round” are nowhere to be found on the tracklist.
Tech N9ne has been in the rap game for well over two decades but he flew under mainstream’s radar for much of his career. Shooting off lyrics with the speed of an automatic weapon, he earned a legion of fans through relentless tours to small cities in the heartland of the country.
When Young Money released their We Are Young Money album four years ago, they were undeniably the hottest team in hip-hop. Lil Wayne's army was young and hungry, as artists like Tyga and Nicki Minaj had yet to develop into superstars. Veterans such as Mystikal and Busta Rhymes have since joined the Young Money militia, though have failed to make a lasting impact with the group.
After three studio albums and countless mixtapes, it seems Ace Hood is as determined as ever to prove himself with the release of Trials & Tribulations.
Two years ago, Jay-Z and Kanye West joined forces and crowned themselves the kings of rap. After an extensive worldwide Watch The Throne tour, the two went back to their separate careers to work on solo projects. Although they both welcomed a brand new baby in the last year and a half, they couldn’t be in more different places musically.
In February of 2012, Pro Era’s Joey Bada$$ and Capital STEEZ dropped the visuals for their collaboration “Survival Tactics,” which quickly went viral. Crowned the future of New York rap, Bada$$ served the perfect blend of youthful, braggadocio-tinged rhymes, and laid-back flows-- not to mention an ear for classic 90s-referencing production that would make Gangstarr proud.
Ty Dolla $ign delivered his Beach House 2 mixtape just in time for summer. At first glance, the tape's tracklist looks iffy. There's at least one guest appearance on each song, something which is often frowned upon by devout fans and critics. However, flooding a project with features has been done successfully before, as was the case with The Game's 2012 album Jesus Piece.
Call him Steve-O. The Cleveland Wild Boy is back with his new mixtape, Black Flag. Featuring all original music, the free album is more or less a gift to his dedicated EST fanbase. This project comes not too long after Machine Gun Kelly’s debut studio album, Lace Up, which released in October of last year. Nevertheless, MGK certainly didn’t rush the making of his latest mixtape.
Freddie Gibbs is a veteran in the rap game but it’s taken him a decade to put out his first studio album. Cutting his teeth on the mixtape circuit, Gibbs released a steady stream of solid projects rife with stories of the drug game. After signing with Interscope Records, Gibbs was shuffled to the back of the bus before being dropped altogether.
Wale may be a victim of bad timing. While most rap fans were in their glory last week with the release of albums from Kanye West, J. Cole and Mac Miller, others are feverishly looking forward to Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, which is dropping on Independence Day. The release date of Wale's third album is stuck in the middle.
Cole World: The Sideline Story was considered somewhat of a disappointment to fans who really knew the raw talent that J. Cole posseses. The storyteller and the street smart rapper that fans loved was missing in his debut album. This time around Cole delivers a more cohesive project, with tracks easily flowing one by one to create a complete concept: Born Sinner.
June 18th might as well have been Christmas Day for hip-hop fans. Kanye West’s highly anticipated album Yeezus finally hit the shelves. Determined to go against one of the heavyweights of rap, J. Cole decided to move up his sophomore album Born Sinner to compete with West.
Throughout the years Kanye West has transcended hip hop and has made music of his own kind. A hybrid of many sounds and ideas, Yeezus is an ambition expansion of West’s sound palette. Introducing news soundscapes and textures, the album has a completely new sound for the artist, and is a complete disregard for the rules of hip hop and music and because of it, it works.
It’s been hard to turn on the radio in the past year or so and not hear French Montana’s rich yet slurred delivery coming through the speakers. The Moroccan born, Bronx, NY bred rapper’s rise to the top may seem like it happened overnight but that’s far from the case.
Halftime at any sporting event is usually the time when folks go to the bathroom, get refreshments and talk amongst themselves about the game. For Waka Flocka Flame, halftime is no time for an intermission. Instead, it’s a period to continue carrying the heat.
T.I. has been a man on a mission after his second prison stint. Following the success of his eighth studio album, Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head, he once again travels back to his trapping roots. This time he’s joined by the roster he personally assembled on his Grand Hustle label for Hustle Gang’s G.D.O.D., the label’s first compilation mixtape.
Throughout Welcome to Forever Robert Bryson Hall II reflects upon the last year of his career. The opening title track recalls when Logic met Nas for the first time in the line, “Shook his hand then he started quoting my lines? God damn this is real life!”
Since 1993, Sean “Diddy” Combs has always kept his finger on the pulse of trends in hip-hop music. When he founded Bad Boy, he assembled a roster that included one of the greatest rappers of all time. Never one to rest on his laurels, Diddy continued to reinvent his label to stay current with the time.
2012 was an eye-opening year for Snoop Dogg. So much so that the West Coast rapper held a press conference in July to publicly announce that, after spending some time in the Caribbean island of Jamaica, he was a changed man. Snoop declared he was leaving the gangsta-image alone to adopt the ways and culture of a Rastafarian.
Cassie seems to have finally grown into her own, after suffering a few career stumbles early on. After guidance and direction from Bad Boy records, and no doubt her boyfriend, Diddy, her progress as an artist can be heard on her new mixtape, Rockabyebaby.
Kid Cudi has never been one to hold his tongue or boast modestly. The Cleveland native is infamous for his onstage rants and mid-performance meltdowns. So it should come as no surprise, when talking about his fourth studio album, Cudi likened Indicud to Dr. Dre’s classic 2001 album. A bold statement indeed.
Ever resilient and defiant, Big K.R.I.T. drops K.R.I.T. (King Remembered in Time) for hip-hop heads to feast on. Placing a stake in Mississippi, K.R.I.T. presents a project to deliver his message that he’s a force to be reckoned with in the rap game.
The snare and synth-filled beats, the arrogance in the rhymes, and the claims to fame are all reasons why Tyga has gained so many followers, and this shines through on the first three tracks of Hotel California. It's this familiar, blanket sound that has garnered him the success he so rightfully brags about.
Tyler, the Creator's previous two solo projects were critically-acclaimed pieces of work. The success of Bastard and Goblin allowed him to garner the crazed fan base that follow his every move, but with Wolf, the Los Angeles native has moved on to something new.
Lil Wayne has always differentiated himself from us mere mortals, something he clearly set out to prove again with I Am Not A Human Being II, his tenth (and possibly final) studio album. He's explored the outer limits of the rap game with this one, bringing fellow rappers 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj, Drake and Future along for the ride.IANAHB2 is the sequel to Weezy’s 2009 album of the sa