Drake's "If You're Reading This It's Too Late" proves the rapper's dominance is well deserved.
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.
Everything about The Barter 6 is enigmatic.Firstly there's its author, Young Thug. The septum-pierced, face-tattooed Atlantian emcee seemingly came out of nowhere just a few years ago, quickly earning endorsements from the likes of Kanye West, Drake, Gucci Mane, and an apparent apprenticeship with Birdman.
Probably not as Finally Rich falls short of the hype surrounding it.Finally Rich certainly does have an allure to it. Keef’s undeniable talent for catchy hooks and his ability to transmute energy to sound is appealing. Plain and simple. However, this appeal is primal, subliminal.
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.
Review: Kid Cudi's "Satellite Flight: The Journey To Mother Moon" Feb 27, 2014 at 05:55pm 49,619 Views
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.
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.
After 2013’s wildly successful good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick Lamar had an opportunity that very few artists ever receive. For his third album, he could have continued to make tracks like the wavy “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”, the hook-laden “Fuckin’ Problem", or the festival-banging “m.A.A.d city”, and still had a top-selling album.
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.
Although he’s been in the rap game since the early '90s, Pusha T had yet to release a studio solo album. Until now. As one-half of the Clipse with his brother (now) No Malice, Push saw his popularity rise with their hit single “Grindin.” Three albums and 16 years later, Push, real name Terrence Thornton and his brother parted ways musically to work on their solo careers.
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.
Like any Wiz project, there will be a wide variety of opinions on 28 Grams, ranging from exuberant praise to vitriolic disdain.
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).
Though he did fall off the map for a while, fans will remember 2012 as the year Game made his triumphant comeback. First, he released The R.E.D Album to critical acclaim and followed that up with the recent release of Jesus Piece - an album that could go down as one of Game's best.
Most of the album's best qualities are present in the intro and and title track: catchy hooks, hard-hitting lyrics, confidant flows, obscure topics and absolutely amazing production.
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.
Game has held an interesting position in the rap game since his monstrous debut in 2005, The Documentary. He’s acknowledged as one of the premier acts from the West Coast, but he’s been hit-or-miss with his projects since that first album.
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.
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.
Have you ever seen the viral video of Susan Boyle performing for the first time on Britain’s Got Talent? A superficially unattractive older woman walks out onto the stage to perform a song before hundreds of people and four judges. Before she even gets an opportunity to sing, the crowd is halfway out their seats with laughter. Then she opened her mouth and silenced all haters.
Critics are always fighting conflicting urges. On the one hand, there's the need to be objective and evaluate each work on its own merits. On the other, there's the desire to fit each new release from an artist into an over-arcing career narrative. The trick is to find a balance between the two.
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.
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.
2014 may be remembered as one of the weakest years for rap in recent memory, but there were, however, some definite highlights, especially when it came to newcomers. Bobby Shmurda had one of last year’s biggest rap records, DeJ Loaf had one of last year’s most remixed rap records and Young Thug was one of last year’s most talked about rap artists (even if for all of the wrong reasons).
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