With the release of his third album, MMG rapper Wale aims to prove he can be both a lyricist and a poet and still achieve commercial success.
When Gucci Mane released his World War 3 series on iTunes last month, it was merely a hint of what was to come. The first shots were fired on September 7th, when Guwop and Waka Flocka engaged in a Twitter argument. As more names got involved , the feud grew nastier. The peak of Gucci’s Twitter rant came on September 9th, when he put moguls such as Jeezy, Nicki Minaj, and T.I. on blast.
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.
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.
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.
Fame is a helluva drug for any celebrity. For some, it's a way of giving voice to a worthy cause. For others, it's a license to do and say whatever they feel or pursue any artistic path they choose. With The Weeknd, fame could be downright scary.
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.
Ludacris is a veteran in the game. Lyrics, beats, hit songs, a unique style; over his 10-plus year career he has obviously shown why he has been one of the most respected and successful stars in hip hop.
The Def Jam rapper explained that B.O.A.T.S II: #METime would be the ultimate record to self-reflect to, or gain some ‘me time’ as 2 Chainz calls it. Self-indulgent it certainly is, and we would expect nothing less from 2 Chainz, considering his swag and confidence.
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.
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.
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.
The most interesting hip-hop event of the year has been the meteoric rise of Bobby Shmurda, brought on with the Jahlil Beats-produced “Hot Nigga,” the most surprising single in recent history. The accompanying, and now-ubiquitous, Shmoney Dance, choreography actually invented in 2013, has taken over all media mediums, to include white bread TV anchors jamming out.
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 first Luca Brasi Story, released last February, put Kevin Gates on the map. Soon after, he quietly inked a partnership with Atlantic and a management deal with Young Money. He put out another excellent mixtape, Stranger Than Fiction, months later, and he’s had a similar 2014 in terms of output: two mixtapes, both excellent.
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.
Fifteen years of Shady Records represents an unusual time for rap music, transitioning out of the shiny suit era and into a bubble featuring new names. Aside from D12 and Obie Trice releases, the label’s existence was mostly tied to Eminem signing a certain Queens MC.
Montana’s latest mixtape, which released November 20th, is a project that suffers many of the ills that plague mass appeal works. Mileage will vary by entire degrees here. For better or worse, Mac and Cheese 3 is a testament to the shift in rap culture toward more niche work. For all of that, the mixtape itself straddles the fence; it isn’t terrific or terrible.
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.
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.
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”.
Defining a “classic” is no easy task. The first factor is obviously the quality of the music. Here we ask the basic questions: Are there any unnecessary tracks? Does the production impress without outshining the lyrics? The usual surface stuff that’s easy to assess on two full listens. After the surface level is cleared, an album has to separate itself from the pack.
I don’t believe there’s a single person on Earth who saw Tity Boi becoming a national superstar. From background appearances in old Ludacris music videos to becoming a one hit wonder as a part of Playaz Circle to having the number one hip-hop album in the country, the rapper formerly known as Tauheed Epps is an incredible example of what hard work and dedication can do.
Review: Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience - Part 2 of 2" Oct 6, 2013 at 03:07 PM 21,552 Views
Justin Timberlake fans are still basking in the martini-drinking, suit-wearing, gold-plated visions of The 20/20 Experience, but the pop crooner’s sights are already set on the steamy after party. The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 evokes the grit, sweat and sex missing from the first iteration, which took its extravagant vibe to the top of the charts as the best-selling record of 2013 so far.
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