Even if Jadakiss isn't in your top five, "Top 5 Dead Or Alive" proves that he's still doing exactly what he should be at 40 years old.
People have really been into ranking their all-time top MCs lately. About a year ago, Chris Rock revealed his in the trailer for his film "Top Five": "Jay, Nas, Scarface, Rakim... and then I might let Biggie get in there.
If traditional "bangers" are what you're looking for, 2015 Young Thug is not your go-to guy. You'd be better off trying some of his other locations, like 1017 Thug or I Came From Nothing 3. Maybe even take a trip on up to Black Portland if you feel so inclined.
Despite Migos' Yung Rich Nation being the Atlanta rap trio's debut studio album, they're hardly rookies. A plethora of acclaimed mixtapes, BET Award Nominations and superstar collaborations are under their belt. And so for emcees Quavo, Offeset and Takeoff, their first album has epectations other first timers might.
There’s something admirable about truly stepping out on your own, as your own person. You’re leaving behind that helping hand, that “co-sign,” and pursing your dreams, able to stand without the crutch.
We're noticing a pattern here.
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.
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.
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.
Miguel is an R&B artist that not many will argue against. After bursting onto the music scene in 2010 with his debut single and album "All I Want Is You", Miguel has been a casually unstoppable force in music, with hits like "Sure Thing," "Adore," "Quickie," and features like "Lotus Flower Bomb" and "Good Lovin" keeping Miguel in the back of our minds and at the top of our playlists.
In recent history, there’s been a few kinds of rap albums: the long ones and the short ones, those with lots of features and those kept rather personal. A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, and The Social Experiment went with longer listens peppered with tons of flavor from their friends and collaborators.
Every meaningful artist takes a step back at some point in their career to dwell on their achievements and tribulations in an attempt to make sense of everything that’s happened. JAY Z accomplished this feat on wax with The Black Album. Kanye did the same on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as did Nas on Life Is Good.
In the past year, Willie Maxwell, best known to the world as the one-eyed rapper Fetty Wap, has had one of the most monumental rises in rap in the past few years. Despite being a relative newcomer, the Patterson, NJ-based rapper's debut single "Trap Queen" has become a phenomenal smash hit, the kind that most rappers don't achieve in the ever-segmented radio of the 21st century.
The average man thinks about sex between one and 388 times per day; Trey Songz isn’t your average man. In his nine years of making music, the twenty-nine-year-old has made it abundantly clear that sex is pretty much all he thinks about. One might even say he invented it. In a way, Songz's one-dimensionality is a gift and curse.
A weird thing happens when an artist gets signed to a major label. It seems, no matter how talented they are, no matter how much their fans are willing to support, debut albums almost always come up short. There have been exceptions, of course. (Logic's Under Pressure being the most recent example.) But, more often than not, the curse of a major label signing is very real.
2012’s Don’t Be S.A.F.E. flew under the radar for the hip-hop masses. Aside from smash hits “Female$ 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 $2 million. Skeptics argued that he would be a one-hit wonder, and fail to live up to expectations.
Earl Sweatshirt’s I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Get Outside is a short and moody album. It also happens to be a very focused, quality listen, and possibly the best output we’ve received from the California native. Through bummed-out stoned raps and shoegazing beats, Earl proves to be one of the most talented, albeit depressed, rappers in the game.
In many ways, the early 2000s belonged to Ludacris. Within that time, the rapper was able to cross multiple platforms, making palatable music for varying tastes tinged with his trademark Dirty South sound. He would drop cheeky hit after cheeky hit, with a self serious flow delivered through a cheshire grin - and we all loved him for it.
After a near-decade of hustling, Curren$y has finally landed his prominent role in the rap scene. It wasn’t easy work, but anyone who has watched the New Orleans-native go from Lil Wayne’s sidekick to stoner rap’s most consistent contributor will tell you that much.
Immediately following Touchdown 2 Cause Hell’s introductory “Get Em Boosie”-- the aptly titled dizzying turn up track that unleashes Boosie Badazz loose on the rap game once again-- the bellows of an approaching storm crackles with doom. It’s an ominous sound byte, seeing as Lil Boosie has acted as the chief ambassador of Post-Katrina Louisiana gangster rap.
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.
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.
Ladies and gentlemen, Joe Budden is back in Mood Muzik form. Early last year Joe released No Love Lost, which packaged club and radio songs along with some more personal tracks. That album left many of his longtime fans wanting more of the intimate feel they get from his darker projects. Almost two years later and Joey is back to documenting his turmoil in a way that only he can.
Curren$y built the foundation of his following on a legendary run of mixtapes that started around the 2008 era. It was seven (count 'em!) tapes of spitting over classic hip hop beats with a fresh flow that poised him to be the next big thing in New Orleans hip hop.
Among Odd Future’s colorful cast, Earl Sweatshirt is almost reserved. Almost.
Is there anything more startling than hearing a 19 year old kid saying that he doesn't fear death because he's "happy for all the years [he] got to see"? Lil Herb's still around 57 years shy of the average male life expectancy in the U.S., but you don't need to be a super-sleuth to figure out why optimism isn't his strong suit. Hell, you barely even have to listen to his music.
Action Bronson’s new album is a bid to be considered the funniest man in hip hop. A week after Kendrick Lamar’s album has the entire culture debating race, politics, and society, Mr. Wonderful reminds us that sometimes rap can also be about wicked-funny punch lines and ridiculous one-liners as much as it can attempt to impact culture itself.
In line with the recent (and awesome) trend of surprise albums, Tyler, the Creator announced Cherry Bomb just a few days prior to its April 13th digital release. The album’s single, “Fucking Young,” along with its attached snippet of the record's opening track, “Deathcamp,” showed a Tyler who is wearing his N.E.R.D.
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.
Big K.R.I.T. keeps busy, man.
To say that the dawn of drill feels like yesterday would be generous at best. It's been roughly three years since Chicago's rap explosion took the world by storm, and now it feels like you're sifting through the rubble. So many promising talents have struggled to live up to the hype, gotten lost in the blogosphere, or become unrecognizable.