Curren$y finds middle territory between the mainstream and underground for his new album, "Canal Street Confidential."
Curren$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.
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.
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.
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.
Among Odd Future’s colorful cast, Earl Sweatshirt is almost reserved. Almost.
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.
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.
Big K.R.I.T. keeps busy, man.
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.
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.
Rick Ross and the Maybach Music Group have taken their time with Stalley. Signed in 2011, the same year as Meek Mill and Wale (who were almost immediately launched in to mainstream eyes), the MC is just getting a proper debut album released.
Studio albums have a way of working as a litmus test for hip-hop's up and comers. Mixtapes and guest appearances are one thing, but for an artist to prove that he/she can create a strong cohesive album while delivering on lyrics, beats, and bravado is another. Meek Mill seems capable of preforming this balancing act with Dreams & Nightmares, a
The credits on Beyoncé's new album Lemonade read like an oddly-selected history of pop, R&B, and rock music, with modern indie names like Ezra Koenig and Animal Collective sitting alongside titanic legends like OutKast, Led Zeppelin, and Isaac Hayes.
On Dizzy Wright's second studio album The Growing Process, the 24-year old rapper makes an attempt at honing in his focus as an artist by establishing a moral constitution for his music to adhere to until further notice. For the most part, this is goal is met by the young upstart.
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.
Breakout Chicago emcee Mick Jenkins raps, “With perfect pitch, I’m screaming free my niggas/ polished and purposeful, he’s producing pristine pictures.” These rhymes-- which open “P’s & Q’s,” the eighth track off Jenkins’ latest effort, Wave[s]-- encapsulate both the ethos of this nine track EP, and one of its major shortcomings.
Dijon McFarlane, aka DJ Mustard, is a Los Angeles born and raised producer of seemingly all of the most important tracks you’ve heard over the past year. While that statement is obvious hyperbole, his influence on the rap stratosphere is not, and cannot be overstated.
I first saw Vince Staples through his baby picture, the artwork to his breakout mixtape, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 1, was floating down my Tumblr feed in 2011. However, it wasn’t until I was listening to Earl Sweatshirt’s Doris, that I was blown away listening to Vince completely slaughter the outro of “Hive,” and from there on anything else I heard him on.
2015 was the year of the sprawling L.A. album, with Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and The Game all releasing projects steeped in the city's musical history and constructed in collaborative sessions with its talents, new and old.
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.
You can feel Cozz's hunger when listening to his music. It's easy to understand why J. Cole would want the youngster out of LA on his Dreamville/Interscope Label. Cozz has the lyrical trappings of a rapstar in the making.
It’s safe to say that all eyes are on Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman, better known as Majid Jordan, for one reason: Drake. After signing the R&B duo to OVO Sound, the record label he co-founded with producer Noah “40” Shebib and Oliver El-Khatib, Drizzy took Majid Jordan from virtual unknowns to producers of a double platinum, #1 song real quick.
“Love is all we need.” This lyric off the opening track “All We Need” could summarize the message Raury is trying to convey with his music. Like Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, and John Lennon before him, Raury wants to see the world become a better place.
It's funny how music comes full circle. Tinashe was just eight years old when Aaliyah Haughton tragically died in a plane crash, causing the music world to mourn and R&B to be reconstructed in her wake.
Right off the bat, YG’s fifth mixtape Just Re’d Up 2 illustrates just what the Californian rapper is all about. Starting bold from the second track with bumping 808’s and underscored by synthesizers, “Im 4Rm Brompton” really sets the tone for the mixtape’s high energy.
Mmmmaybach music. The heaviest group in hip-hop presents the third volume of their Self Made album series. Formulaically, the self-proclaimed untouchable Maybach empire haven't missed a step. Likewise previous installments in the series, Self Made Vol. 3 is packed with speaker-knocking beats driven by Rozay and company.
Part of Future’s appeal lies in a musically indefinable existence. While both Pluto (and the 3D version) and Honest became somewhat of a set template for artists like Travi$ Scott, Future himself is a blend of the past, some not so distant.
At this point, there's a version of Freddie Gibbs for every breed of hip hop fan. Old head? Try midwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik, the 2009 outing where he pays homage to icons like Outkast and Tupac. Mid-2000s street rap addict? Gibbs' stint with Jeezy's CTE label checks that box, especially on the album ESGN. Drill fanatic? Try "Deuces," a gem of a Young Chop-produced loosie.