Meek Mill's debut album is a solid and energetic (for the most part) effort, but proves the emcee still has growth to do as an artist.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
For some reason or another, my timeline has recently been bombarded with a ton of Tweets and Instagram posts claiming that the Migos are better than The Beatles. As most logical rap fans can attest, there are definitely better ways to champion the trio as leaders of this new school in rap than to compare them with arguably the greatest group in the history of popular music.
Gunplay, AKA Don Logan, has had a rough ride as a rapper.
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.
In the hip-hop industry, there are four kinds of artists: those who have crossover appeal, those who don’t, those who choose not to, and those who shouldn’t. Slaughterhouse, as a collective and as solo members, simply shouldn’t.
Where were you when you first heard K Camp? Was it years ago, when his guest feature on Sy Ari Da Kid's “Popular” made him a hook artist worth keeping tabs on? Did it happen at the beginning of last year when his anthems “Money Baby” and “Cut Her Off” were dominating radios and leaving air pockets of bass around the cars that blasted them?
Last year in March, Kid Ink reached a big milestone for a new artist: his single “Show Me” featuring Chris Brown went double Platinum.
Tech N9ne, who has accrued nearly three decades in the rap-game, has made a career out of dancing between the mainstream and underground universes. Admired by his fans for his consistency and his abstract approach to the genre, the Missouri MC's cocktail of freakshow world mixed with club-worthy finesse is something that has become expected out of each N9ne discography installment.
It’s official: Pharrell Williams is back. With the recent success of songs like “Get Lucky”, “Blurred Lines” and his newest Oscar-nominated single “Happy”, Pharrell has reclaimed his spot in the R&B royal family and is killing it. Not that he was ever really gone, since he’s been co-producing for other artists throughout.
It's been seven years since the Wu-Tang Clan released their last proper album, 8 Diagrams, but of course, that doesn’t mean the members of rap’s greatest clan have been prepping for an early retirement. Not by a long shot.
Having recently gotten a release date for his debut album after months of uncertainty, Ty Dolla $ign has all the reason in the world to celebrate. Free TC arrives next month, but before we get the full-length tackling the weighty subject of his brother's wrongful incarceration, Ty's surprised us with 24 minutes of escapist jams.
It's fair to presume that some hip-hop fans have slept on Asher Roth over the years. Some still associate him only with his 2009 platinum-selling hit "I Love College". If you find yourself in this category, it's time to recognize one of the best lyrical, smooth-flowing rappers in the game.
In his “Essays on the Intellectual Powers of a Man,” Thomas Reid made the claim that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. When the philosopher said this in the 1700s, the concept of a compilation album (or an “album” for that matter) was hundreds of years away and yet the words could not apply more appropriately.
Gerald Gillum, stage name G-Eazy, is trending right now. It’s easy to assume the emcee is riding white rapper fame to the top of the charts, but the man has been grinding for years. He released six mixtapes and three studio albums before the massive success of When It’s Dark Out, so he’s no tourist in the rap game.
As someone who's put out quite a bit of music as a solo artist but will always be better known as a label head and mogul, Diddy seems to use his albums as showrooms for his expansive rolodex and impeccable taste.