On the dark and moody, Metro Boomin’ assisted, Monster, Future displays himself first as an artist with a tremendous ear for production, and as a “loose cannon,” fraught with troubling paranoia.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Last year in March, Kid Ink reached a big milestone for a new artist: his single “Show Me” featuring Chris Brown went double Platinum.
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.
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 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 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.
Somewhere along the way, mainstream R&B's relationship with sex changed. It's still a central theme in the vast majority of the genre, but the offhand, casual way in which it's usually referenced these days stands in sharp contrast with the reverence it was awarded up until the mid-2000s.
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.
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.
March has been a damn good month for Baton Rouge hip-hop, and for fans of the genre as a whole. The release of Kevin Gates' highly anticipated mixtape By Any Means comes just weeks after southern icon and fellow Louisiana native Boosie was released from prison.
When we last heard from CyHi the Prynce, he was cruising around college campuses with his Ivy League: Kick Back mixtape early last year. Now, ready to show us what he’s learned, he takes us back to school with Hystori: Black History Project. His most socially conscious body of work yet, CyHi gives us a history lesson throughout the project.
First things first, there's a few things you'll need to effectively set the mood for this one. $ign Language isn't a middle of the afternoon at your office listen, as we quickly learned. Fast forward to a little later at your crib, where you've presumably acquired the 40's of malt, a pile of your favorite strain, and two to three bad bitches that will really make this mixtape ring true.
The inaugural Yams Day got off to an inauspicious start, as a shortage of security guards led to a bottleneck at the entrance to Manhattan's Terminal 5, thus forcing thousands of eager fans to wait outside the venue for an hour or more, in a temperature that can only be described as cold-as-balls.
Drake’s highly anticipated sophomore album “Take Care” was officially released today...but most likely you’ve been listening to it for the past week if you downloaded the leak, nonetheless now that it’s official let’s discuss it.
A mostly levelheaded veteran who’s open about his distant relationship with Chicago, Common is the only 30-plus rapper who could’ve made a Nobody’s Smiling.
Keeping it fresh with his signature, smoked out flow, Curren$y delivers a strong introduction with the title track New Jet City. Backed by a pompous instrumental, Spitta lays it down and lauds about his boss status. From “sittin in the back of his triple black, with picnic tables, twisting up sacks” to making double our life savings, he is clearly on some new boss shit.
Even while behind bars, Gucci Mane has proved that he can produce quality music no matter where he is. His newest mixtape, also available on iTunes, Brick Factory Vol.1, is assumed as one of several compilations to follow, and the series is off to an impressive start.
2012 was an eye-opening year for Snoop Dogg. So much so that the West Coast rapper held a press conference in July to publicly announce that, after spending some time in the Caribbean island of Jamaica, he was a changed man. Snoop declared he was leaving the gangsta-image alone to adopt the ways and culture of a Rastafarian.
Seriously, is there a more versatile rap star than Snoop Dogg? Name another rapper who has done full albums of reggae, funk and rap over the last 5 years alone. Or an MC who’s released music on Death Row, No Limit, Star Trak, Mad Decent, and Stones Throw. Or one who’s released albums with Wiz Khalifa, toured with Korn, and acted alongside Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
When Royce da 5’9” and DJ Premier announced that they’d be making an entire project together, hip-hop heads everywhere got excited. Premier is a legendary figure in hip-hop and Royce is widely revered for his ability to spit quality bars. With three years having passed since Royce’s last project, he’s still managed to remain active with work related to Slaughterhouse and Shady.
Ever since Casey Veggies stepped onto the rap scene back in 2007, he's been stuck in the middle. Despite his diehard fans and devout supporters who may rank him higher out of bias, in the eyes of the larger hip-hop listenership, Veggies has always been placed in a middle tier, stuck in a sort of hip-hop limbo, neither advancing nor retreating.
Who is Theophilus London, anyways? The Brooklyn-based, Trinidad-born 27-year old isn't really an MC, but he doesn't really sing all the time either. He cares about The Smiths more than he cares about Gang Starr and for some reason all of this attracts the likes of Kanye West to take on the roll of executive producer on his newest album Vibes.