"Jungle" tour co-stars Drake and Future find a way to make their differences gel on the relatively brief "What A Time To Be Alive."
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.
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.
Future has been overwhelming us lately, yet he still remains in-demand. Despite giving us back-to-back releases of three monstrous mixtapes (Beastmode, Monster and 56 Nights), the streets were literally salivating when news broke that he was dropping Dirty Sprite 2.
Keith Cozart, best known to the world as rap's enfant terrible Chief Keef, doesn’t do much to imply a typical career is in the cards for him.
Despite his notoriety as a pioneer of Southern rap music and lyrical depth, Scarface remains low-key with his legendary status. And reasonably so. There’s a lot going on in the mind of the 44-year-old Geto Boy.
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?
After dominating the majority of the most recent millennium, Free Weezy Album marks Lil Wayne's first foray into generating music without the safety net of the Cash Money Records machine that helped make him. More than that, it’s Weezy’s first opportunity to air a slew of infamous grievances, whether it be his fallout with Birdman or new beefs.
Rick Ross is a work horse. Despite legal troubles, the Maybach Music boss just released a seventeen-track mixtape to hold us over until his next official project. Mind you, Ross released a #1 overall album last year in Mastermind, along with a #2 rap release in Hood Billionaire. He's been having a quiet year musically, but that all changed this past Thursday when he dropped Black Dollar.
Travi$ Scott has been the figure of some controversy for a myriad of reasons. Number one, he appears to have a reputation for being a dick, but that's actually not anything new to rap. He's also been known to bite styles, which is yet another familiar trope. But, perhaps above all, is the fact that both Grand Hustle and G.O.O.D.
There has been no artist in our culture that has had a more storied four years than The Weeknd. The Scarborough, Canada native currently sits in a pop music position that he probably never had imagined himself in. When House Of Balloons dropped in March of 2011, no one knew who or what The Weeknd was.
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.
J. Cole has come a long way from rapping about how to get up off the sideline. Three albums in, with 2014 Forest Hills Drive, the “God” is home. The Fayetteville, North Carolina native composed an honest, nostalgic album without any apologies. Cole typically plays it safe, straddling the fence of a conscious rapper who can still create commercial hits and enjoy a good romp in the bed.
At this point in the Trap-A-Velli mixtape series (and this point in the unkillable career of 2 Chainz) we definitely know what to expect from any new releases.
Meek Mill’s new album sounds like the Apocalypse. Not the actual, devastating end-of-days, but the cinematic equivalent we’ve come to expect from our summer blockbusters: a free-wheeling, no-stakes madhouse of destruction complete with swelling strings, chanting choirs and Earth-shaking war drumbeats that could bring a tear to Clint Mansell’s eye.
Visibility is the number one law of rap-- if they can’t see/hear/feel you, you don’t actually exist for a lot of people. But the main concern is how do you keep them interested? Tyga is one of those artists who has been cursed with a struggle between visibility and interest.
Everything about The Barter 6 is enigmatic.Firstly there's its author, Young Thug. The septum-pierced, face-tattooed Atlantian emcee seemingly came out of nowhere just a few years ago, quickly earning endorsements from the likes of Kanye West, Drake, Gucci Mane, and an apparent apprenticeship with Birdman.
For over fifteen years fans of Dr. Dre awaited the follow-up to 2001. Detox was rumored to drop basically every year that followed, but was ultimately sidelined as Dre turned his attention to Eminem and 50 Cent, and later, the success of Beats headphones.
Game doesn't quite get the respect he deserves. Sometimes things like his habitual name dropping and controversy divert attention from the fact that he has been one of the most consistent rappers over the last decade.
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.
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.
A$AP Rocky’s relatively short career in the rap game has been one filled with high praise. His debut mixtape, Live.Love.A$AP, received exponential buzz solely off the strength of “Purple Swag,” and it was more so off the strength of the visual, which went viral (visuals have become a key component to Rocky’s career).
We're noticing a pattern here.
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.
Have you ever seen the viral video of Susan Boyle performing for the first time on Britain’s Got Talent? A superficially unattractive older woman walks out onto the stage to perform a song before hundreds of people and four judges. Before she even gets an opportunity to sing, the crowd is halfway out their seats with laughter. Then she opened her mouth and silenced all haters.
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