While The Game has built up a reputation for putting out consistent albums, "Year of the Wolf" is, unfortunately, not one of them.
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.
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.
Rihanna entered the music industry on an entirely unprecedented run, delivering seven albums that cracked the top ten, as well as 20 top ten singles, all within seven years. She released one album per year and was a mainstay on the radio, with each new single popping up just as the last was waning in popularity.
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.
Throughout Welcome to Forever Robert Bryson Hall II reflects upon the last year of his career. The opening title track recalls when Logic met Nas for the first time in the line, “Shook his hand then he started quoting my lines? God damn this is real life!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wale is most commonly thought of as The Untouchable Maybach Empire's black sheep-- the "Seinfeld"-loving, backpack blog rapper whose position among the rest of his hard-headed labelmates is perhaps best illustrated by the contrast between him and the squad's other DMV representative, Fat Trel. But Mr.
Big K.R.I.T. keeps busy, man.
An important facet of memorable groups throughout hip-hop history is chemistry: the dynamics every member brings to the table is an essential part of a group's success. Black Hippy's rise to the top has been so prevalent and quick because each of their four main members - Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar - each bring something radically different to what the crew represents.
Although none of his albums have really been critical hits, Kid Cudi’s main appeal is using outside, atypical influences and sounds to articulate some sort of emotional journey into the tortured soul.
Most of the album's best qualities are present in the intro and and title track: catchy hooks, hard-hitting lyrics, confidant flows, obscure topics and absolutely amazing production.
Earlier this year, hip-hop bible XXL Magazine featured rappers A$AP Rocky and French Montana on its cover declaring New York rap is back. While the focus of the game has shifted to other parts of the country in the past several years or so, there are some native New York emcees that are doing their part to rep their city.
When Drake released his newest mixtape, If You're Reading This It's Too Late, a few days ago, it took the internet by storm. Falling in line with Jay Z, Kanye and Beyoncé before him, he dropped it almost completely out of the blue, with no real warning.
Ever since Casey Veggies stepped onto the rap scene back in 2007, he's been stuck in the middle. Despite his diehard fans and devout supporters who may rank him higher out of bias, in the eyes of the larger hip-hop listenership, Veggies has always been placed in a middle tier, stuck in a sort of hip-hop limbo, neither advancing nor retreating.
In DJ Khaled's eyes, he's the hip hop version of George Clooney in "Ocean's 11": a wily veteran with the connections and know-how necessary to bring together a formidable team of specialists.
Part of Future’s appeal lies in a musically indefinable existence. While both Pluto (and the 3D version) and Honest became somewhat of a set template for artists like Travi$ Scott, Future himself is a blend of the past, some not so distant.
Critics are always fighting conflicting urges. On the one hand, there's the need to be objective and evaluate each work on its own merits. On the other, there's the desire to fit each new release from an artist into an over-arcing career narrative. The trick is to find a balance between the two.
Would you believe that Jay Rock has been signed to Top Dawg Entertainment for ten years? They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and apparently TDE wasn’t either, because Anthony Tiffith and his group of MCs have been hacking at this hip hop thing for a while now.
Every rapper that can be considered in the G.O.A.T. debate eventually hits a wall. This drop-off point comes for everyone and leads their stans to add qualifiers to their respective "best all time" arguments, "Of course, I'm talking about Jay-Z from Reasonable Doubt to Black Album, Eminem pre-Encore, etc."
“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.
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.
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.
The rap game is an unforgiving place, all too often. Plenty of talents come and go, getting lost in the shuffle, when there are literally dozens of rappers coming up and burning out in the blink of an eye. Especially in the Los Angeles scene, where a certified talent can have a stellar year but have a hell of a time trying to break on the national circuit.
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.
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.
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.