On "STN MTN," Glover enlists DJ Drama to create an ode to a long-gone version of Atlanta, using some of the forgotten nuances and motifs. "Kauai EP" represents a present, based on discovery and 'blunt' reflection.
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.
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.
Bobby Ray is often cited as one of today’s underrated rappers. In the past, his hip hop game has come under fire for infusing pop and rock into his music. He’s also been dubbed a “sell-out” many a time, for creating radio winners. On Underground Luxury, he fights the critics bringing more of a hip hop feel.
It’s tough to get 100 percent behind the Wu-Tang Clan these days. No one can deny their influence and run of classic records in the 90s, but drama, stylistic confusion, and album delays have plagued the crew for the past half-decade.
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.
YG first popped up on the radar with the 2009 song "Toot It And Boot It" featuring Ty Dolla $ign. While he was locked up serving a six-month sentence for a parole violation stemming from a home invasion, the Compton native saw the song steadily climb the Billboard charts. Once YG was released, he had several label options, eventually signing with Def Jam.
Call him Steve-O. The Cleveland Wild Boy is back with his new mixtape, Black Flag. Featuring all original music, the free album is more or less a gift to his dedicated EST fanbase. This project comes not too long after Machine Gun Kelly’s debut studio album, Lace Up, which released in October of last year. Nevertheless, MGK certainly didn’t rush the making of his latest mixtape.
Last year in March, Kid Ink reached a big milestone for a new artist: his single “Show Me” featuring Chris Brown went double Platinum.
On Animal Ambition, 50 Cent returns to the old street-ready sound that made him a household name back in 2003. Unfortunately, a lot has changed in hip-hop since 50’s debut. With the rise of Kanye West (or more particularly 808s & Heartbreak), the genre has become more emotive—more artistically diverse and interesting.
Ab-Soul is a complex artist. The Carson, California native and Top Dawg Entertainment signee has overcome a number of major tribulations throughout the course of his life. And while all artists experience ups-and-downs that become points of growth for them as people while shaping the music they create, Ab-Soul's ups-and-downs are unique to most.
The most interesting hip-hop event of the year has been the meteoric rise of Bobby Shmurda, brought on with the Jahlil Beats-produced “Hot Nigga,” the most surprising single in recent history. The accompanying, and now-ubiquitous, Shmoney Dance, choreography actually invented in 2013, has taken over all media mediums, to include white bread TV anchors jamming out.
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.
It's no secret that hip-hop at large is lacking in original content. If the music isn't about money, it's about sex; if it's not about sex, it's about who's the hardest (no pun intended); if not who's hardest, it's about hip-hop itself. It's in this musical landscape that a label like Tech N9ne's Strange Music is needed the most.
Sometimes one song can set the precedence for an album’s entirety and Chris Brown’s opening title-track, X does just that. The Diplo-produced, hip-hop/EDM comprised record symbolizes Brown’s back and forth attempt at being an R&B, hip-hop, pop and dance music star.The song starts off slow and then builds up to an uptempo dance record filled with egotistical lyrics.
Like any Wiz project, there will be a wide variety of opinions on 28 Grams, ranging from exuberant praise to vitriolic disdain.
Few rappers get a second life in the rap game. It’s nearly unheard of to lap around the competition a third time around. But then again Juicy J is not the typical rapper. He started out with his fellow Memphis native rappers and friends DJ Paul and Lord Infamous to form Three 6 Mafia in the early 90’s.
We all know the story with Wiz and his albums, it's a tale as old as time. He goes super, extra hard on his mixtapes to shut up the critics who talked bad about his albums, only to make some of the same mistakes on the next album.
Though he did fall off the map for a while, fans will remember 2012 as the year Game made his triumphant comeback. First, he released The R.E.D Album to critical acclaim and followed that up with the recent release of Jesus Piece - an album that could go down as one of Game's best.
We first heard from the young Harlemite in 2008 when she released her first single, “Google Me,” from her debut project, a mixtape titled From a Planet Called Harlem. The Jazze Pha-produced single sank low on the Billboard charts and left Teyana Taylor with something to prove.
Get Home Safely, Dom Kennedy’s second studio album and follow up to last year's Yellow Album, demonstrates Dom Kennedy’s unique ability to weave highly accessible stories into his lyrics without compromising intelligibility. Actually, it’s not a trait unique to him. Artists like Slick Rick, Snoop and Nas are known for this same technique.
Fame is a helluva drug for any celebrity. For some, it's a way of giving voice to a worthy cause. For others, it's a license to do and say whatever they feel or pursue any artistic path they choose. With The Weeknd, fame could be downright scary.
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.
Meek Mill has been through hell and back. He’s only 26-years-old but on the streets, age-wise that makes him a veteran. Growing up in the gritty, unforgiving city of Philadelphia, Meek, real name Robert Williams, fell into the same trap that a lot of his friends and many others in his age group that grew up in the same type of environment.
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.
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