Review: G-Unit's "The Beauty of Independence"

After he proved he was a bankable rapper, 50 Cent started his own imprint and made G-Unit his first priority. For a while Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck and Fiddy were consistently putting out...

  • Review: G-Unit's "The Beauty of Independence"
    40,257 Views
    69 Likes14 Dislikes
    After he proved he was a bankable rapper, 50 Cent started his own imprint and made G-Unit his first priority. For a while Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck and Fiddy were consistently putting out quality music that fed the streets. But all good things must come to an end. In the Unit's case, the general fell out with first Young Buck and kicked him out of the group. This was already after Cali...
  • Review: Stalley's "Ohio"
    18,154 Views
    33 Likes11 Dislikes
    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. Born Kyle Myricks, Stalley's career revolves largely around his homestate. Ohio isn't known for hip-hop culture, or any strong form of culture for that...
  • Review: Teyana Taylor's "VII"
    8,589 Views
    17 Likes1 Dislikes
    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. Before her musical debut, Taylor was featured on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16,” showcasing her...
  • Review: Ab-Soul's "These Days..."
    38,957 Views
    59 Likes16 Dislikes
    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. On his deeply moving, autobiographical track "Book...
  • Review: PARTYNEXTDOOR "PARTYNEXTDOOR TWO"
    28,665 Views
    26 Likes8 Dislikes
    PARTYNEXTDOOR is Canadian rising star Jahron Brathwaite, formerly a producer of soft, sunny R&B with EDM inflections. His first wide release under the new name represented a new label situation, through signing with Drake’s OVO Sound, and a fully realized change in sound and lyrical content. Taking a sexually aggressive tone, with dark, bass heavy atmospheres, PARTYNEXTDOOR combines it...
  • Review: Wiz Khalifa's "28 Grams"
    41,750 Views
    35 Likes41 Dislikes
    Like any Wiz project, there will be a wide variety of opinions on 28 Grams, ranging from exuberant praise to vitriolic disdain. This variance in opinion is common for Young Khalifa, as Wiz has been riding the same strange roller coaster as Weezy the last few years, delivering excellent mixtape projects like Taylor Allderdice and Cabin Fever 2 while disappointing most with his retail...
  • Review: August Alsina's "Testimony"
    31,401 Views
    40 Likes7 Dislikes
    2014 has been quite the year for debut albums thus far. Already, we’ve seen debut studio LPs from Cali artists Kid Ink, ScHoolboy Q, and YG. Now, about a year after he first splashed into mainstream Hip-hop/R&B, New Orleans singer August Alsina delivers his Def Jam debut album, Testimony. In 2013, Alsina released the radio-buzzing single “I Luv This Shit” featuring labelmate...
  • Review: Lil Herb's "Welcome To Fazoland"
    18,032 Views
    29 Likes3 Dislikes
    With Chief Keef, King L, Lil Reese and Lil Durk signing to major labels in 2013, Chicago's drill scene saw all of its major stars graduating to more commercial successes, leaving vacancies in the underground mixtape scene that the genre was born from. Enter Lil Bibby and Lil Herb, two MCs ages 19 and 18, respectively, who seemed to be the "Heir Apparents" to the scene, especially after using that...
  • Review: Tech N9ne's "Strangeulation"
    14,303 Views
    19 Likes2 Dislikes
    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. When reviewing Young Money’s recent Rise of...
  • Review: Common "Nobody's Smiling"
    14,161 Views
    8 Likes6 Dislikes
    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. And this goes beyond the conscious label or being a representative of “real hip-hop.” Common’s best works have been guided by a sense of empathy whether it’s through his famous personification of...
  • Review: Rittz's "Next To Nothing"
    8,600 Views
    29 Likes1 Dislikes
    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. A collective of some of the most bizarre (read: interesting) voices...
  • Review: Theophilus London's "Vibes"
    12,789 Views
    7 Likes5 Dislikes
    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.  He's released a few mixtapes and a...
  • Review: ScHoolboy Q's "Oxymoron"
    44,971 Views
    91 Likes8 Dislikes
    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....
  • Review: Kevin Gates' "By Any Means"
    13,615 Views
    14 Likes11 Dislikes
    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. It seems fitting that what could serve as a breakthrough project for Gates drops right around the time that Boosie, who helped...
  • Review: Trey Songz's "Trigga"
    20,820 Views
    29 Likes16 Dislikes
    The average man thinks about sex between one and 388 times per day; Trey Songz isn’t your average man. In his nine years of making music, the twenty-nine-year-old has made it abundantly clear that sex is pretty much all he thinks about. One might even say he invented it. In a way, Songz's one-dimensionality is a gift and curse. On one hand, when you’re recording the same song for...
  • Review: CyHi The Prynce's "Black Hystori Project"
    13,583 Views
    34 Likes1 Dislikes
    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. BHP opens up with an elementary school...
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