• Review: Run the Jewels' (Killer Mike & El-P) "RTJ2"
    8,765 Views
    29 Likes7 Dislikes
    El-P was first brought to Killer Mike's studio to commission a beat, or two, for Mike’s R.A.P. Music. This was 2011, and Adult Swim creative director Jason DeMarco, the mutual connection, couldn't have possibly foreseen the two-headed beast he just spawned. By the end of the session, Mike knew he’d found the sole producer for his next album....
  • Review: Ab-Soul's "These Days..."
    38,668 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: August Alsina's "Testimony"
    31,133 Views
    39 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: Wiz Khalifa's "28 Grams"
    41,483 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: DJ Mustard "10 Summers"
    18,243 Views
    20 Likes7 Dislikes
    Dijon McFarlane, aka DJ Mustard, is a Los Angeles born and raised producer of seemingly all of the most important tracks you’ve heard over the past year. While that statement is obvious hyperbole, his influence on the rap stratosphere is not, and cannot be overstated. When you have producers jack what you’ve made hot, for another artist (cough, Iggy Azalea), with no shame, it means...
  • Review: Jeezy's "Seen It All: The Autobiography"
    21,002 Views
    49 Likes7 Dislikes
    Every meaningful artist takes a step back at some point in their career to dwell on their achievements and tribulations in an attempt to make sense of everything that’s happened. JAY Z accomplished this feat on wax with The Black Album. Kanye did the same on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as did Nas on Life Is Good. By sheer force of will, Jeezy has risen...
  • Review: Common "Nobody's Smiling"
    13,967 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"
    8,402 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: A$AP Ferg's "Trap Lord"
    36,521 Views
    42 Likes1 Dislikes
    Earlier this year, hip-hop bible XXL Magazine featured rappers A$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. Harlem’s own A$AP Mob, led by the somewhat eccentric A$AP Rocky, have...
  • Review: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib's "Piñata"
    17,120 Views
    41 Likes2 Dislikes
    On paper, stone cold gangster Freddie Gibbs and alt-hop producer Madlib have little in common. But after releasing several highly enjoyable EPs beginning in 2011, it quickly became apparent that the duo were capable of vibing off one another. Four songs from those EPs show up on Piñata, and the rest of its seventeen songs fall in line with their smoked-out, sample-heavy sound, creating an...
  • Review: Migos' "No Label 2"
    24,725 Views
    19 Likes4 Dislikes
    Migos’ style is something like a basketball point guard. The person at the position doesn’t need to master every aspect of the game and probably won’t — rebounding just isn’t his thing. But the person’s shortcomings are hidden by how exceedingly good he is or has to be in a few other skills, whether it’s ball handling or calling plays. Migos will probably...
  • Review: ScHoolboy Q's "Oxymoron"
    44,769 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: 50 Cent's "Animal Ambition"
    37,735 Views
    67 Likes25 Dislikes
    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. Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Kid CuDi and even Future to an extent...
  • Review: Kevin Gates' "By Any Means"
    13,436 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: Asher Roth's "RetroHash"
    13,995 Views
    32 Likes1 Dislikes
    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. His extensive fan base, constant big-name collaborations, and overall consistency with which he has made...
  • Review: Lil Herb's "Welcome To Fazoland"
    17,819 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...
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