The product of a street-hardened G from Indiana and a blunted beatsmith from Cali joining forces.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
On Monday night, The Weeknd took on his first ever show at Madison Square Garden, perhaps the most elite venue listed on his fall "Madness" tour, sponsored by his new XO-branded PAX vaporizer. All 18,000 seats began steadily filling up during opening sets by Travi$ Scott and Banks.
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.
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.
Fabolous has always done a solid job at blending in with his environment. Whether he’s cutting with DJ Clue and The Neptunes in 2001 or jiving with Rich Homie Quan in 2015, he’s done a phenomenal job at adapting to change and staying relevant, something that is easier said than done.
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.
With this month’s release of his compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers, it’s clear that 29 is J. Cole’s lucky number. The recording artist and producer turned 29 this year, on the 29th of January, and on that same day tweeted publicly to announce the launch of his label Dreamville, partnering with Interscope Records.
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.
Releasing two full length albums in one year is a rare feat most rappers will never accomplish, but in a sense, it's really nothing new for Rick Ross, who yesterday released Hood Billionaire, his second solo album of the year. The rapper has been dropping albums, along with mixtapes that have been considered to be as good as albums, within months of each other for years now.
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!”
A weird thing happens when an artist gets signed to a major label. It seems, no matter how talented they are, no matter how much their fans are willing to support, debut albums almost always come up short. There have been exceptions, of course. (Logic's Under Pressure being the most recent example.) But, more often than not, the curse of a major label signing is very real.
In recent history, there’s been a few kinds of rap albums: the long ones and the short ones, those with lots of features and those kept rather personal. A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, and The Social Experiment went with longer listens peppered with tons of flavor from their friends and collaborators.
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.
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.
Although he’s been in the rap game since the early '90s, Pusha T had yet to release a studio solo album. Until now. As one-half of the Clipse with his brother (now) No Malice, Push saw his popularity rise with their hit single “Grindin.” Three albums and 16 years later, Push, real name Terrence Thornton and his brother parted ways musically to work on their solo careers.
Two years ago, Jay-Z and Kanye West joined forces and crowned themselves the kings of rap. After an extensive worldwide Watch The Throne tour, the two went back to their separate careers to work on solo projects. Although they both welcomed a brand new baby in the last year and a half, they couldn’t be in more different places musically.
There was a time not too long ago when Lil Wayne was widely considered the best rapper alive. Since 2009's No Ceilings, Lil Tunechi has left fans scratching their heads and wondering what happened to the once dominant Mixtape Weezy. All that mediocrity recently caught up to the Young Money star. Tunechi wasn't nominated for this year's MTV VMAs or the BET Awards.
After a long wait, SURF is finally here. The debut LP from The Social Experiment (aka SOX) is billed as Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment despite the fact that the band’s biggest star is obviously Chance The Rapper. The album features, although they aren’t listed on the iTunes version of the free album, the likes of J.
Probably not as Finally Rich falls short of the hype surrounding it.Finally Rich certainly does have an allure to it. Keef’s undeniable talent for catchy hooks and his ability to transmute energy to sound is appealing. Plain and simple. However, this appeal is primal, subliminal.
Last year in March, Kid Ink reached a big milestone for a new artist: his single “Show Me” featuring Chris Brown went double Platinum.
The members of Wu-Tang Clan have always made songs that sort of play out like the soundtrack for some NYC-meets-Tokyo urban Kung Fu flick, but with 12 Reasons To Die II, Ghostface and company take the concept record route to develop a fine-tuned project.
Lucki Eck$ is one of the more interesting figures in today's rap scene. He may not have a "Trap Queen" under his belt, but with a unique sound, a few solid mixtapes, and no shortage of music videos, the 19-year-old rapper has built an image that his devoted fanbase can't get enough of.
DJ Khaled has been behind some of the hottest records of the last few years and if there's one thing he's made consistently clear it's that he has a winning formula for hits. This is also his greatest fault. It's never been so clear how one dimensional DJ Khaled's music really is than here on Suffering From Success, the DJ's seventh studio album.
In the past year, Willie Maxwell, best known to the world as the one-eyed rapper Fetty Wap, has had one of the most monumental rises in rap in the past few years. Despite being a relative newcomer, the Patterson, NJ-based rapper's debut single "Trap Queen" has become a phenomenal smash hit, the kind that most rappers don't achieve in the ever-segmented radio of the 21st century.
The evolutions of Donald Glover and Childish Gambino appeared mutually exclusive until recently, with the masses not completely sold on either. Glover was either "that guy from that show,” or “Troy!!!!” The Gambino character was viewed as a playful, non-threatening side project, by fans of Glover’s work, and other rappers.