Theophilus London's sophomore album is the good 'Vibes,' both on the surface and when you dig a little deeper.
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.
More than two years ago Rockie Fresh and Casey Veggies teamed up for the first time together on “Duckin N Dodgin,” which winded up on Fresh’s The Otherside Redux. The song pitted the two up and coming rappers together and although they were from different time zones, the chemistry between the two was obvious. Fast-forward to the present.
Since 1993, Sean “Diddy” Combs has always kept his finger on the pulse of trends in hip-hop music. When he founded Bad Boy, he assembled a roster that included one of the greatest rappers of all time. Never one to rest on his laurels, Diddy continued to reinvent his label to stay current with the time.
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.
Smoke DZA fans have seen the Harlem rapper’s growth from his last few projects. He went from hard-hitting straight-laced lyrics in George Kush Da Button to a street storyteller in Rugby Thompson. Back with the long awaited and highly anticipated Dream.ZONE.Achieve, DZA sets out to prove that he has a lot more to talk about than just marijuana.
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.
It’s been hard to turn on the radio in the past year or so and not hear French Montana’s rich yet slurred delivery coming through the speakers. The Moroccan born, Bronx, NY bred rapper’s rise to the top may seem like it happened overnight but that’s far from the case.
J.Cole is following the formula that seems to be the norm in the rap game nowadays. In a quest to drum up some buzz for his sophomore album, the Roc Nation rapper has released some new free music. Fans were a little disappointed when Born Sinner, originally slated for a late January release, suffered a few delays. To make up for the wait, J. Cole released Truly Yours, a five-track EP.
The Marshall Mathers LP dropped in 2000 and became the fastest selling solo album of all time, influencing a whole generation of artists with its unique and in-depth look into the bizarre world of Eminem. The album was sandwiched in between Slim Shady LP and The Eminem Show – two other classic albums that are every bit as influential today as they were a decade ago.
Ghostface Killah’s new LP 36 Seasons comes to us just one week after the release of Wu-Tang Clan’s A Better Tomorrow. While the latter LP received lukewarm reviews due to questionably experimental tracks, 36 Seasons is the exact opposite. It is concise and precise, using that classic Wu sound to march along an incredible story line while The Revelations provide the production.
“Prince Akeem, they throw flowers at my feet, nigga!” Drake declares in the intro of his third album. In 2009, he released the highly-acclaimed So Far Gone mixtape and since then the half Jewish, half Black kid from Canada has gone on sell millions of records, sell out concerts, become insanely rich and currently holds the title for most number one songs on the Billboard rap charts.
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.
T-Pain dropped his new mixtape at the end of last week. After keeping busy with three mixtapes and four studio records in less than a decade, T-Pain went dark with no releases since 2012, until now.
This tape has been something that Pro Era fans have no doubt been waiting patiently for after their last releases were back in 2012. The Secc$ Tap.e 2 does nothing but feed the hunger of fans and add to the weight that has fallen onto the crew’s shoulders as it proves that the Beast Coast Movement is in full force.
Lil Wayne hasn’t stood center stage since Tha Carter IV dropped. Furthermore, he hasn’t released a mixtape since Sorry For The Wait. So when Dedication 4 was announced the excitement went into a fever pitch. Now after an array of delays Wayne and Drama have unleashed the latest chapter on the world. Similar to the volumes before, number four is a collection of beats, both new
Only a handful of artists release as much content as Curren$y does. Some can match the quantity, but none can top the quality. Spitta Andretti is known for releasing album-quality mixtapes at a constant rate, giving fans all they can digest. 2013’s New Jet City was one of the hottest mixtapes of the year, and his latest offering The Drive In Theatre doesn’t disappoint either.
Right off the bat, YG’s fifth mixtape Just Re’d Up 2 illustrates just what the Californian rapper is all about. Starting bold from the second track with bumping 808’s and underscored by synthesizers, “Im 4Rm Brompton” really sets the tone for the mixtape’s high energy.
Kid Ink may have suddenly rose to popularity with the 2012 catchy hit “Time of Your Life” but the California rapper has been at it longer than that. Releasing his first mixtape in 2010, Kid Ink, real name Brian Collins, gained a slew of fans with his laid-back style and blend of singing and rapping.
Fabolous hasn't released a studio album since 2009 but has dropped four strong mixtapes in the three years since, the latest of which was The Soul Tape 2, a mixtape that should convince label heads to give Fabolous the distribution he deserves. The first two tracks are dope and gives hope that this will be a classic mixtape by the Brooklyn rapper, but then he segways into "Bite,"an unimagina
Originality is a rarity in modern hip-hop, and when an experimental album comes along, it tends to polarize listeners initially. Take Kanye West's new album Yeezus, for example. Its minimalism, raw emotion and amalgamation of genres was difficult for many diehard fans to stomach at first (not to mention the left-field visuals).
After a few listens to Nicki Minaj's latest album, The Pinkprint, it is pretty clear that, to a certain extent, she does pay attention to critics. Her last album, 2012's Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, was universally panned in reviews for being disjointed, gimmicky and lackluster, among other things.
June 18th might as well have been Christmas Day for hip-hop fans. Kanye West’s highly anticipated album Yeezus finally hit the shelves. Determined to go against one of the heavyweights of rap, J. Cole decided to move up his sophomore album Born Sinner to compete with West.
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.
T.I. has been a man on a mission after his second prison stint. Following the success of his eighth studio album, Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head, he once again travels back to his trapping roots. This time he’s joined by the roster he personally assembled on his Grand Hustle label for Hustle Gang’s G.D.O.D., the label’s first compilation mixtape.
Signing to T.I.'s Grand Hustle label has been a stroke of good fortune for Trae Tha Truth. The Houston rapper's career has unfortunately been plagued by the loss of some his closest friends, shootings and controversy with radio executives. Despite this, he's continued to make music and does a commendable job on this new 20-track tape.
Since the release of We Are Young Money in 2009, Nicki Minaj has risen from femme fatale on the rise after dropping the excellent Beam Me Up Scotty to ubiquitous representative of aggressive femininity. Drake, once Lil Wayne’s fresh-faced protégé, is now the biggest crossover success in hip-hop — not just Young Money.
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.
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.
The North Carolina-born and Georgia raised singer-songwriter and producer set out to pay homage to hip hop and his Southern roots on the follow up to his 2013 album, IV Play. Sonically, more like the follow up to his first free release, 1977, which was released under his government name, Terius Nash in 2011 and rereleased by Def Jam for commercial sale the following year.
In February of 2012, Pro Era’s Joey Bada$$ and Capital STEEZ dropped the visuals for their collaboration “Survival Tactics,” which quickly went viral. Crowned the future of New York rap, Bada$$ served the perfect blend of youthful, braggadocio-tinged rhymes, and laid-back flows-- not to mention an ear for classic 90s-referencing production that would make Gangstarr proud.