Review: Common "Nobody's Smiling"

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...

  • Review: Common "Nobody's Smiling"
    11,546 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: Curren$y's "The Drive In Theatre"
    17,857 Views
    23 Likes1 Dislikes
    Only a handful of artists release as much content as Curren$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. The...
  • Review: Ab-Soul's "These Days..."
    35,033 Views
    58 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: Wiz Khalifa's "28 Grams"
    38,613 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: Trey Songz's "Trigga"
    18,633 Views
    28 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: Mac Miller's "Faces"
    35,300 Views
    72 Likes4 Dislikes
    Have you ever seen the viral video of Susan Boyle performing for the first time on Britain’s Got Talent? A superficially unattractive older woman walks out onto the stage to perform a song before hundreds of people and four judges. Before she even gets an opportunity to sing, the crowd is halfway out their seats with laughter. Then she opened her mouth and silenced all haters. Mac...
  • Review: Iggy Azalea's "The New Classic"
    21,299 Views
    13 Likes10 Dislikes
    Defining a “classic” is no easy task. The first factor is obviously the quality of the music. Here we ask the basic questions: Are there any unnecessary tracks? Does the production impress without outshining the lyrics? The usual surface stuff that’s easy to assess on two full listens. After the surface level is cleared, an album has to separate itself from the pack. Most of the...
  • Review: B.o.B.'s "No Genre 2"
    10,136 Views
    16 Likes5 Dislikes
    B.o.B. is one of those artist that currently stands in a grey area: he's attained mainstream success thanks to catchy tunes, but he's also a seasoned rapper, and finds himself balancing between full-out pop music and more hardened hip-hop. So who are his main fans, the picky hip-hop heads or the avid radio listeners? On No Genre 2 he makes a plea for both.  Three years, two albums and two...
  • Review: 50 Cent's "Animal Ambition"
    35,551 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: August Alsina's "Testimony"
    29,402 Views
    38 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: Migos' "No Label 2"
    23,433 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"
    43,536 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: Slaughterhouse's "House Rules"
    15,016 Views
    21 Likes1 Dislikes
    In the hip-hop industry, there are four kinds of artists: those who have crossover appeal, those who don’t, those who choose not to, and those who shouldn’t. Slaughterhouse, as a collective and as solo members, simply shouldn’t. Crooked, Royce, Budden and Ortiz could be raking in commercials deals right now, dropping radio hits with Bruno Mars and releasing studio albums once a...
  • Review: Tech N9ne's "Strangeulation"
    13,022 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: Iamsu!'s "Sincerely Yours"
    11,678 Views
    14 Likes4 Dislikes
    It only took one day for Iamsu!’s debut album, Sincerely Yours, to reach iTunes’ top album charts, a feat which is, quite frankly, surprising. Though the album is not a flop, it’s not a work of artistic genius either. There is nothing about this album that differentiates it from his previous seven albums, and many of the songs on it sound alike. The Richmond rapper’s...
  • Review: YG's "My Krazy Life"
    39,038 Views
    59 Likes10 Dislikes
    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. As fans awaited his debut album, he...
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