Review: Ab-Soul's "These Days..."

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...

  • Review: Ab-Soul's "These Days..."
    34,246 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: The-Dream's "Royalty: The Prequel" EP
    4,321 Views
    8 Likes3 Dislikes
    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. Royalty: The Prequel is...
  • Review: Iamsu!'s "Sincerely Yours"
    11,572 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: Wiz Khalifa's "28 Grams"
    38,138 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"
    29,190 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: Hopsin's "Knock Madness"
    19,597 Views
    25 Likes4 Dislikes
    To say Hopsin's third album is long overdue is like saying FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina was slightly delayed. It's been three years since he dropped his critically acclaimed sophomore album Raw. Since then, he's toured the country extensively and landed a spot on XXL's 2013 Freshman list. But unlike his fellow alumni French Montana, Macklemore, Kid Ink and Machine Gun Kelly, Hop didn't...
  • Review: Trey Songz's "Trigga"
    18,283 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: RiFF RAFF's "NEON iCON"
    22,315 Views
    31 Likes23 Dislikes
    Today marks the culmination of the strangest rap career genesis this country’s ever seen, one that has included an MTV reality show, a hip-hop trio name Three Loco, OG Ron C, a Harmony Korine film, a slew of investigative articles and perhaps most importantly, about as much hate as the internet can muster. The career in question is that of RiFF RAFF, AKA Jody Highroller, Jody Three Moons,...
  • Review: Iggy Azalea's "The New Classic"
    21,063 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: J. Cole's "Born Sinner"
    45,882 Views
    50 Likes9 Dislikes
    Cole World: The Sideline Story was considered somewhat of a disappointment to fans who really knew the raw talent that J. Cole posseses. The storyteller and the street smart rapper that fans loved was missing in his debut album. This time around Cole delivers a more cohesive project, with tracks easily flowing one by one to create a complete concept: Born Sinner. He comes on strong with the...
  • Review: YG's "My Krazy Life"
    38,901 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...
  • Review: Tech N9ne's "Strangeulation"
    12,929 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: Migos' "No Label 2"
    23,274 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: J. Cole's "Revenge of the Dreamers" Compilation
    29,029 Views
    25 Likes2 Dislikes
    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. His recent release of this compilation project celebrates...
  • Review: Machine Gun Kelly's "Black Flag"
    48,779 Views
    24 Likes3 Dislikes
    Call him Steve-O. The Cleveland Wild Boy is back with his new mixtape, Black Flag. Featuring all original music, the free album is more or less a gift to his dedicated EST fanbase. This project comes not too long after Machine Gun Kelly’s debut studio album, Lace Up, which released in October of last year. Nevertheless, MGK certainly didn’t rush the making of his latest mixtape. Triumphant...
  • Review: Chris Brown’s "X-Files" EP
    29,650 Views
    36 Likes1 Dislikes
    Chris Brown's new X-Files EP features six brand new tracks that didn't make the final cut for his highly anticipated yet perpetually delayed album X. Although the singer has attempted to distance himself from the media lens and his missteps outside of entertaining, for many listeners, the line between his personal life and his music will remain forever blurred. The EP dropped...
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