On BANCO, Sir Michael Rocks is still finding his way to separate himself, both from the Cool Kids' sound, and to some degree, former versions of himself.
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.
Joey Bada$$ is a young Brooklyn emcee who was influenced by those who came before him from his region, the same way most young rappers from any region show clear influence from those who came before them in their region.
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.
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.
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.
The snare and synth-filled beats, the arrogance in the rhymes, and the claims to fame are all reasons why Tyga has gained so many followers, and this shines through on the first three tracks of Hotel California. It's this familiar, blanket sound that has garnered him the success he so rightfully brags about.
Childish Gambino has definitely come a long way from his I Am Just A Rapper days. He's found a better voice and sound, that's for sure. His latest realease, Royalty, had drummed up quite a bit of buzz before it dropped, and I was anticipating its release as well. The project does not disappoint, however, Gambino still has growth to do as a rapper. Most fans are
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.
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.
There’s something admirable about truly stepping out on your own, as your own person. You’re leaving behind that helping hand, that “co-sign,” and pursing your dreams, able to stand without the crutch.
We all know the story with Wiz and his albums, it's a tale as old as time. He goes super, extra hard on his mixtapes to shut up the critics who talked bad about his albums, only to make some of the same mistakes on the next album.
Like any Wiz project, there will be a wide variety of opinions on 28 Grams, ranging from exuberant praise to vitriolic disdain.
Tyler, the Creator's previous two solo projects were critically-acclaimed pieces of work. The success of Bastard and Goblin allowed him to garner the crazed fan base that follow his every move, but with Wolf, the Los Angeles native has moved on to something new.
Maybach: over a century old now this luxury automobile brand will soon cease production for the second time during its illustrious reign. From tanks to trains, and of course Exelero’s and Landaulet’s, Maybach has a history to be proud of. That said their legacy in the rap game is just beginning.Rick Ross began utilizing the moniker for his music group in 2008.
It hasn't been too long since we've heard from the other Mobb Deep member, Prodigy, who just released an album in July, but he's back again with his second release post-prison. There has been a lot of talk about Prodigy lately, regarding the controversy surrounding his relationship with the other half of Mobb Deep, Havoc. This time around though
Montana’s latest mixtape, which released November 20th, is a project that suffers many of the ills that plague mass appeal works. Mileage will vary by entire degrees here. For better or worse, Mac and Cheese 3 is a testament to the shift in rap culture toward more niche work. For all of that, the mixtape itself straddles the fence; it isn’t terrific or terrible.
Studio albums have a way of working as a litmus test for hip-hop's up and comers. Mixtapes and guest appearances are one thing, but for an artist to prove that he/she can create a strong cohesive album while delivering on lyrics, beats, and bravado is another. Meek Mill seems capable of preforming this balancing act with Dreams & Nightmares, a
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.
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.
For some reason or another, my timeline has recently been bombarded with a ton of Tweets and Instagram posts claiming that the Migos are better than The Beatles. As most logical rap fans can attest, there are definitely better ways to champion the trio as leaders of this new school in rap than to compare them with arguably the greatest group in the history of popular music.
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.
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.
After 2013’s wildly successful good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick Lamar had an opportunity that very few artists ever receive. For his third album, he could have continued to make tracks like the wavy “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”, the hook-laden “Fuckin’ Problem", or the festival-banging “m.A.A.d city”, and still had a top-selling album.
Meek Mill has been through hell and back. He’s only 26-years-old but on the streets, age-wise that makes him a veteran. Growing up in the gritty, unforgiving city of Philadelphia, Meek, real name Robert Williams, fell into the same trap that a lot of his friends and many others in his age group that grew up in the same type of environment.
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