Meek Mill's debut album is a solid and energetic (for the most part) effort, but proves the emcee still has growth to do as an artist.
Freddie Gibbs is a veteran in the rap game but it’s taken him a decade to put out his first studio album. Cutting his teeth on the mixtape circuit, Gibbs released a steady stream of solid projects rife with stories of the drug game. After signing with Interscope Records, Gibbs was shuffled to the back of the bus before being dropped altogether.
In superhero literature, it's not uncommon for an aging master like Bruce Wayne to find himself a protégé. Often arriving at our hero's lowest point -- after the death in the family or, perhaps, a critical injury -- this stranger inspires the hero to get back to doing what he does best: fighting crime and selling a ton of movie theater tickets.
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.
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.
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.
Even while behind bars, Gucci Mane has proved that he can produce quality music no matter where he is. His newest mixtape, also available on iTunes, Brick Factory Vol.1, is assumed as one of several compilations to follow, and the series is off to an impressive start.
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.
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.
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.
“I am the struggle. I am the hustle. I am the city. I’m the pot in the kitchen.” Yo Gotti raps on the title track of his latest album, I Am. The self-proclaimed king of Memphis has been involved in the trap game for a while now, and he has much to share, telling stories through out his new album, I Am. Gotti‘s strong southern influence is clearly shown throughout the 13-track project.
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.
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
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.
Following the earlier release of their debut project Indigoism this year The Underachievers are back with a solid new mixtape, The Lords of Flatbush reasserting their undeniable spot in the Beast Coast movement.
Wale may be a victim of bad timing. While most rap fans were in their glory last week with the release of albums from Kanye West, J. Cole and Mac Miller, others are feverishly looking forward to Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, which is dropping on Independence Day. The release date of Wale's third album is stuck in the middle.
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.
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.
As a member of the Cool Kids, Sir Michael Rocks helped pioneer the current “cool kid” rap and fashion swag, since borrowed by a number of your favorite artists. They were the next big thing, even featured in a nationally aired Rhapsody commercial, with future star Sara Bareilles.
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.
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.
Although Joe Budden, Royce Da 5’9, Joell Ortiz, and Crooked I all struggled independently for years, in 2008 all of that changed when they collaborated for a song on Budden’s Halfway House album. Thereafter they took the title of said song and made a group out of it. Slaughterhouse even released an independent album. Yet, it wasn't until they signed to Shady
It's been seven years since the Wu-Tang Clan released their last proper album, 8 Diagrams, but of course, that doesn’t mean the members of rap’s greatest clan have been prepping for an early retirement. Not by a long shot.
In the era of Yeezus Christ and King Kendrick, it's easy to fall into the mindset that every hip-hop album should be an experiment in pushing hip-hop forward. Every track should ooze with idealism and what's new. This feeling goes double for mixtapes. Freed from the binds of needing to make something that is commercially viable, rappers are able to let their wildest experiments roam.
Ty Dolla $ign delivered his Beach House 2 mixtape just in time for summer. At first glance, the tape's tracklist looks iffy. There's at least one guest appearance on each song, something which is often frowned upon by devout fans and critics. However, flooding a project with features has been done successfully before, as was the case with The Game's 2012 album Jesus Piece.
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