Kevin Gates turns inward, gets super melodic on "Islah."
In a sea of melodic Southern rappers defined by their contradictions, Kevin Gates easily stands out as the most extreme.
Rihanna entered the music industry on an entirely unprecedented run, delivering seven albums that cracked the top ten, as well as 20 top ten singles, all within seven years. She released one album per year and was a mainstay on the radio, with each new single popping up just as the last was waning in popularity.
As one of the most significant rappers of the past decade, for better or worse, Kid Cudi's stamp on the genre has been inescapable. I mean, lets face it, Kanye's last 3 albums have not only featured that man in some right, but they've also had Cudi's fingerprints all over.
Listening to Chris Brown records is a bit more involved an activity than ingesting your average pop album. Listeners are required to constantly do mental arithmetic, weighing variables like catchiness and artistic merit to determine if their need to listen > the knowledge that Chris Brown has done some heinous things and your listens are enabling him, albeit in a very small way.
Twenty-five-year-old Logic, the author of four buzzworthy mixtapes and, now, with the release of The Incredible True Story and the Transformation of the Man Who Saved the World, two studio LPs, is clearly equipped with immense talent. His first studio effort, Under Pressure, was good enough to put Logic himself under pressure.
Gerald Gillum, stage name G-Eazy, is trending right now. It’s easy to assume the emcee is riding white rapper fame to the top of the charts, but the man has been grinding for years. He released six mixtapes and three studio albums before the massive success of When It’s Dark Out, so he’s no tourist in the rap game.
2015 was the year of the sprawling L.A. album, with Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and The Game all releasing projects steeped in the city's musical history and constructed in collaborative sessions with its talents, new and old.
After announcing his retirement via a poem the other night, Kobe Bryant took the court to face the Indiana Pacers for the second-to-last time in his career. He alternated between flashes of brilliance and moments that made his decision seem logical, ending up with a 13-point performance that was far cry from his glory days, but respectable for your run-of-the-mill NBA starter.
During a recent interview with Larry King, Mac Miller stated that GO:OD AM -- his major label debut under Warner Bros. -- was intended to be a departure from the "darker and sad" vibes of his previous record, Watching Movies with the Sound Off. GOD:DAMN. Mac was right on the money.
You don’t peg Erykah Badu as the type of artist to release a mixtape. Her albums are well thought-out, seemingly in every sense. They’re rich with instrumentation, passing as top-notch soul music while keeping a foot in the hip hop scene.
After dominating the majority of the most recent millennium, Free Weezy Album marks Lil Wayne's first foray into generating music without the safety net of the Cash Money Records machine that helped make him. More than that, it’s Weezy’s first opportunity to air a slew of infamous grievances, whether it be his fallout with Birdman or new beefs.
If traditional "bangers" are what you're looking for, 2015 Young Thug is not your go-to guy. You'd be better off trying some of his other locations, like 1017 Thug or I Came From Nothing 3. Maybe even take a trip on up to Black Portland if you feel so inclined.
When listening to the two nearly 80-minute-long discs that The Game has released in the past week, it doesn't take long to realize that they're both very good albums. The Documentaries 2 and 2.5 both have high-profile guests who deliver, excellent tributes to Compton, and surprising arrays of beats, which is more than you'd expect from a whopping two and a half hours
The inaugural Yams Day got off to an inauspicious start, as a shortage of security guards led to a bottleneck at the entrance to Manhattan's Terminal 5, thus forcing thousands of eager fans to wait outside the venue for an hour or more, in a temperature that can only be described as cold-as-balls.
J. Cole has come a long way from rapping about how to get up off the sideline. Three albums in, with 2014 Forest Hills Drive, the “God” is home. The Fayetteville, North Carolina native composed an honest, nostalgic album without any apologies. Cole typically plays it safe, straddling the fence of a conscious rapper who can still create commercial hits and enjoy a good romp in the bed.
Young Thug is easily one of, if not the most, interesting artist in hip-hop at this moment. The Atlanta born rapper has been all over the hip-hop headlines these past 12 months, for a variety of reasons; some good and some not so good. The latter referring to his oddly constructed "beefs" with the likes of Lil Wayne, The Game, Rich Homie Quan and most recently Plies.
Everything about The Barter 6 is enigmatic.Firstly there's its author, Young Thug. The septum-pierced, face-tattooed Atlantian emcee seemingly came out of nowhere just a few years ago, quickly earning endorsements from the likes of Kanye West, Drake, Gucci Mane, and an apparent apprenticeship with Birdman.
Sometimes, first reactions are wildly off the mark, and that was the case with me upon hearing the first few leaks from Pusha T's Darkest Before Dawn. Regardless of the production or other lyrics on "Untouchable" and "M.F.T.R.," I couldn't shake the fact that Pusha Ton was still rapping about cocaine.
Wale is most commonly thought of as The Untouchable Maybach Empire's black sheep-- the "Seinfeld"-loving, backpack blog rapper whose position among the rest of his hard-headed labelmates is perhaps best illustrated by the contrast between him and the squad's other DMV representative, Fat Trel. But Mr.
Something about the current configuration of the major label industry has proven particularly unfair for R&B auteurs. The-Dream has only managed to sputter out inconsistent EPs since his critically adored, commercially underperforming Love (Hate, Vs. Money, and King) trilogy. A similar outcome for Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange has seemingly forced its creator into hermitage.
Future has been overwhelming us lately, yet he still remains in-demand. Despite giving us back-to-back releases of three monstrous mixtapes (Beastmode, Monster and 56 Nights), the streets were literally salivating when news broke that he was dropping Dirty Sprite 2.
The singing equivalent of Jay Electronica? Hardly. Some grandiose, Detox-style statement? Nah. The Chinese Democracy of R&B? Bruh.
People have really been into ranking their all-time top MCs lately. About a year ago, Chris Rock revealed his in the trailer for his film "Top Five": "Jay, Nas, Scarface, Rakim... and then I might let Biggie get in there.
Rick Ross has made a career off directly opposing the idea of rap as reality, painting gangster tales with strokes so broad and bold that the final product seemed exaggerated even before we learned of his past as a corrections officer.
Curren$y built the foundation of his following on a legendary run of mixtapes that started around the 2008 era. It was seven (count 'em!) tapes of spitting over classic hip hop beats with a fresh flow that poised him to be the next big thing in New Orleans hip hop.
Meek Mill’s new album sounds like the Apocalypse. Not the actual, devastating end-of-days, but the cinematic equivalent we’ve come to expect from our summer blockbusters: a free-wheeling, no-stakes madhouse of destruction complete with swelling strings, chanting choirs and Earth-shaking war drumbeats that could bring a tear to Clint Mansell’s eye.
Rap was born in New York, but it’s been splitting time in a few cities lately. It has a condo in Chicago, a house in the Los Angeles area. Rap probably has a couch to crash on in Houston and goes to Toronto a couple times a year as well. Most recently it has spent a boatload of time in Atlanta.
Breakout Chicago emcee Mick Jenkins raps, “With perfect pitch, I’m screaming free my niggas/ polished and purposeful, he’s producing pristine pictures.” These rhymes-- which open “P’s & Q’s,” the eighth track off Jenkins’ latest effort, Wave[s]-- encapsulate both the ethos of this nine track EP, and one of its major shortcomings.
Despite his notoriety as a pioneer of Southern rap music and lyrical depth, Scarface remains low-key with his legendary status. And reasonably so. There’s a lot going on in the mind of the 44-year-old Geto Boy.
In terms of rappers from different area codes that join forces for a mixtape, Drake and Future are one of the strangest pairs we've seen in a minute.