Chris Brown's sixth album, "X," is a tardy attempt at redemption.
Every meaningful artist takes a step back at some point in their career to dwell on their achievements and tribulations in an attempt to make sense of everything that’s happened. JAY Z accomplished this feat on wax with The Black Album. Kanye did the same on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as did Nas on Life Is Good.
It's no secret that hip-hop at large is lacking in original content. If the music isn't about money, it's about sex; if it's not about sex, it's about who's the hardest (no pun intended); if not who's hardest, it's about hip-hop itself. It's in this musical landscape that a label like Tech N9ne's Strange Music is needed the most.
Joell Ortiz changed this album’s title from Yaowa, basically because this is him at his most comfortable. In Hip Hop, getting too comfortable can sometimes lead to a decline in effort due to loss of hunger. Anyone familiar with Joell Ortiz would probably find it hard to imagine him not putting effort into a project, comfortable or not.
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.
When Young Money released their We Are Young Money album four years ago, they were undeniably the hottest team in hip-hop. Lil Wayne's army was young and hungry, as artists like Tyga and Nicki Minaj had yet to develop into superstars. Veterans such as Mystikal and Busta Rhymes have since joined the Young Money militia, though have failed to make a lasting impact with the group.
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.
Review: Rich Homie Quan's "I Promise I Will Never Stop Going In" Dec 5, 2013 at 06:30pm 28,388 Views
Rich Homie Quan dominated the summer with his smash single “Type of Way.” The song made its way onto the Billboard chart and helped catapult the Atlanta rapper’s career (and bank account) into a new stratosphere.
With Chief Keef, King L, Lil Reese and Lil Durk signing to major labels in 2013, Chicago's drill scene saw all of its major stars graduating to more commercial successes, leaving vacancies in the underground mixtape scene that the genre was born from.
T-Pain dropped his new mixtape at the end of last week. After keeping busy with three mixtapes and four studio records in less than a decade, T-Pain went dark with no releases since 2012, until now.
Signing to T.I.'s Grand Hustle label has been a stroke of good fortune for Trae Tha Truth. The Houston rapper's career has unfortunately been plagued by the loss of some his closest friends, shootings and controversy with radio executives. Despite this, he's continued to make music and does a commendable job on this new 20-track tape.
PARTYNEXTDOOR is Canadian rising star Jahron Brathwaite, formerly a producer of soft, sunny R&B with EDM inflections. His first wide release under the new name represented a new label situation, through signing with Drake’s OVO Sound, and a fully realized change in sound and lyrical content.
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.
Get Home Safely, Dom Kennedy’s second studio album and follow up to last year's Yellow Album, demonstrates Dom Kennedy’s unique ability to weave highly accessible stories into his lyrics without compromising intelligibility. Actually, it’s not a trait unique to him. Artists like Slick Rick, Snoop and Nas are known for this same technique.
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.
The first Luca Brasi Story, released last February, put Kevin Gates on the map. Soon after, he quietly inked a partnership with Atlantic and a management deal with Young Money. He put out another excellent mixtape, Stranger Than Fiction, months later, and he’s had a similar 2014 in terms of output: two mixtapes, both excellent.
We first heard from the young Harlemite in 2008 when she released her first single, “Google Me,” from her debut project, a mixtape titled From a Planet Called Harlem. The Jazze Pha-produced single sank low on the Billboard charts and left Teyana Taylor with something to prove.
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.
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.
Few rappers get a second life in the rap game. It’s nearly unheard of to lap around the competition a third time around. But then again Juicy J is not the typical rapper. He started out with his fellow Memphis native rappers and friends DJ Paul and Lord Infamous to form Three 6 Mafia in the early 90’s.
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.
Straight out of Long Beach, CA, Joey Fatts is the epitome of a rapper from the streets. He tells his story of being raised in the same neighborhood that was home to hip hop legends Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg on Ill Streets Blues. Similar to them, he is able to inspire and motivate with lyrics that detail the hard work, dedication, and heart necessary to make it out of the streets.
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.
Lloyd Banks' pedigree as an ill emcee speaks for itself at this point. During G-Unit’s active days, Banks was widely considered the best pure spitter in the group. Very little has changed in that regard; if anything Banks' career since the early 2000s has distinguished him as one of the most technically savvy rappers out. F.N.O. (Failure's No Option) only makes it easier to argue the case.
Most of the album's best qualities are present in the intro and and title track: catchy hooks, hard-hitting lyrics, confidant flows, obscure topics and absolutely amazing production.
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