Bobby Shmurda has undeniable star power and a strong ear for production, but "Shmurda She Wrote" leaves more technical (and sociological) questions than definitive answers.
It’s been a long road to the top for Big Sean. Back in 2005 after hearing Kanye West was going to be at a local radio station in Detroit for an interview, Big Sean headed down there to chance fate. Two years later he signed with G.O.O.D. Music but it wasn’t until 2011 that his debut album Finally Famous would hit the shelves.
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.
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.
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.
Tech N9ne has been in the rap game for well over two decades but he flew under mainstream’s radar for much of his career. Shooting off lyrics with the speed of an automatic weapon, he earned a legion of fans through relentless tours to small cities in the heartland of the country.
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.
Originality is a rarity in modern hip-hop, and when an experimental album comes along, it tends to polarize listeners initially. Take Kanye West's new album Yeezus, for example. Its minimalism, raw emotion and amalgamation of genres was difficult for many diehard fans to stomach at first (not to mention the left-field visuals).
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.
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.
In a way, Coke Boys 4 is exactly what was expected. Plenty of features, varied production, and a heavy supply of trunk bangers make this a typical French Montana project. This time around, OTF rapper Lil Durk was notably involved after recently joining forces with the Coke Boy family. Even with Durk's contributions, however, the mixtape lacks originality.
An important facet of memorable groups throughout hip-hop history is chemistry: the dynamics every member brings to the table is an essential part of a group's success. Black Hippy's rise to the top has been so prevalent and quick because each of their four main members - Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar - each bring something radically different to what the crew represents.
First things first, there's a few things you'll need to effectively set the mood for this one. $ign Language isn't a middle of the afternoon at your office listen, as we quickly learned. Fast forward to a little later at your crib, where you've presumably acquired the 40's of malt, a pile of your favorite strain, and two to three bad bitches that will really make this mixtape ring true.
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.
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.
Fame is a helluva drug for any celebrity. For some, it's a way of giving voice to a worthy cause. For others, it's a license to do and say whatever they feel or pursue any artistic path they choose. With The Weeknd, fame could be downright scary.
There was a time not too long ago when Lil Wayne was widely considered the best rapper alive. Since 2009's No Ceilings, Lil Tunechi has left fans scratching their heads and wondering what happened to the once dominant Mixtape Weezy. All that mediocrity recently caught up to the Young Money star. Tunechi wasn't nominated for this year's MTV VMAs or the BET Awards.
Drake’s highly anticipated sophomore album “Take Care” was officially released today...but most likely you’ve been listening to it for the past week if you downloaded the leak, nonetheless now that it’s official let’s discuss it.
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.
Following the release of T.I.’s last two somewhat lackluster albums, 2010's No Mercy and 2012's Trouble Man, combined with the rise of new age rap stars like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J.
Future is lightyears ahead of his time. Since touching down in 2012 with his Epic Records debut album Pluto, the Freeband Gang founder has continued hustling as an artist. The sloppy, melodic flow Future introduced on Pluto has been used by virtually every trapper who’s poppin’ today, and U.O.E.N.O. it.
Bobby Ray is often cited as one of today’s underrated rappers. In the past, his hip hop game has come under fire for infusing pop and rock into his music. He’s also been dubbed a “sell-out” many a time, for creating radio winners. On Underground Luxury, he fights the critics bringing more of a hip hop feel.
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.
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.
Casey Veggies’ new mixtape exhibits a tighter production level than his previous works, an indication of the help and experience he’s amassed since his junior high days. The songs are all originals, making the mixtape worthy in title as an album, all except for the creative bottleneck of a big record company.
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