Review: Common "Nobody's Smiling"

A mostly levelheaded veteran who’s open about his distant relationship with Chicago, Common is the only 30-plus rapper who could’ve made a Nobody’s Smiling. And this goes beyond the...

  • Review: Common "Nobody's Smiling"
    13,570 Views
    8 Likes6 Dislikes
    A mostly levelheaded veteran who’s open about his distant relationship with Chicago, Common is the only 30-plus rapper who could’ve made a Nobody’s Smiling. And this goes beyond the conscious label or being a representative of “real hip-hop.” Common’s best works have been guided by a sense of empathy whether it’s through his famous personification of...
  • Review: Slaughterhouse's "House Rules"
    15,926 Views
    21 Likes1 Dislikes
    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. Crooked, Royce, Budden and Ortiz could be raking in commercials deals right now, dropping radio hits with Bruno Mars and releasing studio albums once a...
  • Review: Asher Roth's "RetroHash"
    13,640 Views
    32 Likes1 Dislikes
    It's fair to presume that some hip-hop fans have slept on Asher Roth over the years. Some still associate him only with his 2009 platinum-selling hit "I Love College". If you find yourself in this category, it's time to recognize one of the best lyrical, smooth-flowing rappers in the game. His extensive fan base, constant big-name collaborations, and overall consistency with which he has made...
  • Review: Hopsin's "Knock Madness"
    20,266 Views
    25 Likes4 Dislikes
    To say Hopsin's third album is long overdue is like saying FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina was slightly delayed. It's been three years since he dropped his critically acclaimed sophomore album Raw. Since then, he's toured the country extensively and landed a spot on XXL's 2013 Freshman list. But unlike his fellow alumni French Montana, Macklemore, Kid Ink and Machine Gun Kelly, Hop didn't...
  • Review: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib's "Piñata"
    16,783 Views
    41 Likes2 Dislikes
    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. Four songs from those EPs show up on Piñata, and the rest of its seventeen songs fall in line with their smoked-out, sample-heavy sound, creating an...
  • Review: Machine Gun Kelly's "Black Flag"
    49,385 Views
    24 Likes3 Dislikes
    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. Triumphant...
  • Review: B.o.B's "Underground Luxury"
    20,370 Views
    20 Likes2 Dislikes
    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. B.o.B manages to deliver a good set of tracks here, as the album...
  • Review: Game's "Jesus Piece"
    43,987 Views
    81 Likes7 Dislikes
    Though he did fall off the map for a while, fans will remember 2012 as the year Game made his triumphant comeback. First, he released The R.E.D Album to critical acclaim and followed that up with the recent release of Jesus Piece - an album that could go down as one of Game's best. From the eerie synth in the opening seconds of "Scared Now" to the last thought-provoking lyrics of "Blood...
  • Review: Childish Gambino's "Because The Internet"
    43,980 Views
    69 Likes7 Dislikes
    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). Childish Gambino's Because the Internet has similarly polarized...
  • Review: Dom Kennedy's "Get Home Safely"
    26,717 Views
    27 Likes2 Dislikes
    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. Of course, most rappers are adept...
  • Review: B.o.B.'s "No Genre 2"
    10,793 Views
    17 Likes5 Dislikes
    B.o.B. is one of those artist that currently stands in a grey area: he's attained mainstream success thanks to catchy tunes, but he's also a seasoned rapper, and finds himself balancing between full-out pop music and more hardened hip-hop. So who are his main fans, the picky hip-hop heads or the avid radio listeners? On No Genre 2 he makes a plea for both.  Three years, two albums and two...
  • Review: Rich Homie Quan's "I Promise I Will Never Stop Going In"
    27,445 Views
    21 Likes6 Dislikes
    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. Before he drops his debut album, the Atlanta native released the DJ Drama-hosted I Promise I Will Never Stop Going In mixtape with the hopes of proving that he’s much more than a...
  • Review: Young Money's "Young Money: Rise Of An Empire"
    37,530 Views
    15 Likes24 Dislikes
    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. Lil Wayne’s career has been on a slump in...
  • Review: J. Cole's "Revenge of the Dreamers" Compilation
    29,566 Views
    25 Likes2 Dislikes
    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. His recent release of this compilation project celebrates...
  • Review: Joey Bada$$'s "Summer Knights"
    23,138 Views
    16 Likes1 Dislikes
    In February of 2012, Pro Era’s Joey Bada$$ 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. With...
  • Review: Rich Gang's "Rich Gang"
    25,727 Views
    16 Likes17 Dislikes
    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. Fast forward to...
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