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"
    13,798 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: Tech N9ne's "Strangeulation"
    13,991 Views
    19 Likes2 Dislikes
    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. When reviewing Young Money’s recent Rise of...
  • Review: Slaughterhouse's "House Rules"
    16,141 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: Sir Michael Rocks "BANCO"
    11,562 Views
    16 Likes2 Dislikes
    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. Unfortunately for the duo, the steam from their almost certain runaway train to stardom ran out halfway...
  • Review: Meek Mill's "Dreamchasers 3"
    28,139 Views
    21 Likes11 Dislikes
    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. After grinding on the streets (and a brief jail stint),...
  • Review: Pro Era's "The Secc$ Tap.e 2"
    10,261 Views
    7 Likes2 Dislikes
    This tape has been something that Pro Era fans have no doubt been waiting patiently for after their last releases were back in 2012. The Secc$ Tap.e 2 does nothing but feed the hunger of fans and add to the weight that has fallen onto the crew’s shoulders as it proves that the Beast Coast Movement is in full force. A fitting project for a Valentine’s Day release, although young, Pro...
  • Review: Rich Gang's "Rich Gang"
    25,807 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...
  • Review: Tyga's "Well Done 4" Mixtape
    20,961 Views
    26 Likes6 Dislikes
    Tyga has been a very busy man. After banking more than a few racks after his massively successful 2011 strip club banger "Rack City", Tyga (aka Michael Ray Nguyen-Stevenson) has showed no signs of slowing down. The California native dropped his third album Hotel California earlier this year, and has decided to end 2013 on a strong note with the release of the fourth instalment in his Well Done...
  • Review: Hopsin's "Knock Madness"
    20,391 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: Iamsu!'s "Sincerely Yours"
    12,528 Views
    16 Likes4 Dislikes
    It only took one day for Iamsu!’s debut album, Sincerely Yours, to reach iTunes’ top album charts, a feat which is, quite frankly, surprising. Though the album is not a flop, it’s not a work of artistic genius either. There is nothing about this album that differentiates it from his previous seven albums, and many of the songs on it sound alike. The Richmond rapper’s...
  • Review: Isaiah Rashad's "Cilvia Demo"
    30,853 Views
    62 Likes2 Dislikes
    Isaiah Rashad’s debut EP, Cilvia Demo, is very easily among the most captivating mainstream debut projects from a new artist since the likes of J. Cole, Drake or even label mate Kendrick Lamar. Cilvia Demo is the first official body of work from the young Chattanooga emcee. Through the record’s thematic contrast, Rashad constructs the conflicted, contemplative and deeply human image...
  • Review: RiFF RAFF's "NEON iCON"
    23,555 Views
    31 Likes23 Dislikes
    Today marks the culmination of the strangest rap career genesis this country’s ever seen, one that has included an MTV reality show, a hip-hop trio name Three Loco, OG Ron C, a Harmony Korine film, a slew of investigative articles and perhaps most importantly, about as much hate as the internet can muster. The career in question is that of RiFF RAFF, AKA Jody Highroller, Jody Three Moons,...
  • Review: Lil Wayne's "Dedication 5"
    78,306 Views
    93 Likes22 Dislikes
    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. Instead of complaining, he went...
  • Review: Kid Ink's "My Own Lane"
    25,226 Views
    47 Likes12 Dislikes
    Kid Ink may have suddenly rose to popularity with the 2012 catchy hit “Time of Your Life” but the California rapper has been at it longer than that. Releasing his first mixtape in 2010, Kid Ink, real name Brian Collins, gained a slew of fans with his laid-back style and blend of singing and rapping. Ink wasted no time in offering up tons of new music within the span of a few years;...
  • Review: Game's "Jesus Piece"
    44,070 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: Dom Kennedy's "Get Home Safely"
    26,835 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...
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