Lloyd Banks comes correct with his latest project, proving why NY shouldn't be slept on.
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.
On Animal Ambition, 50 Cent returns to the old street-ready sound that made him a household name back in 2003. Unfortunately, a lot has changed in hip-hop since 50’s debut. With the rise of Kanye West (or more particularly 808s & Heartbreak), the genre has become more emotive—more artistically diverse and interesting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Marshall Mathers LP dropped in 2000 and became the fastest selling solo album of all time, influencing a whole generation of artists with its unique and in-depth look into the bizarre world of Eminem. The album was sandwiched in between Slim Shady LP and The Eminem Show – two other classic albums that are every bit as influential today as they were a decade ago.
After a number of impressive leaks, Dizzy Wright, drops his highly anticipated mixtape, The Golden Age. This is the Sin City representative's fifth street album in total, the tape is the follow-up to the free version of SmokeOut Conversations, which was released in June 2012, and comes on the heels of last December's Booth-hosted The First Agreement EP.
June 18th might as well have been Christmas Day for hip-hop fans. Kanye West’s highly anticipated album Yeezus finally hit the shelves. Determined to go against one of the heavyweights of rap, J. Cole decided to move up his sophomore album Born Sinner to compete with West.
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.
Action Bronson’s new album is a bid to be considered the funniest man in hip hop. A week after Kendrick Lamar’s album has the entire culture debating race, politics, and society, Mr. Wonderful reminds us that sometimes rap can also be about wicked-funny punch lines and ridiculous one-liners as much as it can attempt to impact culture itself.
In the era of Yeezus Christ and King Kendrick, it's easy to fall into the mindset that every hip-hop album should be an experiment in pushing hip-hop forward. Every track should ooze with idealism and what's new. This feeling goes double for mixtapes. Freed from the binds of needing to make something that is commercially viable, rappers are able to let their wildest experiments roam.
Having recently gotten a release date for his debut album after months of uncertainty, Ty Dolla $ign has all the reason in the world to celebrate. Free TC arrives next month, but before we get the full-length tackling the weighty subject of his brother's wrongful incarceration, Ty's surprised us with 24 minutes of escapist jams.
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.
"They want that old Sosa… for what doe?" Well, for good reason. Chief Keef ran into some icebergs with Bang Pt. 2, and the ship continues to sink. The same qualities that were present on his last mixtape reappear on Almighty So. Poor mixing and sloppy delivery continue to cloud the highlights. Thankfully the beats were banging, or else this mixtape would have been a lot worse.
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.
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.
I just have to say that I have never really understood the hype about Rick Ross, but the hype was at an all time high after he dropped “Rich Forever.” “If he gives this to us on a mixtape, imagine 'God Forgives, I Don't'?!!?” But, it is true that “Rich Forever” was some huge ish.
Cole World: The Sideline Story was considered somewhat of a disappointment to fans who really knew the raw talent that J. Cole posseses. The storyteller and the street smart rapper that fans loved was missing in his debut album. This time around Cole delivers a more cohesive project, with tracks easily flowing one by one to create a complete concept: Born Sinner.
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.
Kendrick Lamar is leading the charge in the revival of West Coast hip hop. After rising to prominence on the back of his mixtape, Overly Dedicated, and arguably 2011's best album, Section.80, fans were due another masterpiece from the Compton native. After teasing fans with a collaboration with Dr. Dre, “The Recipe”, and pushing the release date
Lil Wayne has always differentiated himself from us mere mortals, something he clearly set out to prove again with I Am Not A Human Being II, his tenth (and possibly final) studio album. He's explored the outer limits of the rap game with this one, bringing fellow rappers 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj, Drake and Future along for the ride.IANAHB2 is the sequel to Weezy’s 2009 album of the sa
Wale may be a victim of bad timing. While most rap fans were in their glory last week with the release of albums from Kanye West, J. Cole and Mac Miller, others are feverishly looking forward to Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, which is dropping on Independence Day. The release date of Wale's third album is stuck in the middle.
If there’s one rapper out there that shows unfaltering consistency in his melodic style and lyrical flow, it has got to be Gucci Mane. The seasoned Atlanta rapper’s newest mixtape, Trap God 2, unveils the same playful energy as Chicken Talk, which he put out in 2006—a mere 27 mixtapes ago. As for Trap God 2,
Ty Dolla $ign delivered his Beach House 2 mixtape just in time for summer. At first glance, the tape's tracklist looks iffy. There's at least one guest appearance on each song, something which is often frowned upon by devout fans and critics. However, flooding a project with features has been done successfully before, as was the case with The Game's 2012 album Jesus Piece.
Right off the bat, YG’s fifth mixtape Just Re’d Up 2 illustrates just what the Californian rapper is all about. Starting bold from the second track with bumping 808’s and underscored by synthesizers, “Im 4Rm Brompton” really sets the tone for the mixtape’s high energy.
Chris Brown's new X-Files EP features six brand new tracks that didn't make the final cut for his highly anticipated yet perpetually delayed album X. Although the singer has attempted to distance himself from the media lens and his missteps outside of entertaining, for many listeners, the line between his personal life and his music will remain forever blurred.
Lil Wayne hasn’t stood center stage since Tha Carter IV dropped. Furthermore, he hasn’t released a mixtape since Sorry For The Wait. So when Dedication 4 was announced the excitement went into a fever pitch. Now after an array of delays Wayne and Drama have unleashed the latest chapter on the world. Similar to the volumes before, number four is a collection of beats, both new
“I am the struggle. I am the hustle. I am the city. I’m the pot in the kitchen.” Yo Gotti raps on the title track of his latest album, I Am. The self-proclaimed king of Memphis has been involved in the trap game for a while now, and he has much to share, telling stories through out his new album, I Am. Gotti‘s strong southern influence is clearly shown throughout the 13-track project.
Studio albums have a way of working as a litmus test for hip-hop's up and comers. Mixtapes and guest appearances are one thing, but for an artist to prove that he/she can create a strong cohesive album while delivering on lyrics, beats, and bravado is another. Meek Mill seems capable of preforming this balancing act with Dreams & Nightmares, a