After months of push-backs and more than a year’s worth of anticipation, A$AP Rocky’s studio debut Long.Live.A$AP has finally hit stores, and it's one of the most creatively balanced rap albums in recent memory.
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.
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).
Defining a “classic” is no easy task. The first factor is obviously the quality of the music. Here we ask the basic questions: Are there any unnecessary tracks? Does the production impress without outshining the lyrics? The usual surface stuff that’s easy to assess on two full listens. After the surface level is cleared, an album has to separate itself from the pack.
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.
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.
July 30th approached quickly for Soulja Boy. Originally announced as an album, Life After Fame arrived at its release date with little to no hype. Instead of pushing the album back, the “Crank That” rapper delivered a nineteen-track mixtape with zero features. Recent singles “We Ready” and “Ridin’ Round” are nowhere to be found on the tracklist.
The Def Jam rapper explained that B.O.A.T.S II: #METime would be the ultimate record to self-reflect to, or gain some ‘me time’ as 2 Chainz calls it. Self-indulgent it certainly is, and we would expect nothing less from 2 Chainz, considering his swag and confidence.
In the last two years between his last album and now, Rick Ross has been through a lot, including surviving a targeted hit on his life. Critics bashed God Forgives, I Don’t and many wondered if Ross had peaked too soon and lost his touch. After numerous setbacks and delays, the bawse is back with his sixth album to prove that he’s a man with nine lives and a rapper with hits for days.
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.
Keeping it fresh with his signature, smoked out flow, Curren$y delivers a strong introduction with the title track New Jet City. Backed by a pompous instrumental, Spitta lays it down and lauds about his boss status. From “sittin in the back of his triple black, with picnic tables, twisting up sacks” to making double our life savings, he is clearly on some new boss shit.
Tyler, the Creator's previous two solo projects were critically-acclaimed pieces of work. The success of Bastard and Goblin allowed him to garner the crazed fan base that follow his every move, but with Wolf, the Los Angeles native has moved on to something new.
Ever resilient and defiant, Big K.R.I.T. drops K.R.I.T. (King Remembered in Time) for hip-hop heads to feast on. Placing a stake in Mississippi, K.R.I.T. presents a project to deliver his message that he’s a force to be reckoned with in the rap game.
Curren$y is definitely a main-stay in the rap game. He's one of the few rappers who remains underground, but is still able to touch the mainstream without backlash from fans. He says it best himself on “What It Look Like”: “mainstream cheese, but I ain't actin' like y'all.” That's the truth. The Stoned Immaculate was the
After his recent split with Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records and Interscope on March 19, King Los has stepped it up quickly and released his latest mixtape, Zero Gravity II. He had first signed with the label back in 2005.
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.
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.
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.
Joe Budden has been known to let it all hang out musically, and A Loose Quarter is no different. This is Joe’s first solo project that wasn’t named Mood Muzik since Halfway House. There has been a lot of talk about the self proclaimed King of New Jersey surrounding his relationship with his new girlfriend, Kaylin Garcia, and his addition to the upcoming season of "Love and
2012’s Don’t Be S.A.F.E. flew under the radar for the hip-hop masses. Aside from smash hits “Female$ Welcomed” and “All Gold Everything”, nobody quite knew the true identity of Trinidad James. Many eyebrows were raised when James inked a deal with Def Jam worth $2 million. Skeptics argued that he would be a one-hit wonder, and fail to live up to expectations.
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.
Childish Gambino has definitely come a long way from his I Am Just A Rapper days. He's found a better voice and sound, that's for sure. His latest realease, Royalty, had drummed up quite a bit of buzz before it dropped, and I was anticipating its release as well. The project does not disappoint, however, Gambino still has growth to do as a rapper. Most fans are
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.
Following the earlier release of their debut project Indigoism this year The Underachievers are back with a solid new mixtape, The Lords of Flatbush reasserting their undeniable spot in the Beast Coast movement.
Two years ago, Jay-Z and Kanye West joined forces and crowned themselves the kings of rap. After an extensive worldwide Watch The Throne tour, the two went back to their separate careers to work on solo projects. Although they both welcomed a brand new baby in the last year and a half, they couldn’t be in more different places musically.