Lyrical downfalls and mediocre moments are saved by solid production and flawless vocals on a sexy, edgy sequel to the clean-cut 20/20 Experience.
Justin Timberlake fans are still basking in the martini-drinking, suit-wearing, gold-plated visions of The 20/20 Experience, but the pop crooner’s sights are already set on the steamy after party. The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 evokes the grit, sweat and sex missing from the first iteration, which took its extravagant vibe to the top of the charts as the best-selling record of 2013 so far.
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.
Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes' new 28-track mixtape The Abstract & The Dragon plays like a documentary that any serious hip-hop head would enjoy - with its numerous remixes and skits, it's a welcome throwback to the traditional mixtape format.
Montana’s latest mixtape, which released November 20th, is a project that suffers many of the ills that plague mass appeal works. Mileage will vary by entire degrees here. For better or worse, Mac and Cheese 3 is a testament to the shift in rap culture toward more niche work. For all of that, the mixtape itself straddles the fence; it isn’t terrific or terrible.
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.
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.
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.
O.N.I.F.C. is a solid project on the whole, but fans of pre “Black and Yellow” Wiz Khalifa may notice a seeming lack of inspiration and conviction. More on that soon, but the positive aspects of the album must be lauded.Wiz’s flow is deliberate and consistent throughout the project. Though slightly repetitive, Wiz’s delivery is among the most unique in the game.
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.
T.I. has been a man on a mission after his second prison stint. Following the success of his eighth studio album, Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head, he once again travels back to his trapping roots. This time he’s joined by the roster he personally assembled on his Grand Hustle label for Hustle Gang’s G.D.O.D., the label’s first compilation mixtape.
Smoke DZA fans have seen the Harlem rapper’s growth from his last few projects. He went from hard-hitting straight-laced lyrics in George Kush Da Button to a street storyteller in Rugby Thompson. Back with the long awaited and highly anticipated Dream.ZONE.Achieve, DZA sets out to prove that he has a lot more to talk about than just marijuana.
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.
The North Carolina-born and Georgia raised singer-songwriter and producer set out to pay homage to hip hop and his Southern roots on the follow up to his 2013 album, IV Play. Sonically, more like the follow up to his first free release, 1977, which was released under his government name, Terius Nash in 2011 and rereleased by Def Jam for commercial sale the following year.
Ladies and gentlemen, Joe Budden is back in Mood Muzik form. Early last year Joe released No Love Lost, which packaged club and radio songs along with some more personal tracks. That album left many of his longtime fans wanting more of the intimate feel they get from his darker projects. Almost two years later and Joey is back to documenting his turmoil in a way that only he can.
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.
Yo Gotti has been in the rap game for well over a decade. Though he has been popular in his hometown since the beginning, Yo Gotti tirelessly worked the mixtape and underground circuit, steadily building a buzz by collaborating with various artists such as Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane, Birdman, Bun B, 8Ball and Jadakiss. His studio debut suffered a series of delays but Live From The
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
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,
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.
It was strange when the tracklist for Old was released, as the album was divided into two different halves, but at first listen it's obvious why: they represent two sides of Danny Brown's multifaceted psyche and personality, as well as the old and the new.
After three studio albums and countless mixtapes, it seems Ace Hood is as determined as ever to prove himself with the release of Trials & Tribulations.
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.
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 $2 million. Skeptics argued that he would be a one-hit wonder, and fail to live up to expectations.
In the hip-hop industry, there are four kinds of artists: those who have crossover appeal, those who don’t, those who choose not to, and those who shouldn’t. Slaughterhouse, as a collective and as solo members, simply shouldn’t.
After a few listens to Nicki Minaj's latest album, The Pinkprint, it is pretty clear that, to a certain extent, she does pay attention to critics. Her last album, 2012's Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, was universally panned in reviews for being disjointed, gimmicky and lackluster, among other things.
Although he’s been in the rap game since the early '90s, Pusha T had yet to release a studio solo album. Until now. As one-half of the Clipse with his brother (now) No Malice, Push saw his popularity rise with their hit single “Grindin.” Three albums and 16 years later, Push, real name Terrence Thornton and his brother parted ways musically to work on their solo careers.
Dijon McFarlane, aka DJ Mustard, is a Los Angeles born and raised producer of seemingly all of the most important tracks you’ve heard over the past year. While that statement is obvious hyperbole, his influence on the rap stratosphere is not, and cannot be overstated.
This tape has been something that Pro Era fans have no doubt been waiting patiently for after their last releases were back in 2012. The Secc$ 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.
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.
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