Ludacris is a veteran in the game. Lyrics, beats, hit songs, a unique style; over his 10-plus year career he has obviously shown why he has been one of the most respected and successful stars in hip hop.
After 14 years of waiting, D’Angelo’s surprise album Black Messiah had every right to be the R&B/Soul equivalent of Guns & Roses' Chinese Democracy - a creaky mess that was done no favors by the weight of fan expectations.
J. Cole has come a long way from rapping about how to get up off the sideline. Three albums in, with 2014 Forest Hills Drive, the “God” is home. The Fayetteville, North Carolina native composed an honest, nostalgic album without any apologies.
A weird thing happens when an artist gets signed to a major label. It seems, no matter how talented they are, no matter how much their fans are willing to support, debut albums almost always come up short. There have been exceptions, of course.
Part of Future’s appeal lies in a musically indefinable existence. While both Pluto (and the 3D version) and Honest became somewhat of a set template for artists like Travi$ Scott, Future himself is a blend of the past, some not so distant.
Rick Ross and the Maybach Music Group have taken their time with Stalley. Signed in 2011, the same year as Meek Mill and Wale (who were almost immediately launched in to mainstream eyes), the MC is just getting a proper debut album released.
With a face often free of make-up and a childlike voice that delivers bars filled with tales of gun violence, come-p wishes, survival and tipsy nights off Hennessy, DeJ Loaf, the 23-year-old baby-faced rapper-singer, who hails from the East side of Detroit cur
Sir Robert Bryson Hall II even sounds like future royalty. Professionally known as Logic, the massively talented Maryland MC has that potential. He’s also an interesting meta case study of multiple perspectives.
Game doesn't quite get the respect he deserves. Sometimes things like his habitual name dropping and controversy divert attention from the fact that he has been one of the most consistent rappers over the last decade.
You can feel Cozz's hunger when listening to his music. It's easy to understand why J. Cole would want the youngster out of LA on his Dreamville/Interscope Label. Cozz has the lyrical trappings of a rapstar in the making.
It's funny how music comes full circle.
Tinashe was just eight years old when Aaliyah Haughton tragically died in a plane crash, causing the music world to mourn and R&B to be reconstructed in her wake.
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.
It's no secret that hip-hop at large is lacking in original content. If the music isn't about money, it's about sex; if it's not about sex, it's about who's the hardest (no pun intended); if not who's hardest, it's about hip-hop itself.
There’s something admirable about truly stepping out on your own, as your own person. You’re leaving behind that helping hand, that “co-sign,” and pursing your dreams, able to stand without the crutch.
After he proved he was a bankable rapper, 50 Cent started his own imprint and made G-Unit his first priority. For a while Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck and Fiddy were consistently putting out quality music that fed the streets.