When Drake released his newest mixtape, If You're Reading This It's Too Late, a few days ago, it took the internet by storm. Falling in line with Jay Z, Kanye and Beyoncé before him, he dropped it almost completely out of the blue, with no real warning.
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.
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.
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.
Cole World: The Sideline Story was considered somewhat of a disappointment to fans who really knew the raw talent that J. Cole posseses.
Although none of his albums have really been critical hits, Kid Cudi’s main appeal is using outside, atypical influences and sounds to articulate some sort of emotional journey into the tortured soul.
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.
"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.
We all know the story with Wiz and his albums, it's a tale as old as time. He goes super, extra hard on his mixtapes to shut up the critics who talked bad about his albums, only to make some of the same mistakes on the next album.
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.
Have you ever seen the viral video of Susan Boyle performing for the first time on Britain’s Got Talent? A superficially unattractive older woman walks out onto the stage to perform a song before hundreds of people and four judges.
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.
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.
The day after his 25th birthday Meek Mill released Dreamchasers 2. In one day, it became the most downloaded mixtape in recorded history.
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.
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.
Critics are always fighting conflicting urges. On the one hand, there's the need to be objective and evaluate each work on its own merits. On the other, there's the desire to fit each new release from an artist into an over-arcing career narrative.
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