Highlighting my top picks from 2017, while dissecting progression, production, lyricism, and more in the process.
In terms of dates that remain solidified within the minds of hip-hop heads coast-to-coast, few have done as much for the East Coast movement of rap’s golden age as November 9th. Coming off of the outpouring of praise from their previous project, “The Low End Theory”, A Tribe Called Quest would quickly place its second […]Read more "Hip-Hop Chronology: November of ’93"
Okay – the rundown. Production from Kanye, Jay, and the Neptunes (Pharrell and Chad Hugo), released through Atlantic, and dropped in ’06. Wow…this project never fails me. As referred to in the project’s intro, Food & Liquor describes the constant mental battle between the goods and evils of life. The project gained traction as single […]Read more "Project Reviews: “Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor”"
The year is ’92. The likes of the Beastie Boys, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Eric B. & Rakim, and Common are each putting forth projects that were the result of countless studio hours. As late-November rolls around, a group by the name of The Pharcyde will slip a debut album into the mix by […]Read more "Project Reviews: “Bizzare Ride II the Pharcyde”"
Deemed as one of rap’s most unforgettable personalities, Brandon Christopher McCartney or Lil B has been a name among the genre for quite some years now. The Based God’s name was once again tagged across the Internet’s headlines this week, as he sparred with fellow rap artist Post Malone in an otherwise laughable Twitter confrontation. […]Read more "Assessing Lil B’s Influence"
Phonte Coleman and Matthijs Rook. These two names together: The Foreign Exchange. The project suggestion here comes with their 2004 album, “Connected”. A sophisticated, brilliant blend of beats, hooks, and pure bars, with a backstory of absolute fantasy. A duo that started with a message exchange on Okayplayer, led to a wave of influence that […]Read more "Rap Sleeper Picks: “Connected”"
DMX, Isaiah Rashad, Joe Budden, Kid Cudi, Future, Kendrick Lamar, Notorious B.I.G., Kanye West. Here is a list of some of rap’s all-time and modern-day deities. What also remains common among this list is those who have been victimized by some form of mental illness along their career. From subtle references to the pain and […]Read more "Rappers & Mental Health"
Here we go again. Kodak Black’s second joint of 2017, following his March 31st release of “Painting Pictures”. Okay, let’s break it down. The project begins with a lengthy intro in the form of ‘Versatile’. On this track, we witness many references to his self-doubts, along with doubters of his career as a whole. ‘Change […]Read more "Project Review: Project Baby 2"
A 47-year old Shawn Carter coming off of marriage controversies and a few Khaled collaborations…what could we expect? I can say that most of us expected WRONG. Jay’s 13th studio album, which came at us 10 tracks deep, proved to shatter expectations and made it clear that age never phased Jigga’s lyrical prowess. The project […]Read more "Project Reviews: 4:44"
We all know what goes down. You hit your daily social media feed, scroll down your average timeline of mirror pictures and inspirational quotes, and then something just catches your eye. You see a list of your favorite artists, and quickly click on the post. The post is about a music festival, and there’s a […]Read more "A Hot Take on Music Festivals"
Kodak Black presents his first studio album, and boy is there a lot to talk about.Read more "Project Reviews: Painting Pictures"
Joey Badass’ career has been largely under-the-radar until his May 2016 release of the single “Devastated” topped charts nationwide. While his debut mixtape, “1999” gave promise to the Brooklyn rapper’s eventual career, it never gained serious public notoriety and topped out at a modest 38th on Complex’s best albums of 2012. 2013 came with Badass’ […]Read more "All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$ Expectations: Will Joey’s Sophmore Album Elevate Him to a New Level?"
Prior to 2012, Drake had flirted with a set of mixtapes until ultimately releasing his first two studio albums (“Thank Me Later” and “Take Care”). The sound of early Drake was that of softer bars and melodic hooks that left him with the nickname of “Heartbreak Drake”. His “So Far Gone” mixtape largely propelled him […]Read more "When Drake’s Sound Really Changed: The Founding of the OVO Label"
With one of the biggest pump fakes the rap industry has witnessed in a minute, the roman numeral “4” recently posted on Kendrick Lamar’s Instagram alluded to his dropping of “The Heart Part 4”. While the post sent shock-waves across the industry in hopes of its allusion to his fourth studio album, the song did […]Read more "The Resurrection: King Kendrick is Back"
While hip-hop has always been a lucrative industry, it’s wealth in 2017 is at an all-time high. With artist signing extremely prosperous contracts each day, from record deals to deals with streaming services and endorsements, how they choose to allocate this wealth is something to be questioned. The early and mid-2000s in the hip-hop scene […]Read more "To Be Humble or To Stunt?: Analyzing How Rappers Use Their Weatlh"
Today is a rather somber day in hip-hop, but one that comes with celebrating the life of Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor. March 22nd, 2017 marks a year since the Queens lyricist passed away, but media outlets far and wide will look to today to promote his outstanding legacy. Along with fellow MCs Jarobi White, Ali […]Read more "An Homage to the late Phife Dawg"
Nearly a decade after its initial release, it is necessary to discuss the effect that West’s fourth studio album, “808’s & Heartbreak” had on the industry as a whole. The project culminates into a ranging mix of West’s emotions, consistently leaving the listener anticipating a surprise. The reasoning behind this album came from the demise […]Read more "808s & Heartbreak: The Influence"