Universal, Not Racial: Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly Review


Welcome to Kendrick Lamar’s latest album, To Pimp A Butterfly.
An installment living in a world of its own—with heavy jazz-influenced, live instrumentation—where a black man deals with love, depression, grief and the curses of fame. Somehow, to some listeners—out of everything this project contains—there is nothing more interesting than the fact Kendrick Lamar is an African-American who tackles topics pertaining to his skin color throughout a few songs. Making it seem as if TPAB is a black-themed effort.
(Somebody even wrote a piece on how to “approach the overwhelming blackness” of it. Pathetic, right?) Read more

Big Sean, The Superhero: Dark Sky Paradise Album Review


Imagine Big Sean as a superhero. One that has faced failure on all his past clashes, leaving him incapacitated to the point where he’d been mistaken for departed. However, he has now revived himself. An unforeseen release of IDFWU initiated Sean’s first steps as he embarks on another journey, with hopes of reaching the indefinite victory he’s been seeking for years. People notice him moving again; all eyes on Sean. He’s wearing a BAPE shirt, and sweatpants of the same brand. They have a music-playing device stitched to them.

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Album Review: J. Cole – ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’


Jermaine Cole experiences a confidence boost with each release. The third time around—whether it had to do with uncomplicated boasting (“Ain’t a way around it no more, I am the greatest. A lotta ni**as sat on the throne, I am the latest. I am the bravest, go toe to toe with the giants. I ain’t afraid of you ni**as”), lightweight name-dropping (“The best kept secret. Even Hov tried to keep it, and I leaked the damn tape”), or insolent statements (“Same thing Elvis did with Rock’n’Roll. [Now] Justin Timberlake, Eminem, and then Macklemore. While silly ni**as argue over who gonna’ snatch the crown. Look around, white people have snatched the sound”)—he revealed his vanity in more concrete ways. But does Cole’s high self-esteem justify itself throughout 2014 Forest Hills Drive?

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Album Review: Rick Ross – ‘Hood Billionaire’


When you think of Rick Ross, you think: trap, pears, Maybachs, money, Wingstop etc.. But what truly defines him is consistency. Eight years in the game and he’s already released 7 full-length LPs.

What makes the last two different, is their releases happening in the same year. Rick Ross pulled off what many were skeptic about, he gave the world Mastermind & Hood Billionaire in less than 8 months between each other. Doing so an uncommon move amongst artists, because they fear the outcome (numbers, and quality can be lower than the first time). Surely enough, Ross wasn’t afraid—but does that mean he succeeded?

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Album Review: T.I. – ‘Paperwork: The Motion Picture’


T.I , the self-proclaimed king of the south has been receiving commercial success from the early 2000’s to now. His mainstream presence helped him become a recognizable name in today’s music industry. Albums like Paper Trail, King, or Urban Legend are oftentimes praised whilst his other LPs such as T.I vs TIP, No Mercy, Trouble Man etc.. fall into the overlooked category. T.I is one of the rare musicians that has provided his fanbase a precisely equal amount of good and bad. Take his latest singles for instance — About The Money: an undeniable crowd pleaser vs No Mediocre: a mundane dedication to appealing women. You’re not sure what to expect from the album if you listen to both tracks back to back. Nevertheless, No Mediocre also did relatively alright as a result of the audience Iggy Azeala’s feature enthralled. T.I was on a triumphant run throughout 2014 thanks to the two singles. Sure, Paperwork’s release was highly anticipated, but its outcome quality-wise seemed extremely difficult to predict.

So, is Paperwork a gem, or just a regular stone? Read more

Album Review: Jeezy – ‘Seen It All: The Autobiography’

seen it all the autobiography

Over the past 9 years Jeezy has turned himself into an important name with a mentionable discography. Young Jeezy’s main topic ever since his debut album was trafficking narcotics. Around the time he blew up, it was an act easily sold. His character represented a hustler very involved in the hood who talked about it, and made it sound good. Nonetheless, Jeezy recently reached a point where his new projects were not fully entertaining. Some songs were enjoyable but whenever he compiled a few more together, it immediately became a difficult listen. Under these conditions, the audience started doubting his album-making abilities the past three years. Seen It All: The Autobiography serves as the final verdict for Jeezy’s solidity. After 2 promising singles, does Seen It All reign victorious?

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Album Review: Wiz Khalifa – ‘Blacc Hollywood’

wiz khalifa blacc hollywood

If you’ve attended a club the past four years, it means you’re familiar with Wiz Khalifa. He has a knack for hit-making and his career is based on emphasizing weed. Thanks to those facts Wiz became a needed character in rap, albeit not desperately so.

Black & Yellow, Work Hard Play Hard, Young Wild & Free, We Dem Boyz are all inevitable and of high importance — many of his singles showed high consistency by carrying whole seasons, yet his albums lack appeal. Considering Wiz gave us notable bodies of work with mixtapes such as Kush & OJ, Cabin Fever and Taylor Allerdice, it seems to be a curse that follows him during the process of creating albums (prior Blacc Hollywood). This time around, circumstances made waiting a Wiz Khalifa album somewhat exciting. Not quite connected to each other – fatherhood and We Dem Boyz raised a few expectations for everyone with common sense. Does Wiz’ new life (and an intense song) help Blacc Hollywood surpass its predecessors? Read more

Album Review: Future – Honest


Ever since Same Damn Time dropped in 2012, Future has been internationally known for his hit-making knack. He became a promising personality in the mainstream scene, who to this day never disappoints with singles. With each project, Future possesses the formula of creating Top 40 singles. Nevertheless, the songs released in advance were what stood out the most once the full tapes were available. It made for a disappointing listening experience. Honest had the same rollout, but has Future mastered the art of creating an album with his new release?  Read more

Album Review: YG – ‘My Krazy Life’


Rapper/blood from Compton, YG has joined the group of gangster acts to release an album this year. The preparation for My Krazy Life started last year with the smash-hit singles My N***a  and Left, Right– the songs quickly became two of the most memorable moments of 2013. Early in 2014 YG let loose of the Drake featured track titled Who Do You Love, and received plenty of love creating unrivaled album anticipation. With two promising singles, the high expectations (and pressure) were evident, leading to questions such as whether YG would deliver a satisfactory album or not. Check that out after the jump. Read more

Album Review: Rick Ross – ‘Mastermind’


Rick Ross – a rapper who has defined consistency in the last 5 years, released his 6th LP. Titled Mastermind, this album touches Rozay’s latest occurrences. As everyone knows, Ross went through several experiences after his last album’s release. The assassination attempt, the new mansion, the new car & his career success (albums went gold) all happened over a two-year span. It all was beginning to make for a very entertaining album, but did the Miami boss manage creating the album everyone wanted instead of the repetitive body of work he’s known for delivering? Check that out after the jump. Read more