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C U L T U R E Review

Migos have been at the center of Hip-Hop culture, directing and determining what is cool and influencing every aspect of the culture. From the after a long dry-spell the Migos have suited up for the second studio album.  Did the Migos finally find their sound or is this another setback for them?

 

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Right off the bat Migos show their growth and improvement from their 2015 Yung Rich Nation, an album full of aggressive raps and flashy flows but lacked full song writing capabilities.  The trio have perfected their craft, when it comes to make hard-hitting music and impressive triplet flows.  Integrating auto tune a la Travis Scott, helped the Migos experiment and expand their range.  Throughout this album I saw the growth in all of the members of the collective.  I was impressed by all of the member’s abilities to switch between rapping and harmonizing.  None of the posse fall behind, all of them growing to hold their own and be dope artist in their own right.

 

While I did thoroughly enjoy Culture, it does have its faults.  Some of the songs felt of place. It almost felt as though songs like Deadz and Kelly Price were put on Culture as an afterthought.  These tracks lack motivation and direction and seem pointless in the totality of the album.  Overall Culture is a fun project, full of banging trap anthems and songs to party and have a great time.

 

Favorite Tracks: Culture, Brown Paper Bag, Slippery, T-Shirt

 

Score: 4/5

 

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My Top 20 Projects of 2016

Happy New Years everyone. These are my top 20 projects of 2016, this aren’t necessarily the best but the projects that I found myself playing and revisiting the most.  I don’t care about your gripes or “This isn’t real hip-hop” bullshit.  Go debate your grandmother I don’t care. But without further a dieu here’s my favorite projects of 2016.
20.Gucci Mane and Lil Uzi Vert: 1017 vs. The World

Lil Uzi has been growing on me in 2016 and what he lacks in lyrical content, he excels in making good songs.  Mix that with a legendary artist such as Gucci and you get 1017 vs the world.  The two made a project that has been on repeat since it dropped.

Favorite Tracks: Changed My Phone, In 04′,Threesome

19.  Post Malone:StoneyImage result for stoney

If you would have told me last year Post Malone would be on my year end list I would have laughed in your face.  But I found myself constantly going back to Stoney .  The genre bending artist demonstrated how he is more than a one trick pony, who has more to prove.

Favorite Tracks: No Option, Deja Vu, Yours Truly, Austin Post, Feel, White Iverson

18.  Lil Uzi Vert: Lil Uzi Vs. The World

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I loved Lil Uzi Vs The World. This mixtape is filled with fun tracks and catchy flows.  The replay value on this project is insane and the production is amazing.
Favorite Tracks, P’s and Q’s, Canadian Goose, Baby Are You Home, Team Rocket

17. Dave East: Khari Chanel

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Newcomer Dave East is a classic New York City spitter.  The album dedicated to his daughter showcases his ability . I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what East has in store for 2017

Favorite Tracks:It Was Written, Type of Time, Bad Boy On Death Row, Can’t Ignore

16.Kevin Gates: Islah

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Kevin Gates has always been a great rapper. But his antics outside of music makes it hard for a lot of people to take him seriously.  But Islah proved that Kevin knows how to make a good album.  Kevin has released Mixtape after Mixtape and I was wondering when he was going to drop his album.  After Islah it’s clear that Kevin is more than what he puts on Instagram.

Favorite Tracks: Really Really, 2 Phones, Thought I Heard(Bread Winners Anthem), Pride, La Familia

15.  Rae Sremmurd: SremmLife 2

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Sremmlife was one of my favorite albums last year, and Sremmlife 2 keeps the ball rolling. Sremmlife 2 only furthers the duo songwriting abilities and showcases their growth as artist.  Swae Lee and Jxmmi both improve on the rapping abilities and they get a string of guest features to complete this project.  I had no idea how they would top their first album and I was suprised with what I got.

Favorite Tracks, Black Beatles, Real Chill, Look Alive, By Chance, Shake It Fast

14.  Young Thug: Jefferey

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Jeffrey is a drug-filled, intoxicating blur of a album.  I was impressed by how Jeffrey is able to flow on tracks and it still be fun to listen to.  The production really threw it over the top for me.  I have always been a fan of thug but this project blew me away.

Favorite Tracks: Harambe, Guwop, Wyclef Jean, Floyd Mayweather

13.  Danny Brown : Atrocity Exhibition

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Danny Brown has always been a very polarizing figure.  XXX projected him into the spotlight after years in the underground .  Atrocity Exhibition was a dark, haunting album and I loved it . The production was amazing and the way Danny approached the tracks is genius.  I can’t wait for his next album.

Favorite Tracks: Really Doe, Downward Spiral, Dance in the Water, Today

12.  Kid Cudi: Passion Pain and Demon Slayin

Image result for Passion Pain and Demon SlayinPassion, Pain, and Demon Slayin is a beautiful collection of songs, reassuring us that Scott was down for a while but he wasn’t out.  Cudi came back after a slew of mediocre releases , he finally released the album everyone knew he could release.  Many had given up on Scott Mescudi , but he proved why he is still one of the most innovative, influential figures in Hip Hop culture.

Favorite Tracks: Rose Golden , Frequencey, By Design, Baptized In Fire,The Guide, Surfin’

11. Madeintyo: Thank You Mr. Tokyo

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Mr Tokyo, has an abundance of catchy , fun songs and they have they tendency to get stuck in your head.  After Uber Everywhere I doubted whether Tokyo would fizzle out or if he would come back with another hit.  After hearing this project, it was made  clear to me that Tokyo will be around for a while.

10. Vic Mensa: Theres Alot Going On

Image result for vic mensa there's alot going on

Vic Mensa’s There’s A lot Going On is one of the most honest and liberating projects to come out of 2016.  I found myself unsure about where Vic would go as a artist after the Innanettape but after hearing this project there’s no doubt about Vic’s placement in this music industry.  There’s a lot Going On proves his versatility and songwriting abilities.

Favorite Tracks: Liquor Locker, 16 Shots, Dynasty, Danger

9.  Isaih Rashad: Suns Tirade

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Isaiah Rashad had a lot to prove after he signed to TDE.  Isaih delivered a amazing project with Suns Tirade.  Isaih improved his flow and the concepts in this project.  Hopefully we won’t have to wait another three years for another project from Rashad.

8. Game:1992


Despite all of his antics in 2016, Game dropped a great album, incorporating classic G-funk and gangster rap into a modern album.  I was happy to see Game still has the ability to rap and make good songs.  I just hope he keeps all of the instagram antics to a minimal in 2017.

Favorite Tracks: Savage Lifestyle, 92 Bars, The Juice,True Colors/Its On

7.  Meek Mill: DC4

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After a rough 2015, Meek Mill bounced back and dropped an amazing mixtape.  Meek improved on his flow and showcases his versality.  Meek shows us he can rap without blowing out the listeners eardrum, and switching up the beats from his previous projects.  I was skeptical at first, but I haven’t stoped playing the project since it dropped.

Favorite Tracks: On The Regular, Litty, Lights Out, Offended, Blue Notes

6.  Big Baby D.R.A.M

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I’ve never heard a full D.R.A.M. and I did not know what to expect.  What I got was a delightful mix of Hip-Hop, Funk, and Soul.  D.R.A.M. is more than a rapper but, a multifaceted artist who can’t be put in a box.Big Baby D.R.A.M. is an amazing album and I can’t wait to see where D.R.A.M. does in 2017.

Favorite Tracks: Wifi, Misunderstood, Brocolli, Monticello Ave, Password, 100%

5.  Chance The Rapper: Coloring Book


Chance’s follow up to 2013’s Acid Rap  was a gorgeous album projecting his faith and shortcomings .  His powerful message and positivity is what makes him one of the most interesting figures in Hip-Hop.  From the instrumentation to the live choir in Coloring Book, I was simply taken back by it all
Favorite Tracks: Angels, Smoke Break, Blessings(Reprise), All We Got, No Problem

4. Schoolboy Q: Blank Face LP

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Schoolboy has always released amazing projects, and BlankFace LP was no different.  With the amazing guest features from Anderson .Paak to Sza and many others .  This is another notch in TDE’s amazing discography.

Favorite Tracks: John Muir,Groovy Tony/Eddie Kane,Ride Out, Neva Change, Overtime

3.  Travis Scott: Birds In The Trap Sing Mcknight

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If y’all remember Travis’s debut album Rodeo was one of my favorite albums from 2015.  Birds is everything I loved about Rodeo and more.  With features from everyone from Andre 3000 to 21 Savage.  Travis shows everyone he is a force to be reckoned with.

Favorite Tracks: Coordinate, Biebz in the Trap, Goosebumps, Way Back, Pick Up The Phone

2. Kanye West: Life Of Pablo

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Life of Pablo is a hectic project , from the album rollout, to the album artwork.  Kanye re-invented himself and the music and while I was ecstatic the project at first after multiple listens I grew to love the album and craziness behind it.

Favorite Tracks: Famous, Father Stretch My Hands Pt 1, Pt 2, Real Friends, Wolves, Frank’s Track

  1. Solange Knowles: A Seat At The Table

Image result for A seat at the table album artwork

Solange dropped the most beautiful project in 2017.  I don’t know where to start, from Solanges angelic singing, to the beautiful production, or the important message, I was just blown away by A Seat At The Table.  This was my first time listening to a full Solange project and I did not know what to expect, And what I received was the best project of 2016, and ultimatley becoming one of my favorite albums of all time.

Favorite Tracks: Cranes In The Sky, Don’t Touch My Hair, FUBU,  Mad

What did you think about my list?  What were some of your favorite albums to come out in 2016? I would love to know and converse with you all about it.  Happy New Years and I hope everyone is starting off 2017 right.  Thank You.

NE

4 Your Eyez Only Review

J. Cole is one of the most polarizing figures in rap music today.  After the enormous success of 2014 Forrest Hills Drive, Jermaine went ghost,staying out of the public eye with many speculating that Cole was retiring.One morning I received a text from a close friend of mine telling me that Cole had a album dropping next week. I was ecstatic as 2014 Forrest Hills Drive is one of my favorite albums ever. Did this album live up to expectations or was it just audio Ny-Quil?

The beginning track reeled me in and I was very pleased with what I got.  Smooth production and Cole was actually interesting the production was smooth and I was actually interested in what he was saying.  Immortal continues the streak of tracks I actually found pleasant.  I didn’t find myself bored or thinking about how much longer I had left in the album.  But when Deja Vu came on I loved the production and beat, but Cole doesn’t suite the track well.  I did enjoy the hook, but other than that I wasn’t impressed.  From here on out until Immortal I heard a slew of tracks that bored me to tears. Things picked up at the song Neighbors, the beat was infectious and I found my self singing the hook.  The way Jermaine was rapping was phenomenal I enjoyed the variety and lyrics.  After Neighbors I wasn’t impressed until the last track 4 Your Eyez Only.

I was let down by this album.  It was boring and it just didn’t keep my interest.  The dullness of this record had me struggling to pay attention.  At times I had to force myself not to fall asleep and pay attention.  I understand why people would like this album but I did not move me. While the message is great and powerful that doesn’t make up for the bland execution  of this record.

Favorite Tracks: Immortal, Neighbors

Score: 2/5

What did you think of this album did you love it ? Did you hate it? Let me know what you all think.  Stay warm out there and Happy Holidays! Be safe out there!

Top Twenty Albums of 2015

Happy Holidays Everyone!  I hope everyone is having a great time with their families and loved ones .  Around this time everyone wants to do their favorite albums and year end lists.  My criteria for this list is personal enjoyment and replay value .  Don’t come at me in the stereotypical “this list isn’t real hiphop and you don’t know rap.  Real rap is spiritual individual miracle lyrical  blah blah blah “. Go debate a brick wall but without further adue

20.Joey BadA$$ B4DA$$

Joseph had a great debut album the production was crisp and his rhymes were on point .  And I feel as though he is expanding his sound and not just sticking to that 90’s nostalgic sound he was sticking with .  If Joey keeps evolving and growing he can become a true contender for best artist in the game

19. Rae Sremmurd. Sremmlife

Rae Sremmurds debut album was full of great songs and explosive beats via Mike Will Made It.  Some recent controversy with complex and Ebro from Hot 97 made me go back and listen and this is also one of my favorite albums that I Still play to this day.  I feel as though it was kinda overlooked because it released so early in the year and leaked even earlier.  But all in all it is a very fun record that anyone can enjoy .  I’m personally excited for the group and where they are headed as artist .

18. Young thug Barter 6 

Young thug is one of the most how should I say it ….interesting artist to come out in recent history .  While some of his antics can be very different.  He has made some of the most catchy bangers this year and this album or mixtape or whatever you want to call it .  Was a very solid project and had hits that made it very fun to listen to.

17. Smino Sick!xSick!xSick!

Smino is a up and comer from St. Louis who recorded this project in Chicago .  Shoutout to My homie Jaleel for putting me on to him earlier this year .  Sminos wordplay and style is second to none and he mixes the singing and rapping style effortlessly and smino can rap his ass off.  He recently released Blk Jupiter , smino is my favorite newcomer and I can not wait for him to blow up .

16.Big Sean Dark Sky Paradise

Big Sean has had trouble making good albums since he first come to the rap game.  Sean has always had classic mixtapes, but when it came time for a commercial album he would always fall flat.  But this time around Sean really buckled down and made a good project that was listenable and had replay value .  I hope he can keep this up and keep releasing dope music

15.A$AP Rocky AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP

It has been quite the year for rocky as he released his third project .  After a slew of singles that created mass excitement for the masses .  Rocky released a great album that is varied but still cohesive and enjoyable .  After the death of Yams people were wondering how he would cope and bounce back and he came back with one hell of a album .

14. Drake If You’re Reading This Its Too Late

Aubrey from the 6 had quite the year if I do say so myself.  He just dropped a project on us .  And despite the sudden drop this entire album is enjoyable front to back and the anticipation for views from the six is getting greater and greater  everyday .

13. Future Beast Mode

Part of futures infamous five-peat.  Beast mode futures in his pocket giving us his style of rap over  the unique keys by zaytoven.  Future really had the best year this year. Dropping consequetively great projects this year.  Last year future was on his was to irrelevancy and just came back a savage .

12. The Weeknd Beauty Behind the Madness

The Weeknd blew up in 2015 , with all this hype his album has been long awaited since the mediocre Kissland was released a few years ago .  The croons and emotional ballads are impressive And abel’s song crafting ability had improved even more this time around  for one of the most enjoyable alternative r&b albums this year .

11.Drake & Future What  A Time To Be Alive

Drake and Futures album was very hyped up .  Two of the biggest figures in rap team up to give us project .  And while it was a bit overhyped I did enjoy the album and it was a fun album to listen to .

10. Action Bronson Mr. Wonderful

Action Bronson is another very interesting character in the rap game .  He broke in the game giving people a consistent slew of mixtapes and free albums for people to enjoy . When his album was released I didn’t know what to expect and what I got was one of the most interesting , funniest , most enjoyable albums this year .

9.Earl SweatShirt I Don’t Like Shit I Don’t Go Outside

Earl Sweatshirt has always been hit or miss with me .  I feel as though he is lyrically on of the best out but his song writing abilities need to improve.  You can spit the most lyrical profound shit, but if you can’t craft it into a interesting song , then none of that matters.  But on this project earl sounded more aggressive and interesting and his beat selection was top notch.  This album is one of the best lyrical album this year .

8. Mac Miller Good A:M

 

 

 

Mac Miller has been under the radar with music and when he announced a album was on the way I was beyond ecstatic.  His last album was a classic to me and I still play front to back .  With a great album to follow up Mac didn’t disappoint and this album was a great and has Great replay value

8. Vince Staples Summertime 06′

Vince Staples is one of the most interesting voices in recent memory.  His cold sense of humor is one to none and his lyrical ability is up there.  Vince brought everything he had together to make summertime o6 and it is one of the best albums this year

7. Future 56 nights

Another one of Futures string of amazing projects .  Future is in rare form has he spits bars over amazing production from DJ Esco.  This was a very sensational album. To say the least .

6. The Game The Documentary 2/2.5

The game did a very bold thing and released not just one but two albums .  This had me worried as I thought it would be just throw away tracks but the game really hit home and buckled down and gave us a great album . From the hard hitting lyrics to the booming production .  He got some of the best features for this album .  Both of these projects were phenomenal.

5. Jay Rock 90059

The long awaited album from the watts spitter, finally came out .  It’s been long awaited and highly anticipated .  Jay Rock trades bar with the best in the game on this short but sweet project .  And hopefully we get more projects like this in the future.  And more TDE releases like this in the future .

4. Future DS2

Once again future is on the list .  DS2 was another future project full of ballads and trap symphony’s.  Giving you a look into the trap world that he lives in. While future isn’t the most lyrical he knows how to craft a song and make you sing along and want more .  This album is full of catchy hooks and contagious lyrics and future shows out of this project, from start to finish .

3.Logic The incredible true story

Logics sophomore effort was truly a masterpiece .  It’s crazy that only a year ago he released his debut album.  Which I also think is a classic.  But the way logic Crafted this project , the production to the improvement of his lyrics . To finding his own sound and elevating that and telling a story.  His story telling and his flow are all top notch and stellar. Making this on of the best albums this year

2. Travis Scott RODEO

Kanye West Protege has been garnering a lot of buzz ever since he signed to G.O.O.D. Music providing production and lyrics to the camps compilation and many other projects. But when time came for Scott to release his commercial debut he got many different artist and producers help him craft rodeo. Rodeo mixes and bends genres and the punk energy makes it edgy and hardhitting.  It is underrated in my opinion and Scott has a long way to go but if he stays on the path he’s on now he is destined for greatness

1. Pusha T Darkest before Dawn :The prelude

Pusha T is a legend that doesn’t get enough credit for what he does .  His work with the clipse is amazing . The group broke up and he decided to go solo, after many guest verses and ep’s and mixtapes his second solo effort darkest before dawn.  This is his best album to me .  From the hard hitting beats from timbal and to the hard gritty street lyrics from push.  I enjoyed this album from beginning to end .

This is just my personal list of my favorite albums this year.  This is just my opinion. I encourage people to make their own list and have a conversation . No one is wrong in these list , my opinion on music isn’t the end all be all and neither is yours. Have a happy holidays a happy new year , God Bless

NE

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