New EP From Dreamville’s EarthGang

Today, Dreamville’s EarthGang dropped the second installment in a three-part series of conceptually linked EPs leading up to the debut project, Mirrorland.

 

Last month, in celebration of Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot signing a record deal with J. Cole’s Dreamville Records, the Atlanta rap duo released Rags – EP.

 

Robots continues the trifecta, which is set to conclude with Royalty before the end of the year. Although both Rags and Robots each stand on their own as very solid pieces of work, Dot has assured fans that each chapter makes up part of a “deconstructed album.”

 

The lost art of creating musical narratives appeals to both Venus and Dot, the latter saying:

“What I’m interested to see is how many people play ’em all back to back and play the story through and see … Those kind of conversations are my favorite. Those are the people that pick out the details and interpret shit their own way. It’s my favorite part of doing this shit ‘cause I don’t never tell someone they’re wrong. I think that’s dope. I ain’t think about it that way. That’s my favorite part.”

 

In my opinion, EarthGang represents some of the best lyricism to come out of Atlanta since OutKast. I’m excited to see how the three EP’s tie into the story of Mirrorland.

 

Check out Robots – EP below and let me know what you think.

 

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Recap: 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards

Last night, the BET Hip Hop Awards annual show was held and here’s a quick recap:

Last night, the BET Hip Hop Awards annual show was held and here’s a quick recap:

  • Kendrick Lamar took home “Best Hip Hop Video,” “Hot Ticket Performer,” Lyricist of the Year,” and “Album of the Year.”
  • Somehow, Cardi B won 5 out of her 9 nominations… I’m not sure why that happened.
  • J. Cole sadly left empty-handed because, honestly, 4 Your Eyez Only wasn’t anything special (compared to other J. Cole works).

(Why were there only 16 award categories?)

 

Check out the Cyphers below:

·       Cypher 1 – Little Simz, 6lack, Mysonne, Axel Leon and Tee Grizzley

·       Cypher 2 – Fat Joe, Cyhi the Prynce, Belly

·       Cypher 3 – J.I.D, Ali Tomineek, Cozz, Kodie Shane

·       Cypher 4 – Eminem

 

What did you think of the cyphers? Who do you think should have won that didn’t?

 

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“West 1996, Pt. 2” Album Review

Debut project from Dreamville’s Lute

The newest addition to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records, Lute, released his debut album today and all I can say is… Wow…

 

West 1996, Pt. 2 is truly a masterpiece.

 

Lute wears his heart on his sleeve, lyrically painting a perfect self-portrait. From his past, to his present, to his future, Lute takes the listener on a journey deep into his life. Other than the obvious struggle to make it in the rap game, Lute talks about how his career affected his friendships and his family life.

 

Excluding the songs “Birds & Bees” & “Ford’s Prayer”, the majority of the album makes you feel as if you’re being directly spoken to. As a result, you walk away from the album feeling like you really know him. This is a hard task to accomplish and takes a talented storyteller to pull off.

 

West 1996, Pt.2 isn’t geared towards the average listener, however. I don’t see any of these songs being played on the radio or in the club. Hopefully, this won’t prevent Lute from reaching the critical acclaim he deserves with this project.

 

 Check out West 1996, Pt. 2 below and let me know what you think.

 

If you haven’t heard his first mixtape, West 1996, click here to listen.

 

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“Laila’s Wisdom” Album Review

About a year ago, Rapsody announced she’d signed with Roc Nation. Now, her debut album is finally here… And I have a lot to say about it.

 

Laila’s Wisdom consists of 14 tracks, which is a perfect length in my opinion. The long list of featured artists includes BJ the Chicago Kid, Kendrick Lamar, Black Thought, Busta Rhymes and Terrace Martin, as well as Anderson .Paak, who appears three times across the LP.

At first listen, it didn’t click with me. I initially thought the samples were distracting and I found the abrupt musical shifts confusing. The second time I listened to Laila’s Wisdom, I began to understand what Rapsody was creating with this project.

 

Much like Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly, she crafted an album that feels alive. The unpredictable nature of the songs takes you on an emotional journey and the lyrics tell a vivid story. At first, I thought the songs seemed cluttered. However, after I began to see the bigger picture I realized it was a melting pot of black music, free jazz, soul, and spoken-word storytelling. It’s meant to take the listener outside of the designated comfort zone to introduce new, provocative ideas.

 

According to DJ Booth:

Beginning to end, the music found on Laila’s Wisdom is alive. Each record has the racing pulse of a healthy heart. It’s like viewing a canvas covered in color, not a single spot left without a shade of blue, yellow, pink, and green. There’s always a sound to latch upon―rather a drum, a note, a melody, or a bar that will pull you in.

If Rapsody’s pen is more like a dagger, these are the kind of raps that puncture. Every way an emcee should display their prowess is showcased. Punchlines, metaphors, stories—it’s all here. There are no unnecessary strains, no forced attempts, Rapsody is engrossing without complexity. Her perspective is the world through the lens of a modern black woman; “Chrome” or the infectiously bouncy ode to self “Sassy” feel like songs only Rapsody could make. It’s the way she’s able to tackle topics of social media, police brutality, Southern life, love, and blackness with such a refreshing point-of-view. I wouldn’t consider Laila’s Wisdom the woman’s version of TPAB, but it’s one of the purist panoramas of an ’80s-born black woman’s world in this modern age.

 

Laila’s Wisdom is a beautiful ode to Rapsody’s paternal grandmother, Laila. Rapsody writes: “Laila said to show people love while you still can. Older one’s wisdom has never failed me.”

 

DJ Booth refers to the album as “the black soul sister that hip-hop has been missing.” I couldn’t agree more.

 

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“Play Pretend” EP Review

Play Pretend – EP is a newly released project from Seattle emcee, Sam Lachow. The five-song EP features Sam’s close friend and talented vocalist, Maggie Lou May, on every track.

 

Unlike the majority of Lachow’s discography, this record displays his deeper, more emotional side. Topics include substance abuse, mental health, and self-belief. I enjoyed the album thoroughly but I wish it was a full-length project, instead of an EP.

 

Listen below and let me know what you think

 

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“Blue Chips 7000” Album Review

Action Bronson’s long-awaited album, Blue Chips 7000, finally arrived today.

 

It’s everything I hoped it would be. The smooth jazz samples and signature Bronson vocals combine to form a true masterpiece. Standout tracks include “The Choreographer”, “Let Me Breathe”, “My Right Lung”, and “9-24-7000” which features a great verse from Rick Ross. My favorite thing about Action is his consistency. Bronson doesn’t try to be anything he’s not. He talks about the things he likes and that’s it… No conscious rapping or political statements- just happy-go-lucky Bam Bam doing his thing.

 

Listen to the album below:

 

What do you think of Blue Chips 7000?

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Luke Christopher: Album of the Year

Luke Christopher released his debut album today…

TMRWFRVR might be my favorite project of 2017 so far. Don’t get me wrong, Kendrick is still king but Luke blew me away with this album. When I first heard Section.80, I saw something special. I get the exact same feeling listening to TMRWFRVR.

 

The beats are incredible and Luke’s voice fits perfectly over each, switching between rapping and singing with jaw dropping grace.

 

The awesome thing about this project is that each song feels like a completely unique masterpiece. I can’t even name standout tracks because they are all that good.

Click here to buy the album… You will be so happy you did.

What do you think of the album?

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