SEARCH FOR: ALBUMS

Stone Ocean – [Blackwinterwells]

In any rising music scene – regardless of its perceived level of meaning and/or significance – the act of properly noting landmark moments is an absolute necessity in both evaluating how that very scene has progressed to the point where it has today, and also predicting where it might go from here.  These moments are certainly seldom for any musical movement in this light, there is simply no doubting that — but when a scene finds themselves transfixed with the approach of saturating the market with single after single from a seemingly endless amount of emerging acts, these all-too-momentous events become slightly easier to pick out, but are that much more exlusive in the process.  That is exactly where Blackwinterwells had found herself within this incredibly prolific next era of pop music in the recent past. She has essentially been the world that this scene has revolved around since its earliest signs of resurgence, what with her all-encompassing and blatantly consistent production work across the landscape as it stood, so it’s only fitting that she’d be the one to come through with an equally encompassing full-length project of her own to serve as one of those landmark events in its …

Babies & Fools – [Freddie Gibbs] & [The Alchemist] ft. [Conway the Machine]

Ever since Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist’s collaborative project Alfredo came out so many months ago, at this point, I haven’t gone even a few days without running through the album in its entirety. I’ve stated many times in the past how much I enjoy every single aspect of this project, and it just seems like Al can provide an incredible foundation for any artist to go crazy on. Then again, Freddie Gibbs isn’t just any artist, so when the two masters of music teamed up, it was a Heaven send and the results obviously speak for themselves. When it comes to all of the music videos that have dropped to accompany this effort, they’re all even better at elevating the storyline of the project than I could’ve ever expected, so I always make sure I tune in and share their incredibility with as many people as I possibly can. Whether he’s evading law enforcement and heading out to another country with the help of Rick Ross in “Scottie Beam” cruising around on a yacht with Benny the Butcher like notorious the notorious kingpin in “Frank Lucas”, or simply living one of the most interesting lives in the entire world, …

#USNOTTHEM – [Zee! and Stef]

The concept of simply “playing it by the books” is something of a prevailing attitude that the grander underground music scene holds true from a spectacle. Because this landscape is so young, so fresh, and so appealing at its core, acts have the ability to consistently go about their careers in an effectively consistent manner — one that does not stray too far away from challenging any conventions that their scene already hasn’t challenged on its own.   But when artists go above and beyond and dare to pave new lanes and execute a concept never before accomplished before or since in their respective scene, that is when pure and utter magic is created, and magic that will stand the test of time much longer than any run-of-the-mill offering could ever even dream of doing.   As it currently stands this year, perhaps no other project has worked to put this notion in its fullest and most heightened effect than the newest full-length offering from Zee! and Stef entitled #USNOTTHEM.    This 6-track project is an anomaly in only the absolute best ways imaginable. These two are certainly large figures in the rising new wave of hip-hop and pop bursting …

Pablo – [Zack Cokas]

Zack Cokas is one of the best rappers in the state of North Carolina. I’ve been running his project Pablo for the past couple of weeks and see the potential oozing out of this young budding emcee. If your a fan of people like Jack Harlow then this would be right up your listening alley. His single “Meddling Kids” is the track that’s taking off the most of it and Cokas delivers on a Scooby-Doo inspired visual that’s really methodical and dope. The song I keep coming back to the most on this project is “Pablo Freestyle”, the rapping and Zack’s flow on this make my ears perk up and get me excited about the untapped potential he possesses. I believe with some more time and within a couple of more well thought out roll-outs and albums Zack can really make a name for himself in this industry. Stream Zack Cokas’ new album ‘Pablo’ after the break.

A Conversation w/ A$AP Ferg: ‘Floor Seats 2’, Being An Innovator in Rap, Hustlers vs. Artists & More

“We care about challenging the listeners ears. They may not like it right now, but in a year or so, they may end up developing a taste for it. We are planting seeds, and that’s something that I want to continue to do as far as being an innovator.” -A$AP Ferg In a world where it can be difficult to come up with fresh and current ideas, it can be hard when trying to be an innovator in your craft. Especially in the rap game–it seems as if everything has already been talked about, every beat has been rapped on, and every city has had their shine. Despite the landscape being far more focused on mimicking others, we always have a handful of artists who’s main goal is to stay as fresh as possible–delivering new flows, cadences and instrumentals for us all to learn to love. The year is 2011, and a brand new rap collective emerged from Harlem, NY which we all know and love now, known as A$AP Mob. A$AP Rocky, the first to blow from the group had all eyes on him, but there was a second member of the group that would follow right behind him, …

Mrs. Whoever – [Saba]

Whether you’re from the suburbs of Chicago as I am, the city itself, or anywhere else in the world, it’s not a hard task to love Saba’s music. He started out strong so many years ago and has only gotten better with time, and his music ages wonderfully as well. I can’t help but revisit all of his past albums, especially Care For Me, and other than a few random guest spots on other artists’ songs, he has been relatively elusive for the past couple of years. Although this stinks from a fan’s perspective, it means that when he comes back, he’s coming back with some big moves, and luckily, I think today’s the day that these moves begin to take shape. To kick things off, Saba fired off a variety of mysterious Tweets that alluded to fans cracking some sort of code to get early access to his brand-new song “Mrs. Whoever”, but whether you were able to get to the bottom of things and solve the case or not, the song and accompanying music video are thankfully in our hands now. Spaced out, emotive guitar strums along with pitched-up background vocals begin to pave the way for the …

Tighten Up – [Lil Keed]

Trapped on Cleveland 3, Lil Keed’s most recent album, completely lived up to the hype in my personal opinion. In all honesty, the first run through or two didn’t necessarily catch my attention, but that’s happened in the past with other albums, and I’m glad that it has grown on me because now I revisit it constantly at least once a day. Although some of the guest spots were absolutely insane, especially the features from Travis Scott, Lil Baby, Gunna, Thugger, and others, Keed managed to consistently steal the show with his diverse styles and dexterous deliveries. Although he’s been celebrating the success of the album, he’s not slowing down any time soon, and he’s continuing to support the project by releasing some music videos, most recently for his track “Tighten Up”. As the song starts up, the camera pans up to the sky as balloons obstruct the view. Soon after, we’re transported to a used car dealership lot, and Keed makes his first appearance. A filter is used on the screen during certain shots that give it the feel as if you’re watching a cheesy public access commercial, and I find this style somewhat humorous but also intelligently placed …

Velma – [My Favorite Color]

Until recently, I wasn’t familiar with LA-based artist My Favorite Color, but he has put out some incredible music over the past couple of years and I’m glad he’s now on my radar. Typically, I lean towards a style of music that many Hip-Hop haters would consider ignorant or meaningless, but that’s just my preference for whatever reason, although I’m a fan of all genres and types of music in general. I can say with the utmost certainty that MFC is the complete opposite of this, and he truly takes time to make every part of every song as perfect as possible. His most recent EP Velma is the perfect example, and although this was the first cohesive project of his that I actually tuned into, he truly brings you on a sonic journey that contains so many different styles, sounds, and narratives, you have no choice but to pay attention. After an introduction track with no words, “The End” gives us our first peek into MFC’s mind, and it’s a hell of a start to the project without a doubt. Resounding synths mixed with snaps create this momentous feeling as he rotates through different vocal layers, some that are …

Like That – [FBG Duck]

For those of you who are even the slightest bit familiar with the city of Chicago, you know that gun violence has been plaguing the area for decades. I know there’s not one obvious, clear cut solution to fix this unfortunate epidemic, but awareness needs to continue to be spread to hopefully keep this at bay moving forward sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, the most recent Chicago icon whose life was taken due to gun violence was one of my favorite local rappers FBG Duck. He might not have had a countrywide following or anything like that, but around the city, everyone knew who he was and most people I know would call him a local legend without a second thought. It’s tough to even write about him right now because the loss is still so fresh in the city’s heart, but his team is doing everything they can to make sure his name and legacy live on forever. A few days after he passed away, his team took to his Twitter to thank fans and make sure that we all know he loved us and was forever grateful for our support. Beyond this as well, they decided to make …

Happy Birthday IV – [Whyandotte]

Versatility is at the forefront of Detroit, Michigan native Whyandotte’s sound. Following in the footsteps of his previously released Happy Birthday III comes the rapper’s continuation eloquently titled, Happy Birthday IV. Adopting a more aggressive cadence, and approach, Whyandotte’s new album bolsters his lethality as a lyricist while remaining incredibly malleable in his ability to tailor his flows to a variety of production. His seamless transition in doing so positions him to address a variety of subjects such as redemption, loss, and self-confidence.  Whyandotte begins his album with pace, diving directly into the lo-fi production of “Livernois,” as he addresses political and social irregularities in being a citizen of the U.S. as well as a rapper. The fire-stirring inside of Whyandotte is carried over into the more lengthy “A Lesson In Crying Wolf.” The album’s second track is a lyrical exhibition, creating a seismic crescendo before the album’s reeled-in mentality of “Second Chance.” The redemption themed track finds Whyandotte retooling his ability to create a somber performance of hopefulness. The proceeding records on the album, sway in-and-out of flows and styles, much like the saddening story of loss on “Jean,” the melancholic questioning of “The Sand Reckoner,” or the triumphant energy exuded by …