By: Eugene Robinson
On May 24, YG released his fourth studio album, “4Real 4Real”. Many fans were eagerly waiting for YG to drop this project. He heavily promoted his album on Instagram until the day of. The original date for the project to drop was in April - as a surprise - but after the late rapper Nipsey Hussle passed away, he pushed the date back. Nipsey’s death took a huge toll on the hip-hop community as many rappers took a step back to mourn his death. The Compton based rapper released two singles earlier this year - “Stop Snitchin”, and “Go Loko” prior to the album. Also shown at the bottom of the cover art, you can see that says “In loving memory of Nipsey Hussle”.
Now that this project has arrived, the guest features are quite diverse from what YG fans are used to. These features include Meek Mill, Kamaiyah, Tyga, Ty Dolla $ign, DaBaby and Boogie, among others. DJ Mustard produced many of these songs as well. Lyrically, he is at his best when his life inspires his music. A storyteller needs a story, and YG nothing less than a storyteller.
In an interview with Billboard, YG said music is his safe haven and is his escape from the dark times in his life."If I'm not doing music, I feel depressed...I feel like I ain't shit. I like to create, and right now, I know where I want to be, and I know how to get there."
In the opening track “Hard Bottoms & White Socks”, it starts with a small applause that would hear in a small club of some sort. YG is talking as if he is introducing himself. This song could have been recorded after Nipsey’s death because he says “Let the marathon continue.” He raps about what he brings to the rap game in a confident manner, no uncertainty in his voice. “I’m the face of this shit.” A slower beat but this is a great intro to lead off the album.
The next track - “Bottle Service” - the beat goes straight in and is at a fast pace. The production is a huge switch up from the intro. It gives off that old-ish West Coast, bouncy vibe. YG’s approach to this track is more aggressive than normal on this track specifically. The breaks in between his verses with the woman calling the guy a scrub are a good addition to the song as well and seemed to work better than a hook would have.
The third track, “In The Dark”, is another collaboration between the YG and DJ Mustard. Both of the previous tracks are as well. The vibe on this song is that West Coast, bouncy type too. It almost can compare to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” w the rapper singing “The freaks come out at night” and the low pitch, menacing laugh at the end of the song. The breathing textures heard are also a great touch.
“Go Loko” was the second single released prior to the album. A guitar, some chords, and a bed speak are all heard in yet another Mustard beat. Another slower track, but sets the mood well. The hook by Tyga is simple and very catchy. His verse is what you would expect from him. Jon Z helps this ethnic track by adding his Latin trap vibes. He comes with a nice groove and great Spanish flow. I had no idea what he was saying but he is a great inclusion to the song.
“Stop Snitchin” - the first track released prior to the album also made an appearance on the album. This was a huge diss track to all of the snitches out there, but mainly rapper 6ix9ine after ratting out his fellow gang members about crimes they committed to reduce his own sentence. Could this song also mean that someone snitched on him? This beat can be heard on Glokknine’s song “5&1 challenge” released in late 2018. Aside from that, the music video is quite a controversial one. Who knows what they were thinking in the process of making this but it is now out there for the world to see.
The sixth track, “I Was On The Block” is heavy bass influenced. The first beat, you can feel the bass hit. YG came in cool, calm and collected for this track. His flow fluid, effortless, seamless. This song brings the gangster rap vibes we all love from YG. “Yeah, I had a meeting with Kanye.” The advice he says Kanye gave him sounds accurate. Then Valee comes in with his whispery type flow and Boogie finishes with his voice slicing through the beat with ease. Personally, I don’t like high pitched voices like Boogie’s but chemistry is shown with these three in this song.
YG came a long way from the funky prejudice of “She Wish She Was” on his album “Still Brazy.” Again, he is great at telling stories and this is another perfect example of the Compton rapper doing so. This is the smoothest rapping can get. Keisha’s story is going good thus far until he introduces two new characters - Chris and Ray. This song has a bunch of twists and turns through both relationships. Keisha meets Ray and he fell in love with her, then Keisha leaves Ray for a hooper named Chris and eventually, Chris goes to the league and cheats on her leaving Ray in the dust.
At this point, the album slows down here once again with “Heart 2 Heart.” This is yet another well-produced track as have all of these tracks so far. YG’s verse is another story about a conversation with his friend. Meek’s verse is about one of his friends being released from jail but from selling drugs, he went back again. “Yeah, my dawg just came home, he just did a dime...Got locked, went up for bail, got that shit denied / On parole, he in the hole, barely calling home” Arin Ray and Rose Gold’s collab on the hook is great together. With all four of these artists coming together, it makes a winning line up.
The album seems to smooth out at this point with the song “Play Too Much.” The beat is delightful and YG’s storytelling keeps on going with this track. Talking about a story that ended with him getting played by a woman. He doesn’t sound mad - but angry. Was this a woman whom he saw a future with? Possibly. “Play Too Much” is the story of a player who got played. This is a record only YG could make.
Track ten named “Do Not Disturb” featuring Kamaiyah and G-Eazy brings back the upbeat tempo part of the album. Kamaiyah’s verse came in hard and finished hard and adds an infectious bounce that can be felt throughout the whole song. In the second verse, YG raps “YG can’t rap? Bitch I got bars,” maybe some crude criticism that inspired him to more effort into his songwriting. Then Eazy finishes with his classic Bay area flow and vibe.
The next track is “Do Yo Dance” featuring Kamaiyah, RJ, Mitch, and Ty Dolla $ign. I can see this track’s music video being Blueface crip walking while YG is blood walking. This can easily be played on radio’s throughout the nation to enhance the feel of the West side. Kamaiyah goes off again on a back to back song. RJ and Mitch also have solid verses. Ty wraps up this song by bringing his soul vibe to the track. This song definitely goes to YG’s roots.
Track number twelve - “Her Story” featuring Day Sulan. Personally, I have never heard her sing before but this song left a good impression on me. This track could be an interlude. She has a good voice, a nice flow and is telling a woman’s story. I am looking to hear more from her in the future.
The deepest track by far on this album isn’t even a song - it’s a speech he gave at Nipsey Hussle’s funeral. “My Last Words”. “My brother from the other color.” He’s very sincere in how much he appreciated and admired their relationship. We love you Nip. Rest in power.
The final track is a little bit of a bonus track I think. It is a remix of “Stop Snitchin” featuring DaBaby. Knowing DaBaby hopped on this beat is something to get hype over. I think DaBaby’s verse should have gone first and then YG finishes the song. But overall this was a good remix and I will be back for more.
Overall, this album was worth the wait. Some might dispute that this is not the “real YG.” The only problem I had with this album is that it did not flow very well. It went from slow to fast and back to slow. I wish it had went slow to fast or fast to slow to make the songs flow better. This was YG at his most inspired and he elevated to a higher level with the album.
Author: Sean Sickler
Today, Young Thug, Travis Scott, and J Cole teamed up for one of the best tracks of the year. After the announcement went around at Rolling loud, 30 minutes before the global release at 6 P.M, J Cole tweeted this to get the hype on social media up instantly:
"Cole Thug Travis dropping in 24 minutes"
Providing a booming baseline and heavy snares/high hats, this track is a certified banger.
Travis and Young Thug have a plethora of released and unreleased tracks. Between songs like "Pick Up The Phone", "Maria I'm Drunk", and "Skyfall". But we have yet to hear J Cole and Thug on the same song, and on top of that, all these of these rap juggernauts on one track. J Cole and Thugger's bond has grown stronger this past year because J Cole brought Young Thug on his KOD Tour. The fans are definitely in for a treat with this one. With the track finally here, this track will be "a summer anthem".
Check it out below:
Author: Sean Sickler
Los Angeles native, Tyrone William Griffin Jr, formally known as Ty Dolla $ign, is back with another summer banger. Enlisting the rap juggernaut J. Cole on this track, expect to hear it bumping on the radio stations very soon. Teasing this track for a while, but then finally announcing that it would feature J. Cole hyped up the track even more.
This smooth track is quite short for the two; only lasting 2 minutes and 43 seconds, but it is quite the perfect length for these two to link up on a track. Like all other J. Cole features, he has the final verse to wrap the track up with a lyrical mix of his own. Both the artists put in work on this smooth, head nodding track to ensure that this will be another one for the hit list for both of these artists.
Check out this fire track below.
Author: Eugene Robinson
On May 17th at midnight, Hip-hop’s biggest cheerleader, DJ Khaled released his long-awaited album - “Father of Asahd.” Although Khaled is a great hype man, he is even more exceptional at bringing in popular artists to make his track pop. He featured many big names on his songs such as Cardi B, 21 Savage, Lil Baby, John Legend, Big Sean, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and the late Nipsey Hussle to name some.
All of these tracks compliment the artists’ style in different ways. Every artist brought their A-game, and it showed in every song on the album. To start, the song “Holy Mountain,” Khaled added his own hip-hop twist to a reggae beat with the artists 070 Shake, Mavado, Sizzla & Buju Banton.
Khaled even collaborated with another producer, Tay Keith, on the song “Wish Wish” with Cardi B and 21 Savage. This song is the classic trap type beat and both artists going off in the process. Tay Keith was the perfect producer to create a beat for these two artists. This song provides the trap banger that the people want and would have missed if not added.
The track “Jealous” features a creative trio with the artists Big Sean, Lil Wayne, and Chris Brown. This song is all about being jealous of a couple being together. “Girl, they just jealous, jealous, jealous / Don't want us together, 'gether, 'gether.” This song is a great summer vibe to listen to with your significant other and laugh about people who hate on your relationship. With C Breezy’s melodic and catchy chorus, Weezy’s auto-tune sing-songy flow, and Sean Don’s punchlines, this song is bound to be in the Top 100.
The album continues with the track named “Just Us” featuring SZA Khaled samples the iconic OutKast song “Mrs. Jackson” and SZA does a great job of expressing herself goes through many complex musical changes. The song is a vibe that you can chill to and bob your head with your special someone. Another amazing collab, of many, on the album.
In the next song, “You Stay,” the group of artists would not typically be seen on the same song but Khaled made it work. This song features Jeremih, J Balvin, Meek Mill, and Lil Baby. The intro to start the song is a sample from India’s song “No Me Conviene.” with her singing about a perspective of a woman in relationships that deal with the pain and anger associated with betrayal and unfaithfulness. For the rest of the song, Jeremih, J Balvin, Meek Mill, and Lil Baby all question why women stay in relationships they are not happy in. “Why, oh why? / Do you ride, do you stick by his side / If he makes you cry every night?”
Continuing with the next song “Celebrate” featuring Post Malone and Travis Scott is quite the interesting duo to pick on a track together, but they showed out. Although this song is the first collab between both artists, they proved their two different styles of rap can create a hit song as well. As Khaled says at the end of this song, “As we continue to celebrate / Celebrate life / It's always love.”
A song that does belong and could be seen as a tribute is the song “Higher” with John Legend and the late rapper Nipsey Hussle. This might be Hussle’s last guest verse on a song and even seems to have written his own eulogy as well as looking back on his dad’s humble journey from Africa to Los Angeles. Khaled is not heard as much on this song may be for the reason that the lyrics need to be heard with minimal unnecessary interruptions so listeners can soak in the full message. The music video to this song was filmed a few days before Hussle passed away. It is a very touching and heartwarming tribute and deserves to do amazing numbers.
As the album goes on, the next song featuring CeeLo Green and hip-hop legend Nas perform the song “Won’t Take My Soul.” This song is explaining about the sadness of their lives and Nas goes into depth about what hit him the most, such as the death of Selena and throws a shot at her killer - Yolanda Saldívar. “Pray for the day I bust a nina on that bitch who shot Selena.” Nas also speaks on not being able to trust anybody and missing his friends in the second verse. “Damn, I wish all my dawgs was here”.
Meek Mill and Lil Baby were also featured on the track “Weather the Storm” Meek melodically raps about his recent struggles and his come up into the rap game. “I went to war with the system, to give my son toys on Christmas...I know you see me on top of my game, ain't see me declining.” Baby goes back to roots revisiting his “Street Gospel/Harder Than Hard” days. All around, this is a killer combo to knock out Streetrunner’s production.
Former rivals, Jeezy and Rick Ross, come together in the next track - “Big Boy Talk.” Fans of either artist would know that they had major beef in the 2010s. Since then have fixed their relationship and have collaborated on tracks such as "War Ready" and "Like Them." Both artists show their witty humor in the one-liners. Ross says “You niggas headline the Fyre Festivals.”
Beyoncé and Jay-Z also made an appearance with Future in the song “Top Off”, that Khaled previously released on March as well. This trio also dropped a song on his last studio album, “Grateful.” During this song, Bey and Jay tackle the issue of crime and punishment - specifically Meek Mills imprisonment, his Maybach, his not being able to “wheelie in this free world” without getting jailed.
DJ Khaled got another producer by the name of Joe Zarrillo for the song “Freak N You” featuring Lil Wayne and Gunna. This is another combo of artists that have not been seen but work well with each other. The song that is sampled is Jodeci's "Freek'n You," which peaked at No. 14 on the Hot 100 in 1995. Both seemed to not put in much effort into this song. They both threw in some lazy bars in and could have been better overall. Maybe another feature or different could have made this beat pop more such as Justin Bieber or Drake.
Speaking of Bieber, he appears in the song “No Brainer” along with Chance the Rapper and Quavo which was released last summer appeared on this album. This song caught lots of attention and peaked to No. 5 on the Hot 100. Khaled got this trio back together after the hit 2017 song that sparked “I’m the One” and made, yet again, another summer bop to add to the album
Big Sean shows out in his solo track “Thank You” speaking on his past struggles and proving that he belongs with the best of them. Sean shows his cleverness throughout this whole song and does prove that he belongs with the best of them. The punchlines hit hard and he namedrops “Kill Bill”, “90210” and “Wu-Tang Clan” during his three-minute masterpiece. He even namedrops his ex Ariana Grande rapping “Plus I gotta thank my exes on some "thank u, next" shit/ And all the old times that gave me new perspectives.” With a new album on the way, the Sean Don is making sure he is not being forgotten about - simply a wake- up call to his fan and haters.
To close his 11th studio album, Khaled gets Buju Banton one last time for the track, “Holy Ground.” Banton speaks on keeping strength and marching through the oppression. Essentially telling the listening - no matter what life throws at you, you can get through it.
Overall, this album was a tremendous work of art - despite the few blunders. He brought together some of the hottest artists out and assembled them to hold the summer down once again. I will be playing this album all summer because it gives off the positive vibes everyone searches for.
We thank you, DJ Khaled.
Author: Sean Sickler
This past Friday, Tyler, The Creator released his latest album "IGOR" and it is definitely a new chapter to add to his career.
A few hours Tyler posted on Twitter this photo below. This photo was to prep his fans and the listeners of the album for what was to come. Starting it off by saying that this is not like any of his other albums, and it is completely and sonically different than all the others. Giving instructions on how to listen to the album and where to listen to it for the first listen built up the hype even more for die hard Tyler fans and even new coming fans.
Starting off this album with the track, "IGOR'S THEME", it was definitely a wow factor for the album. With one of the co-writers and vocalists on the track being Lil Uzi Vert, I was definitely stunned. My first listen of this track I did not know how to feel, but after a few more listens I realized this track would be one I could see myself bumping on a late night car ride because of the eerie yet open vibe to it.
The next track "EARFQUAKE" has the help of Playboi Carti and a heavenly beat, this track all around is what I was expecting and wanted from the album.
The next track "I THINK" is a nod to falling in love and hit home for me. This track has a dancey beat to it, an insane sample, and beat switch up towards the end. Definitely my favorite one off of the whole album, the meaning behind it and the vibe to it as a whole.
The following track "EXACTLY WHAT YOU RUN FROM YOU END UP CHASING" is a short interlude which runs into "RUNNING OUT OF TIME" which features vocals from Frank Ocean is another love track, but with a negative feel. This track, from my listening, is Frank and Tyler speaking to a lover of theirs that there is an upcoming split to the relationship and they do not know how to feel or make the decision.
Following this love track is "NEW MAGIC WAND" which I honestly do not know how to feel about. This seems to be one of those tracks that is going to grow over time on me; the grimy beat with the dark lyrics is definitely unique to Tyler and reminiscent of his older music.
My second favorite track of the album follows, which is named "A BOY IS A GUN". Definitely one of the softer tracks off the album which is based around comparing his love and personality to that of a gun. Tyler goes thoroughly in depth to his love in this track and makes me feel as though I am in his shoes, a beautiful track overall.
"PUPPET" is another track that begins off with a grimy beat that transitions into a smooth and soft love track based around being a puppet of love, and being controlled by their lover. This track features vocals from Kanye West and is another one of the standout tracks on the album, with a short verse from Kanye towards the end with the unexpected beat switch up makes this track a classic.
"WHAT'S GOOD" follows that of "NEW MAGIC WAND" with the dark beat and harsh delivery of the lyrics. Tyler goes into why he is "IGOR" and how he is dangerous at times but when the electric piano comes in, it shines the light onto his softer side.
The following track, "GONE,GONE/THANK YOU" is one of the best tracks of the album as well. The whole spacey vibe, catchy vocals, and wavy beat makes this track a sonically beautiful track to listen to solely for the beat. Definitely another track that I can picture myself driving late at night with some friends, just vibing to.
The last two tracks of the album, in my mind, work hand in hand together and should be listened to one after the other. "I DON'T LOVE YOU ANYMORE" and "ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?" are the two songs where Tyler has finally broken it off with his lover and is able to admit to himself that he does not feel how he used to towards them. "ARE WE STILL FRIENDS" is Tyler confessing that although he doesn't love this person anymore, he still wants to remain friends to keep their memories alive.
Overall, this album is a huge switch up to Tyler, The Creator as an artist and I am totally down for it. Feeling deeply for each track, after the first listen, I was able to gauge that this album is one of my favorite releases of 2019 so far. This album is one that I can see myself playing in the background of almost any situation because it has those beats that put you into your happy place and help you understand the deeper meanings to love.
Thank you Tyler for making yet another classic album.
By Kailey Carty
It’s been nearly a year since Lil Uzi Vert first teased the title of his upcoming album Eternal Atake and half of that time he has claimed it finished and ready. His retirement announcement in favor of a more "normal life" threw fans for a loop and raised a lot of questions. Why drop a new album at all if he plans to retire? Will he hold back the album as a result of the retirement?
Will he appear in any collaborations in the future? Despite the announcement, he has seemingly been making progress towards making more music, signified by his release of two singles in April: “Sanguine Paradise” and “That’s a Rack"(Complex). On May 10 at Rolling Loud music festival, Uzi announced he had finished the album. It is currently unknown if he has made or plans to make any more music before his retirement.
Lil Uzi Vert will definitely be an artist to keep an eye on for any activity in the coming months as fans eagerly await the drop of what may be his last album ever and anticipate it to be one of his best.
Author: Sean Sickler
This past weekend, The Rolling Loud festival was held in Miami Gardens. With an absolutely huge lineup, and headliners ranging from Migos to Travis Scott and Kid Cudi, it was a truly action packed weekend. But of course, there was a plethora of drama for the artists and fans.
On Saturday, Kodak Black was arrested for federal and state weapon charges. Kodak has been in the heat of law enforcement a lot as of recently, and this is just another thing to add to the list. Before he was going to perform his set, he was taken into custody by the Miami police department and will have an appearance in court on Monday.
Also during this mess, Lil Wayne announced to his fans through twitter that he was not going to be doing his set at the festival. He said that he was being approached by police and searched by the officers. Telling him that they needed to do a mandatory search before he were to perform, this made Wayne very uncomfortable and unwilling to perform his set.
Amongst this all, the biggest news was surrounding NBA YoungBoy and his crew being shot at before his set. There was at least one person who was killed after the driveby, with a women (who is assumed to be NBA Youngboy's girlfriend) was also struck during the gunfire. NBA YoungBoy was not shot himself, but it surely was a close call for him and a terrible incident for those who were hurt. He eventually made it to the festival in time to perform his set.
Logic Traverses the Common Space of Fame & Social Media in New Album "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind"
Author: Eugene Robinson
Logic may not be your favorite rapper but always delivers with the mind-blowing flows and insane word play and is also a jack of all trades. This past year, he has expanded his horizons and took on the challenges of new fields such as the world of literature, film, and television. It would be of no surprise if he continued these new adventures and endeavors but we first are getting a new album from the Bobby Bestseller.
After becoming the first rapper to become a New York Times best seller with his book Supermarket, Logic’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind album drops today following up his 2018 studio record, YSIV. In the past few months, Logic has shared a few tracks such as “Keanu Reeves,” “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” and “Homicide” (featuring Eminem). On May 8, the rapper based out of Maryland posted a picture on Instagram with the caption reading, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. The album. Available everywhere Friday.” In this post, Logic shares the cover art which shows himself and a red skull coming out of his head meanwhile he holds up a peace sign with yellow gold dripping from his fingers and what seems to be a smartphone in his other. This could symbolize that this project will show a bit of Logic’s darker side of life.
The tracklist includes many artists that compliment his boom bap rap style such as Eminem, YBN Cordae, Gucci Mane, G-Eazy, Wiz Khalifa, Will Smith, Smokey Legendary - Logic’s father. Fans of Logic know that his father has not been a part of his life for a long time so this track is highly anticipated.
Check out the "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" artwork below.
Author: Sean Sickler
Tyler, the Creator has finally announced the release date for his 5th studio album, "IGOR" which will be dropping May 17. This album will be the followup to his most recent LP, "Flower Boy".
Most recently, Tyler made and produced the EP for the movie "The Grinch", in which he had total creative control over. Putting his own spin on the Christmas feel, Tyler, the Creator has been making his impact even wider on the genre and culture. Releasing a few tracks prior to this album including: "OKRA", "435", and "Potato Salad" featuring ASAP Rocky.
Fans are excited for what is to come from this album for sure. Overtime, Tyler's whole creative process and vibe to his music has changed and expanded. Moving from "Cherry Bomb" to "Flower Boy" was a huge change in the whole type of vibe that he was creating through his tracks, but it definitely was not a let down. Hearing the new Tyler has shown his true fans how he has changed as a person and artist overtime.
While looking forward to this album, go ahead and give "Flower Boy" a listen to refresh your ears on some melodic tracks from Tyler, the Creator.
Author: Eugene Robinson
On May 17, 2019, DJ Khaled will finally release his anticipated album, Father of Asahd. He announced this project on March 23 at the 2019 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. This project will be his 11 studio album following his album in 2017, Grateful. Khaled even said in a short video, Part 1. My best album up to date. #FATHEROFASAHD MAY 2019,"
Khaled has been promoting the release date all across on social media, sharing it on multiple platforms. He took to Instagram and said "MAKING FATHER OF ASAHD ALBUM, I MADE SURE I WENT TO MY ROOTS THAT MADE ME THE MAN I AM NOW!"
Khaled has said that he has poured the most effort into this project so far. He has been teasing music with many famous artists such as J Balvin, Cardi B, Meek Mill, Post Malone, Travis Scott, Bryson Tiller, and 2 Chainz.