Count all the funny quotes in this video.
Count all the funny quotes in this video.
“I Got Rubbers”
10. Super Seniors - Drunken Nights, Sober Thoughts: Dope debut from local VA act. Soul baring, and just plain good to listen to, the Super Seniors introduce you to their brand of remorseful yet fun Hip Hop.
9. Gucci Mane - Trap God: Gucci Mane returns in rare form with a tape surrounded by his usual controversy and an awesome collection of anthems. A little long on the tooth however.
8. DWHY - Don’t Flatter Yourself: Long awaited debut from West VA to NYC transplant DWHY. More album than actual “mixtape” spitting on different beats, DWHY shows his versatility and makes a hell of a mark.
7. Meek Mill - Dreamchasers 2: Before delivering his debut album, Meek continued his Dreamchasers series with enough anthems to get us through the Summer of 2012. He truly arrived with this tape.
6. Big Sean - Detroit: Though it’s placement on my list is dubious, that’s not to say Detroit shouldn’t be a front runner on anyones list. Sean gracefully gives out an albums worth of songs that not only show his growth but shatter any doubts from the hivemind that have kept him from that “elite” category. Detroit isn’t just essential listening for 2012, it’s a turning point in Big Sean’s young career.
***Check RapDose.Com later today for my top 5 entries!***
In 1991, hip-hop trio De La Soul released an album that many consider to be their opus. De La Soul Is Dead‘s content was equal parts edgy and cynical; the album cover’s broken flower pot symbolized the end of the “D.A.I.S.Y. Age.” While the cover conveyed a very literal meaning, the group simply wanted to gain their respect back as true MCs. They essentially killed their happy-go-lucky image in return for a hard look at the then new rise of gangsta rap.
Flash forward 20 years later: established MC Lupe Fiasco is constantly surrounded by controversy himself. A few years removed from the unfocused Lasers LP, which was mired by push-backs, label drama and political controversy, Lupe returns with Food & Liquor II. Though only resembling his debut album in name alone, F&LII is raw and sometimes horrific but at times too self aware for its own good.
The all-black album cover serves as a metaphor for F&LII‘s overall tone. He starts off the album with “Strange Fruition,” a play on words of the famous Billie Holliday song of the same name, comparing the state of the United States to that of the Civil Rights era (“Be a slave at first or free at last”). On “Audobon Ballroom” (from which the title names the place where Malcolm X was slain) is a black empowerment song about taking the word “Nigga” from white people and denouncing the pejorative term from blacks as well (“Because God made us better than that”).
On tracks like “Lamborghini Angels,” Lupe takes aim at the Catholic Church and science vs religion. “Bitch Bad” takes a look at the eponymous word and how it effects hip-hop listeners and society it’self. It’s very heavy subject matter, and at times it feels like Lupe is lashing out just to make noise without giving any real solution to anything.
On “Ital (Roses),” Lupe raps that he is still rapping about the same thing because “shit ain’t changed, bitch,” butF&LII seems like it’s content is largely an excuse to make music that his fans expect of him. As an artist he’s always been conversational in his criticism of the Government, but it takes a very sycophantic turn on this album. He is here to please the fans that turned on him since Lasers and begged him to return to a sense of normalcy in his content, making a good half of the album heavy handed and confusing in it’s message.
The one remaining constant of Lupe is his virtuoso-like ability to rap. And on F&LII he spares no expense to show anyone that he is one of the last remaining pure rappers in the game. “Put Em Up” is quite possibly his best song in years, a sparsely produced track capped off by an amazing third verse that stands as one of the year’s best. The production is strong but serves as merely a back drop to the rapping. Producers such as The Runners sleepwalk through tracks like “Heart Donor,” which bookends the amazing “Put Em Up” with a deafeningly corny hook and topic.
Lupe–much like De La Soul–has managed to breakaway from their labels set aside for them, but for all it’s brilliance, it’s hard to tell where F&LII will stand in his discography. Fans will love the rapping, but the topics are condescending (mostly to whites and politicians) and too heavy handed for their own good. Lupe set out to make his cynical look at his society and the world around him, and has somewhat succeeded in regaining his good will. Time will tell if he can find a balance between his newfound anger and his former enlightened attitude.
Kanye West Presents: G.O.O.D. Music - Cruel Summer
The hype surrounding any Kanye West project brings an almost stifling amount of pre-release praise and prognostication that rivals the launch of say…a new iPhone. The reason for this, like Apple’s culturally transcendent gadget - is the painstaking attention to detail and quality that goes into everything. Kanye doesn’t just record at some hole in the wall studio, he rents out lavish Victorian hotels. He flies his guests primarily in Hawaii and Paris, juxtaposing the idea of relaxation and vacation with work and dedication. Simply put, to work with Kanye you have to be chosen.
West has finally done just that, and after years of shifting players (Goodbye GLC, hello Big Sean) he has solidified his G.O.O.D. Music army. Their first compilation; Cruel Summer, hopes to prove that the level of quality isn’t limited to the Chicagoan spitter. Summer, which is releasing a few days before the actual Fall season in ironic Kanye West fashion, is ultimately a mix of good ideas but very few great moments.
Cruel Summer is an album that will go a long way to strengthen the already legendary MC career of Pusha T, and the quickly rising stock of Big Sean. Both of them are the clear gems on this album, Pusha T providing his own special brand of razor sharp lyricism on “The Morning,” a tongue in cheek Illuminati baiting song (“Some claim god body/blame Illuminati”). Pusha also holds his own and doesn’t completely get drowned out on the completely redone “New God Flow” which features a song stealing verse from Ghostface Killah, from whom the song carries its chorus from. Big Sean is stellar on his verses on “Clique” and “The One,” showing his growth from the mid-card to superstardom.
The other members of G.O.O.D. don’t fare as well unfortunately. Teyana Taylor is given a chance to croon next to R.Kelly (doing his best Kanye West impression) on “To the World,” and “Sin City,” yet when paired up against John Legend it becomes clear that she isn’t quite up to par. 2 Chainz shines on the hit single “Mercy,” but is lost in the production when it comes to other verses, barely resembling his own witty self. Kid Cudi is a ghost on Cruel Summer, adding life to the compilation with his own solo track (“Creepers”), but only providing his services to the background of one other song. Speaking of solo songs Cyhi The Prynce is the one member of the camp who has the most to prove yet he wasn’t given his own song to prove himself. The absence of Q-Tip and Mos Def is also glaring, instead replaced by Ma$e, a guest spot that is seemingly only there on name value alone.
Kanye’s two solos and his smattering of verses on Cruel Summer range from merely good to okay, far below the quality we are used to. “Cold” is his rebellion song, as he talks of dinner with Anna Wintour and professing his love for new beau Kim Kardashian (a relationship he mentions a few times on the album) but ultimately falls limp because it doesn’t seem to have the same fire behind it. Kanye almost seems content just running off clothing lines at this point in some type of weird pricey lifestyle rap style. Kanye is also outdone on the remix of undoubtedly the biggest street song of the year - Chicago youth MC Chief Keef’s “Don’t Like,” instead letting Pusha T and Big Sean get the shine.
The biggest strike against Cruel Summer isn’t the production – though it’s as bombastic and overproduced as any Kanye West project post “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” or the effort. There’s isn’t a feeling of all around cohesiveness within the group. The songs sound great and are technically above any group album as of late in terms of cohesion, but there is a distinct lack of personality. No one will walk out of this knowing the roles of Cyhi or 2 Chainz, other than a few bookended eight bar verses. The members seemingly play their roles – to stand beside Kanye West as he places them in their parts. Cruel Summer could have been the breakout album for the group, but instead it stays safely locked in its expensive casing and the almost certain promise of quality. Maybe it isn’t so different from Apple after all.
Ty Dolla $ign - My Cabana
Not really sure if this video is a troll or not but this is still one of my favorite songs of the week.
Lil’ Reese + Waka Flocka in studio.
Sounding good. #3hunna