Nobody’s Smiling is defiant, as full of commanding musicality as it is of Common’s own provocation. Of his recent output, it deserves to be the most touted since that 2005 darling.
Piñata’s most obvious accomplishment is as a polished contemporary Gangster Rap album, and it’s a feat in subject as much as sound with Gibbs at his self-reflective best.
The egotistic pairing of KIller Mike and El-P are welcoming the challenge, undergoing the seemingly impossible task of raising their blitzkrieg social onslaught to new heights.
Given TDE’s ever-increasing appeal, Oxymoron isn’t quite an elite offering, but it meets the difficult task of attracting casual fans without straying too far from the formula that attracted ScHoolboy Q’s core audience.
And Then You Shoot Your Cousin plays out like a Hip Hop funeral dirge. It is sparse, melancholy and, at certain points, it may be one of The Roots’ most intentionally sonically dissonant albums since Phrenology.
Hell Can Wait is Vince Staples’ best short release to date and his true-to-form introduction as a Def Jam artist. It’s proof that he can improve for a new audience without compromising to reach them.